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.

Brittany Loose and Molly Sivadon | Business Owners & Wood Flower Florists

Both Molly and I were stay at home moms looking for something to do in our “spare” time. Being sisters and best friends we already hung out so much together that it just made sense to join forces and hopefully make money while having fun! We started out making organic skincare from my kitchen and would sell it at weekend markets, which was a lot of fun but A LOT of work! We have always been crafty, both of us are licensed cosmetologists and certified makeup artists, and as we were decorating our booth for shows we stumbled upon wood flowers. One thing lead to another and soon we found ourselves as full-time florists specializing in wood flowers. We now have a successful Etsy shop providing thousands of brides with wood flowers for their weddings and we are working harder than we’ve ever worked before!! We are so lucky to still work from home so we can juggle this crazy covid life we are all living and are actually launching a new brand in the next few months! Such exciting times and to think it all started by wanting to hangout more and make money while doing so. Read more>>

Corinna Cooke | Best Selling Author and Travel Guide.

I saw a big hole in the market where people’s fears and stress points were stopping them from having the type of Italy travel experience they dreamed about. Instead of exploring little towns and whiling away mornings drinking coffee in beautiful piazzas they felt their only option was to take a cruise or a big bus tour. I understood their fears and what intimidated and overwhelmed them, and I knew the answers to their questions. I knew the easy way to go about building an absolute dream trip, so I wrote a series of books to specifically meet that need. I approach each book from the perspective of if this were me going to a city I’d never been to before, in a country where I didn’t speak the language, what would I want to know? What worries would I have, what basic questions would I need answered, and then what exciting, fascinating, fabulous things would I love to know about? I hate the way regular travel guides talk at you in corporate speak, as if you don’t exist. I wanted to create an environment where it feels like it’s just you and me chatting. Read more>>

Catie Menke | Founder + Creative Director of catiemenke.com

When I was retiring from my dance career, I knew I wanted to start my own business. I wanted to find my own voice and creative expression. I spent a lot of time journaling about the future and wrote out multiple ideas and concepts. I started noticing patterns and themes and choose to trust them. My business has morphed and changed from its origination, but the core purpose of starting my business has remained the same: bringing women together to share and express their authentic experiences. Read more>>

Adaleta Avdic | Skincare Crazed Fashionista

My business originally started as a hobby because I liked to write, and I loved buying new beauty products to try. After purchasing so much makeup for several months, my friends asked me what I thought of X product. “Is it worth it?” This is when I decided writing reviews and sharing my opinions on the products I was testing, would be beneficial to help others save money when products weren’t worth the investment or when they really need to try something. Read more>>

Jolene Goring | Healthy Indulgent Lifestyle Blogger & Wellness Expert

I’ve worked in corporate for most of my career life, and learned SO much about every aspect of business! After feeling frustrated about not being able to implement my ideas due to corporate red tape and too many mindless meetings… I decided to create my own brand so that I could do what I knew was going to lead to success… and guess what? It did. Read more>>

Heather Crenshaw | Owner/Designer & Teacher

I am passionate about the health benefits of essential oils and the healing powers of crystal gemstones. I have found a way to combine the two by creating gemstone essential oil diffuser jewelry. What started out as just a hobby, quickly evolved into a business as I received positive feedback for my jewelry from family and friends. Read more>>

Angelica Montejano | Hairstylist

I started working in the beauty industry at age 17. I worked in a corporate chain salon in my home town. When I went through beauty school I tried working in different salons and still never felt happy. I learned a lot but I knew I wanted to create my own brand and business at some point. I absolutely hated the idea of me working so hard and somebody else reaping all the benefits. My goals were to create my own schedule and make enough income to live the lifestyle I wanted. When I finally became licensed and started working behind the chair I took full advantage of free advertising on Instagram. I took pictures of everything I did and it really helped me build my clientele. 3 years of building and learning, I was able to take the leap at starting my own business. My thought process was looking at my weekly income for a year. When I saw the consistency I realized I could afford to invest in myself. Its not as scary as it seems. It has given me SO much freedom and it was the best decision I ever made. Read more>>

