We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Madison Matylewicz | Videographer | Content Creator

I’ve always been self-motivated and knew I could trust myself when it came to putting in the work needed to start a business. I began to love the idea of building a business around my skillset and allowing it to naturally evolve over time. Read more>>

Richele Harrison | Herbalist & ND

You know, it’s that classic story about trying to solve my own problems which would also help others dealing with similar issues. I have my own health issues that I was born with: allergies, eczema and dry skin to the max. Read more>> 

Jose Barajas | Pastry Chef, Baker, Cake Artist

It always has been being true to myself. A lot of people who have businesses like mine tend to want to cater to what everyone wants. Yes, it is important to cater to customers since this is a huge part of the business, but trying to please everyone leads to failure most of the time. Read more>> 

Stephanie Butterfield- Richardson | Founder + Coach at Activate House

Starting Activate House in San Diego was the result of a passion to motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle through working out. We’re here to help you activate your best life with intentional training and movement, a supportive community, and a lifestyle that can transform your mind, body, and spirit. Read more>> 

Jessica Ann | CEO + Creative Director

I’m grateful that I had all of my dream jobs in my 20s. I was obsessed with news as a kid so when I landed a job at a news station while still in college, I thought I had it made. I planned to be a journalist. I quickly learned that “news” is not glamorous or anything I expected. Read more>> 

Clyde and Pamela Morgan | Sunny Dojo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Program Directors

My husband, Clyde, has always taught: Dance, Capoeira, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Fitness, etc. When he began teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I asked him if he would ever want to have his own place and he said yes, when I retire. Read more>> 

Susan Parmelee | Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Executive DIrector

Founding the Wellness & Prevention Center was the result of community engagement and grassroots organizing that identified the need for more supportive services for youth and their families when it came to making healthy lifestyle choices. Read more>> 

Rubén Reyes | Environmental lawyer and draftsman – painter

My name is Rubén Reyes Aguiar, born in the city of Ensenada, Baja California on March 20, 1989. Graduated in law, draftsman and painter by passion, my style has focused mainly on representing flora and fauna in pictorial works from Baja California region, having a special affinity and inclination for figurative art and details. Read more>> 

Michael Smith | HIGHPI Founder

As a super fan of paddling, I found that all the great boards in the market are so expensive for many people to afford. To solve this problem, I decided to set up my own iSUP brand and manufacture the boards designed by ourselves which cost less money but have the same wonderful quality with those famous brands like BOTE, NAISH and BODY GLOVE. Read more>> 

Jon Orc | Musician, & business owner

We were thinking about how much profit and creative control we get if we just started our own thing. We did not want to work for anybody else and wait for someone else’s approval for us to be able create whatever we want. Read more>> 

Cassady Blake-Christo | Founder of Curb Appeal South Bay

I started Curb Appeal South Bay by recognizing a solution to a problem: getting Trash Cans out to the curb on time and wheeling them back in once they’ve been collected. Read more>> 

Sheila Dedenbach | Founder and owner of Heavenly Sweet

In 2008, California was faced with the highest pre-covid unemployment rates the state had ever experienced. I was a single mom with three children to support. Read more>> 

Keyiona Ritchey | Educator & Grieving Twin

In August 2019 my twin brother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at 29 years old. I was in a lot of pain and confused about what happened. A few months after his passing deep in my grief I started attending a local grief support. Read more>> 

Ashlyn Miller | Photographer

Being a new mom, I quickly realized how important it is to document everything because time goes by too quickly. Since I was a little girl, I have loved not only taking photos, but printing them as well. Read more>>