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.

Susana Rodriguez | Sr. Managing Partner, Sondercare Behavioral health

My thoughts evolved from personal life experienced and simply being a part of a system that did not appear to be as robust or as effective as it could be and from wanting to make a real difference. Read more>>

Jessica Hargis | Owner and Founder of Charlie Lou Baby

When I became pregnant with my son, I ended up with two slipped ribs and was put on bedrest for most of my pregnancy. With it being my first child, I spent the majority of my time on bedrest researching baby products and getting things ready for him to arrive. Read more>>

Kyla Maciosek | Nature Play Consultant

I had been working with children at environmental organizations and schools for years when I moved to Tucson to be with my (at the time future husband). When I moved here I couldn’t find a job that both met my criteria for how children should learn and provide a living wage, so I took an unrelated job to be able to pay my bills. Read more>>

Laurence Fair | Man of God, Husband, Father, & CEO (in that order please)

There were several factors that led me to starting my own business. First, there was the opportunity of providing a service based on my belief system. I am a Christian, and you can’t guarantee that message being promoted when you work for someone else. I work for God first, and He provides what I need to serve those interested in what I offer. Read more>>

Bonnie Hunt | Cookie Artist & Owner of Bright Heart Cookie co LLC

The thought process I had when deciding to starting my own business was definitely with an emphasis on being there for my family and making my own flexible hours to be able to do that. I definitely work more than I would at a 9-5 but I can work while my little one is at school, or at night while he’s sleeping as well. Read more>>

Salina Jones | Partner, Marketing & Events

We wanted to bring a unique experience to the valley that could be both upscale, yet fun for the whole family. The concept had to be something that could be something our customers would return to do again and again, while bringing others with them to join in on the fun! Read more>>

Calvin Chandler | Founder of Organic BrowNY | Marketing professional

I always asked myself “What am I doing to help humanity? What seeds have I planted? How am I leaving this world better than when I arrived?”. So I wanted to create a brand that did exactly that, plant seeds that’ll raise the consciousness of it’s consumer. In some way or another, Organic BrowNY advocates healthy living. Read more>>

Patsy Jean Gelb | Chainstitch Embroidery Artist

I was interested in embroidery and didn’t know exactly what to do with that. I taught myself free-motion embroidery on a regular home sewing machine since this was accessible to me. It’s a tedious and difficult process but you basically use a zigzag stitch to create the images you want on textiles, layer by layer. Read more>>

Allison Carter | Co-Host and Founder of Ultimate Product Party

My partner Cat Hildner and I had attended many creative and business conferences in our years as entrepreneurs, and we always encountered the same problem. None of them were created with product based businesses in mind. Read more>>

Saundra Howard | Ceramicist

Around 2018, I was feeling the need to do something with my hands so I took a chance and signed up for ceramics classes at the city college in Oakland. I loved the way I could get lost in the pottery wheel and express my voice creatively. Read more>> 

Caroline Bohde | Spray Tan Artist

I moved to Arizona a little over 2 years ago not knowing anyone. I worked for a company as an executive assistant and felt like I was just getting through my days. I wasn’t meeting people through this job and wasn’t passionate about it. Read more>>

Rachelle Heinzen-Ruchty | Owner

My real life was a police officer for almost 20 years. Once I retired I got my real estate license and starting working for myself. I quickly forgot about the typical 9-5 job and fell in love with being my own boss! I love the flexibility, the risk, the creativity, and mostly celebrating successes and occasional failures. Read more>>

Jeff Mugongo | Fitness & Spiritual Coach

Before starting my business, I had no financial help which pushed to think outside the box, but I was privileged enough to have mentors who were guiding me. I had to sit and reflect. Deeply look within and connect with my inner child. I had to find the willingness to take risks, learn and experience it all. Read more>>

Nikki Green Caprara | Owner & Designer

GreenCap Design started out in a very organic way. I worked in finance, but my husband and I were remodeling our first home and were doing most of the work ourselves. Read more>>

Kevin Rosenberg | Owner/Lead Guide

In graduate school I started an outdoor adventure club and really enjoyed taking people out hiking, climbing, paddling, or sailing. I realized that there weren’t any great outfitters or guide services in NYC so I decided to start my own.  Read more>>