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.

Tiffany and Tangela DeWalt and Morris | Ladies In Full Effect Inc

We currently have a non-profit and LLC. Initially we had the 501c3 first. Our thought process included what outcomes we wanted to see in the community, helping to transform lives, and finding a consistent way to help others. When we agreed to open the LLC, we determined it would be an umbrella organization under the 501c3 and an expansion of our ability to help others. Read more>>

Paige Fluker | Life Coach & Image Consultant

As an ambitious woman, I personally saw and felt how boss women can lean so far into their masculine that our femininity is lost in the shuffle. Women need their feminine, it’s what makes us thrive despite what society may tell us. Women bring a unique perspective and emotional intelligence to business, and I love to help women claim their power and show up authentically as business and career women. Read more>>

Shawanna Brun | Nurse Educator

My thought process behind starting my business was to show other women close to 50 that we can still pursue our dreams that it is never to late. I also desired to be able to give back to others on my terms. For example, if I wanted to bless someone I don’t have to call anybody for approval! I just do it. Read more>>

Tyesha Carrington | Cosmetologist

The thought process behind starting my business was freedom … and also wanting to work for myself and do something that would make women feel good about theirselves. I know how good I feel when I just leave the hair salon from getting my hair done so why not be able to give others that same experience? I knew I wanted to have a job that I can make my own hours or work as much as I’d like to. People think that having your own business means you don’t have to work as much, or you get all this vacation and free time but that is definitely not the case. I actually find myself working around the clock constantly for my brand but I love it & couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Read more>>

Chris Bailey | Artist & Individual

At the time, I wasnt really sure what i was doing. I was introduced to graphic design pretty early, and that really sparked something in me. The more freelance jobs that came my way, the more I knew I needed to create something of my own. A way for my own ideas, feelings, and perspectives to be felt. This need led me to creating Sober Outfitters. Read more>>

La’Myer Lewis | Owner/ Ceo of Get Waisted Fitness Apparel and Accessories

I personally got more into my fitness journey and realized that instead of buying products that were already out there, I wanted to workout in something that I created that will serve all women of all body types and be more affordable – other brands mostly promote a certain body type with their fitness accessories and apparel and I wanted to be different. Read more>>

Kiana Collier | Realtor & Credit Consultant

I started my own business because I wanted to help my community. I saw a lack in the black community when it came to credit and money management. Read more>>

Jamie Johnson | Executive Director & Founder

My wife, Kathy, and I were both rescued out of difficult situations as young people and saw first-hand how badly young people are being hurt. We witnessed in our own lives that young people, as it is with all people, hurt others when they have been hurt. So we were watching a horrific cycle unfold where the people damaging young people (drug dealers, gang leaders, pedophiles, absent parents, online predators, promiscuous 14 year olds) were present on every block of neighborhoods across the city 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Meanwhile the “good guys” were mostly absent, meeting and arguing for six hours, Saturdays a year of whether to buy a popcorn machine for a local youth center. Read more>>

Sidney Divine, CFP®, ChFC®, RLP®, RICP® | Financial Planner

Early in my career; I found myself sitting across from a potential client and his aging Mother. They owned and successfully ran a restaurant in Atlanta for over 30 years. It was a business that started and continues to be run and worked in by their family. During that meeting, I was asked, “if this was your family, would you recommend what you are recommending now?” Read more>>

LaRihanna Brown | Cosmetics & Clothing

The thought of starting my business was all about the look! I wear makeup to Enhance my beauty not to make me look beautiful. Lot of women get it confused with what Makeup about. Lot of women want to wear makeup to feel/look beautiful but for me beauty are within. Makeup shines light on the physical body. And every time I put a lip gloss or lipstick on my friends/family love it. So why not start something that will inspire women to wear no matter your shades or color. Read more>>

