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.

Jillian Marsh | Sandcastle Jewelry, creator, owner

My business is strange in the fact that it has honestly been around since I was in Junior High. I made bracelets to sell on the bus to have money for the pop machine. I set up craft fair booths to bring in a little extra income during college and even after I had a “real” job, I still had my creative side hustle. When I decided to stay home with my kids while they were little it gave me both an outlet and a little income. As my kids are all entering schools it’s providing a flexible job for me that lets me continue to put them first while flexing my creative and business skills. Read more>>

Beatriz Solorzano Weikle | Clothing Brand Owner

The meaning behind our brand name ‘Miabella’ actually comes from a mixture of my sister and I nicknames – she calls me Mia & I call her Bella. Actually, The name was the my first step in forming my brand and I sat with solely just the name for probably a year or so before actually taking anymore steps towards opening my store. That just shows how undeceive I am. Read more>>

Denise Hernandez | Herbalist & Apothecary

Self-care rituals are a very important aspect of my herbal practice, and I’ve always struggled to find natural skin care products that I could trust, not only biologically, but philosophically. Considering that the skin is our biggest organ, I wanted to experiment with safe and incredibly nourishing ingredients that I could use to create new experiences of well-being and synergy. So, the genesis of Sekhmet Botanicals was a deep dedication to personal empowerment through self-care, and this process has inspired me to want to share this passion with the world. Read more>>

Sierra Brook | Wedding & Brand Photographer

Starting my own business was scary but also exhilarating at the same time. My whole family is very much based in trade industries so no one has really stepped out of the box and been full time in the entreprenuriship world till I did. At first there was a lot of skepticism but eventually everyone saw that it truly made me happy & got on board. My reasoning for doing it had actually a lot to do with the 2020 pandemic, I was held up in my house like most of America and realized that I had always had this drive, passion & call towards documentation & photography. Read more>>

Paul Hanzlik | Public Administrator

When I thought of Kulture Studios I was thinking of all the things I enjoy and love. I have a passion for art, dance, literature., music, culture, and traveling. I was thinking of ways to incorporate all of my passions into one and how to create a lifestyle brand that is willing to give back to the community in a variety of ways. My main goal for Kulture Studios is to start off as a personal blog and create a safe and comforting environment for all. Then I would eventually like to open up a store here in German Village, Ohio that has art, literature, music, and many more things from around the world from a variety of cultures that people here can experience and learn more about. Read more>>

Ilona Rennert | Chief Grazing Officer

To be honest, if it wasn’t for my friend encouraging me to pursue starting Bits & Bites I’m not sure I would have ever left the “hobby” phase. When i started it was around back to school time, and the order & responce I received from by Back to School boxes really propelled me forward and showed me this could be something more than just for friends and family. Read more>>

Ke$o | Recording Artist

I’ve always wanted to go into business for myself and I always had a love for music. However, becoming an independent music artist was by coincidence. I never thought of being an artist but, the first time I stepped in the recording booth it was a natural fit. I’m a firm believer in myself yet it was quite inspirational to see the people around me light up when they heard my music. I’ve had tunnel vision ever since then. Read more>>

Craig Long | Music Producer

When I first encountered my drumming injury (Focal Dystonia) back in 2012 I was shocked and very lost as to what to do with my drumming career and my life for the first couple of years. After multiple attempts at treating the injury with specialist visits and different treatments, including physiotherapy, hand surgery, arm surgery, sports massages, acupuncture sessions, steroid injections into my hand, amongst many other things; I realised the injury was going to be very hard to treat effectively and would take a lot of patience to deal with in the future in terms of continuing to try and fix the problem. I fell into a deep depression and a state of confusion as to what was happening in my life and what I was going to do with myself and my future. Read more>>

