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.

Katie Dekker | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

I was staring at the purchase order, probably the hundredth one that day, thinking my eyes were going to cross. I had just started a new job as a front desk receptionist for a pool company. I left my previous job of three years to be closer to my home and already I was feeling burnt out. I was only two weeks in, too. Yikes! When I graduated from the University of North Georgia with an art marketing degree three years earlier, everyone expected I would start my own photography business. Read more>>

Shaquira Langley | Educator & Entrepreneur

The thought process behind The Millennial Teacher Podcast and Tips for Teacher Apparel’s mission is to raise educator voices. Through both platforms, we are raising awareness for educators by connecting with millennial teachers, public figures, non-profits, and more. Education often gets overlooked, which is the primary reason I created both platforms, It’s critical for educators to be seen and heard. Read more>>

Alexis Bailey | Designer & Digital Creator

Hello Alexis Bailey started with a recognition for how much fast fashion practices had taken over the sewing world in the way fabric was being purchased and the types of fabric and patterns being bought. It felt as if even in a slow fashion capacity fast fashion was permeating so deeply. I began my blog to bring more attention to how we can choose more sustainable and eco friendly materials and make better choices in our making habits, including slowing down the making practice by hand-sewing our clothing. Read more>>

Elizabeth Mcghee | Owner of Ivey and oak Photography and Studios

When I started my business, it was sorta an accident. My brother was graduating from Highschool and my mom asked if I would use her camera and take some senior pictures for him. So I did, and then his friends parents started asking me, then those kids started getting married and sooner or later I had booked 20 weddings in one year! Read more>>

Zaija Ruth | Writer, Poet, Creator of BiiBL HAUS Lifestyle Brand

(it’s pronounced bībəl and zīyuh) Well, to be honest, I’ve always known that I wanted to have my own business. We didn’t have the most growing up, but since I was a child it was instilled in me on some level. My mother always supported and encouraged it. Along the way I’ve had a few hits and misses, but this was the first time I started a business that I could see myself growing over a long period of time. Something that could be meaningful and impactful. Read more>>

Nicole Lampl | Director/Curator of the Reeves House Visual Arts Center

I certainly can’t take credit for starting Woodstock Arts as a whole, which is a multidisciplinary non-profit arts organization made up of 3 departments: visual arts, theater, and a concert series, but I have played a major role in shaping the Reeves House Visual Arts Center from the ground up. The Reeves House building was in the works for nearly a decade, but I was hired only a couple of months before the grand opening – I was fortunate to inherit the fruits of their labor. Read more>>

Cathy Rumfelt | Studio Owner & Music Teacher

Well, there are three of us – Grace Bagwell Adams, Lindsay Giedl, and Cathy Rumfelt. Grace and Lindsay had known each other and danced together for awhile, and Cathy and Grace had met during a benefit show in Athens. We all had similar ideas about what a performing arts studio should look like and feel like, and when the opportunity came up, we decided to go for it. It felt risky to start a business during the pandemic but we took the chance! Read more>>

Tyrell Crowell | Recording Artist/ Lil Crow

My Thought Process For Starting My Business Was To Turn Myself As The Artist into The Business. So Far I Learned How To Get Funding Me As The Business and The Artist And Truly Elevate. I Simply Wanted To Be MY Own Boss. Read more>>

Crystal D Life | Self Esteem Coach, Published Author, Motivational Speaker, Non-Profit Founder

Over the years of working with youth in a number of capacities from youth ministry at church, being a team mom for each of my children during their adventures in youth sports and my work with my non-profit that I founded, I thought it was time to do even more. Adults have a wide range of coaches they can pull from whether its life coaching, a business coach or a financial coach all to ensure they are successful in a particular area. Read more>>

