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.

Melissa Ice | Philanthropist and Non-Profit Founder

Like any business or entrepreneur getting its start, The Worthy Co. was birthed out of a pain-point, or a hole or gap you are trying to fill and a problem that you are trying to solve. For us, that problem was survivors of human trafficking having access to gainful and dignified employment––and rather than waiting on that to happen for them, in our city of Fort Worth––we decided to embark on our own journey to help them. The avenue we chose to use was to have them become artisans. Now, they can make jewelry, handcraft products, as well as hand-pour candles. All of these are sold online and in our brick and mortar store, that we opened in 2020. Read more>>

Danielle Gabrielli | Wedding Photographer

I picked up a camera what feels like forever ago. Then, in college, I photographed events as a yearbook photographer. I loved getting people to giggle and capture their moments having fun. And I loved their happy and excited reactions when they saw their photos. Eventually, I started being asked to photograph proposals, engagement sessions and weddings and I fell even more in love. Deciding to turn that joy and love that I had into creating a business felt like a big step, there are so many small details that go into creating and owning a small business! Read more>>

Alicia Lansford | Photographer & Mom

We all have goals that we want to reach. One of my goals is to prioritize my children’s schedule while also helping provide for my family. That motive sparked the question of, “what should I be doing to achieve this goal?” I have always known that when it comes to my profession, I want to help others in a way that will bring them joy. My creative spirit took over and I made the decision to start my own photography business. I now have the luxury of being with my kids and watching them grow while being my own boss and doing something that I love. Read more>>

Mary Korobov | Owner & Instructor

I started FIT4MOM The Colony-Lewisville in November of 2020 during the middle of the pandemic because I knew from personal experience that motherhood was a journey that shouldn’t be traveled alone. Especially now. When I became a mom of 2, my second being born 10 years after the first I found myself feeling very alone and lost with starting all over again. Then I found Fit4mom. It literally changed my life. I had not only found my village I found my purpose. Read more>>

Hannah Isett | Photographer & Business Owner

I wanted to be my own boss, and get to make my passion into my career. I was inspired by the opportunity to let my work be something that would allow me to meet other people, be open to new opportunities, and hone in on my craft. I love the idea of making my own schedule and hustling in an industry of creatives. Read more>>

Kandace Taylor | Founder of Uncovered Beauty

Growing up I’ve always had a strong passion for skincare due to my struggles with sensitive skin, acne & eczema over the years. From Clindamycin, Tretinoin, Proactive, Hydrocortisone, Accutane, you name it I tried it. After countless appointments with different dermatologist I felt defeated after little to no improvement and terrified when I learned about the side effects of all the medications I’ve taken over the years. Read more>>

Daisy & Karina | Professional Charcuterie Board Creators

Covid-19 was a big tragedy in everyone’s life, but it also brought along many blessings. One blessing was the time it allowed us to slow down and realize the importance of family and serving the community. Covid-19 allowed us to slow down and brainstorm ways to spend more time together as sisters while being active in the community, and what better way to do that than to help families create new memories around the table! We came up with the idea of creating one of a kind charcuterie boards for families to enjoy! Read more>>

Taylor Rollins | Photographer and Storyteller

When I first started my photography business, I had just stopped teaching to stay home with my daughter. My husband is also a teacher and we needed some way to supplement at least a portion of my lost income. Photography has always been a passion of mine since high school but making it an actual business was something new. My main goal in starting my business was to have a more flexible schedule in which I could stay home with my daughter and not miss out on the fleeting moments while also having something for me that I thoroughly enjoy! Read more>>

Tony Formby | Owner – Acre Distilling Co

I have been a part of or the sole owner of 9 startups during my business career. I can’t remember a coconscious thought process like “this would be a good idea”. The idea to start a business in the first place for me came from necessity – I wasn’t a good fit for the corporate world. Knowing that I allowed myself to be open to ideas and data from all sorts of sources. The initial idea is important but execution is the critical element. The right team, a passion for customer satisfaction, and a bit of luck is what I have relied on throughout my business career. Read more>>

