Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Caroline Watson | Custom Gardener

I did not look at creating beautiful flower beds and creative pots as a business. I have always loved gardens and beautiful containers since attending college. My great grandmother (Great) would call me to come plant her Summer and Fall flowers when I was attending the University of South Carolina. I really fell in love with planting at that time. Once our girls were older I declared it was time for me to follow a passion of mine so Blooming Buckets and Beds was created in Roswell, Georgia in the Fall of 2019. I describe my work as an interior designer but for the outside of the home. I work in the North Atlanta area and have even travelled to Athens, GA and South Carolina to work with clients. Read more>>

Douglas Mccue | CEO/Coffee Roaster

I have a very diverse background. I’ve been an EMT, firefighter, correctional officer, asset protection for a high-end brand, operational manager for luxury vintage, etc. So, when I hit a rough patch in 2020, I wanted to do something for me and something people would enjoy. Coffee has always fueled me and inspiration hit while on vacation during an early AM hike. I took a few sips of coffee and thought back to roasting coffee over a campfire. I remembered how much I enjoyed the process of roasting beans and the taste of that coffee can’t be compared to any store bought, let alone the now cold hotel coffee that made my mind start to wonder. That’s when inspiration hit and the journey to CueBrew began. I can take the skills gained from my past experience like dedication, organization, focus and pair them with passion, creativity, shared interests to offer people fair, fresh, fast coffee to keep them going too. Read more>>

Jamie Wilson | Owner + Principal

I was constantly doing or creating something since I was very young, always working towards my own little business. So an entrepreneur from day one. When I went to school to peruse my interior design degree, I knew I wanted to eventually have my own design business 100%. It was the natural end game for me. One of the biggest driving factors behind finally making the jump to start Krywicki Interior Design was starting a family and having the flexibility to make my own schedule. Read more>>

Lynda Louis | Intimate Portrait Photographer

Boudoir by Lynda was created and inspired based upon a dear childhood friend. She was a caregiver for her husband who endured unexpected illness during his time serving as a NYC Police Officer on 9/11 and then her mother who suffered a rare illness while also being a full time mother to two beautiful children. As I watched my dear friend wear so many hats she never had time to pamper herself made me want to do something special for her. Read more>>

Anthony Piper | Writer & Illustrator in Comic and Animation

I found myself being more comfortable knowing I controlled my own means of making a living than having those decisions determined by someone else. There are too many factors that can’t impede career mobility and financial stability for my liking, especially in the creative industries. Editors and producers take new positions at different studios. Projects get canceled or changed so much, they require a new creative team. Artists don’t get credited correctly for their contributions to a project; acknowledgments which could propel their careers. There’s just a lot of things I’ve seen that can go wrong for me to ever put my full faith in such a volatile industry. Read more>>

Irving Adams | Owner/operator

It was always a dream of mine to start my own business. When I was young I used to dream of being my own boss and creating something from nothing. So whenever I stumbled upon this opportunity, I knew I had to take it. I did some research and discovered the trash bin cleaning business. The cards fell into place and I ended up being able to turn my dream into a reality. Wash Waze was born as the one stop shop specializing in trash bin cleaning, pressure washing, and window cleaning. Read more>>

Courtney Courtney | Licensed Home Baker

I chose to start my bakery in September 2020 while pregnant with my second child. My husband and I had discussed me leaving my current career as a high school counselor and transitioning to a career as a stay at home mom. The initial plan was to resign at the end of the school year, but due to the pandemic and our concern for the children’s health and safety in a school during the pandemic, we chose to move up that timeline and have me resign after the completion of my maternity leave in December. With the decision to change careers now coming more quickly than I had initially planned, I began to brainstorm things I could do in addition to the work at home taking care of my children. Read more>>

Amani Sams | Boutique Owner & Journalist

My first business is journalism! As a journalist I get invited to red carpet events, product launch events, book tour events, etc. It was hard for me to find unique and sophisticated fashion pieces that I could wear from day to night. And just like that the process behind starting my next business was born! I wanted The Sams Boutique to be a one stop shop of chic and sophisticated fashion for all Boss Babes and creatives that need a “wow” piece for their next event or meeting. Read more>>

