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.

Hannah Saffle | Wedding Planner & Coordinator

Wedding Planning was my dream job – it’s as simple as that! Also, since my business is a service, there aren’t many upfront costs that I have to pay for. So starting the business itself costed me next to nothing! Read more>>

Lola Lott | Principal & CEO

In 1989 Jack Waldrip–a very talented video editor–and I developed a postproduction process that became the model for modern editorial facilities by integrating all facets of the workflow. Combining AVID (one of the first non-linear computer-based editing systems), online editing, graphic design, and audio under one roof we created an optimal postproduction environment. The dream was to bring together the best talent for each discipline and thus create a team of specialists–all working together for the best possible results. The system proved phenomenally successful, and by 1995, we knew it was time to open our own place. We named it charlieuniformtango…CUT, the military radio call letters for charlieuniformtango (editing is called cutting, hence CUT). Read more>>

Dave Pahanish | Songwriter, Artist & Producer

When I started playing music, there was not much thought involved, nor did I conceive it as a “business”. I knew playing music, and more so writing songs was something that I felt drawn to and compelled to do more than anything else. I followed the white rabbit as they say which led me first to street playing in Pittsburgh, Pa and then Los Angeles at 19 years old. I then went to NYC to pursue music and was captivated by the street players in Washington Square Park, taken by the the soul they exuded in the music they played, I wanted what they had. I started learning and performing a lot of the tunes I heard these guys playing, a lot of 60s and 70s folk rock tunes. Shortly thereafter got my first paying gigs in Hoboken, NJ where I was living at the time. An occasional. gig quickly turned into 5 gigs a week. These gigs were my. Read more>>

Karan Ramchandani | Strategic Thinker & Fitness Enthusiast

I’ve always had a borderline annoying obsession and interest with fitness. It started with youth sports, which then progressed into team sports during Middle School and High School. This is when I was first introduced to weight training and physical fitness. It is also when I decided to seek out “idols” within the industry to begin following and mirroring my routines after. As I became more experienced, I began recording and posting clips of my workouts which garnered some interest amongst my friends and followers. This is what prompted me down the path of personal training and coaching. While doing so, it was very important to me that I look the part, not only in my physique, but in my clothing as well. After years of following and supporting so many apparel companies such as GymShark and Alphalete, I decided to dabble with the idea of starting my own clothing line. Read more>>

Lateefah Washington | Orthodontist

I wanted to be in control in how things were done and who I worked with. I knew as an employee I would never have that and I would be limited in my income. Being your own boss puts you in control of all of that. You can decide your hours, your days off, who works with you and the overall vision for your brand. Read more>>

Rose Scoggins | Portrait and Content Photographer

Photography has been there for me in the toughest of times, it’s introduced me to amazing people, it challenges my creativity, and overall it just makes me so happy! With all the negativity that’s been produced this year I wanted to bring joy for myself and share positivity to others. Read more>>

Jill Mullaney | Owner & Floral Designer

To understand why I started Platinum Petals, I have to go back to my childhood. I grew up on a farm in southeastern South Dakota, so I was exposed to the the concept of ‘being my own boss’ from the minute I was old enough to understand. In addition to helping my dad with animal chores, I also tended to the garden & flowers around the farm. I LOVED being outside & was very active in FFA (specifically the Floriculture CDE) and 4-H while growing up. In college, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I landed on Horticulture as my major (after a start in clothing design). Upon graduation, I worked professionally in the botanic garden world as a greenhouse manager for long while. But, I became restless with the lack of creativity in my daily life, and decided I needed to take my future into my own hands. Read more>>

Chason Laing | Producer

We started eight years ago with the purpose of creating content for the faith & family market. So many original content shows on streamers and TV are aimed at adults with mature material and adult language. We wanted to make shows that were fun, safe, and encouraging for the whole family. We saw a large opportunity in that niche and spent the first five years creating docs, shorts, and a few series in that genre. That niche tends to be very loyal and often branch out to find content they like, so we focused on connecting with them. We truly believed that if we made good content the audience would come and we were so very wrong. There is so much content being created daily that it is not enough to make something visually great; you have to have an audience behind you. We switched gears and began to pursue building a loyal audience. Read more>>

Joey Myers | Artist, Illustrator & Designer

I’ve been very lucky, and happy, to have worked in a variety of fields; learning many things from each place and person. At some point I decided to go freelance and use all of those skills that I have picked up in order to do things that challenge me creatively but also allow me to help my own clients and develop further. Read more>>

