We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Chris McKleroy | CEO and Designer

When looking at the binocular market, I realized there was a huge gap and what I was looking for to what I wanted. Having just exited a speaker business founded on disruptive principles I realize that I had a tool kit to apply the same binoculars. The industry was ripe for a younger more open offering and furthermore they were not many small compact binoculars with high quality optics that we’re reaching the needs of the younger outdoor community. Based on this brand gap and product gap I decided that this was a worthwhile endeavor. Read more>>

Destiny Brown | Entrepreneur, Event Organizer and Model

I have always loved to help people and facilitate them with finding their passion, boosting their confidence and making them feel included. That is the main reason why Sultan Elixir was created was to do just that but on a larger scale and through a business that can impact more lives. I’m a strong believer in going after the things you want and I always knew that starting a business was something I wanted in life. Read more>>

François and Ben | ROSSER / LEBEAU Photography

We’ve been working on our own personal stuff for a few years already, François has mainly been traveling a lot shooting for outdoor brands, and Ben in the event coverage and portrait side of photography in NYC. Over the years, we’ve been very appreciative of each others work, sharing the same vision, esthetic, and approach. Not to mention our long-lasting friendship. Read more>>

Sam Schild | Writer & Adventure

I wanted to inspire others to get outside and experience this beautiful world we live in. So, I created a copywriting business to use my abilities as a writer and creative to do this. Now I work with outdoor brands and publications, using my outdoor experience to help them craft a message that inspires their audience. Even when working with clients outside the outdoor space, my experience as a human-powered adventurer helps me craft a message that moves their audience to action. Read more>>

Brittany Russell | Candle Maker & Explorer

Initially I think my thought process was quite the same as most people who have started their own business, to work for yourself and not have to rely on anyone else for your income or give your time away to things that don’t spark passion in you. However, it wasn’t until I moved to Colorado did I really find my reason and process behind my business. Read more>>

Jaylee Flowers | Western Lifestyle Photographer

You know what they say, “If you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.” I have always had a passion for capturing candid, special moments in peoples lives. So, I decided to make a living doing what I love! Read more>>

Sally Kuzemchak | Registered Dietitian & Author

I was already a successful freelance writer focusing on nutrition and a registered dietitian. Then I had two children and realized that feeding kids was a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. When I went online to seek solace, I found that many blogs written by fellow dietitians made it sound easy. Too easy. All of my mom-friends were struggling. Even with a bunch of fancy initials after my name, I was struggling too.  Read more>>

Heidi Schaer | Co-Owner of Yardables

My husband and I have always wanted to start our own business. Working together and being able to focus on our family has always been the goal. We have just been trying to decide on the right business to move forward with. The idea of Yardables came from my husband being an inflatable decoration enthusiast and maybe a bit obsessed. One day I thought, if we are going to keep buying them, then we should make them a rental business. Read more>>

Erin Nyahay | Owner, Wildest Dreams Party Co (Happy Glamper Parties)

My family moved from New York to Colorado in the summer of 2018. After getting my kids settled into their new lives it was time for me to figure out what my new life was going to look like. I have a degree in fashion merchandising and had previously worked in fashion and after having my kids worked in the restaurant industry for several years. I knew I wanted to do something different. To be honest opening my own business had never really crossed my mind but the more I thought about it the more I was excited about it. Read more>>

Katon Patel | Founder, Aspen Grove Tea Co | Vail, Colorado Realtor®

To provide the CBD industry with a transparent product with clear sourcing and benefits. We wanted to ensure we weren’t riding the wave of hype behind generating quick profits, but rather, to be a trusted resource for all customer types ranging from experienced Cannabis users to people who were genuinely interested in CBD but hadn’t found a place for education alongside product sales. Read more>>

Danielle Epstein | Owner & Founder of Canatoo

There are three aspects of my personality that led to me creating this business. First, I am obsessed with interior design (I think I was the only 5 year old who preferred HGTV over cartoons). Second, I love to make things myself. It’s an incredible feeling to make something out of nothing! And last, I have expensive taste but I’m very budget conscious. Read more>>

Anthony Deleon | Innovator & Entrepreneur

I’ve always been a craftsman, even as an adolescent. I was fortunate enough to find my way in the signage and lighting industry at a young age and after working nearly 15 years for my former employer, learning the industry top to bottom, I identified that I wanted to achieve something greater. I wanted to give back. Working with my hands brings life to the company, joy to our clients and gratification to my heart. Read more>>

Gretchen Blase | Associate Broker, Realtor

I decided to start my own business in real estate after years of teaching high school math. I had come to a point in my teaching career where I was craving a change. I needed to find a new path that would use my skills but provide new challenges and a different pace. I had been thinking about the possibility of real estate because my dear friend and neighbor had her own real estate team and I had been watching her career. One morning in 2017, we were having coffee on my back porch and I told her I needed a new direction with my career and she said, “Gretchen, you would be a great realtor. Teachers make awesome realtors.” Read more>>

Albert Cannon | Rapper/Producer/Writer/Director/Actor

In the beginning, I just wanted to do music and be an artist but as my career started to grow, I needed services that I knew nothing about and didn’t know where to get any of them. So, I begin to study and learn how to do more and more. I eventually knew how to do so many things that I realized that I am able to help people and teach people. I grew to learn there is a title for everything in business and my title is “C.E.O.”. Read more>>

Sarah | Hank the Rescue’s Mom

Hank is such a silly, sweet, cute fur baby, and we have been driven since this beginning of our work as content creators by the goal of using our platform to spread smiles and joy in the doom and gloom world we live in right now. This has become a creative outlet that has brightened so many people’s days, and we can’t wait to hit our eventual goal of continuing our small business into a merch store where we plan to raise money for rescues and shelters across the country that our followers help select! Read more>>

Asya Toney | Entrepreneur and Performer

I created American Pharaoh Productions because I was tired of seeing ethnic stories told from non-ethnic view points. As a Black queer woman, I am constantly being told about and shown my experience through a tainted lense. From the point of view of people who never have nor will experience life the way I do. As an artist and creative, I know the power of art and I know the importance of telling ones story through ones own eyes. Read more>> 

Hannah Rubin | CEO and Founder of Half Baked Bus

“Half Baked Bus” was inspired by my desire to create a company “for the HIPPIE in all of us.” I bought a 1960’s vintage 32 foot bus on Craigslist. I had a plan to convert the red bus into a green and black hippie Half Baked Bus. What started as a bus became our company mascot and inspired our products and event offerings. The Half Baked Bus became the model for a mobile made in North America smoke shop and an emblem of van life. Read more>>

Hunter Wilson | Producer/Audio Engineer

I’ve had a dying urge in me since I was a child to be something and do something bigger and better in my life. I’ve always been the kind of guy that really wanted to work hard, but never told what to do and how to do it. I started Oracle Sound Studios with first and foremost a love and passion for music and engineering. Read more>>

Hanna Lambert | student and business owner

I have thought about having and starting my own business for a longer time period and finally realized it in March 2021. I´m a very creative person and for me personally I always liked designing my own cards. First, I did it for myself just for fun I designed cards for my wall and then for my family or friends for example when a birthday came up or a getting well card for a sick friend. It became more and more I did cards for anniversaries, Read more>>

Stella Carakasi | Cofounder & Chief Design Officer

When my business partners and I started our first clothing brand in 1993, the biggest driver was the realization that the fashion industry needed to be transformed which to this day remains our focus. Back then, we were obsessed with sustainability and I am very proud to say that we were early eco-fashion disruptors. It is so encouraging to witness how far the fashion industry has come in embracing sustainability but there is a lot more to do. Read more>>