Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Latraci Reaves | Entreprenuer & Mom

The thought process behind starting my own business, was to create a level of financial freedom for myself and my children to be able to have generational wealth for us and their children. Read more>>

DPretty | Artist

I started music when I discovered the talent I had after being challenged to make a song better than what I heard on the radio, in addition to my love of music. I also wanted to use the platform to help others, in Africa, specifically, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is my native country. Read more>>

Kirsten Holliman | Founder & Formulator

As a young child, I’ve always known that I wanted to own my own business of some sort. When I had a tug on my shoulders to step into the beauty and cosmetic industry, I knew then that my purpose was revealing itself to me. The purpose to create and provide services and products to help others become the best version of themselves. Self-love is the best love, and we all deserve to feel confident and beautiful in our appearance, Read more>>

Kristie S. Andrews | Life Makeover Coach

I’ve always had the overwhelming desire to be extraordinary. I’ve always wanted to be a vessel to help inspire and motivate others to be their best self and to always go after their dreams. This is why I became a Certified Professional Life Coach, Transformational Life Coach, and an Emotional Intelligence Coach. Read more>>

Andrelle Wilson | Event Specialist

I enjoy commemorating life’s moments– from planning a friend’s birthday to decorating for a love one’s baby shower, there is an excitement that I have always been drawn to ensuring that special days are celebrated well. After transitioning out of the military, I was left with the uncertainty of deciding what would the next step be. I chose to build on the growing passion to create meaningful moments, and Andy’s Treasures, LLC. was born. Read more>>

ShaQuita Pope-Maxwell | Founder, CEO

My thought process of starting Jus Networking Girlz was to break the stigma that women can’t get along and everyone has the crab in a barrel mentality. It was needed to show that girl power is not just a phrase but a form of life. Read more>>

Elaine Burgalin | Interior designer

I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Just believing and remaining consistent with my passion. I’ve seen more myself than just working 9-5 everyday doing the same repetitive stuff. Read more>>

Sabryia Reese | The Fairy Brandmother: Chief Brand Executionist, Web & Graphic Designer

I found myself sitting on the floor of a homeless shelter staring at my then 1.5 yr old daughter, trying to figure out how to start again. And I prayed and I cried and I prayed some more and asked GOD to show me what I needed to do. Literally that same week, a friend of mine told me there was a program gifting people business classes but it was in New Jersey and I was still living in Brooklyn. Read more>>

Raza Ry | Creative Producer, Agency Owner, Photographer

Ever since I was a kid, my parents instilled a mindset of working for myself. Mainly because they saw the power in it and felt they weren’t given that same advice. They come from the old school south where it was taught to work for the best t company and work hard to get a pension. Read more>>

Carah Faye | Recording Artist

Starting my own business/solo music career boiled down to creative control. I love the music I made with my band, Shiny Toy Guns, but truly felt like I had so much more to say from a more personal perspective. Read more>>

Keisha Dixon | Weath Embodiment Coach

When I decided to start my own business, I was in my 32nd year in executive leadership at some of the most prominent corporate law firms in the world. My mid-six figure paycheck was a blessing on paper, and I was secretly miserable. Read more>>

Artsy Ashlee | Female Tattoo Artist & Business Owner

A couple years ago, if you would’ve asked me if I’d ever own my own business – I’d laugh and look at you like you were crazy. I never thought that my life would be the way it is now. My thought process behind starting my own business was a mixture of being tired of running other people’s business and working alongside people that slacked on important things to me like work ethic and cleanliness. Read more>>

Kasiyahna Kushkituah | Founder of F.A.B. & Professional Athlete

There are a few businesses I plan to start in the next couple of years. I have always had a passion for other hobbies outside of my sport. Basketball plays a big factor in my life beginning at 11 years old. I love everything about the game including how much it has taught me, the experiences I’ve made, the places I’ve been and people I have met. Read more>>

Erica Trimble | Owner of Oh So Clean

I enjoy cleaning, & I’m always going to someone’s house while I’m visiting cleaning up ,( not to be rude). Friends and Family members have told me for years I need to make it a business. So after quitting my job during Covid to pursue my dreams more. I started talking to a close friend about starting my company she motivated more to start. Read more>>

