Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Crystol Cotton | Podcaster

The thought process behind starting my business was I had all these friends who were starting businesses and were being creative and I really admired that. It started making me think about what it was that I was passionate about, what was I good at, and just figure out what my overall purpose was. Read more>>

Mirandia Coger | Childcare Advocate, Author and Motivational Speaker

If I’m honest I never imagined being a business owner of 2 businesses, but I was determined to be the change that I wanted to see. When I launched, I’m God’s Girl LLC I was determined to help young girls and women see themselves differently. In addition to that I wanted to be a change agent for the childcare community, help organizations network and motivate others so I’m working on launching Change Agency LLC. Even though both businesses are different I get to show up and be a change agent in every aspect. Read more>>

Teo Marinakis | Filmmaker & Cinematographer

s a creative in general, our urge is to create art with our tools and materials all the time. That’s what brings us to our element. The issue is in the real world making art is dependent on resources and we need income. So when I graduated from NYU I was left with two choices: find a job working for someone else’s big creation, or start my own at a smaller scale and watch it grow. The second was more appealing to me, and as I shot my film “VIVO,” Read more>>

Tyra J. Ike-Asogwa | Founder Co- Artistic Director

We started INNERGY Inc because there was a need in our community; for Black dancers to be seen, heard and represented. When our founder and Co-Artistic director went off to study dance in New York City at the age of 17, it was her first experience with Black dance teachers, being in a class filled with other Black bodies, and witnessing the power of Black professional dance artists. That experience shifted the trajectory of her life. Read more>>

Aashik Rahman | entrepreneur & innovator

The only thought process which made me clear was understanding that Business is the only tool that can give you endless opportunities & empower you & the nation as well. A great strategy & my creative mind gave me the confidence that this is my winning combination for building own Kingdome Read more>>

Katie Moise | Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

I practiced as a physical therapist for six years and specialized in pelvic health for 2.5 years before I decided to take the leap of faith and start my own business. When I became interested in pelvic floor physical therapy, I quickly realized my passion was supporting birthing people during pre-conception, pregnancy and postpartum. For many, this is a season of so many unknowns and while so much focus is on making sure the baby is healthy, the birthing person is often times forgotten. During such a pivotal transition into parenthood, our healthcare system fails to provide adequate information to new parents, especially during the postpartum period. You are told to rest for 6 weeks after giving birth, and then what? That is where pelvic floor physical therapy comes in! Read more>>

Niedra Mattox | Entrepreneur

I love this question because I literally had no process to starting my business. Sounds crazy right?! Initially when my business started to become a thing it was literally by word of mouth. I was once gifted a bundle of waist beads by my college roommate at Clayton State. I then added some more to my own collection and honestly after that anyone who had asked about my waist beads, I sold what I had for like 2/$10 or 2/$15. I had no idea my friends were telling people to come to me for waist beads until strangers would approach me by my Instagram name asking for information on how to purchase some. Read more>>

Dameon Hagler | Travel Specialist/Agent

When I was a kid I was a military brat growing up a son of an Army soldier which led to me to moving around a lot. I spent my toddler years in Maryland, Germany, Arizona and Texas. I also joined the US Air Force in which I was stationed at three bases in a four year enlistment. I was stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis New Mexico, Osan Air Base in South Korea and Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins Georgia. I think this is what sparked my passion for travel and I wanted to help others experience travel as well. Read more>>

Jose Tutiven | Founder of Colored Colors

Colored Colors was created because I saw potential in having an artistic driven community on Long Island, which is where I come from. We neighbor New York City but yet we lacked opportunity for creatives to showcase their talents and if there were opportunities, they weren’t very inclusive. My idea was organizing community events centered around art, music, while giving minorities and millennials a space to showcase their talents. Fast forward to 2021, I have worked with over 300+ creatives and 50+ businesses/organizations all over NY. Read more>>

Ashleigh Pearson | Chocolatier/Owner

I never thought I would start my own business. For twelve years I worked in kitchens for other chefs. I was creating dishes in the style of the Chefs I worked for. As I grew in my technique and my skill set I started to explore more ideas and flavor combinations that interested me. I would journal all of the ideas I wanted to create myself but didn’t necessarily fit into the repertoire of the restaurant I was working in. Without realizing it I was creating the menu of my first concept Petite Soeur. Read more>>

