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.

Brandy Walters | Interior Decorator

Honestly for starters I always loved the world of design and interior decor. I’ve always had a great passion for it and it’s beauty of different elements that it brings to a home. I gave design tips to friends and family for many years off and on. However what brought it more to life was when I got laid off during the pandemic last year from a technology company I was workin for, for 4 years. The lay-off came unexpectedly and brought instant fear of worry and anxiety of how I was going to get by without steadily income. However compensation packages were in place praise God, but still looking for a Job position in a pandemic the market was in sunken place as you know. When the world slowed down I got to catch up on rest, relaxing, learning, working out , and working on my first love home decor. We are all in our homes more then ever, so a few people I knew reached out to me via social media and phone to asked for ideas for me to curate for their home space. Read more>>

Tavonne Delgado | CEO/Musical Connoisseur

After I figure out what my next step in life is I always look at who is already doing what I want to do on an extraordinary level. I take notes and then I apply my own knowledge mixed with what I learned. I started out doing music but realized the business aspect was more important in a sense so I created my own brand and started to push it independently. Read more>>

Je’Cori Neal | Writer, Director, Producer & CEO of Wandahope Studios

I wanted to showcase the true and authentic voice of today’s generation. Shows and films written for us are (mostly) not written by us, therefore we lose the authenticity which leads to misrepresentation. Yes, they can relate to us in a “I was once your age before” kind of way, but you can’t write the experience of a 21 year old in today’s world because you are not a 21 year old in today’s world. Also, I want to one day to create opportunities and give indie filmmakers information about the industry from professionals that they wouldn’t get elsewhere. Read more>>

Fanae Walters | Entrepreneur

How can I do what I love and make money was my initial thought behind starting my business. I have always been an entreprenuer so when Sacred Care was birth it was no doubt that I was destined to be my own boss. During the beginning stages of my business I was on fire. All I thought about was making money and Sacred Care. I would read a bunch of business books, researching my industry non-stop and formulating my ideas into a business plan. When I decided to take a leap of faith with being a full time entrepreneur I remember feeling nervous but excited at the same time. My faith is what balanced my thought process to keep me focus on the goal- TO BE MY OWN BOSS. Read more>>

AJ Hawkins | Digital Marketing Consultant

When I first started my business I had a lot of experience in the Journalism and New Media fields. I realized early that with the power of social media a start up company didn’t have to look like a start up company. I wanted to give business owners tools and resources that could help them grow and market themselves and their business for success. First, I thought about the first thing a business needs when getting started; a reliable computer. I became a refurbished Apple products affiliate so that I could refer people to great computers at great prices. Secondly, all business must have a logo that catches a potential clients eye. A well designed logo is the difference between any old business or a new catchy startup that others would like to be apart of. I always wanted to provide online, cost effective marketing strategies that will help business owners boost their brands reputation by way of satisfying and engaging website and social media content along with marketing strategies to shed light on your brand, business, or product. Read more>>

Phil Shobo | Entrepreneur

My approach was simply looking at the Instacart model and thinking “I can do this myself”. I figured if I can find a way to seamlessly automate running a personal shopping & delivery business everything will take care of itself. The power of technology makes it all possible. Once my customers had an easy way to shop and pay in an app, the rest is history. Read more>>

Troy Vaughan III | Dating Commentator, Podcast Personality & Public Speaker

The thought process behind our endeavor was the galvanize communication between African-American couples on topics germane to singlehood, dating, marriage, divorce, and sex via fiery, fun-filled debate. We wanted to deliver a more purpose driven, deliberate form Battle of the Sexes, one that would bolster the dating and marital IQ’s of some of the most outspoken, over-the-top, and opinionated men and women in Atlanta. We also wanted to create a safe and all inclusive space for people interested in this genre. Though RING|SIDE’s geographical foundation began in the bible belt, we welcome the anointed as well as the agnostic to our RING. Read more>>

