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.

Mahalia / Erik Francisco Latortue / Medina: Director, Writer & Producer / Writer, Director & Development Producer

As Caribbeans, Erik being Puerto Rican and Mahalia being Haitian-American, we saw little to no representation of our people and our cultures on screen. And when we did, we saw that we were misrepresented with stereotypical representations and foreign assumptions about our cultures. We grew tired of that and our frustration led to the creation of our multifaceted screenwriting label. Baptized with the fearless Taíno cacique name, Anacaona Pictures was born in hopes of creating and curating diverse, untold stories and provide a voice to the voiceless in a marginalized world with accurate representations. As we say, “no stories of us, without us.” Read more>>

Rolesta Milian-Brooks: CEO/ Fitness Instructor

Starting my own business was truly a thought that came to me following an overwhelming influx of mothers reaching out to me concerning workouts. I started posting videos of myself working out hoping to encourage others as well as myself to keep going on my fitness journey after having my fourth child. Being freshly retired out the military, I had no job requirements to be fit anymore so it became an internal goal and my true passion for fitness was revealed. Seeing the amount of women/mothers I was motivating ignited the desire to start my own business. Within a week of the thought, I prayed, filed the paperwork, secured the proper credentials, and the support has been phenomenal throughout the process. Read more>>

Kennedy & Sydney G.: Owners

The Her Brand started because we had a dream of empowering women through quality experiences and luxury products. However, we wanted to have a purpose behind our services. Women are at the base of creation and have an unlimited amount of power. We saw a need to speak to our generation and generations before us to encourage ourselves and other women to embody their highest selves and to understand how luxury products can enhance your everyday experiences. Her means accepting who you are becoming and appreciating where you are going. Her means discovering who “She” is and embracing the journey of growth and elevation. Her is not just a brand, but a way to speak to women and our process was started by these beliefs. Read more>>

Bianca Word: Entrepreneur, Curvy Model & Lifestyle Blogger

Honestly, my thought process behind starting my own business was “Being Convenient” for my customers. I wanted to start something that would never go out of business or out of style because we all know some things go out of style so quick and never make a come back. I also wanted something that could always advance and change with time if need be. I also wanted to start something that would cater to women of all races, ages, and style…. and I did just that! Even though there are other businesses out there within the same industry of my interest I still went for it and I am so glad that I did. My thought process is continuously wondering what else can I add or do to push my business to the next level to keep the attention of the people. Read more>>

Darynn Blackmon: Entrepreneur & Influencer

When creating my business, I wanted to create products for people like myself who’ve had insufficient results with commercialized skin care products. I had my mind set on curating everything myself and using my own experiences as the basis of the brand. Read more>>

Abe Parker: Singer, Songwriter and Performing Artist

For me it has always been about the love of music. The business side of things just came into place as an extension of my passion for sharing emotions and connecting strangers. The idea has always been, how can I give what I’ve been given to the maximum amount of people. In today’s music industry you can find yourself signing your life away at 17, the label shelving your first record before it even comes out and you sitting on your hands for the next 6 years waiting for you to literally get your freedom back to release music. I wanted to build up my own business so that when the right offer came down road I will be able to set my own terms of engagement while still having the freedom to create when, how and where I want. Read more>>

Destiny Houston: Social Worker & Thrifter

Well, I was a Hurricane Katrina victim. With that being said at a young age, I lost everything. My mom was a single mother trying to do all she could for our siblings and me to have a better life than she had. My mom stayed in sales racks and consignment stores just so that we “didn’t look like what we were going through.” People use to joke around and call her the “Queen of Sales.” My knack for thrifting didn’t start until it was Prom Season in high school. I ended up with all three of my prom dresses for less than 20 dollars throughout the three years. I kept it up through college by just shopping thrift stores for parties and on-campus events. After college, I worked in my field as a Social Worker in a Correctional Facility. With that, thrifting became my therapy for my mental health, since my career was starting to weigh on me mentally, even though it was so deserving. Read more>>

