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.

Sandra Herdocia & Monica Vaca | Entrepreneurs

We are two couples and have been friends for a long time. Our husbands share a passion for grilling, and we love entertaining family and friends. Whenever we got together with friends for a Sunday BBQ or a holiday celebration, they would jokingly say that the food was so good that we should open a restaurant. Read more>>

Noni Night | Energy Healer & Motivation Speaker

Covid-19 recently threw its hardest blow at society. A lot of individuals were tossed out of work because of this pandemic, including myself. What was I to do?! Wait… I can finally put my goals into actions. Almost two years before this moment, I stood in the faces of the language department of my university, completely impressed by the public speech I created on my final presentation. Read more>>

Sweta Doshi | Founder / CEO of Bubbsi

I had worked at large Beauty companies a decade, and was taking a break from full-time work to explore more entrepreneurial options and spend more time with my kids. I felt so lucky for all the skills and connections that I had gained throughout my career, and I was ready to make an impact in a different way. Read more>>

Carlos Torres | Florida Die-Hard and Creative

I’ve always loved Fashion and Merchandising. I went to school for it and decided to give a crack at starting my own streetwear brand. At first it was mainly just a hobby to keep myself busy and always creating, I worked at a print shop in Tallahassee and that allowed me to make tees anytime I wished (Shoutout T-Shirt Envy) so from there I always made tees/designs that inspired me locally and I also just thought that Florida was such a rich state culturally and visually so it was all rooted from that idea. Read more>>

John Ryan | Saxophonist and Touring Personel

We wanted to create Keep Flying as a way to continue our musical journey but with a twist. I think it was important for us to continue to make art but do it the way we had always wanted to. Read more>>

Douglas Bryant Jr | 9th Bridge Jacksonville Vice President, Cyber Security Professional & Author

My Co-founder (Daryll Thorpe Jr) and I had a desire to uplift others in our local community. We knew so many people doing great things as individuals but always felt that as a collective unit we could serve our local community more effectively. We wanted to create a business that would serve as a bridge connecting like-minded people and ultimately inner-city youth and young adults to resources they normally would not have access to. Read more>>

Brian Burkhardt & Trisha Brookbank | Executive Director, CFO, Founders and Oliver’s Parents

This in regarding our non profit: In May 2020, our oldest son Oliver (9) was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia – A.L.L. and we were thrown for a loop. We went through a roller coaster of emotions, from denial to despair, and everything in between. Read more>>

Sheila Browder | Apothecary

YaMaya’s Gift LLC was created out of a desire to NOT follow in the footsteps of many I know, who depend on multiple prescription medications to feel “normal” daily. Read more>>

Vanessa Fuller | Owner/Executive Event Planner

My thought process behind starting my own my business was I have a strong passion for the hospitality, special events and entertainment industry. Why not work in it as a career?!! It truly brings me great joy to serve my clients! Read more>>

Isabella Montoya Paz | Founder

After graduating from FIT and learning about the impact the fashion industry has on all of us, my love for fashion felt bittersweet; I kept asking myself how can we do better? I built a career in luxury retail for 10+ years working at Elie Tahari, Prada, and Dior. I’m not going to lie, it drove me nuts, but I learned all the essential skills I would later need. Most importantly, I became more familiar with the incoherences of the industry from the inside. Read more>>

Lina Zuniga | Celebrity Makeup Artist & Beauty Educator

After working different jobs, and getting let go unexpectedly one day from my two-year position in accounting working for a mid-sized company, I came to the realization that I wanted to work for myself. That’s what inspired me to start my own business. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I had the drive to be my own boss. Makeup became my passion and developing my business skills have become my priority. Read more>>

Kate Delgado | Owner of Isola

I was living in Montego Bay, Jamaica with my husband, our daughter and my husband’s family. My mother in law, who is Jamaican, had owned her own spa for many years and then became the spa director at one of the largest spas on the island. She had a secret family recipe for a Coffee + Cane Sugar Body Scrub which she used on her treatments and when I tried it, I was immediately blown away by the way my skin felt after just one use. Read more>>

Tiziana Nenezic | Health Coach & Blogger

More than a thought process it was an organic development that started with a personal journey. I was searching for my purpose, my Big Why, my unique contribution to the world, so to speak. At the same time, I was also on a personal quest for wellness and better health, due to my own issues and family history. Read more>>

Fi Simler | Business Coach, Instagram Expert & Yogi

It came down to my health. Starting my own business was the only way I could step away from work as much or as little as I needed to and manage my fibromyalgia. In 2019, I was incredibly stressed with work and my condition got so bad, I couldn’t feel my arms or legs when I woke up each morning. My body was at its breaking point, so something had to give. I knew being an entrepreneur would give me the flexibility I needed to prioritize my health. Fast forward a year and a half, and I am feeling better than ever! Read more>>