Deciding to start a business is an unusual decision. It’s often considered irrational and yet for many it’s the best decision they’ve ever made. So we asked folks to think back to when they were starting their businesses and to tell us about their decision making process.

Elena Strawn | Photographer

For me I started photography after I got injured playing soccer in high school. I had to take an art class in high school and I thought there was no way I was going to take painting or drawing so the only option was to take photography and that is where it all started for me. After high school is when I really started taking it serious and began to try to do it full time. Read more>>

Angie Hundley | VP Operations & Co-Owner

My business partner already had a lawn care business and wanted to purchase a retail nursery and landscape business. Although the landscape business was not very successful, we thought of the current customer base that had been established and how we could incorporate landscaping into that customer base. In addition, having a retail location meant we could drive those existing customers to the business for their landscaping project needs. Read more>>

Vivien Treacy | Founder

I always knew I wanted to start my own business. My Entrepreneurial career began at age 10 during a family yard sale. I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies, set up a little table on the sidewalk, and sell them for $.25 each. Within a half-hour, I had made $10, which was a fortune in my mind. I immediately asked for a ride to the store to pick up more chocolate chips, so that I could whip a second batch and keep the profits rolling.  I learned that I could do something I enjoyed and earn money at the same time. A true Win/Win. Thus began my lifelong love of Entrepreneurship. After 10 years in the San Diego Healthcare Recruiting field, I had the opportunity to partner with an investor and start my own business.  It was exciting, and terrifying.  The best part was being able to create a company from the ground up, built around the philosophies of positivity, self-awareness and efficiency.  7 years later, I cannot imagine doing anything else!. Read more>>

Rita Rodriguez | Happy Wife, Grateful Mom, Entrepreneur Woman, Owner of Rustica Boutique

Cesar and I both come from hard working families led by strong single mothers with a strong work ethic as being fundamental to excel in a good job and to achieve a successful career. Later on in our marriage when we had our children we developed this idea that starting our own small-business venture would be a good way to combine my life-long dream of running my own business with the opportunity to teach our children that we can aspire to more than a good job or career. That we also have the capability of creating our own opportunities by being our own boss or running our own company. Our kids are now in high school and college and we’d like to think that through our entrepreneurial spirit we are giving them useful life lessons. By leading by example and involving them in our business planning, and some of our every-day struggles and successes, we hope that our experience will be useful to them as they advance through life. Read more>>

Lexi Diveley | Owner of DIV Swimwear

When I first started making swimsuits it was mainly for myself. I wanted to create a more custom swimsuit for myself that no one else would have. After lots of practice, I realized that I could profit off of my hobby that I love. Once I felt that I had perfected my suits that is when I began to start selling. Read more>>