We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business.  Check out their responses below.

Candi Cylar | Experience Director & Event Producer

Many years ago I decided that I wanted to live on purpose. Everything I did I wanted it to be purpose-driven. My goal was to do what I enjoyed and gifted to do. God has continually opened doors for me to do just that. The purpose fueled my passion and desire gave me the drive to become a business owner. Read more>>

Ce’Erica Allen | Brand Designer

For me starting a business starts with a shift in mindset. Not everyone is cut out to be a business owner or entrepreneur and that’s ok!. For those who are truly ready to be their own boss there are a few things that you must begin to accept first to get you prepared for the long road ahead. Make Investments (be hopeful for success but be prepared for failure.) Don’t be afraid of failure so much it prevents you from succeeding. Sometimes you have to be willing to make investments or do things that may not pan out but you have to take chances. It’s definitely ok to write something as a loss, but you always have to look at what you’ve learned from that experience. Read more>>

Jasmin Forts | Talent Management Director & Certified Career Coach

Simply answering the need to being what I needed when I started my career. I thought about the experience of starting my career in Corporate settings not have access to others shared how they managed career development or growth. Additionally, being a Black woman, I did not see myself in others in Leadership positions or staying in workplaces to help shape workplace culture. After growing my professional development and career to certain level, I knew I wanted to give access to resources or coaching that spoke to that unique need. Being true to myself and my story, I have been able to build a business that helps and feeds purpose in my life. Read more>>

Toni McEachin | Natural Beauty Expert & Owner of Duchess Cosmetics

The premise in which we’ve built Duchess Cosmetics is that we’re all about delivering products that complement your existing beauty … not transform you into someone you’re not. We see beautiful Queens who are more than enough and are not defined by societal standards or trends. Duchess Cosmetics is here to amplify your natural beauty with our hypoallergenic, vegan, and paraben and cruelty-free cosmetics. Read more>>

Bettina Benson | Founder & Creative Director of Chloe Kristyn

I am Bettina Benson, the owner of Chloe Kristyn. Chloe Kristyn was born from a realization that I had more to offer this world and that my work is (really about) helping women see themselves in the mirror of their greatest self. Instead of living a prescribed life in which I made the “safe” and “right” choices, I began to write my own chapters and design an authentic life as well as clothing that creates a perfectly proportioned backdrop for women to tell and live their stories. Chloe Kristyn, is named after my daughter, Chloe; I will do everything I can to leave this world a better place for her. Read more>>

Dalano Hill

Since a young age I’ve had different “small” businesses. Most wild fall under a hustle. From taking the elderly trash out and using the money from that to buy candy to sell. To building and fixing computers. I’ve always had an independent mindset when it comes to business. They never lasted because they were simply “all about a buck.” This business is more about the messaging I can put out into the world. This business aligns with my Purpose. Read more>>

Cleon T Day III | CEO

I like movies and everything about them, the storytelling, the acting, the sets, the way it awakens one’s soul. Georgia was becoming a multibillion-dollar movie industry, the Hollywood of the South, and I wanted to be a part of it. I thought, how I could tap into this new market, make some money from it, and be close to where all the action is. Local businesses were leasing out their restaurants, hotels, museums, nightclubs, etc. for not only films but television and music video productions. I came up with a concept of creating a sort of “one-stop-shop” and setting several location scenes in one facility, Grand Prize Singles Experience. Grand Prize Singles Experience is not a group of sound stages, however, a physical functioning entertainment space. Read more>>

Hayden Coleman | Producer, Songwriter, Artist, and Entrepreneur

Well, I’ve always been entrepreneurial in my mind set since I was younger, and I even decided to go to school for entrepreneurship after I was nearly complete with my music business degree. For me, the 2 best things about business ownership are having control of my own destiny, and having the ability to employ and empower others. It’s definitely more difficult, but way more rewarding, because I don’t have to depend on anyone else other than me for my own success. I get to create my own destiny and make my own rules. Plus, being able to empower others with the ability to provide for themselves and their family is another thing that’s important to me. Read more>>

Raven Denise | YouTuber & Social Media Influencer

The thought process behind starting my own business was very intricate. I wanted to do something to establish an independence, create another source of income, and give others a glimpse on who I really am all at the same time. To me, YouTube was the perfect platform for me to do all three. For years, I have watched various influencers and always wondered how it feels to do something that you love and be able to do it on your own time. Starting my channel was honestly just a leap of faith and I cannot wait to see where this platform leads me. Read more>>

Sherry Norris | Interior Designer and DIY Expert

Friends and family have always asked me to help them remodel their home, refresh a room, refurbish a piece of furniture or create something to finish off an area of their home. Because helping people create functional, family friendly and beautiful homes is my passion, opening a business is my opportunity to pursue this passion. A couple of years ago my husband joined me and together we have created an entire line of high quality, hand crafted, solid wood home accessories to provide clients with an on-line store full of beautiful products. It has been the icing on the cake! Now clients not only have full scale interior design and decorating services, they have a place to purchase unique pieces to finish their spaces beautifully. Read more>>

Adarius Adams | Vehicle and Home Customizer

I wanted to help people with their vision. From cars to homes I wanted to make sure my clients could rep the benefits of working hard and enjoying their vision. Read more>>