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.

Dee Jones | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Certified Life Coach

I’m inspired by people who live with passion. People who see beyond their current circumstances, to something better, and pursue that vision daily. I’m inspired by seeing others succeed as a result of hard work and persistence. As a therapist, I have the honor and privilege of being invited into people’s lives and witnessing their struggles, their hurts, their hurdles – and then seeing them be brave enough to face those obstacles. Sometimes they face those obstacle with fear and trembling. Sometimes with boldness and confidence. Either way, they are facing them and getting over, around, and through them. That takes courage. That takes persistence. That takes passion and vision for something better. Read more>>

Simone Pierre-Louis | Stylist

I enjoy shopping and getting dressed up. Whether it was just going for a Target run, church, or going for drinks with the girls; I would always dress to impress. People always ask me do I shop everyday and my answer is always no. I like to mix and match what I have in my closet. Every now and then I will shop for a shirt, pants, shoes, skirt, or jewelry then match it with something that I already have in my closet. One day a friend of mine asked me to style her for a date. She didn’t have enough money at the time to shop for a whole outfit. Due to me already knowing her style, I went to her closet found a cute little black dress. Read more>>

Beth Heyer | Owner & Founder

I was a mom in a new city, with 0 family and 0 friends. I had moved from Columbus, OH where I had a great network, support system and roster of babysitters available. I had been a SAHM for several years and was ready to get back to work and knew I wanted to start my own business. I realized that Austin was full of transplants, and there were so many parents in the same boat as me. I saw the demand and I went for it. Read more>>

Bryce Richardson | Creative Producer

I’ve always been somewhat of an entrepreneur, starting way back with just a lemonade stand. Since then, I have always been thinking about the process. The process of how a job is done, and how I could improve that process to be more efficient or produce a better result or experience. When working for someone else, it was hard for me to find an environment to encourage that, and instead, it was just about getting the job done. My industry is full of freelancers, combined with getting too much work for just myself, and my tendency to never say no, Paperlyte was a natural evolution of processes. Read more>>

Eboni Dionne | Health Coach & Chef

My inspiration for my business is my dearly departed father and my son. My father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was only 6 months old. I grew up only knowing my father to be sick and ill. I know this is when the desire to become a doctor & to heal people was rooted in me. I watched him quickly, yet at the same time slowly deteriorate to a vegetative state for many years. He passed away the day after I graduated from college. My grandmother told me that she visited him and told him I had graduated college with honors, and he smiled for the first time in a very long time, and he then passed away in the early morning hours the next day. I will be celebrating my 41st birthday this month, and at this age my father was already in a permanent incapacitated state. Read more>>

Shanti Shahani de Venegas | Owner and Founder

I was doing a lot of traveling while working for an international nonprofit. I have always thought that the best way to help others is to empower people and give them employment, rather than building a house for someone and them not having the means to care for it or pay for utilities. Giving someone employment is much more sustainable. When I traveled to other countries, I would meet artisans who were creating incredible pieces that I would wish we could have in the United States. So, the idea of Artisan Luxury was born. By partnering with artisans in developing countries, we are providing sustainable employment to people who truly need it, and at the same time, we are showcasing their works of art and making it available to the public here. Read more>>

Tavia Whitlowe | Photographer & Makeup Artist

At the time, it was all about wanting to make women feel beautiful and I thought that meant only through makeup. I was not really sure what I wanted to do to help women with this process but I knew it was my passion to show ladies how to see their beauty as I saw it. Because of my past insecurities with my own looks, I knew I had to help women that struggled with seeing their beauty. Read more>>

Janel Strong | Media & Content Creator

I am inspired by good vibes, good music, and great people. I find a lot of my inspirations by trying to find my inner peace. Other than my Lord and Savior, Erykah Badu is one of my biggest inspirations. I look up to her musically, and creatively. I don’t know if it’s because we’re both pisces, but I really connect with her on a whole other level lol. She calms my spirit and inspires me to be the. most authentic and unapologetic version of myself. Read more>>

Nichole Brown | CEO

I am absolutely inspired by the love of makeup! I love and have a passion for makeup because it was a form of therapy for me, its just like art you can express how you feel in so many way! Makeup makes you feel good and beautiful! Read more>>