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.

Brittanie Muahammad | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

Honestly, doesn’t everyone dream to be their own boss? I guess for me it’s always been the end goal. The last couple of years have been truly eye opening and was the push I needed to go all in on my business. Even though you end up working 24/7 when you own your own company, having the freedom of doing whatever you want when you want, pays off! Read more>>

Megan Castro | Illustrator, Designer + Owner of Stellarly Studio

Stellarly Studio isn’t my first try at starting a business, and Stellarly Studio looks different today than it did even last year! Where I am now is due to the culmination of many failed attempts at finding myself, my style, a voice, and getting a lot of things wrong many, many times. So, when starting Stellarly Studio, I had a lot of life lessons that helped inform me of where I wanted to start and where I wanted to go. When I decided to start the business, I was finishing illustrating my second tarot deck, dreaming big, and I decided to move beyond inspiration, beyond all the daydreaming, and just go for it. Read more>>

Heather Lawson-Bradfield | Marketing ops consultant & strategist

I operate from a place of excellence – meaning, I bring excellence to the table, every single time. When employed, you’re not given a choice on who your clients are or who your coworkers are. This isn’t fun when you’re a top performer. While I love pulling people up, it becomes burdensome when it’s an ongoing expectation. Read more>>

Derek Binette | DJ & Emcee

I was 20 years old, and I had been DJing on the side for a couple of years. I had a good friend who was interested in starting a business with me, so we got a loan from my Grandmother to buy our first set of speakers and lights. Music was always a large part of my life growing up, and I was fascinated by the affect music has on energy, mood and memories. Read more>>

Santana AnnaKay | Women’s Empowerment & Wellness Coach

I wanted to turn my pain into purpose and essentially, pay it forward. I want to empower women to find their self worth and make their wellness a priority. Read more>>

Antoinette Dormer Whitman | TV & Film Producer

The first thought behind starting my prodcution company, Divine & Align Media, was to create an agency that supports creatives like me. A space where BIPOC and Queer Storytellers feel empowered to use their voice in full turth at thier highest voulme. My 2nd thought was closing the gap between my carreer and motherhood. I needed the abilty to bring my daughter with me to set on work trips. i need to be able to inspire the creative leader in her with a view from video village. Lasty, legacy and my divine pupose to lead. I know I posses what it takes to get this done and my daughter deserves what will come from that! Read more>>

Ashley N. Company | Founder of Social Enterprise – World Travel Expert – Author – Speaker

I’m highly driven by impact and saw a void in my community where I thought I could help. I left my corporate career to travel for one year a decade ago and I learned two critical things that became the impetus for my business. 1) Black people are everywhere, not just Africa and the Caribbean. 2) Black Americans were not experiencing travel internationally in large numbers. Read more>>

Tahirah Sumbry | Chief Executive Officer – Globalus LLC /Founder of The Vanity Vegan

I had a prior legal infraction which impeded my ability to advance professionally and financially even with post-secondary education. So I was pretty much forced to create a opportunity of my own. Entrepreneurship in it’s self was very difficult being minority, female with little to no start-up capital in the LTL trucking industry. However, I took my faith, ambition, and the small amount of money that I had to get started. I am also the Founder of The Vanity Vegan which is a prestige organic cosmetic line. Read more>>

Tamara Archer | Principal Interior Designer

I completed my design degree during the recession. I was living in Miami, FL at the time where the real estate and development industry were hit pretty hard so there weren’t many employment opportunities available. I started my design business at that time because I was eager to begin my interior design career so I created my own opportunity. Read more>>

Kendra Cunningham | Artisan/Stylist/Event Planner/VA Nurse

When I began my business of crafting is was 2004. I was taking a Medical Assistant course at Ross Medical Center here in Atlanta and I needed to make some extra money. A group of us in class brainstormed some ideas & we came up with making & selling some gift baskets. I made gifts for Christmas & Valentines Day every year until 2013. I make them per request now. Read more>>

Chef Tiny | Private Chef & Caterer

Honestly, my first thought was, “can I actually pull this off?” They say that you’re your own worst critic, and that definitely applied to me. I knew that I made great food and I never thought twice about cooking for family and friends but I didn’t know if my cooking would be something that people would pay for. I had to just dive in and hope I didn’t drown. I knew I didn’t want to be on anyone else’s time clock and schedule for the rest of my life. Read more>>

