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.

Alexcia Smith | Celebrity Private Chef & Entrepreneur

The thought process behind starting my own business was creating something that would be mine. A legacy of sorts. I wanted to share my talent with everyone and realized the only way to do that was to branch out and launch something on my own. Read more>>

Jose Torbay | CEO & Founder

I was raised in a very entrepreneurial family. So for me it was always what I wanted to do. When I started TheGrint I did it because I wanted to create something that lots of people would enjoy and appreciate. And that continues to be what motivates me to this day. Read more>>

Martha Lerner | Birth, Motherhood and Family Photographer, Doula & Birth Assistant

My business came about due to a number of factors…..prior to me starting my own business I was a public school teacher for 15 years. I did not fit into the public school system anymore and was not happy with the direction it was going, so when the time was right in 2015, I took a bold leap and started my own business. The idea had been gestating since my son’s birth in 2010, but I needed to wait until he was old enough to handle me being away for long periods of time. I wanted more time to fuel my own passions, to create my own schedule, to have the time for the things that bring me joy, so starting my own business seemed liked the logical thing to do! My business, zenmamalove, is all about supporting mothers before, during, and after birth. It allows me to immerse myself in my passion, birthwork. Read more>>

Natalie Zellers | Graphic Designer & Mom Entrepreneur

I created this product and started my own business because there was no other product like this out there. While I was at home on my Peloton bike one day I thought to myself, “I need to get online after this and find a sweat towel that stays around your neck.” When my search turned out unsuccessful, I decided to design it myself! If it’s something I wanted as an active and fitness driven person, why wouldn’t others? I was so excited to bring my idea to life and share and help others. Besides, what a pain it is to carry your sweat towel around the gym, placing it on all kinds of different germ-infested equipment. Not only was this going to be a convenient product it would also keep you more germ-free. As a busy mom of two small children and already owning a small graphic design business, I knew this wasn’t going to be easy but I wanted to set an example for my children; never to give up, and go for whatever you are passionate about. Read more>>

Quiana | Candle Maker

Actually I started it as a way to save money! I’ve spent far too much money on purchasing candles, so I decided to make my own. The hobby quickly turned into a business. Read more>>

Melissa Perlman | Business Owner & Public Relations Expert

I started BlueIvy Communications in May 2011 after working in the Office Depot corporate communications office for seven years. Before that, I developed my writing skills reporting for local TV, radio and newspapers after graduating from Brown University with a degree in Expository Writing. My reason? I started BlueIvy Communications because I wanted to support small- and medium-sized businesses by building their respective brand images and simultaneously securing positive media exposure for them. I love the process of working with a business and helping them show the community (and sometimes world) what they are doing, how they are special, and why they are relevant. There is a great deal of pride felt when seeing yourself or your company in a magazine, newspaper, online or on TV, and I love providing this to my clients. It never gets old for me. By starting BlueIvy Communications, I have been able to do exactly that for nearly 10 years now! Read more>>

Brandon Okpalobi | Founder & CEO

Before founding DREAM, I established a for-profit business, DIBIA Athletic Development, which promotes excellence through athletics by offering sports and athletic training to various youth. As I started to take a deeper look into education, it was evident that there were few quality after school programs in Miami at the time. Youth were getting into trouble during after school hours (3pm — 6pm) and youth gun violence was on the rise. I researched a few existing programs and saw an opportunity to provide our youth with something better. So, on October 6, 2014, DREAM (Development through Recreational Education for Athletic Minds) was born with the focus to help youth win at life through STEM and sports-based programming. Read more>>

Anita Quaye | Apparel Decorating Business Owner

This is an easy one to tackle. After having worked successfully for various firms, but never being acknowledged for my contributions above and beyond expectations, I decided it was time to take my expertise to a firm that would appreciate it; my own. I should have made the leap a long time ago, but as the saying goes, “better late than never”. Read more>>

Jose Alvarado | ADP Printing & Signs

My Thought processes behind starting my own business was: That I could do better than many others in the same trend cause I could see their limitations. (I was so wrong!). Read more>>

Phil Marraccini

I have always believed that developing God’s given talents is a reward that cannot be matched by working for someone else. If financial success is not your only goal, then a businessman can leave a positive mark on the community. Whether it is running Phil’s Berry Farm, Red Barn Estate or Summerland Tropical Fish Farm offering customers outstanding quality with friendly service and a smile will always lead to success. This also holds true in the books I have published, the films produced with the help of friends and the over 200 articles written for the South Dade Newsleader. Read more>>

Todd Rice | Corporate Training, Team Building and Entertainment

It began while I had another job. I started performing for charitable groups and it got bigger and more successful. When the time came to move on, I could have worked towards a different goal or to see what would happen if I tried to make my company working for charities could start working for major companies. Read more>>

Zamanta Archibold | Yoga and Meditation Instructor

In 2008, I returned to the United States, moving to Miami in the middle of the housing market collapse. I needed to find a way to make an income and, at the same time, be there for my 7-year-old daughter. Something I couldn’t accomplish in my field as an Interior Designer during an economic recession. I realized that if I had to start my own business, I needed to do something that I loved that didn’t take away from raising my child. By this point, yoga was already a lifestyle I was passionate about promoting. So, I became a qualified yoga teacher. Fortunately, my first teaching job in a yoga studio gave me flexible hours and the ability to have my daughter with me at the studio. 12 years later, I am proud of both the woman my daughter has become and my unique business, Za Yoga Life. Read more>>

Dr. Katie Lundin | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Working for others gave me the security of a steady paycheck, but I felt under-valued as a professional in the mental health industry. I realized that if I wanted to provide for my children in the way in which I envisioned, I would have to take a leap of faith to trust in myself and build my own reputation to generate the income I desired. In addition to monetary gain, I wanted the freedom of full control over my work schedule. As a mother to two small girls, I desperately wanted to create a schedule that would allow a better balance between work and participation in their lives. I did not want to miss events important to them. Now I don’t have to. If they have a school play, a competition, need a sick day, or want a vacation… I can finally organize my schedule to accommodate for that without fear of jeopardizing my professional position. I am the my boss. And I grant myself permission to be “Dr. Mom”….as the kids call me. Read more>>