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.

Allison Fender | Cattle Rancher

Flying F Ranch was born out of the desire to produce locally raised beef, selling directly from our multi-generation cattle operation to our friends and family. We have consistently had locals reaching out to us to purchase beef for many years. However, beef direct wasn’t given much thought until recently. My family has operated the ranch as a “cow-calf” business for decades. This means the cow raises a calf yearly to the “weaning stage” of 8-10 months of age. At that time, the calf is weaned from the mother and sold at a local auction. The weaned calf then goes to a feed lot to be finished for beef. The cycle for us traditionally ended when we sold our weaned calves. My husband and I saw an opportunity to switch our focus to serving our neighbors and pursuing our passion of raising livestock. Being from a multi-generational cattle ranching family, and being a woman in a man’s world, makes it difficult to stray from “the way we have always done it.” However. Read more>>

Kary Radestock | CEO & Co-Founder

I was working at a major international printing company, working with Fortune 500 clients. I had over two decades in the business and was really dialed-in to the latest production techniques, packaging trends, and the industry as a whole. Then, somewhat out of the blue and within a short time span, several people had contacted us asking whether we could provide packaging for a product in the newly legalized cannabis industry. This sparked a thought in my mind. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so I started looking into the market. I found that there was an absence of quality packaging in the cannabis sector. The industry just didn’t have much packaging and design expertise to execute well on developing a brand and product line. After giving it some intense thought and discussing the idea with friends and family, I decided to jump in, and I opened Hippo Premium Packaging. Read more>>

Elodie Lilliston | Jewelry Designer

After working in the corporate world for 10 years, I felt empty, a stranger to myself. I missed the joy of creating, dreaming and being artistic. I knew I couldn’t continue or it would have been the end of me. At a young age, my teachers were telling my parents that my destiny was in the artistic, creative world….because I had too many drawings on my tests! I studied architecture with a passionate interest in interior design. I grew up by the Sea in the South of France where at one year old I was riding the waves on my father’s back. My love for the Ocean was infinite, from playing in the waves, to fishing, diving, surfing….it all led me to travel the world as a semi-professional surfer. Without a doubt, the Ocean is my drug. I can’t live without it, but I also can’t live without creating. That’s when I knew I had to go back to the 2 things I can’t live without….The Ocean and Creating. Read more>>

Nicole Meyerdierks | Shopify and Squarespace Expert & SEO Specialist

I own a website design and creative services studio! When I started my business I had just quit an untenable job where I had been treated poorly and taken advantage of. I had zero work/life balance, and I was ready to get out from under the micromanagement and cruel leadership! I sat down and examined my skillset to see what marketable skills I had that I could use to make money. I settled on offering Squarespace website design services as I had a small amount of experience building sites and had connections to other business owners that I felt I could tap into. My main thoughts when going out on my own were that: 1) I wanted control of my life and my time back, 2) I wanted to build my own dreams, not someone else’s. Eventually as my business grew I’ve been excited to use it to support other people as well. Now, my thought process about my own business is that it brings me joy to connect with amazing clients, to outsource work to incredibly talented people, and to be able to support and employ friends and family who have skills my business needs. Read more>>

Alayna Dunklin | Business Owner

SEVIIN is an orange county based children’s apparel line committed to bringing comfortable, high quality and neutral pieces for babies and toddlers. At 29 weeks I was bedridden with my first son for preterm labor and after searching countless hours for baby clothes I couldn’t help but realizes everything was filled with slogans, cars, and everything that I wasn’t in to. The simple, neutral pieces that would last couldn’t be found as easily and from there, SEVIIN was born. SEVIIN derived from the number 7 being VII in roman numerals. There are seven letters in my boys first, middle and last name; and they are my inspiration for it all. The number seven also represents positivity, happiness and perfection—it took a lot of positivity in my life to have the happiness that lead me to these two perfect blessings because for years I dealt with the possibility of not being able to have kids, endometriosis, thyroid disease, pre-term labor and high risk pregnancies all at the age of 24 (currently 26 now); which led me to this very moment. My boys have been my motivation and reason for everything. Read more>>

Jodi Watson

My husband has started and sold two coffee businesses. His first was a direct-to-consumer coffee business, selling subscriptions of direct trade coffee to consumers and businesses. During this process, he noticed that one of the biggest problems was that re-ordering coffee was a very time-based solution vs. a use-based solution. You either ended up with too much or too little coffee, and as you likely know, running out of coffee on a Sunday morning can be an emergency! I have a background in subscriptions and a degree in human-centered design, and when my husband talked about this problem and his recommended solution, I got really excited because we knew that this could provide a great solution to consumers. He and his business partners developed a “smart” solution to predict when you’ll run out of coffee, solely based on your consumption, and then prompt you to repurchase or replenish prior to running out – just when you’ll run out, so that you never run out and also so that you get to enjoy it at its peak freshness. Read more>>

