Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Kim Jenkins | Hairstylist

I knew my time was quickly coming to an end at my previous salon I was employed at. I wanted a salon environment where my clients could escape from their busy lives to have a little bit of “me time” to be able to relax and leave feeling their best selves. Read more>>

Joe Ennis | Content Strategist/Podcast Expert/Podcast Host

Since I was in high-school at my first job (Starbucks), I had always wanted to be my own boss. I was always told that I was a good manager, and I enjoyed doing things my way. I began creating podcasts right after high school with a friend. Read more>>

Vaishali Patel | CEO and Founder of Sanskarteaching, an online Indian languages platform.

I strongly believe that when you remain connected to your roots, where you come from then that anchor allows you to fly high in this world no matter where you are. I was born and raised in India and came to the US when I was 16. I got the best and worst of both the worlds as teenage years are rough no matter where you are. Read more>>

Melissa Totton | Interior Decorator / Construction Project Manager

When I graduated from my post secondary training in Ottawa, I had two options when it came to entering the Interior Decorating industry. I could choose to work with another firm, gain some experience and decide if making the leap to being self-employed was worthwhile in the future. Or I could decide to start building my name, my brand and my portfolio from day one – which is the route that I decided to pursue! Read more>>

Miguel Rosario | professional competitive breakdancer and future USA Olympian

My thought process behind starting my own business was creating something fun new and exciting that i could enjoy building from scratch through something im already doing. Read more>>

Stacey Champagne | Founder & CEO of Hacker in Heels

Before making a career change from graphic design into cybersecurity, I was nowhere near where I thought I’d be for the vision of my life. Working 12-14 hours day, crying in my car, barely able to afford rent for a room despite having achieved what I thought was my “dream job.” Now I make nearly 5x my previous salary and feel incredibly fulfilled by my work. Read more>>

Josh Guerra | Professional Jiu-Jitsu Athlete and Head Jiu-Jitsu Instructor at Refuge BJJ

I wanted to open my own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy so I could help change lives and make a positive impact on people’s lives. Read more>>

Cathy Madeo | Yoga Expert and Founder, Cathy Madeo Yoga

Currently, I own and operate an online yoga school, Cathy Madeo Yoga. The idea for it came during Covid lockdown. I never thought I’d put a yoga school online. Having taught yoga for nearly 20 years and having been a yoga studio owner, I wasn’t convinced you could teach students how to teach yoga online. Read more>>

Cari Medina | Salon Owner/ Stylist/ Comedian

My mission creating The Crescent Salon was to provide a calm experience to guests who need an efficient and inclusive experience. Read more>>

Kami Pringle | Co owner

I wanted a product that people could enjoy without getting sick. I have a disease called mast cell activation syndrome and my husband has really bad asthma. I had a hard time burning candles in our house which is something I have always loved doing and now with our candles I can enjoy them without feeling nauseous or getting a headache and my husband doesn’t struggle to breath. Read more>>

Rachel Benkowski | Beer industry professional and nonprofit co-founder

Simply, there was a vacancy. A need. The beer industry and its inclusivity to women is relatively new, if we’re not talking about ancient or medieval societies. There are wonderful international nonprofit organizations that help women peruse education in the beer industry, but there is nothing to support women once they are working in the industry, as a business owner, a brewer, or likes thereof. Read more>>

Andy Kvesic | CEO & Managing Partner

Having worked in various private and public legal roles, I felt that there was a better way to run a law firm. Over the years I had so many ideas on how to improve things, but often I wasn’t the ultimate decision maker. Now, when a lightbulb moment pops into my head, I get to show up to work the next day and execute it. Read more>>

Constantinos Vorrises | Artist and T-shirt Maker

With both my artwork and t-shirts, I wanted to stay creative and develop relationships that open doors to more opportunities. I’ve tried many different businesses since I was 17 and I always enjoyed the risk and reward part of it. Read more>>

Jonathan Scott | Photographer

My thought process was quite different than most peoples. Back in my junior year of high school I had a teacher who recommend that I start a social media page and start sharing my work. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea because I was new to photography and thought my work was less than average. Read more>>

Steven Laatsch | Electrician, Axes are a Side Hustle

My Business Plan for Rocket Axe Throwing was Written a Bar Napkin at one of my venues. If I could collaborate with an established Brewery, Sports Bar, that was serving Great Food and Libations, we could partner and Stand up a couple Axe Throwing Lanes and “Give away Corporate Events during the week when the Establishment Is Slow, and Get them for Full Price on Weekends with Friends and Families. Read more>>

Steve DeArmond | Self-Defense Instructor | Gym Manager

Well martial arts has always been a passion for me. I’ve enjoyed learning and training in various martial arts, and I have always found it to be a great experience when learning from someone that is passionate about their discipline. When I reached the point of beginning my own program, I really had no direction on where to go. Read more>>

Rahim Green | The Drinkmaker

My business initially started as a hobby. I was always interested in mixology, as I spent many weekends making cocktails for friends and family. This manifested into my love for mixology and desire to create a variety of cocktail-related products and services to share with the masses. Read more>>

Sarah Rainwater | Multiple business owner, mom of three, homeschool teacher.

