Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Renée Contreras Lesley Hines | Co-Owner & Planner

As cousins, we started our first business back in 1987 as L&R Beads. L&R was born in front of our great grandfather’s house in South Dallas, now the parking lot across from local dive bar, Lee Harvey’s. At the age of eight, we were showing our entrepreneurial attributes as we hustled our family and neighbors to buy our handmade beaded necklaces. We even wrote, produced, and recorded our own jingle. We are true Dallasites! Read more>>

Shon and LaTress Peoples | Owners

I saw apparel with wording that lacked meaning. I decided to create a brand, that produces apparel with wording that brings life, that uplifts and that encourages the wearer. And I wanted to produce apparel that could ignite a conversation. Read more>>

Hannah Cail | Entrepreneur, Model & Influencer

I’ve always had a love for makeup and enhancing my beauty, So I decided to start off selling eyelashes my senior year of high school. I wanted to turn my name and my face into the biggest cosmetics brand. When I first started I didn’t really have a thought process , until I rebranded in April of 2021. Instead of just selling eyelashes , I wanted to add more products. I have also been modeling since I was 14 so I thought it would be best to model my own brand to advertise and showcase my cosmetics line. Read more>>

Honey T | DJ & Performing Artist

The idea to start DJ’ing came to me in 2020 as the pandemic was beginning. I used to go live on Instagram on Friday nights for “club quarantine” and would just play music and interact with my followers (with a little alcohol involved hah!). Sometimes we’d do themed nights like all Beyonce or throwback music. I vividly remember thinking “I wish I could be mixing this right now”. Not too long after, I bought a beginner controller and taught myself how to mix. Read more>>

Whitney & Chaz Gates | WONDRY Wine Co-Founders

The concept of WONDRY was born surprisingly when I was a little girl & far too young to drink. Around the age of 10 I began visiting my late Uncle LC who was paralyzed from the waist-down but stood tall as the beacon of his Nashville community. He was a master of all trades – barbequing, baking, conversating…but most of all homemade winemaking. I would watch in awe as he rolled his way through his garage using the oddest of tools to turn the most interesting foods into wine. Read more>>

Shereka Nicole, M.Ed. | CEO & Founder of Premier Moms

Provide a community of support and empowerment to Moms as I sometimes felt like I was loosing myself as an individual being both a married and single mom. Read more>>


Tanesha Herndon | Boutique owner and fashion therapist

Mixed Moka was birth out of a dark place in my life. I was a single mother of two kids and i felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I needed motivation to keep pushing so I started out just sending motivational quotes to my co workers because I just knew I wasn’t the only one feeling like this. After doing that for a while I started making Tshirts with motivational sayings and that’s how Mixed Moka motivational sayings went from being on paper to being on Tshirts . Read more>>

Chandi Rae | Image Consultant & Life Transformation Coach

My thought process behind starting my business was making sure my business would be a long term solution to my clients problems. I wanted my business to exemplify that I was giving a service rather than selling you something. I knew I had to be passionate about it and it had to align with my purpose. Read more>>

Madison Bennett | Photographer & Creative at Thistle + Grace Photography

Well I began photography in high school, however, I didn’t ever foresee it becoming a business for me! When I started college somehow I began feeling like this was my calling. I started doing more college grads, and then slowly transitioned into weddings! Becoming a business really just became reality as I got to pour my heart into the thing I was most passionate about. Read more>>

Christina Callis | Insurance broker

It was March of 2020 when the world shut down and I was partially furloughed from my full-time position as a Business Development Manager for a medical group. “Partially” means that I wasn’t TOTALLY let go, but was permitted to work 4 hours a day, for half of my original base salary and no commissions. To say that I was upset would’ve been an understatement. As I sat in my apartment during the lock-down, with -literally- no where to go and nothing to do, I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands. Read more>>

Jerriel James | Music Producer, Song Writer, Entrepreneur

Theres top tier talent in the Dallas Fort Worth area. I’ve seen and absorbed it my entire life but it always seemed on a local level to my young eyes. I saw Erykah Badu rise in real time and until then didnt thought she was the only one. I got older and learned about DOC and what he did for rap wondered why didnt i know sooner. Countless times I saw someone look like they were going to be the stone that broke whatever glass was keeping us out but it never seemed to happen. That wanting to see my cities break through is what spawned Kingsoms Connected Music Group. Read more>>

