Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Rich Westerberg | The Old Swede’s Farm

When we first moved to our small farm, we wanted to be able to provide quality food for ourselves. Almost immediately, people began to ask if we had extra produce. Since we had a huge garden, and room to grow even more, it was a simple decision. Read more>>

Kara Del Solar | Salon Owner

Unlike most people I went to Cosmetology school with, working for myself was never really a desire or goal of mine. The thought of keeping up with inventory, placing orders, managing social media, booking clients, marketing myself and so much more was exhausting to even think about. I started off my career straight into an apprentice program, basically the grunt work. Those days consisted of folding towels, cleaning dishes, sweeping, applying basic colors for the master stylists, and making sure the salon was looking its best. Read more>>

Amy Spindel | Functional Holistic Nutritionist

When my son was born, he had a significant number of health issues – food allergies and sensitivities, poor sleeping and poor feeding, failure to thrive. We struggled to find providers that could help us to fully navigate his issues, and it was a long journey that ultimately lead to my return to school to study holistic and functional nutrition. I not only gained the skillset to help my son, but also found that I really enjoyed doing this type of work, guiding others in regaining the potential of their health as well. I ultimately decided to leave my prior career paths and started my current business, helping others with their health journeys. Read more>>

Haley Dansby | Postpartum Doula and Mother

When I was pregnant with my first child, it felt like the whole world was buzzing with excitement for my pregnancy. I had emails sent to me about the best products for baby and what to expect for each trimester. Friends shared their experiences with me. But, once I had my baby, I almost felt abandoned by the world. I was handed this small human that I didn’t know and expected to know how to care for him. Read more>>

Calandra Eddington-Chavis | Registered Nurse; Certified Aromatherapist; Health and Wellness Coach

I’ve been a nurse for 18 years and wanted to create a space where, women especially, can learn about holistic health. There are many avenues that are not explored when it comes to healing beside taking prescribed medications.
Due to this, I decided to become a certified aromatherapist, health and wellness coach, and will become a clinical herbalist and a women’s health nurse practitioner. Read more>>

Jay Brown | Baker

For years I struggled with Alcohol Abuse. September of 2019 with the help of God I was able to kick that habit cold turkey. However I knew that I needed something to take the place of that habit. Ironically all within that week I had a taste for some cake. I made it and it was more than satisfying, then it dawned on me that I’ve spent so many years wasting money what better way then to make it back and started to bake and sale cakes baked from scratch. Read more>>

Guillermo Chavez | Mediator/Counselor/Attorney at law

Originally, I had worked for a collection agency collecting healthcare accounts from insurers for area hospitals. There was only one lawyer that was available that collected from health insurers through litigation. I knew that if i finished my law degree and passed the bar, I knew my niche would be in this area law. Now, we are collection law firm that does general practice work as well. With insurance collections as our foundation, we have expanded to other areas of practice, such as family, criminal, wills and estates. and probate, and other civil law matters. Read more>>

Nykki Brown | Permanent Makeup Artist & Trainer

My thought process derived from my desire and passion to create time and financial freedom for myself as well as to leave an avenue for generational wealth for my family. These components gives me a great work life balance when I’m able to do things, attend family/friend events or vacation without asking for permission form a traditional 9 to 5, while working a steady schedule with no ceiling on my income. I wanted to be able to leave behind either the business or an optional path for my legacy. Read more>>

Carlos Armendariz | Founder and Owner of Durango Stone Granite

This was not an easy choice to make. Having worked for someone else my whole life, I did not know the first thing about starting and owning your own business, and the fact that I am not from the United States did not make this any easier either. What I did know, however, was that it was not impossible to do so. With the help of my wife, and children, I was able to create Durango Stone Granite. I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck, and wanted to be able to provide a life to my family that was not limited to how much I knew I was going to make. It was not easy at first, but through trial and error, we have been more successful every year since then! Read more>>

Vinh-Luan Luu | Designer Artist

The idea of running our own business came to us in a daze of frustration. Our day jobs were grinding us down with their aggravating decisions based on frail egos and greed. We were working for people who lead from a golden pedestal, far removed from the actual day to day experiences of the their workers. They outright fostered toxic environments that bled into our home lives. It honestly poisoned our minds and left us a shell of our selves. Read more>>

JB Cloud | Country Radio DJ and Host/Creator of Red Dirt Proud

After getting let go from the Radio Station I was at for almost 24 years I knew that I did not want to pack up my family, move and get a job in another market. I had always dreamed of doing my own Syndicated Texas/Red Dirt Music Show. I thought, “I could either not do it and wonder how it would have done for the rest of my life or I can just give it a shot.” I would much rather try and fail than never have tried at all. Read more>>

Jarrett Wilson | Barber, paramedic, stylist

I wanted to be able to work for myself and leave something for my kids when I leave this world so they wouldn’t have to work for another person the way I had to. Read more>>

Amanda Huddleston | Home Organizer

I have been considering entrepreneurship off and on for the past decade. I completed my service in the Marine Corps in 2016 and had a few ideas about how to work for myself, but nothing concrete to act on. I was waiting for something that I was passionate about, and where I could continue to feel like I had a positive impact on people’s lives. Read more>>

Madhusudan Rajagopalan | Entrepreneur, Altruist, Social Worker

I started my career in management consulting and built a strong base in understanding and solving business problems in the real world. Hence, when an opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it to co-found a business focused on research and knowledge outsourcing. This gave me an incredible experience in building a knowledge and high-skilled talent based business from scratch to a large scale. Read more>>

Raven Dugas | Injury Prevention and Rehab Specialist

My ultimate goal for starting my own business was to make injury treatment and muscle recovery services more accessible for everyone. Growing up my main sports were basketball and I played softball in the summer. I always loved the sporting environment, being a part of a team, and the competitiveness of the game. I only had a few chronic injuries but I have witnessed my teammates having more severe injuries. Read more>>