Kyndra Tate | Social Media Manager | Content Creator

Well, I originally started my journey to cultivating a career with the intention of becoming a therapist. I have always enjoyed listening to people and helping people connect with their thoughts. I also enjoy creating. The process to take one thing and turn it into something else brought joy to my life. I spent a lot of time doing self-portraits, writing, and being myself on social media. Read more>>

Candace Moore | Event Planner

I actually discovered my passion for weddings at a young age. There was something about attending those first few weddings that captivated me. As I attended more weddings I began to notice that the planner is the one who makes the day run smoothly for a couple. Read more>>

DARYL FUNN | Author Poet Teacher Game Designer & Conceptual Designer

I have always wanted to be my own boss. In control of the narrative. When I graduated from college there was a company that tried to convince me they didn’t wear suits/uniforms. That they wore khakis and polos not realizing that was a uniform. So i knew I would have to grind and make things happen because no one really knew who I was. Read more>>

Breezy Parker | Custom Branding Specialist

I actually started out as a clothing brand called MOLLY which stands for Money Over Love Love Yourself. I struggled with finding someone to print for me and when I found someone they were over charging like crazy! So I just researched what I needed to buy to print on my own and started buying everything piece by piece. Then my passion changed. Read more>>

Ashley Thomas Morgan Perkins | Co-owners, bakers

We founded Galette in 2017 and it has changed quite a bit since its inception. To understand how Galette has evolved, it’s important to know a little backstory. We first met while working at Sur La Table in Atlanta. Ashley was the resident chef of the culinary program and initially hired Morgan as an assistant, only to quickly promote her to a teaching chef. Read more>>

Daisy Bolger | Digital Artist

Iv’e always wanted to invent. I would dream up the craziest things that I wanted to bring to life. One time when I was about 5 years old I wanted to invent a way to walk up walls and spent way too much time testing out methods by making my hands sticky and actually trying to climb up a flat wall. Read more>>

Tyjia Sherman | Realtor I Investor I Educator I Philanthropist

I am no stranger when it comes to serving my community. As a former Educator I taught under-privileged children for years needless to say, I have always seen value in bridging the wealth and generational gap within the minority communities. Read more>>

Ashley Hunt-Poole | Premier Mocktail Brand black, female owned and operated Mocktails for Mommy

Made with no artificial color or flavoring, refreshing and irresistible this is what comes to mind when you take a sip of Mocktails for Mommy. Hello, my name is Ashley Hunt-Poole CEO of Mocktails for Mommy a beverage company that provides the best Mocktail drinks around town. Read more>>

Alexis Marie Music | Musical Artist

My thoughts were, “I have to do it.” Although following my dreams of becoming a musician created a whole new level of entrepreneurship, destiny called. I answered. Read more>>

OCTAVIA HOLDER | Entrepreneur & Art Enthusiast

I was determined to accomplish financial freedom in order to build generational wealth and break the cycle of living “hand-to-mouth” as my fellow Jamaicans would say. I saw that being an employee was not going to allow me to achieve this goal. At the age of 19, I started my first business by doing door-to-door jewelry sales. Going into business definitely was rough and I knew it would have been from the get go. Read more>>

Rafael Pena | Business Consultant & Travel Writer for

Originally I was an independent rap artist from New York City in the 2000’s and I toured Europe and the states by using Myspace and the marketing myself all over the internet. Some could say I was successful on my own but when I had a son and a family to feed, music no longer became my priority but I always wanted to stay in business and be a part of it. Read more>>

Abbie Abiodun | Dispute Resolution Practitioner

Having worked in both the public and private sector for years. I realized there was a vacuum that needed my skills and I could and would fill that. Read more>>

Keisha Walker | Dispatcher/Trucking Company Owner

I knew a long time ago that a 9-5 just wasn’t for me. In my past me and my husband tried couple different businesses but none of them ever stuck. When covid came and I saw how the company I worked for treated their employees and at that time I had had enough. In my mind I knew I had to start something that could produce some money. Read more>>

