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.

Majda Baltic | President. Founder. Independent Insurance Broker

When I was envisioning Majdas Touch Insurance, the plan was to disrupt the Insurance Industry and change the way Insurance is conducted. I strive to make an impact. When you think of Insurance a lot of people feel a negative association to the industry, whether that be frustration or confusion. My goal is to eliminate that feeling and bring clarity to my clients by fulfilling my job to protect them, their assets, and their families. From day one of opening my office I took risks and dared to stand out in the industry. Being 100% independent, gave me the freedom to ‘simplify’ all the elements that previously stood in my way. I set out to take advantage of all the technology that was already used by the banking and finance industry. Read more>>

Alexandra / Andrea Winkler / Cohen | Owner

We are too best friends originally from Venezuela who always wanted to work together. We both are into fashion and grew up surround it by it. Our idea behind our brand is to incorporate fashion with our everyday lifestyle. We want to offer accessories for the on-the-go woman and don’t need to sacrifice comfort over style. With our brand and our products you can go from day to night, gym to work, to going out feeling and looking your best always. Read more>>

Carolina and María Paula Orlando Picnic | Luxury Picnic Pop-Up

Orlando Picnic was born as a hobby during the pandemic, and to be honest we never thought I’d become what it is today. As we were looking for different and safe ways to celebrate special occasions outdoors we stumbled upon the picnic idea and thought it would be a great alternative during the given times. Read more>> 

Anthony Valenzuela | Podcast Host and Student at the University of Florida

We started The Mindset Podcast because we have always been passionate about igniting conversations related to success, work ethic, and most importantly, an optimistic MINDSET. We believed that starting our own podcast from scratch would be the best way to reach an audience of like-minded, driven individuals. The Mindset Podcast has influenced millennials across the country by introducing them to the importance of a successful and powerful mindset. The life-changing episodes feature guests, such as CEOs, entrepreneurs, and politicians. Together with our guests, we have powerful discussions about aspirations, leadership, mindsets, and more. All while proactively motivating men and women to take themselves and their mindsets to the next level. Read more>>

Peter Betancourt | Film Processing Lab, Camera & Photobook Shop

My brother, Javier Betancourt and I started up Palm Film Lab back in November 2020. We both have had a passion for film photography and have been doing it for the past 20 years. There hasn’t been a solid lab in Miami since the early 2010’s, so we wanted to fill that void. Since I had previous lab experience with various local labs from 2006-2011, I knew this was something we could achieve. From the start – we envisioned a comfy, courteous and knowledgeable lab where you could also pick up a film camera or photobook! Read more>>

Jake Douglass | Founder and CEO – Practicing Musician

To understand my thought process behind starting Practicing Musician, you must understand the importance of music. Music is a spiritual tool found in every culture. Learning to play music expounds upon the traditional expressiveness integral to other art forms because playing music is the process of syncing an individual’s mind, body, and spirit in the present moment. In addition, when an individual has acquired a sufficient skill set to play with other musicians, each syncs up their mind, body, and spirit with each other. Understanding how our behavioral patterns affect our relationships is the fundamental nature of self-realization and, subsequently, self-actualization. Read more>>

Patrice D McClendon | Certified Empowerment & Leadership Coach

I always knew I wanted to be a business owner. However, it took me a long time to nail down if I wanted to sell a product or sell a service. Well, I am not a great salesperson, so I prayed about it. I would talk to God during my prayer time and ask Him to reveal to me what I should do. He showed me my gifts. The gifts of mentoring, encouraging and empowering people. Specifically, women and young girls. I want to be a positive influence on others. With this mindset, I created Sista 2 Sista: Women Empowering Women. Read more>>

Michelle Madonna | Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist

Those that truly know me, know just how reserved I am. I’ve never been the type to brag, flaunt or overshare any of my talents or accomplishments. I always thought this made me humble when in reality, I was just insecure. You can walk confidently yet still remain humble, and by not sharing my talents, I was only doing a disservice to myself and others. I don’t hustle to impress or compete with anyone, I’m just trying to change my own narrative. Read more>>

JEFFREY JOACHIM | Author & Graphic Designer

It was a number of things honestly. I wanted to get into Digital Media so I started cartooning pictures for people. My skills grew over time as I learned the trade, so i knew it was time to actually make this into a business. Cartooning Pictures isn’t the only thing I do of course; I also create logos and business cards. For this side of the business, my main thought was that I wanted to help other people grow their brand. I see the prices of my competitors, but it isn’t about the money for me. I feel honored knowing that I was able to help someone build their brand, they’re doing what they need to do to make it out. Read more>>