I have always had an entrepreneurial mind. From a young age I found myself coming up with things to sell– crafts, services etc, I always knew I would be in business for myself, just didn’t know for what. One day at 24 years old, I saw a void for service in our area, over night I drafted up a business plan and the rest is history. That was 10 years ago. Read more>>

Chelsie Stumph | Influencer and creator, sincerely.chelsie

My business didn’t really start out as a business. I had struggled with that transition to motherhood as I didn’t know any mothers my age to talk to. Once I finally felt solid ground under my feet in motherhood I felt compelled to share with other women with hopes that I could help them and that their transition wouldn’t be so difficult. It really started as an online community to share life and motherhood things. Read more>>

Mathew Passy | Podcast Producer and Consultant

At the time, I had been recently laid off from my long-time gig working for a major publisher doing a mix of radio and podcasting. While I was trying to find what my next full-time job would be, people that I used to do work with reached out and said that the podcasts we did together were very beneficial and they wanted to know if I could help them now. Read more>>

Olman Alfaro | Musician, Musicologist, Biologist, Meditation Instructor

In my case, it is not a business. I started my masters in voice performance at the University of Arizona and I did not have the type of opportunities I was looking for because I was interested in early music and the school does not have a degree in this area. So I decided to found a music ensemble called Arizona Baroque about 8 years ago to create my own performance opportunities and to have access to the learning process I was looking for. Read more>>

Katia Valenzuela | The Tipsy Tuxedo bartending services

The idea for our business began when my husband and I got engaged and we searched for vendors that fit our wedding aesthetic. We found it difficult to find specific pieces and services in Tucson, so we decided to create and build things ourselves. Read more>>

Jada Sharise | Dating & Relationship Coach

One day, I was reflecting on my healing journey and I was so proud of the internal work I did to become whole after failed relationships. For the first time, I saw my brokenness as beautiful. And I thought to myself, I want to give women everything I wish I had during my healing journey. Read more>>

Noah Landis | Founder and Curator Art Hacker Gallery

I’ve always been an avid art collector and have kept my home filled with interesting pieces that garnered visitors’ attention and compliments. With the art industry being a confusing place for new artists to maneuver, I saw an opportunity to create a new exciting space in Phoenix where the public would be drawn to engage more in the local art community while providing opportunities for more local designers to showcase their work. Read more>>

Natalie Germaine | Owner

I have always wanted to start my own business…. I didn’t know what I wanted to do though- I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sell a good or a service, but I was constantly thinking what could I do that I love enough to make a business out of it because if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. In order to stay physically fit, I would run 6-8 miles a day,.. Read more>>

Mitch Melodia | Musician and Author

My business Alpha Pegasi and the design of it came out of necessity. I was in a few touring, performing, and recording bands back in the New England area, but none really stuck. Alpha Pegasi became the way of finally starting to review, condense, record, and release the dozens to hundreds of songs I’ve written over the years. Read more>>

Katie Bee | Tattoo artist and Tattoo shop owner

I’ve always wanted a career that involved art. Tattooing was a way that I could support myself and do what I truly loved. I started my own business early on in my career because I knew I had the drive and determination to be successful, I just needed to take that leap of faith and do it on my own. Read more>>

Berkley Cameron | Vice President One Love Foundation Inc, President of Locks 4 Paws

I have always been very passionate about volunteering and have gotten much more back from giving than getting. I have volunteered with many non profit groups to gain experience and learn as much as I could about how I could do even more in my community and abroad. A lot of people want to help but sometimes don’t know how to start. Read more>>

McKenna Reinhard | Death Doula & Grief Specialist

Before starting Time Enough, I worked in both human and animal medicine and saw that there is a huge gap in resources to help people plan for the end-of-life (from themselves and their pets) and a huge gap in grief support. These gaps made these already difficult situations much more difficult for everyone involved and I wanted to do something to try to help make this process any amount easier for people. Read more>>

Ellie White | Founder + Designer

When living in Nashville Tennessee, I founded a custom jacket company and fell in love with all things custom designed. I have always had a passion for art in its many forms but nothing set my soul on fire quite like building a unique and one of a kind wearable for a client. The feeling of helping someone reach new and uncharted levels of self expression is a high that I will never come down from. Read more>>