Shekinah Burden | Founder of Own Your Crown

Before it became Own Your Crown it was just an idea in a notebook. I had it written down for years and just never really applied it. I wanted to create a space for men and women, young boys and girls to grow and learn more about who they are and what they are capable of doing. I wanted this to space where you can take everything you have now the good, the bad, the ugly and help yourself and others become the best. Read more>>

Danielle Portis | Licensed Professional Counselor & Life Coach

With Rose Gold Crowns, I went through a really dark time in my life where I had to tap into my spirit and figure out how to not only get out of that space, but also to never get back there again. In this transition was a lot of prayer and journaling. I recognized that my support came from people that I would have never expected, and I wanted more of that. Read more>>

Maddie Rigatti | Business Owner & Designer

My passion for creating art started when I was a child. My high school offered a jewelry making elective and once I realized that I could sell things I made with my own two hands, I was hooked. I spent every free minute I could in the jewelry studio. I would take a tupperware container of jewelry I had made around to all of my classes to sell to teachers. Read more>>

Chef G Germain | Chef G of Creole Sol

I have always had a passion for cooking; however, I didn’t begin to nurture it until I relocated to Georgia. My wife and I was driving around looking for something to eat and couldn’t find anything to my liking, she suggested that I should just start cooking being that I always cook at home. I wasn’t too sure if people would buy my cooking, but once we started selling it just took off. Read more>>

Shatea Davis | CEO of Glam Sauvage Cosmetics

When I started doing makeup I just did it as a hobby at first. With that, the makeup selection wasn’t at all what it is today. We only had certain makeup to use that actually looked decent but I wanted quality and affordability for myself and my clients to give them looks without having to charge an excessive price. When I expanded my business and began my journey of being a mua as my full time job I envisioned a setting where my clients could come and feel comfortable and beautiful at the end of their session and purchase makeup for their own personal usage without breaking the bank. Read more>>

Amber Spence-Reed Kadesha Robinson | Event Designers

We are both Stay-at-Home Moms and we both are creative. We’ve been doing events for our friends and family for a while. Then one day we decided it’s time to offer our services to the public. And provide our customers with luxurious service no matter the budget. Read more>>

Chiquita Barnett | PureSculpt Specialist

I decided to start my own business due to my own life experience. I started having health issues in my late twenties to early thirties after child birth that effected my physical mobility. I was working in the Financial Industry in a Corporate setting while still trying to manage my health, new child, and marriage. After years of trying to hold it all together, I realized some of my health problems came about because I stopped taking care of myself like I needed. This also lead to more stress on my body. Read more>>

Kenisha Syphertt | Celebrity Loctician & Content Guru

My son, Ase’, was born during the Covid pandemic, July 2020. Being a newly single mother my son inspired me to follow my dreams of becoming a Master Loctician! I knew I not only needed to pay the bills but I wanted to create a legacy for my grandchildren’s children. Read more>>

Barbara Hattrich | loves to bake and feed people

I have always had a passion for baking, and was encouraged by my husband and family to start a side business during the start of the pandemic in 2020. I don’t really have a business oriented brain. I just want to feed people. Read more>>

Chastity Morgan | Makeup Artist & C.E.O

My thought process behind starting my business was creating a brand that will cater to women of color. Back in 2015, I noticed that most makeup brands did not cater to us especially drug store brands. With that being said , I actually went to my mom about it and she gave me the name for my brand. Mocha is actually my nickname so she used that and came up with Mocha Cosmetics Cafè. Read more>>

Jayniece Manning | Serial Entrepreneur

In NYC,there’s a drink called the nutcracker. You were bound to hear someone shouting “nutcrackers, nutcrackers 1 for $5 2 for $10 “ It was a drink concoction consisting of different alcohols and fruit juice. I kind of got tired of going to NYC just to get one. My family moved to Jersey before I was born but we were very close to the city. A train ride there and back was exhausting. Read more>>

