Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Shoccara Marcus | Dance Photographer

I started my company because I found it hard finding a photographer that was experienced with dancers growing up. I remembered preparing for my college audition and wanting a photographer that would make sure my poses were polished and looked its best. Years later I find myself being that voice guiding dancers from one pose to the next in the studio. I did not think that the experience I encountered would inspired me to establish a company specializing in dance photography. Read more>>

Dr. Yare Alemu | Psychologist, Innovator and Entrepreneur

The foundation of TQI is based on Dr. Alemu’s experience as a psychologist and behavioral health administration in the publicly-funded sector for more than 15 years. These experiences include running a sizeable behavioral healthcare organization for 2.5 years; during this period, Dr. Alemu has been a subject matter expert in the areas of best practices and quality of care. Also, Dr. Alemu’s experience in a state-wide effort to address quality and cost for clients receiving services in the publicly-funded sector has further clarified the gap in the system of care contributing to disparities in outcomes. I grew up poor and I can relate to the population focus of our innovation. The reason for unacceptable disparities in mental health treatment outcomes for children from low-income communities is the lack of highly trained therapists. Read more>>

Jellisa & Teddy Morris | Bear Essentials Consultants

The thought process behind Bear Essentials Consulting, LLC was to establish a family business that would create a positive platform for parents to get support. That was our goal. As we know, “there is no book on parenting.” However, our perspective viewed society as though that quote led to a culture of businesses lacking in the area of parent centered platforms, especially platforms that focus on supporting the parents and the child(ren). As parents we searched for guidance as we prepared for the birth of our children. The search led to research, which answered many of the questions we had about parenting, big and small. Our collection of research, information and first hand experience with parenting our 3 boys (Cameron, 8, Teddy, 3 and Garvey, 1) has developed into what we believe in and stand behind as an important curriculum and resource for parents considering pregnancy, currently pregnant, parents of newborns as well as early aged children. Read more>>

Quincy Wise | Owner of Quinessential Goods

Believe it or not, I saw a post on Instagram and I literally thought “Oh, I can do that!” I’ve been doing Graphic Design for years between my full-time job and freelance clients it was becoming less enjoyable. So I was debating getting back into painting, drawing or trying something new. I follow a lot of artist on Instagram and for awhile I’ve been following an artist who makes landscapes with resin. One day she broke a coaster and tried making a replacement with resin. It was pretty dope to watch and I immediately said “Oh, I can do that!”and immediately went down a Google, Youtube and Instagram wormhole. Read more>>

Rayymon Beatz | DJ & Producer

I’ve always been in love with music. Music is my number 1 priority. I started making beats in high school and I wanted to take a step further. My friend, DJ KV, started DJing and he took me under his wing. After training me to DJ, I decided that this was something I wanted to do. In the beginning of my sophomore year in college, my big brother and mentor DJ King Kai, would take me under his wing as well train me even more. After that, I bought my equipment in December of 2019 and the rest is history. Read more>>

Brittany Nicholson -Pickens | The Juice Girl

I wanted to start something that was beneficial to everyone. During the pandemic I realized so many businesses were closed and only thing open in New York was juice bars. The benefits of fresh juice is amazing. Read more>>

Will Clark | Musician ~ Audio Engineer ~ CEO of Rocky Top Genetics

I’m Will Clark; co owner of the CBD company Rocky top Genetics, owner of Prana Recording Studio, and member of the nationally touring band Funk You. I majored in economics with a focus in international entrepreneurship at Georgia State University. I’ve always had a love for entrepreneurship and have helped start 3 businesses that are all based around things in life that I love to do. I’ve been playing drums for 15 years touring nationally with multiple bands since high school. It’s been a dream of mine to play drums as a career since I was a kid. As most people know, it’s a very unlikely feat to make it in the music industry. I’m lucky to be able to share my art with the world and make money off my dream. I also have a recording studio and work with local artists in the Atlanta area to bring their art to life. Read more>>

Ashaki Brown | Accountant serving small businesses and non-profit organizations

Since college, I had aspirations of starting an accounting services business. But when I was considering if the time was right in the latter part of 2009, I was reluctant to step out so early in my career which had only began 5 years prior. I thought that I didn’t know enough. Just so happens we were in the middle of a recession and push had come to shove. I was among the many that received exit packages from the company I worked for at the time and getting another job was proving to be difficult. Jobs were hard to come by. And when you can’t get a job, you have to create one. To answer the question, prayer and getting confirmation from God was certainly a part of my process as well as a lot of research. Read more>>

