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.

Jennifer Wilford | Owner | Creative Designer of JeDesignsGraphx

Actually my thought process was a survival prayer request. I had just located to Dallas, TX from Louisiana, not too long after Hurricane Katrina, but not due to Katrina. The economy was rough and I talked to God, and asked him to bless me with a gift that could allow me to sustain the life I live and be a blessing to others. It seems as if he blessed me over night because the next day, I connected with Rickey Smiley after creating a graphic. Read more>>

Tan & Be | Podcaster

A 3-way call gone wrong over 15 years ago birthed what is now Hear Ye Podcast. Our conversations are genuine and the things you “really want to say out loud” but can’t. Being best friends doesn’t hurt either, we’ve always been told how funny we were when other people would come around us, so we decided to add a mic to the mix and see what we come up with. Years later, we’re still here every Friday getting you through the rest of your week. Read more>>

Kelly Jé | Entrepreneur/ Host/ Mental Health Advocate

I have always known corporate America wasn’t for me. I thrive more when I am working for myself. I was already doing certain task for family and friends and decided, “let’s turn this into a business.” At first I thought it would be easy and simple to get started, but boy was I wrong! It was and has been hard work. I knew I wanted to create generational wealth for myself and those around me. Read more>>

Mac Willis | Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Creative Genuis

The thought process behind starting my business was to break away from other designer brands and create my own designer brand, that others and myself would feel proud to display on our bodies. Once the brand was established and stable create/build generational wealth, employ and educate others, give back to my community, and have different branches of my brand [Young Fresh Clothing] that can greatly impact the world around me. Read more>>

Keneisha Malone | Entrepreneur & Creative

I started ziya soul after I noticed hair breakage when I removed a set of braids I was wearing. I wanted to figure out a way get my hair to a healthier state and prevent the breakage from happening again. After doing a lot of research, I became super interested in skin care recipes, and my small business started from there. Read more>>

Jaidyn Wilkerson | Girl Boss

My thought process behind starting my own business was creating a brand and positive space where people can feel comfortable and glamours! I wanted to provided unique and trendy pieces at an affordable price. Read more>>

Joseph M | Musician, Songwriter, and Producer

For me, launching my own solo musical project was a bit scary. I’ve always played in bands and had the support of my fellow bandmates to bounce ideas off of which helps build confidence and keep you excited.  Going out on your own can definitely cause your self-consciousness to sow some seeds of doubt. Read more>>

Vee Faye | Paint Jam Dallas Owner & Operator

Having always naturally have been the person behind process intervention, regardless of the industry that I was in at the time, definitely played a key role in me starting Vee Faye and eventually Paint Jam Dallas. My mind always thinks of ways to be more innovative and raise the quality of services provided in business. Read more>>

Edgardo Rodriguez | Aircraft Mechanic and Flavor Creator

For starters, like a lot of other folks, I do not want to work for someone else for the rest of my professional life. But that was not the main reason. Over the years my passion for cooking developed in me a desire to one day own my own food business. Read more>>

Jolie Jones | Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

I think my thought process has changed a lot since I started my blog. I was in either 7th or 8th grade when I started blogging and Dani Austin was my biggest inspiration. I loved her outfits, I thought she was hilarious, and I just loved how she talked to her audience like they were her friends. Read more>>

Jean Sullivan | Dietian in Private practice

Second generation Irish Italian American and my grandparents immigrated from Ireland and Italy in early 1900’s. They fought hard to find jobs to give us a better life. Strong work ethic definitely stems from that ancestry.              Starting my own private practice was out of pure passion for client support and my own recovery experience in the 1980’s when support was scarce.  Read more>>

Dr. Wynita Harmon | Art+Ink Owner

First, I love gift giving and throwing parties! It’s truly a passion of mine. I have several friends who would always say I’m the “hostess with the mostess” or how how thoughtful my gifts are. Besides wanting a creative outlet, I know that some people are busy and don’t have the time to put gifts together or style a party. Read more>>

LaDonna Marie | International Author & Pastor

I wanted to write books that created and impact in the lives of others. I care about other emotional wellness and stability and wanted help them to overcoming obstacles in their journey. Read more>>

Jasmyn Renee | Professional Photographer

Although photography has always been a passion of mine, I never once thought about turning it into a business. It wasn’t until a few close friends started a clothing line, and asked me to photograph the products for their website. I remember being super nervous and not wanting to “mess up”. After I received great reviews and a welcoming response from all my peers, it was evident I had found my “dream job”. Read more>>

Aaron Stevens | Tattoo Artist

Starting my own business for me was, more than anything, about prioritizing my life. I started working solely for myself after my father passed away. It was a hard shake to our whole family, but it also brought a lot of positive changes through it. I saw a lack in attention I was giving to my family, my clients, and even myself. And that needed to be addressed. Read more>>

Aparna Iyer | Physician Psychiatrist

As a physician, my training gave me the opportunity to work in many different settings and with many different types of patients. Frankly, I loved it all. But after a while, I realized that I wanted to create my own practice that would allow me to reach different people in different walks of life, but in a setting that would allow for the creativity and flexibility that my patients and I would need to tailor their treatments to exactly what they needed. In 2016, my practice was born, and I decided to keep it small so that I could be as accessible to my patients as possible. Read more>>

Kam Jones | Small Business Owner & Entrepreneur

I’ve always felt my entire life that anyone is capable of being their own boss or fulfilling their own dream- bringing a true sense of happiness. I’d like to give credit to my father for instilling in me and setting the example that hard work, consistency and ALWAYS betting on yourself can and will only bring the result you longed for. Read more>>

Brian Tanner | Coach Brian

I was in the car business for almost 20 years; I never thought I would walk away…but God! He took the car business from me and put Premier Prep on my heart. I spent the majority of my life as a worker, and it was clearly time to create my own stream of revenue. Because I was obedient to God’s instructions, I’ve been blessed to help so many young men and women get into college, through scholarship. Read more>>

Lacey Land | Photographer, Art Director and Creative Consultant

I spent the first 7 years of my career working in-house at Loloi. I worked a ton and wore a lot of hats, and after 7 years I found that I had carved out a specialty in interiors photography and art direction. I enjoyed working at Loloi — you can’t beat working closely with other talented creatives — but I wanted to take on challenges that I couldn’t while fully committed to an in-house leadership role. It’s hard to leave a good position and steady paycheck, but it was well worth it. Read more>>

Walter Afalla | Photographer | Cinematographer | Story Teller

In 2009, after getting laid off from my corporate career working as a senior graphic design as a director for a fortune 500 transportation civil engineering firm due to the economic downfall, I decided to focus on my photography degree from the Art Institute of Seattle (class of 1989) by opening my own studio called AfallaStudios. Read more>>

Rachel Rose | Wedding, Family and Portrait Photographer

I hesitated a bit at first. I had a little bit of imposture syndrome that kept me from initially taking the leap to taking paid clients. I didn’t want to start marketing myself as a “professional photographer” because I felt like that title was more or less assigned to you by your clients rather than declared–I felt like it was a title you had to earn over time. Read more>>