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.

Nicole + Ben Clouser | Wedding Photographer & Videographer

We both have always loved photography, finding joy in using our creativity for ourselves and others. When we got married, we knew it would be a great opportunity to work together, create our own schedule and get to do what we’re passionate about. Lastly, we love traveling, so doing this allows us to combine travel with photographing and filming some of the best moments in people’s lives. Being our own bosses was an added benefit as well. Read more>>

Johanna Mirpuri | Media Cooking Personality & Life Insurance Agency Owner

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had visions of entrepreneurship even though I didn’t know what it was called. The thought process of starting my own business was simple, owning my own time and experiencing life without the boundaries of a job that dictates how often I work, how much my income is, how many vacation days I can have and how much time to spend with my family. Read more>>

Rich & Kim Scott | Owner

It was always my dream to be my own boss. I had worked for many dealerships throughout my career and had always felt like I was just missing something. I had the chance in 2008 to work for a friend who had a independent shop. I really enjoyed getting to know each customer who came in. After 10 years my friend decided to retire and my wife and I decided now was the time. It was the scariest decision I believe we had ever made. Read more>>

Preston 7th Floor Freeze” Clark | Designer & Artist”

My business started by accident. In my hometown of Akron OH, my old friend Frank Miller III called me for a favor. He wanted me to design a 2016 Championship Tee for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The only thing was, they hadn’t won the Championship just yet. The series was deadlocked at 3 games each and no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit. So I told Frank that I would think about it. Truthfully I was excited to do it but I couldn’t tell him that lol! I designed it and showed him the next day. Read more>>

Nicholas Fraley | Maker and entrepreneur

After I left the Army, I thought I wanted to be a chef. I went to culinary school and started working for one of the coolest restaurant groups in Atlanta. I was working with people that were celebrity chefs, I found a niche that I was good at. It didn’t take me long to realize that in that industry, the only person that makes any money is the person that owns the business; everybody else works their fingers to the bone just to be poor. I was creating tens of thousands of dollars worth of product every week and barely making enough money to pay my bills. Read more>>

YaKera Lawman | Transportation Specialist

The thought process behind starting my own business was me wanting to be more present. My previous position had me missing every holiday. Now, I get more time with my family. Read more>>

Gayle Printz | Serendipity at its finest

Thank you for having me. My name is Gayle Printz, and in May of 2020 I picked up a paintbrush. Since then, I have devoted myself to creating abstract paintings. I had no training and did not begin painting to start a business. Painting was simply something I was drawn to but never had time to try. But because of COVID-19’s “Isolate in Place” regulations, I suddenly found myself with an abundance of time. I wanted to channel my energy into something creative that I could undertake without socializing. So, I turned to online shopping … this time buying art supplies. I wanted to bring lightness and beauty back into a world that was interrupted. So, using a paintbrush, I chose to reflect upon and interpret the beauty that remained. Read more>>

Chad Grosklags | Content Creator & Maker

Initially I was making things for myself. That expanded to friends and family, around that time it became obvious that I could make things for people and have a good side hustle. It wasn’t until 2020 that I dove in and went full time as a maker and content creator. Read more>>

Vidya Sharma | Artist

Overall thought behind starting my own art business is to have my creativity reach others homes/work spaces. Firstly, I would like to give a background on two sides of me – ‘the artist me’ and ‘the corporate career woman me’ Professionally, I am a full-time corporate manager in the IT-space.
Personally/Creatively, I am a full-time artist; yes, I did say ‘full-time’ artist in addition to being full-time IT manager, that how I like to identify myself :). Read more>>

Phil and Laine Proctor | South River Art Studios creators

As artists working in metro Atlanta, we found ourselves in the same position as many other artists we knew; we would find an affordable warehouse or studio, it would be great for a while and then we would be edged out by rising real-estate values and development. We were forced to move, my personal studio (Nucleus Sculpture Studio) numerous times around southeast Atlanta, always due to the continuing development in the city. It is a huge undertaking to relocate a large-scale sculpture studio. Despite the frustrations of moving, it did give us the opportunity to grow each time we moved. Read more>>

