Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Kenyatta G. | Owner of Dream Closet & fashion stylist

Since i was a little girl, i always dreamed of having a clothing collection. I use to sketch outlines of outfits in my Notepad in my room while all the other kids were outside playing. Read more>>

Drew Seldin | Co-Owner of Comic Con Revolution

Comic Con Revolution was founded on very simple principles. We are excited to celebrate comics and the creative arts. At the absolute core of what we do are the creators themselves. The people who create the comics, games, toys, film, movies and more that we all love. Without their tireless dedication to creating the fantastic worlds we all get lost in events like Comic Con Revolution would not be possible. Read more>>

Justin Choi |

The vision for Hanok Coffee began with the simple concept of serving exceptional coffee in an environment that feels like home. Our thought process behind starting our own business stemmed from observing and experiencing the meaningful interactions during our coffee shop visits, which was an influence in our desire to create our own space. Read more>>

Kelly Kvamme | Owner of Kelly Naturals

Business ownership has been in my family for many generations, and I grew up with this concept ‘be your own boss’. After retiring from the Air Force – I struggled with doing nothing. I started with cleaning out closets and selling old items online such as Ebay and ETSY. Read more>>

Madafakacapolsfamily Madafakacapolsfamily | I work in hospitality and I am fond of photography and graffiti

Since i was little kid I always enjoyed painting and making pictures. Graffiti comes to me from a friend who is a graffiti artist, but the pity is that i am pretty bad with sprays and the wall ( I am better with paper and colors). so i took the camera to take photos, as a way to give visibility to urban art, to my colleagues so that more people see their art, meet more people from other places, travel and the truth to be told, above all, to have fun and enjoy traveling. I love seeing more art from other painters and artist!!! I really hace a good time!!! Read more>> 

Eric Johnson | Reiki Master Teacher & Guide

It began with a question that I put in a journal entry once. How can I provide my talents as a teacher, healer, and guide to others while retaining ownership in what I create with a flexible schedule that supports my children’s needs? The answer was to work as a mobile independent practitioner. Read more>>

Amanda Piepgras | Sensei and COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant)

Covid destroyed a lot of businesses, but it was the opposite for me. Working in healthcare was becoming more difficult and stressful. Meanwhile I had parents messaging me to express interest in signing up their children because they had been trapped in the house for over a year. At the time I only had one class in El Cajon at the gym where I train. Read more>>

Your Design Pals | Graphic Design Collective

Our design business came to fruition while we were completing our education at San Diego City College. Read more>>

Marsha & Ersin Kaya | Husband & Wife Duo Bakers

It was the first year of the pandemic my husband got laid off My hours were reduced and It was just a thought to sell only Olive Oil cakes to bring in extra income since our recipe is unique and not. Read more>>

Nathalie Huynh | Bakery Owner

Like many other people, the Covid pandemic really changed my perspective on what I wanted to do with my life. Before starting Baddie Natty Bakes, I was working in marketing, but the added changes and pressures brought on by the pandemic made my work feel unfulfilling and definitely unstable. Read more>>

Jena Enriquez | Photographer & Teacher

I was 5 years old when I first started taking pictures with an old Ektralite 10 that I found around the house. My best friend and I quickly earned the rep as the “picture takers” of the neighborhood, setting up mini vogue sessions with anyone that was interested. Fast forward 30 years or so and here we are, still at it…a bit more skilled and working with cooler equipment, mind you. Read more>>

Karyn Poe | Creator

2021, like so many, I exercised from home since the gyms were closed due to COVID-19. I needed a new mat for my practice and started looking for quality mats that represented me and my culture. I struggled finding one, and that’s when I got that ‘a-ha’ moment. Since I couldn’t find a mat that represented me, I decided to create one. I knew I wanted to empower women of color and provide what the fitness industry has been lacking–representation. Read more>>

Lindsay Renteria | Personal Trainer & Crossfit Coach

In 2012 I graduated college with a B.S. in Kinesiology and started coaching CrossFit full time. I coached upwards of 24 classes or more a week, while balancing my own training. It was a tremendous amount of time in the gym and in front of large groups of people. Read more>>

Leona Darnell | Southern California Birth Photographer and Labor Support

When I started photography (way back in the film days!) I really didn’t know what I loved to photograph. I mean, after I went to the Academy of Art (now University) in San Francisco, I shot weddings, animals, landscape, seniors, babies. You get the idea…I was sorta drifting creatively. I mean I made money and made a wee business for myself, but it wasn’t particularly satisfying. Read more>>

Samuel Fong Brooks | Yoga teacher and mindful movement coach

The motivation for starting my business; is somewhat inspired by what some would call a misspent youth. Many years were spent exploring different career avenues and jumping between jobs and various social endeavours. It took a long time to discover any kind of direction. Read more>>

Jeff Mauldin | Restauranteur

The Ria Pizzeria was born out of a variety of circumstances and influences. In February of 2021, my wife and I decided to relocate from Chapel Hill, NC to Huntington Beach, CA. The primary driver of this decision was to support and foster our son’s, Eliot, ambition to pursue a career in film and tv. We had learned of APA program at Huntington Beach High School explored what APA had to offer. We felt that the program offered Eliot the space to explore his interest. Read more>>

Eric Bingham | Cannabis Health and Wellness Advocate

My thought process behind starting my own business, was very simply wanting to utilize my talents as a creative director to create something that could help people. In my quest for this, what emerged was a cannabis edible line named after my grandma and using her generations old caramel recipe to deliver a product that has truly benefited people from a health and wellness perspective. Read more>>