Anais Muñoz | Esthetician & Cosmetologist

It has been a journey of many moments of reflection on how I can bring to life the concept and space I’ve been envisioning in my heart. Being from Tijuana, studying and working in San Diego is not an uncommon lifestyle for many who grow up in this geographic point. It always has felt like I’m from both places but last year was really crucial when it came to decision making. One important question I kept asking myself was: “Where are you going to build it?” Not only because Spanish is my first language, but because I have a deep connection with the city that grew up in and my home, it had to be Tijuana. I’ve always been a dreamer and an advocate for self-care, for that same reason I have imagined for a long period of time a place for my community to take a step back from the fast-paced environment, to ground and feel worthy of the time to tune in with themselves. I’m also very passionate about skin and beauty rituals, I’ve worked in the beauty industry for over 6 years and felt that it is important to pass on the knowledge that the uplifting feeling we all get after a skin therapy session is not a dream, and shouldn’t be exclusive to that unique moment, but something we can take with us and practice every day. Read more>>

Irina Telyukova | Meditation and Yoga Teacher, Reiki Practitioner

Hidden Discipline is the product of the pandemic. I was already a yoga and meditation teacher when the lockdown in California started, and I was focusing on yoga for healing in particular with my project Yoga Beyond Cancer. In March 2020, I realized first that I better dig deeper than ever into my own meditation practice to sustain myself through the sudden and dramatic shifts happening in the world. Soon after that, I started to receive requests to lead online meditation sessions, so I began running weekly free livestream meditation sessions from home. This has become a permanent feature of my business, and I still run those free meditation sessions. The name Hidden Discipline came to me from a poem a couple of years ago, and I finally brought it to life in a website in the fall of 2020. My main goal is to teach people how to be well in the moment, no matter life’s circumstances, by accessing their own healing power. Whether someone is dealing with illness, stress and uncertainty, or a journey of personal transformation, simple tools like meditation can help you be well. Read more>>

Joey Da’Mauro | Photographer/ Film Director/ Comedian

Essentially I felt as if I should monetize my talents. I felt as if I can make more money using my talents then I could working for someone else. Read more>>

HowFlyy | Recording Artist / Song-Writer And Entrepreneur

I was thinking Jay-Z and Diddy. How can I transfer my music into a fully fledged business model? I studied what they did and realized music is just a step to a higher platform to do more things. I want to be an icon and leave a lasting impression not only through music but every avenue of entertainment. Read more>>

Jack Ward | Owner of Three Pines Wood Co.

I have always liked working with my hands. When I was younger, I would help my dad wrench on cars and build things out of wood. When I was entering high school, I found out it offered wood shop. I was immediately hooked and my passion is woodworking took off. It was there, I started to learn to design and build furniture. I got a tremendous amount of satisfaction seeing my designs come to life. With that passion, and my strong entrepreneurial spirit, I decided to start my woodworking business. I have found that I love collaborating on wood projects with my clients. It makes every project unique, challenging and very enjoyable. Read more>>

Rachel Galati | Hair Stylist

After spending most of my career working in a commission salon. I wanted more control over my schedule, who sits in my chair, what products I supported and to spend more time focusing on my guest experience. As someone highly sensitive and extremely introverted I needed my schedule to support the energy I needed to show up for my people. And I couldn’t do that working for someone else. Read more>>

Temi Hason | Founder of A Musical Home & Cellist & Musical Theatre Performer

I love inspiring people! That’s why I studied Musical Theatre, Cello and Music Education. A Musical Home is a result of all three backgrounds coming together having the same goal: Inspiring people, changing lifes. Read more>>

Honeey Kay | Hair Stylist

I didn’t really set out with the intention of starting a hair business – I simply have always cared about how my hair looked. People would always compliment me on how nice my hair looked and I always felt better about myself when my hair was done. Then I realized other people feel the same. So I decided that I wanted to help other women feel their best by making wigs and installing them. My mission is to help all women feel as beautiful as they really are. Read more>>

Dr Shannon Irvine | Brain Based Mindset Expert & Business Strategist

The biggest thought was that entrepreneurs needed the solution to building a mindset that can be successful the right way. Limiting beliefs, imposter syndrome, overwhelm, procrastination & perfectionism stop amazing people from building the business of their dreams. My Neurocoaching model ™️ Gives them the GPS to how their brain wires success and how to neutralize and erase those brain based blocks so that they can flip their brains success switch on. I knew this method needed to get in the hands of as many entrepreneurs as possible so they could see their dreams come to life. Read more>>

