Are you thinking about starting a business?  If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Manasa Magona | Owner

Wow I could write a whole book . My main reason and purpose of starting my business , was to inspire others and also a daily reminder that our words our powerful. What we think we become . I wanted to create something that will uplift someone , especially if they were having a not so good day or someone who struggles with negative thoughts. That is why I created tumblers and bottles with daily affirmation words on them, or bracelets with uplight words and also bracelets with bible verses that you can have on daily with you and also makes the perfect gift for your love once. And with that I also created clean , non-toxic, simple skin products made with all organic ingredients and good quality oil for everyday use with an affordable price that anyone can afford especially now. And everything is made by me. Read more>>

Lori Fenn | Owner & Founder

I have always wanted to have my own business. I never had a shortage of ideas, the hardest part was taking the first step. I have always worked well on my own (I joke now that I am unemployable because once you work for yourself, you can’t go back!). I just really wanted something that I created, that was my own and allowed me to have the independence I was looking for in building something from the ground up. Somedays I work 15 hours, somedays I work 2 but in the beginning your business only grows as much as you put into it. It can be incredibly stressful but I seem to do well when I have a lot going on, the stress can be addictive! Read more>>

Christina Carmel | Mixed Media Portrait Artist

Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to make a real difference in the world. I earned a degree in special education and spent about the first decade of my adult career teaching – mostly in inner city schools. I always loved art, but I kept it neatly in the background of my life. Art was my sacred sanctuary I turned to when I needed to relax or unwind. It wasn’t until a few years ago when a friend asked me to paint some dogs in outfits (clearly not what I do now – but still adorable) that I realized my heart needed me to devote more time and energy into my art. Slowly, I allowed art to take up more space in my life, but not too much. I was worried about leaving my career in special education because I thought it was the only way I could make real difference. Read more>>

Teresa Bacal | Owner

I started my business over 20 years ago because I was traveling extensively and putting in long hours for my employer. After six years of long hours, I decided to work that hard under my own company. I was also fortunate enough to have relationships with clients who encouraged me to go out on my own and said they would support me if I started my own business. One of those clients was Toyota, a client I still work with today. Read more>>

Chase Estrin | Still Pirate & Rocket Scientist

We started as home brewers and decided to take the process to the next step and distill something. We made a rum and a whiskey that our friends agreed was very tasty! Knowing that we could make something that tasted decent was the validation we needed before setting off to start our distillery! Read more>>

Ben Pasquel | Health and Wellness Advocate

I started TerpNutrition because someone that I loved and cared about was suffering mentally and physically. My girlfriend, Megan Loda, suffered from a ruptured L4 and L5 at the young age of 21. The doctors said that she was a 21-year-old with an 80-year-old person’s back. She started losing feeling in her left side of her leg and doctors rushed her to surgery. After her surgery she had multiple doctors tell her that she will never be able to workout again in her life because of her back and I just did not believe that. I witnessed her prescription medication go up and her mental health decline. I knew there must be an alternative, so I started looking into CBD and the hemp plant to help with the inflammation and pain that she was dealing with. Read more>>

Moshe Bukshpan | Executive Director & Founder

I have been in the music business most of my life and participated in several music festivals. Read more>>

Annie Verderame | Master Pilates Teacher & Studio Owner

I wanted to be free, and I wanted to be in command of my life. I had worked for other studio owners for 7 years, and never had a great experience. The owners were unfair, paid terrible wages, and understood little to nothing about the world of Pilates, which led to discrepancies between teachers and management. I was severely overworked and rarely got a vacation. I realized I was gaining great traction at the large studio I worked at in Phoenix. I was rated as the #1 instructor, with tons of 5 star reviews, and waitlists for every one of my classes – yet I was still treated badly by ownership. I knew that I was good at what I did, and that people really liked my style of teaching, as well as the anatomical knowledge and education I brought to my classes. Read more>>

Clint Schmal | Barber

Independence & creating opportunity were the most important factors in starting my own business. When I started in Barbering, I listened to the needs of my clients and felt there were voids I could fill in how the industry catered to today’s patron. When you work for someone else, it can be hard to implement ideas you feel very strongly about. I wanted the independence to do so. I also wanted to create positions for others. Whether it’s another Barber looking for a place to cut, or a barista in our forthcoming Cafe. Going through Barber School was scary at times and if I could lend a hand to someone in that position through apprenticeship, that would be cool, too. Read more>>

John O’Dowd | Owner & Founder

It was pretty simple, I was an independent medical sales rep and was not enjoying it nor making good money. I had taught my self to weld a few years earlier and grew up with my dad working construction so always enjoyed working with my hands. One morning I just decided that if I wasn’t going to make good money I might as well do something I enjoy doing! Read more>>