Chasity Bailey | Investor & Realtor

I actually never thought I would be running my own business. It just kind of happened to me. I got my bachelors degree in Marketing Management from the University of Memphis so I thought I wanted to work for a digital marketing company. When that did not work out the way that I planned, I had to think of something. I thought to myself: “How can I make a lot of money at once?” And then I answered my own question: real estate. Read more>>

Ian Moses | Entrepreneur and owner of Reverse Descent Clothing

The building blocks and process behind staring my own business and brand is definitely not the traditional route. To understand the fundamentals of starting my own clothing company and brand, you need to understand some of my past and background. I grew up in a single mother raised household where the root of our faith and the foundation stemmed from our roman Catholic and subsequent Christian religion. My mother and I went through an array of difficult times in my upbringing, as she worked as a single mother providing for the household. Read more>>

Marion Foddrell | Marion Foddrell | Marketing & Business Strategist

Everything around us has started as an idea. I believe that ideas shouldn’t collect dust. They should be fed and nourished. As entrepreneurs, we have many ideas and concepts that could use some development, which I like to call “beautiful chaos.” Her Method LLC cultivates small businesses with structure followed by an execution plan. We help small companies strategize and identify their direction. Once we create a customized strategy, Her Method will assist with an execution process that includes marketing, brand identity, business plans, coaching sessions, etc. Read more>>

Tiffany Derrick | CEO of TorchGlamLLC

My thought process behind starting my own business, I would have to say was creating a trial run to see what would possibly work and what won’t work. I tested my products out and received all the feedback I could’ve received and then some. I had a vision and I hit the ground running . I told myself don’t be hesitant because being hesitant leaves you in a space to miss your blessings. Read more>>

Sheena Hartley | Clothing Brand Entrepreneur

We live in a world that separates others rather than unite them. We’re separated by class, religion, race, ethnicity, hair, gender, sexuality. Anything you can think of will put 2 people in 2 different categories, simply by just looking at them. I wanted to create something that was so simple and bold, it made people question themselves. That’s why I started with “Respect Everyone.” It seems so simple, yet we don’t do it. I wanted people to look at my brand and see what it looks like to respect those that look different from them. Read more>>

Tamara Gatson Brown | Risk Management & Real Estate Instructor

I have always loved the education field and teaching others was a passion of mine at a very young age. After obtaining a job in the insurance field, I decided to combine my education with my passion and begin training other insurance professionals. I developed course material and sought approval from the insurance department. Those training courses helped me to form my own training institute in 2006 with now over 45 courses. Gatson Training has approval from the Georgia Insurance Commission and Alabama Insurance Department. And as of 2020, approval from the GA Real Estate Commission Read more>>

Gogi Randhawa | Freelance Graphic and Web Designer

I don’t know that I had much of a thought process in starting my own business. I’m a bit of a free spirit, I guess you could say. If I think too much about anything that involves risk then it would never happen, so I tend to not think too much and just dive in. That is true for nearly everything I do. I wanted to play music. It’s all I cared about. I got into graphic and web design because my band needed it, and we didn’t have the money to pay anyone, so I said I would figure it out. I got some software and while in engineering school I taught myself graphic and web design. Read more>>

Orpheus Kennedy | Changing the Game for Good

The thought process behind starting The Underground Lab was to create a brand that had the same reach, technology, and quality as the major production companies, but focused on the independent artists. Being able to provide an atmosphere of sophistication and quality to the local artist, who has tremendous talent, is our main goal. Content creation is an art form, and artists of all walks of light deserve to have their content distributed to the masses. The Underground Lab created the platform for those artists and content creators. Our platform is designed to allow for worldwide visual distribution on multiple devices of content created by artists who have amazing talent. Read more>>

Sumayya Allen | Alchemist

It’s funny because my thought process was to make something I wanted to have myself but could not find readily available. I love candles and specifically ones made with essential oils that offer an aromatherapy experience. I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I decided to make my own and to create the experience I wanted, whether it was to relax and unwind, or use in self care rituals, or create a sensual experience. My close friends and coworkers were all intrigued and wanted to buy them from me. And that is how my business began. I love to put my own love and intention and energy into creating magic for others to experience and enjoy. Read more>>

