Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Sierra Buford | Digital Content Manager

I really wanted the freedom to be able to travel and with my previous teaching job that was just not possible. I’ve always loved working with people one on one and after completing a virtual assistant internship and then my bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership I had no reason not to go for it! It just made sense. Read more>>

Charlise Rookwood | Vegan Chef/Influencer

When my father was diagnosed with stomach cancer my world turned upside down. That was when I started to delve into what we are putting into our bodies as cancer also sadly took many of our family members. I was primarily a pescatarian at that time but after finding out I was pregnant that was that! I knew I wanted to have a vegan pregnancy and raise my child on a plant-based diet. Read more>>

Monica Carlson | Lifestyle Family Photographer

I became a stay at home mom when my 15 year old was born. I loved being home with my kids but found that I was a bit bored. Photography became my hobby and I tried to immerse my self in learning as much as I could online. I loved capturing my kids at play but knew my photos were not very good. I bought a DSLR and really committed to learning how to use in manual and how to edit. I took on a daily project of photographing my kids and would post them on social media. Overtime friends started asking me to photograph their kids and family. I honestly did not think I was good enough or ready. Read more>>

Kiearstan Hughes | Craft-preneur

As a kid, I was always into crafts. I started out making bracelets and selling them with my childhood best friend, Britney. I was selling those bracelets everywhere! Daycare, family functions, my aunt’s job…literally everywhere! Over time, I would pick it up and put crafting back down as life changes happened. Finally, I decided that I wanted to pick my first love back up and take it seriously. With a push from my family and friends, I have returned to the thing I love with an added a twist. Read more>>

Yvonne Bell | Baker/Mompreneur

Ennovy Sweets started out as just a way to raise some extra money to help send my oldest daughter on a trip with her school. I have always liked to bake, but it was just something I did for special occasions. I would bake homemade southern style desserts that I alarmed from watching my grandmothers. I never thought people would love it so much that every Sunday, they were asking when was I going to sell baked goods again. Read more>>

L. Nzingha Samuel | Social Entrepreneur + Community Developer

I have lived in Atlanta for the past 20+ years and I have launched several successful businesses during that time. I also have a background in Community Development and Education. As a Social Entrepreneur, I am always looking for ways I can create a business or community around a situation to assist in its solution. This presented one of those opportunities. Read more>>

Terry Jones | Private Chef & Food Truck Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was to build something to be proud off. So by starting this food truck and it’s concept it would allow me stand out amongst an already pervade industry. Read more>>

Donna Gullatte | Event Stylist & Beverage Designer

I had always dreamed of becoming a successful Fashion Designer and owning my own business. I graduated with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and after graduating it became apparent that during that time It seemed like you would have to leave home to become successful in the Fashion industry…not so true today. I also discovered that I was such a “Homebody” that I did not want to leave the area. Watching my parents for many years own and operate their business I kind of followed in their tracks and picked up where my Mom left off planning and styling weddings. Read more>>

Patricia Richards | Fashion Designer, Stylist & Perfumer

My rhyme and reason is—inspire, empower and disrupt. That’s the motto I live by. That was the whole thought process behind starting what I currently have in motion, I wanted to inspire men/women who look like me, empower them and fashionably disrupt the dull spaces. My business is my way of handing the flowers back to the culture, black women—more than anything. Read more>>

Sam Bennett | Professional Photographer

I wanted to be my own boss doing what I love. I wanted to build something I could be proud of and be creative with. With photography I knew this was the perfect outlet for me to not only accomplish these goals, but also be a part of some amazing moments in people’s lives and would allow me to create lasting memories for people. Read more>>

Destanie Render | Teeth whitening & tooth gem tech

Hey my name is Destanie I am from Atlanta, Ga. I started my teeth whitening business because when I was younger I was always less confident about my smile. Once I got braces and got them taken off I got a lot of compliments about my smile and how my teeth were so white. Ever since then I thought about how I could help other people be more confident about theirs as well. I just wanted to be able to give people the same confidence with a brighter smile. Read more>>

Angel Neal | Founder & Editor In Chief of Disrupshion Magazine + Celebrity Wadrobe Stylist

Honestly, I wanted to create a safe space for fashion inspirers and fashion Disruptors who look like me and who think like me to thrive. I was looking at a Vogue Magazine one day and I was a little annoyed that there were like 80+ pages of Advertisements. I was thinking where is the content! Where are the inspirational stories and editorials. I saw a need for connection and a celebration of creative artistry in fashion. So I wanted to create a platform a publication that put the underdog into the forefront. With my business I just don’t stop at publishing a magazine I also sell merch and recently opened up a photography studio to be able to give people in my community a place to be creative. Read more>>

Keon & Nate | Hosts

Starting your own business can be a blessing and a curse depending on the situation. If you are an individual who doesn’t like to work for others then entrepreneurship is a great option. It allows you to be the boss and make all necessary decisions regarding your working future. If it’s successful it can afford you the financial freedom that could take care of you and your family. You also have the ability to help others by providing them with employment which can assist them financially. . Read more>>

