The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business. They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business. Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Netanjea “Nikki” Robinson | Blessed Bead Queen

In starting Just Bead It 627 I knew that I wanted to expand my creativity while also using a talent and treasure that was going to reach people in their every day lives, and things that they are going through. God laid it upon my heart to start a waist bead company, and at first I was like everyone has one of those Lord he said yes, but I bless you with the ability of prayer. God exposed to me that I have been looking for a way to touch others in my purpose and he made it sure that I was able to do it as well as provide my creativity. I ask each customer what they are seeking and pray over their beads. It was indeed my conversation with the Lord that lead me to where I am today. Read more>>

Kenney Ellison | Photographer

My wife noticed my obsession with taking photos of our first child and made a deal that led to the creation of 3 Shot Photography: a new camera in exchange for my PlayStation video games! Her support and the influence of several mentors allow me to travel the country sharing stories through my camera lens and to open a photography studio in midtown Kansas City, MO. Read more>>

Jessica Peterson | Founder and CEO, A Uniquely Experience Virtual Learning

My business has been in the makings in my mind for many many many years. Like many people I know, there is always a hesitation to starting any business because there are so many unknowns! I have always known that I wanted to have the opportunity to mentor children of all ages. It has always been on my mind and heart to start a program giving children the opportunity to learn different skills in a challenging and fun way. These skills could consist something as simple as learning a certain form of art and be a difficult as learning a new language. Read more>>

Krystal Jackson | Entrepreneur & Creative

When it came time for me to start by business I was directly inspired by my parents, who were both educators and entrepreneurs. From childhood I was taught the importance of ownership, not just for the sake of ‘self’ but to create opportunity for my people. Krejoda is a one stop shop for design, creativity, and fashion. Krejoda’s original founder is Nerissa Jackson, my mother. Krejoda was an idea birthed from my mom as a gift to her children (Krystal, Earnest, Jonathan, Jazz, and David).  Read more>>

Caitlin Smith | Young Black Female Entrepreneur

My Thoughts Definitely Were “Was I Going To Keep It Going” . Honestly, Thats All I Was Asked When I Started ! All I Was Thinking “Are You Going To Keep This Up” or I Always Told Myself “Don’t Start Something and Not Finish It Or Keep It Up” I Tell People That Til This Day Who Ask Me For Advice Aswell. Read more>>

Tony McCraven | Mogul

By definition “nostalgia” s a wishful desire to return in thought or in fact to former time in ones life , ones homeland or ones family and friends : a sentimental yearning for happiness of former place and time. I personally find gratitude in uncomfortable moments and being able to find peace in the storms . wanting to help the world get back to there prime of confidence , find that place of balance within . A smile in the mist of pain Nostalja was born. Read more>>

Tamara Mitchell | Licensed Nail Artist

I had just gotten laid-off from my corporate job. I knew that I desired the flexibility and freedom that entrepreneurship offered. I had become a licensed nail tech 4 months prior to being notified about the lay-off and could never figure out the perfect plan to quit and start my nail business. So, when I got laid-off it was the perfect opportunity for me to do exactly that. My thought process was that I at least need to step out and try this on my own. The worse possible outcome would be returning to corporate America. Read more>>

Jasmine Branford | Self publishing coach

I wrote a self help book MILLENNIAL INVASION to build my personal brand and in the mist of me selling books and hitting goals, many people had a common question. “Jasmine how did you write your book”? Then people would tell me that they want to write a book so, I decided to show people how to self publish a book. Read more>>

Jasmine T. Jones | Business Stylist & Consultant

I need money! *giggles* Just kidding! Paradise Park Cowork Space was created out of a need. I own a business consulting firm and the number one concern for the majority of my small business owners was gaining affordable office space. They wanted a fairly quiet and professional place where they can conduct business. Read more>>

