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.

Jailene J. | CEO, Makeup Artist & Fashion Model

I remember getting my degree and instantly securing a position in that career field. I thought I was really living my best life until I realized that I was paying for a home that I was never in & fixing up a bed then I rarely slept in. Those 12 – 16 hour shifts plus mandatory overtime just wasn’t for me. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted something more; something better. I yearned to be my own boss, create my own schedule & have the freedom to make money indulging in the things I was actually passionate in. Read more>>

Nadiya de la Fuente | Orchid arrangements Designer & Artist

I always admired the beautiful orchid arrangements in design magazines. They were usually photographed in million-dollar homes. I loved that they looked stunning while requiring zero maintenance – a perfect fit for busy homeowners who love beautiful things but don’t have the time to take care of them. My first arrangements were created for my house, then my friends started asking me to design similar flower arrangements for their homes too. After working on a few projects, I realized how much I enjoyed the process of creating unique, one-of-a-kind, 100% custom-made, and of course beautiful orchid arrangements. That inspired me to open my own company, Orchidèe LLC. Read more>>

Blake Pennock | Chiropractic Physician

I have always wanted to start my own business and had plans in my mind for this. I dreamed about all of the aspects of my business for years while working as an employee but was too afraid of taking the risk – always saying “next year”. It happened pretty suddenly when I was fed up and drained from knowing that the patient’s that I was treating deserved more. They needed more one on one time, a more thorough investigation into their complaints, and more attention to detail; all of which I was not able to provide as an employee because in this business it was all about the numbers. Read more>>

Teresa Rodriguez | Private Practice Dietitian – Ketogenic Diet Therapies

I woke up one day in May of 2015 and my world was dimmer, darker. I didn’t know it then, but I was slowly going blind. I was in my forties, a single mom, and a nutritionist with more than twenty years of experience. I had done everything right, and yet my vision was beginning to fail. For decades, I had focused on food and diseases, and how diet can impact your health. It wasn’t my diet that was causing my blindness—it was my environment, specifically the mycotoxins of fungus and mold. Read more>>

Rhea Verma | Productivity Coach

I believe that time is the most precious resource we have. The culture of hustling and grinding to achieve your goals isn’t something that resonates with me. It is possible to achieve your goals in a way that doesn’t lead to burnout, it is possible to achieve your goals in a way that you get to enjoy your life in the process! I wanted to share with people that there is a healthy and sustainable way to achieve your goals and that’s how my business was born. I teach entrepreneurs how to get a work-life balance so they can be successful in their business + have a life outside of it too! My coaching is all about being intentional with your time, being mindful of the tasks you’re doing. I teach entrepreneurs how to focus on the tasks that are actually going to serve them long term and make a significant impact on their business and life. Read more>>

Karla Rivas | Designer & Photographer

well, I’ve always loved photography. Back when I was in FIU I took a couple of classes of art and photography and fell in love with the back and white developing process. Seeing the photograph appear right infront of your eyes, it was magic to me. I graduated from FIU with a masters in architecture and started my career in architecture. When COVID-19 hit our world, my office couldn’t keep all their employees and I was lay-off. At moment, I realized I had the opportunity to reevaluate my life and do what I really loved. So photography was my future. Soon after, I started taking photographs of my family and posted them online on my page. Fastforward a year, here I am. Read more>>

Lubens Ervil | Dripstar & Designer

My vision when starting Legaxy was to become one of the most exclusive and notable luxury streetwear brands and also to create a new wave for black designers. Being that there are already so few black notable designers I wanted to create a new culture for other designers that came from the same background as me. That’s why I approach the fashion industry in such a unique way staying true to myself and my upbringing. Rap music had such a big influence on me growing up which is why I approach the fashion industry the way I do. I feel fashion and music go hand and hand. So I feel my brand Legaxy and also myself as a designer bring the two together. People call themselves Rockstars and one of my favorite artist Polo G calls himself a Rapstar I consider myself a real life Dripstar. Read more>>

Taylor Lazarus | Trendless CEO

I’ve always been interested in clothing, growing up my Dad always took me to work with him to his clothing manufacturer during the summer. I remember seeing all types of fabrics, machines, design software etc. I was not interested in making the same clothes that my father was producing but I believe these summers sparked the creative curiosity in me to one day create my own brand. Fast forward to 2021 my friend hired me to work for his company, OTM Printing, to help him print clothes for his own brand THE EDITION. Read more>>

Jade Wonzo | Yoga Instructor

I thought about my son. I thought about how important it is that he sees me “doing the work”. Not just the work of starting a business, but that I show him things like character, integrity, honestly, love, compassion. Starting my own business, I work to encompass all these things. I am yoga instructor, and I see many spaces where things like Wellness, are not available to all people. I believe that yoga and wellness, is for ALL PEOPLE. My heart belongs to creating safe spaces, where people can feel seen and heard. The goal (which i’m still working on 🙂 ) is to open a space for yoga, meditation, and other healing outlets. More simply, I just really wanted to do something that I cared deeply about. Read more>>