Adrienne Aimes | Registered Nurse, Mama of 6, and growing entrepreneur

Over the last 4 years God has had me on a personal journey of “Unraveling” the negative things in my life and turning them into positive things for the Kingdom of God. I have talked about my unraveling frequently on social media over the last 4 years, essentially “branding” that term, A challenging time in my life fell right in line with my unraveling. Thus, Unraveled Essentials was born!! Read more>>

Ashley Robinson | Reiki Master

My thought process behind starting my own business was a few things. What gifts do I have that allows me to help others thrive, help others clear out any roadblocks that may stand in their way, and allow me to create the life I want? Additionally, what am I truly passionate about and could talk about all day and it doesn’t feel like work? I’ve always been aware of my spiritual gifts and my life experiences I have overcame, led me into my passion of Reiki healing. Read more>>

Josh Miller | Development Coach & Corporate Trainer

My start in the mental health field was as a crisis interventionist for a local community mental health agency. We went out into the community to help resolve mental health crises by meeting the clients where they were at, physically and emotionally. While it was such an honor and privilege to be invited to join someone in their most vulnerable moments, I wanted to be proactive instead of reactive in the way we offer mental health services. I began researching the gaps in mental health treatment and education, and then started offering consultation and trainings for individuals and organizations that were effected the most. Read more>>

Ralph Santiago | El Mofo Chef

Through the years, I started to dislike what, at one point, I loved. A straightforward answer: I worked in fine dining, corporations, and family-owned restaurants, and it was always someone who would hold back my creativity and passion for the food industry. I became instead of a chef and service person, sitting at a computer creating excels and reports to satisfy someone above me. Read more>>

Olivia Day | Handmade Jewelry Maker

I honestly started this business on a whim. I was pregnant and almost due. I knew that I was going to have to leave my job for some time after I had my daughter, so the only thing on my mind was how I was going to continue making a living and provide for myself and my child without being able to go out and work. Hence, Aivilo D. Jewelry was born. Read more>>

Krystal Thornton | Licensed Professional Counselor & Certified School Counselor

I knew eventually I would become a business owner. It was just the matter of when. I come from a family of entrepreneurs specifically, my grandmother who was the only black local ceramic shop owner in her city. I watched the many things she was skillful at and watch her turn passion into profit at a very young age not realizing that I would too follow in her foot steps and become an entrepreneur. I started and sold many things by joining different network marketing companies and even selling insurance, but it just wasn’t my niche. Read more>>

Michele Genesis | Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach, Certified Sports Nutrition Coach

As a personal trainer and a nutritionist I wanted to change the typical approach to the fitness and nutrition industry but also get out of the corporate world and not worry about things like sales goals so I could genuinely help people with their fitness and nutrition needs. You don’t have to cut out carbs, starve yourself, workout hours a day, pay for all these different supplements etc. Read more>>

Moses Ellis Jr. | Moses Ellis Jr- Blessed Beard – Owner

My thought process was simple at first I simply wanted to grow a nice looking beard. I had big patches in my beard and couldn’t get it to fill in. I kept cutting it off and growing it back again, I tried a number of beard products and they aren’t cheap and I still couldn’t get that look and feel that I was searching for. So I started doing research on natural oils and butters and gained an understanding of how they work independently and in conjunction with one another. Read more>>

Nick Bailey | Publisher & Journalist

Prior to starting my own publication, I was the Online Editor for a different lifestyle magazine. Things were going well, but over time it just became too apparent to me that I was creating for an audience that I couldn’t relate to. While I was worrying about making ends meet, they needed me to write about $300 charcuterie boards. I was growing increasingly frustrated, because I couldn’t relate to this lifestyle and none of the people in my personal communities could relate either. Read more>>

Nevadra Johnson | Owner, Mom of 4 and Wife

My husband Terrence and I have always been entrepreneurs. We owned a mortgage company and several other ventures during our marriage. So starting our own business has always been in our blood so-to-speak. Regarding Nae Nae’s Naturals and starting this company, that all kind of happened by accident. It was never my dream to create a beauty brand or a product. Nae Nae’s Naturals just kind of fell into my lap. My three younger children battled with eczema and dry itchy scalp. Read more>>