Deige Williams | Graphic Design/Brand Builder

My thought process to start my own business was a long one. I call myself the plug because every day some comes to me looking for “an answer”, and I always can provide that. Originally I wanted to provide those answers through a lifestyle blog with friends. When I approached them with the idea they declined to participate. Eventually I started a fashion blog but it still wasn’t the business I was looking for. I had a baby and took time to regroup. Read more>>

Ciara Horton | Magazine Creator & Influencer

I never considered entrepreneurship for myself but knew I was good at leadership. I then begging to do research on startup cost and made it happen. Read more>>

Nila | Licensed cosmetologist, beauty educator, entrepreneur and content creator

To create and provide services and products that are more fitting for women of color. That I can say was one of my number one goals as I went on to create my own lane in what I do. I think to start your own business you have to figure out your mission and the rest of your steps will follow through. Read more>>

René Lucas-Williams | ex athlete/Founder of Vintage Got Soul /Entertainment consultant

Ive always said that Vintage Got Soul was destined as at the time I decided to register my business I was actually at one of my lowest moments in my life. Soccer is actually my first love and I was very lucky to travel the world with my talent as both a player & coach. Unfortunately in 2017 my soccer career came to an end as I ruptured my patella tendons in both knees at the same time which is near enough unheard of. If you’re an athlete and reading this sometimes you just know when you’re done….and when I went down on that pitch I just knew this was the final chapter in my sports career. Read more>>

Keith Andrews, Tyrel McCain, Chastity Houston, Akeem Settles of The Outsiders Media Group | Media Production Group

We wanted to be a vessel to help others tell their story. Read more>>

Omowonuola Adeleye | Hair stylist & Entrepreneur

I’ve always loved anything that had to do with business, ever since a was a kid, you’d always find me selling one thing or the other. I however started my real business at age 18, I had just moved to a foreign country and I realized there weren’t a enough people catering to the needs of African hair, there was such difficulty in finding someone who had a basic knowledge of African hair and so I had the brilliant idea of starting a business to cater to African hair needs Read more>>

Darris Perkins | Interior Designer and Home Renovator

“What do I have to lose?” I lost my corporate job in December of 2020. It was one of the hardest days of my life. We had just started lockdown and COVID was running full force at everyone in the workforce and affecting everyone so deeply. I was working for a not for profit children’s museum and they had to make the difficult decision to lay everyone off in hopes to be able to open their doors again some day. I had no idea what I would do. Everyone was laying mass amounts of people off, no one was hiring, i felt so much fear and anxiety. Read more>>

Sharhonda Williams | Founder & CEO of Risqué Swimwear

My initial thought process behind starting my own business was “ Omg! Sharhonda, are you really sure?”. I was so afraid of my swimwear line not being perfect. From day to day I would have different visions for my brand but I down played it. Until one day I had no other choice but to step out on faith and make it happen. Being a plus size woman I’ve always struggled with finding fashionable swimsuits. Even though I’m curvy I don’t want to be limited to “granny” swimsuits. My ultimate goal is to promote body positivity no matter if your a size 2 or 22! Everyone is welcome and accepted with Risqué Swimwear. Read more>>

Tamarrian Murick | Certified Trichologist, Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Master Herbalist, and Certified Nutrition Consultant

Believe it or not, I started my business at the age of 26. I was never that one that said I wanted to on my own business it was something that happened overnight and I had to make a quick decision because of my prior place of work. So with the help of my aunt and she taught me to kind of have faith in God that it will work. So, I took my $500 that I had in my savings and purchased my business license and my salons license. With no money left over I had to figure out how to get my equipment and supplies. But with the faith of God everything kind of fell in place. It’s so crazy that true saying just have the faith of a mustard seed. And with that faith everything came in place. Read more>>

Rose Hobson | Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Code x Rosella

“There were a lot divine intervention when it come to the Code x Rosella you see today. CxR (formerly named Carmella x Rosella) first began as a clothing line my senior year at Cass Technical High School in 2017. One morning I woke up to get ready for school and next thing I knew my home was being raided by police. That was a hard day to come to terms with, they allowed me to go to school, but when I came to my home that night everything was either broken or destroyed beyond repair. Those next moments were something out of a movie, I dug throughout the rubble and discovered my sewing machine was perfectly intact just as the time was 11:11. It’s almost like I was being shown what to do. The next day I registered CxR as a business and I haven’t stopped working. Read more>>

