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.

Janice Rumsey | Professional Photographer and Artist

I was gifted my wedding photography business, from someone who decided that he knew better what I should be doing, than I did. I’m serious when I say it was a gift, because I don’t know that I would have taken that leap without his encouragement. When I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, with a minor in Creative Photography, my intention was for a lifelong career as a teacher. Read more>>

Amy Gray | Agency Owner, Photographer, Digital Marketer

I wanted to stay home with my children, but I really needed to work, too (both financially and mentally). When our daughter was born, I was blessed to be able to take over my mother-in-law’s already successful hotel and resort childcare agency at that point (2005). I had never seen myself as an entrepreneur of any sort, previously, but when I found myself in charge of Sitterwise, the bug bit hard! It was just four years later that I started doing photography professionally, and then another six or seven years and I somehow had a marketing business on top of that. Read more>>

Steven Shyne | Co-Founder & Non-Profit CEO

I’m Steven Shyne and I’m the co-founder and CEO of Think Red Project, the nonprofit behind Red Dress Party San Diego. We are registered 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation registered in the State of California, and have a mission to plan, promote and produce events that raise funds and awareness for the HIV/AIDS community. Read more>>

Jessie Festa | Travel Blogger & Blog Coach

I started my first travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, in 2011, with the goal of empowering women to confidently travel the world solo. Funny enough, I never really dreamed of traveling solo myself; however, during college my friends bailed on a summer backpacking trip through Europe. Instead of giving up the trip, which I was incredibly excited about and had spent weeks planning, I decided to go on my own. Read more>>

Umut Türemen | Co-founder of Tourist

When I graduated from high school, as an 18-year-old person, it was not easy to decide what I really want. I spent almost 12 years as a professional basketball player and I always wanted to stay as one and keep basketball in my life as my profession. I was also very successful in the academy, and I managed to join Istanbul Technical University, one of the best universities in Turkey. It was time for me to move to a different city and start a new life. Read more>>

Alvinita Gonzales | Editor in Chief of TSANGE’ Magazine

Starting out as a fashion and portrait photographer, I have and continue to capture so many different and beautiful people. While capturing beautiful people, I noticed that there was a lack of people similar to myself in the industry. Being Mexican and Hopi, I found myself seeking out models of similar backgrounds. Having growing up not seeing faces like my own and ones around me in magazines, fashion, films, etc., I wanted to put those faces there. Read more>>

Leilani Valentine | Ceo of Beauty Icon Cosmetics

Movie screens and fashion billboards once told women what is beautiful. Beauty Icon Cosmetics pictures will create a confidence where women won’t have to feel like the need to seek advice on their beauty decisions. Successful brands have women options for what beauty products to wear, but nothing that made women feel good about themselves or beauty routine. We wanted to Start a LOVE YOURSELF journey by our motto Enhance your natural beauty. Glowing healthy skin with global ingredients . Vegan, gluten and cruelty free. Read more>>

Joni Dnaiel | Joni Daniel, Stampin’ Up! Independent Demonstrator

It was 2006. Social media had not become mainstream yet. My husband was an active duty Marine and my daughter was just barely 4 years old. We had moved 5 times in the last 4 years and would do one more by mid next year. The portable job market had not really blossomed yet. So to give myself some perceived control I chose to start my own business. Read more>>

Zia Rohrbaugh | CrossFit Gym Owner

I wanted to own my own business to have more control over my possibilities. I have owned my business for 13 years, and although it was not always the easier option- definitely the most rewarding. I am passionate about CrossFit. Being able to combine my love for the sport with my job is unbelievably rewarding. Before owning my own gym, I worked for someone else as a coach. I always thought I could do this- but better. With an accounting background i knew I could achieve it. As a successful business owner, I would never go back to working for someone ever again Read more>>

Kellie Christensen | Actor, writer, director, producer

As an actor, I know how important a great demo reel is, and how difficult it is to get one. It can take years or never happen at all if you’re relying on booking projects. I also found what other reel footage companies charge absurd. I knew I could offer better to aspiring actors because of my knowledge of the industry and why so many actor reels do or don’t work in the actor’s favor. Read more>>

Griffen Bradds | Owner (CrossFit Rebuild)

CrossFit Rebuild was born out of inspiration. I discovered CrossFit in 2017 and it is still a huge part of my life today. With a background in nursing, I’ve seen the importance of functional fitness first hand, and understand how it improves health & wellness, our ability to move and enjoy life, prevent injury & illness, and overall improve Quality of Life. The CrossFit methodology prides itself in preparing participants for the knowns and unknowns life will throw your way. On November 19th, 2021, the unknown came my way. Read more>>

Shirley Garcia | Owner of PAWFECT Dog Barkery

We are proud parents of four small dogs and since we don’t have children at the moment, we love to spoil them. Not only do we spoil them, but we also do our best to keep them healthy as we have had our fair share of vet visits. We have had first-hand experience at the positive changes that natural foods can have on our pets & the lack of healthy foods we can trust in the pet industry. Read more>>

Jo Situ Allen aka. DIRTY ERASER | Artist. Naturalist. Designer. Teacher

Starting my own business was an organic journey that started from mental health and wellness. In 2015 I had been suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety – after a particularly tough panic attack I realized that I felt best when I was creating. I had always been creative from a young age – I was always writing and drawing but didn’t realize how important it was to me until I stopped for a few years after my two girls were born. Starting up painting and drawing again allowed me to connect to spirit, get into the flow and felt like meditation. Read more>>