Robin Pandey | Music Director, Entrepreneur, CEO

I was traveling for my job and looking for flexibility to take care of my family’s schedule as they needed me here. I also did not want to miss helping out and be there for my daughter while she was growing up. So, I started music lesson business after I ran into my former colleague who had seen me perform live music and wanted me to teach his kid how to play guitar. Music has been my passion since childhood and it was a great idea to be able to teach kids music. So, I started Apollo Performing Arts and Academy. Currently we are enrolling new students and we are at 7950 Legacy Dr, Suite 400, Plano, TX 75024. Our website is Read more>>

Nikita Jacobs | Your Home and Loan Girl (Licensed Realtor and Loan Officer

My thought process behind starting my own business was for the fulfillment I was looking to accomplish with doing what I loved. In addition, the flexibility and the legacy I could pass on to my kids. I want them to know to invest in themselves and dreams. Never let anyone deter you from what God has placed within yourself. Read more>>

Keisha Bogard | Founder of Beauty Locker X KLB, Platform for Empowering Women

There were a few different thoughts undergirding the thought to build or start my own business. For starters, building or starting my own business would give me the power to create a beautiful masterpiece from a blank canvas, so to speak. So, as I am painting, people will get the opportunity to see beauty unfold, just as I am seeing it. As a result, we are learning and growing together. This process, I thought, would allow me to reach inside the depths of my soul and establish something that would be a great help to people in society. Read more>>

Choyce Cincere | Singer & Model

My thought process behind starting my own business was first understanding what a brand is and what it means to be a brand. Secondly, how I could establish my own brand as a creative and finally, finding the tools and r sources to cultivate my brand. Read more>>

Auriana Siplin | Wig Seamstress & Attorney

I wanted to be my own boss and create my own rules. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. So once I came to a point where I felt I had learned enough practical and business skills for the industry, I took a shot and started my own wig business. Read more>>

Lynda Tyler | Venue Owner/ Event Planner (Cat herder & Life coach)

Ever start down one path and find yourself in the middle of something wholly unexpected? Then realize it was something you had been preparing your entire life for but just didn’t realize it? That’s me… This isn’t the first business I have started, just the most expensive. Let me indulge with a bit of background. I graduated high school in 1982, went to college and became a Registered Representative of the New York Stock Exchange following in my father’s footsteps. Read more>>

Haley Hess | @PenelopeOliverDesigns

To be honest, starting my own art business was not planned. I have always been creative, but the only formal art training I’ve had was a few classes in high school and a drawing class in college. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, my company (like many others) had everyone start working from home. I quickly became stir-crazy and full of cabin fever, so I looked for ways to stay busy. Read more>>

Amy Senter | Christian Lifestyle Blogger

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was a little girl. I remember selling friendship bracelets and keychains in our front yard and starting up neighborhood clubs. Teaching and creating just came naturally to me. In college, I majored in Education and Art. I spent four years teaching before leaving to stay home with my children. I dove into art and writing classes—anything to fuel my creativity. I opened an Etsy shop where I sewed, painted, and repurposed vintage items. While it didn’t make much money, it was empowering for me to have my own little side hustle. Read more>>

Shiay McKithean | Baker & Home Cook

Starting my own business was actually an accident. I am a long time foodie and home cook, and I decided to create an instagram for my food as a stress reliever. At some point people kept asking me to bake cakes, I declined so many times because I just wanted to post content for fun, but one day I took a cake order for a friend and kept on baking after that. Read more>>

Melissa Rodriquez | Owner

When I started Haute Head Salon I wanted to create a salon that felt like a family, My idea was to build a salon that is fun and light-hearted,​ and full of personality. Our salon creates an environment that gives every guest the feeling of visiting a friend, The bright interior brings fun and whimsy and I hand-picked stylists that I felt make every guest feel special. Our guests really are the best of the community and come back because they instantly create lasting friendships. Read more>>

Rhonda McDonald | Furniture Artist

That’s an interesting question that I’ve never fully explored or provided a real compressive response. First, i’ve never wanted a business or thought of myself as a business owner, I was comfortable with my well paying civil service career path. But during the pandemic, I was glued to social media and the cable news outlets reporting on job losses, with families not having any income and losing their homes. Read more>>