Zach Townsend | Chocolatier & Cookbook Translator

As a chocolatier, I had long pursued opening my own chocolate shop in Dallas since Dallas was lacking in the level of chocolate shop I felt it needed. I had made several strides toward reaching that goal. I worked as a private chocolatier, worked with restaurants developing chocolate dessert recipes, sold my own chocolate desserts to restaurants wholesale, and sold products retail. However, I had become interested in writing, too. I began writing for a dessert industry magazine and was also interested in cookbooks. In the mid 2000s I began working with prolific baking author Rose Levy Beranbaum on one of her cookbook projects. I eventually was asked by a major US publisher to translate a cookbook by Larousse from French to English, leading to several more cookbook deals among major publishers in France and the US: this then began another path in my career in food and diverted me away from my chocolate shop plans. Read more>>

Alfredo Battle | International Videographer

Was tired of working for someone else and was always seeing myself exploring the world. Read more>>

Laura Lopez

During quarantine, my husband and I decided to try some well known spicy candy. We made our purchase and we noticed that it took some time to get to us, but when we finally received our candy we joked around about making some here at home so that we didn’t have to wait on our craving. We went to the store and bought all the candy that we had originally purchased through the candy company. I started experimenting on Chile “spicy” flavors and making it look like as the candy that we had purchased through the candy company. I was content with the way the candy came out and uploaded a picture on Social media. I immediately saw a positive response and was flooded with messages asking if I was selling the candy and for how much. That’s when me and my husband realized how much of a market there is on Dulces Enchilados “Spicy Candy”. Read more>>

Brittany Jackson | Owner

I’ve secretly been an “entrepreneur-in-training” since I was 12 years old. As with many Americans, COVID-19 brought several changes this year. I was laid off a day after my birthday which sparked a rollercoaster of emotions and, ultimately, led to anxiety and depression. So, in an effort to manage my emotions, I focused on self-care which included taking better care of my hair and skin. I was getting compliments like crazy and friends kept asking me about my routine so, after explaining and promoting various products, friends started encouraging me to build my own brand. My 12-year-old entrepreneurial spirit took over and I started building a brand that promotes skin and hair care as well as emotional self-care. Read more>>

Roslynn Williams | Massage Therapist & Business Owner

I was at a crossroads in my career and felt unfulfilled. I prayed for a way to leave my job financially well with no money left on the table at my exit. All I can say is be careful what you pray for and be sure to be strategic in your prayer…I wasn’t! I forgot to say without injury or harm. All I knew was working for someone was no longer an option. I wanted control of my time, life, and earning potential. How? I had no clue! While out of work I thought about the things I wanted to do when graduating high school, and massage was a profession I was interested in and knew my hands were gifted for it. Sitting at a friends house and saw a commercial for massage school and called to setup a tour. The rest is history! Read more>>

Tama Tran | Adult Nurse Practitioner & Founder

As a professional woman, I understand the value of self-care and I am passionate about providing the best individualized treatment for my clients. In doing so, I am utilizing my experience and knowledge in blending science, medicine and technology in providing aesthetic services. Lily Med Spa is the fruition of my dream. We provide treatments from injectables like Botox, dermal fillers and PDO threads, body contouring like CoolSculpting and Emsculpt, laser treatments like BBL Photofacials and Halo Resurfacing to HydraFacials. I feel that Lily Med Spa makes a social impact in helping the community improve their appearance, and perhaps to improve self-confidence. Aesthetic treatments bridge the gap between beauty and health. Beauty includes the need to feel good in one’s own skin, in having psycho-physical balance. After all, who doesn’t want to look good while feeling good? Read more>>

Cindia Margarido | Urban Owl Owner

I moved to the United States ( Metro Detroit, MI) over 8 years ago: I did not have a driver license, I was waiting on my work authorization. I was not sure I wanted to go back to the corporate world mostly because I wasn’t confident enough with my english. So I took time for myself and started a few Business Plans, I always wanted to own a Business and had many differents projects in mind. While living in Michigan, I discovered a store called Rail&Anchor, I fell in love with everything about it and remember thinking if “One day I have a store it will look just like this”. I studied Business in Europe but had no experience with american customers so I applied to that store hoping to learn as much as possible about all aspects. I was hired as a Sales Associate and for the next 3 years I learned about american customers expectations, american customer service, the Products etc. Read more>>

Marianne Lacko | Co-Owner & Co-Founder

We both started off with careers that had nothing to do with nutrition, health, or veganism. Annette has a degree in marketing and I have one in IT – both from University of North Texas. We both had 20+-year careers in those fields. I spent 20 years at Goldman Sachs, and Annette spent over 25 years in running business process outsourcing centers. Those careers provided for our families, but the older we got, the more we knew we wanted to make a difference instead of just continuing to climb the corporate ladder. We had been meal prepping for ourselves and each other (we always traded food to keep it interesting) for a number of years. Some people at my office would participate periodically. A friend at work told me she wanted to participate but she didn’t want to cook — she wanted to pay me. I had just had my daughter, so I said no, but I told Annette. Read more>>

Yolanda Stevenson | CEO

My personal need for this type of service. I figured that I wasn’t the only parent needing this service. Read more>>