Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Sean Barnett | Actor, Director, Writer, & Artistic Director of Bohemian Arts

It was a process in the making of several years. I am the Artistic Director of the community arts organization/theatre company Bohemian Arts. My family and I had been involved in the theatrical communities around Riverside & San Diego counties for several years and we had always talked about and fantasized over the idea of creating our own productions and sharing quality accessible arts education. I am a huge proponent of making your own opportunities so it’s been a very liberating & fun few years. Read more>>

Liza, Oanh, and Nga | Entrepreneurs and Co-Founders of Dear 1982

It started with the desire to encourage our country and local communities to vote in the 2020 elections. To let them know their votes and voices matter. We wanted to express our messaging in a thoughtful and modern way to bring communities together. Let others be able to amplify their voices through the clothing they wear. Read more>>

Jeannine Nash | Senior Advocate

Every day I wake up and remember the opportunity I had to care for my grandmother as she was living with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Although my grandmother and I made the best out of our time together we endured some tough times due to a lack of training and resources. When my grandmother passed away I made a promiss to find a way to assist other granmothers and their loved ones so they wouldn’t have to suffer through the difficulties we had to. When my grandmother was discharged from the hospital she was sent home with no resources and no assistance. My mother and I took on the challenge of being her care providers at home. I had the day shifts and I had no skills on providing care for anyone. I took on the challenge while not trying to show my grandmother that I was scared. I remember doing my best to transfer my grandmother from her bedroom to the restroom, we spent alot of time on the floor rolling and scooting till we got where we needed to be. Read more>>

Alexandra Glass | Founder of Pass the Salt

From a young age I knew that nothing would be handed to me. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Orlando, Florida by my single mom—a proud Colombian who spoke very little English, working eighteen-hour days to keep us afloat. For both my brother and I, we knew our fates were in our own hands. I lived my life by one mantra: Failure is not an option. I didn’t have the luxury of not making it work. I earned a full-(ish) ride scholarship, worked full-time throughout college, grinded through the summers. Things were tough, but it made me stronger. I applied to a study-abroad program in Spain, asking my mom to cosign for the loan. When I received the letter denying approval, it was the first time I realized that my determination wasn’t enough to get what I wanted. It was the first time I felt my socioeconomic status limited my future. I wanted more. After college, I miraculously landed a job at a boutique investment bank in Manhattan, clinging to my mantra like my life depended on it. Read more>>

Julie Pullman | Teen Health and Wellness Coach

Just a little bit about me, I am a certified Holistic Health Coach and Personal Trainer with a specialty in youth physical activity. As a mom of two teen girls, I am deeply familiar with the challenges teenagers (and their parents) face every day. I’m also keenly aware how little support there is for them outside the home. This is where my passion to help teach kids habits to care for their bodies and minds began. I believe the journey to health and wellness can be enjoyable with the right mindset, ideas, and opportunities, and my goal is to help teens find these. Kids aren’t born worrying about their weight; this is a learned behavior that has been brought on through media, visual platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, parental example, peers, and more. Let’s face it, we live in an appearance-oriented world, and all teens, regardless of their gender, are affected by these unrealistic demands society places on them. As a confident, healthy adult, I have fallen prey all too often to these unrealistic standards of beauty that aren’t obtainable for the average person. Read more>>

Meghan Koll | Creator Behind Little Fox Cups + Cones

I really did not see there being another route for my career. I LOVE working. I really really do. I think I love it for the self-worth you feel when you accomplish a task or create something. I always feel that when I am producing or creating, I am contributing to a larger whole. But I am also a perfectionist in many ways. There are so many struggles I face with this, but one positive effect it has had on me is the drive to keep bettering myself and the work I do. I never really see it as, ‘I’m not good enough,’ but rather ‘I am not yet at the point that I can see really myself thriving.’ This characteristic has helped me in my career so much but most importantly it has given me the confidence to believe in my ability to set out on my own. I have worked in so many different jobs in an array of industries. Though I learned a lot from all of my previous bosses and coworkers and loved working with them, I always knew that the reason I was there was not to grow with their company but to absorb all they could teach me so that when I did set out on my own venture one day. Read more>>

KeySlayer | Pianist/Musician/Entertainer

It goes along with being a self employed musician. The entire business is patterned for self employment. Read more>>

Luci Lampe | Sexual Empowerment & Healing Coach

As I began writing and performing music again, I had the opportunity to live out what I’d been coaching others on, in a whole new way, expressing myself boldly and freely, particularly in the expression of my sexuality and womanhood. After some time of receiving messages from many women seeking support to work through their beliefs around sexuality, I began creating brief programs in a safe space for women to explore more. Before long, the PSSY PWRD brand was created and along with it, the YouTube channel and current programs. Read more>>

