We had the good fortune of connecting with Anela Tayan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anela, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When I think about risk, I think about how uncomfortable decisions can influence greater outcomes. The last few years of my life have been driven on the possibility of successful and not-so successful risks. Prior to starting my career journey in Arizona, I didn’t take many risks. To be fair, I didn’t have many options to pursue in my previous location. Small town in a small state. Feeling limited to the paths I could take – a family member of mine who at the time I wasn’t too familiar with – offered me a place to live. A new door to start over. I barely knew this family member, but I jumped shipped and went for it. I told myself that I will try just about anything in this new place I now call home. I started to volunteer a lot, took odd jobs, and somehow found myself working as a personal assistant for a big time contemporary artist from NYC. Then the pandemic hit, and soon followed a huge wave of depression. I had to break out of it. I started to reach out to creatives. I did a few photoshoots, and worked with a couple small businesses. I just kept saying “yes”, and being open to new ventures. What started out as modeling, turned into acting, and representing local Arizona small businesses. It became overwhelming at times. Meeting tons of new people, and putting myself out there in ways I didn’t do beforehand. Within my first year of modeling, I completed over 175+ photoshoots. I developed a personal brand for myself. Better yet – a community. Magazine publications, music videos, interviews, and lots of commercial modeling. As someone who struggles with social anxiety, I was consistently challenging my inner demons. I can definitely say it was all worth it. I continue to take risks, and I don’t think I will ever stop doing so. What am I currently doing? I am still modeling, running a dog sitting business with my partner called Cactus Paws, digital marketing, volunteering, etc. I am a big believer that life is filled with opportunities, and it’s our responsibility to utilize them.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am one of the cofounders of Cactus Paws. A couple-owned, family-run dog sitting business with over 10 years of experience. What sets us apart from other dog sitters and/or boarding facilities? We are focused on one-on-one care and love. We take pride in knowing that our clients can have a peace of mind when their dog is in our care. Within just a few months of running our business, we have accumulated over 50 reoccurring clients. We have established a friendship with each one of our clients, and a bond with their dog(s). We are committed to serving our community. It takes time to build these bonds, but they are the type of bonds that will last a lifetime. We absolutely love what we do, and we are always expanding our knowledge. We get to consistently work with new personalities, breeds, training methods, and diets for all ages. Dogs make us happy. They bring us joy. It never feels like work. As we continue to grow our brand and our pack — we want every dog owner to know we got your back! We offer overnight care (in your own), dog boarding, and daytime sitting. We are here to nurture your dog(s) to the best of our abilities. Stay up-to-date with us on social media! Our shop and meet-up dates are set to launch this holiday season.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I have to spend my money anywhere – it’s going to be with a small business. I am all about supporting small businesses in Arizona! I’m talking local food trucks, boutiques, live music, and scoping out scenic hotspots. The Valley has so many different vendor markets you can visit such as; Ivy & Sage Home and Lifestyle Co. (located in Gilbert, Arizona). Speaking of vendors! You can’t miss out on all of the farmers markets taking place during the weekends. You can find one just about in any town here. It’s amazing! It’s a great way to be social and it keeps our community thriving. Are you an early bird and like to get outside? I highly suggest any hiking trails in-and-around the Superstition Mountain range – east of Phoenix (located in Gold Canyon, Arizona). The views are gorgeous and the history is intriguing. Take your time when passing through – you might miss something.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to take a moment to recognize my partner, Traigen. He has continuously encouraged and supported me through every single obstacle I’ve came across. I would also like to thank my family, and close friends. Last but not least, I am incredibly thankful for all the amazing creatives, small business owners, and supporters I have met along the way.

Website: www.anelatayan.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/anelatayan

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anela-tayan-4166291b5/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anelarosetayan

Other: https://www.facebook.com/cactuspaws https://www.instagram.com/cactuspawsphx

Image Credits
Stephanie Alexandra Photo (@stephaniealexandraphoto on IG), Vibrant Portraits Studio LLC (@vibrant_portraits on IG), Photography by Lexi Allen (@photoshraphybylexiallen), and Michelle Herrick (@michelleherrickphoto on IG).

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.