Liz Hall | Transformation Coach, Personal Trainer

My story and really my business came from my own personal struggle with weight loss. I was always the overweight girl and eventually reached 298lbs (before I stopped weighing myself, I know it was higher than that at some point). I could go to a gym, I could get a nutritionist, I could get a therapist – I just couldn’t seem to find something all in one that addressed the deeper root cause of my obesity. I needed accountability and I needed a game plan for my lifestyle (I was working in sports with sometimes 80-90 hour work weeks). Read more>>

Leslie Pecoraro | Food Stylist- Charcuterie Boards Like No Other

This is one of my favorite questions I get asked… What was your thought process in starting this business? The interesting thing with MOTHERBOARD is how this business was created! There was absolutely NO thought behind it. The way it was created was unplanned! Read more>>

Sarita Rajpathak | Graphic Designer + Founder of Rajasaurusrex

To be honest, I was tired of being broke all of the time and not feeling accomplished as an artist. I wasn’t doing anything but applying my talents to someone else’s vision. Wrist work. Clicking. Nothing creative, just following orders. So after they traded me in for a cheaper designer while retaining all my hard work for the new hire to jump right into, I decided my talent would be best channeled into my own brand, Rajasaurusrex. Read more>>

Richard Ramsundar | Creative Director & Lead Videographer at The World is Rich Productions LLC

I started The World is Rich Productions LLC because I noticed the lack of high quality film and videos pertaining to Caribbean culture, specifically within the Caribbean diaspora in NYC. I realized the power of narratives and noticed that we were not telling our own stories. Other people were telling our stories for us and they were not showing the true beauty and essence of our culture. Caribbean people have had a beautiful and difficult history, especially when it comes to settling in Little Guyana (Queens) and Little Caribbean (Brooklyn). I decided to create visual works of art that could be showcased to the world and make people say “Wow, this is incredible.” Read more>>

Loretta Clarke | Nurse Entrepreneur

We started our business in the midst of the pandemic as a response to the needs of the community. It all began with a handful of masks in April 2020. Over time, we’ve added protective scrubcaps, scrubhats, and stylish wristlets to the collection. Rising to the occasion during a supply shortage was no easy feat but resilience was key. Read more>>

Kassim Richards | Photographer

I didn’t really thought about. Photography was something I just did. Then things just started to fall into place. It’s like they say just do with you love and worlds will align itself. Read more>>

Caleb McGrew | Owner, Permanent Make Up Artist and Master Esthetician

In 2013 we began in Miami as Skin by Caleb McGrew, quickly adopting Junior & Hatter Spa when we opened inside Wynwood’s Junior & Hatter Salon. There, we had a platform to grow and connect with the local community. We’ll be forever grateful to Mario & Andrea for the platform and the opportunity. In 2019 we opened our flagship location in Miami’s emerging Little River district, bringing the brand back to our roots as Skn Elements. Finally, as we’ve established ourselves here with a firmly planted foundation in North Miami, we’ve undergone one final evolution. Read more>>

Sebastien Thevenin | Owner of Sebastien’s Mens Grooming Lounge

I woke up one day and realized that all my years working for big companies I was going in everyday and giving 150% in something that I was not going to ever own a part of. Enough was enough, it was time to invest my time and efforts into something that belongs to me. Who better to give more than 150% but the owner of the brand? Read more>>

LORRECIA PEARSON | Cake and Cookie Artist

When I first started baking, I was really into baking my kid’s birthday cakes. I then started doing cake and pudding jars from there. People would ask me how much everything costed and I had absolutely no idea. I slowly started getting into everything from cheesecake to cake to party treats. 5 and 1/2 years later, I am finally doing what I want which is custom cakes and custom decorator cookies. Read more>>

Olivia Eslami Cajigas | Owner, OEC Consulting

I had always dreamed of creating a one stop shop to serve a brand or individual’s creative needs. Developing a strong visual language is what we do at OEC Consulting. Specifically, we serve as Creative Directors for a brand’s photoshoot and development. We source and hire a team of photographers, models, stylists, hair and makeup artists, and location to bring a brand’s vision to life. Furthermore, we provide on-set and in person styling as well as guide brands on their media plan and avenues of exposure. With a strong understanding of the editorial and commercial components of a brand we are able to help create and edit content for both commercial (e-commerce/storefront) and creative initiatives. Read more>>