Tyrone Jackson: Professional Session/Touring Guitarist

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I’ve seen a ton of talented people in the music industry have the goods as far as talent and ability but most fell short because they had no idea about anything pertaining to the actual music business. I knew there was a way, I just had to discover it. For me, starting a “legit” business was my first step. Read more>>

Erik Gordon: Entrepreneur, Educator, Marketer

Well. I have owned several businesses dating all the way back to the 90s. I have been a serial entrepreneur since middle school. But this idea came from another venture I currently have, a matchmaking company called Erik’s Single Man Emporium. During our event I made sure to give all the men a gift bag with cool stuff in it. One of those items were Grey Sweatpants. It was a huge hit. That moment sparked the clothing company Eggplant sweats by the Sweat Company. Read more>>

Delvecchio Parks: Legal Business Consultant

I have never been a great employee because of my mindset and I can admit it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always done excellent work at all my jobs, but my heart was never in working for others. Over the course of time, there have been three truths I have come to which made me start my own business. First, from my very first jobs back at McDonald’s and the GAP, I was aware of my disdain for working for others. When I was younger it was more about taking directions from others and lack of desire to adhere to the hierarchy of the corporate world. After finishing college and obtaining my Master’s degree, I worked at low wage paying job which I ultimately was fired from based on the economic recession of 2008. I think while I understood it was based on the financial restraints faced by the employer, the experience was more eye-opening because I lost the job based on made-up violations right after receiving stellar marks on my evaluation. I was expendable because I was leaving soon to go to law school, but was in desperate need of the paychecks to fund my move. Read more>>

Katlyn Hoyer: Owner of Blue Skies & Ko

To be honest.. My business started as a hobby! I had NO plan on creating a business until it kind of just happened! Standing here today is like living in a dream state. It’s pretty crazy that sometimes you can just trust the process and let life unravel the next adventures. Once I realized that my craft was turning into a business I started learning the basics like brand awareness, networking, and what my short-term and long-term goals were for Blue Skies & Ko. Read more>>

Segeeta Allen-Bland: Broker Assoicate with Optimum Realtly/CEO of L &S Financial Services Inc

My thoughts behind starting my own business is be ready for whatever. Starting your own business can be very challenging from deciding the name, logo, mission statement, target market, price etc. When you are starting a business you have to be very protect of your time management. Also know that the price you charge for your product or service is your worth (don’t let nobody tell you different). Trying to stick to a schedule daily (daily routine) if possible. Having a to do list is very important not just in your business but also in your everyday life. Read more>>

Angela Humphrey: Entrepreneur

My thought process behind starting my own business was simple. I wanted to make money without having to work for someone for the rest of my life. Who actually enjoys going to work everyday, to a job that absolutely hate? From a young age, I made a conscious decision that’d I’d make a living doing what I love to do. Read more>>

Jacquelyn Bell: C.E.O and Owner of Jaka’Z Inc

My Thought process behind starting my own business was having a plan in place to establish a Legacy for my children’s children. It’s always been my aspirations to create an opportunity of generational wealth for generations to come within my bloodline. That alone has created an inner drive to establish a solid foundation for my business that my children and their children will eventually run one day. Jaka’Z Inc is some much bigger now than I even imagined 3 years ago when I started. The vision seems to keep growing and growing, so this along with knowing I provide solutions to meet others needs have a fueled my drive and motivation to see this thing through until the end. Read more>>

MO Dean: Business consultant and content creator

To be honest, I started MODean management on a whim. And I met a poet who I saw tremendous talent in and it dropped in my spirit to go into business with him. When I first decided to go into business with him, I didn’t know how I could add to him. But, one day after his performance at a church, he asked me to help him sell some CDs after the Service. I agreed. But then he handed me a drawstring duffel bag of CDs. I asked “do you have a price sign and a place to display them?“ He says, “no, just this bag.“ It was at that moment I realized how I could help him. Long story short, the next day I was heading to work. I was a chief operating officer at the time, and it dropped in my spirit again “just make it official. Just make it official, and I already have the name MODean management“ and I went home and purchased the LLC and here we are today. Read more>>