Citadel Nicolas-Penn | Co-Founder & CEO, GO2PIX

I am a very creative person and I always wanted to use my full potential. I don’t want to limit myself if I know that I can do more. Starting a business is not easy, especially if the vision is big. It’s always been my dream to have a business of my own. I had a great career as a Financial Advisor with the best full brokerage company, and my practice was my business. I was happy because I was able to help a lot of people. However, because the financial industry is highly regulated, it’s not designed for people with creative minds. There are other ways I can help other people… not just staying in the financial industry. That’s when I realized where my passion is. My passion for photos is so strong, it pulled me out of the financial industry and made me focus on what I really love, being a business person in the photography industry, making the photography process easier for both the photographer and the client. Read more>>

Leslie Rohaidy PA-C, AAOPM | Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained in Procedural Medicine

We started this journey after being dissatisfied with the lack of transparency, honesty, and human touch in aesthetics. The world of aesthetic medicine is advancing, thriving by leaps and bounds, and growing over night but out dated medical office practices and cheesy med spas hold it back. Mysterious pricing, cheap chop-shop deals, lack of educational content, and unnatural results make the process intimidating and out of reach. There should be no such thing as a discount special when it comes to your face. Safety, sterility, education, follow-up, and final result should be your guide when choosing a provider, not promotional pricing from slow low-end medical offices trying to fill rooms .All consultations and treatments begin with a custom consult where exquisite attention is paid to your individual anatomy. Your facial expressions will be marked , analyzed, and explained to you whether we treat you or not. Read more>>

Alison Witt | Online and In Person Craft Parties and Craft Activities for Kids

The thought process for starting my business was to do something I really enjoyed while raising a family. I wanted to share my lifelong experiences and love for crafting with the world. My goal was to make life easier for parents, having access to quality materials and curated ideas for projects for their kids to do on their own. I always loved the idea of all the benefits from arts and crafts and what they have done for me and wanted to share enjoyment and engaging experiences with children. I have always had a fascination with crafting and putting crafts together from a young age, I loved the process of making something from scratch and turning it into something beautiful. For years putting my hand on anything and everything and making magic happen. I realized not only can I continue doing what I love but thought I could share my passion with others. Read more>>

Jennifer L Ban | Founder & Creator

In all honesty, it was not a business idea but an outlet for me. I love creating things with my hands, and I also love sharing what I love with others. I started piping because I just fell in love with the flower piping techniques and how I could create our traditional desserts with a modern twist. Read more>>

Valente Martinez | Chicano Photographer

I had a strong realization within my own abilities, passion, and experience to pursue Photography while providing for my future. I love the visual arts movies, photography, painting anything where an individual has to figure out how to visually interpret themselves or a message. Heck even commercial I still look at them like a little visual assignment for myself to decipher. Read more>>

Betsy Blumenfeld | CEO & Instructor

Before Salt opened, I struggled to find a place to workout that felt comfortable to me. The girls at the front desk would be rude, the room would be freezing cold, the music would be too quiet, and as a whole the spaces lacked motivation for me. I wanted to create a space that was fun, warm, and welcoming above all else. I knew that people felt vulnerable when attempting a new workout, or entering an unknown space, and so my main goal was to create a place that eliminated that stigma and could be called home by many. Read more>>

Byron Jones | Owner & Creator

I created OAKLA Scents as an homage to two places that have shaped my life experiences, the Oakland Bay Area and Los Angeles. My goal is to curate a candle and lifestyle brand that blends the best of both iconic cities. Oakland culture takes pride in authenticity and OAKLA is proud to offer all natural, high quality ingredients like creamy coconut wax, pure essential oils, and crackling wooden wicks. Los Angeles is known for being at the foreground of creating trend setting vibes. OAKLA not only strives to give you a great looking product, but also create a vibe that’s undeniably essential! Simply put OAKLA is authentic scents and essential vibes. Read more>>

Debbie Potts | Health and Fitness Coach

I have always had the passion of helping others feel, look and perform their best in life. I started out as a personal trainer and health coach in college then I continued to learn more about the importance of coaching up the WHOLE person with more than just exercise to get their desired results. I was on a mission to help others – the best option is to run my own “all in one” fitness studio (ten years – closed in 10.1.19) and now online health fitness coaching to be that coach that I needed when I was struggling to get results. Read more>>

Candice Hurley | Founder, S+S Events

My background is a mix of right brain and left brain. I like to flex my creative side but also feel very rooted in the analytical/methodical detailed side. Starting an events business felt like a natural progression from what I already do in my personal life for family and friends as well as the type of work I did prior to leaving the corporate world to take care of my daughter. I feel passionate about community and bringing people together and of course being my own boss isn’t too shabby either!. Read more>>