Simon John Thomas | Creative Consultant & Founder CEO

My original thought process was to simply create a platform for my creative friends, so other people can see how cool they are. I started by creating a podcast called Hip-Hop R.E.Ps, which focused on conversations around issues within hip-hop like depression, drug abuse, and other things like that but unfortunately, only one episode saw the light of day. That didn’t stop me from trying to grow my idea so I circled back to what I seemed to enjoy the most and seemed to be pretty decent at which was throwing events. So with the help of some amazing friends, we created “CTRL ALT” (Control Alternative) and launched our very own music festival project “Global” in Savannah Georgia. Since then we have been curating events and helping emerging artists get in front of crowds to show their talents, but because of COVID-19, I had to change direction and add on new branches to the business to keep things moving. So now CTRL ALT is a production & creative consulting company. We work with artists and brands to create promotional material (album covers, websites, photoshoots, etc.) we also create our own content as well and still do live events with CDC guidelines. Read more>>

Nichole Rose-Turner | Licensed Esthetician & Educator

I honestly feel like I was born with an entrepreneur spirit. I have had many jobs (corporate, education, retail etc) and would always catch on quickly to the tasks given. I’m naturally a “take charge” type person. I pulled from my many experiences at other jobs, which in turn helped me know how I wanted to manage and run my own company. The goal was work for myself and have a brand that I was proud of. I pride myself on great customer service and doing my best to make my clients feel relaxed and comfortable. This is one of the reasons my booking have doubled and client retention has been great!. Read more>>

Vicki Hamilton | Change Management Strategist | Author | Speaker | TV Host

I never had the intention of starting my own business. Frankly, I always looked at myself as a “corporate woman.” In my mind, I never wanted to have to “hunt for work” or be responsible for an employees’ family income. However, I worked myself out of a job in the technology world, and the job market for my level of expertise didn’t exist. I had to do something. I started by saying I would take on one short-term consulting engagement until things got back to normal. Well, the so-called short-term agreement lasted 2 years. Before the end of the project ended, I received a call for another engagement. I felt blessed to have the opportunity to make a great living without being in the corporate world’s daily grind. That short-term engagement lasted another 2 years. During this time, I became a caregiver and needed flexibility. I eventually took on another engagement that was a year long. At that point, my caregiving responsibilities for my mother were much greater. Read more>>

Delonso Barnes | Director of Daddy Everyday Inc.

My own business was suppose to be in the music industry. Running my own recording label as well as producing music myself. Who knew my at the time, my 6 year old son would change the course of my life. The name of my fatherhood organization is Daddy Everyday Inc., that title came from my son. One day I was helping him with his homework and he placed his head on my shoulder and said I love it when you help me with my homework, you are my daddy everyday. It was my lightbulb moment. That night, I typed “Daddy Everyday” at the top of a document on my laptop and let the spirit move me from there. I would go on to write “Daddy Everyday, Rewriting The Black American Dad Story”. After the success of that, I was encouraged by others to start an organization for fathers based on the book. I’ve had speaking engagements at libraries, schools and major companies including Gatorade. Read more>>

Wendi Clark | The Cute Chemist

My thought process behind starting my own business started because of the ongoing pandemic. I, like many of us started working from home, and I had a lot more free time on my hands during quarantine. I was reminded of a passion that really didn’t have time for a few years ago. I figured there was no better time than now to make things happen. I also needed to replace the income front the 3 jobs that I couldn’t work during the pandemic, so I dug into my creative side. As business took off, I started to look at my business as something I can pass down to my children one day, and something that creates generational wealth. Read more>>

Natalie Diane | Fashion Model | Actress | Social Media Influencer | Youtuber | Content Creator | Brand Ambassador

When I really started to take my modeling career more seriously back in 2013-2014 I debated on a name to use. Kind of like a stage name. I always knew I wanted to be in the spotlight because that’s just who I am. But I needed something catchy. So one day I was asking my sorority sister what I should go by and she made the best point ever. She said to me, “Natalie you have accomplised so much just being yourself so why not just use what you got?.” Which was my name. So after seperating myself from an agency I was with I decided to rebrand myself and start going by Natalie Diane which is my first and middle name. When I first heard myself say it I was like oh that’s defintely a star behind that name. Also my thought process was and still is being an inspiration to young girls that look like me. Letting them know that no matter how tough the road may seem the journey is well worth it. Read more>>

Destiny Renee | Actress, Teaching Artist and Poet.

