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.

Raffi Mahan | Family Portrait Photographer

Ever since I was a little kid I have always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur but it wasn’t until I became a mom that I truly felt like it was now or never. I absolutely hated having to leave my kids to go to work for hours and hours and when I would come home I would feel so drained that I felt like I wasn’t being the best I could be for them. I was also craving that sense of freedom and ownership of my time. Read more>>

Destiny Leigh | Dancer, Choreographer, & Entrepreneur

The Dancing Queen began during a hard time in my life. Everything was taken from me. 2020 My senior year at Wiley College, I got in trouble on campus and I had to sit out from all campus activities for a semester. The only thing I was allowed to do was Dance! I took a heels class and after that I feel in love. I had already train in ballet, modern, and other styles but heels made me feel sexy. I made a promise to myself that I would have a business before I graduate college. I fought because I DID NOT want to be a dancer because I was good at so many other things too. Read more>>

Dexia Smith | Founder & CEO of A.O.S.A DFW

After successful advocacy of sexual assault awareness during my undergraduate journey at UNT that garnered national attention, which led to the establishment of a ‘Survivor Advocate’ program on campus, I wanted to continue my efforts after graduation to further push awareness of sexual assault. Enter the establishment of my organization, Advocates of Sexual Assault Awareness (A.O.S.A DFW), which is a group ran by survivors for survivors that strives to bring sexual assault awareness to the community through an expanded array of content with passion and commitment. Read more>>

Jazmine Jackson | DIY Arts and Crafts – Home Decor

My thought process for starting my business was to turn a hobby into revenue. After making gifts for friends in college and seeing how much out of pocket expenses were costing I figured it was time to get serious about my craft. Read more>>

Nikita Rusk | Cosmetologist & Salon Owner

my vision behind starting my own business was to provide a peaceful atmosphere so everyone feels welcome. As well as an affordable space where myself & other creators can come and service our clients. I loved how I felt going to the Beauty Salon as a little girl & I wanted to recreate that for other families. Read more>>

Chelsey Cartwright | Hair Stylist & Dance Choreographer

Starting my own business honestly wasn’t on my mind until i would hear my mom always say…” Maybe working for someone is not good for you”… I would always give her a crazy look and laugh. I use to say my mom did not know what she was talking about but, we all know moms know! However, my mom was right. I complained about working for someone all the time. It wasn’t that I was not good at doing my jobs, i was great actually. I was just passionate about my dreams and what God has for me. And with God I knew i could do all things i dreamed about. Now here I am a few years later and I work for myself as a hairstylist and dance choreographer. Teaching and sharing my love for hair and dance. Read more>>

Chanda Kea | Interior Designer

I have always been an entrepreneur at heart, but I also wanted to change the lives of others. It is an honor to be a part of increasing the quality of someone’s life. Read more>>

Gerardo and Evelin Garcia | Owner & Operators

steady paycheck coming week after week. As with almost every business, it started with an idea. After talking to the Mrs, we decided to offer her delicious Pupusas at work and even offered them on Facebook Market place. While we were not known, we did ok but nothing to rave about. Then March 2020 hit, CORONA. As we all saw on the news, we all thought we had the job security if we showed up and did the job, nothing like a pandemic to hit you with reality. Read more>>

Ashley M. Jenkins | Fitness and Nutrition Coach & Certified Life Coach

My thought process behind starting Fitness Fits YOU was to create a business that was a solution to a problem I had. About 9 years ago I became a mom and a business owner with little to no time for the gym. Over the years I would lose weight and gain it back. As my son became older and more independent, I wanted to start an in-home personal training business for busy moms and businesswomen helping them to lose weight and keep it off. Before each 30-minute training session clients were provided a 30-minute fitness, nutrition, or life coaching session to make sure their mindset was aligned with their training program. Read more>>

