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.

Evgeniya Djuranovic | Certified Health Coach

I started “Wellness With Evie” because I wanted to share the amazing transformation I had discovered of how to live a healthier and full life with the world. I had learned how to listen to my body and understand what it was telling me, and I had found a way to feel healthy and full of energy all the time – without relying on willpower. I knew this was something special, and that it could help a lot of people, so I decided to start my own business and share my knowledge with as many people as possible. It was the best decision I ever made – and I’m proud to say that “Wellness With Evie” is now helping people all over the world transform their lives for the better. Read more>>

Brooke Luallen | Natural Dyer & Art Teacher

All my life I have loved being creative. Using my hands and my mind in a creative way give me energy, and over the years I’ve realized that its my therapy. After having my two children, I made a decision to switch from teaching full time to teaching part time. It was great being with my children and continuing to teach as an art teacher, but I needed something more of my own. Read more>>

Nicole Mayer | Bridal Boutique Owner

I have always had the desire to be a business owner and work for myself, working for others was never a long term option for me. Once I started working in bridal, it quickly became my passion and it was a no-brainer that this was the path I wanted to pursue. After having my son, I knew I had to get the ball rolling and make this dream of being a business owner a reality. He is my biggest inspiration and really drove me to start the process of opening Blushing Bride. Being a mother is extremely important to me and having flexible hours to be there for him or bring him with me if need be was a must. I am absolutely living my dream of being a mom and business owner and I am forever grateful for that! Read more>>

tony haro | binational architect & builder

Architecture is ben in my family for 2 generations, but i follow a tradicional process i think. i starting with small projects to discover that i fill very confortable with the commercial side, the process toke me arrow 8 year from small plans and permit to build a entire hospital from cero. i start my office in dowtown Tijuana in 2010, the most importat part is to show up in the market and comply with the basic stadards plus the bussiness skills thats is ben arrown me sence i was a young. i think like a bussines men then like architect. Read more>>

Gloria O’Hare | Owner and Operator of Sprout and Blossom

I started my own business because I found myself giving all of my time, energy, creative ideas, and talents to someone else’s business but ultimately did not have the control I needed to do all the things that I wanted to do and do them well. So I decided that I should do everything I am doing but do it for my own business. I could have the final say in everything from price to what I offer and when It works for my schedule. If I did my own thing then I could really grow how I want, do things the way I wanted and not have anything hinder my growth and creative process. Read more>>

Eréndira Espinosa Velasco | Calligrapher and Teacher

Several unrelated events led me to think about starting my calligraphy studio. After being a philosophy teacher for twenty years and practicing calligraphy as a lonely hobby for almost thirty, a college friend called me asking if I was interested in taking on a commission to restore an old diploma. At first, I was surprised and hesitant. I asked her: “why are you proposing this to me?” Then she told me the story of her venerable music teacher who looked for more than ten years for someone capable to clean several toner stains and retouching some letters on his sixty years old diploma without success. Read more>>

Erin Lancaster | Destination Photographer

My family really struggled financially growing up. My mom was constantly working, sometimes 2-3 jobs. She’s always been a hard worker, which has really made an impact on both my siblings and myself. Because of this, I’ve always felt somewhat discouraged by what would be considered typical 9-5’s. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by entrepreneurs throughout my life (my mom, siblings, grandfather, & grandmother). Which I believe has led to where I am today, my family constantly inspires me and encourages me to take risks, in pursuit of doing what I love. I’ve always been someone who takes calculated risks and I think that as long as you have passion and consistency, you have what you need to thrive. Read more>>

Emily Karrer | CEO/Designer/Creator of eMpulse

I’ve been a lifelong artist, and never considered pursing a artistic career until I moved out to California, seven years ago. Maybe it was the east coast mindset of working a traditional 9-5 that kept me from following my artist heart, but once I landed in Ocean Beach, San Diego, my eyes were opened by my surroundings of other creative entrepreneurs. As I continued making art in California, I experimented in creating fashion (wearable art!) as my creative outlet and couldn’t ignore my clothing selling off the rack every Wednesday at the OB Farmer’s Market. It was then that I saw a clear picture of how I could create a business by creating, AND I could make the world a better place by doing so! Read more>>

McCann Dance | Ballroom and Social Dance Studio

We believe that dancing provides a beautiful avenue for people to connect – to themselves, to the music, to each other. We have been teaching independently for years in Southern California, but saw that North County San Diego was missing a venue for partner dancing. With the hope to create a home for social dancing and build a community of people around a shared love of dance, we ventured into the world of small business ownership. In March of 2020, we got the keys and started to work on our studio here in Oceanside. Read more>>