Tori Brown | Founder and Executive Shef

The thought process behind starting my own business was actually already part of me. I come from a bloodline and family of blacked-businesses. My passion for cooking, catering and creating a food product line was because of my late Grandmother, Sarah Brown, who was true Southern Belle from, Santee, SC. Read more>>

Bilal Fatwa | DJ B Roccc

I really fell in love with djing and started practicing everyday to hone my skills. Once I had the opportunity to spin in front of a crowd, I was addicted. It never felt like I was actually working so I put everything behind it and never looked back. Read more>>

Algie Brodnax Aka FTP | Entrepreneur / Philosopher

Starting my own business was always a dream for me. But in the beginning it was tough. There is no way to prepare for the amount of sleepless night of trying to get your business off the ground. Trials and tribulations are things you will have to overcome. The biggest thing you will have to overcome is believing in yourself and knowing your worth. Read more>>

Ashlee Seven” Samone | Master esthetician and entrepreneur”

I started my own business with the intention of creating something that would allow me to help people on my own terms. As a single mother of a child with autism and intellectual disability, I needed to be able to create my own schedule and have autonomy over where and when I worked. On the same token, I wanted to be able to create something that my son could grow up being a part of and something I could pass down to him. Read more>>

Mocha Monroe | Entrepreneur/Content Creator/Writer

My thought process was to be able to use my voice and create a platform to facilitate in moving the culture forward. By culture, I mean hip hop culture and by moving forward, I mean showcasing the hip hop culture in all aspects not just one dimensional. Read more>>

B Moore | Fashion Designer

I wanted something no one could take from me, something to call my own. In this life I wasn’t dealt the best hand (though it’s something I never complain about) that came with a lot of loss e.g. losing both of my parents before age 25. Read more>>

Sarah Paul | Cellist & Music Contractor

Early in my career, I lived and worked in the DC area–I was there for six years. I played chamber music gigs with some phenomenal musicians (some of them were Marines who played at the White House), but much of the time, we were working under the auspices of larger companies whose owners charged clients a lot and paid the musicians a small fraction of these fees. Read more>>

Tanaria Byars | CEO of Touched of Tanaria

Starting my business was never intentional. Styling hair was just a hobby that I loved doing when I had free time from school. In my junior year of college, I decided to take my business seriously because I was receiving a lot of positive feedback on my work. Read more>>

Will Michael | Apparel Designer & E-Commerce Entrepreneur

Most people start businesses out of leisure or enthusiasm, they are passionate about a thing and have seen others gain success selling goods or services – whatever the industry might be. But the successful ones, whether the success is rather mild or overwhelming lucrative, start their business out of necessity. Read more>>

J’Quan Robinson | Catering

I come from a long background of cooking. I wanted to have a family oriented business Where I can build a legacy for my future kids and their kids. Something more than just a restaurant I want to build an empire. Read more>>

Muff The Producer | Music Producer

My process behind starting my own business wasn’t straight to the point like others. I started making music and realized it was a passion and I wasn’t thinking about the business aspects in the beginning. Read more>>

Nichole Jones | Event Coordinator & Stylist

Aesthetic is a project of passion. I graduated from UC Riverside with my BS in Business Administration, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I took a leap of faith, invested in myself and brought Aesthetic to life. Read more>>

Katelyn & Matt Pike | Wedding Videographers, Honeycomb Films

We starting Honeycomb Films in 2019 after our own wedding. Funny story: we originally thought “let’s film our own wedding – we could totally do that!” Now looking back – we couldn’t be more happy to that we hired a videographer! There is no way we could have captured our own wedding to the caliber that a professional could! Read more>>

Heather Eason | CEO and Principal Designer, Z & Co. Design Group

I was working for a furniture and design company and had worked my way up corporate ladder managing a team of designers. Originally, branching out was a means to further help my clients who were inquiring about my work, become my own boss, ditch the corporate vibe (more creative freedom) and to work closer to home. I had big dreams of growing my small business into a larger design-build firm and we’ve done just that. I’m super proud of how we’ve grown and the team we have. Read more>>

Ivy Williams | Balanced Babes Founder & Self Care Enthusiast

When I was first thought of becoming an entrepreneur I knew I wanted to create something that represented what I love and something that could improve someone ‘s quality of life. I have always enjoyed making a positive impact on others, and I wanted whatever I was going to create had to be special yet significant. Read more>>