Jenn Obiyor | Entrepreneur & Business Coach

I started my business when a friend of mine told me I look like I do hair. I already was switching my hairstyles up frequently at the time, and I knew I didn’t want to actually do hair, but selling it I knew I could do. Before this I was working at Jack’s which is a hamburger spot in my hometown. I absolutely hated working there. I did not like being told what to do, when to wake up, when I could go on break and last but you know not least, cleaning the bathrooms lol. I knew I had to become my own boss. I didn’t want to work for anybody ever again in my life. I wanted to put people on MY payroll, and that’s exactly what I’m destined to do. Read more>>

Raquel Grindley | Activist, Educator, Change-Agent

The thought process behind starting OPTIONS Program Inc was the desire to generate avenues for generational wealth in traditionally marginalized communities. I figured that if the children of these communities learned financial literacy and post-secondary planning, they could use those skills to break their families’ cycle of generational poverty, and build habits that began a cycle of generational wealth. As I reflected on the lack of college and career counseling in the public school were I worked, and the similar circumstances of my colleagues in other public schools in poor communities, I decided to be the change I wanted to see in the world of public education. Read more>>

Micha’ela Monique | Adulting & Personal Finance Coach

I invented my business concept while in the cubicle of a 9-5 Job that was draining me.. emotionally, physically, and mentally. I was 21 at the time, the youngest in the office, and all I could see were people older than me who weren’t living the life they wanted, were underpaid and overworked, and I decided that wasn’t going to be me. Most of my coworkers lived paycheck to paycheck and felt stuck; drowning in debt and couldn’t pursue their dreams because of their financial burdens. I recognized the connection between financial freedom and happiness. Read more>>

Sonya Hall | Owner & Chief Baking Operator

My thoughts behind starting my own business seem to have started when I wrote in my high school yearbook that one of my life goals was to be president of a company (never thought it would be my own company). Fast forward to the future, I come from a southern family where everyone loves to cook. I enjoy putting my heart and soul into everything that comes out of my kitchen, I began taking desserts to work for birthdays and other potluck events, I and coworkers began asking me if I sold my desserts because they were so good. My friends loved my desserts so much that they called me Little Betty (short for Betty Crocker), and as they say, the rest was history. Read more>>

Willie Freeman | Cinematographer & Video Producer/Editor

I’ve always wanted my own video production company. I believe when starting out as a filmmaker you learn so much more since most cases your shooting events, weddings, interviews, commercials, etc as a solo cinematographer. Yes, this is great and happens more often than you would imagine but the greatest feeling I’ve had was collaborating with talented individuals that have the same end goal of telling compelling stories for global companies & creatives/artists. I was never the greatest when it came to marketing but once I started Creative Goats it taught me so much more in other skill sets that I avoided as a solo filmmaker. Read more>>

Sierra Bizzell | Fertility Consultant & Board Certified Health Coach

My husband and I struggled with secondary infertility for 7 years after the birth of our oldest daughter. Secondary infertility is the inability to conceive after having a child. For 7 years I blamed myself, felt as if my body was broken, and I sought answers from medical professionals that would not listen to me. I was depressed. I felt alone. I was tired of crying. Read more>>

Aaron Walker | Holistic & Metaphysical Life Coach

I wanted to start my own business as a way to show individuals how to create a dramatic shift in their life using tools and techniques they’ve probably never heard of before. I wanted to help people like me who were looking for a way to a new life and lifestyle but didn’t always know how to do it. I also wanted to make sure that my services were cost-effective. I felt like this is an essential part of servicing individuals who are trying to make a way. Read more>>

Gabrielle Stubbs | Licensed Georgia Realtor

My thought process behind starting my own business was simple, I wanted my kids to know and see through hard work you can build something that’s yours, and that no man or woman can take away! It was realized early on in my life that entrepreneurship was my destination! I remember being in trouble as a teenager in middle school for selling the Jeezy Snowman t-shirts! Looking back, that probably wasn’t the best product to be selling, Read more>>

Kitara Amet | Mixed Media Editorial Artist; that includes the positions of Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist, Fashion Designer, Concept Director, Set Designer 3.