Sabastiani Leon | Founder of Nintai Tea

I’ve always been surrounded by tea. Growing up, my family would drink hot tea with every meal. In college, I would drink caffeinated tea to stay up for those late night study sessions. It wasn’t until recent that I developed a stronger appreciation for tea when I started traveling internationally for work. I found it fascinating that every country had their own way of brewing this aromatic beverage. The one memorable experience was a trip to China a few years ago. I had discovered blooming tea. In the form of a tea ball, consumers can steep the blooming tea in a clear teapot and watch the ball unravel into a beautiful flower. While attending high school, the popularity of bubble milk tea boomed in California. Originating from Taiwan, the authentic bubble milk tea consisted of black tea, milk, sugar, and tapioca pearls. Over time, bubble tea shops opened and made many variations of the popular drink, favored by the younger generation. Read more>>

SAINTFMG | Recording Artist

My thought process, well after working and getting fired from a few jobs I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone. Before I was able to work I always told my family I want to be wealthy and own my own and not have to answer to no one. Read more>>

Janine Davis | Digital Media Qwn | CoHost and CoFounder of The Tea with Qwns Podcast

The Tea With Qwns podcast started from the realization that the people that were giving advice to 20-somethings, were usually white, didn’t have the same background as we did and were not going through the same struggles. As mixed women of color, we did not feel that there was someone in media – especially in the podcast industry – that looked like us or had the same life experiences as we did. We wanted to create the Tea With Qwns podcast to serve as a safe space and community for people who are not usually represented in mainstream media to share their stories and have candid conversations about issues that matter to us and the Qwndom. Read more>>

Brigitta Trumper | Small Business Owner, Niche Collection of Home Fragrances & Custom Jewelry

If you asked me 10 years ago if I would be running my own business, I would have said no way! I have always worked in the corporate world and enjoyed it. I never saw myself quitting my job and pursuing a creative career. Chestnut and Fig was born in 2012 after being encouraged by friends to showcase my creative talents. Before I knew it, I was following my heart and pursuing my dream career. My original vision for Chestnut and Fig was to create unique and bespoke gift boxes. I have a passion for gift giving and pride myself on elevating others gift giving needs. Starting a business from scratch is not for the faint of heart. Early on I realized how much time and energy goes into getting a business started. I knew that owning my own business would take passion, dedication and time. Being a small business owner requires you to be involved in all aspects of your business. This includes, creative director, marketing director, bookkeeper, social media expert, tax preparer, website guru…I think you get where I’m going with this. Read more>>

Eleanor Turner | Founder & CEO, The Big Favorite

The Big Favorite was one of 5 companies that my great grandfather owned during the ’30s through the ’60s. They made reliable American workwear for hardworking Americans sold in corner stores across the country. In the 50s, he saw the industry transitioning overseas, and knew he would not be able to compete for long. So he sold the holdings to Dickies in the early ’60s where they absorbed the brands, and integrated the supply chain. Fast forward a few generations when I found a button in my dad’s basement that said “The Big Favorite.” He explained what it was. At the time, I was in school studying fashion at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and was just finding out that textiles and manufacturing were in my blood. I absolutely loved the name, so I put it in my back pocket. Fast forward through 10 years in fashion at companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, and J.Crew, and then co-founding women’s workwear brand, Argent. Read more>>

Danielle Harrington | Author & Chemistry Teacher

It was daunting, but exciting! I enjoy learning new things and learning from my mistakes. Starting up a website, a newsletter, and an active social media platform was a challenge, but worth the time and effort. I’m having so much fun discovering what kind of content I love to make and what attracts new readers (and friends). The writing community is full of amazing creatives, and it’s been a pleasure diving into that world. The best advice I got when starting this venture was: YOU are your brand, not your book. So while my business is currently geared toward my YA dystopian book series, it’s also geared toward getting to know me and my passions. I’m taking a more holistic approach to my business. And I’ve found I’ve attracted quite an audience just being myself. Read more>>

Savannah Dupin | Holistic Health & Wellness Coach

After going through my own weight loss journey & realizing how significantly that weight loss impacted every area of my life, I wanted to empower other women to do the same. There are so many weight loss programs out there & yet very few of them are teaching women to love & care for themselves as they are right now. I believe this love & acceptance for yourself is the key to sustainable & healthy weight loss and it’s important to me that other women can experience that. Read more>>

