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.

Usha & Srini Gowrishetty | Coding Coaches for Kids

Kids of this generation are very comfortable using Youtube, Netflix, Zoom, Discord, Minecraft, Roblox, Facetime, etc. But most don’t know how these things are built. It all seems like magic to them. This is the gap we want to fill with our coding classes. We want to teach kids the foundational coding concepts that help them solve problems, build games and applications that make a difference. Read more>>

Gillian Levi | Real Estate Advisor

I have problems with authority. Really. Growing up my report cards always reflected good grades and always included the word “flippant”. I was raised by a mother who taught me to always challenge something if I knew it was wrong. My first real job was bussing tables in a bar in upstate New York when I was 12. That beginning progressed to being a waitress for many years and I loved it because, most of the time, I was allowed and trusted to do my job well. However, when I would be micromanaged by shift leaders, I would become resentful and defiant. I knew that if I was going to be happy in my career and my life, I needed to work for myself. Read more>>

Gigi | Owner

Time doesn’t stop for anyone. Six months ago I became a first time mom. My entire world shifted & I knew I wanted to do everything possible to be with my little one. Having worked on the ambulance & ER during the pandemic taught me how valuable health, time, & family are. I decided to take a step back & reevaluate my goals. It was the perfect time to start my small business & still have the chance to spend more time at home. An over night idea became a must, & a few months later I’m beyond thankful I took that first step. I can’t wait to tell my son when he’s older about the story when we started an outdoor movie theatre in the summer. Read more>>

Von Ware | Sports Cinematographer/photographer

My thought process behind starting my own business was manly on a whim. I was retiring from competing at the Olympic Level in Track & Field and got a job with a small television production company and learned about broadcast tv. My wife the smarter one in my marriage suggested that I focus on sports media because It was something I had a background in. Read more>>

Bianca Rocco and Karla Kirsch | Founders

There’s only one thing we love more than creating beautiful experiences for people, and that is sharing our tips and tricks. We started ROKKBOX so that we could show people that those images that inspire them on Pinterest and Instagram can so easily be obtained. We created this one-stop-shop box service that supplies you with the decor items you need to elevate your tablescape with an equal balance of ease and affordability. No more folded paper towels or that awkward moment of trying to figure out where to sit, we are making it easy to host like a pro. Read more>>

Dr. Kristine Shipman-Smith | Owner and Lead Designer of Kristine Smith Designs

I have always loved weddings and loved the different moving parts of big events, but I have kept very busy with my full-time job as an education administrator for more than 17 years. When I lived in Central California I had a small wedding business for 13 years and I had so much fun with it, but when I was recruited for an advanced position in education resulting in the need to move to San Diego 6 years ago I set the wedding business aside. I felt a little intimidated entering into the San Diego wedding industry where weddings are produced at a much grander scale. Read more>>

Kara Horat | Founder, Connect For Success Online

I was having success, but my business began to plateau. I was ready to take my business to the next level, yet the activities that worked to get me where I was, such as networking, were not working to get me where I wanted to go next! I became frustrated with traditional networking and feeling like I was being “sold to” at every event I attended rather than connecting to help one another. Not to mention, all the unsolicited business cards and a lack of authenticity in some of the conversations. I was craving a deeper connection and collaboration. I wanted to learn from people who were like me; and needed to find people who were thinking bigger and wanted to grow. Read more>>

Ali Acosta | Esthetician & Acne Specialist

I started North County Skin Solutions out of necessity to help solve the devastating issue of acne. Whether you’re struggling with teenage acne or you’re in your 30’s and acne has popped up out of no where, I can help. As someone who has struggled with acne my entire life, I know how detrimental it can be to ones self esteem and confidence. I set out to create a solution through research, trial and error, and years of practice that has great success and has changed lives through a holistic internal approach. Read more>>

Roslyn Rositani | Business Owner, Paint Nail Bar Encinitas

Having recently moved to San Diego from out of state I quickly realized I would not be able to achieve the same standard of living in in the beauty industry working for someone else so That’s when I started thinking about what kind of business I would like to own. I quickly realized there were little to no upscale nail salons in coastal north county so that’s the niche I targeted when starting my business. Read more>>