Tolulope Gangbo | Photographer

At first I thought it would be an easy thing. You know, the usual “buy the equipments needed and promote your brand” thing but it wasn’t so for me. Starting the business, I realized I’d be spending 90% of my time trying to map out strategies on how to brand and promote myself then 10% on other things like buying equipments, mastering my art, getting to work with people and dealing with a lot of issues that may arise. After getting through that thought process I began to put in the work up until this point Read more>>

Anointyd Collins | Licensed Esthetician

Before obtaining my esthetics license, I worked for a popular spa franchise. All of the facials were the same no matter the individual’s concern. I found this to be boring and a bit inconsiderate due to the amount charged per service. It also was disappointing to see how little estheticians are paid. Companies, such as the one I worked for, took 80-90% of the profits from the service leaving the service provider only $16.00-18.00 for an hour of their time. I knew this would not satisfy me career-wise. Read more>>

Jabriel Pruitt | Jbofficial / celebrity barber

I didn’t want to work for anybody and I always knew I could be the best in what I put my mine into . Also I’m a person who is hard working & always on top of my business . Read more>>

Paola Aube | Dental Assistant turned Jewelry Designer

I would say it all happened really organically. I had been working as a dental assistant for around 10 years and feeling really stagnant in that field. In my free time, I dedicated a lot of time to hobbies, mostly painting and film photography ( which I still very much enjoy), which served as creative outlets since my 9-5 felt very robotic at times. I like to say that polymer clay found me, when one day scrolling through instagram I laid my eyes on a pair of super unique earrings from a fellow maker in Utah. I thought to myself “I have to get my hands on some clay”, the rest just seemed to flow from there. Read more>>

Princess Thorpe | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist/ Owner of Thorpe Therapy LLC

For years friends, family, coworkers have encouraged me to step out on faith and use the gifts I have been given to bless others. So in 2020 during the pandemic I decided to walk that suggestion out. It has always been a dream to help others specifically families to live a better life! Read more>>

Sheyla M. Perez | Master Microshading Eyebrows Artist

After leaving a very abusive relationship of 22yrs back in 2015, I knew it was going to finally be able to work on my dreams and become the best version of myself. As a young teenager I was always interested in the beauty industry, One day while browsing through Fb and ad of microblading eyebrows came up and It sounded very interesting, especially when I was lacking in having brows. At that time it just had been like 1 or maybe 2 years that Microblading been introduced to US. I decided to take a 2 day course and become certified as a Microblading Artist and since then I have been perfecting my craft and now offer other permanent makeup services here in Stockbridge,GA Read more>>

Shanta Yarbrough-Atkinson | Realtor

My biggest thought behind Shanta Sells Atlanta Real Estate Solutions was to put myself in a position to assist myself and individuals/families with growing Generational Wealth starting with Real Estate as an asset. Read more>>

Xin Lu | Content Creator & Design Enthusiast

I decided to start an IG account during the pandemic to stay connected to other people and as a way to share DIY projects. I enjoy doing projects around my house and my husband encouraged me to share them publicly. Though I was very reluctant at first (I’m a shy introvert), I’m glad he pushed me out of my comfort zone. My goal for my account is to inspired people to make their homes a place they love even if they don’t have a big budget. I never thought about becoming an influencer. It came as a byproduct of my account. Read more>>

ALEXANDRA QUINTERO | creative

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? Originally, it was to make life easier for mothers, to help them personalize children’s products, and over time, the vision was to expand the business, reaching any part of the world regardless of borders… Over the last 10 years, Tu Motivo has grown to service 10 countries and continues to grow. We advertise Instagram, Facebook, Google, and word of mouth. Read more>>

Gregory Walker Jr. | OneThree AKA 13thDesciple Walker | CEO Kingdom Building Music Records / Kingdom Building ATL