Marcuetta Sims | Psychologist, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Consultant, CEO

This is such a great question! When I started my business, my thought process was that I want women like me to have a place where they can be seen and centered. I wanted to create a safe haven for women who feel like they are unrepresented, undervalued, unseen, and misjudged to come, take their cape off, let their hair down, and just BE. Far too often, we are asked to wear a mask, to pretend to be something that we are not, to hide our feelings for fear of being stereotyped as something else, so I wanted to create a business that didn’t require anyone to do that. Read more>>

Kawaun Love | Founder & Creative Director

Our thought process behind starting The Supermarket Co. was to build a company and community around a brand that furthers the dialogue of American values with emphasis on the modern everyday family. We push to highlight a visual expression of American style and culture through ready-to-wear collections. Read more>>

Reia Toombs | Fashion Designer, Consultant and Illustrator

My thought process behind starting my own business was to help women of all races and body types feel and confident through my clothing brand. Growing up in rural Arkansas fashion was not normally a career people dream of. I wanted to make women feel fearless, bold, and beautiful. Read more>>

Ashley Crenshaw | Owner & Founder

My business was created out of a necessity. I needed a way to track the customers I was getting from a business that I had fallen into but there wasn’t anything that met my needs. I wanted a planner that would help me manage my money and my projects but it just didn’t seem to exist. Inspiration struck while I was scrolling through YouTube. A girl had created her own business binder using templates from Etsy and Dollar Tree supplies. I was impressed and thought “You can do that!” so I did. I met up with a friend a while after that and told her about what I’d created and expressed that it still felt a bit lacking. I wanted to hire someone to turn my binder into a coil bound planner but didn’t know where to start. My told me to ‘just make it yourself’ and I laughed at her. But she was serious and continued to motivate me until I took it seriously. Read more>>

Portia Effinger | Nurse Practitioner & Philanthropist

The thought process behind me starting a nonprofit, is a strong desire to bridge a gap between healthcare providers and a necessary community resource. Grief is real, yet it’s still such a taboo topic. There has to be safe spaces to care, connect, and create within our community and I am here for it. As a provider, it disturbs me how often mental health disparities are a directly linked to undiagnosed complicated grief coupled with a lack of adequate support or resources. Read more>>

Amique James, MBA | Entrepreneur

Honestly, I was tired of working for someone else and wanted to have a real work-life balance. Working 60+ hours a week in corporate America was physically and emotionally draining. Not to mention, as a new mom, my 1st born spent most of his time away from home with a sitter. Nevertheless, I also wanted to create a product which is healthy and can be enjoyed by many. Read more>>

Darnelle Brown Jr. | CEO (TFB), COO (B&U Ent, LLC), Entrepreneur, Dancer/Stepper

Founded in September of 2019, my initial thought process behind starting my own business was essentially working for myself, being my own boss, and trying to do something to create opportunities for others. I had learned the hard way that no matter where you work, no matter your position, you can always be replaced. As I came upon new knowledge of different things such as the original Black Wall Street and how we as black people circulate our money within our community the least, this help to put things in better perspective for The F.AM.O.U.$. Brand (TFB). Read more>>

Shavodka Dennis | Nurse & Owner of Wonderfully Made Scrubs & More

My dream has always been to become a nurse and owning my own healthcare agency. My passion is to care for others and I knew becoming a nurse would give me that opportunity. I had my first child when I was 18 years old, and my dreams of becoming a nurse was put on hold. I attempted several times to go back to school to fulfill my dreams, but I always had to put that to the side for my children. Finally in 2012 I got accepted into nursing school, and stepped out on faith trusting that God would lead me and provide for me and he did just that. Into 2014 I graduated from nursing school, married my first high school crush and moved to Atlanta all in one year. Read more>>

Tecoiyah Desmuke | Esthetician

I’m a person who hates to be micro managed. There’s nothing wrong with havi my a 9-5. I actually work part time at a bar because it brings me excitement and different scenery. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur. I was that kid that had no idea who I wanted to be when I grew up and just went to college and wasted thousands of dollars because I was literally old that I should go lol. I found my passion in beauty and making women feel beautiful and from there I dabbled into makeup and then microblading. I realized it was my passion and I’m good at it. So obviously “let’s monetize this!” That was my thought process. I believe everyone should do what they love and be able to make a living from it. So that’s the motto for 2022 “LETS MONETIZE IT!” Read more>>

