Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Jacquelyn Kazas | Owner and Lead Designer of Beijos Events

I started my business with my friends Leah and Abby after my own wedding in 2012. My wedding planner was Tori Hendrix of Sitting in a Tree who sadly passed away in 2016. She inspired me to begin my business and helped introduce me to fellow creatives in the industry. I had so much fun with my own wedding and love being creative so it was the perfect career change. Since starting Beijos we have expanded into kid parties, corporate events, and content creation for a variety of companies. We also have a lifestyle blog to showcase our creative abilities on all fronts. Read more>>

Natalie May | Owner of The Mopping Duck

My thought process was OK, I don’t have a product to sell so I need to figure out what service I can provide. I wanted to be able to still keep my full time office job at the time and I also didn’t want to invest a lot of money upfront. So after a couple of months of research I decided to start an office cleaning business. It was the perfect schedule for me. I worked on my business at nights and weekends and still kept my day job. Also it didn’t require any big investment just a vacuum, a few cleaning products and some rugs. Voila! Read more>>

Charlotte Frank | Veterinarian

The idea for Paws 4 Shots was actually brought to me by a colleague and close friend in the industry. She took her dog to a doggy daycare to keep him occupied whilst she worked long hours. She saw an opportunity to bring mandatory vet care (vaccines and flea preventatives) directly to the doggy daycares of San Diego., and there are many! At the time I had been working for Petco at their vaccine clinics for a decade and knew exactly how to take that model to the next level and turn a vaccine clinic into a high end preventative pet care clinic. The timing was terrible though! I had 2 young daughters, one only an infant, but I realized that this was a niche that needed to be filled and if I didn’t do it, someone else would. I did not want to lose the opportunity, and watch someone else run with this idea, and so Paws 4 Shots was born. Read more>>

Tracy-Lyn Habig | Fiber Artist

I started Rustics by TL very organically, in that I wasn’t really looking to start a business. I wanted to learn how to macrame for myself because I was really craving a creative outlet. It was a big change for me to go from being very career driven to choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. For many stay-at-home parents, you can begin to feel a little lost at first when you give up your career. My career had defined who I was my whole life. Now who was I? Did I go to college to do laundry and dishes all day? For some people, being a parent is enough. For me, I needed something more, something that was just for me. As I started to create things for my family, I had friends asking to buy things so it just made sense for me. I started off really slow and to be honest, I wasn’t very good. But it was filling me up in a way that I wasn’t getting before. Read more>>

Melissa Allen | Active Life Company Co-Founder/ Creators of Kovr All-Natural Sunscreen

One day our puppy, Bodie, began licking the top of my husband, Lonnie’s, head. So much so that it made us take notice. This resulted in an appointment with a dermatologist, and what turned out to be Basal Cell Carinoma. From that point on, it was never an option to skip sunscreen. Melissa works in the health and fitness industry, and so recognized the importance of preventative care, but always had a hard time finding sunscreen that felt good when sweating. Then one day Melissa got the idea to make a sunscreen for active people. But it would also need to be safe for the environment as well as the person wearing it, and not tested on animals. And that is how the concept for Kovr All Natural Sunscreen was born. Read more>>

Tracy Gold | Founder of Midlife Tech Geek

I have had this business idea for quite some time, but with our escalating dependance on technology due to COVID-19, it seemed to be the right time to start Midlife Tech Geek. Many people over the age of 40. who are now out of a job or have an existing business that needs to move online, struggle with the move, because they don’t know how. Midlife Tech Geek is about taking the frustration out of technology and teaching people to use it as a powerful tool and have fun doing it. Read more>>

Diana Elledge | Pet Photographer

A camera has been hanging around my neck since early childhood. Although I have been a professional freelance cellist for many years and have been employed by an educational music publisher for over three decades, photography has remained my passion. I have always wanted to pursue photography beyond the amateur level for a very long time. Yet, I wasn’t able to put my finger on exactly the best avenue to explore. Alongside my love for photography, I love animals, especially dogs and cats. I grew up with dogs in my family and I currently have 2 cats who are in charge of the household! A couple years ago, I fell into a bit of a funk…felt lost and unsure how to best pursue my passion and perhaps to a degree of earning an income. Read more>>

Mallory Haren | Wedding Photographer

I may not have been aware of it, but being an entrepreneur was modeled to me my whole life. My dad has owned his own business in downtown Encinitas for over 30 years and I grew up going to his store and watching him work. While I was in college at UC Irvine, I began my photography career, although I didn’t know it was a career at the time. It was just something I really enjoyed and had a unique passion for. After I graduated, I was about to begin my credential program when I had this realization I wanted to pursue my photography business full time. That was such a scary thought because I had always had this “plan” of being a teacher. But after much thought, I decided to take a leap of faith and start my wedding photography business. Read more>>

Larry White | Owner Operator Towing

I wanted to build a future for my children and working for someone else was not the way to go. Read more>>