SRenae Washington | Owner of Stylez By SRenae

When I thought about starting my own business a lot of things crossed my mind. I thought about how it would give me freedom to miss work when needed because I have children and I don’t want to miss anything. I thought about eventually becoming a full time entrepreneur and not working a 9-5. Also I wanted something that I can do with my children and pass down to them eventually. Read more>>

Kathleen Silvani | Handmade Jewelry Designer & Event Coordinator

I have always had the creative spark throughout my life. So, I looked for ways to channel the artist in myself and find a viable solution to build a business. I have had small success in partnering with stores featuring handmade art in the past. However, I was attracted to E-Commerce and its ability to create and sell without the added costs involved in brick and mortar shops. Various online platforms were available and I chose to build a small business online. Read more>>

Maggie Mays | Owner & Jewelry Designer

I had an epiphany in 2014. That gemstones are one-of-a-kind and precious in their individuality, just like humans. And we are all connected. Each of us makes up a part of this great big universe. It was then that I decided to start my brand and name it All the Tiny Pieces. I wanted to create jewelry to help women look and feel as unique as we are. Read more>>

Claudia Johnstone | Editorial & Portrait Photographer

I started my photography business after the company I worked for went out of business. The silver lining was that this unexpected change gave me the opportunity to reevaluate what I wanted to do with my life moving forward. Although I have a degree in architecture from Germany, photography had always been a passion of mine. Since I had already been contemplating starting my own business anyway, I decided to go for it and embrace this change! Talk about making lemonade out of lemons. Read more>>

Tim Colby | Owner & Creator

Well it was a pretty simple idea really. I’ve always loved cooking for others. When I cook for people, it’s more than just a dish or a meal, it’s an opportunity for me to share what I love with everyone at the table. Starting this business was a way for me to extend that reach beyond the table and share what I love at people’s tables all over. Read more>>

Laura Madden | Sustainable Fashion Advocate, Artist, Influencer

I learn more about why I decided to start this business- a constant unfolding of self-awareness. Starting ReFashioned Art has been 100% purpose-driven. It was something I always dreamed of… yet didn’t have the courage to admit to myself. I finally decided to start ReFashioned Art in 2019 because I couldn’t outrun it any longer- quite honestly. I had been making my own art my entire adult life. Every time I moved, I made new art to decorate my own homes. After relocating to Arizona, my new home here required a lot of art to fill the vast white walls. It came together very quickly- yet felt like no time at all. It was very challenging, laborious- yet felt like complete playtime. One too many people asked ‘why aren’t you doing this [art business]!?” A good friend invited me to take part in a Popup she was launching to sell my art. That was a defining moment- like the start of ‘The Hero’s Journey.’ I was either going to accept the challenge and figure it out- or decline and forever wonder ‘what if?’ I finally learned to accept myself for the artist that I am, that I always have been, waiting to come and play. Read more>>

Stephanie Walker | Certified Master Gardener, Farmer Florist, Garden Coach, Consultant and Educator

I have always loved flowers, and have added them to my yard and gardens. Living in Arizona, I wanted more color than what the native desert plants have to offer. I began researching what I might be able to grow here and pushing the envelope to see what I could get to grow that people told me would not grow here. I began to grow amazing flowers with much success. I would grow them and cut them to bring inside to enjoy. As I grew more and more beautiful flowers, I wanted to share them with others so I began taking them to friends. Then I started taking them to church to beautify our weekly women’s meeting and giving them to one of the women to take home afterwards. Pretty soon, one of my friends told me I should start selling bouquets. That thought was absurd to me. Afterall, these were just the flowers I grew in my backyard. As I thought about it, I realized that, yes, I really could sell my flowers. One day, I cut a few bucketfuls of flowers and drove down the street to a nearby florist. I nervously, and I’m sure very awkwardly, walked in and asked if they wanted to buy any of my flowers. Read more>>