Hollywood Fizz: Actor/Director/Writer

I was tired of dreaming of award shows while sitting on the couch. I decided, if I want to be great I must create. Why wait on Hollywood when I can become Hollywood. So I started my production company “Dreamerboy” and started filming my own projects on YouTube. Read more>>

Legendary DaPoet: CEO, Recording Artist & Song Writer

Learning the business of music so that I could successfully achieve my social economic goals like owning my masters, making sound decisions and teaching other independent artists, producers & creators the game. We die from a lack of knowledge because knowledge is power. Learning the business of music, running my own label, publishing company and studio empowers me & allows me to empower others. Read more>>

Gabrielle Scott: Performance Artist & Teaching Artist

That is was time to root myself here and make it legit. I had already started my own business in my home country Trinidad & Tobago. I have always been an artist who prefers to make her own art and serve others through leadership. I knew I would’ve eventually done it here, I just didn’t think I would do it so soon after graduating. However, with the Covid 19 pandemic where the jobs of performing artist were so easily snatched from us, it was apparent that there is literally no time like the present. Read more>>

Morgan Hubbard: Resource and Marketing Coordinator and Owner of M K Ultimate Vending LLC Kaylin Roman: Public Health Advidor and Owner of M K Ultimate Vending LLC

The thought process behind starting M K ULTIMATE VENDING LLC was that we wanted to be our own boss by the age of 35. We had a vision to follow our fathers’ footsteps and the entrepreneur route was what we know best suits us. We initially were working on another business plan before COVID but once we realized that our initial plan was not feasible, we switched gears. Kaylin proposed the new idea of Vending Machines and from there on her and Morgan started learning everything they needed to know to be successful. Also, we were thinking long-term and knew that starting this specific type of business with our own twist would make us passive income for years to come. Read more>>

Dr. Ruth Pauline Plummer: CEO / Covenant Daughters TV Network

As I travel to speak to women across the globe, I found that regardless of their social background, religion, economic status or race. I observed the pain and deep rooted wounds that they carry. These wounds restrict them from moving forward to their best life. My focus has been assisting them in discovering their sense of purpose, maximizing their untapped potential, and discover their unlimited ability . My desire is to help them achieve their personal and corporate goals. Read more>>

Brianna Canty: Candle Maker

Working for other people can be draining at times. To be honest! My thought process came about during one of my shifts working at the hospital. I looked up what I could do besides working part time. I’ve always wanted to have and do something for myself ! I thought since I love candles so much why not make my own! Why not have a business?! Read more>>

Morgan Warfield: Business Owner

I initially started my own business because I wanted a job to have a little extra money for myself. During quarantine I had a lot of extra time on my hands, and I’m not one that enjoys having nothing to do. I’d rather keep myself busy doing something I enjoy, hence me crocheting. Even though I was crochet only as a hobby at the time, every time I finished a new crochet top, I would post it on my Instagram to show it off. I was surprised to see how many people were interested in buying the tops, and that was when I first got the idea to make a business out of a hobby. I spent weeks creating designs and patterns for my initial launch. I wanted to have variety and enough products so that there was something for everyone. Then I set up my website and Instagram. Initially, support came mainly from friends and family, but overtime, I have have over 150 orders in the United States alone. Read more>>

Danielle Dada: Owner/CEO Chloe Shaniece Boutique

My thought process behind starting my own business was to begin to create generational wealth for my children. To be able to leave them something tangible, and the knowledge of how to maintain it, is very important to me. Read more>>

Jazmine Steed: Jazmine Steed Productions LLC

Since a little girl I have always had the passion writing and becoming an actress. I was raise in a small town Augusta GA where I began my acting classes with Mrs. Judith Bulter and Tyrone Bulter. After high school I went to Atlanta and attended Georgia State University where I started writing in the newspaper. My first big paper was interviewing Famous Usher Raymond and I was the stage manager of the acting theatre plays at the school. One of my biggest performances was the Porter Sanford Performing arts Center I was actor in the play called “Except A Man Die, he cannot live. I did such a good performance I told myself that I will have my own play right here on this stage and a year later I did. I was also doing extra work for Tv shows and movies such as Greenleaf season 1 and 2 , The Quad, Question of Faith, black lighting, Pride and Prejudice, and more. Also, I did acting classes with Dewayne Boyd at the Porter Sanford Performing Arts center in Atlanta GA. Read more>>