Melanie Rollison | Creative Designer and Director – Wrapped In Love – Handmade

Well, I had lost my IT job at the Betty beginning of Covid, March 2020, and there was no chance I would gain another position in the same industry during this period. I really wanted to make this beach wrap I had thought about since Bali a few months earlier and thought I would give it a go. I was no sewer by any means and have never been creative in that sense before. My mother was even so impressed. Read more>>

Delphine Gervais | Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Never in a million years did I ever think I’d strike out and create something of my own doing. I was the typical first generation immigrant who took the stable “safe” jobs straight out of high school and well into my career. I’ve always colored within the lines and followed the rules. So going into business for myself was a cataclysmic life transition that was borne out of losing my mom. She was a “machann”, a self-employed woman, immigrant from her home in Haiti. I remember seeing her pack to travel to places unknown when we lived in St. Maarten. Read more>>

Dr. Ann Marie Wong, MD | Pediatrician/Medical Marijuana Doctor

I’ve been a practicing pediatrician for 24 years now. When Florida was legalized for medical marijuana at the end of 2016, I was approached by some other physicians to start a medical cannabis practice. Our collaboration did not pan out, but it led me to explore medical cannabis and spend time with doctors in Oregon and Michigan, which was fascinating. I was especially excited about the possibilities of treating children with CBD and cannabis and in seeing positive results with childhood conditions. Read more>>

Crystal Warren | Vending Business Owner

My thought process was having a side hustle to make extra money, and I wanted to do something that I enjoyed. I knew I wanted to eventually escape my 9-5, so I took my vending business seriously. Read more>>

Tayane Angely Franklin Lima | Fitness Coach

I started livestreaming at my Instagram, producing highly valuable content giving my account the kind of aspect and life it needed, then my public started getting interested in my content. In just a few days I saw myself participating in some full physical transformation projects from a high amount of people, I had my own radio program here at Florida US, called “T Vitamin”. Read more>>

Stacey Leuliette | Owner & Editor The Scout Guide Palm Beach, The Scout Guide Hamptons, The Scout Guide Nantucket & The Scout Guide Jupiter & Palm Beach Gardens

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit! Although I spent time with larger corporations; Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue & Schumacher, I’m happiest at the helm of my own ship, so to speak…. Its the creative in me….I like thinking outside of the box, the process behind creating something wonderful and I don’t like being told where to put my pencil sharpener on my desk and what time to eat lunch! Read more>>

Andrea Hall | CEO and advocate

Hi let me first start by saying I wear many hats. I have an online business www.fandanglesboutique.com. I also host Monthly Sip and Shops. I worked in travel for many years and would always collect unique handmade accessories and clothing. My daughter’s friends would always ask where I got my accessories and clothing, and there Fandangles Boutique was born. Read more>>

Selin Kilinc | Illustrator & Graphic Designer

We spend so much of our adult life working — I wanted all of that time to be spent doing something I’m passionate about. Starting my own art and illustration business has allowed me to make a living doing what I love, so much so that it rarely even feels like work. Plus, I’ve met so many lovely, creative people through networking in the artistic community. Working from home and setting my own hours is also wonderful because I’m totally a night owl. Read more>>

Nicole Loiten | Entrepreneur

I wanted to have the flexibility and freedom in how I spend my time. I felt very limited being an employee and I knew that deep down I had more to offer to the world. I wanted to make a greater impact in the world. I did not want to be confined to a box that was set up for me in Corporate America. Read more>>

Bella Blu Zimic | Artiste / minipreneur

I always dreamed of having my own business. My mom is a successful fashion designer and she inspired to go after my dreams and supported my decision. I was attending camp at the bass museum of Miami Beach and they were teaching about trademarks one week while we were quarantined…. It got me thinking… what do I love most and it came to me! Creating!!! I love to create, paint, sing, dance, make people happy. I make stuff for my friends and my mom, love just seeing people smile when I give them something I created. Read more>>

Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis | Co-founder of Bosa

My best friend of 15 years and now co-founder, EJ Oruche, and I struggled with balancing our work performance and burnout early in our careers. We tried different tools and methods to keep us organized without sacrificing our wellbeing, but nothing worked. As time went on, we talked to co-workers and friends and they experienced a similar challenge. It finally dawned on us that many existing productivity tools weren’t made to work for us no matter how hard we tried to force them to fit our needs. EJ and I are kids of West African immigrants and Black Americans. Read more>>