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.

Ashtin Montalto | Boutique Owner

Starting a business was never something I saw in my future but it truly is what I LOVE. I was in the middle of getting my masters degree in exercise science and I was so sick of working, going to class, coming home to do homework & then barely getting any sleep to then start over again. Read more>>

Alesha Deesing | Landscape Designer + Consulting

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? I had just finished a decade long career in volleyball overseas and decided to move to California in 2015. I originally came here to train with the National Team and fell in love with the beach lifestyle. I grew up in Oregon and went to college in Seattle, WA so sunshine year-round is pure bliss. I knew I wanted to move here when I retired to find a creative career. I started a jewelry company with absolutely no background in business. I went at it for a year and was struggling getting stores to pick up my line, so I got a job in outside sales working for a contractor. Read more>>

Meghan Patke | Public Relations Agency Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was because I was not seeing representation and diversity around me and wanted to build an agency and community that felt more like myself, and how I was raised – inclusive, engaging, forward-thinking, and truly client-service oriented. Read more>>

Danny Ear | Leathercrafter

It started out as just doing something out of necessity. Going to REI and buying nylon webbing and taping them together to make weightlifting straps for training. I wanted them in leather but no companies made weightlifting straps in this style in leather that I could find. I realized the sport of Weightlifting would continue to grow due to the growth of Crossfit. Crossfit introduced people to 2 movements used in Olympic Weightlifting, which is the snatch and the clean & jerk. Read more>>

Nikole Mathews and Emily Ober | Co-Founders of Bloom Care

We have been in the childcare industry here in San Diego since we were both 16 years old. Since we have been babysitting and nannying for local families for many years, we created a community of people that knew us and wanted to use us their child care needs. As we began to get busier in our everyday lives and careers, we did not have the time to offer our services to the many requests we received. Read more>>

Tracy Turco | Design Diva of the desert – hotelier , artist , author, designer & fashion icon

I have always been a self starter and serial entrepreneur and branding /marketing whiz. I have been doing it my whole life . After meeting my husband 7 years ago we were able to infuse my design talents into real estate ( my husbands strong suit) I can visually see a project finished in my imagination before it’s even started ! When I walk into a space I download my imagination into the finished project . It s a god given gift . Read more>>

Toni Lewis-Noble | Fitness trainer & Fitness nutrition specialist

I always knew that I wanted to have my own business. But early on, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. Over the years after struggling with my weight. Food addictions. and the depression that came with that. I finally reached a point where I was consistently of taking better care of my body. The more I learned about myself during this time. The more I began to see the need to help other people make a change for the better. as well. I was working in the entertainment industry at the time. Read more>>

Sophia Bengel | Florist and Business Owner

The thought process behind starting my business was to create beautiful flower arrangements that no one has seen. I have seen many different styles on instagram and Pinterest so my creativity started from there. Read more>>

Dävid Fish | Actor, MUA, Fashion Designer & Stylist, DJ, Häus Father

I have always been an artistic and creative individual ever since I can remember. My creativity brought me from acting onstage, to designing and sewing couture fashion, working as a professional makeup artist on various sets, to styling wigs, and so much more. It only seemed right to turn the passions that came naturally to me, into an all-around brand and one-stop-shop for all things art, that I could share with the world. Where film meets music, meets fashion, meets glamour, meets LOVE: Häus of Fish by DÄViDATiOUS!™️ Read more>>

James Senteno | Barista & Co-Founder

I wanted to make coffee and I wanted to do it in a way that I thought made sense to me, in a way that felt right and good. I was tired of seeing businesses make decisions based solely on the bottom line, at the cost of customers and employees, and at the cost of my coffee and my artistry. Coffee deserves care and attention. I wanted to start a place of my own, completely willing to eat cost for the sake of doing something that I think is good and worth while. That was my motivation. Read more>>

Hannah Safanda | Energy Healer/Shamanic Practitioner

My intention for my practice is to bring my clients into a deeper awareness within themselves. When one becomes aware of where their life may be out of balance, false beliefs they carry and unhealthy patterns that often have been played out in other lifetimes as well, they can choose to process, heal and release that which is not serving them. What is revealed underneath is the pure essence and love that they are, with greater wholeness, happiness and health. Read more>>

Daniel GUASGUA | Founder and Ceo of cal state dog supplies

the thought process behind starting my own business was a roller coaster mix emotions from being scared of failure and from overcoming the feeling real quick to just do it and take it step by step not to over think things but to always stay with faith and positive and approach my everyday task with a outcome that would benefit my brand and business Read more>>

Drew Ramsey | Photographer

I’ve always wanted to start my own business. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a child. Yes, being able to call the shots and make your own schedule sounds fancy, but it’s a lot of hard work and dedication. I started working in the retail industry when I was 16 years old. Graduating high school earlier than most, I wanted to hit the ground running and begin my sales career. Selling shiny objects to individuals who had way too much money to begin with, I quickly learned how great I was working with people. Listening and deep conversations turned customers into lifelong friends; Read more>>

Mike Atkinson | Plumeria Farmer

We have been growing plumerias for over 25 years. Selling only grew out of interest in others in acquiring some that we had. We found that we could sell enough each year to cover our expenses of growing our collection. Then the pandemic hit. After 14 years, I was laid off with a third of the company. In 2020 I just worked on the farm with the plumerias. It was great therapy and such a healthier lifestyle than sitting at a desk. So we flirted with growing the business side and were met with great success. Read more>>