Zoe Hill | Owner at Stay Down to Earth

Ever since I was a little girl, self-care has always been important to me. I didn’t realize it then, but having all the time in the world to soak in bubble baths, use products that made me smell and feel good, and taking care of my skin would be a luxury I would crave more time for as an adult. Ironically, as we grow older and wiser, we still tend to forget that we cannot pour from an empty cup, and our own personal time for self reflection and replenishment is put on the back burner. I started Stay Down to Earth to create products that inspire you to take time to decompress, destress, and take advantage of the natural benefits of essential oils, skin-loving butters and herbs. Using bath bombs in your soak offers a foamy and moisturizing water show that keeps you drawn to your tub. Before you know it, you’ve been relaxing longer than you imagined you could make time for. Read more>>

Christie Niq Williams | Wedding Planner & Designer

After planning my 2006 wedding, Niq Williams Events was started out of a passion for celebrating life. I love touching every little detail and creating visual interest throughout the event. Our company motto is “Let’s explore the endless possibilities”! Read more>>

Christy Jones | Owner, Red Seal Craft Studio

For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of having my own business. My biggest inspiration was my grandmother who was a fashion icon in the 1980s. She started a women’s clothing store, and built her company to over 16 stores and a catalog business. I spent my childhood in her shop, hiding in the clothing racks, posing like a mannequin in the windows, and playing with the ribbon & tissue paper at the wrapping station. I was in awe watching her run her business, and I just knew I wanted my own store one day, My road to get here wasn’t exactly direct. I studied advertising in college, and went on to work in corporate advertising & marketing for almost 20 years. I still dreamed of having my own business, but the corporate world seemed like the safest route. Read more>>

Tiara Britton | Education Consultant & Teacher

In March of 2020 schools around the country had to close in-person learning due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. School districts scrambled to provide education virtually, as to prevent gaps in learning. However, for many children this only widened their academic gaps. From Her Heart was established to provide tutorial services to help close these learning gaps. I have always loved working with children and chose a career in public school education to do so. However, I knew that I would like to also be an entrepreneur within the education community. Many of my family members and friends have always suggested that I tutor. I worried about location, clientele, resources, time, cost, etc… When the pandemic forced everyone indoors and communicating via Zoom for literally everything- I knew then that virtual tutoring was possible. I prayed and took a leap of faith. Read more>>

Chiquita Mack | C.E.O/ Owner of Purple Rose Cosmetics

Purple Rose Cosmetics came about from my own facial insecurities. When I turned 27 for so reason my skin went haywire, and I was unable to get it under control. There was excessive hyperpigmentation, and reoccurring bumps in the same spot which cause even darker spots. No medical cream or medication was helping clear my face up. In 2017 I started researching natural ingredients for acne and hyperpigmentation, and noting down the benefits when used on the skin. I started testing different combination of ingredients until I can up with the right one. I figured if it worked on my skin it could work on others as well. In October 2020 I decided it was time to share it with the world. Read more>>

Tyniece Cummings | Business Educator & Entrepreneur

I have been in education for 7 years specializing in business education. During my 7th year I had an epiphany. “All these years of teaching business and zero years of implementing what I teach.” I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit I just never pushed it the way I am today. A year ago I challenged myself alongside with my students in a school project “creating your own business” I made a commitment that I would never teach something I haven’t experienced. After just a year I stand in the middle of success. There’s so many more thoughts and factors that went behind starting my own business but this was the beginning process. Read more>>

Jenny King | Artist

My thought process for starting my own business was to set a positive example for my two sons. I wanted to teach them to be independent, self-reliant, driven, and to do what they love. The best way I knew how to do that was to lead by example. Read more>>

Nichole Thompson | Life Coach & Motivator

I always knew that I wanted to help other women and when I left a toxic relationship And experienced a lot of low points in my life, Followed by meeting so many different women that had the same type of story I knew that my story had to help others. I want to motivate women to pull themselves out of whatever dark area they’re facing and tap into something greater. And for young girls to know that they are better than the mistakes that their mothers, aunts, grandmothers may have made. Read more>>

Veronica J Woodard | Independent Television Broadcaster

I had a desire to create family friendly television for all to enjoy at any age. Read more>>

The Pineapple Lady | Owner

I started my business because I wanted to separate myself from other food vendors and people who are selling traditional plates and so food dinners. Often times our community is afraid to expand their pallet and taste different things so I like to bring a different type of food to our community. Read more>>