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.

Christian Stringfellow: Wedding and Event Planner

The thought process behind Christian & Co. was to create a lux event design company that specializes in small events to large over the top weddings. It was a desire to connect with clients and turn their black and white dreams into colorful realities as they see their visions come to life. The smiles on their faces when entering their events was all the inspiration that I needed to launch my dream company. I wanted to give others the glam and chicness that I know that they deserve on the days that mean the most to them. Read more>>

Telle Kouture: Fashion Designer, Content Creator & Beauty Influencer

My thought process behind starting my own business was to focus on perfecting my crafts in order for my multi talents to flourish. It’s key to dedicate your time into having a strong and healthy work ethic so that it shows in your work. Things flow the best when the business is always put first an stays organized. The fun kicks in when business is in order. Read more>>

Lateshia Willis: Owner of LatteShea Skincare

I’ve always known that I was destined for greatness. I made a lot of mistakes that put me on unexpected paths, but I never let any of the negativity change my outlook on life. Starting my own business has provided me with the opportunity to live out my dream of being a successful business owner, and the opportunity to leave behind a legacy for my children. I love what I do, and the fact that I help others in the process makes the hard work worth it. I still work full time, but I will eventually be able to give 100% to LatteShea. Read more>>

Tenisha Downey: Shapewear & Body Contouring Specialist

Well I come from a family that have business so I wanna say it was in my blood! Read more>>

Ketura Wash: Vegan Apparel & Clothing

I will admit when I came up with the idea of creating A Good Day To Be Black & Vegan T-Shirt brand, my friend said hey you should start your own business, I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure if I was up for the task because I knew that there were so many pieces that had to come together for me to be successful. But when I sat down and thought about the impact that I wanted to make within my own community it was the driving force behind my motivation. Read more>>

Aeryka Harvey: MPH, PGY1, Doula

My first thought was “Oh this should be easy!” I was sadly mistaken! I knew that I wanted to be a champion for change, I knew how I wanted to do it but I didn’t know where to begin. I knew that I wanted to stay true to myself and fight for what I believe in but walk into something new boldly and confidently. Read more>>

Kevin Coleman: Director of Photography/Cinematography

When I created Courageous Films Production, the business initially started out as a hobby. My wife needed someone to film an interview for one of her class projects. I used my cell phone to record the video, then fired up Final Cut Pro to edit the video. I fell in love with the ability to craft and tell a story for some one through the power of cinematography. Read more>>

Raven Wortham: The Shea Butter Lady

When you have been gifted a true gift I believe you should never give up on it. Fun Fact about Sugar Rae’s Shea; The idea came about because I have eczema. I asked someone who was already making body butters to show me how to make them for my seasonal eczema and he laughed. So, I told them to give me 2 weeks! Within those 2 weeks I saw the possibility and I dove head first. I developed a formula that smelled amazing and felt great! From there I would just wear it and I felt great about that. Read more>>

Carsten Bell: Husband, Father, Owner of Topnotch Pressure Washing

I’ve had many jobs from fast food, enlisting in the United States Air Force, to being a Police Officer, Teaching new hire hires how to manufacture blood products while at the American Red Cross and even pest control. All the jobs I’ve ever had I performed them well. I had a cousin (RJ) tell me once if you don’t build your dream you will help someone else build theirs. That stick with me. Even though I’m just a year into owning my own Pressure washing Buisness the possibilities are endless. Read more>>

Kyle Walker: Choreographer/Dancer/Content Creator and a holistic practitioner

To be honest my thought process behind starting my home business was a little crazy. I said that because I never considered myself likable enough, popular enough, or even in a position in life where people will really be interested and what I have to offer or can do… So I had a lot of setbacks mentally with deciding to start my own business Read more>>

Sebastian Flores: Entrepreneur & Artist

As a young teen, I wasn’t old enough to get a traditional job. State laws require employees to be at least 14, and most local businesses only hire 15 and 16 year-olds. However, teenagers 12 and older can work in family-run businesses, which provided me with a way to make money as a 13-year-old. But what did I need a job for? I didn’t need bills to pay, or gas to buy, so why would I possibly need to start a business? The answer is simple. Drums. Read more>>

Adrian Sutherland: Change Agent I Marketer I Entrepreneur

“If you don’t, then who will?” Everyone has a vision but the people who succeed are the one’s who can take that vision and turn it into action. I was personally past the point of waiting for someone else to produce what I felt our culture needed. Read more>>

Jeffrey Releford: Life Coach

I realized how important it is to have purpose in your life when I discovered my own. Furthermore, I was saddened when I noticed that people around me didn’t know their life’s purpose. This is when I decided to make it my mission to help others manifest their dreams. Read more>>