C. J. Wade | Licensed Massage Therapist, Author, Educator, & Creative Consultant

Over the course of my life, I realized there were two constants – I desired the freedom to help others in customized ways and the “Monday through Friday 8-to-5” worklife felt a suffocating overcoat. I felt that I was constantly clocking in and out of something at the expense of my health and who I was created to be. Read more>>

Tia Elbert | Entrepreneur & Business Analyst

Rate My College Coaches was built and thought of from my own personal experience. I was a student-athlete – played basketball at Marquette University and Indiana University. Going through the whole recruiting process twice and being able to compete at two different schools, definitely gave me a holistic view into how college sports worked. Read more>>

Jade Cobbins | Private Chef & Caterer

I have always been independent, even as a young child starting at the age of 3 I learned to tie my shoes and dress myself. As I became older this path stuck with me. I had my first job at the age of 13. Thru the years of working for others I was always unhappy and was always doing some type of side hustle to fatten up my pockets. Even with this passion I was always afraid to step out on my own in fear of failing. It wasn’t until December 2018 that my employer at the time could sense my unhappiness and decided to let me go. This drove my passion into high gear and in January 2019 I expanded my business and been on my own every since. Read more>>

Isaiah (Zay) Hammond | CEO & Creative Director

The idea of starting my own business originated from my love for film and photography. I learned that companies don’t take you seriously if you’re not represented by another company. Of course, anything is possible but I had to understand that there really are levels to life and you can never advance by staying comfortable. Starting my LLC automatically gets you certified in America so all I have to do was to continue to perform well. It 100% is NOT easy but I’m here to tell you it is possible with the right manifestations. Read more>>

Talibah Stewart | Hair stylist and Hair care business owner

The thought process for me was combined with the love and need for realistic hair care that works and then age. I knew that I had to create a income that needed to be beyond being in a salon Read more>>

Rachel M | Owner and Designer of Yarn Goddess

I had originally crocheted outfits and costumes for myself and when I wore them to conventions people would ask if I had a store. After enough inquiries I decided to launch my business. I didn’t really have a process, I knew I wanted my store to be affordable but I quickly learned that “affordable” and “sustainable” were two different things. Read more>>

Rica McGinester | Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Phlebotomy Technician, & Owner of Passionate Caregivers

I tried to make sure my plan was well put together and that it was effective for the audience i wanted to draw in. Read more>>

Adrienne van der Valk | Yoga Instructor & Meditation Teacher and Erin Ranta – Pilates Instructor and Recovery Coach

Basically, that choice was made for us when we met. We started talking about our stories and what had worked and not worked for us, and REVA Recovery Support just appeared out of thin air. Neither of us was looking to start a business, but we knew we couldn’t not start this one. Read more>>

Diamond Downs | Product Maker

The thought process behind starting my aroma business was healing. I was in desperate need to navigate through a hardship of becoming a single mom three weeks after giving birth. My son’s father was in a car accident that left him with traumatic brain injury and short term memory. As a new mom, trying to effectively juggle trauma and the beginning of a newborn life, I had to cling onto something that would keep me sane. It was music and scents that relieved me from ongoing anxiety. In order to maintain a healthy mental, physical and emotional state of being, I had to create daily regimens and rituals. These techniques included the ongoing usage of candles and air fragrance sprays, which contributed to peace in the midst of my chaos. Read more>>

Esteban Galarza | Industrial Designer & Soccer fan

My wife Karina Benitez is a economist and chef, I’m a industrial designer, we are from Ecuador, so, we started to find some interesting latin restaurants with awesome proposals, we started as foodies in the middle of 2018 and after visit like 7 or 8 different restaurants from different countries we couldn’t find a latin food guide to show us the best latin restaurant in ATL, an we create ¡Ay Sabor! Latin Food Guide, a, English latin food guide which shows all the best latin “holes in the wall” of ATL area. Read more>>