Cece Cole | Artist and Designer

I am an installation artist with a national and international exhibition resume. Recently, I branched out to highlight my creative collaborations and I have just launched an online art and design shop. My trajectory as a practicing studio artist has included careers in education, production design and film making. I have also consulted on arts programing and proposals, architectural and civic projects. In 2018, after being offered another opportunity to volunteer my time on a well-funded venture, I created ColeLab. Part manifesto and all business, ColeLab provides a place to direct clients seeking an informed artist’s perspective on projects big and small. It serves as a friendly reminder that the promise of exposure is not an acceptable form of payment. Our qualifications and experience should be appropriately compensated. In 2020, I started Good Company Contemporary. My gallery work is conceptual, temporal, and experiential. Good Company provides a platform for exploring my interest in design and propels me to generate saleable works. Read more>>

Jamelle Robertson | A Forever Student of The Game

I wanted to be available for my wife and children. I’ve always wanted to be a business man, I just really took it seriously after being married and being an employee for a few years. Read more>>

Guy Chadwick | Director and Club Pro

I have been the primary go-to person for Arizona badminton for more than 40 years, working with a fantastic group of badminton players originally from all over the world. It has been my dream for most of my adult life to establish a dedicated badminton facility to serve the greater badminton community. It is a life-time sport with a huge following in Asia and Europe, so having a badminton facility would provide a “living room” for all those who grew up playing badminton in other parts of the world– a connection to their home towns. It took 25 years, but in 2012, with the help of Cooper Fratt, a commercial broker with CBRE, we were finally able to locate a perfect space with the proper ceiling height (28 feet!) and overall dimensions that we could afford. Then, with a lot of volunteer labor and donations, we were able to build our perfect 4-court facility just for badminton– bright green walls, nets, benches, pro shop and lobby, all the amenities. It is one of the best places to play badminton in the USA. Read more>>

Ciara Kleva | Enterpriser, Consultant and Artist

I started my first business in 2012. It was hardly anything to brag about as far as profit goes, but, it was mine and I was proud. Since that moment, I have been unable to find myself in a standard job scenario. In no way do I think or look down upon a 9 to 5, however, there are some of us that would nearly self detonate should we find ourselves micromanaged and living according to someone else’s’ standards of business. My thought process in starting my own business/businesses are threefold: freedom, longevity, and solution. Through my current solo business, The Kleva Collective, I have been able to find the freedom in my schedule and livelihood of which 21 year old me would have been envious. I have created a system that will allow growth and expansion (I am looking to hire soon, reach out if you are a self starter!), and with TKC-the focus is always presenting deliverables that solve a problem for my client whether it be a wall that needs the perfect painting, a social media account that needs quality content, or a business owner that needs a catalyst to push their business forward. The business I own with my Husband, Kleva Built, has truly been the most rewarding and eye opening venture thus far. Read more>>

Christian Marcum | Photographer & Creative Director

I wanted to provide myself creative freedom but also wanted to maintain disciplined in my work ethic and business strategy without comprise. The plan was to create an art brand, not just to be a photographer but a business person as well. I think the representation of business development is often overlooked in the artist community. There’s a stigma that authentic artist, for some reason, aren’t supposed to be business people, or be successful financially. Starting my own business I wanted to show that you can monetize your art without compromising your integrity. By staying true to your intentions, others recognize and support those who are willing to be vulnerable and put their best work forward, that was the idea I wanted to be apart of. Read more>>

Rich Satnam | Joyful Owner, Creator + Officiant

I never saw this as a career until it was. My wife, Shelby, and I eloped in Canada where we purchased an all-inclusive package that included an officiant to marry us. His name was Aiden and he was full of joy. I couldn’t believe that he did this for a living. When we returned back to the states, I thought, “Hey! I bet I would really enjoy that and it really fits my personality. Let’s do it…differently!” I was already ordained from my time in the Army as a Chaplain, so I started to advertise and test out the market. I really wanted to be different from the jump, which is something that has also developed organically. For instance, I take all of my couples out for coffee or drinks to get to know them and plan out their ceremony. I remember the first time I took out a couple (Christine and Chad out) for coffee, I was hooked! It was the first time in my life that I could authentically be myself while working. The tattoos, the beard, and out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t fit well in the corporate environment. I remember coming home to Shelby and saying, “This is it! I loved that!” That was a huge turning point for me. I mean, I didn’t even have a name picked out or anything, but started to pour myself into the business and came up with Let’s Knot and Say We Did, LLC. Read more>>