Emily Brown | Photographer & Special Education Teacher

Photography has always been a hobby of mine, passed on to me by my dad when he gave me my first camera. I am a Special Education teacher by day, and photographer by weekend, evening, and midnight editing. I teach elementary school kiddos with all sorts of different abilities. I landed my dream job! But you know how sometimes the dream grows? A lot of teachers these days have a side gig. Photography is mine. I’ve spent years taking pictures for family and friends and was pretty content in my comfortable routine. My husband, however, is always encouraging me to be who I am actually created to be. He was the fire behind the start of E.Henri Photography. Read more>>

Bryson & Dr. Patrice Thompson | Owners (Office manager & Chiropractor) of Touch of Life Family Chiropractic

We always wanted to create a place that exemplified health and wellness in the South Fulton community, where we live. We knew we had greater challenge to create a safe place where the community could be empowered and educated about managing their health and that of their family. Starting our own business wasn’t about doing something for our family but starting something that could effect change in our community. We often saw in our neighboring community other chiropractors changing the health landscape of their communities we wanted the same in our African American community located in southwest Atlanta. Read more>>

Taymah Jones | Consultant & Workflow Strategist

I love simplifying processes and problem solving. No matter where I work or whatever environment I am in, I always try to find ways to be more efficient. I have always known I wanted to enter the entrepreneur space, but wasn’t sure in what capacity. Then during the summer of 2020 an old colleague reached out to me to help her operationalize her business and improve some of her internal business processes. I fell in love with the process and wanted to assist other small businesses. So starting the Consult Jones Collective was a no brainer at that point. Read more>>

Dana Williams | Founder and Executive Director

I had been doing HIV/AIDS work for the American Red Cross and later the Health Department. For years I watch my collogues and friends die from this deadly virus and that minority communities were dying at a high-rate due to lack of access to care and treatment services and ignorance of not knowing about HIV and how it was transmitted. Myself and three other collogues of mine decided to start an agency that would not only address access to care and treatment services, but one that would be culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate to the needs of our community. I wanted to educate, support and guide people to the factual information that they needed to reduce their risk of HIV and other STDs so that they could live a long healthy and happy life. One that would be free of becoming infected with HIV and the ability to pass on factual information that would keep their families and friends safe. Read more>>


Easy, I don’t like being told what to do and to avoid being fired from a job I had to start my own business. I have been my own boss for the last 20 years and I like it that way. I don’t see the point in giving my time to a company that could never pay me what I am worth. In my line of work there’s no cap on what you can earn. I pay the cost to be the boss. Read more>>

Rose Green | Lifestyle Party & Event Host

This is an interesting question for me, because in all honesty, I wasn’t looking to start this sort of business initially. I was simply a part of the Lifestyle community. Being in that community, I, along with my partner, attended parties, went to clubs, attended meet and greets, and vacationed at resorts and on cruises that catered to the lifestyle. Although I enjoyed these spaces, I couldn’t help but notice that the spaces were predominantly the same in terms of population. Most of these spaces are filled with older (40+ year old) white people. It you happen to find a younger crowd, such as YSW (YoungSwingersWeek), it was also a white space. Being that my partner is white and older, we weren’t completely out of place. Read more>>

Jennifer Larkin | Business owner & Fashion Model

From a young age, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Always thinking of new business ideas with my best friend. A true manifesting generator from the start. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs, but it wasn’t something that I really consciously thought about until I started my own businesses. Long story short, I was scouted to be a professional model at age 16 & have been modeling for the last 10 years. With that immersion in the fashion world, it only fueled my love for fashion, and my desire to either be a merchandiser or a boutique owner. Fast forward 9 years later, during a global pandemic, I launched a boutique, called Ava the Label, but made it sustainable, to align with my ethics. As I dove into this side of business, I wanted to help other small business owners start their dream businesses, so I launched a consulting company called Jennifer Larkin Design. Read more>>

