Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Debbie

My thought process behind starting my own business was I felt I needed to build something for myself professionally that could help others and also have longevity for generations to come. Read more>>

Julie Thomas | Home Decor and Design Specialist

The main driver behind starting Julianne’s was to create joy – not only in my life but the life of my customers. I have loved beautiful things and helping to make my surroundings beautiful while reflecting the personal lifestyle in my home. Secondly, I was fortunate enough to be offered a beautifully restored flagship building on the Stephenville our building is in the National Registry of Historic Places I have always been inspired by timeless, modern simplicity and the beauty of everyday living. A couple of years after opening I advanced to a full-service interior design and home decor shop. Read more>>

Lauren Swanson | REALTOR® With Keller Williams Realty

When I first decided to get my real estate license, there was not as much thought process behind it. It was more me being obedient to what was put on my heart and brave, because there were a lot of unknowns. Ultimately, my goal more than anything, was to have a flexible schedule to be with my kids more when I wanted to. My other goals were to pay off our debt, and start saving more for our future and retirement. Real Estate never crossed my mind once growing up. I actually worked at Olive Garden for 10 years form years 17 to 27 years old. I had worked a few other jobs before that in the years before. Initially I choose to work there to work my way through college in the beginning, and pay my bills. I never finished college, and I ended up never leaving. Read more>>

Bailey Plake | Owner & Baker at The Back House

I never thought of myself as a business woman. I have always loved making baked goods for my friends and family. In 2017 I began having major stomach issues which led to a new paleo diet. This launched me into learning much more about the food we consume, getting creative with flavors and ingredients, and seeing God heal through food. Now, most days after work or anytime on the weekend, you can find me in my kitchen. In 2020 my husband and I moved into a cottage owned by our dear friends that sits directly behind their house. As you can guess, we affectionately call it “The Back House.” After some time of baking for friends, neighbors, and colleagues, teaching baking classes and catering events, we decided to take a leap of faith and launch The Back House Bakery with a mission to share the connection I have found in food with others. Read more>>

Kimberly Johnson | Boutique Owner

I wanted something that was mine, something that I created, controlled, managed; I control its success. I control my workload. Most importantly, it’s something that I enjoy. Fashion has always been an essential part of my life. I used to mix my sisters hand me downs with the clothes my parents bought me to create my own lol. I love mixing pieces together to express myself; everything from your classic fit denim, a blazer, and retro sneakers or even a ball gown. I’ve always had an eye for fashion, styling, or simply spotting a deal. I wanted to carry items that are relevant to current trends yet remain affordable to just about everyone. I recall desiring certain fashion items, but was limited by my finances. My boutique caters to those who want to look good and still stick to a budget. Read more>>

Stephanie O’Callaghan | Certified Personal Trainer & Collegiate Diving Coach

I have always had a strong desire to help others and to be a positive motivator/encourager to those around me. I wanted to find a way to reach more people and impact a broader audience beyond the college athletes who I’ve so enjoyed working with over the last 11 years as a Division I Collegiate Diving Coach (currently at University of North Texas). I pride myself on being very personable with my athletes; it’s important for me to be more than just an X’s and O’s type of coach…I want to help my athletes grow as people and support them through that. I think that’s something that is missing in the fitness industry; I want to do more than run you through a workout; I want to help you heal your relationship with food, working out and with yourself. I want to have an impact on as many people as I can through the passion, joy and excitement I have around food, fitness and life. Read more>>

Cheyenne Gray | Author, Ghostwriter and Copywriter

My thought process behind starting my business initially may not have been as intentional as most. For some time, I wrote for students, companies, and even friends for FREE. Yes, absolutely free. I was passionate about self-expression – be it a business or individual. It was important that those who were unable to articulate themselves still had the opportunity to express themselves. My business naturally evolved as referrals, and larger requests began pouring in. There was a need more significant than my free time was able to facilitate. And though the moment is foggy of when the lightbulb went off as to when converting this into a business truly began, I’ll never forget the opportunities nor the bright smiles on each face reading their story aloud. Read more>>

Penny Newberry | Creative Entrepreneur & CEO of ISLP, The InkSpot, LLC

I started my own business because I wanted to have freedom – the ability to come and go as I please. Additionally, I wanted to make money while I sleep. Therefore, I started an online business so that I can receive sales at any time, day or night allowing me to reach my goal of making money while I sleep. Furthermore, an online business gives me flexibility so I can adjust my schedule as needed. Read more>>

Chanel Hogue | Doula & Childbirth Educator

When I first began on my journey in the birth world, it was simply to share education that I wish I knew when I was pregnant with my first child. I knew that if I didn’t know some of this information then many other women probably didn’t either. So, my goal was to simply share the education that I received and what allowed me to have a redemptive second birth experience after a traumatic first one. When I began sharing and teaching childbirth education on social media out of passion, I never imagined that it would turn into a business that would allow me the opportunity to impact thousands of women on a daily basis. I just simply wanted to help women change the narrative of birth by knowing how to have a beautiful birth experience and advocate for themselves. Read more>>

Whitnye Raquel | Musician & Creative Vending Machine Owner

I had always dreamed of having my own shop. I envisioned a small, market style boutique with an eclectic, advant-garde aesthetic. However, in my current season of life this dream was just not feasible. I had seen a video on Facebook of a Portland native, Taylor Valdés, who had started her own vending company, The Venderia, She filled her machines with quirky handmade treasures, thrifted goods, and locally made art. Some months later I had picked up a gig MCing a bingo night at Wild Acre Brewing company where I saw a brightly colored, hand painted vending machine tucked away in the corridor entrance. Read more>>

Abriel Dixson | Licensed Esthetician & Teacher

During the shutdown phase of the pandemic I wanted a body scrub. My usual store didn’t have what I wanted so I decided I would figure out how to make my own. I researched some things and found more than I expected. I wrote down my vision and now I have a self care brand that makes bath and body products. Read more>>

Nik Bradley | Logistics, Owner/Operator

To be independent of micromanagement and the corporate structure and to better control my financial destiny Read more>>

Kristiel Camacho | Titishowroom owner

The first thing was Am I going to be able to do this while taking care of my 3 babies and husband ? And then I said to Myself let’s just start and see what happens and organization has become the key I have calendars for everything and I just sleep less so I can have more hours in my day 🙂 Read more>>

Lindsey Sikorski | PixieLane Lindsey Boutique Owner

We had recently moved from Los Angeles to Texas and we didn’t know many people. My daughter was starting a 2 day a week school program and I wanted something that would take my mind off of her being away for the first time. A friend came to visit us from L.A. and her daughter was wearing the cutest dress. When I asked her where it was from she told me all about this brand new company called PixieLane. I loved that the company is owned and run by moms and that all of the clothes are made in the USA, most are sensory friendly too. Another thing that struck me about PixieLane is that it’s a business model that allows my daughter to help me and learn about starting and running a business. PixieLane is not an mlm, we don’t recruit anyone or benefit from other peoples sales. We are truly our own small business owners. I’m now almost 4 years in with PixieLane and my daughter is known as PixieAmelia and she is well known for her outfit of the day videos! Read more>>