Well in the performance and teaching artist world I technically AM the business! My thought process was to share my light and gifts to the world. Why hold it in when I was born with the purpose to give myself to others freely. I’ve known that I wanted to be an actress since I was a child and a professional teacher since I graduated college. Not everyone has access to the light the way I do, it is a pleasure to be tasked with helping others to find theirs. Ultimately I would like to bring theatre programs and shows to underserved communities around the world!. Read more>>

Tawny Swain | Owner and Creative Director of Swain Productions, LLC

I always knew I wanted to work for myself Both my parents were entrepreneurs and growing up I loved watching how deeply they cared for their clients and how passionate they were for creating solutions for people. I originally started Swain Productions back in college while studying Music Business. I wanted to help connect artists with record labels by recording demos, editing audio, creating electronic press kits, and helping with distribution. As time went on, I realized it was difficult to find new clients and work with reliable people. I eventually decided to take my skills and focus more towards other entrepreneurs, small businesses, and brands. Read more>>

Kiria Murray | Holistic Wellness

I got the inspiration to start KCMCreationz almost three years ago from going through a personal transformation. I was looking for ways to practice self love and really take control of my happiness. I began my research into holistic healing and everything went up from there. I decided to make a business of it to share my products with other people, mainly women who could also benefit from the healing I experienced. I wanted to encourage people to take their happiness seriously in a fast paced world that rarely gives you moments to relax. I decided to be the change to show others you can practice self love in little ways that make a big difference. KCMCreationz aims to give people an affordable way to honor their mind, and body. Read more>>

Hyjiah Conde | CEO/Founder of Hyjiahs SuperGirlzland inc.

My thought & process with starting my own business was when I was 7yrs old what motivated me was the fact I was a victim of bullying was impacted my self esteem & confidence. That would be absolutely the thought of me starting my own nonprofit which was geared to girls I wanted to let girls know we may have not walked the same walk but whatever they was going through that they wasn’t alone in the process at all. Read more>>

Ericka McCracken and Niesha Baker | Co-Owners, BOSSY Press-Ons

To be owners and consumers of products that I purchase. The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that doesn’t have a lot of Black women owners while we are the primary purchasers of beauty products in the U.S. Read more>>

Phnewfula Frederiksen | Chief Tree Hugger at Happy Mango

The thought process behind starting my business was to make the journey to parenthood easier than the one I had. When putting together a registry and trying to find eco products for my son, I didn’t have many resources or places to shop. when i did find places, they were not the friendliest. I wanted to create a space that helped parents no matter what level of green they are at. I also wanted to create a hub for information to pass along to parents when they have questions. My staff is made up of very knowledgeable mothers and we love to share information that would be helpful. Read more>>

Torie L. Haynes | Affordable Housing (HUD) Property Manager & Senior Housing and Aging Advocate

Early on, I knew that I wanted to be my own boss. I saw a growing need in the Affordable Housing sector and wanted to give back to my community and assist low-income Seniors find safe, affordable, and adequate housing. Helping seniors is my passion; it fuels me each day to help those, who need little help along the way. I simply owe that to my ‘roots’. Read more>>

Trevione Townsend | Aspiring Filmmaker

Positivity speaks is a collaborative effort between my girlfriend and I to spread positivity to those who feel unseen, unheard, and outcasted. I want them to understand their value and importance through my content. My purpose is to give even a little ounce of hope to my audience. So, the business started off simply as to spread positive vibes and it will blossom into much more. Read more>>

Laprice Shari | Wedding Planner/Event Designer

I love planning and designing, I was doing it for family and friends for FREE for years. It became an expensive hobby! It wasn’t until my son’s father said “I think you missed your calling” my mindset immediately changed! I thought, I love designing and I’m good at it so why not start a legit business? I started Laprice Shari Events in 2016 and the rest is history!. Read more>>

