Our community is comprised of some absolutely brilliant entrepreneurs and so we asked a few of them to tell us the story of how they came up with the ideas for their business.

Abby Gagne | Owner/Photographer

I have been a professional wedding photographer for almost a decade. I had always done the occasional bridal boudoir photos for my clients on the morning of their weddings, but never did solely boudoir until just over a year ago. My neighbor had given me the idea to shoot boudoir full time, but it wasn’t until Covid suddenly took away all of my weddings that I truly entertained the idea of shooting boudoir full time. As I dove into the genre, I became more and more enthralled with everything that this genre does for women, as well as what it did for me as a woman. I identified to intensely with the need to feel the incredible empowerment that a boudoir session gives you. After having kids, reconnecting to that part of myself has been an intense struggle. I saw what these images was doing for my clients when they saw themselves like this, and I just wanted to do more for them. Read more>>

Jerry Lopatin | Music teacher, musician, educator, steel drum director, Shihan in Kurobayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate

In all truth, one cannot say that I in any way had a business. I taught elementary music for 36 years in the Phoenix area, 32 of them in the Deer Valley School District. I am now retired but continue to direct a community steel drum program. What I was able to accomplish was to create a self-funded music program for my school. This came about through the creation of a steel drum program which afforded music instruction and performance for our students on the Caribbean island instrument known as “pan” (steel drums) which was first created and under development on the island nation of Trinidad & Tobago in the early 1940’s. Read more>>

Mike Clevenger | Owner- Scottsdale Selfie

During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic I was furloughed like many Americans and it was during this time away that my daughters and I began talking about our futures and all the possibilities. My teenage daughters were active on a new social media outlet called TikTok and it was there that our idea was born. As we started watching so many people interacting there with what seemed like a continuous duel over who could come up with the most outrageous and eye-catching backgrounds for their videos, that was the lead into building our own photography studio. Read more>>

Geibral Elisha | Pianist

Since I was a child, I had dreams of becoming a musician, and I began playing a few private events here and there around 2011. This was also when I started putting out some of my own music as a demo cd, and online. Because of this, I got an opportunity to play the keyboard for a few valley artists. I had a good time and made some solid connections, but it wasn’t a good fit stylistically for all parties involved. My imaginative solos and chord choices weren’t appropriate for the type of music I was playing. This was my foot in the door with an indie show promotion company, which ended up leading to me playing my music. I had such a blast doing my own thing, which inspired me to play my music around town. Read more>>

Georgina E Lucas | Marketing and Social Media management

I’ve been in marketing for most of my career and knew it was were my talents are best used. Building on years of graphic design I wanted to keep in the field and grow with a online presence. I’m my prior position as a senior marketing manager for Marriott hotels I always knew social media was important but I never had the time to devote the attention it deserved. When I finally made the decision to open my own business, thanks to COVID, I wanted to take advantage of my love for a good image and match it with a compelling message. I knew people want to share their experiences and I could take that content and apply it to my clients needs making a win-win combination. I had seen what our prior agencies were doing and knew I could add the personal touch my clients needed. Read more>>

Carlyn Bushman | Business Consultant and Coach

I have over 30+ years in small business and corporate experience. Six years ago I decided to step back into small business and develop my own product based business. I would attend trade shows, trunk shows, special events to market and grow my business. As I was engaged in the small business world, most of my fellow businesses were female owned and operated. Read more>>

Amelia Windman | Creator or Divine Desert Grazing Boxes

I came up with the idea for my business after winning a grazing box in an Instagram giveaway by @goudaforthesoulaz actually! Seeing how beautifully she decorated her boxes and how excited I was to receive it really inspired me! I had been looking for a means of income during the pandemic with minimal face to face contact and this seemed perfect. I would be giving people something to look forward to and creating something special to really brighten their (or a loved ones) day! Read more>>