Lanna Dang | Owner

The idea for my business actually began years ago in my early twenties. When I was stopping at a different nail salon every two weeks to get my nails done, I recall myself thinking, there’s got to be something better than this. My experiences in these different salons were underwhelming and inconsistent. I just remember thinking wouldn’t it be cool if there was a salon you could go to that gave consistent results every time, treated their customers like family and you can tell everyone genuinely enjoys being there. My business started with just a seed of an idea to fill a major void in this industry. Before I had anything else or even a business plan I knew that I wanted to create a business where people love going to work everyday. Not only did I want to be surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do but I wanted those people to feel like going to work can actually fill their cup because of how much support they receive. This was and will always remain the main pillar of my business. When you help people feel seen, heard and supported, they show up as their best selves. Read more>>

Erin Mooney | Floral Designer

The driving thought was wanting to do things my way and wanting to keep it fun. I’ve worked for several companies in my industry over the years and have picked up some tips of what works and doesn’t work for me and was able to develop from there. Keeping things fun is key though if I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, then why am I doing it. Read more>>

Nelene DeGuzman | Musician and Small Business Owner

There are two halves to it I suppose. On the practical side, I have a background in chemistry and wanted to do something creative with it. I started experimenting with making my own body care items partly out of frugality and partly out of difficulty finding certain items in vegan, cruelty free, and zero waste packaged forms. The other half is that the more I learned, the more I saw it as another form of art and expression. Scent is so transporting, I found that I really enjoyed the process of blending a complex, interesting scent and finding a way to elevate something like a candle to feel really special and interesting. Small batch soap making is similar, I don’t use any artificial colorants in any of the products but I will still sometime use natural materials like clays, coffee or tea and charcoals and other things that have additional benefits to create patterns and designs in the soaps. The patterns are not apparent until you are ready to cut the soap and every bar is different and the designs can never be fully replicated. I love that aspect of it. Read more>>

Lisa King | Pharmacist, Life Coach, Author

I have been a pharmacist for nearly 32 years and I love sharing health information whether I am inside or outside of the pharmacy. I started sharing on social media as The Fulfilled Pharmacist four years ago. I am all about disease prevention and I want to share my own belief that health is not only about living a long life but a long and fulfilled life. I am also a firm believer in never giving up and achieving goals one step at a time. My sister and I wrote our coauthored book Tiny Life changes three years ago. We knew change could be daunting and we wanted to share simple reminders on living the life you desire one step and one day at a time. I obtained my life coaching certification so I could better share with my followers at the time we launched the book. When we launched Tiny Life Changes, I was invited on to a lot of podcasts for interviews. One of the interviewers asked me about My Interstitial Cystitis diagnosis that I had shared at one point in a post. I thought “This is in my past, I don’t want to share this!” Soon other podcasters learned of my diagnosis and wanted to ask about it too. Read more>>

Windy Lynn Harris | Author & Editor

Before I became an editor-for-hire I spent many years on the other side of the desk getting professional help with the stacks of short stories and essays I was writing. With solid advice, my writing blossomed and I found repeated publishing success. Those years gave me an appreciation for professional story-development advice. Along the way I started sharing information about how to get published and eventually landed a book contract with that topic in mind, but before I began writing it my publisher posed an addition to the how-to book: advice on writing well. I’d been teaching the craft of writing for years at that point, and had been mentored by many, but it wasn’t until I sketched out the new chapters that I realized I’d been hoping to write about this all along. I loved helping writers find their way through a draft. It was the most satisfying part of the project. When the book came out, I knew I was ready to move to the other side of the desk and become an editor other writer could hire. Read more>>

