Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Giovanna Quiñones | Entrepreneur / Creator

This was the hardest part of my process because I wanted to start something I believed in and would stick by! Starting a curl education class was tough this is a very niche industry, there’s no training , just a lot of trial and error. Even though there was a lot of people doing there own spin on this I kept pushing my ideas and kept them simple. I asked people what they wanted and I tried my best to deliver it. I teamed up with many hair care companies to teach people about hair products, what works , what doesn’t work, how to apply the products and how to find a stylist that can help keep their hair healthy. During this thought process I wanted to make sure I started something that wouldn’t “die out” or was just a “fad” teaching about natural hair care is something that meant something to me since I myself was on this journey to repairing my hair and even though I never attended cosmetology school, I knew I had to team up with others who did to teach and educate on why healthy hair is just as important as a healthy body. Read more>>

Dr. Tami Singh | Board Certified Family Physician, Certified Functional Medicine Provider, Yoga Instructor and Reiki Healer

I worked for a multispecialty group out of residency training as a family practicioner and realized after 7 years that I was not practicing medicine the way I wanted to or dreamed of. I was fortunate to stumble upon a model called Direct Primary Care. There were hundreds of like minded physicians that were part of this movement and welcomed me with open arms. After doing my research I was able to open my practice in 2018. Aspire Health – Direct Primary Care is unique when compared to the traditional primary care offices in which it is based off a membership model that allows patients unlimited access to their provider for a low cost. Read more>>

Shelly Desorvil | Natural Skincare Maker

The soap I was using wasn’t working for my skin anymore. My skin was getting dry and the stire brought soap wasn’t helping. I started to research ways to help my drying skin and that was when I was introduce to natural skincare products. I started to research and understand different herbs and ingredients that help with dry skin. I purchase my first mold and gather ingredients and made soap for myself and full in love with my skin again. My siblings started using my soaps also and loved it. That is when I started to realize that I am needed and I can actually help more people with skin conditions. At that moment Simply Beauty was born. Read more>>

Jaronica Sneed | Marketing Specialist

My thought process behind starting my business was simple: I needed to create my own lane. For a very long time I tried my best to find a job in Corporate America. I went through a stage where I was extremely depressed because I didn’t feel like I was “where I was meant to be”. Social Media can make you feel as if you aren’t accomplishing anything, but in reality, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. I went through a countless amount of jobs trying to figure out “my passion”. Throughout this whole process, I was completing small projects for family members and smaller businesses but I never thought that it was “my time” to start my business. I wanted more experience in Corporate America so that I could have good savings before I started my business. I had a plan and it didn’t work out. 2019 was the year of discovery for me. I realized that the “dream job” that I had been searching for was right in front of me. It was my business. Within 2 weeks of starting my business, I gained 3 clients. I was ecstatic and amazed at how God was literally ordering my steps in my industry. Read more>>

Gurjit Bansel | Photographer, Fashion Designer & Entrepreneur

Growing up as a minority I was always acutely aware that it was very rare to see people that looked like me on mainstream TV or in advertising campaigns. As an adult it bugged me that not much had changed, in fact wearing a turban had more stigma attached to it than ever before. I quickly realized that I had two options; start campaigning to the major fashion brands or start my own and be in control of the imagery used in advertising. I chose the latter. As a Sikh I was raised to always address inequality head-on and personally I felt this route suited me best. I am a photographer, so this allowed me to combine my passion for photography and use the images on a format that was new to me: clothing. When analyzing branding and imagery used in advertising I quickly came to the realization that certain minority groups were used when advertising sports clothing but largely excluded from formal wear, some ethnic groups are not recognized at all. Read more>>

