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.

Teirah Hicks | Momprenuer & influencer

The thought process behind starting my own business is so complex because it was something I have wanted for myself for a very long time. As a teenager I watched my dad make really good money and live a life of freedom physically and financially. Read more>>

Maryium Ahmed | Photographer

I remember that just before I decided to pursue a career in photography, I found a bunch of pictures from when I was a baby with my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Over the years, we had less and less pictures together. Read more>>

Brandon Alexander | Owner & CEO of Private Owned

In hindsight, starting my own business is something I always wanted to do. I initially tried back in 2016 with starting my own hat line, but it just wasn’t the right time. It was a different concept, I was a different person, and I didn’t believe in it. In the beginning of 2020, I had just finished my academia career and moved back home. Read more>>

Tiera Couch | Therapist and Private Practice Owner

I’ve worked in my field in a few different environments and capacities and one thing that’s been consistent across the board is toxic work conditions for clinical staff and limited culturally competent services for marginalized clients. Read more>>

Toyiah Marquis Davis | Owner/Founder: Patch Party Club

My thought process behind me starting my own business started very early for me. I grew up in the entertainment business so I was shown how to be independent and disciplined at 13 years old. At that age, I always knew I wanted a lifestyle in which I could control my own destiny and I knew I would never have that type of freedom while working for someone else. Read more>>

Olivia Lopez | Brand & Web Designer, Let’s Go Studio

I started my design career at corporate jobs. Quickly, I realized that I never fit within the mold of a traditional 9-to-5. My creativity just didn’t work like that – some days I would feel sluggish, low energy, and want to sleep in. Read more>>

Marc Anthony Sinagoga | Comedian & Founder of Funnyman Inc.

When I first started comedy I noticed that there wasn’t much work in Canada. There weren’t many paid shows, and when I began to look at the comedy scene nationwide, I realized we needed more comedians to be producing more shows or nobody will be able to make a living here. Read more>>

Skyla Heard | Entrepreneur, Stylist, &. Student

In high school I had multiple business ideas. At the time I didn’t have the best support system, I also didn’t think I would be able to balance school and a business. I started of by doing other people hair on campus as a side hustle. Read more>>

Paige Jackson | Weight Loss & Lifestyle Coach

I really got into health and fitness when I was in college at the University of Georgia. Ultimately, I wanted to be the kind of resource I needed when I was starting my fitness journey. I teach people the skills and habits they need to change their lifestyle so they can feel (and be) more in control of their health. A lot of times fitness professionals create a situation where clients are dependent on them; that’s a disservice to the client. Read more>>

Doche Adonis | Photographer & Creative

I decided to start my own business because I quickly realized that I felt extremely limited working a regular job. I felt limited in creativity, my schedule and financially. Read more>>

Tiffany Coles | Servant & Social Solutionist.

To be transparent? I didn’t know I was starting a business per se, so I didn’t think of it in that sense initially. I knew I wanted to make a change in my community and the community-at-large with other young ladies, so I decided to host a brunch at my apartment to see where it would take us. Read more>>

Cody Pace | photographer

Aspiring to be an entrepreneur. Is not easy foremost. My photography business was born in 2015 but not actualize until 2019. I started off with a $3000 business loan & purchased the basic material. Read more>>

AshNicole | Mother, Model, Mogul

My thought processes for starting my own business was to create a foundation for my children. I wanted to show them that there is more than just waking up and working to make someone else’s family rich. Read more>>

Danielle Marci | CEO and Lead Trainer

They say when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. This is the reason why I wanted to start my own business. Dogs are my passion, and with the help of a few loyal friends, I realized my passion could also become my career. Read more>>

Solfulkay | Brand Owner & Marketing Director

The thought process behind starting my own business and brand has always been to help others with their personal growth. Growing up, though I had support in whatever I chose to do, asking for help was still a bit foreign. Read more>>

Kyle Mills | Graphic Design/Print Shop Owner

The thought process and inspiration behind Graphics Design Media were realizing as a very young adult that A.I. was going to dominate most industries, combined with computing would leave many people with “regular jobs” unemployed. Read more>>

Tamara M. Allen | Certified Life & Career Coach – Author – Speaker

My thought process behind starting my own business was feeling purposed in helping the underrepresented to achieve goals that generationally they would not have been able to. With over 15 years experience in higher education and levering my experience as a Director of Career Services, I pursued a certification in Life Coaching to do just that. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Adams | Makeup Artist & content curator

I was in college pursuing a degree in neuroscience, when it clicked that I was not in love with my major. I began doing makeup for friends for fun and exploring the more creative/ editorial side of makeup. Read more>>

Geneva Williams | Owner/ Event Planner

I wanted to discover something I enjoyed doing every day of my life, so I decided to create my own business. I was fed up with working 9 to 5 and desired to be my own boss. I intended to pursue a childhood ambition of mine, which was to work as an event planner. Read more>>

