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.

Steve Torres | Portrait Photographer.

My thought process was working for myself and not for somebody else, Even though I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy, I knew it would be worth it, so I was willing to do whatever it takes to grow my business. Read more>>

Rachelle Krelle | Realtor at RK Homes Group/EXP Realty

When it came to me starting my own business I always had the ambition to do it, however knew it was always going to be a struggle for me to get started and be successful. I am diagnosed Epileptic, and a single mother so there were many hurdles in my way each day in the way of me reaching my goal. Read more>>

Coach Dee | President Scorpions Elite

Starting a team has been an aspiration of mine for a few years; I can say that watching my kids play and wanting them to play with people who are like them and from where they live inspired me. When I say from where they live, I mean the same neighborhoods and area. Read more>>

Charlie Christensen | Business Owner & Aspiring Singer-Songwriter

C Surf Co. is the surf-inspired clothing brand that I created to innovate the surf fashion industry as well as create a community that empowers people on their journey of self-growth, healing, and love. After struggling with anxiety and depression for many years, I discovered a new passion and healthy outlet in surfing. Read more>>

Bree Rice | Graphic Designer – Letters, Brand Identity, & Print Designer

I made the leap from agency life to full-time freelance in November of 2019. I had been thinking about it for awhile and saving up. I don’t have any dependents and figured there would never actually be a perfect time, so then felt as good of a time as any. My biggest issue at the agency was that I needed to physically be at my desk everyday. Read more>>

Abby & Annelyse Cooper & Demuch | Co Event Producers

The first and foremost reason behind starting Fever Dream was because we recognized a lack of spaces for queer women and nonbinary people. We wanted to create a safe and inclusive space for the girls, gays, and theys to feel comfortable and confident. Starting an event planning company was the logical thing to do, especially since both of us thrive when working for ourselves rather than working for other people. Read more>>

Krystin Withers | Certified Dog Trainer & Mom

Having my own business has been a goal of mine since before I separated from the Navy in 2011. Back then, I thought I would open a ceramic painting studio. I used the GI Bill to get my Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business and have developed a couple of business ideas throughout the years. Read more>>

Barbara Bucher | Photographer/Sole Proprietor

I honestly never thought about starting my own business until 3 years ago. I had been an educator or involved in education for my entire professional career. It was during the last part of my career, while teaching preschool, that I was encouraged to share my photography with the public and others outside of my inner circle of family and friends. Read more>>

Anastas Urdanivia | Shaka Hammox Co. CEO

Entrepreneurship has always been a huge part of our lives. From a very young age, both of the Shaka Hammox founders have been fascinated with business. From researching popular brands, to keeping up with the trends, to reading about the journeys of many different entrepreneurs, we have loved it. Read more>>

Jesse Brennan | Executive Board, Director of External and Member Relations

We saw a gap in both knowledge and access to the music industry. As more and more artists are expected to be able to produce their own music and know and understand music recording software to just get their foot in the door, it becomes harder for someone passionate about music to start. Read more>>

Endrea Kosven | Branding & Marketing Consultant

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent, since my father and grandfather had run a successful auto repair and wholesale parts business in Los Angeles, so I always felt that eventually I would have my own business. Also having a strong creative side inherited from my mother, I had felt confined by the limitations of working in the corporate environment, so after working at the uniform company, I decided one day to quit and start my own shop! Read more>>

Shawn Vitale | Dance Instructor & Owner of AfterHours Dance Studio

My thought process behind starting AfterHours Dance Studio came from a sadness of missing the dance studio that trained me, Jimmie Defore Dance Center. In 2017, I was talking with a friend about how much we missed having a place for adults to dance in Orange County. Read more>>

Jeni Becht | CEO- Fido Fizzies

I had a 6 pound Yorkie that was having serious skin issues from food allergies. He had welts that were red and bleeding and the multiple vets kept testing things. I tested some things on my own and gave him colloidal oatmeal-rich baths and the sores were healing up and he was itching less. I then perfected it in a way it was easy to use and fun and soothing for him and I to use. My husband was an Amazon seller so after some research, there was know one on Amazon selling this type of product so we bootstrapped something together and got it out to market. Read more>>

Briana Gallo | International Photographer/Travel Guide

Since I can remember I had a camera in my hand and have always loved to travel. I live for the moments where I can immerse myself completely in a new culture. About 15 years ago I started working as an international photographer and a photo philanthropist. I worked in Cuba, Honduras, Vietnam, Europe, New Orleans, Spain, Ethiopia and Nepal. Each experience has inspired me to search for those communities where there is a story to be told. Read more>>

Kenya McGuire Johnson | Artist & Certified Health, Wellness and Mindset Coach

I’ve always desired flexibility and I constantly have creative ideas in my mind as it relates to entrepreneurship. The first business I started was my music business as a singer/songwriter and honestly it was birthed out of necessity more than anything. I believe most people don’t understand that being an artist is in fact being a business owner. Read more>>

Heather Cullen-Martinez | LUV Nutrition Co-Owner

We saw a need in the community, and we knew we could provide it. Healthy “fast food” options, healthy energy options, and an amazing LUV’ing vibe. Not only will you feel amazing from our drinks, but you will feel amazing from the energy of our space. Read more>>

James Gann | Real estate investor and non-profit CEO and founder

I started my first real estate business in 2010 with the intention to be able to support me and my family so that I could be in full time ministry and not require a paycheck from the church. I had my degree in architecture so I loved designing new things or taking something that was dated and reimagining it, but I also loved the opportunity to evaluate and invest in things that had incredible, though possibly hidden, future value. Read more>>

Danny Trifone | Meditation and Breathwork Instructor

We all experience psychological suffering to some degree, whether it’s stress, anxiety, depression, or something else. I firmly believe there are actions that everyone can take, and skills that everyone can build up that can make a measurable difference in how they feel. Read more>>

Sean Armendariz | Musical Instrument Repair Technician and Artist

In 2001 while I was out on a date with my soon to be wife at Universal Studios City Walk, we walked into one of the shops and saw that someone had made a lamp out of a guitar. It was badly made, falling apart, way overpriced and was obvious that someone had taken a perfectly good guitar and chopped it up to make a lamp. Read more>>

Lauren Katz | Jewelry Designer

Even though my business started out as a hobby, I knew I wanted individuals to have access to high-quality, affordable jewelry that they could essential wear forever. Jewelry has always been special to me and my family since I have many timeless heirlooms that have been worn and passed down from generation to generation. I wanted to give people the opportunity to not only enjoy a particular piece of jewelry today, but for years to come. Read more>>