We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business.  Check out their responses below.

Charles and Colin Hicks | Aspiring dental professionals

In Prescott especially, my brother and I grew tired of waking up with the sun to attend a classic car show that featured the same vehicles as other events, that won the same awards, with the same clubs making an appearance. We understood that Prescott had a large community of classic car enthusiasts, but we also knew that there were plenty of modern exotic and luxury cars that turn more heads and shatter the expectations of how a car should behave. We saw them driving all the time, and just like 80% of the population we’d snap a picture of something cool at a stop light. To this day, when defending our 2000 and newer rule, we say, “If a bright green Lamborghini Huracan was parked next to a ’57 Chevy, which one will people remember seeing?” Read more>>

Branden Gamble | Licensed Barber and Business Owner

I worked in technical fields most of my life and was not satisfied with my situation. What had held me back was the security of having a well paying job with benefits and pension, it is hard to walk away from that. Eventually a day came when I was sitting on the edge of my bed at 5am and was supposed to be getting myself ready for work and instead I was thinking up excuses to call in sick. That was when I realized that I was miserable and made the conscious choice I did not want to be miserable any longer. Read more>>

Allen Hopper | Owner: Street Juice Products

Street Juice Products was started after a fallout with a previous business partner / friend. I talked with family and friends and they encouraged to go into the automotive industry I had been a part of for so long. After thinking more about it and realizing that most automotive detail products didn’t work, too expensive, or just overwhelming with all the choices I decided to create something that I wish was available to me as an automotive and boating enthusiast. So I decided to offer quality detail products at an affordable price and remove the confusion of multiple products on the website. So far it has been successful and we continue to see growth each year. We are continously working on offering new products and merchandise our customers are asking for. Read more>>

James Mansour | Business Owner, Paint Professional, & Influencer

At a very young age I realized that I wanted to be my own boss and own my own business as most of my family had done. I used to work with my Uncle in his hardware store in Pennsylvania and with my Father painting in the Bronx. I enjoyed using my hands, building things, and figuring out the best way to get things done. I love processes, and love being able to improve upon them. I am a problem solver. Read more>>

Ginny Smith | Arizona Based Photographer

I wanted to be able to create my own schedule and do something that not only contributes to the family and build a business that I love in the process. Work-life balance is very important to myself and my husband, with two boys it’s a must. Growing up my dad owned two businesses so I saw first hand how much hard work and dedication goes into the journey but I also got to see how rewarding it can be! I also knew that if I started a business doing something I enjoyed then it would be successful-when your heart is invested everything else falls into place! Read more>>

Taz Basit | Freelance Copywriter & Brand Identity Consultant

I was born to be a writer. That’s the simplest answer. I wrote my first poem when I was eight years old, and I just kept going without really thinking too much about it. Writing feels as natural as breathing to me. Read more>>

Sheila Tucker | Native American Ojibwe Fashion Designer

It just came so natural because it all began with selling my beaded jewellry. Then it evolved into dress making. Read more>>

Cidic Vicious | Music Artist

I started writing lyric/poetry back in 4-5th grade, once I graduated from grade school to Middle school my graduation gift was a acoustic guitar that I’d been asking for. Once I got that I started learning on my own, and after that over the years played in many bands but nothing serious. I started eED music (everything Else Dies but the music) back in 2009 at a hopeless point in my life. Read more>>

Howard Rains | Nurse, Scooter Enthusiast and Publisher

I discovered motorscooters (like Vespas) in 2008. I fell in love with riding it and immediately began commuting on it and within a short time, I found some other like-minded people and began to ride with them when I had a chance. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Wolfe | Owner, Principal Designer + General Contractor

From an early age, I knew interior design was something that I absolutely loved and resonated with. In addition, my father was an electrical engineer so I was always helping with any home improvement project I could get my hands on. I was born in a small town outside of Dallas, Texas where I lived until I was 8 years old. My family picked up and moved us to London, England, where I lived until I was 11. Read more>>

Kim Fox | www.phxfox.com

What was I thinking and where was I in my life when I started my business. Read more>>