Kimberly Graham | Profit Coach

I personally saw a lot of hurt in the entrepreneurial world that honestly I didn’t even realize was there until I started figuring out my business finances for myself. While I was working my 9-5 (I was an elementary school teacher, as was my husband), we were able to pay off our $76,000 of students loans within 28 months and I assumed that this was something that most people did. When I realized it wasn’t, I would casually share our story and help people along their way and never thought much about “coaching” or starting a business. It wasn’t until I decided to leave my teaching job to stay at home with my daughter, that I realized I really liked working for myself. Read more>>

Shantina Lynet’ | Singer/Songwriter/Performer

I enjoy being in control of my own time, energy, money, and schedule. This is true freedom. Plus, I’m 100% committed to becoming my best self, so consequently, I want whoever I work for/with to want to see me at my best. Working for myself and being able to choose who I work with makes that possible. Read more>>


My thought process of starting my own business, was planned way before I even knew. Right after high school I went to college, finished my Bachelor’s degree and was like wait, that’s not enough. I went right back and finished my Master’s in Business Management. so boom, now I’m a Boss B. (lol you can take the b out). I didn’t start working till after college and I was doing self booking jobs. The kind you sign up for. I was a secret shopper, demo and sales lady and from there forward, I knew I wanted to start my own business, work on my own time and be my own boss. Read more>>

Erin Heavenly | Owner of Heavenly’s Holistic’s

Like other people, I suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and stress. I have often felt alone, sad, and hopeless. I have experienced things that have been very hard to talk about, or to find people that can relate to my story. There have been nights where I couldn’t even sleep, or find the motivation to accomplish my goals and dreams. With that being said, I did some research and decided to try aromatherapy to help me to cope with life, find peace along with mental clarity, and to help me to sleep at night. Read more>>

Nikki Carter | Intuitive Reader, Spiritual Advisor, & Energy Healer

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. You can say my siblings and I practically lived with her due to my parents working all the time to try to provide a better life for us. My parents believe in making a living by having a 9 to 5, but I also witness my grandmother being an entrepreneur. She had a few businesses. When I remanence on it, I feel like Spirit was showing me two different paths that I could choose from. Of course I chose the 9-5, thinking I would just follow in my parents footsteps. Shortly afterwards, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to work for any one else. Read more>>

Antonio Adams | CEO/ Founder of PULSE Music

In the beginning it seems as if everything is just thrown at you to learn the adjustment comes from consistency and believing in yourself when nobody else believes in you. Knowing that you have goals and aspirations it kicks your drive to push and propel you to the next level. And to me starting my own business I have to believe that I’ve already achieved and will be successful so that I can be an example to those who might need that extra push like I did to know that you can do this Read more>>

Vamari Collection | Beautiful Woman – be unique, be powerful, be glamorous.

Well, firstable we need to understand who we are and why we wanted to start our own business. Vamari, arises from the family union between 2 sisters and their mother, each with her own style but where elegance always predominates, the 3 passionate about fashion and good taste, which led us to create this beautiful concept where all of us we can feel identified, empowered and important. Our goal is to convey that message the moment you wear our garments, since it is not just a simple piece, but how YOU can feel when wearing it, shining and being authentic. Read more>>

Nicole Bernier | Chef

I have worked in kitchens most of my life. From making food for friends at a young age to college culinary school to the local Atlanta restaurant scene. It’s everything I know. Then the pandemic changed the restaurant industry overnight, and like many, I was laid off. After two months of not working, I decided I wasn’t ready to quit cooking, but I needed a change in my life. I always wanted to open my own bakery, but I realized now more than ever I wanted to make people’s lives easier because things were already hard enough. So I decided to open my own meal delivery business made from scratch by me with local, fresh ingredients. And Whisked Away was born. Read more>>

