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.


Sarah Angell | Event producer

Prior to opening my own business I worked for a national brand producing their events. It was truly a once in a lifetime kind of experience, and I absolutely loved every minute of my time there. After some time I realized it was time to spread my wings and take a risk in opening my own business. I’m naturally a dreamer, so events have been fun because I like to challenge myself and others to dream BIG about what these experiences can look like. I believe that this unique mindset can serve clients of all kinds in creating their dream event experience. My approach is a beautiful blend of the impossible partnered with the timelessness of good hospitality. Read more>>

Diana K. Ortiz | Floral Designer & Entrepreneur

There are three main reasons why I decided to start my dried floral business, Aesthete by DKOR. First, Mental Health has always been a very important topic to me. I have been working since the early age of 13 and starting that young has exposed me to injustices in many different workplaces. I have noticed that as a society we have been conditioned to accept toxic work environments because there is “no other choice”. My goal is to challenge that and perfect an alternative choice and recreate a positive culture for future employees that Aesthete By DKOR will eventually have. I have hopes that this will create a chain of reaction that will bring more positivity to the world Second, I strongly believe in sustainability and taking responsibility to protect our planet. A turning point in my life was when I came across a quote that read, “Each time you spend money you are casting a vote towards the world you want to see.” -unknown This resonated so much within me that I started making changes in the way I spent money and the way that I make decisions for my business. Read more>>

Jose Camacho | A Barefoot Photographer

Photography has been ingrained in my life since I was a kid, typically going around town snapping interesting sights with an old film camera. Of course, it was a far simpler time in the 1990s before I delved into the world of DSLRs and editing with Lightroom, but I always enjoyed capturing photos everywhere I went. By 2015, I jumped into paid events after a photo I took for Paul van Dyk was shared on his Instagram, using an entry-level DSLR at clubs and events with friends soon after. I’ve always loved electronic music, so being able to save those brief moments of pure bliss of people at shows while listening to phenomenal music was a dream come true! With the world halted in 2020, I had to reinvent myself and the sort of photography I focused on after clubs and festivals were shut down. After saving up on camera upgrades, a drone, and an an LLC by the summer, I registered A Barefoot Photographer as a way to describe who I am (a full-time barefooter) and what I enjoy most with photography. Read more>>

Asa Aziz | DJ/ Vibe Facilitator & Respiratory Therapist

Once I started to follow my creative career path in Djing ,I quickly understood the different levels to entertainment, and what it meant to engage an audience or customer effectively. Most people don’t know how to provide an authentic experience. A properly curated atmosphere will enhance the experience which creates loyal customer and happier vibes. I would get frustrated because I was only the Dj providing the sound which only does so much for the vibe if the environment is not setup properly. When I became the Vibe Facilitator for Asa Ace, LLC and throwing my own events, I was able to fill in those gaps and give people a more engaging experience. Read more>>

Aimee Bruyninckx | Handbag Designer

After being in the handbag industry for several years, I started paying closer attention to factories and the development process. When traveling overseas to a variety of factories, it was so great to see how employees were treated and the behind the scenes of how things were run. Most of the companies I have worked for have carefully chosen factories who treat employees fairly with good working conditions. But the other side of overworked employees with low wages has been so disappointing to me. The manufacturing process is something most don’t think about unless you have seen the development side. Having this perspective, it was so important to me to launch a line where all pieces are well made and thoughtfully made. I love being able to support very talented local artisans and Refugee women who live near me. It makes the process so rewarding when everyone is benefiting from a successful development process. Read more>>

Kenyotta West | Realtor

For years I had thought about working for myself and putting in the same hard work and dedication I put in for my employers. I was faced with making a decision to find another employer or finally stop running and become my own boss. Read more>>

Jon Paul Michaels | CONSULTANT

I did collections for B2B when we first started and realized, when you earn the trust of a client who places “COLLECTIONS” with you, the trust you get catapults you in front of most business relationships. I saw an opportunity to utilize already existing relationships and expand our service offerings. We help business owners now with everything business related. lines of credit asset acquisitions consulting-general A business owner only has so much time. Delegating high level problems they care about to a “trusted” company that only gets paid when we solve the problem is needed and respected. Read more>>

Tiffany Alexander | Founder of Legally Aligned Staffing Solutions, LLC

I have worked as a paralegal for over 10 years. During my tenure, I have worked with attorneys and firms that were having a difficult time securing and retaining legal support staff that fit the needs of their firm. Considering that I have worked in these different positions with an array of attorneys all with different personalities and cultural backgrounds, I feel that I am able to gauge the attorney & the firm and provide the perfect candidate for their needs using my paralegal expertise and training. Read more>>