Rudy Bonifaz | Fashion & Commercial Photographer

When I started doing photography it was nothing but a hobby. I’ve always had an artistic background coming from the music industry and photography caught my eye because of the myriad of possibilities that could be captured with a camera. Particularly as a beginner, I started discovering the world of photography and started enveloping myself in it. After getting comfortable enough with my skill, I decided I could take it to the next level and start formulating my own photography business. With a little help from my friends from the industry, and the guidance of my mentors I was able to satisfy my business plan logistics and thus, I started my photography business. Read more>>

Sevahna Anderson | Owner and Creator of Wolfe + Juniper & Local Witchy Mom

Honestly, I have been in love with scent for as long as I can remember. I’m an Advanced Certified Fragrance Specialist. I live to smell everything and break it down in my head. Scent creates memories and is soo personal. I wanted to create something different. And by different, I wanted to create a series of scents that spoke to me and to others that prefer something edgy as opposed to something from the mall. Read more>>

Evelyn Funes | Owner

I am a big fan of Pinterest and all these DIY ideas for parties. I did my son’s first birthday back in 2013?and realized how much work goes into creating these types of parties that you see on that platform, so my business concept started as me wanting to offer help and Decor ideas for moms that wanted to create Pinterest worthy parties on a budget. Soon after my business took a turn towards the concession Stations and that’s what grew in my community. Offering a service that not a lot of vendors were doing at the time and we would match their event colors and theme in our setup. Read more>>

Vanessa Valenzuela | Business Owner & Curator

For a lack of better words, I didn’t really have one! Owning a business is something I’ve always dreamt of and known I’ve wanted to do. I grew up watching my parents own their own respective businesses, so being able to watch them lead by example was just always so inspiring and motivating. They taught me the value of hard work and to always stay genuine to myself. I’m just so grateful I can find success in an industry I am truly passionate about and get to share that with the community. Read more>>

Vanessa Abron | Creative Consultant & CEO of Agency Abron

Right before I started my business, I was working at a company that wasn’t working out. However, at the time, I wasn’t sure what my next move would be. A little voice in my head kept telling me to start my business, but it seemed super scary and overwhelming. Honestly, I didn’t feel confident that I was capable enough to start a business. I was battling imposter syndrome, I guess one would say. Yet, the voice was loud, clear, and repetitive. So, after leaving the company I was at, I started freelancing while also interviewing for jobs. Throughout my job hunting process, I landed several interviews, but none of the roles felt right. Read more>>

Veronica Potes | Event Planner, Media Promoter, & Photo-Journalist

I combined my passion for art, photography, writing, travel, and concerts/events. I enjoy expressing myself through a creative outlet by event and travel journalism, taking and editing photos, and creating events. I collaborated with artists to promote the local music scene in my area by curating concerts and themed events. I hosted these events at breweries, bars, and venues which featured music of various genres from Alternative Rock, Punk Rock, Indie Rock, and Pop music. I helped bringing musicians to perform in South Florida from various cities such as Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, Denton, Texas and the West and East Coast of Florida. Read more>>

Samantha March | Influencer & Business Owner

I decided to start creating my brand By Samantha March after I ran an online challenge in August 2019 that was focused around healthy habits. I was starting to become focused on how to change my life for the better, and because I was already a social media influencer with a platform, I thought maybe people would want to join me. It exceeded my expectations, especially as a beauty-focused influencer, and I realized so many others were putting an emphasis on creating lives that they loved. October 2019 I started putting together my business plan. Read more>>

Robert Manni | Author, host of radio, podcast and YouTube shows

Prior to my moving to San Diego, for many years I worked in advertising In NYC. I always wanted to write a book, create my own brand, and launch a business that helped people. But I needed the idea. When I looked around at what was happening in our culture. I realized there’s never been a better time for men to be whoever they want to be. Yet, it’s also a time where it’s never been less clear who men really are. So I began writing my book… Read more>>

Jessica Godinez | Owner/CEO of Ositos Chili Gummies

I started Ositos Chili Gummies as a side hustle after I gave birth to my first baby. It was a way for me to make some extra cash on the side to help with expenses. Read more>>

