Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Edith Perez | Digital Content Creator

I like the idea of making a difference in the world and creating my own mark. I am a great believer in pursuing one’s passions, achieving financial independence, and having the freedom to control one’s lifestyle and schedule. Being an independent woman since an early age has empowered me to able to support myself and my single mother, who has been my greatest motivation. I have learned to value things like hard work and stay motivated to achieve goals. I hope my determination and passion can one day create something that would last longer than my lifetime. Read more>>

Christian Karayannides | Co-founder, Good Sunday

Growing up working for start-ups and with dedicated entrepreneurs, Dylan and I caught the bug early. The long days, stress, anxiety and general “unknown”…sign us up! We always knew we wanted to own our own business, it was just a matter of what and when. After a Saturday night out with friends, lot’s of alcoholic beverages consumed and a rough Sunday morning, Good Sunday was born. After looking back at what we drank that night, we had no idea what was in these cans. Read more>>

Shelby June | Film & Portrait Photographer

I always dreamed of being my own boss, and I one day decided to make it a reality. I’ve found so much more freedom and creativity once I allowed myself to get the courage to pursue my dreams as an independent freelance photographer. What really pushed me in that direction was traveling, and meeting people who use their skills to financially support themselves as they traveled. I wanted that, I wanted to travel the world without a return flight. I began this process by traveling between northern California and Southern California, opening the doorway for me to become a destination photographer. Read more>>

Danielle Gronich | CEO of CLEARSTEM Skincare & san Diego Acne Clinic

My thought process was to take everything I learned about acne and apply it to a skincare line. I have studied biology, genetics, and immunology throughout my education and struggled with skin for over a decade, which led me to found San Diego Acne Clinic. After clearing thousands of people without toxic medications I knew we could distill my process into a skincare line, so a former patient and I co-founded CLEARSTEM Skincare. We focus on education and make skincare that is both anti-aging and anti-acne at the same time, with no toxins. Read more>>

Sophie / Stephanie Santiago | Small Business Owner

Our thought on starting our own business was to just do it for fun and to be a part of the small business community. We really enjoyed learning through personal projects and making gifts for the family. We started creating personalized items that we knew would be looked back on and cherished forever. Quickly our hobby grew into making crafts for family & friends, then eventually we decided to open our own Etsy shop; The Crafting Twins! Read more>>

Veronica Chavez | Holistic Entrepreneur, Mom, & Artist

We started our small business to spread our love of organic and natural products that can be accessible to anyone. We were inspired to make our products after realizing how many chemicals we were exposing to our children and ourselves. Read more>>

James Benvenuto | Co-owner of Gaia Earth Treasures

Our mother, Linda Lawler, originally opened Gaia Earth Treasures in 2008 but it had closed at the start of the pandemic. She made efforts to move to an online platform and keep the business running, but it never fully kick off. The store was closed for about a year when our mom passed away in July 2021. At that point the business was going to be put up for sale. My brother, Steven, and I decided that the best way to honor our mom would be to re-open. Read more>>

Raeez White | Afrikaans and debating teacher, writer, volunteering and social change activist.

Saying Awe’ is probably the most South African experience, after Pap and Broerwors. Aged 12, I remember asking my mother why Afrikaans Slang is not a part of our 11 official languages, she responded in saying Raeez, you weren’t born saying awe, your father taught you that’. To many South Africans the word is a positive greeting. To my Coloured or Khoisan people, it is a greeting, its a laughter, a yes, a smile, or a sigh or intimidation. It all depends on the facial expression, over used? It is one of the few words we call part of our language. Read more>>

Tuba Sapanli | Serial Entrepreneur Turned into Growth Agency Owner

After getting my MBA backed up with my business and psychology double degree, I started working for International Companies as a Business Development Manager. Wherever I worked, people always thought I was either a partner or owned that company, that’s just how I operated. 10 years later it was time for me to do “business development” for my own ideas. I started up 5 companies from scratch and succeeded in 3 of them. I couldn’t help it, even in the most unrelated conversations with anyone, I find myself telling the person how they can grow their business by using which tools, with X amount of budget and X amount of ROI. Read more>>