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.

Melissa Minichini | Elle Austen Photography

The biggest part of my life & my heart are my daughters. Everly + Emmy. But a big chunk of my life is being a heart mom. A medical mom. And when my first daughter was born with a life-threatening heart condition, my life + my world stopped. Everything + anything that brought me joy was put on hold so I could be everything I needed to be, for her. After Everly had open heart surgery at 6 mos old, I began therapy + my healing process. Read more>>

Dax Hamman | Entrepreneur, and supporter of business owners

Small business owners face a real problem. They need basic marketing to work for them or their businesses, and therefore their goals, might fail. Yet they frequently get overcharged by agencies and let down by contractors. We created FIRESIDE to solve that exact problem, and ensure they have access to reliable, affordable marketing. Read more>>

Emma Atterbury | Artist

I have been creating art all my life to some degree. I went to school for studio art and I learned some valuable skills. but when I left college, I found it difficult to find a job that suited a way that I wanted to portrayed my art. I worked a few unrelated 9-5 jobs for years and was running my business on the side but it was just very small events and commissions for fun for a long time. But when the pandemic hit, like many people work ceased, and I decided I would take seize the moment to pursue what I really envisioned. Read more>>

Nikki McComsey | Flower Farmer

Our business, Gather Mountain Blooms, was built with my two sisters. This flower farm started in my back yard after I had suffered a concussion that carried with it awful migraines. I had to quit my job working at a nonprofit and the loss of my identity in my work was really difficult. But it also allowed me to see life for what it really is – and we aren’t defined by our work, or even our thoughts or emotions. Read more>>

Hannah Browning | Florist

I worked under a couple of extremely talented, kind, and hard working florists who taught me so much. Working under them planted the seed of my love to create with floral design, but through the years another seed was planted. I grew a deep desire to be creating my own designs. Working under another florist you’re bringing their vision and design inspiration to life. I had so many ideas of things that I wanted to try out and see if I could bring the vision in my head to life with flowers, and I knew the only way I could do this freely and without restraint was branching off on my own. Read more>>

Katie Kurpanek | Coach, Podcaster, Mama

I left the world of classroom teaching in 2019 with a gut feeling that it was time for a change, but I wasn’t yet sure what that looked like. Meanwhile, I had begun sharing “zero waste” tips through my Instagram in 2017 just for fun and kept receiving a lot of positive feedback, interest, and questions. LOTS of questions. The more I learned about how to live sustainably, the more I realized there is a big lack of accessible education around these topics, at least in my area. Read more>>

Kelsey Weigl | Surface Pattern Designer and Licensed Artist

Freelance Graphic Design has always been a part of my life, even alongside full-time work. I enjoy working one-on-one with a client to make a new brand package, digital assets and/or print materials. When my kids were little and at home with me, it was a great way for me to have a creative outlet and an income stream. And the flexibility to work odd and fluctuating hours. And of course it is fun to watch businesses grow because of the work you contributed! Read more>>

Robert Houston II | International Hip Hop Recording Artist & Entrepreneur

My business started organically from being a popular hip hop artist in the region. It was a natural progression to open a recording studio, throw concerts/festivals and build a content/media company. Read more>>

Christine Frey | Shamanic Reiki practitioner and Trauma Informed Yoga Instructor

I have overcome quite a lot of adversity in my life and I have learned many coping skills that I now use to help people in many challenging situations. Many of my clients are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse, human trafficking, addiction and recovery. Teaching exercise for over 30 years, including trauma informed yoga that I currently teach for the amazing survivors I have the honor to work with is a blessing to me. Read more>>

Heather Sackrison | Podcast Manager and Consultant

I needed to make money… That is honestly the reason I got into the entrepreneurial life. In 2020, it became increasingly apparent that my daughter would need private school and therapy. She had been diagnosed autistic, and while I had planned to homeschool, I wasn’t able to give her the help that she needed by myself. Therapy and private school are expensive! I needed to bring in some extra cash if we were going to be able to give her the education that she needed. Read more>>

John Moler | Wedding Photographer

I really wanted to be in charge of myself. Growing up my father ran his own business and I always admired that and wanted to eventually do the same. Read more>>

Chrystina Turner | Yoga Instructor & Certified Doula

Now having gained over 10 years of experience working for a variety of companies all with different backgrounds (ex: Nursing, Administration, Transportation, Sales, Food services, etc.), I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to work for anyone else. This decision ultimately manifested my new journey of wellness and certification as a 200hr RYT Yoga Instructor, which has now led to my ongoing 4 years experience bringing the joy and movement that is yoga to people all over the world. Read more>>

Kori Hall | CEO

The thought process behind starting my business was having trendy options for kids my age. Kids my age really don’t have a lot of options that cater to just us, also trends come and go very quickly. That was my goal to give unique options. Read more>>

Alexondria Bennefield | Vegan & Allergy-Friendly Baker

Hello everyone!! My name is Xan and I am the Founder and baker for Benne’s Sweet Treats. I’d like to share my journey with you about why I decided to start making allergy-friendly treats. One of my main reasons is because I have several allergy-sensitive, vegan, and vegetarian family members. I also remember there was a completely separate table at my school for kids with allergies and I always felt it was horrible that they were made to sit in isolation because of something that they had no control over. Read more>>

Jessica Sato | Business Startup Strategist and TEDx Speaker Coach

Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I started the business I wish had been available when I was just starting out. When I left corporate life and started my first business, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I could have used someone to guide me through the ins and outs of business, someone to help me lay proper business foundations and really dig into who I was trying to serve and what I wanted to offer. Read more>>

Crystal Cheadle | Skincare Therapist & Encourager

I wanted to offer services in a way that put “healing” first. I wanted people and my love for the healed heart to motivate my efforts. I’ve watched and worked in places where the business was first, and the client was actually only thought of with the dollar sign as the motivating force. I wanted something more. In word and in deed. So here I am. Loving, creating, and successful in doing what I love with people who are drawn to that like-mindedness. Skin care and energy healing just called to me unlike anything else ever has. I’m energized by skin care. I’m called to help in healing. That’s why I wanted Crystal’s Complexions. Read more>>

Tammi Relyea | Founder, BRA-sériē

The evolution of the bra has changed over time, however I realized there was a lacking of stylish innovation specifically towards the actual bra strap. At some point, there was the invention of the “invisible” bra strap. Most women would agree that clear bra straps made out of plastic wasn’t necessarily a step in the right direction. Fashion trends come and go but what I’ve noticed is many women of all ages enjoy showing their shoulders. Read more>>

Jaimie Medina | Cosmetologist (Waxer)

I have always prided myself on my work ethic. I always loved my job and made it a priority in my life to be successful at whatever I did. I worked for someone else my whole life and one day realized how much I brought to the table vs. how much I brought home. I think starting under someone else in my industry is crucial. You work with tons of wonderful people on different walks of life, you get to grow a clientele and learn so much about how the industry works. The ins and out of a beauty business. My thought was “ this is my next goal” to start my own. Keep moving up! Read more>>

Brendan Kennedy | Founder & CEO of NxTSTOP

I’ve spent my life traveling the world for work and most importantly to explore. Over time I began asking myself what I could wear to make travel easier. I only travel with a carry-on, I wear the same thing on the plane each time, and try to maximize the number of outfits for any given situation. At the same time, I am super passionate about the environment, and I realized there’s no brand out there focused on travelers and sustainability. NxTSTOP was born as the idea to bring these two concepts together — the world’s most versatile travel apparel that could be more eco-friendly. Read more>>