Tifani Otano Whitney Hamill | Reptile Enthusiasts & Husbandry Specialists

For as long as we can remember, we have always been extremely passionate about animals and plants: specifically reptiles, insects, and plants! Over the years, we noticed that there were a lot of misconceptions, inaccurate information, and product reccomendations that did not benefit these amazing creatures. It was no surprise when we started our own business and began sharing our knowledge and experiences with the rest of world! Read more>>

Farah Younes | Registered Dietitian, Weight Management Specialist

After years of being a weight loss dietitian and helping hundreds of people lose weight, I saw a struggle that was not being addressed. Weight loss is not a simple diet plan or a set of rules to follow, it is a journey towards a healthier lifestyle. And on that journey people need support and nutrition education. I created my programs to fill that gap. Read more>>

Kennedy Whitten | Professional Makeup Artist

I have always known from a very young age that I wanted to own my own business. I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to creating a career and a living for myself. I started doing makeup on close friends and family when I was about 15-16 years old. I had always practiced on myself which led to others noticing and eventually reaching out and booking me for their events. I was shocked initially, as I was still so young and did not plan for this to even become a thing! I went to college in 2018 at Tarleton State University and started off as a nursing major. Read more>>

Chelsea O’Neil | Makeup Artist

It all started with my love for makeup; since I was a child, I have loved fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, glitz, and glamour. When I would practice my makeup, I loved how it made me feel on the inside, so I told myself if I worked hard enough to perfect my craft, I wanted to give others the experience of feeling the same. I genuinely care for making people feel beautiful, no matter the occasion. So I started Glam Lux by Becca with one thought in mind: bringing out the beauty of others that is already present. It took hours of watching YouTube, following local makeup artists, and taking makeup classes until my purpose for my brand became clear. When I finally reached the confidence level, I had my first client; I was so nervous, but she loved it, and I saw my vision and passion come to life for the first time. Read more>>

Beverly Nina | Life Coach Trainer

My thought process behind my business has always changed and evolved since I started back in 2017, but my drive/goal behind each business has always been the same: to help women go after their purpose and dreams despite whatever fear or obstacle they may encounter. Read more>>

Robert Gould | Superior Service Pros

My thought process behind starting a business was a pretty typical one. I want to work for myself, if I can work this hard for someone else I can work this hard for myself. However those can be the worst reasons to start a business. As a kid both my parents owned small businesses, mom an in home day care and dad a small lawn service. I always wanted to own my own business just watching them, but it was about 5 years after high school before I actually did. Read more>>

Eileen Backman | Soap Dealer

The thought process behind starting Woke Soap was to ensure a quality product for everyone to use, young to old, any skin tone and skin type. Read more>>

Christopher Gibson | Fashion Designer

I started my business at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic during 2020. What prompted me to get into entrepreneurship was when I noticed many people beginning to lose their jobs. It was then that I realized that these companies that we work for care nothing about us at the end of the day. I knew that I had to find a way to make money that cannot be taken away from me whenever someone else feels that it is time. Growing up I always had an interest in fashion but never pursued it as a career. Back then it was foreign to become a successful entrepreneur coming from where I’m from. Now that I look around and see so many successful Black entrepreneurs thriving, it gives me motivation to become just as great as they are. Read more>>

Sky Bergman | Filmmaker & Professor Emeritus of Photography and Video

I was a finance major as an undergraduate. I took a photography class for fun my last semester, and that was it, I was hooked. I went on to get an MFA in photography and just finished a 30-year career of teaching. I was a Professor of Photography and Video at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA. About ten years ago, I started working on my film, Lives Well Lived which celebrates the wit and wisdom of age. Read more>>

Diana Barrese | Apparel Shop Owner

When I started thinking about opening Red Joker Apparel I was really looking at it from a marketing a design perspective vs a fashion perspective. I have a background in retail and an even stronger background in graphic design and marketing. I was designing for fun and really missed having my work being utilized and shown. I went with t-shirts because they are fun, diverse and can be styled in so many different ways. I wanted to create a place for people to shop where it didn’t matter what style or genre you fell into, wether you’re into glam, Read more>>

Etorian Hines | Podcaster, Business Owner, Husband, Father and Son

There are multiple reasons to start your own business. To start, there’s nothing like being your own boss. You get to set the standards, the schedule and the vibe but with that also comes the notion that your business depends on your work ethic as well. Thats why I started the podcast and also The Professional Granny LLC, which was a result of my mothers passion and dedication to what she loves to do, Clean. Read more>>

Dontaye “Martice” Stewart | Master Barber

My thoughts process behind starting my own business is, I would enjoy owning and operating my own business because it allows me to be independent, as well as to be responsible for something established & owned by me. For myself and my family. Read more>>