Emily & Joel Watson | Owner & Designer at Science & Fiction

This is actually not the first time we’ve had our own business. Several in fact! But this story starts back in 2013, when Emily started an Etsy shop making geeky, beaded jewelry. She had been a stay at home mom for 5 years prior to opening the shop. She wasn’t invested in the career path she had been going down previously, so the shop was a way to earn some money and do something creative and fulfilling while still being around for our kid. After a few years, she closed the shop and moved on to a normal, full-time job. Read more>>

Tomie Taiwo | Marketing Expert & Business Owner

My business started during the pandemic. I’ve always loved shades, you can throw them on, when it’s sunny , or on a day where you’re simply tired. In the height of the pandemic I realized now was the time to focus on my business. Every thing was shut down, I feel like I didn’t have an excuse! It was destiny! So it did it, I did my research and boom Shadesbytomietee was born. Read more>>

Tiara Smith | Serial Entrepreneur – Realtor, Tax Preparer, & Notary Public

My thought process behind starting my own business was simple, “Am I really willing to dedicate 40+ hours to rich corporations but unwilling to put that same amount of time into developing my own business and creating generational wealth?” I come from a family of believers and hard workers. I owe it myself and my family to take a chance on myself. Read more>>

Marilyn Cobb | Healthy Hair Stylist

The thought process behind starting my own business was to highlight my late mothers Legacy and share and teach everything she taught me about the hair industry while being a young African American natural women. I want to help women of all ethnicities with natural hair care. I truly believe that every woman should take care of their hair as if it is their crowning glory. A lot of times beyond every braid,curl, lock, and strand is a scary story for women of different Ethnicities. My goal with my business is to teach women through my learning and experience to embrace their crowns no matter the texture. Read more>>

Amber Martin

I decided to start Creating Opportunities Offering Knowledge Information and Education (C.O.O.K.I.E.) out of a need in Wylie, Texas. After doing initial secondary demographic research, I met with some local service agencies and government officials to learn about gaps in services. I learned there was an immediate need for financial education because many people are having financial difficulties due to the pandemic that haven’t had them before. Service providers are seeing an influx in repeat individuals needing services; in particular, monetary services. Read more>>

Demetria Brooks | Owner and Founder of Blaq Coffee Creative Agency

So, before I started this business I just did web design. Most of the time people would come to me and not have everything I needed to do the website like a logo, or even professional photos. I figured, why not offer these people the full package and work with other creatives who are reputable and can provide them with the other services they need! Read more>>

Erica Murphy | Interior Stylist

My process behind starting ELM Interiors began the moment I decided to take a leap of faith to do something I am passionate about. I wanted to share my creativity in a way that created a space for affordable interior styling services that could be accessible completely online, assisting with decor ideas, concept consultations, or a complete e-design. I found my niche within this industry that I believe is just the beginning of this exciting journey. Interior design has always been my first love. My passion to help people and my passion for design are the reasons why I created ELM Interiors. Read more>>

Kariah Moniqué | Mini Ceo

Kariah has always been fascinated with growing her hair long and healthy. We created a few products that we used within close family and friends but she recently decided she wanted to sell her products and make them available for everyone to use! Read more>>

Natalie Galvez | Photographer & Artist

After a couple years of enjoying photography, enjoying my hobby, I decided I could make money from it. That I could get paid to do something that I love and would be able to control most of everything that happens. When I book, how much I charge, and even if I wanted to work at all. I can take photography up for a month then maybe take a couple weeks off. Keeps it fun.Read more>>

Timmi Blackshear | Owner & Designer

I graduated with a degree in Art History, but also played a couple of years as a collegiate volleyball player. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do if I’m being honest, I just knew I had to pay my bills soon. It seemed like a natural progression to go into teaching and coaching at the high school level. It seemed as if I blinked and ten years had gone by. I was blessed to have an incredible successful career as a high school coach, but hit burn out year ten. I was always trying to fulfill the creative side of me in other ways, but I think the fact that was lacking in my every day career was always something that I felt. Read more>>

Vernado Mixon | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

I wanted to start because I was tired of working for anyone lol. I was taught at an early age to be a independent person from my mother and father so it started from there. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in terms of what kind of business I wanted to start until I graduated college. I received a degree in graphic design and multimedia from Westwood College in Houston Texas around 2010. I wanted to work for a graphic company but couldn’t get a job lol. So I decided to take my graphic and put them on a shirt and I went from there. Read more>>

