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.

Janet Neustedter | Functional Medicine Health Coach

I am passionate about what I put in my body and making sure that it is great for me. As I learned going through my certification more and more about healthy vs non healthy foods, I knew I could help people get better and be healthy. Too many Americans are sick, overweight, unhappy and they don’t know why. I help people connect the dots. Read more>>

Jillian Kimberlin | Camping and Hiking Enthusiast

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a business per-se, more like a hobby! I decided to start my own channel because I found there weren’t too many people who filmed hiking and camping trips in Arizona, and I love watching those! I decided to start my own channel to film my own adventures in Arizona, and have fun along the way! I love camping and hiking, especially up near the Grand Canyon area. The Grand Canyon has millions of visitors per year (well, a usual year, anyways), so I knew there would be interest there for other visitors to see what it’s like beforehand, and they can view my videos, too. Read more>>

John Roll Jr | C.F.O. and Coffee Roaster

People have generally allowed coffee to become a necessary burden rather than something that can be a truly enjoyable part of their morning or mid-afternoon routine. Rather than accept that as realty, we sought to steer the mentality behind coffee towards that of a luxury, premium experience rather than mud in a mug. Read more>>

Carrie-Joy Neal | Owner & Lead Esthetician

I started Counter Culture Esthetics in 2018, after finding the typical “spa culture” too restrictive, and stale. I’ve loved skincare since I was a teenager, but noticed that most skincare clinics were cut and paste copies of each other in terms of aesthetic, and weren’t as inclusive for ethnic skin tones as I would’ve liked. Overwhelmingly spas are lush and glamour, or bamboo and sound bowls, and have menus that are riddled with services that are inappropriate for black and brown skin. I was of the belief that those environments, while perfectly tailored for certain parts of society, left others feeling on the fringe, excluded and unwelcome. I set out to build a space that was creative, unique, inviting and where melanin rich skin types could feel safe booking any service. The development of our studio began with loads of self learning, as the general aesthetics curriculum left gaping holes, when it came to ethnic skin education. Scouring dermatology books, consulting with Physician’s, and teaching myself ancient. Read more>>

Leah Hall | Leah Hall | Brand + Marketing Strategist

My thought process behind opening my business was engineered by a strong desire to be more intentional with my time + to help other women that desire to be successful without sacrificing their families or themselves. After ten years in one corporation – I became very ill due to stress + obstacles that we now know many Black and People of Color face every day silently. As a mother of small children + partner of over 12 years, my business was the solution to not only my growth and healing – but it gave me the space to support other women as they began to build their business so they could reach their goals. Read more>>

Paul Jeffrey | Custom Furniture Designer and Manufacturing

Growing up my dad said to me often, “son I don’t want you to grow up to take a job, I want you to grow up to make a job” My dad planted a seed that at a certain time would sprout. Economic circumstances would be such that I would realize the need to be an example to my community who had died on the vine, economically due to brain drain, due to the negative side effects of affirmative action. Growing up I watched the demise of Detroit, the mecca of American ingenuity and manufacturing might disappear. Little did I know that watching a proud working-class community crumble from the loss of their ability to buy a home and support their family by crafting things with their hands, would fertilize the seed my dad planted. After college however, I went to work for Ford Motor as a concept car designer. Although I was well paid and afforded me some level of prestige, creatively that environment was confining. After a few years, I quit in search of more meaning to my life. During that search my father’s words sprouted and so I set out to be a manufacturer of artistic, expressive modern furniture. Read more>>