I wanted a solution to our community problem. (Positive television/Internet Content) Our community deserves better entertainment. Read more>>

Evette Phelps | Hairstylist

Family has always been an important factor in my life and I grew up around entrepreneurs so that encouraged me to start my own business. My mother was a hairstylist and at the age of 21 I knew that’s what I wanted my profession to be. Read more>>

Raven Armed | Twitch Partner

No relying on the conventional methodology of the forty hour work week drive that causes lapse of actually living was a pivotal driver. The output also being unlimited by potential input is far superior to employment opportunities with an annual salary base with no earning potential. Read more>>

Solomon Headen | Singer/Songwriter & Producer

I started off just doing what I loved. I fell in love with music as a child, so as I grew older my desire to do it full time grew as well . So one day I decided to make that dream a reality and I began selling beats, demos and arranging songs for artists. Read more>>

Rashid | Artist

I thought I wanted to develop a catalyst that might spark a culture of global sustainability in every area from academia to pop artistry and perhaps beyond. Read more>>

Yanie Brown | Mobile Bartending Service

We saw an opportunity to provide a Premium Experience with long lasting memorable moments with a touch of class to the clients in the industry. Read more>>

Tara Dunning | Hair Stylist

I wanted more flexibility. I also was tired of the 9-5 pay check to pay check lifestyle. My business was actually my passion that I did on the side, and after becoming a felon I felt the need to pursue entrepreneurship due to the possibly being rejected in corporate America. Read more>>

Chester W. Sharp | Found & Creative Director

My thought process, in the beginning, was simple – I wanted to create events that would bring people together centered around good food and music. I was coming out of a difficult time, and it was a pivotal moment in my life. I wanted to do something I was good at and loved, which was events. After doing a few events, I wanted something more sustainable. I decided to apply the same principles I used for promoting events to promoting businesses, which led to the birth of the Sharp Creative Agency in 2015. Read more>>

Jahnae White | Firearm Instructor

To empower women to defend and protect themselves! Read more>>

Nika Tolbert | Spa Owner | Esthetician

My thought process behind starting my own business had started when I decided to go to school for my profession. A couple of months into school I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia- which is a chronic Illness of widespread muscle pain, fatigue and so much more. I wanted to create a business that would allow me to eventually work less or not at all and still be creating generational wealth for my children. Read more>>

Bri Garner | Certified Athletic Trainer and Exercise Recovery Specialist

I started my own business because I saw that there was a lack of resources and help that the general population needed access to. Western medicine doesn’t teach us that we can utilize certain tools that will help heal our bodies. Although there are many benefits to western medicine; building the bridge between western and eastern medicine was the missing link to help heal the people naturally. Read more>>

LaShonda North | Confectioner & Owner

The thought process behind starting my own business came very simple and plain. I actually didn’t even realize how much I loved baking until I met and began working under my mentor Lindsay Gardner in 2009. Lindsay thought me everything I know today through physical lessons, hands on projects, and allowing me to take on projects of my own within her company. Fast forward to January 2020 unfortunately Lindsay won her battle with colon cancer. Read more>>

Christina Francois | Entrepreneur, Content Creator and Youtuber

My Thought process was figuring out how would I get complete total strangers to believe the in my brand , the product and the mission. My goal for this brand was to create unique gold jewelry to empower women on their journey to becoming the best version of themselves . At first it was hard to express that but as I got better at creating content and connect with the right audience my brand started to grow. Read more>>

Jermaine Edwards | Hybrid Designer & Chauffeur

To be honest, my first business (Jmegraphix, LLC) was never fully thought through. I just knew I wanted to create a platform that would provide jobs for other designers. Once I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Graphic/Web design I created my company back in 2016 and instilled it in everything I did. From networking to even applying for jobs. I used my business as a forefront to get where I needed. Now for my second business (Obsidian Concierge), this was a little more strategic. It took me a few years to find the right investors to make it lift from the ground. My intentions though, are still the same. Creating jobs. Read more>>

Valencia D Walker | CEO Serial BussinessPrenuer

Let’s write the vision and make it plain, and get this process started with faith. Read more>>

