We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Rachel Pearson | Family, Wedding, & Personal Brand Photographer

I tried many different jobs & career paths over the years while growing my family (5 children ages 3-11). We choose Homeschooling for their education and it was difficult to balance working for others and being the mother I needed/wanted to be. Once day it just clicked, I should just work for myself to get my own schedule to work around my family life & lean into my passions. Read more>>

Merrick Porcheddu | Founder & CEO

I started Artist Uprising with the intent to pair brands and businesses with artists and entertainers. There is always a creative need that corporations have, whether it be to collaborate with a renowned artist for a marketing campaign, or a local artist for a mural or billboard sign, or a product designer for the launch of a new product, or a musician for a company party, happy hour, or even for licensing music for a commercial. Whatever the need is, there is always a creator to be found. Today we have curated artists, photographers, film makers, muralsits, sculptors, etc for brands like Google, Adobe, MTV, Netflix, AirBnb, Canon, Warner Brothers, Spotify, Mercedes, Toyota, and more! Read more>>

Carrie Himel | Realtor & Entrepreneur

I’ve been very entrepreneurial in my adult life. For our first business, it was just an idea, over beers with friends. It was one of those things that we had talked about, but this particular night we really felt like we could pull it off. We just decided to go for it! We got to work fast and had our first event in 6 weeks! For my real estate business I knew the end goal was to have my own RE biz and team. I wanted to be able to help people with one of the most important purchases or sales in their whole life, but do it with some fun and creativity. In real estate you’re always an independent contractor. I started my RE career on an established team with the end goal to one day have my own team. I was able to leave the team after two years as a solo agent. One year later I added an assistant, then a year after that I added my first team agent. Read more>>

Pamela F. Knight | Author & Texas State Notary

I grew up learning about handling things. It was never a matter of someone else doing it for you. My dad taught me how to handle money and to be independent. My mother taught me from an early age to deal with things and not allow them to overwhelm me. However, sometimes, the independance overwhelms other things in my life. After my divorce, I had only myself to depend on. I had run a household and cared for my children with a husband that was military and then traveled extensively in civilian life, which gave me a basis for juggling the things that needed to be done. In doing handling more than many during my life, I also worked part time in a “temporary” capacity. This afforded me the ability to work with may types of people. It heightened the diplomatic side of my personality that my mother had helped me to form early in life. Read more>>

Ben Caballero | Real Estate Broker

When I was building homes I noticed few builders listed their homes in MLS. I created a service to list homes for builders. I soon learned a manual system was unmanageable and decided to create an online platform. It was launched in 2007 as HomesuSA.com and has grown to 60 plus teas builders. Read more>>

Goga Denisov | Owner

I studies computer science in school, to try to have a “real profession” as told by my parents. When I got out of college though , I found myself at really hard crossroads, knowing that even though I liked the mental exercise, my brain didn’t work in that naturally, I had to think about the problems a long time before I could solve them. I knew there were hundred thousands of people out there better programmers than me and that made me sad. But I loved singing since I was a child and even growing up would be asked to perform at some birthday parties and weddings. I didn’t yet know how to apply myself in the music field, so the easy way out was to wait tables while I was finishing up cs degree in school. When I finished studies, I totally chickened out about trying to find a cs job. That was just not me. Read more>>

Krista Streeter | Business Owner

We had moved across the country from MI to TX with our 3 kids and saw the opportunity for starting an electrical company in our new home town. With Steve already being a Master Electrician and Krista with a background in Business Marketing and Management, it was a perfect fit to create something together that could grow as a family oriented business. Our goal has always been to have a work environment that is like a family, honest and open communication, treating everyone as equals and showing our love and respect for one another as we all make up this great team we have built over 10 years! Read more>>

Jyothi Shankar | Providing Business Value through Human-Centered Design & Performance

After having spent some years as a consultant and employee in Learning and Development organizations, I had first hand knowledge of how difficult it is for employees to get all the training that would benefit them and in a way that actually provides long term value! This has much to do with training budgets constantly tightening and in the process, the employees getting less and less training. This deficit is more pronounced in the areas of leadership and soft skills than in their core areas that may be areas like technical, programming or tools related training. I was aware of many pain points which made me want to create a better and more cost-effective way to provide training, especially to young professionals who are entering the workforce or those who are aspiring for higher roles and responsibilities. Read more>>

Dayna Steele | Creates Business Rock Stars

I was in rock radio for 20+ years when the rug was pulled out from under me. The station decided not to renew my contract seven weeks before I was due to give birth to my first son. I spent the next couple of years trying television, talk radio, marketing consulting, and crisis communication training. It paid some bills but never caught fire for me. My husband had flown for NASA for years (T-38s, the weightless training aircraft, the shuttle landing trainer, and the 747 shuttle carrier ) and friends/family would call all the time wanting me to go onsite to JSC-Houston to buy t-shirts, patches, that nasty astronaut ice cream no astronaut has ever really eaten, etc. In the late ’90s, the only place to buy these things was at the NASA visitor centers and some museum gift shops. There was no NASA online store. Read more>>

Kia Dempsey | Board Certified Registered Nurse & Licensed Esthetician

My Mother, rest lovingly in Heaven, was experiencing more skin sensitivities due to her Lupus and I wanted to create products that she could use to keep her skin healthy without causing her adverse reactions. I also know that many people of color do not regularly, or at all, visit an Esthetician for skin correction and/or maintenance so I saw myself becoming apart of the “normalize luxury self-care” movement! Read more>>

Jerry Jurden | President & CEO

I came from an IT background and as I worked up toward the C-suite in that field it became clear how much IT was viewed as a cost center rather than a revenue center. Also, I came from an environment where I felt like employees were not as valued or given as much autonomy as they should have been given their talents. I began to feel like as an owner I could create a better culture and working environment than the experiences I had in my previous employment. Though I had had thoughts of owning my own business since college when I took business classes as part of my minor, it was these recent events that spurred me to take the leap. Also, I was getting older and time was running short, and I finally concluded if I didn’t do something now I would never do it. I actually bought an existing business that was producing revenue, so I did not create one from scratch. Read more>>

Jennie Yip Kim | Restaurant Consultant, Business Coach & Meal Planner

After working in hotel food and beverage for several years at the Royalton Hotel in NYC, I was asked by owners Brian McNally and Ian Schrager to move to Miami Beach to launch the Delano Hotel’s opening. Just during that small window of time, I got a glimpse of behind the scenes of developing a one of a kind project from scratch and working collaboratively with key players to create a magical destination. From this experience and years of managing, I formed Jenjuice Hospitality in 1996 to offer. My services to clients who want to create one of a kind projects from concept development, kitchen planning, curating OS&E to staff recruitment to business strategy. Fast forward summer 2020; I started Restaurant Startup Business, where I coach chefs and entrepreneurs on how to start their own food service business from kitchen planning, sourcing, social media marketing, menu assessment to mobile pitch decks. Read more>>