Jodie Alonso | P.R & Events

Local & small businesses are so important to our economy & to the vibrancy of an area. Having grown up working in my parents sandwich bar in England I know the importance & also the hard work that goes into running your own business. I have always been an entrepreneur and so when we stumbled across San Diego & settled here with our family I recognised a gap in the market for a bazaar that also helps to promote local small businesses. The P.R & Social media side of my business evolved after people saw how I was promoting the bazaars so successfully & I then started doing the same for them. Read more>>

Dylan Tran | Photographer and Filmmaker

When I started my photography business I never knew it could lead me to many opportunities to collaborate with some people I didn’t know who would work with me. Because I started pursuing photography and filmmaking in high school which was in 2018. It was tough figuring out what to create and finding ideas that could work into my own image making it into reality. But after a while of understanding what design and editing I want in my photos I knew that it could fit my personality and creativity. When you start something that you love to do, you expect the unexpected of yourself believing you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. But the main point is to work hard to chase your dream, never doubt yourself and meet new people because you never know what kind of impact it could affect your life. Read more>>

Kerri McManus | Career & Life Purpose Coach

Having worked in the entertainment industry and then in higher education, where I counselled students entering into various areas of communications and media arts, I found that many students and young professionals felt lost or stuck as they moved through some of the major life challenges that many of us face. Education can provide wonderful resources for your career path, but doesn’t always address how your career fits into the rest of your life or how to navigate change in the workforce. I wanted to help bridge the gap for young creatives and to help them create strategies that can bring all aspects of their life together in greater harmony. Read more>>

Beth Dana | Financial Educator, Coach, Author & Humanitarian

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and began finding ways to make money at an early age. Creativity as always played a big part in my entrepreneurial endeavors. However, what really sparked my interest in the business I have today was after being in the financial industry for about 5 years, and recognizing the feminine, heart-centered approach to the industry was missing, and in my own journey in my relationship with money, and the lack of financial education and empowerment we have in the world, led me to where I am today. It was actually a very beautiful, healing journey for myself to get where I am today. Entrepreneurship is a best personal development teacher! During my time in the financial industry, I would sit with many people and share financial education with them, basic fundamental concepts that we all should be learning in school. They would get excited about learning financial education, to then question why they never heard of these concepts before, and many people would become skeptical. Read more>>

Rachele DeMeo | Founder & Instructor at Belle Terre Academy | Published Author | YouTuber | Speaker | President of The AATF (American Association of Teachers of French) of San Diego | Founder / Director /President of FLAM San Diego

After teaching elementary, middle school & high school and lastly 9 years at 3 different local colleges, I saw how the educational system didn’t always teach what students needed but rather but the institution thought they should learn. Students weren’t getting real-life applications in all types of courses including the subject I’ve taught most of my life: my native language of French. Outside of starting my own online school, Belle Terre Academy, I started regularly working on YouTube videos (I also use them within my online French courses). I had already created some videos for my students: lessons for learning French but also showing them everyday life in French-speaking places. The students loved the videos. After realizing I was getting some views and wasn’t monetizing my content, I was encouraged (by my husband) to become a YouTuber. It’s a commitment as you have to regularly post YouTube videos. It was (and still is) a learning curve but I do enjoy it. So a couple of years ago, I started posting 2-3 videos a week. Read more>>

Jennifer Bowker | Florist

I have always wanted to work for myself. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time. Over the years I’ve worked in a couple different boutique flower shops and while I enjoyed it so much (and learned a ton) I wanted to be able to make my floral arrangements and creations completely mine. I wanted to have full control over every aspect of my designs and business. I wanted to have complete creative freedom. It took me quite some time to get over the initial fear and hesitation of starting my own business. I hate failing and I also don’t love putting myself out there for people to criticize my work. I am extremely happy that I pushed through all those fears and finally started my business. I have obviously never started a business before so there has been quite a bit of learning going on. It’s a lot of trial and error. Sometimes It can get kind of annoying and frustrating but definitely worth it. I recommend anyone thinking about starting their own business to. Read more>>

Ashley Harpst | Registered Dietitian

I am an athlete and I am passionate about nutrition. Starting my own sports nutrition counseling business was a great way to combine both passions. Read more>>

PK Walters | Designer, Creator and Builder of PK BIJOUX

There really wasn’t a thought process that would result in PK BIJOUX as a business. It truly happened organically. I originally started making jewelry for myself because I was disappointed in the offerings from the top couture designers and felt I could make some unique and fabulous. My friends then wanted me to rebuild their couture jewelry and from there recognition came from social media, stores etc. And before I knew it, a business was formed. Read more>>