Carmen Denise | Professional Creative

As a creative, I naturally have many interests, some may even find conflicting, but I wanted to find a way to explore my various talents, not sacrifice time with my family, and make enough money to meet our needs. Read more>>

Krista Dauphin | Jewelry Designer/Artist

I wanted an outlet for my creativity. I had chosen to stay at home with my kids and as they got older and became more and more independent I had the time to really focus on myself and rediscover what it was that really brought me joy and what my passion was. Read more>>

Jonathan Swindell | Founder of The HBCU HUB App

I am from Los Angeles, California and when leaving high school, I had a D1 scholarship to play football at Tulsa University. As fate would have it, I ended up blowing my knee before my season as a senior. Read more>>

Rejiane Bryant | Brand Management; Spiritual Healer & Event Curator

For me, creating a business that is meaningful not just to me but for others was very important. I wanted to use my passions to fuel everything I touch in business. Initially I wasn’t sure which one of my many passions would be the one to “stick” and be the thing I pursue long term. Read more>>

Jesse Hanes | Grammy Recording Engineer & Recording Academy Producer

I started my own business because I realized that not having a way to generate income without someone else providing me work was an unsafe way to live. I figured as long as I knew how to generate business from skills I posses I would be more financially secure in the long term. Read more>>

Gabrielle Brown | Writer & Editor

Honestly, it was the only choice that made sense for my ultimate career goals. As a Black writer myself, I’ve witnessed how the publishing industry goes out of its way to appease nonBlack people, full stop. Read more>>

Deli Rowe | Recording Artist, Songwriter, Music Producer

I’m a recording artist, songwriter, and music producer. I recently added the last title about 4 years ago. I started off as an artist like many creatives looking to branch out into the music business; I knew that I loved to sing and write my own music. I’d say that was where I thought my business would be: performing live, recording albums, touring, etc. Read more>>

Diego Quijano | Director

M​y name is Diego, I am an entrepreneur managing and exporting our blueberries to the worlds. At first, I thought I wanted to take control on my time and be able to have quality time with my family but it actually takes more than that, there are some many areas in which you need to control in order to grow and be known worldwide. Read more>>

Baiyina Jihad | Hey Judy Owner – Entrepreneur

Hey Judy was created to solve my problem with wearing earrings. My ears are not pierced, so searching for clip-on earrings that are stylish and mature is very hard. I heard about polymer clay earrings and was very curious about the process. Read more>>

Omar Quiroz | American Bully Breeder & XL Bully Enthusiast

I wanted to leave my own footprint, for my kids to follow when they got older. I really want to help improve the bully breed, one litter at a time. Read more>>

Frantinique Finn | Business Owner, Standup Comedian, Tax Preparer

The thought process behind starting my own business was creating a safe health and beauty brand for women that was affordable, relatable, and encouraging. My business slogan is “Beautify the hand God dealt you” meaning that no matter the cards life has dealt you always play like you have a winning hand. Read more>>

Mariko Takahashi | Jeweler artist

The reason I first began my own business endevour was so that I could find an outlet from which I could express my creativity and uniqueness in a way that could benefit others. Read more>>

Kitorah Sandy | Business Owner of Kreative Kreations by Kitorah

Initially I wanted to share my gift of intentional gifting to show others that this is a true talent and craft, a true expression of love. A true gift to perfect what others want and need without saying a word. Read more>>

Trey Mills | Music Producer, Founder Unbound By Sound

I’ve always believed we have one life and we are only here for a short time – so best to spend our time focused entirely on what makes us happy. For me that meant being my own boss, and having an undiminished ability to make decisions for myself including setting my schedule, choosing clients and creating my work space environment. Read more>>

Steve and Cinamen Anderson | Founders of For The Kollective LLC” Lifestyle Brand”

We started our own business because we knew we wanted to work for ourselves and live on our own terms. We also knew that we wanted our brand to be about helping others and encouraging them to pursue their goals and dreams. Read more>>

Millicent Branham | CEO of Stella Love Non-Profit & Author

I started my own business because I wanted to make a difference and impact lives. Growing up losing both my parents, becoming homeless for a period of time, then eventually, becoming a single parent I realized that there are so many people like youth, children, single parents, and the homeless who were struggling, not by choice like I was. Read more>>

Kenneth Rouche’ | Owner/ Founder of Wing-N-It Savannah

When I created Wing-N-It the goal was to create a brand that represented outstanding customer service and also a product worth sharing to others 📸. Another goal while creating this business was to take a premium approach to the things we already loved which are wings and french fries! Almost with every type of food you can find a premium version of it and as I did market research I noticed it wasn’t a “Rolls Royce” for wings and that’s where we hoped to make our impact! Read more>>