Domini White: Designer & Logistics Services

First I start documenting my thoughts in a structured business plan while allowing myself to share my ideas with my mother then I went to a very successful friend. It wasn’t easy stepping out on your own, successful entrepreneurs have to start somewhere, and there’s no way to be ready for all the obstacles you’ll face along the way. In spite of the many challenges of entrepreneurship, pursuing a career in this field can be hugely rewarding, and in some cases, life-changing Read more>>

Bianca Hodge: Serial Entrepreneur and CEO

My son, Bakari Yasir, was the inspiration for starting my business, The VIYA Group. VIYA originated from combing my son and I middle names (Victoria & Yasir). It also stands for Victory Is Yours Always. The VIYA Group is a Logistics and Supply Chain Management provider that specializes in freight dispatching, trucking, and vending solutions. Read more>>

Malik Marcell: Film Maker

Ever since I was a kid I was a entrepreneur. My friends & I would rake leaves, shovel snow and even take out trash for money. From getting a taste of independence in my adolescence, it only made sense that I started my own businesses as a adult and work for myself. Read more>>

Cameron Conner: Studio Engineer/Music Producer/Artist

I wanted to not only create another source of income for my associates and myself but I wanted to help facilitate dreams and passions. Oasis Studios is an accumulation of years of expertise displayed by individuals driven to create the greatest content possible, so why not share that with the world. Read more>>

Jackie Morin: Cotton Candy Connoisseur

The thought process behind starting Wonderpuff was really Black Joy. Everything we do is under capitalism and white supremacy and I’m grateful to live in a time where many of us are decolonizing our minds and unlearning things that no longer serve us. For me, I wanted to see more grown ups have fun. Read more>>

Jessica Williams: Dance Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer

I went into business for myself so I can find freedom. Being my own boss, deciding when I work, how I work , and what I want to work on. Building a source of pride, there are no participation trophies in entrepreneurship. When you succeed, you’ll know its worth celebrating. Read more>>

Ariana Guzman & Linda Rosas: Tile Contractors & Installers

Initially, Linda and I worked for the same tile installation company when the idea of forming our own business came to us. We both were looking for a change, looking to grow and take on new challenges while getting away from a not-so-great working environment. We had been in the construction industry for just a few years, quickly learning, before we were at a point where we were both in leading positions, each managing our own projects and clients. Read more>>

Katie Kimbell: Student & Artist

Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed writing and art. As I grew up, I sporadically painted and wrote things on a WordPress blog called “One Girl Wonders.” But it never progressed or developed, since I never invested true time in it. Then, out of nowhere, a pandemic hit. Our country shut down. Read more>>

Demetrius Williams: Owner/Senior Designer

I wanted to create an luxury brand from the culture of Hip-hop..Hip-hop has influenced the world by the music, fashion, language, and dances..Usually when hip-hop deem your clothing brand as dope, it will definitely boost your sells.. So why not have an luxury brand that straight from the source of hip-hop(ghsl wear®) Read more>>

Mary Rogers McMaster: Founder and CEO of The Good Habit | Coach & Wellness Consultant

I found myself on the Q train platform in New York City headed out for a somewhat mundane errand and my mind was racing. As I stood there, letting my thoughts wash over me, it felt like I was slowly sinking into a bath of worry. I felt the all too familiar anxiety invite me to sink lower and lower until my head was barely above the water. Read more>>

Laquita Kelley: Event Planner & Designer

I had my first experience planning events in undergrad. I planned homecoming events for the entire college. It was during this time I truly found a passion that I had never had before. Things would interest me but this was exhilarating . Also the ability solve problems put me to a mental test Read more>>

Sophia Marchese: Co-Founder

Simply put, Happy Seed began as a platform to encourage people to eat more plants. The idea was to speak to people through delicious food that just happens to be made with plants only. Read more>>

Shannon Fitzpatrick: Event Professional and La Petite Picnic Atl Curator

Pop up celebrations and small picnics are the newest celebration trend. For the cost of a hosted dinner out with friends, one can create and host a memorable indoor or outdoor experience that goes beyond your basic night out. As an event professional working in weddings for my full time job, I try to keep a pulse on the latest trends within the event industry. Read more>>

Kiah Bellows: Fine Artist – Abstract Landscape Mixed Media Painter

The year I graduated, 2012 it was rare for someone work in the field of their Major. It was even more rare to actually use a Fine Art Major – rarely did you hear of a full time fine artist “making it”. This scared the heck out of me but it also challenged and motivated me to try! I remember my dad telling me to save up and give myself and my business 6 months of everything I had- to go all in for 6 months and if I failed… Read more>>

Dr. Karen Hills Pruden: Career Elevation Expert | Consultant | C-Suite Executive | Conference Founder