Camille Dyer | Licensed Massage Therapist

I was working for a mobile massage company and a lot of the customers kept requesting me, so I decided to branch out on my own. Read more>>

Tomiah Smith | Hairstylist/ Braider

my thought process behind my business would be because I knew I could help people feel confident in their hairstyles. Read more>>

Debra Mazer | Life Coach, Reiki Healer, Psychic Reader, Award-Winning Raw Food Chef, Published Spiritual + Cookbook Author, Ordained Interfaith Minister

I spent my early 20s living in intentional communities and ecovillages. There, we could create our own culture and life the way we chose. Work made sense: cooking, cleaning, building, the garden, communication, meetings, parties, wellness. I learned from an early age to think outside the box. With a Sociology and Women’s Studies degree, I learned to think outside the system. So, that was always a goal of mine: to follow my dreams, to stay true to myself, to live out the creative visions given to me. I learned when I am “obedient” to the Universe, is when life flows. And I feel aligned and good. Read more>>

Marie Carter | Brand Creator

My background is actually in education and I started my brand with the idea that I wanted to teach the world about my culture. Hip hop and its origins have so many layers and it is truly an art that should be preserved, not diminished to be a trend factory. I wanted to start my own movement to curate the culture. Read more>>

Tichina Penn | CEO of Island Obsessions

My thought process behind starting my own business was inspired by my journey after fulfilling my goal of becoming pageant queen. While many individuals inspired my thoughts, I knew I wanted to provide quality products for my pageant sisters and young women alike. I also wanted to create a platform for makeup enthusiasts to display their creativity. I wanted to use cosmetics as a stage to promote different cultural backgrounds, self confidence , beauty and skin health in everyone that came in contact with my cosmetic line. I started off with just lipsticks and eventually expanded to other beauty products. One of my company’s goal is to expand our line and ultimately offer affordable quality products to our consumers while maintaining our cultural flare. Read more>>

Gloria Baah | Creator/ CEO of Orion Entertainment

I was at a crossroad where I felt as if I was constantly repeating myself and working aimless jobs. I wanted to be in a position where I could have the flexibility and time to finish school but also be able to live some life and do what I enjoy doing. My close friends and family members had told me countless of times that I needed to invest and start my own business. I was finally ready to do that. With my best friend by my side we started throwing parties, hosting dance classes, and networking. After our first party in February of this year, it dawned on us that we can really do this. Read more>>

Adrienne Parker | Founder of Curverra

I didn’t like how society consistently portrayed my demographic. It was very cliche. You either fit into this box or that box. Thats simply not how I saw us. As a plus sized women when we can be editorial , sassy, classy, chic , sexy, fun and a plethora of other qualities. It was and always be important to me to speak directly to my women and let her know how beautiful she is and how grateful we are to have her as apart of our tribe. Everything I was looking for in a brand and instilled in Curverra. Read more>>

Genya Evans | Business Consultant in Social Services

Here I was a young adult just finished my undergraduate degree from Savannah State University in Sociology. Not sure what I would do next, I haven’t really experienced a lot of entry-level positions and I didn’t want to sit in front of a computer all day. As a college student, you tend to find jobs that work with your school schedule. Then, I would have people coming to me to find those odd jobs, or to put them on to some of my previous gigs. So, I started The Pen2Pad Agency where we provide professional services to small business entrepreneurs. We also created a Work-Study program for high school juniors, seniors, and college students to obtain valuable work experience, mentorship, internship, part-time employment, and resume building. Read more>>

Vernice Gaston | Chef & Food Service Professional

The thought process behind starting our own business was that we didn’t want to work for someone any more. My husband was recently retired and neither one of us wanted to adhere to a strict schedule or answer to anyone anymore. The idea of a food truck came when we decided that we wanted to share with the local area the various cuisines that we were fortunate enough to experience during our travels while he was in the military. First, we wanted a brick and mortar but we felt that was such a permanent position, and how could we reach more people with our products. What better way to offer those items, than from a food truck? This way we are bringing Globally Inspired Street Food to the consumer wherever they may be located. Affordable Gourmet is the first step in the process to building global brands of various food related entities. Read more>>

