Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Janell James | Artist

Since I always wanted to be an artist, there was no other way to go about it than to jump in feet first. In order for me to have my first studio sale I had to have a state business license. This was the reality check that helped me realize I was now in business for myself. I exhibited my first solo show in my studio space a few months after getting my business license in 2009. Read more>>

Todd Middleman | Band leader and Van Driver

When i looked at the local entertainment market i felt strongly that there was a niche waiting to be filled. In order to stand out from the many talented local bands that were currently playing and in a time when Programs like The Voice and American Idol were ruling the airwaves it was clear to me that an interactive band would be a big hit. Read more>>

Tate Hamilton | Artist

I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Many family members have been self employed through many generations. I had a rock and roll band in high school and this was my first experience at running my own business. This eventually led to many other endeavors throughout my life from other bands to a maintenance business to an automobile paint touch up business and then eventually my current business and passion which is oil painting. Read more>>

Casey Cheuvront | Artist

I have wanted to do what I am doing for most of my life. I have always found a way to bring something creative into daily living; art, dance, music, cooking, crafts; but always subject to (sometimes grueling) full time work schedules. I am fortunate to now have the time and financial support to have transitioned into full time painting and teaching. Read more>>

Angelique Overton | Founder Lipwear Beauty Brand

There comes a point in one’s life where you stop and think, why I am here? Is this all there is to life. Going to work and doing the same thing over and over. Read more>>

Ron Elliott | Architectural Designer

I felt that I had something to share and something to offer creatively, that I was not able to fully express while working for others and pursuing their designs. I had more to give, and I needed to find an outlet. It had always been the plan to go off on my own. Read more>>

Tahj Coney | Business Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was very difficult at first. At times, I always had an idea of what I wanted to do for a living but never actually put forth an effort to go deeper than just an idea to manifest it. It wasn’t that I was being lazy but simply because I was just afraid of the unknown and of moving into a place where I would have more responsibilities than I had already had. Read more>>

Kayla Windsor | Cinematographer & Filmmaker

I think that most filmmakers are entrepreneurs at heart. We all, kind of, don’t mix well with the 9-5 life and the idea of owning your own schedule and business is the goal. I started my business as a freelance contractor in the film industry because I knew from a young age that I was born to tell stories. Read more>>

Kiamesha Guy | Owner & Director of Operations

The history and vision behind the start-up of Quiet Waters Maternity Spa and Wellness Center, PLLC explains the process of starting my own business. In 2005 while on Active Reserve for the US Navy, I decided to pursue a career in Natural Health. My 1st step was to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. Read more>>