I’d say the most important factor behind my success as a professional creative is my tenacity. The fact that I’d never give up on myself or my dreams no matter how hard it would get. No matter the obstacles, I knew I’d over come them all because the faith I had in myself was unwavering. So also an important factor in success in general is Faith. Faith in yourself; in your journey, in your gifts, skill, and talents, in your path, in your purpose and in your dreams. Faith and tenacity really go hand in hand because you wouldn’t keep going if you didn’t believe you could. Read more>>

Gabrielle Matthews | Fashion Stylist and Boutique Owner

When the pandemic hit I was completely out of a job. Working in retail there isn’t much job security unless you are part of the corporate team and sadly I was not. I worked at a resale boutique and before I was let go the owner told me that she was going to bring everyone back when establishments received the okay opened back up. It was a hard pill to swallow when she reached out to me letting me know that she could not hire me back. At that point, I knew I had to do something to pay my bills until I could find a stable job. Managing various resale shops I completely learned the ins and outs of the business. Read more>>

Joy Johnson | Braider / Hairstylist

My thought process behind starting my own business was pretty much a whole process. I was always into doing hair since I was 14 years old. When I went to college I used to braid hair inside of my dorm room and I fell in love with doing so that it became a lifestyle for me. Braiding was very therapeutic to me. When I started working at Walmart I used to always have hair on my mind. I had to make a hard decision which was to quit my Job and braid hair full time and that I did. I started manifesting & journaling and allow God to lead me. Read more>>

Rasheka Lue Foung | Business Owner & Graduate Student (UAlbany)

Growing up I never had a community of entrepreneurs, or business owners around me. However, I was surrounded by hustlers, people who needed to make ends meet by any means necessary to provide for their family. My mother herself would do hair right in our small Bronx apartment, aside from her many other jobs. My father was a barber, and would cut hair almost everyday of the week, and many times wouldn’t come home until very late at night. Read more>>

Anastasia Smith-Davis | Business Administration Specialist

I was out of work for 5 months after graduating with my Bachelor’s. During that time I thought about how I could take my income into my own hands so I thought researched consulting work. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to get started but knew I needed to do something. During alone time with God he confirmed that my serving needed to be in the area of serving Women in Business, and my business was birthed. Read more>>

Courtney Stroud | Licensed Esthetician & CEO of CLEW Beauty

My grandparents and my mother were all entrepreneurs, one thing that I observed in their journeys was that they absolutely loved what they did. They worked HARD, but they didn’t mind the work because it brought them joy, freedom, and the ability to express themselves in ways that would have otherwise been watered down by a standard 9-5. I am a 14 year veteran in the Insurance Industry as a workers compensation adjuster. Read more>>

JONATHAN EWUSIE-WILSON | Musician , Photographer / Entrepreneur

I always saw myself as an entrepreneur and wanted to use my talents to my full ability ever since I was a child. Growing up I had a love for music and media which has led me to start my own media business where I can incorporate my many loves into one thing and get paid for it. In my early years I always went to different events and programs even in college at Johnson C. Smith University that allowed me to get first had experience of what it would be like to start my own business. Read more>>

Jessica Waters | Interior Designer

I wanted to create a business where people didn’t feel overwhelmed when it came to interior design. I wanted a service where anyone could afford to make their home beautiful. Read more>>

Tawana Chealey | Serial Entrepreneur

I was tired of having someone dictating to me when I could or could not do something. I’ve always been a woman – a person – who never went totally by any rules. Instead, I’ve always, in one way or another marched to the sound of my own beat. Moreover – I was never impressed by getting a gold watch after decades of serving a company or feeding someone else’s dreams who didn’t even know or care about me. Additionally, my family was a significant factor in changing my path from employee to employer and entrepreneur. Read more>>

Leroy Hite | Founder and CEO of Cutting Edge Firewood

My junior year at Berry College, I participated in their new entrepreneurial program. I started a different firewood company, caught the entrepreneurial bug and saw a glimpse of what would later become my vision for Cutting Edge Firewood. I was hooked, but too scared to take a leap of faith. I worked at Chick fil a for a year thinking about becoming an Owner Operator; I worked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car for 3 years; and then I got a good respectable corporate job in downtown Atlanta. Yet while working for others, I had this weird obsession about firewood. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Read more>>