Skape Zilla | Graffiti Artist & Graphic Designer

Graffiti artists are always doing stuff for free, it can be a thankless art sometimes. I’ve always wanted to sell prints, tees and other types of merch BUT – in my years as a Graphic Designer I’ve seen people really get jammed up by printing up a bunch of inventory and it not moving fast (or at all). A friend of mine told me about a print-on-demand website and it was super easy to get started and you don’t have buy a ton of inventory. Having this print-on-demand relationship allows me to focus on what I do best – create and let them handle the manufacturing and shipping. Read more>>

Velinda Humphreys | Mobile Hairstylist

Working for others for so long and then realizing that I could do this and maybe even better. People would come into the salon and address me as the owner or the one ran it pushed me even harder. I did everything the owner should have been doing with her receiving a percentage of my earnings. One day I realized I could not do it anymore and finally took that step 4 years ago and still managing to stay afloat. If you think it you can achieve it. Read more>>

Deangelo & MonTayla Yancey | Franchise Partners- Burn Boot Camp Hiram

The process began with us falling in love with the brand that aligns with our own core values. We value living a healthy lifestyle, we value helping other people, and we value impacting our community. Burn gave us the option to do all those things. We knew that once we found exactly what we wanted to do, financial freedom and being our boss would come with it one way or another. We thought a lot about what career paths we wanted to take after college and sports and it always came back to fitness. We both studied entrepreneurship in college and while we salute those who choose to start their own brands, we knew we wanted to follow an established business plan with proven success that’s why we chose franchising. Read more>>

Kala Booth | Owner & Creator

I initially started making butters for myself because lotions just were not cutting it for me anymore. I made some for my friends and family and they loved my butters, they stayed moisturized all day and the ingredients were all natural. So as more and more people started requesting my butters, I started my business. I started with the thought process of making natural skin products that would help to keep you moisturized all day and also you would want to use them because the ingredients were natural and things that you could pronounce. My business has definitely grown from 4 years ago and I still strive to provide skin products that help to nourish your skin while helping you to achieve healthy glowing skin. Read more>>

Azari Alexander | CEO & Founder

My thought process began my 11th-grade year in high school in search of a hustle. Being the oldest daughter of two successful entrepreneurs further confirmed that I harbored a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Grady High School offered students a series of academic pathways to complete in retrospect to students’ interests before graduation. I acquired to complete the business pathway where I composed my first sample jewelry marketing plan. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue designing jewelry in the midst of being a high school student, but my mother became one of my first investors. She prompted me to sought out an entrepreneurial endeavor. ‘Embracelets’ was established the following summer after graduation in 2016. My business’s first mock products were sold to women and now to women, men, children, and infants. Subsequently, it became a balancing act with additional services for jewelry and resizing repairs. Last year, ‘Embracelets’ changed its name to ‘Z Gem Collection’ honoring its product line extension and rebrand. Read more>>

Sharon Tranell | Choreographer & Producer

I’ve always wanted to work for myself, create my own schedule, and build a legacy. Combining my creativity and business acumen was an organic evolution. Read more>>

William Barnes | Master Personal Trainer & Musical Artist

I have always been the type to be independent and lead. I have never been a follower in nothing I have ever been involved in and when I did work for someone I always made it my business to take over and be in charge só starting my own business was meant to happen for me because I never saw myself working for nobody else but me!. Read more>>

Jonny Warren | Visual Artist

Since moving to Atlanta in 2010, I’ve been making art for gallery shows, events, murals, and personal commissions. At the beginning of 2020, I decided to turn my art practice into a business in order to elevate the work as more than just a hobby. Doing so has not only been a huge confidence booster in selling my work, but it has also opened me up to new opportunities to work with other businesses on a more professional level. Read more>>

Destiny Yemaya Davis | Marketing Strategist and Content Creator

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I want to build generational wealth and don’t want to rely on another company to provide me a livelihood. This particular company that I started is Hire Black Marketers. I created it as a reaction to all the protests happening following George Floyd’s murder. There were a lot of people asking for diversity and companies weren’t able to keep up with that demand. So, I created Hire Black Marketers to help brands and agencies meet that demand for diversity. It was just a mix of me wanting to create something that’s mine and wanting to create something that will affect positive change in the world. Read more>>