Cory Cash | Podcaster

The thought process behind starting the BLACK IS THE NEW RICH podcast was easy. During the pandemic as a videographer and photographer I didn’t have much work to do because we were stuck inside. It really forced me to reevaluate my career as a nude photographer going forward. When did George Floyd incident happened stuck a nerve that I couldn’t ignore any more. I remember the news so vividly that I feel like if I didn’t do anything I’d be guilty. Read more>>

Henrietta McCall | Staffing / Recruiting Firm

I had worked in social services for over 25 years, and I loved helping people, but I really enjoyed seeing people reach their full potential by securing good paying jobs. I enjoyed calling places and talking with human resources about opportunities for my clients and that is when I decided to start a staffing / recruiting firm. Read more>>

A’Lexis McKenzie | Traveling Personal Chef & Caterer

I knew what I loved to do and I knew my love for cooking exceeded being able to do it for anyone else. So I decided I could never do it for anyone else professionally. Read more>>

Harry Potvin | Mental Health Advocate & Host of The Mental Corner Podcast””

The thought process came from my own personal journey with battling through mental health challenges. As a male athlete, I had been told to suppress my emotions and how I was feeling because “it wasn’t manly” to cry or show emotion. After years of suppression and convincing myself that I was just broken and that something was wrong with me, I contemplated suicide to the point where I tried to take my own life a couple of times. After the last attempt, I realized that I needed to get the help I needed not just for myself, but for the people I loved. Read more>>

Raymond Nwoha | Scientist, Manager, Interaprenue & Researcher

Graduating as a Medical Laboratory Scientist and one of the top best five in 2009/2010 from Imo State University Nigeria , I already knew that Securing Job in Nigeria is a matter of Godfatharism. So I decided to create my own “world”. And in this world is where I have planned to build wealth, then establish health and research Institute for malaria vaccine and some cancer therapeutics to save humanity from these two deadly sicknesses before I get to 45/50 years Read more>>

Kalita Hendrix | Luxury Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Expert

Well from the young age of 10 the passion and thought process for what I do now was building and dreaming passionately in my heart . I’ve always been driven and had a go getter personality. I always wanted to have full ownership of my talents and businesses because I saw my daddy run his own company. He taught me 3 valuable steps that will always set me apart from others (1) Give Quality Top Tier Work Always (2) Charge What You Know Your Worth and add tax (3) Always Treat Whoever You Come In Contact with , with Kindness , TLC actually care about people . Read more>>

Tawana Pruitt | Survivor, Author & Motivational Speaker

When deciding on my business(es) I had to think about the audience and whether or not I could reach them. Was my idea attainable while being reachable. How would it benefit my audience? Would they learn and grow from it? Could my name become a name that would be recognizable? Read more>>

Reginald James | CEO, Artist, Producer of InnovativeMindz Production

I wanted to create a label that thrives off innovative and creative aspects in the music industry. When we start generating revenue we will create multiple streams of income in order to put members in a position to become millionaires. Read more>>

Kemet Alston | Photographer

My thought process for starting my own photography business was understanding what I was meant to do on this earth. Growing up I never knew what my true purpose was. I felt like I was not good enough to accomplish much. I ended up putting a Point and Shoot camera in my hand when I went Africa in high school. That experience changed everything. I felt that going that far away from home I needed to capture the movements on camera. After the trip I ended up getting my first DSLR camera senior year of high school when I joined the yearbook club. Read more>>

Michael Weekes | Business Consultant & Income Tax Professional

For some time before staring my own business, I worked in a fully commissioned capacity. I had also operated a business in a partnership in a different industry before so making the decision to break out on my own was not a difficult one. I have always been and independent thinker and self-starter, so having autonomy over my time and the idea of getting out what I put in were always important to me. Read more>>

Shakenya Burch-Oliver | Psychotherapist and Coach

Initially, I wanted more autonomy in the way that i lived my life. I worked in community agencies that did some amazing work for the clients that they served and made a great impact in the community but the therapists were burned out and severely underpaid. I was one of them. I remember working as a therapist and not being able to afford one of my own. Even if i could afford one, i don’t think i would have had the time to meet with them. I would naturally gravitate to leadership roles but never felt great about helping to reinforce policies that didn’t prioritize the therapist as much as it did the clients. Read more>>