Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder. We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Nathan Warner | International Recording and Touring Trumpet Artist

Hilarious. Actually, I wanted to leave the dumpster fire that the United States was becoming and be able to teach remotely from a remote villa in Italy. I never got the villa, but Eastern Tennessee is still pretty remote! Read more>>

Charles Burton Jr | Sports Management and Career Consultant

I modeled myself after how society told us we should live. Go to college, get a degree and pursue a career in corporate America. Unfortunately, the layoff cloud seemed to follow me everywhere. Nearly 9 job losses in a 2 year span, I had to look at things through a different lens. Read more>>

GlenNeta Griffin | Chief Executive Officer

The Georgia Media Academy is a collaboration of everything I’ve done over the past 22 years. I started out in communications, opened a photography studio, owned a public relations firm, worked in government, served as a reporter, trained corporations and government officials for media and I’ve written, directed and produced for Film and Television. I saw the struggles that others have had trying to break into the industry and wanted to create an easier way for those to gain insight on how the industry works and how to actually gain employment and build a career. Read more>>

Jada Grey | Makeup & Brow Artist

I always knew I would be a BOSS. I was in dance school at the age of 2 and always had to wear minimal makeup for our dance shows. As I got older, dressing up and doing my makeup was one of my favorite things to do. Since I was the youngest child with no siblings my age, I always spent my time playing alone or with my grandmother. I would act like I was a lawyer, doctor, teacher, type up documents on my computer and act out these roles. In the 8th grade, my love grew fonder for makeup and I started to wear mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, and blush. In high school, I began to watch a lot of videos on YouTube. Read more>>

Jennifer Boro | Chef Owner/ NUTS for Granola

After working as a private chef for many years, my husband and I were ready to start a family. I took this role with the same passion I do with cooking, lots and lots dedication. Needless to say I took a bit of a hiatus from cooking for business. Once my son entered preschool, I slowly started offering soups and salads through my company The Soup Fairy. Read more>>

Jamie Foreman | Owner of Menagerie on Main and Creative Entrepreneur

The interesting thing about the thought process to starting my own business is that I was doing it long before I realized. For years I toyed with entrepreneurial endeavors thinking I was simply fulfilling my creative urges, not that I was preparing myself to eventually own my own stand alone business. Read more>>

Shawana Grigsby | REALTOR® & Life Insurance Broker

I started my own business because I really wanted to live life on my own terms. I knew that I wanted to wake up each day, and have the freedom and flexibility to do what I wanted to do with my time, while also making a difference. Read more>>

Kernesha Weatherly | The Wrap Queen

The idea comes easy. It’s the actual starting that’s the hard part. I literally have to tell myself “Don’t Quit or Just Keep Going”, multiple times a week. Starting a business brings parts of out of you, you didn’t even know where there. This is especially true for those who still work a full time job. Read more>>

Zeeda Michele’ | Empowerment Strategist/Author/Speaker/ CHH Artist

My thought behind starting my own business was connected to my passion for empowering women! I always was creating ways to make an impact while creating also an income . Nevertheless there were those times where the first overpowered the latter! Read more>>

Nemiah Hobbs | CEO and Founder of Project NEMIAH

In the words of Author, Amy Mesa, “We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges.” Growing up, I had seizures, astigmatism, hearing loss, and walked late, and those challenges helped me grow into the person I am today. Read more>>

Brandon/Joseph Patton/Evans III | Co Founders

Many men in our community don’t realize how harsh some grooming products are for their beards, hair, and skin. That’s why we started Evan Alexander Grooming. To make fine grooming products with nourishing all-natural ingredients so you can look amazing and feel unstoppable. Read more>>

Mike D Shot Me | Atlanta Photographer

My thought process was based on my desire for more. Growing up, I was taught to go to school so I can get a good job. That was it! That was the goal my family set for me, but I had this nagging feeling that there was more. I accomplished what I was “supposed to do.” I had a good job, making great money, but I still wasn’t happy. Read more>>