Sonializ Rosario | Founder of Ertistree Virtual Assistance Agency

The thought process behind starting my own buisness was wanting to find a way to blend my creative and organizational skills to serve other entrepreneurs in an inspirational way. My “Why” is to help other young women of color and young mothers to see the skills that they already possess, & package it to make their own streams of income. I want them to truly see their value and see that living a life of simplicity and ease is possible. Read more>>

Marcia Jones | Founder/CEO

Timing. I was at a point in life where I didn’t want to work for others. I wanted the freedom to create. Having my own business gives me that freedom. I’m not guided by someone else’s idea of what my business/work should look like. Freedom and dollars don’t always go hand in hand, so I started part-time and worked up to giving the business my full attention. Haven’t looked back. Read more>>

Salester Gulley | Accountant

As a kid I was always good at math so at a very young age I decided I wanted to be an accountant. After college, I immediately went into Corporate America like an average adult. As I became experienced in my field, I noticed that a lot of my family and friends would come to me for advice or help dealing with their finances. Starting my own business didn’t become apparent until tax season. It initially started with me just completing my own personal taxes yearly but then family and friends would always ask if I could do theirs as well. Read more>>

Sabela Bee | Singer/Songwriter

The thought process behind starting my career as an artist was messy. I’ve always known that singing was something I wanted to do with my life, but I was so lost and insecure about going about it. Especially after high school, when I felt a lot of pressure to figure out what to do with my life. After being inspired by other artists that I resonated with, I decided to just do it, despite the doubt and uncertainty. I saved money from my full-time job and funded my own release. Read more>>

Tori Don Don | Boutique owner

I always use to spend $300 or more on clothes every weekend and all my homegirls did something one of my closest friends do hair the other one does lashes nails credit repair and all so I’m like dang i got to contribute some way so I was like man what’s next how can I make myself money so heck I didn’t know how to do hair or makeup so i was like bet let me start me a boutique and get outfits while making money off of it. And I noticed when traveling a lot you never really have time to sit and get your outfits together always work and explore on your mind so I was like i’m going to be the boxy-charm but with outfits. Lol Read more>>

LaTasha Oliver LMSW | Visionary & Founder of Tactical Social Worker PLLC

My thought process behind starting Tactical Social Worker PLLC – “Damn, this a problem. I need this figure this out.” There was a lady that received firearms training from us regularly. She would keep her firearm in the car, in the trunk, in the in came in. There was an incident with a guy pulling on her door handle while she was at a red light. All she could think about was “I can’t get to my gun.” Read more>>

Ashley Herman | Actor/Comedian, Writer & Entrepreneur

When moving back to Dallas, I wasn’t sure where to turn to find a community of creatives. I could see the talent, the desire and the potential, yet I couldn’t discover a hub for likeminded artists-of all types-to come together to collaborate. Read more>>

Amber Snearl | Artist

I own a small clothing brand that features my handpainted designs on vegan leather accessories and my digital designs on hoodies and t-shirts. Adding this part as a nail tech allowed me to expand on what I already do artistically, but on a different canvas! I’ve always wanted to open my own studio or shop and now I am looking to open a dual space for both of my artistic dreams. Read more>>

Elaine Stoltz | Personal Image Consultant and Stylist

I love my career and do not plan to retire. I come to work and play. I have a B.S. in Education – Mathematics from University of Missouri – Columbia. After working in the corporate world as a computer programmer analyst, I decided to change careers in 1987. Aptitude testing results from Johnson-O’Connor Inc. informed me that, in addition to my teaching skills, I possessed high visual acuity, three-dimensional perception, menory of design and color discrimination. I retrained and started my personal image consulting business – Stoltz Image Consulting, is 1989, specializing in positive first impression. I perform makeovers on clients Like the TV show “What Not to Wear”, but I am the kinder and gentler what not to wear. Read more>>