Jacqueline Kendrick | Certified Minister of Dance

For me, it was not a thought process, but an awakening! Dance has always been my Passion, and then my Passion, along with my love for God, became my Ministry. I served as the Dance and Drama Arts Ministry Leader at my church for eighteen years. Early in my leadership, I found opportunities to share my gifts with a group of talented teenagers that I knew would benefit from the dance ministry. This ministry captured the hearts of many, growing from twelve teenage girls to over ninety dancers to include, children, women and men ranging in ages from 4 – 80+. Read more>>

Ann Thoni | Business owner and photographer

The thought process in starting the South 40 Farm brand stems from being a professional photographer for over twenty-five years… so we are not new to the business world. My husband was also a business owner for over thirty years. South 40 Farm was an idea I had been stewing on for quite sometime. I called a family meeting to present my plan to my husband and our children and I think they thought I was a little nuts in the beginning. We started South 40 farm first of 2019 and never looked back. Read more>>

Jakia Cheatham – Myles | CEO of Pretty Women Hustle Magazine

When starting Pretty Women Hustle the only thing that kept me from giving up was the NEED for a platform that features EVERY WOMAN going after their dreams. I wanted to create a platform that celebrates a Boss Woman’s journey from beginning to end. We are here to celebrate you when you first think of the business idea and when you make your first sale. A community for women by women was needed and everyday I am learning and creating new opportunities that speaks to the woman who has a creative idea that the world needs to know about. Read more>>

Lakisha L. Simmons, PhD | FIRE coach, speaker and author of The Unlikely AchieveHer

I decided to start a business to create my own income. I’ve side hustled for years and eventually went all out on my own after I became financially independent and left my full-time job as a tenured professor of analytics. Working for an employer and a large university was just too stressful. I’m enjoying working for myself. I love that I can work on my business not necessarily in my business. That allows me to have more free time to spend living life as I please. Read more>>

Barrie Clark | Owner, Roaster, and Tea Creator of Drogo Coffee and Tea

I think the process of starting Drogo formed unconsciously in my mind before I ever started actively thinking about it. I started my coffee career as most people do by working in coffee shops. After years of managing various coffee shops, I eventually began building out, as well as running and managing, cafe programs for restaurants in the Atlanta area. It got to the point where I was trying to do everything as “in house” as possible, including making all the syrups and creating all the tea blends. The logical next step for me was to begin researching and experimenting with coffee roasting. Read more>>

Liv | Event Planner

Liv’s Luxury Decor LLC plan became success. I’ve shut off a lot of distractions such as friends and social media for about a month to focus on my business plans. I’ve asked my boss questions that was really helpful of her. I had to maintain a positive mindset creating these plans because I easily get distracted. Constantly reminding myself “ you got to go hard!” “I know I have the creative skills, now I need the motivation!” And once I got that motivation, EST: 03-05-2021. Read more>>

Ashley Canty | REALTOR

I’ve always dreamed of ways to be my own boss. When I realized that I wasn’t making an impact at my 9-5 or doing something that aligned with my purpose I started planning my exit. It took some time, but I knew I had to do something that was fulfilling for me. I wanted to create some sort of change in people and my corporate job just didn’t allow it. I also knew that eventually I would need to have faith in order to become a full-time entrepreneur. I had over 9 months’ worth of bills saved; I had a strong clientele base and the support of my family. I knew that having faith would catapult me to just do it! These types of transitions are never easy but the thought process of just going all in makes you resilient, brave and it puts you in a vulnerable position that you cannot turn back from. Read more>>

Sherika Allen | Business Owner/Entrepreneur

The thought process behind starting my own business was overwhelming because I had so much I wanted to do. I have had other businesses but never finished it out. So with this one my biggest supporter (My Husband Jerry) was a huge influence to me. No matter what ideas or anything I had he always told me to go for it because it’s in me. I’m not gonna lie it was a rough start, but as I progressed the meaning of being a Entrepreneur came to me. From having to research day and night, finding the right quality, and especially customer service. Once I got my foot in the door, I said to myself I’m not gonna let up. And that’s just what I did. I love owning my own business. Read more>>

