Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Daniela Agurcia | Founder & Designer of Loulou La Mar Jewelry

I’ve always wanted to do something on my own, but have never fully pursued it until now with Loulou La Mar. Jewelry has always been a passion and hobby of mine, along with art and creating in general, I had just never put enough time into it because of my full time job in Marketing until this year during COVID – when time was all I had. I was designing and making pieces for my family and friends and they wanted more, and people started putting in orders, so that’s when my business side kicked in. Luckily I have several family members who are entrepreneurs themselves, so I was able to get guidance on how to go about legitimately setting up my business. I would say that half of the process of starting your own business is pre-planned, and the other half you learn as you go. Lots of research is necessary, and you have to believe in what you’re doing because it’s not all easy, and definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It’s so important to me for my brand to be inspiring, motivational, and for my pieces to be ethically sourced and for them to mean something to people. For me, that’s how I truly measure my success. Read more>>

Jennifer Molina | Jennifer Molina | Small Business Owner on Etsy

Starting a business was something I always thought would be interesting to do but never really knew how or where to begin. Ever since I was little I was always involved in the arts one way or another, specifically graphic design. I always dreamed of having a t-shirt line or something along those lines. So when quarantine hit in 2020 I decided to do some research on how I could bring my designs to life, working from home has really allowed me to spend more time on my designs. I knew I wanted to create funny, pop culture references where anyone could relate to them and feel almost “proud” to rock one of my items. Read more>>

Carlo Petit-Homme | CEO of ManeManDesigns & Designer, Artist

I have always wanted to do something big, something meaningful, and something that supports my people, my home, and my country, something that lifts up Haiti. I wanted my platform to be able to teach our history to the generations to come. ManeMan Designs was actually birthed in Haiti, but due to financial reasons I couldn’t move forward, so I gave up. When I moved to the US in 2016, I decided to start over, which took me over a year because I didn’t think I was ready until I could explain the vision to my then girlfriend, and future wife, who motivated me to take the leap of faith. So February 2017, she created the name and Instagram account, as a demonstration of faith. This is how it all started. The lesson I have learned from starting ManeMan Designs is sometimes you may not think you are ready to chase your dreams, but all you need is a little push and faith. Read more>>

305 Bruja | Cosplayer, Model and Activist

I worked in the service industry for 10 years and I often found myself unsatisfied with the status quo of the industry. In 2018 I was let go from a job after bringing up employee working conditions. This event made me reevaluate work and jobs entirely. I had worked for someone else for so long I put all my aspirations on the back burner for the sake of a steady paycheck. Which is probably something a lot of people do because we all need money to make things go. However I decided it was time I focus on myself. My personal growth and career growth. I always loved being in front of a camera but always held myself back due to societal beauty standards. I began modeling with cosplay and fell in love with the entire process. Making my costumes, modeling and honing my makeup skills. This is quite an expensive hobby so when Only Fans started taking off I chose to start one of my own. I had a lot of issues with the modeling industry not allowing you to own your image. Which is why OnlyFans was the perfect avenue for me, I could control every aspect of my work. Read more>>

Bertholette Pardieu | Herbalist and Healthcare Risk Management & Corporate Compliance Director

BelMarie Essentials, LLC was birthed in 2020, combining my passion for soap making and my desire to branch out into herbal medicine, on a larger scale. As a Public Health professional by trade, helping others to maintain good health and supporting wellness is always at the forefront of my mind. I wanted to share healing practices that have assisted me in maintaining my own wellness, as well as, tools that helped in dealing the loss of my beloved mother. BelMarie Essentials gives me an opportunity to honor and preserve Haitian culture and traditional medicine, commonly practiced among the African diaspora and indigenous populations. The name BelMarie merges of the first names of my father, Belony and mother, Marie (together BelMarie); it was a way to honor my parents, culture and tap into my creative side/ passion. Read more>>

Alexandra Bendayan | Event Planner

During COVID-19, I spent countless hours feeling trapped indoors and useless with all my free time. Despite being a full-time law student, I wanted to do more than just study off books and watch Netflix on the weekends. Creating The Picnic Haven has allowed me to see my full potential as a young entrepreneur and business owner. Read more>>

Ja’Mari & Marcel Douglas | Young Entrepreneurs

We came to our mom and told her we wanted to open a business after seeing the success of her business ( Over the top Miami Treats). We decided we wanted to sell icey’s because we always have them at our birthday parties. Then we got a logo made with our faces. Then, we decided to name each flavor after our favorite characters. From there we open our business on April 2019. Read more>>