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.

Temeka Thomas | Author & Clothing Business Owner

The one idea behind starting my own business was originated from my love for fashion. I would create fabulous pieces in my head, and later try to find items close to what I envisioned. The omission of not being able to find these items were a bit frustrating; infact, the feeling of being annoyed pushed me to create and initiate my own clothing business. I accepted that the beginning of my journey may not be exactly what I hoped for, but I knew I had to start somewhere. 2018, I aligned the legal aspects of my business, and that year I became a online business owner. Read more>>

Daverney Freeman | Owner | Easy Bakers Catering

As a young mom with limited resources, I didn’t have much options when trying to find nutritious meals on a budget. Read more>>

Amanda Hunt | Founder & Designer of Davin & Adley, Maternity and Nursing Intimates

I have been in the apparel industry for 15 years, working in design and product development. I have a specialty in Intimate apparel. Once becoming a mom, I realized that the maternity and nursing industry was lacking thoughtfully designed and modern nursing bras for moms. Because I had the professional experience and personal breastfeeding experience with my 2 children, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my talents with the world and bring something new to the mom community. With this business I plan to make a difference in the way women feel during their postpartum experience. Davin & Adley is a brand by moms for moms. Read more>>

LaToya Rozof | Body Positivity Promoter

Entrepreneurship literally runs in my blood. My grandparents started a business that’s still in business 60+ years. I learned early on how to provide great customer service and business tactics. I reached a point in my life a few years ago that I was getting tired of helping others reach their dreams by working for someone else. Read more>>

Tatiana O’Hara | Team Operations Coach

I started my career in corporate America at a young age as a District Manager. After being responsible for the development of 5 Store Managers, 65 employees, and $5M in monthly budgets, I realized one important thing about entrepreneurs. We struggle with the same thing my team struggled with. The lack of previous leadership experience! My managers were often young and straight from an entry level employee position. So a lot of the hiccups they had were related to the fact that they never had to lead a team before. My clients now are successful entrepreneurs who have likely never led a team before, but had to hire help because they business was growing! I started as a Team Operations Coach to fill in that gap and help CEO’s truly learn how to leverage their team so they could scale sustainably! Read more>>

Cir Joma | Artist & Educator

I am a native of Atlanta who was taught early to hustle. Any means of an income is good and having more than one is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, I wanted to begin spending my time working towards my personal dream instead of only focusing on the 9 to 5 “American dream” which simply pays the bills. I have always been a creative cat that has expressed himself in many ways, yet painting was the niche that could captivate my emotions in its entirety. Though some paintings appear abstract a lot of my paintings have messages regarding joy, pain, nightmares, and treasurable memories. Slowly through the admiration and encouragement of family and friends, I chose to make what was my new favorite hobby into my next business venture. There were trials and tribulations along the way but nothing that I didn’t learn from and overcome. I just chose to keep swimming. Read more>>

Danyelle Davis | Owner of Dan’s Ice Bar (Handmade Jewelry) & Law Student

For me personally I have always enjoyed making jewelry since I was about seven years old. I am an extremely creative person so as I got older, I wanted to share my creativity with others and I thought what better way than selling jewelry designed by me. The main thing that pushed me to really get my business out there were custom bracelet sets that family and friends would request; when making these sets, I realized the joy of being able to bring someone else’s idea to life. Therefore, when deciding to open Dan’s Ice Bar I wanted to give everybody a chance to get unique jewelry made just for them. Read more>>

Alexis Simon | Entrepreneur | Model | Brand Ambassador

I have to say, being stuck in the house during Covid-19 quarantine has brought me so much peace and has allowed me to start focusing on the things that I never really get to do beyond my daily schedule. Before my senior year ended through Johnson and Wales University, i woke up one morning & decided I wanted to sell something that I knew I would take seriously and something the people would love. Tacos. I LOVE tacos. That’s my all time favorite food, so I asked one of my close friends to help me sell food plates around the city back in Charlotte, NC. Immediately after posting videos and pictures through social media, we had orders going back to back. I have bigger plans to build my brand culinary wise and I’m highly grateful for all the support I’ve gotten these past few months. Read more>>

Sibyl Slade, CRPC | Vice President & Financial Advisor

For me, it was not a thought process it was actually and event. I had a stellar 21 year career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as a Senior Regional Community Development Manager where I was responsible for ensuring that banks met their Community Reinvestment Act requirements by providing access to financial services as well as invest in community and economic development activities that demonstrated a measurable impact in underserved communities. In 2004, I noticed that although the homeownership numbers had vastly increased for all segments of the population, the mortgage origination data showed that an unsustainable amount of interest only Adjustable Rate Mortgages had been made. Read more>>

Felicia Fencl | Senior Publicist

Quite simply, freedom. To me entrepreneurship represented my ability to express my creativity beyond the confines often found in corporate spaces. I was empowered to create a business from the ground up which allowed me to be the decision maker of policies and procedures that ultimately would shape my company’s culture. Read more>>

Tonie Doshea Boyd | Entrepreneur & Business Woman

I’ve always thought ahead, even as a teenager so when I decided to start my own business I was thinking about my future, my goals and my aspirations. Read more>>

Corliss ‘LyriQ Hambrick | Health, Beauty & Fitness Influencer

My families health really made me want to focus on getting my self together now instead of later in life. I wanted to help other people and bring something to Atlanta that I see other large cities have. A focus on health, beauty and fitness which is what I watch some of my favorite influencers doing in New York. Being able to collaborate with other brands to show there is more options close by home, as well as sharing tips and stories. The 3 Key Elements of LyriQ4e is to Remain In-Tune With Yourself Inside & Out with staying healthy, focusing on your beauty regimen and most importantly being consistent with a fitness routine. You can’t do one without the other. Read more>>