Delanie Christensen | Esthetician, Spray Tan & Lash Technician

Ever since I was young I had major insecurities about how pale I was. I was made fun of by friends and family members jokingly, but I took it to heart. I researched different ways to get yourself tan, and I discovered spray tans. I bought my first machine and all the supplies and started spray tanning myself. I then thought, I could do this as a business. I went through training and got recognized by the National Spray Tan Association. For the first two years of my business, I strictly only did tans. I fell in love with the beauty industry, and I wanted to do more, so I enrolled in esthetics school my senior year of high school. I went through esthetician school and started providing other services, such as, lashes, facials and waxing! Read more>>

Tiara Carroll Genai Lanae | Mother/Daughter GirlBoss/Kidpreneur

My daughter Genaī. She is the inspiration behind the idea for Amor of GLaM. She is a tough girly girl with three brothers and was always in my makeup. So I asked her if she wanted to make her own, and of course, she said, “yes”. She is a social butterfly, loves anything that sparkles, and has a very colorful imagination. So I wanted to create a brand that encapsulated all of that. As a nurse with a background in esthetics, I already had an extensive knowledge base in skincare. Read more>>

Karin Laniado | Kink.It Tattoo Artist & A Plus Size Model

For me Success means to get up every morning and keep doing what I love the most, Taking an idea and turn it into body art. I think that tattoos could significantly increase self esteem, in addition to boost up your confidence.
“Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life” Read more>>

David Navarrete | Video Director

I define it as, freedom, and inner happiness. To be able to exercise true success you need to have the freedom to do so. Free in all aspect of your life, financially, mentally and emotionally. Letting go of guilt and pain and understanding that they are what brings us closer to success. You also need to understand yourself enough to know where your true happiness comes from. If your happiness can be influenced by an external force then what ever path you are on is not true happiness. You need to find and grow that. Read more>>

Ryan Crandall | Chiropractic Physician

For me success is defined by my patients not needing to see me anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love my patients, but I want to educate them and give them the tools necessary to be successful in life. So much of rehabilitation is performed outside the clinic. I explain to people that I am just a guide, pointing people in the right direction. I know I’ve done my job when a patient has a better understanding of their body and how to manage their symptoms. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Lockwood | Artist and clothing brand owner

During a worldwide pandemic, the online clothing business boomed. Many different artists, from all walks of life, had time during lockdown to create even more art, many of which started selling their art, whether it be prints or cosplays, or clothing. With alternative type clothing brands like mine, the internet saw more brands forming. There is a lot of competition when it comes to any sort of t-shirt or design business, but what keeps people going is knowing that they’ve created a community of people that are die hard fans of your brand. Read more>>

Cheyenne Traficante | Blogger/Content Creator

This question hits hard because so many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve been a blogger/content creator for 4 years now and it’s not easy. It’s not even close to easy. So many people think we don’t put in work but it’s the complete opposite and sometimes it can be very overwhelming. Actually, most of the time. I have two littles and I’m pregnant with my 3rd currently. Being a mother, content creator, blogger and wife takes a toll. Sometimes you wonder “is this even worth it anymore?” “How do I continue to blog/create content when I feel like it’s just not worth the stress anymore?” The truth is, my kids see how hard I work, my followers know how hard I work. Read more>>

Brooke Roe | Founder & CEO, Creative Influencer

One of my favorite quotes is “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” If a situation no longer brings me joy, it’s time to change it by either letting it go or persevering through the hurdle. There are plenty of challenges that can be overcome with a change in perspective, the help of a friend, some newfound insight, or plain old hard work. That said, too often in my life, I’ve clung to things for longer than necessary, or worked tirelessly to change a situation or a relationship when it was simply time to let it go. Lately, I’m working on turning inward at times of indecision. I find myself constantly dropping ideas, obligations, thoughts, roles, and even relationships that no longer serve me. When I use joy as my guiding compass, things flow. There are still plenty of challenges, but I find myself dancing in the storm, rather than swept up by it. Read more>>