Brytni Janae’ | Vocal artist

I hate regular jobs. 9 to 5 jobs give me a lot of anxiety and I’ve learned that a lot of managers don’t know how to manage properly. They make their employees feel inadequate or incapable of doing their jobs instead of just helping them along the way to be a better employee. I decided that if I start my own business, I wouldn’t have to deal with any of that. Also, I figured that if I started my own business and had people working under me one day, I would make sure that they will be treated with respect. Read more>>

Ke’Chanbria Ball I AM HUEMAN INC. | Fine Artist

Well, when I started I AM HUEMAN INC., I was focusing on what does it mean to be a “person of color.” For centuries, racial supremacy has been buried in American history and is still prevalent to this day. 1619 Jamestown Colony is the origin of America’s patriarchy of white supremacy, discrimination, and racism. Fear and generational trauma have been pervasive in Black culture. Read more>>

Kimberly Safford | Holistic Life Coach and Registered Nurse

My desire to start my business was based on going through my own process of healing and discovery and in doing that I discovered my purpose. I was a person that did not have work life balance, I basically ignored my need to heal, I suffered in silence and felt alone as I struggled with understanding the need to show up for me, I thought it would be selfish of me to not put others before me .I did not grow up in the time that talked a lot about self care, after going through my own journey, I made it my personal mission to help others. This is the reason behind starting my own coaching and consulting company. My passion is to help other women; especially working women to heal , grow and discover their purpose. Read more>>

OG | Artist/ Creative Coach/ Mogul in the making

I wanted to create something where not only I saw myself, but others could see themselves as well. I wanted to show Black women as the focal point of my art, no distractions, no gimmicks, just us. I thought long and hard about how I wanted to show the images I saw in my head to the world. Read more>>

Taylor Stevens | Owner & Florist

When I was planning my wedding in 2018, I was really struggling to find vendors who would work within my budget. It felt defeating to say the least. Vendor after vendor were unable to help us stick to our budget, constantly compromising quality for cost. As a creative individual passionate about helping others, I decided to start Evergreen Florals to offer some relief for couples who are simply trying to get married without breaking the bank. Read more>>

Hayley Reed | Founder/CEO

I started my company in 2008 with the intention of pushing my music. As a recording artist, I found that none of our needs were in one space. When it came time for me to put together my project, I had to go to so many different organizations to get what I needed. Read more>>

Stephanie Morgan | Social Media Manager & Strategist

I fell into social media marketing accidentally. I studied sociology and business in college and went into a recruiting/HR job first thing after graduating. In that job they needed someone to start doing recruitment marketing on social media. They had zero social media presence, and I had zero professional social media experience, but well, challenge accepted. Read more>>

Diamond Sonnier | Event Designer & Maker

I started my business as a way to share my passions with the world by bringing fresh, custom designs to life’s most precious moments. Ever been to a store looking for a gift for friends or family and it just seems like nothing is perfect enough for what you are looking to express? That is where Created Resilient will step in and design a custom piece to ensure the most unique gift that can’t be found anywhere else. My business is my passion however, seeing customers get excited is what really makes it worthwhile. Read more>>

Emily Ward | Owner and Founder of All the Tiny Rebels

After 10 years of working in product development for various fast fashion brands I grew weary of putting more “stuff” out into the world. Products that were made overseas by underpaid workers in less than ideal working conditions all so that it could be so inexpensive that we wouldn’t think too hard about what we’re buying. Read more>>

Joanna Pera | Leadership Development Coach, Consultant and Artist

After having a long career in corporate America, I decided to take the leap and start my own leadership development coaching business, Powered by Pera. There are so many benefits to working in a large company. I found year after year that as companies grew their profits, they also grew a cookie cutter approach to leading and developing others.. When leading people, all different kinds of people, a cookie cutter technique doesn’t always fit. Read more>>