Chimuka Okasili | Founder of AfòOnu

My thought process behind starting my own business was… “WHY NOT ME”?!! I’ve been in the barber-business for almost 20 years, and still people don’t know the creative, fashion savvy and entrepreneur side of me. I had already created a product for my clients’ hair and skin, which received notoriety from media outlets such as The Huffington Post, and now it was time for me to focus on an industry that I’ve loved since I was a teenager…Fashion! I wanted to change how people looked at t-shirts and hoodies. I wanted to focus on the high-end market when it came to styling, designing, and creativity of t-shirts/hoodies. Read more>>

Abby Jellinek-Johnson | Founder & Registered Dietitian

The tagline for Harmony Nutrition is “a body in harmony performs at its best”. That pretty much summarizes my mission. I sincerely believe that food is medicine and I live a breathe by that philosophy. I knew people were looking for healthcare professionals that would take the time to listen to them and help them come up with lifestyle plans that don’t automatically include prescription medications. We take a preventative approach to chronic disease by looking for nutritional root causes for many of the issues our patients are suffering from. I wanted to provide a place that people can come to and be heard. So I came up with Harmony Nutrition and the rest is history. Read more>>

Carol Crawford | International Gospel Music Consultant

When I began in the Gospel Music Industry, my goal was to provide a platform for new and upcoming Gospel Artists to share their music, educate them in the business of Gospel music and to make connections internationally. When I started my business, I felt it important to formalize my efforts and begin to establish Back2BackPR International as a unique international organization. A business is the difference between a hobby and a career. Read more>>

Rodd Evans | Founder of Bigger Picture Association LLC: Event management, brand management, production, public relations and talent

I wanted to start something impactful, that had no limits to growing. There were times when I was discouraged, but a few sold out shows (stage plays), sold out events (professional, social and recreational) and then there are the people who walk up and tell you personally that your event, work, script, or discussion changed their life. People walked away and created friendships from meeting at our events and a lot of guests said that they saw themselves at times in the characters that were featured in our shows. I was nervous, but over time I realized that as long as there is purpose behind what your doing…. Somebody will feel it. Read more>>

Nicole Johnson | Dave Ramsey Master Financial Coach

I started my first business out of a need to be more available for my family. We were involved in a house fire Palm Sunday 2002. My daughter and I received minor burns. She was released the same day and stayed with family. I was hospitalized for a week and released to the nearest Ronald McDonald House. My son, who was 3 at the time, ended up in the NICU of the Loyola Burn Center. It was a scary time. I was off work for several weeks but eventually I had to return to work. Read more>>

Ciasia Webster | Designer

At first, I customized clothes as a hobby and then realized I enjoyed looking apart from others. So I saw an opportunity to make my brand a business back in 2012. Read more>>

Jessica Cathell | Content curator for fashion and design

For me, I always wanted to have creative control over any endeavor. With a degree in business management, I had the passion for being an entrepreneur. As a creative I knew I wanted to marry the passion of business and creativity together. Read more>>

GenX Semaria | GenX Mentor, Author, Marketing Expert & Small Business Women Blog Founder

My original purpose behind creating my business was money and safety. I would love to portray an image of a strong black woman. One who knew what she wanted out of her life and a business. The truth of the matter is that I was “chasing the dream”. Looking for quick cash and quick return on all my investments over night. I wanted the “ultimate entrepreneurial victory”, you know the “Rags to Riches story. It was much more less structured and more about curiosity and pure desperateness. I gifted my company to myself for Valentines Day. The registered corporation was active, and just sitting at this point. Read more>>

Jessica Gardner | CEO & Certified Event Planner

I’m 2016 I started an event planning/event styling company called MaJesstic Occasions. During that time I frequently found myself fabricating custom event decor & personalized apparel for the guests of honor. Considering the event industry came to a halt during the pandemic, I decided to expand our offerings by way of MaJesstic Designs. It was an opportunity to continue to curate creative & innovative designs, that our clients have grown accustomed to. Read more>>

Tadjwa Dean | Fulltime mom of two and Owner of Glow&gobodyllc Natural Skincare Products