Toya Sessoms: Registered Dental Hygienist, Actress, Smile Professional

The seed for Smile Therapy Spa was planted while I was in Dental Hygiene School though I was completely unaware at the time. While I was in school I had a professor pull me to the side and told me I could benefit from getting my teeth whitened a few weeks after being properly taught how to offer the service. It was a very humbling experience though she had no knowledge of my lifelong digestive issues which can have a negative impact on your teeth. Being in school all I could do in the moment was take what she said and put it in the back of my mind. Moving forward the annoying bastard named Covid came along. After working at my home dental office for only a couple of months I was stuck at home with plenty of time to think. As a habitual overthinker I realized this was a amazing opportunity to sit in silence and really ask myself “What are you passionate about?” outside of acting of course hahaha! I came to the conclusion that providing smiles on peoples faces bring me so much joy. Since I’m not a strong comedian I decided dentistry is my second superpower LOL. Read more>>

Ca’Dedra Jones: Serial Entreprenuer, Mental Health Advocate, and Founder of Distinctive Designz

My thought process was to simply be obedient to God. Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t even have had the idea behind my business to begin with. He used the hurt and pain that I experienced from my Post Partum Depression/Anxiety into birthing a business that uplifts those that resonates with my experience. God gave me everything, the name, the idea, the affirmations on my shirts, the wording/scriptures on my packaging note cards, JUST EVERYTHING! With all of this, it gave me my breakthrough. So that was my thought process behind starting. Read more>>

Demond Craig: Clothing Brand and Fashion Designer

The thought process behind starting our clothing brand, Original Homies, centered towards staying connected with our Day 1 Friends and creating original garments for us to wear, in representation of one another. Read more>>

Sasha Johnson: Licensed Professional Counselor

Starting my own business was one of the most challenging things that I have had to do in my life. The biggest issue that I had was believing in myself and knowing that I was able to do it. Read more>>

Dear Kiwanna: Writer, Gypsy, & Jeweler

I wanted to create a needed space for those who viewed life differently. For those who needed to calm themselves on a spiritual level as well as in reality. My biggest read is energy. Most people grow with the gift of empathetic feelings and some have to clear the frequencies of their thoughts to reach that point. Anyone can do it but not everyone is willing. My goal is to show case my journey, The many things I went through, go through, and get through, so those who are watching and reading will know their not alone in their journey. Sometimes meditating don’t help, well maybe crystal healing jewelry and a cleansing bath will. It’s all about what works for you, and my process deals with exploring your shadow self as well as your light. Read more>>

Rosie & the Ratdogs: Band (Athens, GA)

We had all been playing in different bands around Athens for a couple of years. After booking several shows together in late 2015 into 2016, we all became fast friends and shared an interest in collaborating. Me [Ben], Justin, and Andy started throwing riffs around in a basement, and it all started to stick. As soon as Jordan came into the picture and started playing bass with us, we formed all of those riffs into songs and officially started the band. We played our first show in March of 2017. Read more>>

Shonobe Morgan MS: Motivational Speaker, Author and Influencer

Wow, starting a business is easy but starting an influential business comes with blood sweat, and tears. I wanted to create a brand that would change people’s lives. It was never about the money or fame but rather helping people and inspiring them to become the best versions of themselves. Read more>>

Keiona Jackson: CEO of K Jackson Holdings & Celebrity Personal Chef

I started Kei Gourmet because I lost my job due to Covid-19 and I never want the fate of my career to be in someone else’s hands again. I started Kei Gourmet to leave a legacy for my family, by becoming the first entrepreneur. I started Kei Gourmet to be a solution to a problem and to advocate for women of color in a male-dominated industry. Read more>>

