Deciding to start a business is an unusual decision. It’s often considered irrational and yet for many it’s the best decision they’ve ever made. So we asked folks to think back to when they were starting their businesses and to tell us about their decision making process.

Facundo Kairuz | Chef owner

I started cooking 14 years ago, and since then I knew I was going to open up my own restaurant someday. It wasn’t until 6 years ago when my wife and I moved to New York that we started talking about the possibility of a restaurant so we created a mental vision board with ideas and possible concepts, and every year we would revisit it. Every experience and chef I worked with during that time served as an inspiration for Mess. Read more>>

Melanie Hansen | Pediatric Sleep Consultant

I wanted to start my own business for a couple of reasons. The number one reason was to have some flexibility in my work and home life. I wanted to be able to be home with a sick child while still getting work done, but also to have the freedom to work from anywhere. My second reason was that I felt a passion for more than what my career has been up until this point. I wanted my hard work to reflect in my paycheck. Read more>>

Ruben Poveda Garcia | Host and model

The idea was always to do something fun. That he had me busy and that he gave me freedom to continue working on television. That it gave me the possibility to travel but also the freedom to travel and meet new people from other cultures. Read more>>

Arielle Tayar | Creative Director & Founder

One day it just sort of clicked. I was always a creative, but I loved business, marketing, and strategic thinking. When I understood that the two could intersect in brand building and design it was a serious Aha moment. With 0 formal training I got to work. I emailed a company I was working with as a freelancer and told them that they were great at what they did but that they looked like crap on the internet. And I was going to help them change that. I worked for nothing, taught myself everything and forced them to give me a chance. That was the start, and I never looked back! Read more>>

Camille Mathis | Licensed Massage Therapist

I have been a massage therapist for the past 7 years, but I have only owned my own business for the past 2 years. I initially thought I would always prefer working for someone else to keep stress low, but my desire to bring massage therapy to my own community and in my own way quickly changed my thinking. Once I found my passion within massage therapy, I had the confidence and drive to venture out and start my own business. Read more>>

Pedro Rojas | Entrepreneur & Artist

When I was younger I fell in love with EDM music and some artists, one day I went to a family member’s party and the Dj put me on the stage with her. At that moment I realize that I want to be there too, I wanted to be the one playing incredible sounds and making other people happy so at the age of 11 started “Djing” and then one night, many years later after a very bad party I remember that great old feeling that 5 years earlier a DJ made me feel after hearing a Martin Garrix song in the car, at that moment I knew that events, parties, and festivals, were made for people to be happy and enjoy every little piece of it, not to be uncomfortable and unsatisfied at the end, so, for that to happen I started making my own events with one goal, and it was not to make a living out of it, it was to change a little bit how people in my country/city enjoy their nights and now here we are. Read more>>

Ruthie Hayden | Photographer & Artist

first began capturing photography for paying clients when I was just out of high school. I had no idea what I was doing but I loved making art out of people’s lives and telling their stories. Over the years, my passion has only grown for learning photography, the business, and helping people with this art form. I keep on investing in the business because it feels like something I have to do. Read more>>

Max Duckworth | Artist & Photographer

To be honest, I put very little thought into starting my own business. I am actually shocked at the cavalier way I thought I could waltz into the business world on my artistic merit alone. In the end I am grateful, though, because if I had realized how difficult it is to run a business, I might have been too intimidated. Now that I have been working on it for several years, it has slowly started to grow and I am so excited and proud to call myself a business owner. I am so excited to learn more so that I can really grow and share my art with others. Read more>>

Jocelyn Petit-Jean | Publicist

I wanted to create a platform to shine a light on overlooked talent. I have a passion for giving a voice to the voiceless and seeing others succeed, which is why I started Flamboyant Talent Media Group to shine a light on the up-and-coming hidden gems whose talent is often overlooked. Read more>>

Mavis Hicks | Self-care Practitioner

Mavology was birth during the Covid 2020 pandemic. While working full time as an essential worker in a hospital my mental and emotion health began to decline. While in a leadership I had to manage myself and teams wellbeing during an uncertain world crisis. Over a period of 6 months I completely lost myself and fell into a depression. I was living in Boston with no immediate family and had to isolate from friends due to my work situation. Read more>>

Julieta Di More | Founder & Curator @Dimoreobjects

When I started thinking about creating a personal brand, I was slightly confused; I knew I wanted to do something with home decor and my art because I genuinely believed that: “Objects represent us.” At that moment, I was an employee, and I started realizing all the potential that I have, and I started thinking… The famous question, ” Where do I see myself in the next five years or not even five, three? Read more>>

Dionna Coates | Entrepreneur

For a while, I knew my purpose in life had to be along the line of serving. Whether that was my community or helping making the next person’s day. Knowing you can provide exceptional customer skill and provide a solution it was a no brainer for me to start my own business. Read more>>

Jean-Paul Lietaert | Architect and Interior designer

The need to leave a mark on the world just by reforming it… So that future generations can find better spaces than I have found. I think that many people need personalized help, to go back to the basics of the past, every human being needs attention and dedication, that is why I offer my knowledge in order to solve day-to-day problems. Read more>>

Andy Rotondaro | Realtor & Commissioner

I started entrepreneurial in 2012 when I launched a cashmere clothing line with business partner Richard Hottinger in New York. In order to run the business full-time, I obtained my real estate license and starting working along side Hottinger in NYC residential real estate for Douglas Elliman and Corcoran Group. In 2014, I moved to Miami to start our Miami office. February 2022, I started my own team at Compass known as The Daro Team. Read more>>

Roderick Nelson | Real Estate Agent, Nonprofit Founder & Business Consultant

I am a gay black man. I am also a man who was born into poverty in a small town known for its poverty and crime levels. When I was growing up as a child it wasn’t uncommon for my friends and me to share similar stories of going without basic necessities or having to “wait until payday” for our parents to take care of an important bill or expense. It was not uncommon for many of us to see our mothers feed us what little food was left in the cabinets while she went to bed hungry. It wasn’t uncommon to come home and see that your basic utilities had been shut off due to your moms’ inability to get another extension. Read more>>