Nikki Schiffman | Wardrobe Stylist & Boutique Owner

Ever since I was a young girl, I have always dreamed of having my own fashion boutique. I have always had a fascination with the fashion world and the creativity behind every designers collection. I have experience working in retail during college, and later becoming a personal and editorial stylist. There is never really a “perfect” time to start a new business you just have to go with your gut and what your life allows. For me, my kids were getting more independent and a need for elevated fashion in the Eastlake/Otay Ranch area prompted me to start Nikki Blake Booutique. Read more>>

Catherine Giles | Owner

Forgotten Glass Candle Company started out as a fun little hobby, which quickly became a passion that I was lucky enough to turn into a business. In 2017, I was frustrated by a change to my local recycling programs; they would no longer be taking glass of any kind. So, my apartment began to clutter with empty jars. Then a friend introduced me to the one, the only: Yankee Candle. I loved the smells, the ambiance they brought my space, and I even enjoyed the trips to and from the outlet stores…but I hated the price! I knew I could do something similar if I put my mind to it. Read more>>

Ayo Oshodi | Event Producer, Entertainment Consultant & Business Man

Okay, lets go back a little bit of how it all started, when i was a young kid of around 12 years old in Nigeria, i would get 2-3 A4 size paper and fold them into a book format and i would draw comics on them with very funny but action compelling stories and then make copies at the local store and sell them to my colleagues at school, other kids both younger and older. People loved it and i became very popular for comics across the school, even my teachers knew of me, through my years in that school i made about 50 comics and sold over a thousand copies in total. Read more>>

Han Pham | Creator of SCOPE

Before I started my business, SCOPE, I was actually a pre-nursing student. I believe it was my third year in college when I finished all of my pre-requisites and was finally ready to apply to nursing school. Fast forward through the application process, I got into a BSN (Bachelor Science in Nursing) program in 2019! Unfortunately, COVID made an introduction a few months before the program was about to start.. Therefore, our program was deferred for a year which meant I had a year of no schooling. Read more>>

Kali Pryor | Natural light Photographer & Mom

My thought process behind starting my own business was really just to have something for myself outside of being a wife, mom, and corporate employee. I wanted a creative outlet that just happened to double as an income maker. Read more>>

Joel Ortiz | Portrait and Event Photographer

Starting my own business was a long process that started off as a hobby. My clients started recommending me right away, and my business has been consistent thanks to word of mouth advertising for around 20 years. Read more>>

Wanda Rogers | Founder/Community Advocate

Just like so many other people, Wanda Rogers was adversely impacted by the crash of 2008 due to the real estate bubble. The life she had built and worked for no longer existed as it did previously. She needed to pivot industries and find a new source of income and work. Wanda Rogers founded Construction Service Workers in 2009. As the Principal Owner of the only African American Woman owned construction staffing agency in the US, Wanda witnessed the need for job creation in her industry and sought to help add value to the economy. Aware of the demand for skilled tradesmen and women, Wanda sought a solution that would help not only the industry she was in, but the community she lived in. Read more>>

Sam Kenney | Photographer and Student

starting my photography business was something that just evolved not by a single plan but a developing process. I started my business less than a year ago at only 16 years old, now 17 I’ve learned so many skills in marketing, managing, customer service and problem solving in the independence it required to launch my own business. Growing up with a father who built his own company from the ground up I’ve always known I’ve wanted to create something of my own with both the freedom to create, and the personal risk for each and every decision. From a young age I knew that I would want to pursue the entrepreneurial and business path in college. Read more>>

Drew Johnston | Weekend Vans Managing Partner

Honestly the business started as a hobby. We enjoyed camping and evolved from tents to a VW camper van. As the family grew up it became more about reliability and safety. We couldn’t find what we were looking for in the van market that worked for our family and our budget. Building our own van was the only option. Once we built it people came up asking if it was for sale. After selling one we kept getting contacted by more families that also liked our design and our budget friendly pricing. Read more>>

Becs O’Hara | Event and show producer, choreographer, dancer, mother.

After I had my daughter in 2019 I knew I wasn’t going to be heading back into a show full time. Aside from the show I worked as a choreographer for a few production companies and so It was another string to my bow other than performing. I decided it was my time to put my stamp on the city and create a company that was equal opportunities for ALL with a strong element of female empowerment. I created City Katz, a company that pays performers fairly, is highly respectful of performers time and strives to create a working environment that accepts all. I even hired a babysitter to sit in at one of my rehearsals so the women with children could bring their kids a long and they didn’t have to worry about childcare. Read more>>