Margaret Johnson-Hodge: National Bestselling Author & Writing Instructor

It came from a moment where I realized my own ‘worth’ and the company I was negotiating a new contract with didn’t. I felt that to accept the offer they were extending would be just giving my next novel away and decided that, if I were going to ‘give it away,’ I might as well give it away to myself. Read more>>

CIARA HARRIS: Eyelash Technician / MUA

Owning a business was never talked about in my immediate family, but as I started meeting more and more people at a young age that were business owners I admired their flexibility and lifestyle. Initially, there are a lot of doubts like will my business pop and will people buy into my brand, but ultimately its worth the commitment for the long term benefits. We look at how many major businesses started from garages and now are multi-billionaire status. We also need to look at growth versus overnight success. All good things are not built overnight, you’ll never be 100 percent ready. Read more>>

Stephanie Marlo: founder Exhale XR

Being out and about in Atlanta I noticed a changing force in topics all around me. People had begun to comfortably speak to others about mental health, many times sharing their own trials and tribulations to complete strangers. For me this was inspiring to see, hear and be a part of. This was also a sign that more people were hurting. Not only hurting but hurting bad enough to speak to others about their pain. I was inspired to do something to help from my little corner of the world’s stage. When starting Exhale XR there were a handful of continued contributing factors which organically led me into the world of VR wellness. The virtual reality industry is a magnanimous space, open for innovation, ingenuity and development. So it is a perfect space for entrepreneurs to expand and grow new ways of living. Read more>>

Dana Long: Founder & CEO, Bungalow 37 Brand + Digital Marketing Agency (, Founder & CEO, Bennet + Laine (

I had been working in the corporate world spearheading Global Brand Marketing & Global Digital Marketing Divisions for a variety of Fortune 500s like Disney, Mattel, and then started my own Brand & Digital Marketing Agency, Bungalow 37 (, which I run today. I help start-ups and mid-size companies create and optimize their brands and bring them into the digital arena with eCommerce and integrated marketing strategies and execution across owned, earned and paid media. I have always loved the home decor and interior design arena and wanted to create a product and brand for myself around an area I was passionate about, which is home decor and interior design. I am also passionate about helping elevate women and their voices, having been on the Advisory Board for Dress for Success and a volunteer for a variety of non-profits that help women and girls. Read more>>

Haley Yarbrough: Co-Owner & Designer

The start of our business was a little less planned out than some. I was 19 and a sophomore in college. I had no plan to start an actual business. I just wanted a few bracelets to wear for myself! I started out beading bracelets at my coffee table in my tiny apartment. I enjoyed the creative process and missed that outlet since going to college. I have always been a creative person. My mother was an art major and then went on to teach art. I was surrounded by it and loved it. After many request from family and friends for bracelets or necklaces I decided to start an Etsy page. My first online order was from my grandmother. I will never forget the excitement of getting that notification. Looking back, how special is that?! I began purchasing beads and supplies with any extra dollar I had at the time… thanks mom and dad! I soon outgrew my coffee table and moved my small business to a bonus room at my parents house. I would go home most weekends to make jewelry. I had the small business bug! I loved the hustle! Read more>>

Virginia Leeks: Business Consultant & Nonprofit Founder

Starting VeeMarie Consulting shortly after the pandemic began, my thought process was to help individuals within my community start successful, legitimate businesses to gain another stream of income or build generational wealth. Read more>>

Quintessa Solomon-Hardy: Business Coach, Mental Health Therapist, Motivational Speaker, & Author

After 10 years+ in business for myself and receiving my bachelors in Psychology and masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and Case Management, I wanted to create a business that would align with my field of study. My thought process behind starting my business was the desire to give others what I did not have when I initially started my business. Creating a business coaching and consulting company for service professionals and entrepreneurs was my way of giving tools and resources to help them build the personal and professional skills they need to operate a successful business. I have always had a desire to help others, so through my mental health background I am fully capable of helping curate a stronger mindset for my clients looking to expand their business territory and make a better lifestyle for themselves. Read more>>