Brooke Menyuk | Founder/CEO of Malibu Nannies

I’ve worked as a Nanny for over 10 years and I just recently had a baby. I knew I wanted to be able to stay at home with him, but I had to figure out a way. I started Malibu Nannies to create that dream. Having been a nanny for so long, I’ve worked with my fair share of Agencies. I’ve had some terrible experiences, but I’ve also met some of the sweetest placement coordinators. I wanted to create an Agency that brought together everything I learned from my past. Read more>>

Cara De Jong | YouTuber & Gardener

My business is called Power to the Flower and my company is a Zone 9 Gardening YouTube Channel as well as a container consulting service for patios, porches and gardens. Power to the Flower started as an admiration and respect for entrepreneurs that followed their dreams encouraged by friends and family members who thought I could follow mine and became a small business. Read more>>

Cara De Jong | YouTuber & Gardener

My business is called Power to the Flower and my company is a Zone 9 Gardening YouTube Channel as well as a container consulting service for patios, porches and gardens. Power to the Flower started as an admiration and respect for entrepreneurs that followed their dreams encouraged by friends and family members who thought I could follow mine and became a small business. Read more>>

Joel Woldt | Yoga Coach

My greatest joy at Heart Center Wellness is helping people to feel more Centered in their lives. There’s something really magical about meeting someone where they are, no matter what they’re feeling and helping them to feel more calm and grounded in the present. My love for helping other people to feel centered and why I chose to start Heart Center Wellness really stems from my own experiences with anxiety and panic in my life. Read more>>

Rad Max | Creator/Host

We want to bring a product that will shock and suprise you. To push the line of what is socially acceptable and open up a conversation to explore the big questions. Read more>>

Vineet Kaur | Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Project Manager

Fruitfully Yours is a social entrepreneurship that was started in Aug 2017 by my son, Mihir Anand and I, when he was fourteen years old and a freshman in high school. We would often walk in the neighborhood and see abundant fruit trees (of all kinds of citrus, apples, oranges, pomegranates, figs, permissions, etc) and the beautiful fruit just ripening and falling to the ground and rotting. No one seemed to care about it nor want to give it away to others that could enjoy it. Read more>>

Britney Jones | Artist

I had been a collector and maker of oddities, taxidermy, and bizarre trinkets since I was a young girl. My husband Neil was a funeral director for over four years, leaving the industry before we met. Fast forward to 2015, I found out I was pregnant with our eldest son. We sat down and weighted the pros and cons of keeping the back-office banking job I had and decided it was not going to be feasible with a baby. One morning I was cleaning my oddities collection and wanted to add something new to it. Read more>>

Alexandra Eldridge | Artist

Very little thought had to go into the making of my business and life. I was born to parents who were both artists and were able to turn their art into a successful business and put their 7 children through college. This gave me the courage to do the same. I have done art related jobs (ie. faux finish and murals) before making my art business of painting full time, 20 yrs ago. Read more>>

Megan Brown | Floral Specialist

When I was in High school I was a part of a ROP class for floristry. It was a easy A and I actually ended up liking the design and creativity the class brought. After high school I worked at a couple flower shops in the area and then decided I wanted to specialize in weddings and special events. That is when my company was born and we took off. At first we designed for friends and family and that quickly gained momentum by word of mouth and our company has been blossoming ever since. Read more>>

Angela Anderson | Event and Wedding Design and Coordination and Full Time Mommy

I was a corporate party planner for a large local production company for years endears until the economy decided not to agree with my industry, I saw many of my friends and co-workers get let go and finally I was let go right before Thanksgiving 2008. I debated my future and actually went back to school to become a dental hygienist. I felt that this would provide me a flexible schedule to have a baby. I spent a few years working on accomplishing my pre-requisites and had my first child Jasper in 2010. Read more>>

Karen Veinbergs | Licensed Educational Psychologist

From a young age, I wanted to work with children with learning differences. As a child, I was diagnosed with dyslexia ( a reading disability) which made learning and reading very challenging and really damaged my self-esteem. When I was 10 years old my family immigrated to San Diego from Mexico City. At that time I had to learn English which was very challenging for me because of my learning disability. I knew at that time that I wanted to empower children with learning disabilities and help them understand that their strengths outweigh the difficulties they face in school. Read more>>

Ty Schell | Web Developer & Entrepreneur

As a former studio owner the initial concept of Feeturre was to create an escrow type system for the music and entertainment industry. This concept came to me from recording many musicians at my studios that would meet with other artists to collaborate on projects. This initial thought process of an escrow system quickly expanded as I partnered with my long time friend and Entertainment Producer Casey Swift. Read more>>

Emily Alwood | Photographer

Photography started as a hobby and while I was a classroom teacher while living in the Caribbean I thought I could try it out of a part time job. While capturing nature and families I began to think how fun it was to create my own schedule and create images for people of beautiful moments. This continued when I moved to Los Angeles & Richmond until I resigned from classroom teaching after eight years in 2018 to go full time with my business. Classroom teaching was draining & mentally (and sometimes physically) exhausting. Read more>>

Ky Do | Vegan Entrepreneur, Spiritual Practitioner, Seeker of Ultimate Truth

After working in the corporate world for a long time, I thought it would be interesting to “be my own boss”. Also, I wanted to do something that I feel positively impacts my community and world. Read more>>

Brett Littlewood Buck Van Laarhoven | Designer/Manufacturer

Well, we could thank COVID for the formation of King Gubby. Buck and I have known each other since junior high and we have stayed in touch over the years – not necessarily “every weekend” stay in touch, but we have always been really close. When COVID hit, we started spending a bit more time together, as friends. Both of us like to tinker – very much so in different ways – but we both geek out on things we are interested in. Read more>>