Lucy Crivelli | Co Founder & Executive Producer

After experiencing uncomfortable situations on set and not seeing diversity in spaces I was working in, I wanted find a way to build a pathway for Creators of color to own their roles. I was tired of seeing our stories being told by a team that couldn’t relate to our experiences, our culture, or our values. I didn’t realize that what I was building would be a business one day. Read more>>

Carl Dessaint | haitian chef

at first like most people it was just a side hustle ..try to make a little extra money on the side …but as i kept going i( being that i already love cooking) and being that there’s not a lot of decent haitian caterers it just ran. with it Read more>>

Tammie Peterson | Photographer

Earning money doing what I love and passionate about….. Read more>>

Edwin Jean-Baptiste | Graphic Designer

The short honest answer is: freedom. I been hustling through my craft since I was a kid – from selling drawings of DBZ characters to kids at school to freelancing making party flyers for entertainment groups & mixtape covers for underground rappers in college. Read more>>

Niambi Moore | Entrepreneur & Women’s Rights Advocate

I started my own businesses because my boyfriend and I had to go on a strict budget when I had our daughter. I was in my senior year of college and my boyfriend was the only one working at the time. Read more>>

Ashley Monroe Watson | Beer Influencer/Content Creator/Beer Nerd

I started BrewedBlackGirl in 2018 because I had been loving craft beer for a minute and every time I saw anyone talking about it online is was either a man or a white woman. I know there were a few black ladies I found after BBG’s start, but while searching they were lost in the sea of whiteness majority. I wanted to see someone that looked like me! I wanted to be someone that another black girl who’s venturing into this new world could look to and learn from. Read more>>

Jazmine Monroe | Atlanta Makeup Artist(Beautybooster)

My thought process behind starting my own business was simply me asking myself, what do you really want to do in life as a long term goal , something fun but still making a good amount of money doing it. Read more>>

Malaezia Davis | Entrepreneur & Cosmetologist

Growing up I’ve always been into anything beauty. Hair,makeup.nails,fashion you name it I loved it . After graduating high school at 16 years old I went to cosmetology school where I not only expanded my knowledge on beauty but I learned tons of business skills. Mid semester I would start to notice more girls in school and outside of school wearing eyelashes extensions. Read more>>

Mrs Phancee | The Serial Entrepreneur

Start your business with a plan. Just as a foundation has to be built for a house, a business needs a solid foundation and if you’re not willing to put in the ground work to start a business then the work needed to maintain the business will be lack luster. I think that one of the biggest mistakes that people make is they start a business because they want to be their own boss or make a lot of money. Read more>>

Shanterria Lawrence | Owner of Glam Retreat

Entrepreneurship has always been a goal of mine since I was a child. I’ve always thought about starting my own business, but I was nervous about the process. After helping a few friends and family members with their businesses I gained the confidence to start my own handmade jewelry collection. Owning your own business and having something to pass along to the next generation is one of the biggest factors of creating generational wealth. Read more>>

Calvin Watson Jr. | Musician & Producer

I knew I was going to own my own business one day. when I was six years old, I used to walk up and down Old National Hwy Selling stocking caps to all the businesses that were on Old National Hwy by myself. The older I got the more items I would sell. It didnt matter if it was a yo yo or selling cutomized mix CDs I sold it. but selling the Cds made me realize that I was created to create. Read more>>

Caitlin Hunt | Sustainable Fashion Stylist & Social Media Maven

I was tired of feeling unfulfilled. I wanted to do something to make a living for myself involving the things that I’m passionate about. I love social media and the way that it allows us to connect and engage with people from anywhere in the world. Read more>>

Joseph Jones | Personal Trainer, Health & Wellness Coach

1. What was your thought process behind starting your own business? I’m a Gen-X’er. Generation of the Latch-Key kid, gap bridgers between black and white TV and color, first kids to experience cable, home video game systems, personal computers, and malls. We’re highly independent, tech-saavy, and have a high entrepreneurial tendency. Having my own business, not just a side-hustle, is in my makeup. Read more>>