For 3 years I sat around thinking to myself “I want my own business “. I explored so many option but none really stood out . One day I browsed youtube and watched a female making her own skincare products. That’s when it came to me , I started googling natural skincare butter , oils and ingredients that would work well on all skin types. I knew from there exactly what I wanted to create and how I was going to do it . So my thought process was to create something that all women could appreciate and use. Women are mothers, wives, sisters, friends and so much more. They do it all and I wanted to create beauty product that could make any women feel her best and I did that with this product line and will continue to create products to pamper women and make them feel at their best. Read more>>

Seyana Martin | Nutrition Coach

As someone who has been in the fitness world for almost two years I have seen a lot of false information about food. Knowing what I know now I thought it was time to share my knowledge with the world and educate them properly. Read more>>

Christine & Christina Marcelus | Young Entrepreneurs for our clothing line XOTIC X.X.X””

The thought process behind starting our own business started off as kids. Becoming our own bosses was something that we always wanted to do; whether it was becoming a doctor or whatever career path we chose, we just KNEW we wanted to be the face of our own company in general. Of course, growing up you’re indecisive on the person you want to become, but once we got older and came across fashion and saw kind of the influence we had in that particular field, it was definitely the starting point of our journey. Read more>>

Eric McGlothen | Certified Public Accountant

My business was birthed out a word spoken by the late Bishop Eddie L. Long. He spoke about doing kingdom business. Before then, I had never even thought about owning a business. I worked for a one of the big four Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms and I loved the work. But, one day my employer called me into their office and said, “We know you are going to be successful, but it is not going to be here.” I was let go that day. It was one of the best things that could have happened to me professionally. Read more>>

Pierre Nelson | Owner Of Ode Clothing

The reason I started making clothing is because at a very young age I was into fashion. When I was in the 9th grade I started collecting Nike Sbs and other shoes; because of collecting shoes I wanted a new outfit for each shoe. This lead me to explore different streetwear brands online but, I notice none of the brands were from South Carolina and if they were they weren’t making South Carolina inspired streetwear. This sparked the idea of me starting a clothing line when I was in the 11 grade called Ode Clothing(Ode for short) . I wanted to do a brand that represented South Carolina and the things around me growing up in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Read more>>

Brandie Adams-Piphus | Artist & CEO, BAPART LL

My company, BAPART LLC BAPART provides online retail services specializing in the sale of original digital art prints and accessories that bear original digital artwork that represent women of color (WOC) who are underrepresented in the arts. Our product line includes unique, colorful, and vibrant art designed to increase positive representation of WOC in art and to invoke inspiration/uplift women of color. Read more>>

Moshiah (aka Mo) Stringer | Personal Trainer

I wanted to help people with their health and self confidence. I myself struggle with being confident so I wanted to help people who struggle with it. Your physical image can have an effect on your level of confidence. Read more>>

Khalliah Grace Bryant | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Owner of More Life Wellness, LLC

I’ve pretty much always dreamt of starting my own counseling service. Although I had to discover my niche over the years, I know my overall calling is to help others with their mental health. More Life Wellness started out on a vision board back in 2016, which was a year before I graduated with my masters degree. I knew I had to put in a couple years working agency jobs while I figured out how to do my own thing and also while I completed post-grad requirements. Everything came together in the most bitter-sweet way in 2020 as I passed my licensing exam, completed my clinical hours, filed for my business license, AND was let go from my salary job a month into the pandemic -all at the same time! I knew it would all happen, I just NEVER expected it to go like this! Read more>>

Dominique Fitchpatric | Healthcare Professional

Healthcare heroes come in all shapes and sizes – so why do scrubs only seem to fit one body type? I created Unique Scrubs with the thought of curvy women in mind. The company was formed with the mission “to deliver cute and comfortable scrubs for the curvy and thick women in the medical world.” We offer a variety of styles and fashion that give fitting and comfort to women in the health care field. We want every medical woman out there to look cute while dispensing their services Read more>>

