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.

Cori Lee Seaberg | Co-Founder & President

I was in the corporate world for 13 years prior to co-founding Out East but I always had an inkling of wanting to build something of my own. I’ve had a love for wine for quite some time and having traveled to different vineyards around the world, the passion was there. The idea for Out East was conceived by my co-founder Patrick Mitchell and I, drinking rosé by the pool at my house the summer of 2017. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to start a business but once we had the idea, I said it’s now or never. The timing just worked out as Patrick and I were both seeking a fulfilling outlet that combined our past professional experience and our desire to create a contemporary wine brand to stand out in the traditional wine industry. We birthed a new paradigm combining a premium wine portfolio with a destination inspired, purpose driven lifestyle. Read more>>

Sindy Posso | Architect & Small Business Owner

I opened Cielito so that I could share our passion for healthy, creative and tasty sweets with our community. I’ve been in a kitchen since I was a little girl, watching, asking, eating the left overs, but I never was part of it. I grew up watching my grandmother make ice cream and I definitely wanted to start something but I did not know how. I have a background in architecture and interior design so I did not have any idea on how to come up with a business plan. But on the other hand, I was absolutely certain that I could make amazing ice cream and create a space that would be the perfect backdrop to combine my passion for design, art and great food. So after some thorough investigation on how to make ice cream pops in a commercial scale; so far I had only made ice cream at home; I started looking for a space and once I found it I went all in. Read more>>

Mia Paolini | Photographer

This is the easy part! I was a full-time, stay-home-mom to four kiddos and when the last of them headed off to pre-kindergarten I was feeling the need to take back a bit of life and do something for myself. Kind of to prove that I had it in me to take care of me again. I love being a mother – that will always come first (even though they are all teenagers). I took something that I already spent hours doing – photographing my children and our life and gave myself one year to see if I still enjoyed it with the added bonus of the business side of things. My friend Laura was also a huge impetus. She encouraged me to take the leap of faith and believe in myself. Read more>>

Kevin Eligwe | Designer

To create more value through designs that focus on reinforcing vital meaning and positivity. Read more>>

LaToya Stirrup | Entrepreneur & Creative Solutionist

My sisters and I started KAZMALEJE to solve our own problem. We were tired of dealing with excessive hair shedding while detangling, paddle brushes that would collapse, missing bristles or teeth…just a really poor experience. For the amount of money we spend on our hair, we felt we deserved better. Like many African-American women, we went natural at a time when the marketplace looked very different than it does today. We did not have a wide variety of hair products to choose from or tutorial videos to watch on YouTube. However, even though the product landscape has drastically changed and stores are redesigning their shelves to feature brands that speak directly to our needs, there is still a lack when it comes to hair tools and accessories. Read more>>

Christy Clark | Owner & Photographer

Since I was a little girl, I always craved being creative; painting, sculpting things out of clay, learning the piano, and yes, taking pictures on my parents polaroid and taping them to my walls. But I was always the one behind the camera not in front of it. After high school, I started college at Barry University full time all while holding a full time job as well. Eventually, I could no longer ignore a feeling that had begun to bubble up within me; waking up early & going to sleep late to make someone else’s dream come true wasn’t going to work for me. A couple years earlier, I had been gifted a starter, point & shoot Nikon camera that would hardly classify its owner as a photographer, but I was hooked. I started photographing my family and friends as a hobby, and learning the hard way what differentiates a person with a camera from a TRUE photographer. Read more>>

Alex Gardner | CEO

When I created the Good Vibrations Company, I wanted a brand that encompasses everything I’m all about and that’s living life to it’s full potential. When you wear my brand I want you to feel good, look good and spread Good Vibes everywhere you go! Read more>>

Brittani Jackson | CEO & Creative Director

One of the driving forces that inspired me to start my own business is the thought of being able to positively inspire and empower my daughters. Then while empowering them, I can empower all of the youth through dance and the Arts as well. It was and still is my mission to provide a positive space for the youth of all ages to be themselves and to tap into the true potential of their greatness. Through my passions of dancing and singing it has sparked a deeper calling on my life which is youth empowerment. When I started Scen-Ted Candle Company, my mindset was on becoming the go to company for 3 wick Candles, Wax Melts and much more! All of my products are handmade, creative, and made with love. Read more>>

Cody Bliss | Business Owner

Since the dawn of mankind, humans have evolved and grew accustomed to a life spent outdoors. We learned to socialize, love, grieve, and survive beneath the trees, through changing seasons, and alongside the sights and sounds of nature. In short, our brains as we know them today were hardwired in these natural environments but are now being asked to perform in our fast-paced, modern world. Fast forward to today and the majority of “civilized” societies live within the constraints and security of four walls and a roof. We work inside, eat inside, sleep inside and virtually spend the majority of our lives indoors. Add in the extra bonus of increased screen time, distractions, advertisements and we are left with a population that is utterly disconnected from the natural world. As a result, we see more people suffering from anxiety, obesity, mental fatigue and increased diseases. Read more>>

Davita Ramnarine | Bridal Consultant & Business Owner

After many years of employment in the business world, I reached crossroad where I was able to focus on my passion. I had my family’s support financially and morally which boosted my confidence and I was blessed to be able to realize this dream of having a business and doing what I love. Read more>>

Jarvis Lawhorn | Wedding Planner & Concept Designer

My thought process behind starting my own business came from me being passionate about weddings and events. When I looked around the industry I didn’t see many people of color that were hugely successful or even working in this industry. I felt that I have the drive to achieve great success if I stepped out on my own. I felt that if I could work and give my creative ideas to help advance another person business then why not do it for myself and build my own brand. Read more>>