Kristin Chapman | Photographer

Starting my own business did not happen right away. It actually started as a hobby. I just picked up a camera one day and became determined on how to use it. During that time I had been working a job I absolutely hated. It didn’t feel like me, I wasn’t excited to get up in the morning and go to work, and I didn’t feel good about myself when I got home. Read more>>

Michele Kalo Patrick Sheridan | Co-Owners, Phoenix Colon Hydrotherapy

One of the strategies we adopted when looking for investments was to invest in what we knew, The optimal investment included a path to improved personal and community wellness. As some of its first clients, we leapt at the chance to continue an already loved practice when Phoenix Colon Hydrotherapy was looking for a new owner. Read more>>

Dave Turley | Owner operator of TacSafeAz.

We wanted to be able to provide Training and awareness for people to become more capable in terms of being able to help other’s in the event of a crisis or emergency. Read more>>

Sarah/Mo Alexander/Flores | Owners

Best friends, Mo Flores and Sarah Alexander, both left public education and decided to pursue careers in higher education. They were both content with their new career paths but felt like they need something “more”. This was the summer of 2022 when COVID restrictions were in full swing. They both noticed a decline in overall kindness…and also were fully aware of the lack of women’s clothing stores options in their small, rural hometown. A midnight brainstorm text exchange led them to a quote: “We get so worried about being pretty. Let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart and pretty strong.” This is how Pretty Kind Boutique came to be the charming place it is today. Read more>>

Emily Hanna | Owner

Back in 2015, I was dealing with severe, chronic pain throughout my body. It was difficult to walk, use my hands, even turn my head. It was when the vision started to go in my left eye, that I was able to start finding some answers. As I went in for additional testing, they found a nodule in my eye and I also received a lupus diagnosis. The wait was months out to see a specialist and I didn’t feel like I could live with the pain another day. While feeling helpless, I began to watch documentaries and researching everything I could find about this disease. Read more>>

Rhonda Hartman | maker & designer of apparel & accessories

In 2012, while I was pursuing a second bachelor’s to change careers I started making custom onesies and selling them in local stores and on etsy so when I got the opportunity to start pursuing barrel racing again I knew I needed something that gave me a bit of freedom in my schedule. I started planning to open a new business focusing on more than just baby onesies. I also wanted a creative outlet again as I was feeling a little creatively stifled by my previous careers. Read more>>

Rebecca Mardikian | College Football Blogger

I fell in love with college football when I was a little girl. College football was my first love, and it is a game that means so much to me. I used to sit with my dad on the weekends, and he taught me the game of football. It is something we both share, and my favorite part of college football Saturdays is watching games with my dad. Read more>>

Katelyn O’Dowd | Photographer

I’ve been in the restaurant industry since I was old enough to work. I have made some great relationships and met some amazing people, but I’ve come to a place in my life where I want to do something that truly brings me joy. I’ve always had a passion for photography, but that passion really grew after having kids of my own. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to capture all of life’s precious moments that you can cherish forever. Being able to spend more time at home with my family whilst being able to utilize my creative mind with something I truly love was a no brainer for me. I want my kids to see me follow my dreams, so that they aspire to follow theirs. Read more>>

Eden Benibo | Writer/Poet/ Editor & Publisher

The thought process for me was all about creating a space I once searched for. A few years back while I was still an undergraduate, I never thought I would own a business. All I wanted as a poet and writer was to find a well paying job in this field and contribute my little quota to the world in the little way I can. Read more>>

Jordan Foster | Energy Healer and Life Coach

In one encompassing word, the thought process behind starting my business was love. In order to better understand this, I will start by giving you some background information. On the surface, I had a very normal upbringing. Under the surface, boiled lots of anger, rage and confusion. These emotions were fueled by some awful things that happened to me as a child. One of the most influential was sexual abuse. I was abused by people who I thought cared for me the most, and this really affected young Jordan. Read more>>

Sandra Walker | Photographer | Artist

Freedom. Freedom to build something special, the freedom to be creative and expressive. The freedom to fly or fail all on my own. Read more>>

Brandon Jones | Sports Videographer & Photographer

I had enjoyed doing sports videography and photography for about two years before I decided I wanted to start doing my own thing and make a career out of it. Read more>>