Trezure and Blessing Hunt | CEO of TCO Entertainment Label, Actors, Show Host

My husband was offered a contract from a record label, and after we were going over everything with the producers etc. We began to see some things that didn’t sit right. They wanted to change him, said his name was too spiritual. They wanted to take his music from wholesome to degrading women, among other things. They said after 25 there was no chance of success. All of those things led to us coming together to build our own empire to recruit all talents, all ages, and we encourage our artists to be “themselves” and not a puppet. I didn’t want to just help my husband, but also others who have so many talents and haven’t gotten proper acknowledgement. Read more>>

Jaisha Figueroa | CEO and Creator of Dope Chicks’ Club

At first, my thoughts were all over the place when I first decided to start my business. When the pandemic hit it was an eye-opener. I felt uncertain at times and developed some depression and anxiety. I knew I needed to make a change within myself, so I did some soul searching and asked myself some important questions: What does my idea future look and feel like? What are things that I need to do to reach my goals and dreams? As a young mother of three boys, I felt at times I was not putting myself first, so I decided the first thing I needed to do to reach my dreams and goals was to start a self-care routine.  Read more>>

Missy Tees | Entrepreneur, Mentor, Creator and Apparel Connoisseur

My thought process behind starting Missy Tee’s LLC, was very vivid and as if was already existing but just waiting for me to walk in and open the doors, My thought process was defiantly customer focused, driven and clear. I knew that we were needed in our community, I knew/know Missy Tees will be like none other apparel printing company. Read more>>

Samantha Danielle | Master of Champagne & Future Vintner

This is actually my second business in the wedding industry. I was a professional wedding planner for thirteen years. I knew that as much as I ‘love love’, I was tiring of the service part of the industry. I needed to find a way to make money in my sleep while still catering to this industry. Read more>>

MiChelle Risby | Black-owned, Female-Founded Puzzle Company

During the stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, I looked for activities I could do with my family that did not include a screen. With a passion for puzzles since childhood, I wanted to share that with my family. Still, I wanted designs more culturally relevant to us. Once I started shopping, I quickly realized that the puzzles in the marketplace neither satisfied my desire for subject matter nor aesthetics. Read more>>

Tiffany Hurvey | Owner and Head Cheer Coach

My thought process behind my business was to make a different within our youth. I have children apart of my gym from all walks of life. Some I couldn’t imagine turning my back on because that’s all they have seen since day one. I wanted to make a change within a young girl or boy life who never saw themselves attending college. I wanted to give hope to those who never really had it. The Allstar Gym is looking to change up the Allstar Cheer World. We want to add more minorities to the sport. Read more>>

Alex Harris | Artist & Owner @DrillshopATL

I’ve always had an artistic drive and a desire to share my creativity with the world. I started working with leathers and other high end materials just for fun, but pretty soon I was working on it full-time. Starting a business seemed like the best way to share my creations and build community. It also lays the groundwork for me to someday open a creative workshop to fuel the development of new and innovative forms of art and expression, and to help other artisans turn their passions into successful businesses. Read more>>

Corey Jackson | Content Marketer, Sound Technician, & Recording Artist

My wife and I started Pulsar Media LLC to serve as home base for our original content, and to serve the communities on the south-side of Atlanta. I’m from Henry County, so providing a stellar multimedia experience on this side of the map means a lot to me. Second, we are both entrepreneurs and strive to assist other potential entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. Read more>>

Jahné Parham | Owner / Licensed Cosmetologist

Honestly, I knew I wasn’t the best fit for the “Corporate America 9-5” work life. I also knew I needed a career that granted me the flexibility I desired to make sure my children were always my number one priority. As a Single Mom of 3, I value my time as much as I value my income therefore being a business owner just made sense. Read more>>

LaShon Holliday | CEO of Construction Company

Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest level of quality construction service at fair and market competitive prices. To maintain the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, honesty, and fairness in our relationships with our suppliers, subcontractors, professional associates, and customers. Our main objective to our clients is that we are Honest, Integral, Punctual and we respect the views of others. We also wanted to become the face where we can train people to get the experience and knowledge they need to pursue their dreams in construction. Read more>>