Briana Lewis | Fashion Blogger & Content Creator

When I began to realize that working a 9-5 was not fulfilling me. Even though I work in the fashion/retail industry as a visual stylist, which was what I initially wanted when I entered the workforce after graduating college, I began to notice that I was just looking for something more. I was looking for more freedom and more control over my time and my freedom to create what I wanted and how I wanted to. I knew to achieve this I would have to begin the process of building my own brand and business and figuring out what route I would take. I combined my passions and interests and hobbies and realized that I wanted to create my own business as a fashion and content creative and create a fashion and lifestyle blog and begin to enhance my social media content. Read more>>

Lee Torain | Owner of Barkery & Brew

Well as a personal trainer and personal chef my business was severely affected by the pandemic. I found myself basically out of work. Years ago I thought of starting a food truck but felt the startup costs were more than I wanted to invest . With a lot of free time on my hands,I thought about ways to diversify my income doing something that I really enjoyed. With a love for cooking, dogs and electric bikes Barkery & Brew was born! Barkery & Brew is Fort Lauderdale’s only dog treat trike serving small batch, grain free, healthy dog treats to the pups and cold brew coffee and cold brew hibiscus tea to their peeps. Read more>>

Giovanna Quinones | Social Media Freelancer

When I began thinking of starting my own business I was scared, How would I make time? How much will I have to invest? However all those things were pushed to the side when I realized WHY I was even thinking about starting my own business. I wanted to work for myself, I wanted to be able to take my vision put it to life and have a solid foundation for my family. I found something that I was really good at and began writing down why I felt I was good at these things. With over ten successful years of sales and marketing experience I knew that I wanted to take my expertise and make it my own. So what started as a hobby on social media, turned into a business venture of helping other entrepreneurs just like myself use platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to build their brands and scale their business. Read more>>

Katrina Stoneking | Owner and Founder, Bitsy Stoneking

I saw a gap in the market of providing access to designers from all over the world into the US in a small business way. It is a more personal introduction. I have always wanted to start my own line, so beginning that process and seeing it through in the middle of the pandemic has been a rewarding journey and I have learned so much from that experience. Expensive, but rewarding! I refuse to cut costs when it comes to quality, I would rather have my customers know that the pieces they have purchased will last, instead of tossing them in a few months. Read more>>

Lindsey Valentine | CEO/Designer

Why I started Swagher Inc. After going through addiction and experiencing time behind bars, I realized how many people aren’t given second chances. I have a background in Executive management with a large oversight in creating and growing call centers from lending centers to solar installation to the non-profit world. Though I was able to help many people I still only had limited control of who I hired and who I had to let go due to background checks. In August of 2018 I decided to leave my job and give Swagher Inc. my all, it was time to have complete control who was on my team. Read more>>

Aleksandar Santini | Tech Enthusiast & Social Media Master

As a 17-year-old high school student, I have a handful of seemingly useless free time, such as on the way to school or while waiting for something. During that time, I usually scroll through social media, especially Instagram. Of course, it suddenly occurred to me, “So why don’t I start my own Instagram page?”. After doing a little research, I figured out how to quickly grow a following on Instagram and eventually make money. I currently own two Instagram theme pages: @luxuryachtvibes and @mtbvibesonly. Yacht page has hit 10,000 followers within two months, and bikes are slowly but surely growing exponentially. Read more>>

Natalya Moosa | Certified Hair Practitioner & Natural Hair Advocate

Pre-pandemic I was enjoying life as a self-employed DJ. It took me a decade to build my music career and I was in a place where I was looking to expand my services. Then the pandemic hit! Seemingly overnight I lost my main source of income and fell through the cracks of government support. It was a time of grief.
But that wasn’t all… After the murder of George Floyd, the music industry and a lot of the people in it, as well as people who I considered to be close friends completely shattered my perception of safety. People from all areas of the industry including venue managers, label owners, promoters, other musicians and even individuals I’d viewed as personal mentors showed their true colours. Read more>>

The Picnic Darlings | Luxury Pop Up Picnic Planners

We wanted something more fulfilling outside of our 9-5’s. We both worked for corporate America (Elea in logisitics for a big cruise line and myself in marketing for a national homebuilder) and during the height of the pandemic, with all the time being spent at home, we were both longing for something more than our current jobs. A passion project of sorts. Both of our mothers are successful entreprenuers and we inherited the hustle mindset so it was only natural for us to start a business. Read more>>

Jose Valdes | Consultant, Designer, Contractor, Trainer, and Family Man

I wanted more freedom and knew that in my work situation at the time I was at the top of what I could achieve where I was. Something had to change, I was confident in my technical abilities and knew I could sell so I went for it. Honestly the thought of being trapped in what I was doing at the time forever was scary I mean so early on to accept your gonna make x amount of money week after week with no possibility to make more and on top of that having to be on someone else’s schedule, it just made less and less sense not to make the move. Read more>>

Stephanie Leger | Chief Excellence Officer- Transforming companies to be more strategic, productive and excel in hospitality service

I spent a few years traveling on the road from hotel to hotel training employees on service standards mostly in housekeeping. I was traveling so much, I didn’t even have an apartment and literally lived out of my suitcase. Hence, I have more travel experience and stayed in more hotels than George Clooney in Up In The Air. Read more>>