Julia De Souza | Jeweler & Designer

While I was studying architecture, I founded my first brand of accessories, It was a side hobbie I had, at some point I was selling enough I had some independence and I thought would be a good idea to improve my skills by learning metal smithing in NY. Read more>>

Dr. Candice Moore | Beauty Brand Creator and Optometrist

I always wanted to start my own business. However, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic where I got furloughed and it made me realize I needed my own business. This is part of the reason where I decided to build my own beauty/health brand. Read more>>

Sherine Tate | Videographer & Photographer

I got started doing videography/photography in Philadelphia with a small business. I was the designated person to record all of her videos for her social media platforms. I started to learn more about the craft and this is also where I gained more interest as well. Read more>>

Joshua Hankins | Entrepreneur

As a kid my family was poor. I wore bottom tier clothing while I had to watch my classmates and peers were nice shoes and clothes. I never faulted my parents, but I grew up with a chip on my shoulder because of that. I told myself at an early age that one day I would create a brand that the whole world would love. Once I got to a point that I was financially able to pursue this dream, I dived right in, this Millionaire Mafia was born. Read more>>

Amy Valdez Barker | Proprietor of Hope and Creativity

Besides being crazy? I wanted to do something in my community that brought hope and encouraged people to come back together. We live a mile from Old Town, Lilburn, and having lived in two cities where the downtown area was walkable and inviting, I wanted that for our new home. So, the building we are currently in kept calling to me and that’s why I wanted to start something in that space that brought hope to the community. Read more>>

Wendy Walker-Huggins | Serial Entrepreneur, Motivator & Creative Business owner

My thought process behind both Envy Slice LLC. & Charge Infinite LLC. was to take the skills that I learned during my working career and use them in a positive way as a leader and entrepreneur. The apparel and custom printing company Envy Slice was created to promote wellness and positivity in the African American community. Charge Infinite was created to help improve communities by providing mobile services for on demand printing document, Resume and job search, project management for businesses and community . Read more>>

Vaughn Weiland | Freelance Photographer & Creative Director

Since I was young, I’ve always felt a deep connection to the outdoors. As I got older I needed to find a way to support myself financially and so I worked in the service industry for a few years. While it was a way to pay my bills, it simultaneously started to take away from my time I was able to spend in the outdoors doing what I love. Read more>>

Rachanda Smith | Marketplace Midwife @Chanda’s Consulting & Author and Co-Director & Founder of Love Beyond

I am a servant at heart!! It is my heart’s desire to help others birth, the very thing they are called to do. I don’t believe that we should die full of gifts and talents that we never had the opportunity to use due to fear, procrastination and self!! Read more>>

LaShanti Johnson | Personal Trainer & Health Coach

My thought process was like…. scared, but DO IT!! Lol. I was dancing in the club at the time and was trying to get out. I knew I loved health & Fitness! I was Thinking why not take that step out on faith??? Read more>>

Reginald Battles |Velour Stripes

My thought process was that there was great college apparel being made, but for my alma mater, Tuskegee University, I wanted to bring something that felt vintage and at the same time a breathe of fresh air. I wanted to bring apparel that was high quality and new ideas that students and alumni would love to wear. Read more>>

Shacarra Bennett-Hardy | Beauty Enthusiast

Starting my own business for me meant freedom. It’s a chance for me to be free and artistic while also starting generational wealth for myself and my family. I always told myself I wanted to be a huge influencer and being an influencer is more than just looking cute on social media. I want to inspire young girls and women to see that beauty starts within, but hey sis I can help you enhance your beauty on the outside too! Read more>>

Simone Edmonson | Entrepreneur and Business Owner

I’ve always been a entrepreneur and owning my own business has always been a dream of mine. I worked in corporate American for 20 years with this dream of business always or the forefront of my mind. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted the business to be but I always loved business. Read more>>

Precious Greene | Mother and wife

My thought process was I want to be my own boss and I wanted to create generational wealth for my daughter. Read more>>

Nysheka Jackson | Esthetician

I started my own business, for not only the freedom to live my life on my own terms , but to make a difference in other people’s lives! Read more>>