Kate Grabowski | Student and Environmentalist

When I started 3pieces, it was after I had visited Olympic National Park. I loved the outdoors and wanted to help protect them from the effects of climate change and the global waste problem. I remember my grandfather had told me that whenever he visited the beach, he picked up three pieces of trash. I decided to take that a step further and encourage people to pick up trash everywhere and recently, I started building trash bag stations to provide people with compostable trash bags to pick up trash in parks and near waterways. Read more>>

Stephon Dupree | Manager/A&R CEO Dupree Entertainment Group, LLC

When I decided to start my own business I was inspired by wanting to bring a real management/record company to my city/state. Here in Kentucky we not really known for music but over the years we been having some successful artists emerge. Read more>>

Amber Dee | CEO & Founder of Black Female + Male Therapists

I really didn’t start this with the intention of this being a business but it evolved into something more than I could imagine. When I start Black Female & Male Therapists, I just wanted to spotlight Black therapists. As a therapist myself, I know that we weren’t truly highlighted as we should. I had family and friends that had no idea where to go to find a Black therapist, so I thought, if they feel like this, then there must be a ton of other people that think this too. From there, every time I found a Black therapist, I would post them and it really took off from there. Read more>>

Simone Adrianne | CEO of Overcoming Her, Serial Entrepreneur, & Angel Investor

For me owning my own business was about legacy building, it was about freedom, and being able to control my most valuable asset…my time. Becoming a business owner is the only way the I am able to remove any limitations for my earning potential. In my mind it is the only way. Read more>>

Tuesdae Donyale | Business Owner

After having trouble with my skin for so many years, I decided to take matters into my own hands. It had been so difficult for me to find a product that truly works especially because I have super sensitive skin. So, during the pandemic I had so much extra time on my hands that I decided to create my own products. It has been the best decision for my skin that I have ever made! Once I tested my products for some time and reality at it really worked, I figured why not share it with others that may have the same needs as I do. So that’s when it became a business and I love it! I love being able to help others solve their problems and I wanted to create products that made people feel good and confident about themselves. I wanted ETERNL SKIN to be good for the soul and make your soul shine. Read more>>

David Drew | Independent Filmmaker

Starting my own film production company was actually a no-brainer. For 13 years prior to making the decision I was fortunate to have worked as Executive Producer/Actor/Screenwriter with BJG Media Productions out of Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC, and Charlotte, NC. During this alliance we had the pleasure of having four locally produced television shows on the air with Comcast. This was also proof that there is no training better than “On the Job” training. So after 13 years of training I felt that I was ready to take the next step and take our vision to another level altogether. Those 13 years also enabled me to work closely with Atlanta actors, some with whom I still work with today. Read more>>

Roy Eavins | Media Executive & Activist

As someone that was working in radio and tv I saw how the voice of people of African Descent was being ignored. I knew that the first step for us to TRULY start the process of being free and equal in this country is for Black People to Dictate What & Who Black People are! Not what white people “thought” we should be or are. We have to start taking control of the images of our people in main stream media. Read more>>

Latasha N Grant, CFSP | Trade Embalmer

I knew I was gifted in the art of embalming I am in love with what I do, I knew I had a great reputation in the Funeral Service Industry and I knew that funeral homes needed a good embalming service. Read more>>

A’Lexus Kealon | CEO of Abide Adventures

The thought process behind me creating Abide Adventures was my passion for traveling. I have traveled out of the country about 4-5 times and each time I come back with such greater insight on the world, and just a better appreciation of life. I know many women who desire to travel, but don’t know where to start, or feel like they don’t have the funds to travel but I want to make that possible through Abide Adventures. The second part of why I started my own business is because I wanted to meet new people and develop genuine friendships with women who were likeminded, and who were headed in the same direction as well as I wanted those who were longing for genuine friendship also to have a space to make those connections. Read more>>