Francessca Tuggle | Luxury Wedding Florist & CEO

I have had the idea for a Traveling Luxury Florist since about 2017! But never had the opportunity to launch such a thing due to college courses, as well as the part-time positions I found myself in simultaneously. Until I was furloughed from my Executive Concierge role within the Hilton franchise as a result of covid, I did not have the chance–but as soon as that happened in March 2020, Goldie’s Flower Truck was born! Read more>>

Jahmirris Smith | Record Executive

I always wanted to be in or a part of the music business. I remember being a kid and watching BET, Music Choice, MTV, and VH1 music videos and seeing the credits of the artist, label, director in the bottom right corner and wanting to one day have a label with talented artists premiere on TV like that one day. Read more>>

Claire Jordan | Creative Writer and Designer

In grad school (I got a masters in emerging media from the University of Georgia), we had several guest speakers come talk to us about their career trajectory. Freelance was always a part of it. It usually took place somewhere in the middle of their timeline. I began to wonder, “what if I just went for it on the front end?” So – to this day – I have yet to apply for a “real” job. I have not updated my resume since 2018. I have not written a cover letter since I applied for grad school three years ago. Read more>>

Rochel Facey | CEO of Chocolate Girl Cosmetics & MUA

Honestly my thought process for my business was pretty simple and easy. I’m a chocolate girl and a lot of the major make up brands prior to the release of Fenty weren’t inclusive on darker skin tones and so my goal was to come out with a cosmetics line that cater to chocolate girls and when I say chocolate it’s the many hues of melanin it could be a light skin girl to dark skin girl just catering to chocolate with no intent to offend any other race but they have been catered to for years through other brands that I could NEVER find my foundation shade from so the goal was to cater to us I do have products that can cater to more fair skin tones as well it’s just the main focus is to ensure that it does mainly to the different hues of melanin. Read more>>

Stephen Davis | Illustrator and Writer

It was pretty simple actually, I just asked myself, “what is your dream job?”. I wanted to create dynamic and imaginative worlds and tell stories that inspired people to be their best selves. I also wanted to have as much creative control as possible, so that naturally lead to a career in freelance illustration. Book covers and anime were what got me into art and I just wanted to create something that gave other people that same feeling of escapism and magic. Read more>>

Taylor Richards | Raw Reads Psychic Business

Starting a psychic reading service was a HUGE risk because of the negative reaction from friends, family, and even myself. I knew it would lead me on a detour inside the same path I was already on. I started a new chapter in my life two years ago, with millions of ideas of doing something different for myself. After understanding that my family had previously informed me about my gift, I decided to investigate on my own. Read more>>

Montez Williams | Ceo of born 2 win

I started born to win because it was a positive mantra I used to tell myself when I was released from prison to stay focused. I designe it for my music label and learned about branding now people love the message and the design. It’s to motive and inspire us daily to achiever our goals because we Are born to win. Read more>>

La Cretia (Cree) Morgan | Personal Stylist

I came up with the idea for my business due to experiencing the lack of stability within my career in corporate America and being surrounded by love ones who constantly shamed their bodies. God gave me a calling to encourage women to style the body they have based on what works for them. Currently, we’re living in a world where social media rules and some women feel disconnected if they’re not able to accomplish a certain look that they’ve seen trending. Read more>>

Chelsea Hardesty | Certified Brow Artist

After Graduating from Esthetics school earlier this year, I realized the beauty industry is were I needed to be. I always dreamed of being my own boss and to make money doing something I didn’t complain about doing everyday. I’ve always been into self-care and beauty products, and going to school opened my eyes to a new found love of doing eyebrows. Eyebrows in my opinion are the first thing you notice on someone’s face, I always struggled as a child with extremely thick bushy brows and I went through phases of loving them and hating them. Even over plucking at times. I wanted to build my business on educating both men & women on maintaining their brows, keeping them healthy and helping them to understand their natural brows can be accepted no matter what they look like. Read more>>

