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.

Abel Sanchez Jr | Entrepreneur

My passion for fitness, dance, and event production started at a very young age. I was 15 years old when I started my first business in the backyard of my parent’s home in a small town back in Texas. Utilizing my gymnastic and dance training, I founded the first all-star competitive cheer team. I would invoice parents for team choreography, gymnastic and partner stunt training. Parents even had the option to pay for private training. I organized parent meetings and team fundraising events to help raise money for our team trips to regional and National competitions in Orlando, Florida. I researched exercises to help with our team training workouts which helped build Our cardiovascular, stamina, core strength, and flexibility. Read more>>

Stacy-Ann Smith | Author, Storyteller, Orator, Executive Producer

Danrak Productions came out of a desire to use all my gifts, talents and abilities to leave my own distinct mark on the media landscape in Jamaica. I was already supporting on projects here and there and providing expert guidance even when time didn’t allow me to fully take on a production. Starting Danrak provided structure and has allowed for greater strategic partnerships that serve all stakeholders involved. What’s unique about the company is our knack for creative storytelling and the driving philosphy that everyone has a story worth telling. Read more>>

Dalil Chehboune | Model and fashion designer

Since I was a child, I always wanted to create something and have a positive impact on the society. During high school, I started thinking about the areas that interest me and about things that I could do to express myself. I therefore stated experiencing multiple things to figure out what path I should take. Few years ago when I moved to the Los angeles I started modeling, the fashion industry gave me that drive and I decided to give it a try by creating my own brand. Read more>>

Rebekah Bastian | CEO and co-founder of OwnTrail

I started OwnTrail after writing a book called Blaze Your Own Trail, which is a choose-your-own-adventure style exploration of the decisions and pathways that women take through life. I wrote the book to help women embrace the fact that there is no one right path through life, and that we’re all connected by shared experiences, even when they don’t get talked about openly. Read more>>

Luka Hrvatic | Video Content Producer

My thought process behind starting my business was – I want to work for myself. Every decision I make is mine responsibility. Also, I’m the one deciding my schedule, amount and theme of work. Owning a business is like building a house – but on your own terms, you get to decide the size of windows, color of the walls and design. It is a lot more work, then going to “work”, but it pays out at the end. Read more>>

Mona Jain | Portrait photographer & coach

I have always been an entrepreneur. I started photography in my second year of college. So, there was only one way to go from there – to have my own photography business. And in all honesty, my main goal was to not get a traditional job! That was my driving force. To be able to choose my time, take a break when my body requires it and most eminently, to be able to choose the people I want to work with! Having a business was my way to strike a balance between work & life! Read more>>

Jamika Jackson | Versatile stylist

The thought process behind starting my own business took years (19+ years). I started doing hair at 13. From then I knew Cosmetology was going to be a major career/ goal for myself. Whether having other things or challenges thrown at me, I just knew what made me happy and would be something I enjoyed along side being a great mother. The first step was to give myself a image that was unforgettable to my hair brand, of course giving clients a face they would recognize and never forget. Then expanding, putting myself out there in the hair world around me. But with all the beauty and hair expects out there, is where the challenges start. Read more>>

Adita Yrizarry-Lang | Author , Speaker, Holistic Lifestyle Coach

I started my business in 1986, primarily because the industry was so new and there were not many places to work. At the same time, I discovered so many addition al avenues that I could work from that creating my own business was the way to go. Read more>>

Gabriela Cuadra | Mamma’s Dip Founder

I grew up surrounded by several entrepreneurs, and have always been an idea-driven type of person. So, when deciding what to major in in college, Business Marketing seemed like an obvious choice. As I began to take the introductory courses, I tried to think of ways that I could put the concepts I was learning into practice with the hopes of starting my own business and eventually become CEO. That’s where the idea for Mamma’s Dip began. I knew I had a product that was loved by anyone who tried it – a crucial first step in any business. Read more>>

Melissa Lovio Sanchez | Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Working in the field of behavior analysis for 10 years, and seeing how the role of the BCBA evolved into mainly grunt work: report writing, putting out fires, creating new programming, and stressing over RBT’s, all of which gives little time for what really matters: working one to one with the clients and their families made me start thinking that maybe I could do something different. Agency frameworks also changed and I noticed that they were more concerned with growing than with seeing their clients and their families as individuals. Read more>>

Crystal-Ann Roberts | Registered Nurse and Childbirth Educator.

I knew I wanted to see change. I started my business in childbirth education because I honestly felt like I wanted other women to have the same experience or even better than what I had in childbirth and labor. After I began my training to become an educator I soon realized there weren’t many women who looked liked me teaching Hypnobirthing or other childbirth courses. I began educating myself on the statistics of maternal mortality within the minority races and what I discovered was devastating. It became more than a business, there was true purpose here… I had such a passion to see women healthy, empowered and safe. Being educated was a huge part of that. Read more>>

Bismarie Plasencia | Marketing Professional & Entrepreneur

In February of 2021, I was laid off from my first full-time job. It felt like a setback in my career. Through necessity, a drive and passion rose. I quickly began searching for new work, but as fate would have it, a client recommended three more clients to me. Soon, I was handling several client accounts and it became clear this could be my new full-time job and I would be able to start my own agency. Read more>>

Ashley Hutson | Pup-Lover and Ceo

My thought process behind starting Puptables was originally just the health and wellness of my dog Bullet. Puptables was a complete passion project that I honestly had no intension of creating into an actual company. I am a chef and restaurateur by trade, I have worked in every part of restaurants my entire life. My family owned and operated a Miami favorite called Ortanique on the Mile for 21 years before we had to close our doors due to Covid. All the negative Covid had on our economy without it happening and the support of my Husband Dennis I would’ve never started Puptables. Read more>>

Ebony Calhoun | Founder and CEO of BundlesbyAmaraJ

I had so many thoughts but my main thought process was I have to leave something behind for my children. If anything was to happen to me today what do they have? I have to make sure that even when I am no longer here, that I am still being their mother, and the only way to do that was for me to be in control of my time. I was scared, optimistic, and excited all at the same time. I didn’t have a strong support system in place and I didn’t have a large source of income coming in either, so I was very reluctant to take that step because all I could do was focus on what will happen if this doesn’t work out, how will I be able to keep us afloat if this fails, but I had to look at my situation, Read more>>

Isnery Marrero | Photographer & Crafter

Adjusting to a new lifestyle these past two years has been challenging for many, including myself. Even though it has been challenging, it has also given many individuals the opportunity to explore their creative side. That is exactly what happened with me. Gratefully enough, I found myself working on not just one but two businesses, two of which are completely different but I’m equally passionate about. My businesses are Nery Vision Productions which concentrates on capturing life moments and the other is Nerys Craft Shop LLC which helps a customers’ creative vision come to life. Starting these two new businesses, I never imagined it to grow as much as it has. Read more>>