William F. Carroll II | CEO & Founder

My thought process behind starting my own business is that I needed to solve issues. There are always new issues arising that people need solving. If I am able to solve an issue for them and it can be scaled to many people that becomes valuable. This is something that can be turned into a business. With Fewer Cards the main problem I wanted to solve was the dependence on business cards, spreading germs. not being sustainable and having to run out of business cards when at events. The Fewer Cards contactless business cards was able to solve all of these problems and introduce new solutions for other challenges as well. Read more>>

Whitney McLendon (Ms. CurvyPhase) | Owner/President/CEO of Curvy Phase

I absolutely love this question, My thought process behind starting Curvy Phase, was to encourage the Curvy Queens of the world to embrace who and what they are. Being Curvy is not a bad thing, being curvy makes you unique. No two women are the same. Curvy Phase shows and represent that. We just want our curvy love ones to feel good about themselves, and let their personalities shine and grow, even our young curvy princesses who will one day be our new/future curvy queens and wear this heavy well deserved crown that we will pass to them. Read more>>

Nonee Ngazimbi | Life & Style Blogger & Nurse Practitioner

I am a creative at heart. By profession, I am a nurse practitioner practicing in the Neurological Trauma Critical Care. I knew that in order to feel fulfilled in my life, I needed to find something that I could be a creative outlet for me. I started my first blog in 2012 while I was still in my undergraduate studies. That grew into YouTube, and then my 2nd rendition of a blog, and then a blogger community for local bloggers in Connecticut. Read more>>

Unnati Topiwala | CEO of AyTop Marketing

The thought process of starting my business was somewhat of a hard decision. It was giving up my corporate position to take the risk for myself. The main driving force was my newborn son, I knew I didn’t want to put him in daycare at 3 months old and wanted to spend more time with him. Unfortunately, I had to make the decision to either go back to the corporate world (because maternity leave ended) or to quit and look for another job. I was lucky enough to be able to quit and instead of working for someone else, I start my own business, working from home. This way I was able to be there for my son and watch him grow up and still have the career I wanted. Read more>>

Marla Renay | Makeup Artist

I’ve always wanted to be a business owner growing up, but I never knew what type of business. I really enjoyed the thought of working for myself, making my own schedule and doing things on my own time. So as I got older and into makeup, I realized I had a talent in makeup. I immediately got to work on practicing makeup on myself and anyone who would let me. Practice led me to working at different boutiques and makeup kiosks into my current freelance work. I enjoy the freedom freelance work gives me. Read more>>

The GinTalk Podcast | Podcast

GinTalk was started when me and my friends would go out and on the way back home we get into deep conversations. And we was like the world needs to hear this lol, so when the Pandemic hit it gave us a opportunity to bring our dream to reality and now we coming up on our 2 anniversary Read more>>

Bert Ashford | Commercial Cleaning Business Owner

While studying Criminal Justice at then, Ft. Valley State College, I woke up one day during my Junior year and decided that I didn’t want to deal with criminals and “The System” and wanted to start my own business one day. However, not knowing what business to start and with limited financial resources, I worked several 9-5 jobs for over 25 years. Just like many of us, I became content with working where I could take sick/vacation days, pay my bills, and have a little money left over every two weeks. Read more>>

Niema Murdock | Health and Wellness Coach and Certified Body Sculptor

My thought process behind starting my business is helping others sculpt themselves into a better version of themselves.Society has us believing things have to follow a certain trend or look at such a fast pace .I believe self love and consistency is the best way to reach your health and wellness goal. Everyone wants to look good but you need to feel good as well and when you are consistently working hard for that goal it makes it that much better and you appreciate every little step of your journey. Read more>>

Antjuan Kimbrough | CEO & Creative

I started The Vision Shop to build a business model that could house and support all of my passion and skills to enhance the visions of small business owners and creatives. My desire was to create a company that would prepare visionaries with all the tools needed to launch a major marketing campaign. On the personal side I desire to build generational wealth. I’ve learned that the quickest way to doing so is ownership. So my thought process behind starting my vision was bigger than me. It was more about quality services for others that was affordable. Read more>>