My business began by my wanting to give other women the support and information that was not readily available to me once I realized I desired senior leadership. Then, I had no female mentor relationship in person to see, touch, or bond with. Female leaders continue to be scarce in senior leadership. Female senior leaders of color are even more unrepresented. Read more>>

Stephanie McGruder: Certified Peer Specialist – Parent

My business provides vital information to a class of people that are often times misjudged and overlooked. So I hope to share helpful information using my professional and lived experiences for the greater good of people affected by a mental illness, a developmental disability, or an addictive disease. I teach people how to successfully and safely navigate what behavioral health professionals at the State level call the System of Care. Read more>>

Garreth Carpenter: Owner & CEO of Must Be Nice Golf Academy, LLC. (Golf Teaching Professional & Professional Golfer)

I’m 26 years old now and began playing golf 15 years ago. My great uncle (Eddie McCoy) caddied for Gary Player the three years he won the Masters Golf Tournament. I always had hopes/dreams to make it to that level at some point in my golf career. So I practiced like it was a full time job. When I was in high school. Read more>>

Jeffrey Lee: Founder & CEO

As a fashion merchandising major at NC&T I already had my sights set on design. Eventually I launched my own clothing line HTDOGWTR, that landed in stores naturally. From that line, I was inspired to create a capsule collection Never 2 Fly 2 Pray. That capsule has evolved into a line that I am proud to say carries a message I believe in – you are never 2 fly 2 pray. The message in and of itself keeps me going. Read more>>

Esosa Kadiri: Social Services / Entrepreneur

Firstly, I would say the dream of having my own work hours and not having to answer to any authority was my driving force coupled with the fact that, being a mother of 3 children with so much on my plate, taking control of my time in a productive way was my next goal, these compelled me into pursuing my passion. Read more>>

Travis Eacona: Builder & Designer

I’ve always wanted to start my own business but never knew what I wanted to do or where I could find an area to focus on. One day I started playing with some woodworking designs and had fun doing it. The next thing I knew friends and family were inquiring on how they could get a design for themselves. I was in a job I wasn’t happy with and I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. It was then that I saw what possibilities I has as an artist to create a business doing something I enjoyed and that met a need in the community. Read more>>

Michele N. Hawkins: Certified Paralegal & Notary Public

When I first started my business, I had a lot of experience in Administration and Human Resources. I realized early that there are businesses that are operating and their legal documentation is not up to par. When I would ask them why haven’t you fixed your legal documentation for your business they often reply its too expensive. Read more>>

Lawrence Carter: Founder of EbonVision Media

I began COMBiNE Magazine and EbonVision Media with the intent of helping creators, models, and small business owners reach markets and consumers that they could not on their own. Read more>>

Anikitia Abram: CEO + Founder of curLUXE Naturals

The thought process behind the start of curLUXE Naturals was to get women to love and embrace their kinky-curly hair. Before everyone jumped on the natural hair train, kinky hair was frowned upon. I remember reading blogs and hair threads with women stating, “if I had that dry, 4c hair, I’d never go natural”. 4c hair was known as the hair texture that didn’t grow, retain moisture, and easily prone to breakage. Read more>>

Charlotte Gallagher: RYT500, Owner SUP Y’ALL®

I knew that after working for a company for 5 years that I was ready to expand on my own. I had enough experience under my belt to feel comfortable and confident enough to go for it. I wanted to have the freedom of being my own boss, making my own schedule, making more money, and ultimately having a sense of ownership that “I did this.” And that I don’t need to ask for permission anymore. Read more>>

Nikki Bethley: Candle Maker

Well I always knew I wanted to own some type of business and I wanted it to be something that I was passionate about and interested me. I have always loved candles and how they smelled so good and made me feel good. So one day out of the blue I had to the idea to see if I could make one myself. Read more>>

Darius Caffey: Creator | Innovator | Realist

Honestly, I never considered doing it until I realized that that was exactly what I was doing. All I wanted to do was create a community for my people and do it in my own way. I wanted to build something that made us feel good. To empower us. When I first began blogging, I used it as a small way to find my voice advocating for the Black, LGBTQ community. It wasn’t until I had gotten experience doing it that made me want to do more. Read more>>

Janee Paige: Spiritual Medium & Coach

Unlike other entrepreneurs, I did not have a grand business plan or implementation strategy to start my business. My main thought was “IT’S TIME.” As a child, I’ve had this gift but did not understand why or how to hone it. Once I finally figured it out, I knew I wanted to share it with others. I honestly did not do much thinking, I just jumped right into it. I created my website, social media accounts, and got started. Thankfully, I have a great support system of family and friends that have shared my business, allowing me to share my gift on a larger scale. Read more>>