Luis Mora | DJ

DJing was a hobby to start off with. I have always had a passion for music and learning about different genres. One day, someone approached me and asked how much I charge for a party. I thought to myself “I can make money doing this?” I owe my wife all the credit for the business it has become. Read more>>

Teresas Richards | Professional Makeup Artist

My thought process for starting my business was to create a natural, organic skincare and cosmetic line for all skintypes and color that is of professional quality yet affordable. My goal is to be able to not only service my client’s makeup needs but also able to provide products for their skincare needs. Read more>>

Patrice Roulhac | Cosmetologist and Makeup Artist

I always loved makeup. I used to sneak in my mothers makeup in middle school and put it on but, didn’t think much of it after that. Once I got to high school I took a cosmetology course that my school offered to its students and became a licensed cosmetologist. A few years behind the chair and I soon realized, curling hair is way too hot, my feet hurt and this takes too much time. I wanted to still be a part of the beauty industry and tried to figure out, ‘What am I good at?”. Once I figured out it was makeup artistry I honed in on that skill. Read more>>

Kim King | CEO & Founder

My entry into the elite world of beauty and hair began in 2013, when I noticed my hair thinning. I was struggling with in-between hair maintenance and completely unsure of a solution. I wanted to achieve a natural look that would increase my confidence and regain the spark I felt like was missing. After a talk with my dermatologist, we came to the conclusion that my hair thinning is not a medical issue, but rather a result of improper sew-ins. Understanding the sensitivity and integrity of our hair is so important to our hair journey. In 2014, after a year of in-depth research, consultations and my own personal experience I launched Posh Luxury Brand. Read more>>

Christine Nicole | Model, MUA, Designer and Boutique owner

My whole life I’ve always dreamed of owning my own business and being a model. I’ve always loved fashion and beauty. It’s an obsession! My mom and I copied the design of the yellow dress from Disney’s Beauty and the Beats and I literally wore it every day! I’ve always dreamed of being a fashion designer and a cosmetologist. I remember when I got my first Barbie and I redesigned her outfit and cut and styled her hair! I use to constantly draw designs for my future clothing line. So to make it happen is a dream come true! It’s just always been a passion of mine! Making other people feel beautiful and good about themselves makes me feel good! I finally started to just go for it! I had a dream about my business – Bhad Behavior – and just knew I had to do it! Read more>>

Xavier Leeds | Celebrity Photographer & Director

Honestly, I just always knew that I was supposed to work for myself & I always knew since I was a child that I wanted to be in the entertainment business in some capacity. I’ve always loved cameras, music, playing instruments. So it was only natural that I started my own business. Read more>>


In order to start your own business you must first believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself then everything you want will not happen. You are in control of your own destiny. You control how much money you have in your pockets. In order to start a business you must first have a vision and a plan and everything else will fall in line. Read more>>

Lake Louise | Beauty & Wellness Entrepreneur

I consider myself a wellness entrepreneur and educator. I hold a M.Ed degree from Stanford University. Although I was a college professor and classroom teacher by profession, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit, which requires a strong sense of independence, which I think I was born with.. lol After years as a high school teacher, I felt the pull to begin something new. So, when it was time for me to shift out of the classroom, I thought to myself what am I passionate about? and it seemed very obvious. Read more>>

Joe La Scola | Filmmaker, SFX Artist, & Designer

The dream has always been to make films and tell stories. I quickly learned that even though you have the passion, talent, and even the tools, it does take a bit more than that to actually make a film–it takes a community. The idea of a podcast came to me, as talking about movies I love was something I did with friends on a daily basis anyway, but we wanted to use it as a comedy-based platform to jump off from, creating consistent and engaging content. We needed to connect with other like-minded people in an easier way while also being able to integrate and introduce our flavors of design, video, and even special effects. Read more>>

Kachina Seltzer | Manufacturing of natural products

Starting a business is a lot of work but starting a business that allows one to help a need is pretty awesome! My thoughts behind starting my business was initially just to cure my sons of their skin irritants not so much a business. My sons were born with eczema, allergies and asthma which along the way realize a lot of others have the same three issues. I felt if I can ease the skin irritants, that be half the battle taken care of. Read more>>

