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.

Dr. Ryan A. Starzyk | Chief Executive Officer

The purpose of business is to create value for others through a product or service. Understanding this is key to any thought process when launching a new business. My own thought process involved thinking about one question, What does the world need? I had no intent on being another business, focused exclusively on making money, but rather, to have a mission, vision, and values that align with promoting a greater good. My business purpose is to give back as much as possible to our communities. In doing so, I want to encourage other business startups to follow. We are stronger when we work together, and our future depends upon it. Read more>>

Jacob Brandt | Emerging Business Creative

During this last winter, a few of my friends and I were set on starting a business together. With the amount of free time we had, I figured our venture would be best if operations were automated that way, as we progress in school, we can balance our attention between the business and class work. However, as you can expect, things never turn out as planned. The window of time we had during our break was significantly shorter than other semesters, so we pushed the starting date further away. One thing to know about me is that I am someone who cannot bear to do nothing all day, so in the absence of that venture, I decided to start illustrating and writing a children’s book, It’s a Great Day for a Donut. The idea to start this originated from my work at the bakery in AJ’s Fine Food. A few very close customers knew about my artistic abilities, and one–after seeing my watercolor pieces–told me she could imagine these being in a children’s book. Read more>>

Logan Martinez | Business Owner & Content Creator

You know, for me I had always worked the 9-5 type jobs. From the time I was 15 and working at McDonald’s to the time I was twenty something working in sales, it was always working in some sort of corporate structure. I don’t remember the exact moment, but I remember the exact feeling…I was tired. I was tired of working to drive someone else’s dream. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe there is value in those jobs and some people really thrive in the structure and security they provide, but I came to this place where it was time to take that leap of faith into the unknown. I wanted work out the dream in my heart with my own hands and see it flourish into something that would impact my family, my friends, my community, and eventually the world. Read more>>

Jillian Rivera | Portrait & Event Photographer

The thought process behind starting my own business was to be able to share my passion with others. Photographing people has always brought so much joy into my life ever since I picked up a camera in middle school. Being able capture special moments in someone’s life is really something unique because they then get to cherish these photographs for the rest of their life. You can always reflect upon photos and reminisce over memories that mean the world to you. It’s important to have these keepsakes to then show generations to come. Read more>>

Carly Wilsey | Women’s Personal Trainer and Health Coach

My thought process behind starting my own business was me being completely obsessed with all things health and fitness and after going through my own personal experience with my own health and competing as an NPC figure competitor I realized quickly that being healthy wasn’t what most of us thought. Being healthy wasn’t actually about having 6 pack abs or being 5% body fat but actually feeling good and having healthy relationships with both food and exercise. I wanted to create my own business so that I could teach and help other women realize that being healthy is what’s most important and you don’t have to be shredded or super muscular to be healthy. That what’s most important is creating healthy relationships with food and exercise so that you can create a long lasting healthy lifestyle. I wanted to solve that problem for the women who were continuing to do crash fad diets that led to no results and who were completely miserable and tired of losing weight just to gain it all back and more. Read more>>

Heather & Ken Davis | Owners

We love the culture that food encompasses. Family and community dining is something that we are up with and have a lot of fond memories of growing up. Being able to bring that warm feeling of meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones is something we hold close to our hearts. For us, BBQ creates that environment and drove us to want to share that with our local community. Read more>>

Bill Cramer | Landscape Oil Painter

I’m not sure if it was a thought process or more of an evolution of skills and events in my life that led to me becoming a full time artist. Our first daughter was born with a brittle bone condition and she required a lot of care. I became a stay at home dad while working very part-time at a local picture framing shop where I used to work full-time. As this was taking place, I began working on my art as a landscape oil painter. After a few years our daughter become more stable and able to go to school. And about this time the frame shop went out of business. So, I started applying and getting into art shows and working at it full time. Always knew I’d be an artist, I guesss the timing had to be right. I’ve been working at for about 17 years now. Read more>>

Micah Kenneson & Joey Heff 2 People Make The Brand (FYI) | Videography – Directors

We both did video in high school together, After high school we knew we wanted to be entrepreneurs, we tried several different plays, beginning with Producing Music, Followed by doing major shows through out the valley with artists like YG, Kevin Gates, Snoop amongst others, during this time we tried our hand at managing artists, all these plays were high risk low reward. We were led back to video by an artist we manage Lee Mula. He gave us some footage he needed edited and the rest is history! Our thought process always boils down bartering time, how much is your time worth? We seen the potential in ourselves to make it, and we are out here giving it our best shot. Read more>>

Chelsea Kunde | LAMFT, Certified Sleep Consultant, & Founder of Building Blocks Family

Before starting Building Blocks Family I was in traditional counseling as a Marriage and Family Therapist at a community mental health facility. My favorite part of my job was working with the entire family system and running a parenting group. I loved learning about family dynamics and providing practical solutions for people. When I had my own child, I realized I wanted to create a foundation for her to be well adjusted, sleep well, and quite frankly be a kid that others wanted to be around. I started looking into this more and realized I was doing this in my career already. So I slowly dove into the sleep world & became fascinated. I started helping friends and family get their infants to sleep through the night and set up a flexible and practical schedule and foundation for their family. From there, Building Blocks Family was born. I wanted to provide families with loving and practical family solutions for all things parenting for children 0-6 years old. Read more>>