Zakiyah J. & Kit C. | Co-Founders & Certified Life Coaches, The Flourish Tribe, LLC

My best friend (now business partner) Kirtna and I spent the last year deepening our relationship with God like never before. During our journey, we realized that our purpose in life is to inspire and empower Christian women to Flourish in all aspects of their lives through faith-based life coaching and career consulting. Women face a unique set of challenges when it comes to advancing in male-dominated environments. Research continually shows that high-potential women lack the same level of visibility and opportunities compared to their male counterparts. As a result, they are often met with significant roadblocks and feelings of inadequacy.​To address these critical challenges, we have skillfully combined our passions, knowledge and skills, acquired through professional life coaching training and years of experience mentoring and leading within nonprofit and private-sector organizations, to develop a comprehensive life coaching and career consulting business, called The Flourish Tribe, LLC. Read more>>

Carol Tune | Content Creator

I wanted to do something that challenged me, but also made my heart come alive. Helping people find their voice, find healing, and creating content do all those things for me. Coming up with new content challenges me, and helping people makes my heart come alive; watching some one els’es dream come to life and knowing that you helped them just makes me so happy. Read more>>

Jacqueline Perry | Entrepreneur & Author

I believe that it’s important to have multiple sources of income. Having a 9 to 5 is safe, but when you work for smaller companies, there is a higher chance of experiencing lay-offs. After a lay-off in 2015, I started focusing more on my freelance marketing and writing and made my business official. I also have a love for skincare and after showcasing my skincare samples to friends and family, I felt that it was time to make it official. Just weeks before the pandemic kicked in, I created my skincare company, K-O Naturals and developed my brand, Good Skin Is In. Read more>>

Shayauna Richmond | Fitness influencer & Fitness Apparel

My thought process starting my business was, their are so many girls out there going through the same thing as me. If i can help just ONE then what I’m going through right now will all be worth it! At the beginning of starting my business i was depressed, suicidal, misunderstood, lost.. the list could go on. At the time, I figured i could at least get my outer appearance together, since I’m so messed inside. But little did i know that, working out would help heal me from the inside out. Read more>>

Demetra Caston, LPC, NCC | Licensed Professional Counselor

Initially I wanted to start my own business because I wanted to set my own schedule and market to my target population. Previously I worked for several non profit agencies and in those environments you aren’t able to choose the clientele you want to see. You have to see whoever comes through the door and while it was a great learning experience, I wanted to tackle the issues that affected a certain population. My second reason for wanting to start my own business was to eventually expand my brand and the best way to do that is to create my own. Lastly, there’s a financial cap when working for other agencies. Being able to set my own rates allowed me to determine how much I could make at any given time. Read more>>

Lucius Williams | Creative Director

Towards the end of 2017 going into 2018, I was working at a plant called Madix located in a small town called Eclectic, AL. While working there, my friend Rodney informed me about an organization called “Amway”. While working with them, I was awakened about what was really going on in the world with jobs and the unfairness that came with them. It opened my mind about me actually working for myself as well. Throughout my life, I never thought about working for myself. I always knew that I wanted a lot of money, but I never thought about becoming an entrepreneur to get it! Instead of me actually working for Amway, I took the knowledge that they gave me and started my own business. The thought of me actually picking up a camera came about one day while I was walking down the assembly line at work. As I was pulling hooks off of the line, a thought came into my head and it said, “you should do photography!”. I really felt like God was talking to me at that moment because I actually took that thought into consideration comfortably. Later on that day, I ordered a photography book from Amazon. Read more>>

Talia Johnson-Watkins | Sunglass and Handbag Boutique Owner

I just wanted to do something that brought me joy and also made me money. My sister and nephew inspired me and I kind of just ran with it. Read more>>

Kris Oliver | Entrepreneur & Travel Enthusiast

You always hear people say do what you love, that was the thought that essentially pushed me into starting my own business. I wanted to wake up and look forward to what I was going to be doing that day. If I was going to be up late or getting no sleep I wanted to be doing something I enjoyed. And when it’s something you love it makes it easier to do the not so fun things on the list as well. Starting my own business also came from the idea that I just wanted to work for myself. I wanted to have more control over my time, including who I spent it with. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, I was the kid with the lemonade stand, I was doing my friends nails in exchange for snacks and lunch money in middle school. So as an adult I just needed to determine what made the most sense for me and take the plunge. Read more>>