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.

Meg Mag (Magdaleno) | Artist, Therapist & Blogger

Part fashion house, part at-home art studio, and 100% my own home renovations, The House of Mag was named after my own life. Naming my business after my own house and home was easy. I love homemaking and home repairs. With a background in interior design, and a natural bent towards homemaking, my business is really a collections of everything I love under one roof. The House of Mag is the posh equivalent of “Meg Magdaleno’s house.” The name idea came to me while I was engaged and flying from Philadelphia to Phoenix to marry my high school sweetheart. My business is truly a conglomeration of all the aspects of my life! I share my take on mental and spiritual health, while sharing my DIY, interior projects, and abstract art for purchase. Read more>>

Russ Perry | Founder & CEO

The idea came from trying to scratch my own itch in business. I was consulting, and was having a hard time finding creative help for my clients that was affordable, scalable, and fast. So, I set out to create it myself. I found some team members and started testing the processes of how this concept would work. Initially, it was pretty under the radar — my clients didn’t even realize how we were completing their design work. From there, I realized that it was a seamless, easy process, and began testing how I could scale it to other teams, entrepreneurs, and marketers. Design Pickle was born. The name comes from my love of pickles, and, well, because the domain was available. There really wasn’t a complex branding strategy around that decision, but it seems to work! Read more>>

Jamie Seeker | Business Operations Consultant

Before starting Seeker Solution, I had been in business operations my entire career. I managed budgets, people, processes, customer service, schedules, etc. for multiple departments and locations. In the last job I had where I worked for someone else, I managed their medical practice and worked closely with vendor accounts and business relationships for the practice as well as networked with other business owners. In those circles I was always treated as a peer and respected as the mastermind behind the medical practice, even though I wasn’t a fellow business owner. It was in those circles that I realized for the first time that I was no different from them and that they looked to me for my opinions and advice just as much as I respected them for theirs. Read more>>

Ariela HaLevi | Intuitive Guide and Energy Healer

I would love to tell you about my business and why I am so passionate about guiding women in midlife. My healing and guiding practice, Soul Centered, is a spiritual center for individuals seeking meaning, purpose and healing in the Afternoon of Life (midlife and beyond). Soul Centered was created to provide a place for anyone seeking to consciously face the crossroads of midlife and courageously journey through the Afternoon of Life. People often think of women in the midst of a midlife crisis as something to be feared, hopeless and hormonal, wrinkled and forgotten, and lost and lonely. It is often seen as a time when bodies change, when our emotions feel like a constant roller coaster, and our relationships go through loss, upheavals and a we experience bouts of crying and rage. However, midlife is an awakening, and an opening to true healing for any woman (and man). The Afternoon of Life (as Carl Jung coined it), is a time of FIRE. Read more>>

Sherry Eklund | Teen Strong, Founder & Teen Girl Advocate

I’m going to step back in time a little bit, 14 years ago my husband and I started an aerial photography business, which we have absolutely loved, (we love flying, we love working together) however, for a variety of reasons, over the past few years we have slowly been phasing out of the business; and that led me to an opportunity to re-invent myself and change my path and personal journey. It was about 3 years ago that I started hearing and reading about situations that were occurring all in a short period of time, each having the same theme…a situation which was due to teens not knowing what resources were available to them and how to access them. I also became very aware of the teen suicide problem in the state of Arizona, especially in the East Valley, where we live. As I did the research, I found that there really wasn’t one place for teens to go to get resources designated just for them. Read more>>

Becky van Dijk | Founder & Blogger

When I started We Are Travel Girls, I had a career in banking in London and had recently taken 6 months off to travel through South America. The break from my banking career had inspired me to start brainstorming business ideas in the travel space to fulfill my desire to have a more creative outlet and potentially create something that would allow me to leave my banking role for good! In 2015 I came up with the idea for We Are Travel Girls early one morning on a trip to Scotland, I had been searching for a female travel community or group and could not find anything in my age range, so without a plan in place I quickly came up with a name (within 3 minutes of the idea!), bought the web domain and started an Instagram account! Over the next few months, I fleshed out ideas and goals for the community and in early 2016 my friend Vanessa Rivers joined me to start the travel blog with the mission to create a go-to travel blog for women, created by women! Read more>>

Liz Hernandez | Founder

I’ve envisioned an online art venture for a long time and the launching of the website for ARTEZONA Gallery is a manifestation of my vision and love of art. My vision for ARTEZONA Gallery is rooted in my experience as a past owner of two “bricks and mortar” galleries—one in Tucson and one in Scottsdale—where I learned the art business and honed my skills for identifying the technical and creative strengths of a work of art. Artists are among my favorite people. An important part of my curatorial process has always been to visit each artist’s studio to discover common ground. I love the personal interaction and the opportunity to discuss ideas, concepts, materials, techniques, and art direction. Studio visits also allow for a deeper understanding of each other’s goals and expectations. Read more>>

Ira Latham | Co-founder & Chief Product Owner

My co-founder and I met in our MBA program at the University of Arizona. We always talked about starting a business and the importance of small local businesses over large national, or international businesses for local economies. Early in our MBA program, I had a professor that said, “on average, a person has two $1 million dollar ideas a year. The issue is actually executing on the idea and following through.” That stuck with me through the program and even now. In our last class of the program, my soon to be co-founder and I were working on a project for a marketing class where we came up with the rough idea to our business concept. It took a lot of iterations, reaching out to potential clients for feedback and testing our service offering. Lastly, we took a little of the Steve Jobs playbook and approach. Read more>>

Sue Schurgin | Certified Specialist of Wine

I’ve always been a wine lover. My vacations were centered around traveling to wine regions and my spare time frequently included wine and beer education classes. Sedona and the Verde Valley had many group tour buses that mostly went to the Page Springs vineyard area, (We have over four different vineyard areas in the Verde Valley) but no tour company specializing in personalizing tours to a clients tastes while introducing them to the best and unique wines, beers and whiskeys that Arizona offers and having the availability to travel to all of the vineyards and tasting rooms in the area. Read more>>