JESSICA PEZOLD | Jessica Pezold | Business Owner & Tutor

After teaching English in the public school system for four years, I quickly learned that education in the United States has its flaws. In public school, students are placed into increasingly larger class sizes. Larger classes sizes means students get less individual attention, which means they are less likely to comprehend class content. Read more>>

Mona Harry | Black Published Author

I have enjoyed creative writing since I was 13 years old and dreamed of one day becoming a published author. I never thought of being a published author as owning my own business. But with the process of promoting my book, Rhythms for the Soul, and with a second book soon to be published I now see myself as a black owned business. Read more>>

Keosha Walker | Ambassador for God, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend & CEO

The idea of my company BE Truth co. just plopped into my thoughts one day. The spark came from a moment of desperation in my life. My life journey and circumstances were not ideal and I had immense frustration inside of me because of it. My youngest daughter Divinity Shalom, is actually the inspiration behind the entire business. She suffered with severe allergies to nuts and dairy. Her allergic reactions would show themselves outwardly in the form of itchy hives and internally as well with her suffering from severe constipation. One evening after feeling defeated as a parent, I started to write. Read more>>

Mercedes Lewis | Brand, Graphic and Web Designer

Coming up as a young creative, I never really knew anyone personally that owned a business. I definitely came from a “go to college and get a good job” type of family and environment. I would never take for granted, however, it is funny how you are inevitably put on your true path, no matter your current trajectory. Honestly, I got to a point where I “did everything I was supposed to”, as far as the traditional route goes. I earned my Master’s of Science in Higher Education Administration, interned at Emory University, Harvard University and got the high paying corporate job with amazing benefits. Read more>>

Jamal Wright | Game Designer

I remember while I was in college that I had no idea how to break into the game industry. I would apply to studios and honestly feel intimidated. Requirements would either ask for 5+ years experience or having shipped a game. While I’ll always be fascinated by games other studios make, I know I wanted to create my own characters and tell my own stories. And that is how Moonryse Studios came to be! Read more>>

Cory Robinson | Music Educator & Composer

I wanted to create my own composition service that catered to the here and now in music education. In order to reach my students and get them engaged in my classes, I felt that there had to be a change in the type of literature that we were studying. This is a newer trend in Music Education. There has been a focus on creating space in the music classroom to teach popular music education at a younger age. I had attended professional workshops on the pedagogy of popular music and decided, “Hey I can do that! I can even incorporate my own compositions in my classes!” After testing out some of my songs and exercises for efficacy and student interest, I decided to create materials for others to use. Read more>>

Sade Parker-Yescas | Hairstylist and Salon Owner

When I was working for a corporate salon , I knew that eventually I wanted to work for myself and be my own boss. Although it was a difficult decision and I was taking a big risk at starting over, I had to get out of my comfort zone and just do it! I would always think that there was no way that I should be working these set amount of hours, making a set amount of income and have no freedom. The first week of starting my own business was so breathtaking. I thought to myself… why didn’t I do this a long time ago, but I have learned to never question Gods timing and realized that everything we do in life, we grow and prosper from. Read more>>

Ebony Langham | Stylist & Teacher

Most people would say they started their business because of the money but not I. My whole thought process behind this was to show who I truly am. I’m a fashionista, a provider and lover. My passion is to look good on a daily basis while helping other women get on the same page. Read more>>

Murilo & Christine Santos | Owners

We want people to be able to see Boarding Pass Coffee as an experience. We call our customers “coffee travelers” since our brand is focused on the intersection of coffee and travel. While coffee is a part of many people’s every day lives, our mission is to give people the experience of coffee – using all if their senses to consume it, learning about where it comes from and also learning more about their own tastes. You’d be surprised how many people say they only like dark roasts but, in a blind tasting, fall in love with the light roast. Those moments make it worth it for us. Read more>>

Kimberly Lowe | CEO & Founder of Faith Effect

My thought process behind starting my own business came from a place of self reflection and reconstruction. I wanted to be better in all aspects of my life, and the only way I saw fit to do so was to seek God. I had been asking myself for a long time “how can I honor God more?” At the time, I was experiencing a shift and it left me in an uncomfortable space. I was being tested, challenged, and forced to step out of my comfort zone. In doing so, I put a decade long relationship behind me. Looking forward, I knew the only way I was going to be able to embrace and fully accept this new chapter of my life was to rely on God. One night while scrolling through IG, Krystal Lee , the creator of a spiritual brand that I love, “Girl + God,” Read more>>