Marie Settles | Artist & Event Coordinator

When Funorama was first started back in 2007 there was no other company like ours in the Atlanta area. We started with providing creative balloon artists, face painters and variety entertainment for Corporate events & private parties that were fun, friendly and personable. At the time you could get a clown or a costumed character but as times and kids were changing we led the way for many more entertainment artists that dressed fun, festive or professional that was extremely talented in their craft. Since then we have inspired many new artists to get started in the entertainment business. The one stop party shop idea was added as a way for families to get everything from one local business such as balloon decorations, rental items, themed event decor and entertainment. Read more>>

Jacinda Ferguson | CJO (Chief Jam Officer)

The thought process I had for starting my business came from my love of fine foods, the loss of my father, divorcing my husband and a purchase of a bread maker with a jam setting from my local Goodwill. Read more>>

Gerald Davis | Photographer, Videographer, Content Creator

You know it’s funny, because I never really thought that I would own a business at all. I wasn’t a fan of the idea of it all being on me. So when I started doing session after session and realized that I was already a business owner weather I wanted to realize it or not, that fear really lifted off of me. I realized that it wasn’t all on me, it was all on GOD. So my thought process of starting my company was “get organized!” Read more>>

Sarah Liddell | Owner & Curator of Two Pop Vintage

To be honest, I always knew I would start my own business when the right moment and season in my life allowed for it. However, I tend to overthink everything in life, and this decision was no different. In 2017, I was in my Product Development class at FSU and my professor showed us the documentary ‘The True Cost.’ This film explores the dangers of fast fashion, and it opened my eyes to the importance of being a more thoughtful consumer. While still maintaining my love of clothes and fashion, I began to thrift more. Read more>>

Genesis High | Author & Entrepreneur

When I began The Madness Brand it started off as merchandising for my publishing company. Once it started to gain traction, I realized that I was on to something great! Granted, I have always been interested in skin care, it certainly opened the door for me to expand the brand into becoming its own entity. Read more>>

Aala Shurbjy | Nutrition Counselor & Food Addiction Hypnotherapist

I was never the type of person who enjoyed the logical, “follow the rules” approach. Rules, limits, and traditions are created to work for specific contexts. There are limitations and expectations on how you work with patients to lose weight, increase movement, improve sleep, balance deficiencies, and change their lifestyle that did not make sense to me. While I was managing a successful functional medicine practice, I was also pursuing certificates in nutrition counseling and hypnotherapy. I felt restricted in my non-traditional approach to help people remove food dependence and decrease appetite. I made a leap of faith and started my own business and method that helps people completely change their relationship with food. And I never looked back! Read more>>

Derek West | Owner/Breeder at Leftside Reptiles

This has been a life long progression. I’ve always had a passion and understanding for animals. Been caring for reptiles for as long as I can remember. I was the crazy snake guy in High school. After college I started breeding as hobby. Which has grown into a large collection that’s known as Leftside Reptiles LLC (LSR). Read more>>

Goodlookinlee | Media Personality

The thought process was really me knowing I didn’t want to work for anyone. I didn’t feel accepted or seen by any employer really so I knew I had to find or create space for myself. Read more>>

Shar Kearson-Baker | Master Cosmetologist & Salon Owner

I started my company based on need. There were not a lot of spa like salon around that catered to the everyday working woman. I wanted to incorporate pampering appreciation of that demographic! It really fueled me to bring that safe space where you can relax from the hustle and bustle and enjoy beauty treatments. Read more>>

Mia Love | Beauty Influencer / Mogul

I started the process behind my brand because I was ALWAYS that high fashion girl in high school, middle school School period, outside of that as well. Everywhere I went EVERYONE ADMIRED my fashion especially my hair , nails, lashes and daily upkeep of myself and beauty product. So I decided wow, I can actually make a lot of people happy by providing them what I have top tier at an affordable price and still win , like be successful. Read more>>

