We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Luis Pereyra | Professional Tattoo Artist

I think one of the hardest part to start tattooing was the taboo in the society about it, I was working in a business related with graphic design but for the situation of my country (Venezuela), they have to close it. I started to ask myself if I can do what I like to do for a living. After days of thinking, I decided to do it and start following my dreams. It was hard but I never stop to believe in myself and my intuition, different people told me that I shouldn’t do tattooing because it’s not a “good job”, but now I’m grateful for those people because now I’m positive that this is the best job ever, well for me its not a job, it’s do what you like to do. I’ve been doing this for over 5 years and can’t be any more happy. Read more>>

Victoria Ashley | Founder & Creative Director

In my early 20’s I had been experiencing misdiagnosed IUD complications over the course of several years. I was constantly in pain and the only thing that helped me manage that pain and allowed me to rest was cannabis. At that time, cannabis was not found in mainstream media and its use was still very stigmatized. I never felt like It was something I could talk about and weed always felt club I was ever really allowed to be apart of. I didn’t fit the bill of the stereotypical “stoner” and when I went to buy myself my first pipe, the entire experience left me feeling even more out of place. I had just spent money on something that I already wanted to hide under my bed. I knew then that I wanted to create an experience from start to finish that would make people feel welcome, excited, and present in their daily rituals. Read more>>

Nadly Belizaire | Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Christian Counselor

Starting a business was never in my plan. My parents are immigrants from Haiti and they both worked 9-5 jobs. Although I went to college, I just imagined that I would be working 9-5 for someone, just like I saw my parents do. About 10 years ago, I got an idea, which I really believe came from God to start a private practice. Immediately, I was filled with doubt because no one in my immediate family has ever owned a business and I just did not know what to do. I did some research and even filed a company through the state of Florida but I was overwhelmed with what to do next, so I stopped. Although I stopped, I knew that I had to do something with the idea eventually. Fast forward to April of 2020, a good friend offered to have me join her practice as an independent contractor. I inquired if she would be willing to walk me through the business/administrative aspects of having a private practice and she agreed. One and a half years later, I launched my business, Peaceway Therapy. Read more>>

Valeria Avirett | School Consultant and Founder of Miami School Advisors

Miami School Advisors was born out of the need to support smart parents who want the best for their children. Finding the right schools for my own children had proven to be challenging. Many of us did not grow up in Miami and we are not familiar with schools and the school system. A few years later, I was working in real estate assisting corporate relocations, and my clients often needed school insight to make home buying decisions. I knew there was an opportunity. Read more>>

Kimone Fearon | Co-Founder

Matana Organics was born as a way to help expectant moms navigate through what is already a stressful time with a safe and fun way to pamper themselves, their growing belly—and beyond. Matana offers an organic certified line of Postpartum Recovery Sitz Bath, Citrus Body Scrub, Stretch Mark Oil Free of Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates, Fragrance, EWG Verified and 100% made in the USA. The word “Matana’ is of Hebrew-origin and means “gift”. Matana Organics’ gift to you is providing your family with clean, simple, safe, and effective organic products that you can feel good about. Read more>>

Samuel “Bo” Barber | Florida’s Premier Real Estate Advisor

I decided to start my own business after realizing the limitless opportunities that entrepreneurship provides. For me, time is very important and one of the most valuable resources we have. I wanted to be able to leverage my time to its maximum advantage and I felt the best way to do that was by working for myself. Read more>>

Norma Edwards | Personal Chef & Caterer

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Lupus and my life completely changed. My lungs collapsed, my kidneys failed and the doctors had to induce me into a coma to figure out what was going on with me. All praises to the most high that I made it through that journey but it was a long road to recovery. I started working at a retail store as a cashier and quickly moved up to the Human Resources Supervisor. During my time there my illness affected me off and on but the General manager didn’t truly understand my condition and still wanted me to perform duties that were hard for me to do. Read more>>

Erica Sandoval | Psychotherapist, Consultant, Author

It was scary, but I knew it was a perfect time. The world was on fire with injustices and pain and there were not enough Latinx social workers to support our community. My passion has been to launch a mental health practice supporting the Latinx community, immigrants, first-generation graduates, and small business owners. Often, I’m the first Latina social worker – or even social worker of color – clients have ever worked with. Cultural humility in care can be hard to come by. To be understood, heard, and seen is not often easy, especially as a Latina. And- Let’s face it there are not enough mental health providers that are Latinas. Read more>>

Harolyn Scott RN, BSN, CCM, CLNC | Certified Legal Nurse Consultant

I wanted to work for myself and achieve financial freedom. I chose to become a legal nurse consultant in order to capitalize on my years of experience and valuable skills. Read more>>

Gloria Salazar | Executive Director/Program Administrator

There were very few options for learning the plumbing trade. I had the Contractors who had workers who wanted to advance themselves in the plumbing industry and wanted new options. I also had a lot of individuals contacting to inquire how they could learn the trade. I realized I had the 2 key components to meet their needs and decided to create the Plumbing Contractors Association Apprenticeship Program. Read more>>