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.

Kelly Brown | Founder & CEO

I often thought about having my own store when I was younger and walked through shops in the small towns my grandparents lived. As I continued to grow and fall into more mainstream thinking, I put that thought in the back of my mind and focused on going to college and getting a steady corporate job and focus on working my way up the ladder. About 10 years into my career, I started to get the feeling that there was something else I should be doing, something more fulfilling. In 2019, I started spending more time reading and listening to podcasts focused on personal growth. Read more>>

Rishabh Arora | I am a Car enthusiast and entrepreneur in the same field. I have got a brand name, Guide Media, where we provide Guidance over cars and bikes on online platforms. I am also the youngest Jury Member at Indian Vehicle Awards. On a monthly basis, we help and advise more than 1.5 million persons in choosing the right vehicle for them via our social media platforms

I have always wanted to guide people relying on online platforms to buy or experience products. Everything is digital and the future will be even more digital. Physical stores and shops are closing and the digital age is here. We, at Guide Media, aim to provide assistance and guidance in choosing the best product, whether it is a car, bike, phone, or anything else. Read more>>

Helen Thoenes | Personal Trainer and Gym Owner

I had been in the fitness industry for close to a decade and had become disenchanted with the typical approach to exercise/movement which was all about trying to control “misbehaving” bodies. From my perspective, the industry was (and very much still is) focused entirely on helping people to change what their bodies looked like with little regard to the numerous factors that play into how bodies look. I was a part of a program that used coercion, bullying, strong-arming, and cult-like loyalty to get athletes to conform. Read more>>

Emily Shields | Founder, Whiskers N Wishes Sanctuary

I volunteered in animal rescue (cat/dog/horse) in California for several years but always knew I wanted to go into cat rescue. It was a lifelong dream to have my own cat rescue and during COVID I decided to take the plunge. I had no idea about the immediate need – because so many shelters were closed, people in Tucson were desperate for help with their cats. Read more>>

Nikki & Andy Peterson | Content creator / Travel Blogger

We wanted to do something together. We have always had an interest it starting our own business, But have struggled with what exactly that business we should be. We started a business making decorative signs. At the same time we tested out building furniture. We even played around with the idea of taking over the family glass business. Read more>>

Mauricio Anaya | EDMtree CEO & Co-Founder

When EDMtree started, our thought was to find a way to share electronic music experiences with every single person who loves it as much as we do. Our intention has always been to reflect those emotions and feelings in a professional way, which means having a balance between our personal preferences and what our readers want to see in an electronic music media. Read more>>

Kareem Kamahl Taylor | CEO/FOUNDER – Comics and Books Rescue for Kids Foundation

I wanted to start a charity for hospitalized children that could inspire and provide a source of education at the same time. So, I thought, “Hey! Comic books would be the perfect outlet to promote imagination, self-esteem, courage, and literacy to kids!” Read more>>

Clare Weech | Mom & Home Baker

I used to work in medicine, and I thought I would for the rest of my life. But I found as I kept progressing toward bigger goals in that field that I didn’t have any fire within me to achieve them. So I stayed still. But then the pandemic came along, work got really hard, I saw my industry getting abused, I had a baby, and everything that I was doing just to make a buck was not at all worth it. Read more>>

Megha Rao | Founder & Designer, holiCHIC by Megha

I’ve always had a love for fashion. Growing up in Queens, NY a first-gen daughter of immigrants, it was my primary means of self expression. During college I started modeling for South Asian designers, while I loved the experience and the confidence that it taught me…the clothes never really related to me. They were beautiful but often times too heavy, too blingy, too traditional and not fitting to my dual identities or the types of events I attended in America. Read more>>

Sarah Hernandez | stay-at-home mom, owner of Wiki-licious South Mountain

In starting my own business, my thought process was that I needed to be able to provide for my family while also staying available to my kids and family when they need me. Owning a business and working from home provides a level of availability and flexibility that working outside of the home at a full-time job would not allow. As a stay-at-home parent for over 16 years, my first priority is my family and starting my own business has allowed me to keep it that way. Read more>>

