Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder. We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Adriana Sandoval | Owner & Creator

I didn’t want to get stuck in a niche. I was always told I need to do 1 thing and stick to that, so I had to figure out how to be “1 niche” but still be able to do just about everything creative wise. So I re-branded and my business is for Weddings & Milestones- whatever this may mean to someone we have got them covered. It was important for me that my business had a category to fit into but still be very versatile. Read more>>

Sam Marsey | Musician

Making the decision to commit to a full time music career happened in stages. I started out gigging around town playing in restaurants and lounges as well as teaching private lessons and working as a sales person at a music retail store. It was a nice mix of incomes but after a while I was getting tired of switching gears all the time and I knew that I would rather be playing and teaching than working the sales job. So I did the math to figure out how many gigs/lessons a month I would need to maintain in order to make roughly the same amount of money. Over a few months I worked to find new performance opportunities and marketed myself to find more private students and once I had the ratio dialed in I left the music store. Read more>>

Abril Echavarria | Mexican Food Blogger and Recipe Creator

A few years after arriving from Mexico to San Diego, I found it harder and harder to reconcile between the idea of Mexican Food in the USA and the food I grew up eating in Mexico. In my mind, there had to be a better way of bringing Authentic Mexican Food to the palates of thousands and thousands of confused Sandiegans and Californians, who in my opinion, had a misleading notion of Mexico and its food. I mean, the ingredients were there, accessible to anyone in most stores and markets, there was virtually nothing in the way between American people and good old Mexican flavors, so then, why was it so hard to find reliable places or foods here in the United States that symbolically represented what Mexico is really about? Read more>>

Tina Sullivan | Life Coach for Moms

It all started when I struggled with depression as a new Mom. Simple things made me anxious, angry, and paralyzed… My emotions overwhelmed me. I didn’t know who to talk to. I wanted help, and I wanted to get better. Be better. I didn’t know where to start. Therapists told me I didn’t have enough trauma to work with them. Spiritual directors told me to pray more. I was lost. Could anyone help me? It took two full years before I tried medication. I was at an all-time low when this happened, and I knew that it was going to take a complete mindset shift to overcome the lies I believed for so long. I chose to work through each thought as they came, to love God in each decision, and to take small, courageous steps. Read more>>

Shelly and Desi Phegley and McKinnon | Co-Founders of Cordial Organics

We began Cordial Organics because it seemed like a great idea that we felt inspired by. Essentially, California was about to legalize marijuana in November of 2016. We noticed that most of the marijuana related brands were marketing to the stoner culture or, the branding was on the pure medicinal as in on the sterile side of things. We saw a large group of people with discretionary income being left behind. We started growing plants and processing the THC into medicinal tinctures. Moms across the state were really loving our tinctures especially around dinner time when the kids were cranky. When we started stepping into dispensaries to pitch our product, we were asked where the CBD tincture was. CBD? CBD? We had heard a little bit about the molecule CBD derived and decided to do some more research.

Valentine Viannay | Artist, Gallerist

At first I didn’t think much about where I was going. I never was much of a strategist but more of an opportunist. Now it is still true that if I see a door, something new and different, I will jump for it and my enthusiasm will figure it out when I get there. I know I am good at what I do and therefore the work will take me from A to Z. I have been in San Diego since 2001, I arrived one month after 911. Obviously that was not in the plans. Before that I was leaving in London doing very traditional murals and faux finishes. A friend of a friend hired me to paint their home in San Diego. It was in my mind my brush skills that brought me here. Read more>>