M.J. Bryant | Entrepreneur & Teacher

When I started MB Tutoring, I was a middle school English Teacher in Brooklyn, NYC. It was clear that my students needed private help outside of the classroom. Many of them, 8th graders, were reading on a 5th grade level. Initially i would meet with a group of students at the library. When COVID happened, I was forced to start making “house calls” and tutor online. By the 5 month, we were teaching 40 students across 5 states each week. The growth encouraged me to take my business seriously, so I hired amazing certified teachers to help and we have continued to give students and families the results they need. Read more>>

Kiera Metts | Residential/Commercial Cleaner

My thought process behind starting my own business was simply taking the limits off of my life and getting paid to do what I love and enjoy doing for free. Working for unappreciative businesses, constantly investing my creative assets making them more and more richer begin to ,are me very unhappy. I was unhappy with the limited pay that was barely enough to get me by and I was unhappy with just how much these company owners and policies really didn’t leave much room to truly balance home and work life. Read more>>

Christopher Lowther | Handmade Crafter

At first this was more like a hobby. I just wanted to create some bracelets for myself, because I didn’t know where to buy them. I posted the first bracelets I ever made on Facebook, and my friends stated inquiring about them. I started to think to myself that I could make some money doing this, so I started to buy more beads and other material to create with. Throughout my time working on Bossbeads, I’ve experienced lots of trial and error, especially with me not having an entrepreneurial background. I’m thankful for all of my experiences that made me better over time and helped me give my costumers the best quality service. Read more>>

Liza, Kristen Williams, Lingle | Eating Disorder Informed Dietitian , Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Liza: When starting to think about next steps in my professional career, I wanted to do something where I had more of a choice in my daily work and future along with greater flexibility around work/life balance. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and this came as an opportunity to be creative in my nutrition philosophy and professional development as an eating disorder informed dietitian while learning what entrepreneurship is all about. Through that process, I have had the chance to get to know a wider network of professionals and resources in a variety of fields to help build community and greater awareness around the link between nutrition and mental health. Read more>>

JEANA BERRIOS | Owner and Graphic Designer

I come from teenage parents from Puerto Rico. I was born in Bronx, NY and my pops served in the US Navy since I was 1 years old for 25 years. I was always taught the importance of working hard and going above and beyond the standard. I put that into everything I did…School and serving in the US Army. I have always had the idea of working for myself but never knew what the word was for it or how to go about it. Then I heard about a television show called Shark Tank and I finally knew the word… Read more>>

Bambie The Down South Diva | Program Director, Graphic Designer, Host & Social Media Influencer

My mom, CEO of Nspire U!, Candace Houston, actually already had the business dating back to 2009. She had the vision and the business name but didn’t truly fulfill the business aspect until 2015 as a Marketing Firm. After graduating from college, I worked for a radio company and trained in every department. I started off as a Promotions Tech with maybe, 6 hours a week and worked my way up to Promotions Director of 5 radio stations and a part time Dj on air. My experience and skills obtained in the media, entertainment and broadcast industry developed over a total of 19 years. Read more>>

Diamon Hopkins | Beauty industry

My thought process behind starting my own business was realizing how much freedom I would have. Freedom to follow my passion without having regrets later on down the road of what I “could’ve” did. I’m in love with my business and wouldn’t have it any other way. Read more>>

Nichole Richardson | Nichole Richardson Serial Entrepreneur & Motivational Speaker

Honestly it was the way I was treated in corporate America . Almost every job I held i was considered to be the go to for financial elevation . My managers always utilized My talents to recoup millions of dollars back into their companies . However when a promotion was in my grasp, i was told by several bosses that they prefer i work under them because they did not want to loose me . By then they were blocking the position or convincing me not to pursue the job anymore. Secondly I watched other colleges and how they were treated in the work place . I witness two employees who lost everything fighting for a salary that still at the end of the day did not full fill their families needs. Read more>>

Celene Daniels | Actor & Comedian

I believe it’s important to have a mission statement. To have a sense of direction and purpose when conducting business. My mission statement has always been; Quality over quantity. Managing how to market yourself to understand your own worth to become more expandable to increase your house hold income. Many actors are happy to receive a role, very rarely I do think actors think about the quality of work they operate at. For me it’s all about setting my standards so that I become a sound business partner. It can be difficult, push through anyway. Read more>>