Monika Rodriguez | Health Coach

It all started with me helping one of my friends get ready for a pageant. I had never trained anyone and I wasn’t certified. I just had a huge passion for fitness. I had also competed in pageants and was doing body building competitions at the moment. As I was helping her, I realized that I would love to do this full time. It was then that I decided to get certified. I began getting clients that were also in the pageant world and I was helping them get competition ready. I quit my job and was committedto doing this fulltime. However, I was young and not really sure how to run a business. Things didn’t go as planned and I kinda just let it all go. I took a year off and that was one of teh darkest years of my life. I was very depressed. I was alwyas crying and founf myself very unsure of who I was. I saw myself as a failure. One of my client, turned friend, sat my down and opened my eyes to how good I am at my craft. How much I changed her life and so man others. Why would I stop doing that. So I started up again and I haven’t stopped since. I have taking many other certifications, currently enrolled in school again and taking a business class. I have learned so much since those days. I have become more confident in my skills. Read more>>

Nikesha Elise Williams | Author & Publisher

I always say that I started my business, NEW Reads Publications, out of vanity. However, I’ve realized going on four years in that it was truly a necessity. I am an author. After working for years on my debut novel, Four Women, on my own and with literary agents, I had come to a place where my agents couldn’t sell my novel to a publishing house and they dropped me. But I still had this book that was done and so I decided to release it on my own. After finding an editor and setting everything up for independent publishing through various distribution channels I made the decision that I didn’t want another company’s name on my work as the publisher. So, that’s when I formed my company, filing with the IRS, the state, and most recently trademarking the name which will soon be followed by trademarking my accompanying logo. In forming my company, it initially was just a way for me to publish my own books. However, I’ve gone on to not only publish my work but also that of other authors as well. With three authors, so far, with books out, and two more on my roster with forthcoming projects. Read more>>

ANGELA and Spenser Goodwin | Upcycled Clotjing

Spenny Lane came to be approximately three years ago. Thrifting was always a passion of ours from as far back as we can remember. Being a Mother and Daughter team, we bring a lot of fashion diversity from our generational differences. Following fashion trends is one of our most favorite hobbies. With Mom having a fashion merchandising background and daughter having a technology/marketing background we created our dream small business. Upcycling thrifted clothing from estate sales, thrift stores, garage sales, vintage warehouses, and our very own closets, we create one of a kind custom pieces that are pieces of art. When we started we were thinking it would possibly just be a hobby for us, but now we are elated to be running a successful small business. The only regret is that we wish we would have pushed for our dream years ago. Now that we are experiencing our best life with Spenny Lane, collaborating for designs and business plans is most definitely a labor of love. Read more>>

Claire Howard | CEO & Founder, Wet Slip

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with nail polish and seeing all the intricate and simple designs that can be displayed on your hands. We do everything with our hands and believe it or not, not having manicured or simply clean nails can make or break your outfit sometimes. First impressions definitely matter. I also have always had a passion for the advancement of Black and Brown communities and that was further fostered through my education at Howard University where my minor was Afro American Studies. I knew I wanted a company that was successful through my own merits, which is based on intersecting the nail industry and making other BIPOC brands profitable simultaneously through every purchase. Wet Slip was born in early 2020 during the pandemic while nail shops were shut down. I originally worked on a business and crowdfunding plan for a store front nail shop that only used products from BIPOC brands but with strategic and delicate guidance from my mentor, Maia Shanklin-Roberts, that plan quickly changed. Read more>>

Paola Bayron | Journalist

In 2020, I lost my job and was one of the very lucky ones to have been hired within 24 hours after being laid off. However, after receiving the phone call from my previous employer, I felt a sort of emptiness. There was nothing to look forward to after. The dependency I had with corporate America was grand. And I realized that I needed to have something of my own. My job was my experience, it was the school I attended to train to do what I’m really supposed to be doing. And so now, as a new hire in my current job, I am also making plans to work on my project on the side. Obviously during a pandemic to start a business is a risk, but it has also provided a widening of imagination when it comes to creating businesses in the modern world. I decided to pursue starting my own podcast, become a host and tell stories, something I’ve always loved doing and was limited doing in my profession, but can start doing during my own free time. It might take no days off, but I think it’ll become worth it, one hundred percent. Read more>>