Letitia Frye | Auctiontainer/Author/Speaker

Personally, I have never truly fit in to any traditional mold or box. When I was 27, after a few entrepreneurial adventures, I tried to do the 9 to 5, but soon learned it is just not for me. I have always wanted to work for myself, and as scary and rewarding as it can be, it was not so much a thought process, but a calling. Read more>>

Dusty Reed | Floral Designer

My thought process for starting my own business was trying to fill the gaps that I had experienced while working in the event industry. My goal is to provide an easy and helpful process for my clients. I am completely obsessed with flowers and passionate about providing the best experience possible. I want to be there for my clients and guide them through the whole design process- the first consultation to the big reveal. I also want them to know who I am personally so they can trust me to design and deliver the best product for their special day. My mission is to always bring my clients quality service and communication, and excellent design and creativity. I hope to help bring so much joy to the event itself, and hopefully they feel joy looking back on memories of the journey getting there too. Read more>>

Janet Havenga | Holistic Nutrition and Mindset Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher

Like many women, I have grown up around diets, eating disorders, and a multitude of expectations about body image and responsibility. Many stories guided my direction in and around a career in Health and Fitness but it is truly my own journey where I learned the missing link in the extremely loud world of what’s healthy and overstressing workouts. I like most struggled with my weight, diets worked while I was on them and workouts left me feeling sore with out much show of results A long story short, I discovered that until I could appreciate my body and myself for that matter I would forever be punishing and demanding more than my body and mind could deliver. bottom line, no one likes to work for a mean boss and that is what I was being to my body. It was about 10 full years of ups and downs and trial and error. The more I learned to nurture and not torture the healthier I became. I healed my body from PCOS, a hormone disorder that plagues thousands of women today and usually is accompanied by pre-diabetic conditions. I also healed my IBS, anxiety, and mild depression. Read more>>

Leza Carter | Founder, Tucson Village Farm

Prior to starting Tucson Village Farm (TVF), I had been working for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe teaching gardening and basic nutrition to kids, teens, and elders, both on the reservation and in the public elementary school adjacent to it. During my time with the tribe, I bore witness to the profound physical and mental health benefits of young people spending time out of doors: moving their bodies, digging, planting, learning, and eating healthy food. I learned through this experience that when kids have a hand in planting, cultivating, and caring for food crops, they eat them. Every time. It is such a simple formula and one that has the potential to prevent and reverse chronic diet-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. On the current trajectory in Arizona, one in three kids will suffer from type 2 diabetes and 57% will be obese by age 35. My vision was to shift this sobering trajectory to a much healthier one by getting kids out of doors and experiencing first hand that healthy food tastes good. And I wanted to do so on a much larger scale. Read more>>

Ruby Red | Content Creator

I knew that I didn’t want to work a 9-5 or for someone else eventually. It takes more work to do your own thing and start your own business, but that pay off is so much better in the end. Read more>>

Dr Robert Osborne | Physical Therapist and CrossFit Box Owner

As a physical therapist, I experienced a huge void in safe fitness programs that patients could transition into once they were out of pain. As a CrossFit coach, I experienced coaches who struggled with injury rates due to lack of knowledge and understanding of pain and movement. I decided to fill the white space and combine the best of both, a community based fitness program that is run by a physical therapists. Read more>>

Saro Hagobian | Swimming Pool Pro

I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Even though everyone in my family who owns and runs a small business did start out working for someone else prior to going off on their own, They all eventually decided that they wanted to venture off on their own and be in full control of their future. With that said, I made the decision to leave the restaurant industry and switch gears into a profession that would allow me to: A) Be my own boss, B) Allow me to work a Monday-Friday schedule without having to work nights and weekends ever again! At the time, I was in my mid 20’s and was picturing my life in 10 years. I asked my self: Do I want to get married? Yes. Do I want my own family? Yes. That was it for me. I knew that if I stayed in the restaurant industry, I would not be able to achieve my two main objectives, even though it meant taking a massive pay cut to start. I tool a leap of faith, bought my first pool route, gave my employer a 2 week notice and the rest is history. Read more>>