Anthony Winfield | Logistics Company Owner & Independent Music Executive

The thought process behind starting my business was clear and visible for me. It started with me at a very young age around 10. One of my family members is well off with success as a entrepreneur. When I was able to understand what a entrepreneur was and stand for made more sense. I Also seen how the lifestyle was. More importantly the opportunities I can provide for family/friends I was all in. Read more>>

Shefali Patel | Holistic Wellness + Lifestyle Coach

My Holistic Wellness + Lifestyle brand was born out of the need for deeper answers surrounding my own personal health and healing journey. Like many, I had never been truly educated about what wellness means from the root – This was simply not something discussed in conventional schooling, and even medical professionals often had only 1 class in nutrition in their entire 10+ years of formal education. Read more>>

Darleen Bolton | Dance Studio Owner/Director

I’ve been manifesting my current dance studio since the age of 12 and never even knew it. Growing up as a competitive dancer at an all Black dance studio in a white-dominated art/arena, it bothered me that dance studios lacked diversity, including mine. Other studios, like ours, would have little to no diversity within their team members and this bothered me. Especially coming from such an ethnically diverse family. I wanted a dance company that reflected all sides of me (Black, Hispanic, and White) and other parts of the world, which would disrupt the uncomfortable “norm” that I was seeing in the dance competition world. Read more>>

Matthew Curling | Owner / Brewmaster @ Variant Brewing Company

The thought process behind opening Variant was simply due to my passion for brewing. Being able to open the business in my hometown where I was born and raised in a giant bonus. I fell in love with brewing much like many fall in love with cooking. There’s a lot of complexity in brewing – from recipe formulation, process, ingredient selection, & using ingredients in different ways to manipulate flavor. Read more>>

Kimlyn Teague | Health & Fitness Specialist

My thought process behind starting my business actually came from something that I was already passionate about and that I have a degree in the field. I was already working at a 9-5 in the fitness industry for big corporate gym. the year of the pandemic, covid seemed to stop a lot of things. My passion wasn’t one of them. Oxyn was birthed! I seen the opportunity to make sure clients, friends, and family could stay healthy from the comfort of their homes during quarantine. I was in alignment with my assignment. Read more>>

CaTonya Scott | Tax Professional & Independent Licensed Life & Health Insurance Agent

After working many years in the demanding corporate world, growing tired of the typical 9-5, not be able to spend much needed time with my children due to not having a work life balance, I made a promise and goal to myself that by the age of 40, I would no longer be committed to hitting another corporate clock. I was blessed to be able to do so at the age 38. My children have always been my why and my strength. I started focusing more on leaving them a legacy to carry on for generations down. (Proverbs 13:22). Read more>>

Meosha Kimbrough | Financial Services Professional

I have always wanted to be a “Professional”. In my eyes the ultimate way of showing your professionalism is through business ownership. I appreciate doing things in excellence so over 20 years ago I began to glean lessons from other ladies in business. Additionally, I frequently asked my family and friends about their likes and dislikes about interactions which they have had with Financial Service professionals. I heard some great stories and some horror stories. Equipped with this knowledge I forged ahead to provide Financial Literacy coaching to friends, family members and anyone else who would listen to what I had to say. Read more>>

Michele Gray | Fashion Stylist/Celebrity Consultant

My thought process for starting Couture4u Womens Boutique. Was giving women a voice threw there fashion. All women have that desire to fell and look beautiful with out having to pay a high cost and couture fashion. And that was my goal to give women of all sizes that beautiful couture look with a very affordable price tag to go with it. Because being a fashion styles for the last 30 plus years you know what and how a women wants to feel and look at the same time. Read more>>

Kenya T | A gifted creative of photography, videography and crafting

My thought process behind creating Visuals by Kenya T. is a combination of realizing I had a gift and wanting to be free from punching a clock. As an artist and creative, people who seen my work said I have “the eye” and at first I didn’t understand it but over time I understood what my calling was. Also, I wanted to be internally free and free from punching a clock. Internally I felt unhappy, lost, disconnected from the most high, and trapped by what society deemed what I am suppose to do with my life, which is get a job and work til you’re dead. Read more>>