Megan Morrison | Wedding, Event & Home Decor Business Owner

To be honest, there wasn’t much of a thought process behind it in the very beginning. I’ve wanted to have my own design business since I was young but I didn’t do much planning for it. It just kind of happened. When I was a kid, my mom would come home from work and I’d have redecorated the whole living room and moved the furniture around while she was gone. My first magazine subscription was to Better Homes & Gardens. Weird I know. Home decor and design has always excited me for some reason. I’ve just always been fascinated by it. Over the years I’ve challenged myself to see what I can create on a budget. It’s just fun for me! So when it came time to start my business I didn’t really have a plan. A few years ago, I had corrective bone surgery on my foot and was stuck at home for about 6 months. That’s when my creative vision began to hatch. I started making giant dreamcatchers then I branched out to macrame wall hangings. It started as a fun project and when I posted a few photos, people began asking to buy them. Next thing you know I had customers loving my products and recommending me to their friends. Read more>>

Sophia Demirtas | Creative Director

Start even if you are afraid, and nothing is fully ready. I have found that, starting with minimum financial risk, and learning as you go is better than being fully prepared. Read more>>

Nicole Gates | Managing Partner / Creative Lead

My business partner Chef Karim Bryant and I live in the Historic community of Overtown in Downtown Miami. One night, wanted to go out for dinner, have drinks and listen to live music. It hit us like a ton of brick that there was no where in our community where we could do that. And it made absolutely no sense at all. So we started creating what is now known as “The GreenHouse.” Lil GreenHouse Grill is a comfy, hip neo-soul restaurant that offers a carefully curated Soul Food menu offering a healthy version of this delicous cuisine without sacrificing tradition or taste. Read more>>

Valentino Longo | Head Bartender Four Seasons Surfside and Founder of Shoshin Art Club

Last January I participated a National cocktail competition called ” The most imaginative bartender”. During this cocktail competition you have to present a personal project and explain how you’ll use the winning money. I presented an idea of opening a member club where the bar industry can meet, have classes from other bartenders, share ideas and partecipate at events. Obviously 2 months later Covid happened and I decided to translate the original idea into an online platform. this is how Shoshin Art Club was born, an online platform where the bar industry can watch and get inspired videos from award winning bartenders such as Erik Lorincz from London, Julio Cabrera from Miami, Kevin Diedrich from San Francisco. Classes that can inspire bartenders, barracks, but also managers or just cocktail aficionados. As there are also more technical classes such as Tea production, Honey, Food photography. Read more>>

Michelle Stubbs | Event planner

Having run weddings and events in the UK for the last 5 years I found myself often being approached by people to help organise their own special events and occasions. Miami has so many diverse and unique event spaces and is one of the party capitals of the world. I found myself drawn into the possibilities here. Read more>>

Shalonda Hill | Photographer

When you work for someone, you don’t always have control of the creative process. You can’t make those decisions without prior approval. I watched and learned from other photographers who own their business and thought that this was something I could do for myself. I was being asked for my business card and pricing of my sessions and events and had nothing about me, nothing to give, nothing to tell. I couldn’t believe that people were asking for ME! So, one day I just decided that that day was the day I would create my business. Something that was mine and something that allowed me to control the creative process and prices. And most of all … all the money made was mine and not some other company who may or may not have even know who I am. Read more>>

Jen Klaassens | Purpose Driven Human

For more than 7 ½ years I was an executive for a family foundation that went way beyond typical grantmaking activities. I became actively involved in the nonprofit sector and essentially functioned as the “connector” to help coordinate and facilitate philanthropy in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. As an executive for the foundation, I was fortunate to meet and work with key individuals and community leaders with hundreds of businesses, foundations and nonprofits. These connections provided the opportunity to gain a better understanding not only of the needs of the community and the nonprofits, but also to learn the interests of the individuals, businesses and foundations that want to help the community. This information was, and is, invaluable in allowing me to provide a unique perspective on the populations and communities we serve and it allows me to better coordinate the interests of benefactors with those of the nonprofits. Read more>>

Eliam Coro | Creative Director

There really was no thought process I think I was just young naïve an eager to start my own business. Read more>>

Andrew Small | Owner

When I decided to start First Class Cleaning FLA I wanted to be able to have the flexibility to of running an organization that would be mine. All the long hours and dedication to the company would go back to the employees and clients and provide a great service for South Florida. Also it would give me flexibility to work on my hours for the day. Read more>>