Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Lori Nayehalski | Pearl Edward Beach – Screenwriter and Textile Designer

I was working on a screenplay in Saint Barth and stumbled into a little boutique! I started chatting with the clerk and told her what I was working on for a script but also explained that I recently became an artist. She asked to see some of my artwork and she instantly fell in love. She asked if I would consider putting it onto fabric. I never considered it but decided upon arriving home I would try. I hopped on a nifty website called Spoonflower and started playing around. i enjoyed the newness of creating something different and found myself sewing up some stretchy dresses. I was quickly falling in love the concept. My other passion of screenwriting took second shelf. Read more>>

Allison (Allie) Rowden | Owner of Allie Allure & Chief of Adult Perfusion at the University of Florida hospital

I have always wanted to own something and be able to say, I did this! I come from a big family and family means everything to me. Being one of seven kids growing up, you learn to help your siblings, share, and do everything together. I wanted to be able to do something as a family that we could all work together as adults! The whole idea started Labor Day weekend in 2020! I reached out to my sisters via text saying “I have a crazy idea, let’s open a boutique”. I immediately started YouTubing and googling what I needed in order to make this happen. Made a list of things to do and slowly started checking the boxes. Read more>>

Patrick Garcia | Co-Founder of Los Gauchos

Los Gauchos was founded with the goal of making wine less intimidating and more approachable for all consumers, regardless of age or experience. Up until now, wine culture has been misunderstood and under appreciated. It’s traditionally been marketed towards an older and wealthier demographic, wrongfully giving it a very pretentious stigma when it really shouldn’t be. Read more>>

Sara Baker, LMFT | Mindset & Empowerment Coach

I began my career as a Licensed Psychotherapist working at a crisis center. I worked long hours, was tired all the time, felt drained, managed a large team, and helped people during some of the hardest times of their lives. While this work was very fulfilling on some level it was also very taxing on me energetically. I knew I was meant for something more. Something that would fulfill all of my values, dreams, and desires. Something that would allow me to help and serve others while I also living a life of love, abundance, success, and freedom. Read more>>

Ugo Tsalapatanis | Hypnotherapist & Spiritual Teacher

It was pretty minimal. More like a flow and continuation of what I loved to learn and do. I had been in the field of meditation, shamanism and self growth for almost a decade and when I discovered hypnosis I felt right at home. I just loved learning about it and becoming a hypnotherapist felt like the natural move. I actually had a dream that guided me in that direction and I’m pretty connected to the dream world. Read more>>

D’Yani St.Cyr | Creator and Owner of Grin’d&Bearit

Grin’d & Bearit is not only my life story, but a testament to those individuals that thrive in adverse circumstances. As a single parent I struggled balancing 13-to-16-hour work shifts, continuing education at the masters degree level, full time parenting and freelance designing. My circumstances led me to take hold of the reins of my life and trust God to guide me. Read more>>

Monica Barbu | Swim Coach

My name is Monica Barbu and swimming is my passion. I have been swimming since I was 4 years old. After 15 years of swimming professionally and reaching the highest level of performance as part of the Romanian Olympic swimming team throughout high school and into my collegian career, I decided to turn my passion into a profession. I have been teaching swim lessons in the US for over 15 years. I am a Certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, and I have worked with 6 months old babies to 14 years old kids. Read more>>