Erin Gordon | Owner of Three Purple Finch (Charcuterie boards and party design)

Growing up in AZ and then moving to the East Coast, my eyes were opened to the amazing world of gourmet cheese, artisan goodies and wine while working in a specialty wine & cheese shop. Friends and family always were commenting on my presentation of whatever appetizer or dish I made for the party and that combined with my entrepreneurial spirit and creative side got me thinking about creating my own business when I returned to AZ! Read more>>

 Clint Peters | President/CEO

I have been an avid golfer my entire life and the opportunity to acquire Sniper presented itself in 2019 and it was an exciting thought to be able to take a company that was a putter business and transition it to my personal vision of it becoming a golf ball and accessory company. Read more>>

Laura Libman | Philanthropist

I was a problem solver when I worked in Aerospace, so when I entered the non-profit realm, I wanted to find a solution to the problem of poverty. I spent most of my childhood living in Central Mexico, where my mother’s family lives, so I decided to begin there. I wasn’t sure which area of poverty alleviation to start, so I spent three months in the mountains of Central Mexico gathering data on the various drivers of poverty.  Read more>>

Scotty Scheller | Lifestyle Optimization Influencer

My thought process in creating my business was and still is that there are so many negatives that we’re bombarded with every single day. But when you take a step back and really look at the big picture the majority of our problems are extremely small. I don’t believe in “bad days” I believe we all experience tough moments and what you choose to do with the moment is what dictates your day. Read more>>

Holly & Dustin | Owners of Nomad Nooks

We initially had no intention of starting a tiny home business. Our bus conversion was the first thing either of us ever built and it took a little over three years working, saving, building. Once our bus was finished and our Instagram transitioned from hectic construction photos to finished bus photos, people started reaching out to see if we could help them with their projects. Read more>>

Mariah Tuma | Professional Organizer

I wanted to start my own business so I could wake up everyday and be excited for what I had to do. Read more>>

Chasity Kelley & Kacy Molar | Photographers

We started out as two best friends who enjoyed taking pictures together. After taking a photography class in high school and learning more advanced techniques we wanted to take our hobby a step forward and started our instagram. Still taking photos for fun we were surprised when people started asking us to take their pictures for them. Encouraged by this we decided to actually make it a business. We just wanted to have fun and take pictures but it turned into a business opportunity for us and we couldn’t be more grateful. Read more>>

Stephanie and Allison Doherty and Panio | Teachers & Owners of The Teacher Tote

We always wanted to create a side business, something we could work on together. Since we are both teachers, we wanted to create a product that would help teachers on a day-to-day basis. We noticed ourselves carrying multiple bags to school (i.e laptop bag, lunch bag, pocketbook) and our goal was to simplify our belongings to one tote. Read more>>

December Reign | Published Model & Metaphysical Boutique Owner

When I initially began my business it started as just a hobby because my career field has always been healthcare. I was a nurse and during the pandemic the medical field was transformed and it just wasn’t what I had originally signed up for anymore. I took a leave and found myself bored at home and needed something to do to fill my time. It began with just making rings and crystal candles. It expanded to a clothing brand and metaphysical shop. Now I sell everything from incense to abalone shells. Read more>>

Amara Leggett | Author, Speaker, and Entrepreneur

I started the Dual Enrollment Company to fill a need in a growing industry. The ability for students to take college classes in high school for free has existed for generations, often with different names. Now, every state and territory in the United States as well as other countries on every continent has their own version of a Dual Enrollment program. Read more>>

Jordan Aubrey | Golf Influencer

I wanted to start a golf page to show off all the beauty Arizona golf courses provide. My main intent was to share the golf experience in the desert, and draw people in to travel, and play a round in Arizona. Tucson , with over 30 golf courses, sometimes it doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves. With so many golf courses going in and out of business, it is important to show off high rates golf courses. I also wanted to show how fun of a game it is. We tend to only see good golfers shooting low scores, and making little mistake. I wanted to show that you can still have a good time even if you’re not the best golfer out there. I wanted to show how fun it is to golf, especially in Arizona. Read more>>