It takes a lot more than an idea to build a business, but there can’t be a business without the idea. So we asked folks who’ve built wonderful businesses to tell us about how they came up with the idea in the first place.

Stephanie Fossum | Med Spa Practice Manager, LSO

From a young age, I’ve had a passion for beauty and aesthetics. I originally chose a career path in nursing to fulfill my need to care for people. One of my first jobs was in a senior living facility and my patients would love when I had extra time to pamper them. It was an easy decision when I realized that I could combine both my medical background and my love of aesthetics to build a full service wellness center. I wanted to build a company where both men and women receiving services would leave the spa feeling like the best version of themselves. When picking a location, I wanted the spa to be easily accessible for my patients which I was able to achieve in an upscale location right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Read more>>

Mike Miller | Principal at Camelback Hospitality

How did you come up with the idea for your business? You hear these things all the time…..but it really did come to me in the shower, well, the name at least. S. Maranto’s isn’t just the name of the Scottsdale restaurant project I am working on, it also happens to be my late grandfathers name. My grandfather Sam Maranto, born in 1926, was the son of first generation Italian immigrants from Cefalu, Sicily. In 1948, Sam opened a Texas Italian Restaurant celebrating authentic and approachable favorites. This institution still stands today after over 70 years in business! Read more>>

Edwin Canfield | Cactus Breath AZ LLC

Since I was a child, I’ve always enjoyed visiting unique places and shops while traveling. Places off the beaten path with their own special feel and vibe that gave the visitor a uncommon experience. So having a place like that has always appealed to me. After many years of working a “regular” job, I decided to pursue that dream. I didn’t really know how I would exactly make it happen, but was determined to give it a shot. While traveling for my “regular” job from Phoenix to Las Vegas, I made a stop in the old mining town of Chloride, AZ one evening. I was immediately smitten with the “living ghost town” and began looking into how I could a open my own shop there. Read more>>

Maria Vassett Chad Day | Owners of The Salted Knot

We started The Salted Knot during the 2020 pandemic after the music industry shut down. As a concert photographer for 12 years, I have been honored to be the house photographer for Live Nation and Celebrity Theatre, along with shooting for such publications as Rolling Stone, Arizona Republic, and others. So when the concerts stopped, I stopped. I was lucky to still have my job working with young adults on the Gila River reservation. But things changed, as they did for everyone. Chad has taught English at MCC for years, and then took a position in the Writing Center. After COVID hit, he lost his regular schedule, so we had to change things up fast. Read more>>

Erica Marquez | Studio Owner & Aerial Flight Instructor

I had been stuck in a rut personally and was completely unhappy with my body and everything I saw in the mirror. I had used aerial as a self care option in a past life and when the pandemic shut down the world I brought out my old yoga trapeze and started playing around again. It wasn’t long before I started to see results and decided to get certified to teach. It was the restrictions on gyms and yoga studios that led me to opening a mobile outdoor studio that allowed people an opportunity to care for themselves in a fun way and reap the benefits of being outdoors. Read more>>

Leeanne Gardner | Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker

Inspired by her lifelong love of horses and the realization that too many people she encountered struggled to answer the question “What lights you up?”, Leeanne Gardner left the corporate world and founded Unbridle IT, LLC in 2008 with her beloved equine partners, Sassy and Romeo. Her original mission was to help people tap into their true potential, unlock a long-lost passion and pass along the lessons she had learned through her work with horses… the importance of authenticity, the necessity of perseverance, and the value of resilience. Read more>>

Shawna Coronado | Wellness Lifestyle, Anti-inflammatory Cookbook & Organic Gardening Author and Advocate

People often ask me how the heck I became a garden and wellness writer and flipped it into my full-time career. The answer is truly “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. My local community newspaper in Illinois approached me because the editor thought my mailbox garden was pretty and asked me if I would write a gardening column. I had never written professionally before, but began a bi-monthly column. The more I gardened and wrote about gardening, the more I realized that gardening has a LOT to do with staying well. There is a direct connection between touching the soil and better health. Read more>>