Dawn Kutob | Federal employee and Fitness enthusiasts

My thought process was that I needed something that made me happy. I wanted to show my kids that being a business owner took dedication and that was something I lacked for a long time. Read more>>

Scott Mayer | Operating Partner

As a bartender and bar manager, I always made my own syrups and liqueurs as part of my bar programs. When I moved home to Atlanta in 2011, I always wondered why no one was making a Peach Liqueur in “The Peach State”. In the summer of 2018, I made what was to become the first batch of our Blended Family No. 4 – Peach.  Read more>>

Frankie Soto | Retail

I wanted to do something I love ! Something that I was going give 110% percent to. Read more>>

DeMya Robinson | Entreprenuer & Girl Boss

My thought process was I wanted to create a product that I felt was going to solve a problem. Human trafficking & sexual assault is a common issue all over the world and I wanted to create a product that would make women feel a little bit safer. I also wanted to create a product that made them comfortable carrying and that’s the reason I pushed for my products to be disguised in a girly/feminine way, Read more>>

Amanda Evans | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

I never considered starting my own business until I worked a corporate job. Early on I realized I didn’t like to be held down to a certain amount of vacation and personal days, I needed flexibility. After my husband and I had our first child in 2016, I knew I wouldn’t last too much longer punching a clock. Read more>>

Varnessa Bails | Wardrobe Stylist

I feel like I have to give you a bit of the backstory to describe how I arrived at starting my own business. I’ve wanted to own my own business since I was about 18 years old. I knew that I wanted create my own lane in the fashion industry, but if I’m honest, I didn’t receive the support that I had hoped I would receive when I talked about what I wanted for my future. Read more>>

Yasmina Travaly | Owner of Travaly

My initial thought process was to create something I had always wanted to have but, wasn’t really able to find. At first, my creation was totally self-interested. The flag-inspired clothing was designed because I wanted to have some. Once, I started putting the project out there, I realized so many people were responsive to the concept. Eventually, that’s how I was able to sell to multiple crowds and, turn my idea into a tangible asset. Read more>>

Jacqueline Hassan | Peanut & Dairy Free Baker

When two of my four children were diagnosed with life threatening food allergies it became clear that parties, holidays and social gatherings would look quite different. Every party came with baking and bringing our own safe treats for the kids, and although my kids loved their treats they always felt different and embarrassed when eating a cupcake instead of what was being served. Read more>>

Kayla Williams | Baker

My business is dedicated to my bestfriend, Whom I lost the beginning of last year. The JIC is his initials (Jean Ishmael Charles). My bestfriend was a great track runner, so most of the business profits go towards his track fund scholarship. I chose his name for my business because all my life I have been knowing how to bake, so I thought why not put my business in honor of him which will always make me go harder and progress even more with my business. Read more>>

Henry and Kascha Adeleye | Co-Owners of Kupcakerie

I began baking cupcakes in high school and college, and I loved making new and exciting flavors for my friends and family. Henry has been an entrepreneur since a young age, from selling mixed tapes in high school to owning a DJing company in college. When the two of us met in college, I kept talking about my desire to open a cupcake shop, but I never put the elbow grease into writing a business plan. Henry wanted to open up a coffee shop, and from there, the two ideas were blended together into what is now Kupcakerie. Read more>>

Vanessa/Felicia Howard/Strong | Vanessa Howard-CEO Nessfeli Natural Skincare Felicia Strong-CEO Nessfeli Natural Skincare

I have always been interested in starting a skincare line and would always experiment with different treatments/products at home. Because I am also a full time employee in a corporate setting, my dream would somehow always get pushed to the side due to demands of my job.  Read more>>

Ashley Duverneau | CEO & Founder of Krem au Krem, LLC

Honestly, I did not have a very forward thinking thought process about starting my business. I had started making natural skin care and hair care items for myself since I had grown tired of using store bought products that left my skin & hair dry and damaged. When my homemaker journey began, I had only had hopes of making the perfect moisturizer for my life long eczema condition. During that time, my mother had began to brag about her daughters creation to her colleagues & friends. Read more>>