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.

Karl Ziegler | Founder and Managing Partner, Concurrent Wines & Roseade USA

About 6-7 years ago, I realized how much money I was making for the owner of a wine company that I was working for as a sales director. I thought that I could skip the middle man. so to speak, and make the money for a company of my own. I have always been a driven individual and have long had the entrepreneurial bug so I got incorporated, licensed and started my company while still working for the other organization , thus the name Concurrent Wines. Read more>>

Laura Livermore | Certified Life & Success Coach, Manifestation Expert & Transformational Wellness Retreat Leader

I wanted to raise the vibration of the planet! But let me explain how I got there… I started my career in corporate, learning important leadership skills, but also leaving the day feeling stressed and overwhelmed. There came a point where I knew I was meant for something more fulfilling and less stressful, but I just didn’t know what that was yet. I started taking yoga classes that helped alleviate stress, gave me more confidence, focus and inspired me to live a healthier lifestyle. One day during savasana at the end of a sweaty yoga class, I got this clear download to do a yoga teacher training. Read more>>

Stephanie Barneburg | CEO

We’ve all heard the saying, do what you love and it’s never work. Well, I’m a little bit of a clean freak and OCD when it comes to cleaning and organization. I believe you are more productive when you have a clean working environment and everything is in its proper place. I always wanted to be my own boss, live by my own rules, and create a mark for myself. I just didn’t know in what capacity. I love the way I feel after I have everything cleaned and organized I didn’t think at all that would eventually be my business. Read more>>

Stacy Wahlgren | Owner of Blow It a Balloons

Blow It Balloons was created back in November 2021 while in my hairdressers chair! I was chatting with her and expressed how I loved any excuse to celebrate a good party and bring my passion out in customizable balloon arches/garlands! So, at that moment I created my Instagram page, scared it wouldn’t “POP” off but I figured what do I have to loose?? Skip to a year later and here I am! Truly BLESSED to have come this far and I don’t plan on stopping! I’m excited to see what the future holds for me and my business! Read more>>

Laurel Martin | Chef and Purveyor of Small Batch, Handcrafted Spice Blends and Gourmet Foods

I have always been intrigued by the thought of starting my own business, but it was really Covid that forced me to finally take the leap. I was the Director of Land-Based Food & Beverage at Catalina Express, running the restaurants in both the San Pedro and Long Beach ferry terminals, when Covid forced us to shutter my restaurants in March 2020. By June 2020 it became clear that the company wasn’t going to be reopening the land-based food service operations any time soon, so my entire department (which had been furloughed for months at that point) got laid off. Read more>>

D’jatarya, Jaida Powell, Day | D’jatarya Powell | CEO, Director/Editor, Writer, Actress, Graphic Designer & Jaida Day | CEO, Software Engineer, Dancer, UCSD B.S. Mathematics-Computer Science Alum

While D’jatarya coming from a family of entrepreneurs influenced her to carry on the traditions, Jaida’s passion to fill a need of amplifying the presence of Black students on her college campus sparked her drive to join that world. Day’s business, Black Beauty Near You — an online beauty supply that provides products for Black students at Predominantly White Institutions, equally aims to collaborate with young Black business owners. When reaching out to collaborate with Powell’s brand, issaMOODT, Read more>>

Alli Farudi | Maternity and Family Photographer

Photography has been my passion for as long as I can remember. While I didn’t major in it in college, I always took classes and remember loving those days processing film in the darkroom. And while my career path didn’t go that way for a long time it was always there filling my soul. So much so that instead of a traditional gift on my wedding day, my husband bought me my first DSLR camera. That was 11 years ago! I took that camera and spent the first year of our marriage in Brussels writing a blog and photographing everything Europe. Read more>>

Austin Chen | Founder of Best Picnic Spots

History of OC Luxury Picnics and Best Picnic Spots The concept of OC Luxury Picnics was formed during the pandemic when my sister and co-founder, Karlie, had to think of a restaurant concept for a project she was conducting for a business course at Cornell University. Her idea was to create a business model that can shy away from brick and mortar since our other small businesses suffered great losses from COVID. Read more>>

Jess Arana | Certified Placenta Arts Specialist (APPAC)

I was a stay-at-home Mom and my children were now of school age. I had been looking for something I could do with a super flexible schedule since I still needed to be available for school pick-ups, sick days, etc. It was very important to me to start a business with a purpose. I wanted to make sure, somehow, some way I was spreading love in this universe. Fast forward a few weeks, and a friend of mine calls to ask me who encapsulated my placenta.  Read more>>

Alexandra Fennell | CoFounder and Co-CEO, Attn: Grace

The concept behind Attn: Grace was born from a deeply personal place. Mia — my CoFounder and wife — had witnessed her mother navigating a host of changing needs as she was getting older, including managing bladder leaks. She was relegated to using products that contained harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances and dyes that irritated her skin. This made an already thankless condition even harder to manage and kept her from doing things that she loved – spending time with friends and family, staying active and traveling. Read more>>

Mike Alvarez | Business Owner & Operating Manager: San Diego Nightlife Tours

For the past several years the goal of San Diego Nightlife Tours has remained the same: make San Diego’s nightlife easy & fun for guests. As a company we recognized that it can be a challenge to choose which of the city’s many lively bars and nightclubs is the worthwhile decision, especially-so in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter. It’s with this in mind that we curated a list of the most popular and buzzworthy destinations. Read more>>

Tiffany Noel Orff | Welder, Welding Instructor , Founder, CEO & Host

I was not happy with the current options available as far as the environments and attitudes were concerned when teaching women and youth welding, so that was my sole concern when I opened the doors Read more>>

Jamie Kanes | designer & creative cook

A few years ago, I made holiday gifts for friends and family, as I do every year. One of the gifts I made was a hot sauce. I had found a couple recipes that I liked, combined them, tweaked them to my liking, bottled them and sent them out. I started receiving requests for refills. Read more>>

Katlyn Katona | Mom, Wife & Small Business Candle Shop

Crafty Mom Candles’ Origins Hi, I’m Katlyn, the founder of Crafty Mom Candles. Crafty Mom Candles, LLC was born over a few years between kids and me needing a creative outlet. It began when my youngest was born 10 years ago 30 weeks early and me needing something to keep Postpartum Depression at bay. It was then reignited 3 years ago with black soot on my wall from a well known candle company that made me research what was in them – YIKES! Read more>>

Tony Drake | Worldwide Online Mindset & Body Transformation Coach

My passion to speak with others based on my 130 Pounds Weight Loss transformation, how I did it and how my mindset has shifted ever since came out extremely natural. Even though I didn’t see the reactions at first, my old co-worker told me “Tony, You should see how people are responding to you when you show up every day and answer people’s questions about weight loss and mindset! I think you should Train people!” Read more>>