Cynthia Shambry | Educational Consultant/Bookstore Owner

I am a 5x business owner with the first one being a lemonade stand at the age of 9. The first two businesses were opportunities that were presented, and I went along with it because it was handed to me and/or it was out of necessity. The later businesses were intentional, but only part-time. However, this current business of a brick & mortar bookstore has been a huge leap to full-time entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Frank Taylor | Boating and Personal Watercraft Enthusiast Turned YouTuber

I actually did not view it as a business in the beginning. I had something that I was passionate about, and I wanted to share it with other people that have the same passion. It turns out that there were a lot of people that seemed to like what I was doing so I stuck with it. Read more>>

Aubridginey Jackson | Veteran Wife/Mom/LPT-CMA/Graphic Designer/Multi-Business Owner

The thought process behind starting my business comes into play I was a mother of three and expecting my fourth, a military wife and work was just so hard to balance because in the corporate world some jobs do not appreciate a good worker and trying to see about family and a job working with you is rarely a thing so I had to put my dreams into play and go off faith. At an early age I knew I was going to be my own boss because I just couldn’t fathom always working hard to fatten someone else’s pockets. So my husband Dedric introduced the name to me and I put it into play. Read more>>

LookaHeir Legends Run in My Family | Ancestry Artist

Once I realized that 3 of my loves in life, came second nature to me and actually helped others, I’d found my purpose. They were art, family history and storytelling. The Lord guided me to combine all 3, with family history as the foundation. I lived for untangling roots, getting lost in nostalgia & learning about our ancestors. And I could share that experience through art. After creating a few community history picture book projects I received proof just how much people loved reminiscing the good ole’ times. People needed it. Read more>>

Phillip Wheeler | Photographer & Filmmaker

Where I am from not many people are into photography or videography and those that are only do it as a fun side hobby. Also, the ones that did decide to take it seriously would release half completed work. This inspired me to start taking my own work a lot more seriously due to the vision I have with film. I decided to name my company Rectify Film, the definition of Rectify is “to make right”, my purpose behind this name is to create content the “right” way. Yes I know, it is very ambiguous but what I mean in “right” is work that is completed, thought through, and artistically pleasing to the eye. Read more>>

Carmelle Harris | Color Specialist and Entrepreneur

The thought process behind starting my own business was, “Is my boss ever going to pay me enough to be able to afford to live next to him in that fancy house.? Will I ever be able to afford to buy a new car like his? Will this paycheck be enough to take a vacation to greece like he did with his whole family?” And I thought about that. I was making $12 a hour as a multi salon Manager. Which means I was over two salon locations, managing double staff, doing double bank drops, and doing double salon product inventory. Read more>>

Christonya Graham | Chef & Culinary Enthusiast

Starting U3 Greedy Girl came during a trying time in my life. I had just relocated to Charlotte, NC from the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area, where I lived all my life. This move was nothing but a demonstration of my faith in God. Things were progressing and the plan that I brought with me was put in motion. In the interim a catering need arose while I was in Georgia to attend the Make Time To Pray Ball when the scheduled company had an emergency. With the help of others from the ministry, I prayed and stepped up to the plate. This was in November of 2021. By January 2022 finances began to dry up and I had obligations that had begun to add up. Read more>>

Marcus Cosby | Founder

The thought process behind ATL Extreme Watersports began with wanting to bring extra fun on the water to the metro Atlanta area. Lake days with the family can be exhausting and time consuming though very enjoyable. We wanted to ease the burden of loading all the equipment up, pulling the trailer, and launching the boat by providing a one stop shop for watercraft rentals. We wanted to provide extreme watercraft that’s uncommon to the average lake goer, Read more>>

Raven Silas-Willis | Chief Chandler

Prior to Breathe Enlight, I actually owned a total different business. I was an Event &Community Organizer for Blk Wmn Build. I hosted virtual conferences and trainings for small businesses. Breathe Enlight was a passion project I started because I could no longer afford my candle buying habits after being laid off from my full time job. I found candle making therapeutic and as a way to express my creativity. One day I just decided to drop everything I normally do and try something new by putting my all into making my hobby into a business. Read more>>

ELIXIR | Artist, Fashion Designer, Innovator, Proud Father

Elixir is a Magic Potion. We all have our Magic Potions.. It can be Music, Working Out, Smoking Weed… Etc.. My Elixirs included creating Timeless Art in the form of clothing (my way of expression).. As well as living a fast life..
Tho sometimes it may not be for the best or your own good.. Your Elixirs make you the person you are today! I embraced myself & found my calling as an Artist. Its been my story since then, this is another page in the books… Read more>>

Charletha Askew | Professional Organizer and Life Coach

I started my business to help women minimize clutter in various areas of their lives (mainly focusing on living spaces and schedules). I wanted to help my clients build lasting habits, so they could spend more time with their families, career, and community without being overwhelmed by all the day-to-day challenges. Read more>>

Verlisa Wearing | Ordained Minister, USMC Veteran, CEO/Founder of The RiseHer Network & It Is Written Publishing, LLC

It was my desire to create platforms that would help people shatter glass ceilings that were holding them captive while keeping their voices muted. Many people remain muted due to circumstances and situations that have occurred in their lives and because they have not dealt with those matters they are unable to freely live the life they dream of. Read more>>