Gretchen Roscoe | Pilates teacher, NCPT, CRT, RCP

There was never a formal process to the start of my business. In March of 2020 our work place was shut down and we all went home, like so many others. I had Pilates equipment in my home that I purchased for myself to use so I could keep up with my practice, maybe do a few workshops. It was never to start a home studio. A former student of mine reached out one random day and said she knew I had equipment at home and could she come over and pay me for a private training session. My first response? Sure! Read more>>

Mariel Santiago | Sex, Love & Relationship Coach for Women

I was let go from my corporate job in 2019. For the first time in my life I wasn’t bound by visa restrictions. I’m from the UK and my entire ten year career in Australia was restricted by visa and the kind of roles I could legally do to stay in the country. I felt like I was living my life with a big thumb on my head pushing me down. Whilst I was semi-successful in those confines I always felt like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. I knew I was meant for more and had a ton of passion to pour into my career but I just didn’t know what that looked like or how to do it. Read more>>

Symone Swain | Executive Chef and Owner

The thought process behind starting my own business was, How can I give back, my way? This is so much bigger than me. Read more>>

Roman Lane | Music Producer, Songwriter, ADDY & 2X EMMY Award Winner.

It’s always been about capitalizing on momentum. For each service I’ve started whether film production & editing, website design, music production, or songwriting – I always focused quality first. Each of these markets are widely over-saturated. Quality comes form understanding your “why” and also refining how you get the job done. Once you have solved that, selling quality is easy, because you don’t have to “sell” anything. You simply outreach, and provide value. And that’s always at the center of my services no matter the industry or medium. Read more>>

Saul Sugarman | Writer, Apparel Designer, Event Planner

I hated my job so much that I started drinking a lot. I made a lot of friends quickly, and soon bars noticed, asking me to bring groups into their venues. So we struck a deal, and I needed more apparel to be seen in. I became known for bright, flashy, sparkly outfits with lots of sequins. A venue offered to throw my birthday party one year, and I wanted to go as a disco ball. Not being able to find a disco helmet, I found a DIY tutorial on Instructables for making one. My friend suggested I opened an Etsy, and “Sparkles by Saul” was born. Read more>>

Clare Mabin | Founder of ClaroBar and outdoor bod

After years working for large corporates in the tech industry, I decided I needed a change. I wanted to be happy and do something that was meaningful to me, to create a business that truly represented my values and passions – and not just work for a pay cheque. In order for this to happen I needed my business to focus on health and sustainability. Read more>>

Hazey Lioness | Cannabis Photographer

With business comes discipline, and without it you will set yourself behind. I thought I would just have an idea and it would just sell itself. People put trust in others so you need to trust yourself to push forward. Your business is successful with consistency and that is something you learn along the way. My thought process started in one direction but with time all things change. So along with adjusting my process, I knew I had to connect my business to everyday people, and everyday life. This went for every business idea I started and continue to move forward with. Read more>>

Sean Starky | Gear Nerd

No one would employee me so I decided to employee myself. Read more>>

Cherise Klosner | Wedding Officiant

Before going full time with my officiating business I was working as a dental assistant for a rapidly growing practice. Officiating had been more of a side hustle but I never dreamed that I could take it any further. Once the pandemic happened it gave me the opportunity to pause from my 9-5 to be home with my kids while they finished the school year remotely. During that time I helped a few happy couples who, like most, had to cancel their big traditional wedding and opt for an elopement. I had no idea how many couples were actually looking to hire an officiant and word spread quickly about my business. Read more>>

Mayra Gutierrez | Designer

I’ve always had a Dream of starting my own business and becoming my own boss. I’ve always been creative, and love designing. Growing up I was always into fashion and dressing up. At the beginning I wasn’t sure what business I wanted to pursue because I like women’s dresses, lingerie and bikinis. But I love going to the Beach, so I decide to start my swimwear brand. Starting a business is quite a challenge since I am the designer but also the process that goes into owning your brand; sketching, designing, choosing fabrics, fittings and seeing the final product in production. Read more>>