Juanita Harrison | Author, Author Coach, Entrepreneur

Starting a business can be scary, especially if you aren’t too familiar with all the things you need to do in order for it to be successful. Taking a leap of faith outside of my comfort zone to start Grace 4 Purpose, Publishing Co. was necessary because it was a vision that would help so many people. This business has been on my mind for years and I knew it was something that God graced me to do. Read more>>

Ana Arriaga | Baker & Entrepreneur

At the beginning of 2020 I decided to take a leap of faith and change careers. After living in Central Florida for 37 years, I took a chance to leave everything I knew growing up and a solid career that paid well and had excellent benefits, to move to a huge city: Atlanta, Georgia. My brother, who I am extremely close with, had been living in Atlanta for 23 years and all the while tried to convince me that I needed to move there. After years of wearing me down and my own frustrations with a career that was making it very difficult to not be depressed, I told him the only way I’d consider moving is if my parents (who lived 7 minutes away from me in Florida) would move as well. Ever fastidious, he convinced my parents to move to Atlanta and they now live 4 minutes away from both of us. (Trust me, my mom has timed it.) Read more>>

Kevin Jerome | Kevin Jerome | CEO

I began Obsidian Lux Cleaning Services in 2021 to pursue my passions of owning real estate and building a company that can expand into other states and something that was not reliant on me solely. In addition, real estate requires capital and credit, so I wanted to build a revenue source that could speed up my savings process for my initial deposits for my first piece of property. Read more>>

Daquanna Simmons Jamisha Williams | Owners/Buyers for IHeart Fashion Boutique

We’ve always been heavily into fashion. I, Daquanna, have always been told I should be a stylist, I used to win best dressed every year in high school, and prior to working in the medical field, I went to school for fashion merchandising and graduated with my degree in fashion merchandising. Likewise, despite working in the medical field, Jamisha has also always had a passion for fashion and design. After meeting as co-workers, and building and developing our relationship as friends, we started to think of how we could increase our financial freedom. Read more>>

Nela Salehi Zara Salehi | Owners of Shirini Bakery

We didn’t start a business to just own a business. It was a natural byproduct of wanting to share our culture the best way we know how–through food. We had a delicious macaroon and we knew we had to share it with more than our friends and family. Having a business was our way of developing a creative outlet for ourselves. Read more>>

Alexander Turner | Owner/Drummer

We wanted to be able to put creative control into our own hands. We decided to establish ourselves as a musical production team AND piece band that also specializes in 360/VR performances to further our reach. Read more>>

Ashley Spears | CEO of Saditty Avenue

I wanted to start a business of things that I love. Cosmetics was not my first pick. I originally wanted to start a daycare. That was always my dream. I knew that would take time. I kept getting asked what I used on my lips to make them look full (my lips are naturally this way). Then I had people tell me, “every time I see you your lips are so glossy (that’s because I put on lipgloss every hour). Every time I went into a store I was buying lipgloss. One day I went online and started researching how to make it and I was tuned in. My thought process behind starting my own business was an extra income for my household and selling things I am familiar with and what I love. I love lipgloss and I have at least one lipgloss everywhere. Read more>>

Tee BlendzzX | The Barber

My thought process behind starting my own business was to change the way I think. Throughout my teenage years I experienced working jobs in pretty much every field; from food services to bagging groceries , even working at a warehouse. I hated waking up every morning to go do the same thing everyday so I sat down and came up with a plan. The process took blood , sweat, and tears but with Faith everything is possible, graduated from barber school and took it next level. I have always had a independent mindset which drives me to stand behind a chair and cut as much hair as I want; that led me to offering a 24hr service. My thought process has always been based off the bigger picture and my potential future endeavors. I enjoy having my own business, it’s adventurous ,easy to meet new people, tips are great, vacations are even better. The world will know BlendzzX . Read more>>