Nia Symone | Creator of Purpose To Be Heard, Host, & Storyteller

As a former D-1 athlete, there were a lot of things I experienced throughout my career, from performance anxiety, depression, burnout, injuries, and just navigating through life while juggling being a full-time athlete. Athletes face a lot of pressure from coaches, family, teammates, etc. on daily, and there is not much room for mistakes or quitting. When I finally stopped playing in 2018, I sat back and realized there were so many things that I was dealing with and took away from sports that I couldn’t talk to anyone about unless they were another athlete. Once you graduate and move on you’re in the real world. Read more>>

Eldred Pierre Singletary Jr. | Entrepreneur

Uncle El was started based on a group of friends who believed in my product and me. They motivated me and made me believe that Uncle El could go far. I believe life can be so simple at times when you have a great support system. Sometimes you don’t realize your potential until someone else does. Read more>>

Jalen Thomas | Automotive Detailer

I was annoyed at the fact that I was filling my vehicle with fuel to go to work and I know longer felt a reason or purpose to be employed there anymore. An I knew if starting my own business it would need to truly be something that I have always enjoyed doing and could ultimately be a luxury to others. Read more>>

Keairra Tippins | Nail technician and Nail salon owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was “financial freedom” and being able to be on my own schedule. However, the “own schedule” thing isn’t going too great being a business owner lol Read more>>

Betsy Murdoch | Co-Owner and Managing Partner

I always knew I wanted to own my own business one day. I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it just seemed inevitable. I just never knew what that business would be. However, I was always one to follow my gut and never turn down new opportunities. Fast forward to 2016 when I was sitting down with friends/neighbors and discussing what we wish we had within our neighbor.hood. The main drawback we saw was the walkability. We didn’t have any where we could walk to and grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. Read more>>

Charde CJ Cherry | Owner of Atypical Appeal and Founder of Atypical Beauty

The thought prices behind starting my own business was to have something tangible that directly represented me. One of the main focuses of My nonprofit “Atypical Beauty” is to teach entrepreneurship to young women. I wanted to make sure that I was a representation of what I’m trying to instill. I wanted to make sure I practice what I preach. Read more>>

Devonta Lancaster | Business Analyst & Business Developmental Coach

My thought process behind starting my own business was very simple. For years I’ve guided, coached, and assisted individuals with making strategic decisions regarding starting their businesses and building discipline to stay consistent on the entrepreneurial roller coaster. I believe in ownership and freedom. The only way to truly receive both is by creating your own. Read more>>

Chanda Aklss | Gym owner, trainer, competition coach and realtor

I worked at a lot of different gyms and hated the way members were just another number to keep the bottom line greater. I wanted members to feel like their goals and desire to have the fitness experience they desire matter. Read more>>

Gina Ortiz | Founder of HOA Mobile & GA licensed Massage Therapist

The thought process behind my business was simple. How can we as an industry adjust to the changing social habits of the people? Covid stopped the world in its heels and changed the day to day habits of just about everyone. However, it seemed that one thing most people did not want to give up in all the sacrifices being made in the name of disease control, was their self care services. Massage therapy was amongst those services that citizens held protest demonstrations to be able to participate in. Read more>>

BJ Armstead | Athletic Mental/Life Coach & Mental Health Advocate

We wanted to provide an outlet for high school student athletes to express their emotions about situations they may have happened on the field and off the field. We are rooted in Mental Health and aim to educate student-athletes on the importance of stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma as it relates to their sport. We also bridge the gap between Mental Health and Life Coaching and use this to build rapport and maximize relationships between Athlete and Mental Coach. Read more>>

Jesse and Allison | Multiverse Convention Chairs

We started Multiverse because we saw a need in the geeky fandom community. We wanted to see a fun multi-genre, multi-fandom convention that was truly welcoming to all fans of all kinds, but not huge and overwhelming (and expensive) like a lot of the mega-cons. We wanted to create more than an event; we wanted to build a community of fun, interesting people with shared interests from all backgrounds and walks of life, a place where everyone feels welcomed and respected. Read more>>

Josiah Persad | Filmmaker & Creative Director

I started Twin Island Company, a creative film production company based in Atlanta, GA, in January 2020 with my best friend, Rachael Ramchand. Since then we’ve produced over 30 industry level music videos and commercials which have streamed worldwide, amounting to more than 20 million views. We’ve worked with artists such as Saint Jhn, Juicy J, DJ Paul, Prince Swanny, Nessa Preppy, Destra Garcia, Kalpee, Jimmy October, and many more. We’ve also managed to connect with other creatives around the world, giving them work opportunities in the company. Read more>>

Gorica Regodić | Actress

I could not say that I started my own business, I am my own business, but it is not yet in the aspect and scope in which I would definitely like to do it one day. And that business will certainly be related to film and music. It seems to me that we have started to underestimate the audience and I would like to change that. It looks like the more tools we have, the less we know what to do with them. Films that we remember and that bear the epithet cult became so because of the way of storytelling, the idea, or because they were the first to deal with certain topics, or they talked about them in a new way. Read more>>