Kandace Dukes | Stay-at-Home Mom & Entrepreneur

When I started screen printing t-shirts it was just a way to have a fun and a creative outlet for myself. I had recently become a stay-at-home mom, so this was a way for me to have something of my own. I really wanted to make cute onesies and infant t-shirts for my son without spending a fortune. Why are tiny outfits so expensive anyway? As it evolved, I realized that t-shirts are one of the easiest and comfiest ways to express yourself. You can showcase your interests, promote a business, support a cause, all while being comfortable and looking cute. It’s a simple way for people to share a part of themselves, and I enjoy being a part of that. Read more>>

Matthew Gonzales | Talent Agent/Owner of KNOW Management Group

When starting my business I knew I could offer my expertise in the entertainment industry and provide a safe environment to learn and build experience. With over 20 years working in this industry as an agent for models and actors, I understand that this business can be difficult to navigate and getting your foot in the door can be extremely difficult. My goal was to break down those barriers and create an agency for my talent to be seen by the right people and making this industry more accessible for those living in the Southeast region. Read more>>

Joseph` Lambert | Owner, Joseph’s Junk Removal

I actually started my business when I was 12 years old! At that time, my parents went through a divorce and it was a tough time for all of us. As the oldest of 5 kids, I wanted to do what I could to earn some money to help cover some of my expenses for school and other things. So I started a little landscaping business on my street in Sandy Springs. That business grew and I had customers throughout my neighborhood. When I was 15, I partnered with a friend from my school who could drive. His name was Sam. Read more>>

Imani Mosley | Computed Tomography Tech & Entrepreneur

My thought process behind starting my own business, started off as a way to make money during the pandemic. I had just graduated college, the whole world was shut down, but I still had to make some type of money to live. Sooner or later my business turned into wanting to make clothes for us. Something with a statement. Read more>>

Nick Mitchell | Entrepreneur

I’ve always been the idea guy. Since I was little I would come up with different ideas of how to build a business that makes money so that I can get all the things I want. I guess you can say I was the dreamer. This is how Fresh Kickz Market was born. It started with an idea that turned into a dream, but in order for that dream to become reality it took execution. Starting your own business can seem like such a daunting task in the beginning. The hardest part of the process is starting. Read more>>

Adara Moselle | Tantric Shaman, Energy Healer, Coach & Consciousness Explorer

I was led to start my business out of a love for humanity and the desire to see people have the lives that they want for themselves. The goal of my work is to help raise the quality of life of as many people as I can, especially those of my community, by focusing on mental, emotional & spiritual well-being. So many people get to the end of their lives not feeling fulfilled or that they ever really lived. We often lose sight of what makes life valuable and rewarding. Read more>>

Farah Seif | Fashion Designer & Business Owner

I have always been captivated with suits but they’re always brushed aside as simply work attire.The 80s power suit has always fascinated me. In the 1970s, more women were joining the workforce, so, by the early 1980s, the idea of the working woman had become more normalized, paving the way for the 80s power suit. Read more>>

Prince E. Mayes-Sullivan | Actor/Writer/Director/Producer

They’re aren’t many opportunities for people like me. Handicap, gay, and black. So from an early age my parents and sister encouraged my interest in theater, but was honest. “It’s going to be difficult.” They said. So I found a way to make everything I mentioned above work to my advantage. Tyler Perry (my biggest inspiration) showed me through screen and stage that, you have to build your own opportunities. That’s always been in my head. “Build your own!” Read more>>

Jess Bee | Sweet Treats Maker

Help me Lord! No seriously lol that was my initial thought process. I wanted my own business so bad but I literally felt I had NOTHING to offer such as doing hair, singing, etc. I tried many hustles before finding my niche in treat making. With treat making, I knew this was it because I naturally felt good at what I was doing. Also I enjoyed the reactions of my first few audiences when I was testing them out so I took the leap into turning it into a passion. I love what I do!! Making people smile and bringing joy to them with my treats at their events is everything to me! Read more>>

