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.

Jessica Brixie | Permanent Makeup Artist, Owner of Brixie Beauty Bar

My thought process behind starting my own business has changed a number of times as my business has evolved but I think the outstanding idea has always been to have a business that provides me the opportunity to be with my family while being able to provide for them as well. I was initially driven to become a permanent makeup artist because I’ve had a lifelong desire to work within the beauty industry. Read more>>

Armand King | Youth Advocate and Program Design Specialist

I was raised by entrepreneur parents who taught me to own businesses and instilled core values that helped mold me into an entrepreneur. I watched them both grind in multiple different businesses to pay the bills. I was pushed to participate in all of them. I owe these seeds that were planted to helping mold me into the man I am today. Read more>>

Dan Grim | Founder, CEO & CPO Good Stuff Beverage Company

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more acutely aware of what role my work plays in the greater environment. After years of offering products or services through my sales career that directly benefited large corporations, I really wanted to offer something that helped everyday people. That in combination with a sense of adventure lead me to cannabis. I went to a convention for cannabis professionals in 2015 with no experience in the industry looking for a new opportunity. Read more>>

Nhila Kliber | Realtor

My thought process behind starting my own business was driven by fear and began before I even realized it. If you asked me eight years ago what I did for a living, I would happily tell you “I’m a stay-at-home mom ensuring that my kids will be raised right and grow up to be decent human beings”. I would probably follow that comment with my desire to get back into business one day after they’re both in high school. Read more>>

Hayley Ruthrauff | Architect, President

I always wanted to run a business – starting back when I was a kid seeing my family run their construction company. I saw that there was freedom and pride in doing it on your own. Fast forward, I wanted to gain as much experience as possible first before trying to set out on my own. Read more>>

Jacques Schroeder | Woodworker Furniture Designer

I think it was the thought of aging and not much to show for it that was my main motivation. I started this business in my garage at the age of 46 while I was waiting tables and bartending, I was having a hard time envisioning myself in my fifties and later years still working at a restaurant. It was out of fear and despiration that I started this. Read more>>

Heather Hackney | Small Business Owner

My parents owned their own restaurant when I was growing up, so I learned from them what to expect out of being a business owner. John and I always knew that we wanted to work for ourselves and when the space became available for us to have the opportunity to open up our own restaurant we immediately took the chance and went all in! Read more>>

Ericka Castaños | Digital Creator

I wanted to start my own business because I became a stay home mom. I used to work a 9-5 job in customer service. I always enjoyed helping out others. I knew I wanted to start something at home and be able to help out other families. I didn’t know how but I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. Read more>>

Francisco Barba | Residential Designer / Mexican Architect.

Give the best support to my family and make me feel proud. Read more>>

Phyllis Masaya | Caterer of Filipino Soul Food & Vegan Filipino Food

Well, I didn’t initially think about starting a business. Back in 2009, I graduated from CSUSM with a degree in Art, but after months of not getting any interest in my resume, I went to bed frustrated with my lack of prospects. I prayed & asked my mom (whom passed away 6 months before my graduation) for help & guidance. Read more>>

Jennifer/Felicia Murtagh/Severhill | Parent Empowerment Coaches

Working as preschool teachers during the pandemic, we saw parents hit all time stress levels as they tried their best to manage life with young children at home. Suddenly parents had to become their child’s teacher, without any of the training and experience we had under our belts, on top of sustaining a job and/or other life demands. Read more>>

Pearl Mecenas | Founder/ Owner

I first visited India in 2017 and was inspired by the country’s inclusive approach to helping visually impaired individuals. I returned to the United States and began volunteering at local foundations for the blind, which is how I met the talented artists I partner with today. I learned there was an opportunity to help market their wares; doing so meant these individuals would start earning income to supplement their Social Security. Read more>>

Mark Dwyer | Creator

My first thought was, what could I give, and what would I get out of a business? I knew I could become very lucky and possibly with little effort make a profitable company. I also knew most likely that wasn’t going to happen. So, I ask myself if you were able to work some place that made you happy what would that be worth? Read more>>

Kate Smith | Creator of The Conscious Mamas Movement

I started my own business because I wanted to do something meaningful in the world. I also wanted to find a way to stay the primary caregiver of my son and financially provide for us. Read more>>

Liz Shipman and Lisa Berger | Co-Artistic Directors & Master Teachers of MCITStudio

Originally, there was a chance meeting at a department luncheon, a stimulating conversation and a plan to continue that conversation in the near future. The conversation was about art, good acting and effective actor training. I had already decided to pursue opening an acting studio in San Diego, but it was the possibility of an unusual partnership that pushed the idea forward and eventually to fruition. Read more>>

Kevin Kramer | Musician, Composer, Music Educator

The thought process behind starting my own business has been one of necessity, and also a process of learning that as a musician, I am the business. The music business was one of the first to be shaken up by the technological advancements of the last few decades & it’s currently reached a place where independent artists can exercise creativity and share it nearly instantaneously if they so desire, which is an interesting development. Read more>>

Naylea Dachek | CEO & master hairstylist

I wanted create a space where not you can only get your hair done and look pretty but a place to have fun and have time together with friends more like a club where you can always see your friends at the salon Read more>>

Minh Diep | Software Engineer & Boba Tea Shop Owner

We love boba milk tea. And when the pandemic caused the lockdown, the only place that we could go was the supermarket. We missed boba milk tea very much; thus, we started buying boba and cooked at home. The boba and the tea turned out to be great, so we feel like we have something that we want to start the business with. Read more>>

Lisa Evans | Founder of Spirit and Truth Candle Company and Walking With Lisa, LLC

For my faith based candle business I noticed that there weren’t many candle brands that publicly displayed scripture quotes on their labels. Me being passionate about my faith and passionate about great candles, decided to merge the two and that’s how Spirit and Truth Candle Company was created. Read more>>

Nancy Fuentes | Entrepreneur

My business started as an outlet , while I was working in stressful work environment. I would make products for myself to enjoy some “Me time ” , while my 1 year old at the time was asleep . Read more>>

Alexandre Michael | Psychic-Medium-Shaman Novelist and Artist

Well, I had started working from a very young age with my father and his business, then I went into management. However, after a few years of that, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and could no longer handle the long hours and cover shifts required of that job, so I had to think outside of the box. I first started my own house cleaning business when I lived in Alaska, then I began acting as an extra in films or commercials there. Read more>>