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.

Cooper Carr | Co-Owner of Production Outfitters

I was wrapping on a feature film taking place in Fort Worth and at the end we have this event called the “Garage Sale” where we sell items that we bought for the film it self. I looked around saw tables, chairs and tents etc… And I had this random thought that someone should buy it all and start a film production supply company in Fort Worth (there currently wasn’t one) , I heard this weird voice inside of myself say “Well why can’t that be you?”. Read more>>

Stephy Huffstutler and Jae Grey | Co-Founders, Scorned Productions

We always say “We’re here for the bands and the fans”. The music industry is very much a male dominated industry, so being an all female-run company, we can see the gaps within the scene that might not be as visible to other companies. We strive to create a safe space for not just concert attendees as a whole, but specifically for women and all LGBTQIAA+ individuals. That will always be our driving force. We want concerts to be about the music and making our local scene a better place for the musicians we work with, with equal opportunity for all, Read more>>

Harthik S. Parankusham | Founder at The Raayu Children’s Foundation™

It all started with a toy car. 2011, and my family moved between towns. As an immigrant, English was always a challenge – moving between towns made school even harder. The new school was tough, and I fell behind faster than I could catch up. But my first grade teacher embraced my struggle. He was the one who gifted me a reading tutor, and it wasn’t long before I loved books. After each story I had read with my tutor, I earned a toy car. I fell in love with Mr. Putter and Tabby Cat, with Fly Guy and the Berenstain Bears. Read more>>

Lindsey Hardman | Copywriting for the Professional, Literature for the Personal

Writing has always been the place that felt like home. I excelled in writing from an early age, and while I struggled in other subjects and found myself discouraged, writing always brought me back to center and reminded me that I was good at something. I knew that whatever I wrote would be with my whole heart, and that hasn’t changed. Read more>>

Dominion Ezechibueze | NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Stretching & Flexibility Coach

I wanted to help people get healthier because I experienced the benefits firsthand, and wanted to share this positive experience with my micro-community. Read more>>

Albert and Patrice Lavalais | Chef Owner

It was more of the work life balance. We are parents of five beautiful daughters. We lost our oldest due to a tragedy within our family. I was fresh out of culinary school and trying to find the best way I know how to take care of a young family. After her passing we still had a new born that we were responsible for. All while experiencing homelessness at this time. It gave me the motivation I needed to work crazy long hour to make ends meet and constantly climbed my way up to the top. Read more>>

Erika Hossain | Barbells Bake Shop CEO

Initially, I didn’t want to start my own business. It was something I had never pictured myself doing. I’ve been in the baking industry for a long time and have worked for a variety of companies and business owners. I saw the advantages and disadvantages of running a business. I saw the stress and the long hours they worked, leaving no time for family or activities. It was something I promised myself I’d never do!  Read more>>

April Rodriguez | Functional Nutrition and Metabolism Specialist / Owner of TeamArodFitness

I saw a gap in the fitness industry. As a woman with Hashimoto’s, it was extremely lonely navigating my fitness journey because coaches just didn’t “get it”. They didn’t understand why I was dealing with inflammation, or not recovering well from my workouts…they didn’t understand that my metabolism worked differently and didn’t fit the mold of “eat less, move more”. I myself was experiencing how under-served women with Hashimoto’s are and decided to step up and be the one to do better for these women. Read more>>

Courtney Calvert | Mobile bartender & entrepreneur

When I first entered the bar industry I always knew one day I wanted to own my own bar. I would frequently visit new places and spaces just to get my idea of what I wanted. Little did I know I would go out of my comfort zone with a new industry that exposed me to many more experiences. It always lead back to wanting to own my own bar. I started my business right before the Covid shutdown and right there and then I knew I could mix and serve alcoholic beverages wherever I wanted. Read more>>