Moniqua Woods | Entrepreneur and Truck Driver

My thought process behind starting my own business began with my upcoming discharge date out of the Army. The more I thought about what would come next for me, the more I desired to have my freedom back. The freedom to start and end my day when I wanted to. The freedom to explore this country and others as I wanted to. I was finished with following someone else’s schedule and rules for my life. After eight years of being told what time to wake up, what to wear, and where I could and could not go, I was done with all that. Do not get me wrong I love serving my country, but It was time for me to be free from all of that. Read more>>

Reuben Shaw | Actor, Filmmaker, Artist, Producer

The passion that I have for the entertainment industry and the experiences that I was fortunate to be apart of drove me to starting my company Reupurview. Having family in the industry had exposed me to specfic aspects that I wanted to be involved in at a very young age and I knew I could be successful if I just decided to step in the game myself when the time was right and I had attained the knowledge, experience, and education needed to build a brand in todays society. Read more>>

Deon & Shun Mayes & Goins | Young Entrepreneurs

We wanted to make a change in the world. Yes we are a clothing brand but we are a movement. We want to give back to our community. Doing that we want to one day provide opportunities to individuals or groups of people to put their name out into the world. Whether it’s through sports, acting, music, or arts. We need the youth, and some adults, to chase a dream or to be out of a comfort zone so they can show their light to the world. Everyone doesn’t get a opportunity so we want to be that change. Read more>>

Nanda Morris | Executive Director

We saw the needs of the hungry and homeless and prayed for a strategy to help. We know that we cannot help everyone but we have to do our part! Treating people like they matter does not require anything but a heart of compassion. We simply started by desiring to help those who need help the most. Read more>>

Jadé Bailey | Mental Health Counselor

My thoughts on starting my non-profit organization was to create a space for women to grow and inspire one another to reach our highest potential. It’s important to me for women to genuinely root for each other, since the world as a whole has made it difficult to exist without many hardships. Women are so powerful and it’s important that I continue to contribute to uplifting us. Read more>>

LaWanda Peters | Pastor & Entrepreneur

I’ve always been an Entrepreneur most of my life owning several successful businesses, but after answering the call to ministry a lot changed. I had to forsake all and whole heartedly commit to the mandate that God had on my life. It’s been 25 years since I answered the call and 19 years as Overseer/Pastor of Faith & Deliverance Prophetic Ministries. When the pandemic hit, I found myself looking for something else productive to do. I’d already written several books, so that wasn’t the answer. Read more>>

Damian Blair | International REALTOR

My parents always had rental properties which gave me the incite to start a career in Real Estate. Prior to my real estate career, I worked in Retail sales as well as project management. With the changing economy and companies going out of business, I decided to get into the real estate business based on the longevity of knowing everyone has to have a place to live weather they are relocating or purchasing for investment potential. Real estate was an easy choice as it relates to starting a business. I’ve been very successful in this business since 2007 Read more>>

Daniela Guevara | Cook & Owner of @dmtaqueria

When I decided to start a business I knew it was to enjoy more freedom in my life – in all aspects, work and personal. I come from working in kitchens and I love to cook, I was very interested in doing my own recipes and vision. Read more>>

Seanna Thomas | Nutrition Consultant & Founder of Hockey Snacks Inc.

I had been a Nutritionist for years before I started my company, Hockey Snacks Inc. One day, the idea just came to me. My oldest child, 7 at the time, was at an early morning hockey practice on Saturday morning. Parents were taking turns bringing snacks for the players afterwards and this was not my particular week (I was the buzzkill Mom always bringing homemade muffins and fresh fruit). Read more>>

Rose Gilliam | CEO of Blvkroseexpo & Blvkroseboutique

My thoughts about starting my own business was to be able to work for myself. I got tired of working for people, always being on someone else’s time. Now I have so much time to be able to work on my business and improve in myself. Read more>>