JaMel Stewart | Freight Dispatcher & Logistics Coordinator

Starting Twelve2 Highway Logistics was a process of “just starting and taking a leap of faith”. Prior to the launch of my business, I was at a point in life where failure wasn’t a option and I had a, “this has to work by any means” mindset. Read more>>

Torera | Editor, Entrepreneur & Singer

Honestly, my business started as a hobby. I didn’t even know that what I was doing could and eventually would become a business. At the time that I created it, my goal was to find something to keep me busy and entertained during the summer. That same summer I was introduced to several independent and underground artists who were not mainstream but were actively working towards becoming successful musicians, dancers, and actors. As a singer and teen that had vastly similar goals, I was inspired by a lot of these young achievers! One of the artists I had been supporting and listening to— after a recent shift to a solo career— announced her feature in a magazine. Read more>>

Spencer Horsman | Magician and Bar Owner

As a lifelong entertainer, I have always been self-employed to some extent. With the format of my contractual work, there was a lot of travel and instability that began to wear on me both mentally and physically. In a natural evolution, “If you build it, they will come”, establishing a home base from which to operate was essentially a no-brainer for me. Having your own venue adds legitimacy to you as an artist. The concept of bringing my audience to me creates opportunity to network from a stable and structured brick and mortar foundation. Thus making any outside work something I can pick and choose to suit my needs vs needing to constantly be on the move and unsure of the next step. Read more>>

Christopher Jackson | Fuhl Lifestyle Owner

Fashion has always been a passion for as long as I can remember. Attention to detail and putting together a look have always been tied to me. Fühl Lifestyle is my venture to share that passion with the world. Read more>>

Myron Carr | Entrepreneur, Businessman

Self advancement in the field of understanding the supply and demand of the product I sell. Being able to conform at any given time and not have any doubts. Seeking self gratification in understanding why I am committed to this particular area at this point in my life. Being able to help kids all around me, and show them that you dont need to be the same its ok to be different and think outside the box. Help motivate men and women and encourage them to be better than they were the day before. Read more>>

Cheryl Harris | Talent Developer and Manager

I was getting tired of being away from my family and working long hours for other companies so I decided it was time to create my own hours and really enjoy what I was doing. Read more>>

Lotus Soull | Crystal Jewelry Designer/ Holistic Advisor

My own inward healing , which led to my physical healing and wanting to share my story as well as this knowledge with community was the initial spark in my journey with starting my own metaphysical business. During the Pandemic I had the opportunity to grow from existential circumstances that had come my way . I also had the opportunity to share those experiences and realign with who and what i have been since a little girl . Read more>>

Jeremica Carter | Master Cosmetologist Specialized braids & Loc

Honestly I have always loved doing hair; I grew up watching my aunts and uncles braid and cut hair on my grandmas porch so you can say it kind of runs in my blood. It has always made me feel good to make other feel good and with that I fell in love. However, I didn’t get the nerve to actually start my own business i till my job decided to let me go the week before Christmas in 2020 and from that moment I said no more if I’m going to give all of this energy and hard work to something it will be my own business. Read more>>

Camelia Wyman | Executive Director of iAmMe Girls & Social Worker

As a native of Durham, NC, and a wife and mother, I have always had a passion for giving back to my community and helping others. Overcoming my own fears and adversities and seeing the emergence of social media and the ongoing peer pressure that many teens face, the need for support and empowerment was essential. Read more>>

Rece Mars | Head Chef and CEO of Taste Gracefully

Taste Gracefully was built from tears, sweat, love and passion. Cooking for me is more than adding ingredients, and preparing a dish. It puts me in an atmosphere where stress and pressure is uplifted, and opens a door of joy, peace, and creativity. Taste Gracefully is an experience through an expression of skills and imagination. That simply defines Art. Once I realized I was creating art through my food, I knew I had to share this gift of flavors with others. So I thought to myself; why not brand your passion and serve it on a plate! Read more>>

Makeda N Diaz | Womb Healer

When I decided to start Queenoftheyoni. I wanted to empower women of all colors with their feminine health issues. In 2018 I was diagnosed with PCOS, I had lost my menstrual cycle for over a year and had fertility issues. I was devastated and refused to use birth control to regulate my cycle. I did my research and came across a natural feminine wellness company. I ordered their PCOS kit and started healing my womb. Read more>>