Erin Goodwin | Artisanal Soap and Spa Products

The inspiration for Selkie Coastal Soaps was simple, our daughter’s sensitive skin. We needed alternatives when she often reacted to dyes and other irritants in name brand soaps and decided to make our own soaps using premium goat’s milk as the soap base. After sharing the soap with friend’s and family as Christmas gifts, they liked the soaps so much that requests came barreling in. The thought process behind then turning Selkie Coastal Soaps into a business was to make products with every skin type in mind. Read more>>

Donna Shelby | Nurse and animal lover voice for the helpless

I have been an animal lover for my entire life, during my childhood my father was afraid of dogs, so I was never able to explore that when I was younger, however as soon as I was financially able I adopted a dog, then another, then another etc. I quickly saw the need in the animal welfare community, I volunteered at several shelters, and I saw the need was really to focus on senior and geriatric dogs, I called the dogs that I bring into my organization “the discarded ones“. Read more>>

Chelsie Hill | CEO & Founder of Rollettes

When I first started this idea of a wheelchair dance team I started it purely because I wanted friends. I was about 2 years newly injured at that time and wanted to feel a sense of normalcy. I invited 6 girls to my hometown and we had a girl’s weekend full of dancing, going to dinner, sleepovers and so much more. That weekend I felt something I never thought id feel again.. like I belonged somewhere like I could roll into a room and feel like I wasn’t the only person people were staring at! Read more>>

Hayley Heckethorn | Founder of Primrose Board Co.

I always had an itch to start my own business, but I would have never guessed it would have been doing what I do now. I got married in 2020 (Yes, remember that crazy year?) and I was so in love with planning my wedding, I knew that the wedding industry is where I wanted to be. I looked into wedding planning and briefly thought about wedding photography, but when I came across charcuterie I really thought to myself “Is this even considered a business?” Sure enough, I did some research and found tons of charcuterie businesses across the country and they were thriving. That’s when I knew, I totally could too. Read more>>

Bri Custer | Artist & Educator

When I officially started my art business in 2018, it was on the side of a full-time office job. I hadn’t painted consistently since graduating in 2014 and I desperately missed painting. I wanted to recommit to my practice and sharing that work through my website and social media felt like a natural extension of that process. I earned my Master’s in Education during that time and started teaching K-8 art, but when the pandemic led us to remote teaching during my first year, Read more>>

Daniel Horzempa | Integrative Medicine MD

When I started the Arizona Institute of Integrative Medicine I was deeply frustrated with the standard medical system. It became very clear to me during my medical training that the system really wasn’t set up to make patients healthy. Unfortunately, as everyone who is working in this system well knows, disease isn’t dealt with in a comprehensive manner and the patients continue to just get sicker and sicker. Read more>>

Crisann Black | CEO and Creator of Uniting Arizona

My inspiration for starting uniting Arizona came from my father William Wright. He was a owned a Landscaping company called Artworks Landscaping in the early 90’s. He reminded me of a lumberjack. Big in statue with a heart of gold. He would employ anyone who was looking for work including friends , family and people who lived at Santa Rita park. My Dad was great at seeing past people circumstances and was able to see people at their core. Read more>>

Monifa Caines | Non Conformist Veteran CEO

Queen of Spades Style started first from a necessity I had and quickly turned into my passion. After a lot of contemplation, I decided to stop putting a chemical relaxer in my hair because it constantly left burns on my scalp. A chemical relaxer is a creme that is applied to the hair to make textured hair very straight. The chemical relaxer included lye and lye is even used to make battery acid – that’s how strong it is. I had this same creme applied to my hair every month for decades to hide my natural hair pattern, appear ‘professional’ and to assimilate into what the beauty standard is. Read more>>

Carolyn O’Connor | Owner

I was given the opportunity to open a coffee shop from the ground up with no real experience just a great boss who really trusted me. A lot of my family is in academia and I thought I might follow suit, but the coffee shop experience challenged and stimulated my mind in ways beyond my degree and prior research in Neuroscience. I loved being on my feet, making food, designing menus, hiring people, taking photos, thinking about numbers, and all of the other millions things that come along with running a business! Read more>>