Rashida McKnight | The Nursepreneur

Well I’ve started a few businesses in the past because I wanted to know what it’s like to be my own boss, to be in control of my time & not put a cap on my money. So each business has it’s own purpose but my current business that I’m working on launching has a completely different purpose than any other business I have ever started. I’m currently working on launching a Drug Testing Center & Clinical Lab. This business is different because not only is its purpose different but it’s helping me find my purpose & to walk in it. It sometimes takes multiple tries before you get to what fits & I feel like the Lab is what fits. This business allows me to help others which is just what I do, it’s a business I can leave to my kids & it’s a business that allows me to still be a nurse which is something I love doing. Read more>>

Russ Yeager | Body Transformation Specialist

Every year going back to school shopping I had to get the “husky” pants and I hated it. I can also remember going to the pool with my friends, who all seemed to have flat stomachs and abs. I had to decide if I was going to get teased, or keep my white t shirt on and still get teased. After an incident taking home movies with our brand new VHS camera, I decided I was going to figure out how to be one of those fit muscley guys with abs like I saw in the magazines. I had some ok success on my own, but never reached my goals. Read more>>

Tonya Searcy | Interior Stylist & Creator of Custom Home Decor

My thought process behind starting my own business was my children. The fact that they need more…more financial stability. It brewed from me knowing deep down inside that I had a gift, a gift to make things beautiful and to make others happy. Over the past 15 years, I’ve been operating in my “gift” and just didn’t know it. The pandemic hit and being home allowed me to venture into new areas of interior design/decorating. I began to take it seriously when I decorated a relatives home and I exceed my own expectations. The feeling I had was so invigorating. I wanted to do more and see my vision come to life for others. Read more>>

Cheyenne Lespinas | Event Planner

I started my own business because the jobs that were available in my desired industry we’re not available or we’re only offered to people who have been in this industry for “10+ years”. I say “10+ years” like this because employers wanted people who where straight out of college with the knowledge of someone with experience and only pay the $30,000/salary. And as you may already know, events do not happen 9-5. They happen Saturday nights, Friday nights and Sundays. The planning happens during the week. Read more>>

Fasil Kassa | Comic Book Creator & Animator

I’ve always wanted to tell my own stories. As a kid, I would draw and staple together my own fan version of Batman or Power Ranger comics. When I was in college, I had a running list of stories I wanted to tell. I realized that I didn’t just want to create stories through comics, but that I also wanted to incorporate animation, and eventually video games into the mix. Read more>>

Jamika Render | Creative Agency Owner and Non-Profit Director

The process behind She Creates Enterprises Inc. (SCE) is quite long but quite brief, but for this interview, I’ll keep it brief. She Creates Enterprises, originally just She Creates started back in March of 2021 as just a part-time logo company to help me make ends meet while unemployed. However, once I found employment in April (I worked part-time cleaning toilets and sanitizing play areas at a local school and now I’m the Marketing manager…funny how God works), I was able to worry less about bills and concentrate on what I wanted my company to be. While simultaneously building She Creates into She Creates Enterprises, I was also in the first year of my non-profit launch, The House of Grace-GA. Read more>>

Hannah Poe | Pregnant, Postpartum and Pelvic Health Physical Therapist

I have worked as a physical therapist for more than 10 years, initially in the hospital setting before training in pregnancy, postpartum and pelvic floor physical therapy. While working with patients immediately after birth in the hospital, I identified a major gap in postpartum care. After birth,100% of the focus is on the baby, but mothers are expected to immediately care for the newborn without any information about how to care for their own bodies. Our system fails to provide sufficient – or really ANY – education about postpartum recovery. Read more>>

Dr. Faith Abraham | Master Life & Business Coach

Initially the goal was to make 6 figures a year $100,000 climbing the corporate ladder. In college I watched Girlfriends and Sex in the City; for me to live that lifestyle I felt I would need to make $100,000 a year. The problem was corporate America didn’t come through for me. I got mad and decided to take my life into my own hands and I started my coaching & counseling business to make impact AND income at the same time and of course to hit my 6 figure income goal! Read more>>