The first step to starting a business is deciding to start a business. They say the first step is the hardest and in our experience this is especially true when it comes to starting a business. Getting over the mental roadblocks can be tough, often harder to overcome than the challenges you’ll face once you actually start the business. Fellow entrepreneurs share their thoughts below.

Julie LaCroix | Publisher, North Peoria Lifestyle

When I moved to Peoria, I saw the chance to bring the community together through hyperlocal, beautiful content reflecting who to know, what to do and where to be. Read more>>

Tay Hawker | President – Hawker Family Sports & Entertainment

Through my years of working within College Athletics, I have identified many areas that need work. however with the NIL being passed. There was a substantial lack of support for Student – Athletes wanting to get into this space. Subsequently, I saw that I had a network of people that would excel in this space. It really became a perfect storm that I knew I had to attack. Hawker Family Sports & Entertainment was born to enable athletes and influencers to continue to excel in the classroom and on the playing surface. Our job is to take care of the rest. Read more>>

Nikki Romano | Hairstylist & Owner

When I decided to open up my own business, it felt like I was at a point in my career where switching salons wouldn’t break the boundaries of furthering my career. Starting from the bottom as an assistant folding towels all the way up to working behind the chair, I have built the confidence to finally take a chance and follow my gut. Read more>>

Shylaja Arya | Board Certified Podiatrist at Arya Foot & Ankle

By starting my own medical practice I knew I could have complete autonomy over how my patients are treated, how much time they are given, and what modalities I could offer on site to optimize the patient experience. Despite the barriers of the global pandemic, a new city, and almost no connections- starting a solo private practice from scratch has a HUGE upside- I have total autonomy on providing a patient experience that reflects the type of medicine I choose to practice. In a society where insurance companies, hospitals, and large administrative groups are calling shots; we’ve seen a direct correlation with the time a physician can afford to spend with their patients. Read more>>

Terri Kern | Independent Studio Artist and Teacher specializing in Ceramics

I’ve always wanted to walk my own path, based on the ideals and goals that were important to me versus walking a path that followed the expectations of other people. Starting my own business allowed me to walk that path with its many twists and turns and create a life that fulfills me. When I was in grade school, I wanted to be Indiana Jones…archaeologist, adventurer, explorer. My parents signed me up for a summer class on archaeology at the Cincinnati Natural History Museum. During that summer, I learned all about fossils and their origins. I became fascinated with objects that held their own histories and told their own stories. Fast forward to 45 years later. While I didn’t become an archaeologist, I did become an artist. Now, I create my own objects. Objects that hold my history and objects that tell my story. Read more>>

Tarin Chepeus | Hairstylist

From a very early age I never liked being told what to do. I come from a lineage of people whom have all owned their own businesses, and I always knew no matter what career path I chose, I wanted it to be my own. Plain and simply, I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted, and I wanted no one in my way to tell me otherwise. Not exactly the most conventional of answers, but I’ve never been a conventional person. Read more>>

Justin spray Chris Satterlee | The Owners of STRIPE SHOW GOLF CLUB — 9 hole golf course and driving range

Throughout our junior and professional golf careers we felt that golf products were way too pricey. So we decided to do something about it. Stripe Show offers a stylish apparel line along with top-performing products. All without the expensive price tag! We also wanted to give back to the game we love by supporting our juniors. 10% of all proceeds will go back to our Stripe Show Jr. Golf Community. Our juniors will have the opportunity to earn points by playing golf and sharing their success. Juniors will receive discounted products & apparel, tee times, lessons, and a chance to win monthly prizes. By supporting Stripe Show, you are growing the game of golf. Start giving back today and look good doing it. Read more>>

Vangela Clark | Blogger /Beauty and fitness influencer

I’ve always been called to make a positive impact throughout my life. There has always been different types of people impacted in different ways. As the internet lifestyle has developed over the last 10 years I realized I can be more impactful to more people by being present and delivering what I have to serve others virtually vs only in person. I then realized by showing up social media people were asking me the same questions over and over: Read more>>

Vanessa & Gabe Montiel | Creative Entrepreneurs

Vanessa: We have always been intrigued by vintage style and the rockabilly subculture, which has been something that we have been able to bond over as siblings. Several struggles lead to the birth of Swank ‘N Jive Pomade. One being the struggle to find quality hair products with natural ingredients at a good value, for both men and women. The other being the stress that was put on our family’s existing business. Gabe is kind of a mad genius when he is feeling creative. One day he pretty much got a whim to make a pomade and went with it. Surprisingly, he got the recipe down rather quickly! Read more>>