Kelsey Schwartz | Owner & Professional Body Piercer

After being in the piercing industry for 5 years, I knew opening my own studio would eventually become my goal. The shop I had been with was expanding and I thought that would be my opportunity to become an investment partner, but they wanted to keep everything within their family. I had to respect that, but also knew I would need to do what was best for my family. My husband, Thomas, and I wanted to start building the foundations of a company that could be left to our children. Read more>>

Yoahana Lagunas | Co-Founder of The Cookie Factory

I have always loved to bake since I was a kid and having an art background, making things I ate pretty and interesting was always important. I am a jewelry designer by day and a baker at night. My husband Victor and I, started our business during Covid as a means to make extra money for our fertility treatments. We had just gotten married and found out we had to do IVF.  It started as a treat/cake business. The market got very saturated during that time so we put it on hold for a little bit. In October of 2023, we decided to give it another try with just our treats. Read more>>

Johnny Duong | Photographer

The thought process of starting my own business was that I wanted something more than just a 9-5 grind. I always wanted to start up some sort of small business since college but never knew exactly what I wanted to do. I got into photography about a year ago and immediately fell in love with it. My passion grew as I began learning more about photography. Jduongvisuals started in 2023 as I wanted to take my photography game to the next level. I’m very fortunate to have my business brand grow as fast as it did. Read more>>

Lama Abu-Amara | Newborn & Toddler Photographer

The idea for Lama’s Littles originated from the joys of new arrivals into the family. It all started with an interest in capturing special moments of my loved ones, first with my nephew and later with my own son. Despite not having experience at the time, I felt a strong artistic drive and a passion for preserving memories through photography. When the opportunity arose to photography my sister-in-law’s baby, and my mother-in-law suggested the business, it felt like the right path to take. Supported by my family and driven by my love for creativity, I launched Lama’s Littles to turn my passion into a meaningful journey. Read more>>

Trayc Claybrook | Artist & Entrepreneur

As a child, I had the wonderful experience of living with my grandparents every summer. I had just turned 13 when my Pappaw said to me one day, “You will never make money working for someone else.” That message stuck with me. As an adult, I had worked as a college professor at a private art school for 18 years and while that job was very rewarding it was A LOT of work I was doing for someone else. When I turned 50 I decided it was time to work for myself. I had some money to invest in a business, an enormous work ethic, and I knew a lot about vintage clothing from years of collecting and wearing them. It felt like a now or never situation. Read more>>

Ashley Olson | Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

Honestly, my only thought whenever I signed up for an online certification to become a sleep consultant was to help parents have a better sleep journey than I did. I was in such a rough, miserable place postpartum after the severe sleep loss we experienced with our first child and I never wanted another family to go through that (or think they had to go through it, like a rite of passage). I wanted parents to feel supported, educated, and confident in their parenting journey. I fully believe in the “village” and want to be part of more parents’ villages. Read more>>

Jamie Ferriman | candle designer

The thought process behind starting my own business was actually just meant to be a hobby. We lost our daughter in 2022 and I was having a hard time with it. I kept trying to keep my mind busy but nothing was working. I remembered how much she loved smelly good things especially candles. So, I looked into how to make candles. After a couple weeks of learning about the ends and outs, I made a batch. I took some samples up to my place of employment to see what people would say about them. Read more>> 

George Stricklin | George Stricklin aka Minister Slugger | Minister, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Author

I’ve always been creative whether it was producing music or creating videos. After graduating high school, I pursued becoming a music producer as a career. In 2002, I produced a song for a rap artist by the name of LIL’ FLIP. The song landed on his first major album with Sony Records entitled “The Underground Legend.” The album went Gold and then Platinum. After I left the music industry, I became interested in videography and photography. In 2005, I started my Photography/Videography business called Soul Fishing Media. Read more>>

Mitchell Kelly | CEO / Creative Director & Choreographer

My thought process was more of a feeling. I wanted to create an environment where dancers felt seen, heard and accepted through their beauty of dance. Read more>>

Cory Cross | Musician

I really never thought of it as starting a business. I’ve always known I wanted to play music for a living, and along the way I realized the process of managing and promoting and booking myself all resembles the way a more typical business operates Read more>>