Kessiana Promaphile | Brand Consultant & Content Creator

When I decided to start a business I didn’t know what I was going to do to open up shop or how I was going to do it. I just knew I was going to own something and it was going to help me and help others. I had so many ideas, so many interests but couldn’t decide on one to take me to where I needed to go. After a couple failed attempts and some dibbling and dabbling I finally realized that I had to just pick something, weather I was making money from it or not, and it had to be the thing I loved the most. And eventually I found what I needed to do in order to kick start my career as a creative, an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Read more>>

Tiffanie Bacon | Coach & Business Strategist

My thought process behind my business has always been to serve others with my gifts and talents. I absolutely love to serve others. It brings me so much joy. As I began over 10 years ago, serving in local government, my job of making sure my clients were happy with the services we provided meant the world to me. I knew then I wanted to serve others outside of the capacity I was already in. This of course led me to serve my community and others who came across my path. Read more>>

Taylor Simone | Entrepreneur & Student

I opened my store in hopes of providing quality hair products. Most cosmetics didn’t work for my hair as effectively as I would have hoped. I used to straighten my hair alot, which caused lots of damage. Popular hair brands use unnecessary ingredients which can damage our hair, prevent growth, and in some cases- contain carcinogens. A few of my family members had to get expensive surgeries due to tumors forming in theri organs (uterine fibroids). I decided enough is enough and made my own NATURAL beauty products that only contained necessary ingredients to strengthen and nourish hair. Read more>>

Nehemiah Robinson | CEO & Creative Director of Young Kingz Clothing ATL

My thought process was that there is not too many young and black entrepreneurs being talked about and I wanted to change that narrative somehow. With that being said I started a clothing brand because I like dressing and I thought that would be dope for me to start my business as a clothing brand. Read more>>

Kelly Biggs | Digital Marketing Strategist – Principal Owner

I was a top sales producer for numerous companies throughout my career. I learned so much about relationship building and understanding what clients need in each sales role. There was always friction with the quality of leads given to salespeople by marketing, and I found myself working on lead gen campaigns as much as I was focused on closing business. Additionally, I have been fascinated with computers and business since high school. My husband is a software engineer, Read more>>

Tracey Wright | Baker and Custom Cake Designer

Black Diamond was not a planned business venture. When I started my business I was an unemployed single mom with a son in high school. I wanted to do something special for a few friends around the holidays, but I had very limited funds. So Instead of buying them gifts I gave them baked goods. One of my friends called to inquire about purchasing a few pans of banana pudding for church. Once I sold that to him, a good friend of mine, Ronda Flynn suggested I turn this into a business and 11 years later we are still growing. Read more>>

Gavin Holmes | Motion Designer

When I stepped out of Georgia Tech with a fancy-font piece of paper and an industrial design portfolio full of marker renderings and product sketches, I knew instantly that I didn’t want to be an industrial designer. Fortunately, I had taken a course in 3D Studio (DOS version), and I had made a couple of still 3D renderings (reflective primitives on a marble floor, anyone?). This enabled me to walk into a small studio, and actually get a job in the digital motion graphics and visual effects industry at the time. And, I even stayed there 7 years! The next job I got at a post-production facility lasted 11 years! My career was stable and all was good! Then, the company was sold, and for the first time in my career I was ‘let go’ and replaced by three recent college grads… Read more>>

Darnell and Myles Logan | Psychologist & Photographer

My wife has an obsession for creativity. During the spike of the pandemic in 2021, while scrolling through Instagram a bar ad popped up. My wife shared the reel with me and stated “we could definitely do this.” Her initial thought was to use the trailer as a mobile boutique to work in tandem with her existing resale boutique, Twenty West. Talking through this idea, we started envisioning multi-purpose uses for the trailer. Collaboratively, we knew whatever decided on we wanted to provide an experience that would be unique, approachable, fun, and of course eye-catching! At this point, we were sold on vision and pursued the purchase of the trailer now Bar Noir. Read more>>