Most of the media often paints all businesses with a single stroke, but in our experience businesses are each unique and so many of them are focused on making the world a better place. We’ve highlighted a few such gems below.

John Marshall | Silhouette Artist & Orphan Advocate

My Sunset Selfies are a way for me to get away from the computer each day and play a little bit. I do them for fun. The fact that so many people around the world also enjoy them is a huge bonus for me. I love adding a small amount of surprise or beauty or humor to the Internet. People need more of that. My work with Teach Her has a more direct social impact as we are providing college education to orphaned girls. But it’s not as linear as that. Yes, we are teaching them, but as I’ve seen: they are teaching us…about compassion, about getting involved, about making a different. Which is something we all need more of as well. It certainly has made a dramatic change in my own life. Basically, in both cases, I work as a storyteller. And stories have the power to change the world. If an image or a blog post or a video I create can reach someone at an emotional level, then I have done my job. Read more>>

Recker Eans | Musician

I feel my business/brand helps the community by bringing us all together. Music is everywhere. That’s one thing everyone has in common, maybe not the genre, but its everywhere. In my case, I love that I can play music and have those moments of happiness and rocking out, but also use my music to raise money and awareness for organizations that I am proud of. (Arizona Burn Foundation, Foster Kids AZ, Anti-bullying and Christmas Angels). Read more>>

Stephen Chilton | Concert Promoter and Venue Owner

The core of both of my businesses is artist development. We work with bands and musicians before almost anyone else. With local artist we are normally working with them before press, labels, managers, or agents have noticed. Often for years before tangible success. Live events and particularly concerts are an important core of the idea of the “third place.” I think for many people concerts are the first independent space or community people develop on their own separate form family or school. That is so vital for civil society, democracy, and civic engagement. So many of my friends in the business community or political world were fiends I made decades ago at concerts. I often point out how many business owners used to be in bands. Starting a band is just like starting a business only on a smaller scale. Read more>>

Christine Debrosky | Pastel and oil Impressionist Painter

My mission is to celebrate and share the simple everyday beauty of the world around us. I do so with my paintings, which I exhibit in spaces when I can, and on social media, often daily. Anyone may view my art. It serves as a reminder that there is solace and joy in noticing the way that the light dances across our surroundings. Read more>>

Julie Ray | Owner, Julie Ray Creative | Co-owner, Create Protest

Prior to starting my design business, I did fundraising, communications and program management for two education non-profits. Opening Julie Ray Creative allowed me to combine my two passions – social impact and art and design. The majority of our clients are non-profit organizations working in fields ranging from arts and culture and human rights. Two clients, Kino Border Initiative and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, support the rights and well being of migrants seeking asylum in the United States. Last year, we designed materials for Kino Border Initiative’s capital campaign to build a migrant outreach center in Nogales, Mexico. After the center was built, I attended the opening ceremony; it was so rewarding to see the beautiful and important space that our designs had supported. Read more>>

Ryan B. Clark | Hookworm Records, CEO

Hookworm Records was born from a discussion between Ryan B. Clark and Kevin Michael Prier talking about what was missing from the Phoenix music community. If there is so much talent in Arizona, why does it seem that so few get noticed? What would it take to actually move the chains? Combined with that series of questions, we were deeply inspired by the creativity happening out at Rancho de la Luna, in the deserts of southern California – where Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age) invites artists to participate in Desert Sessions. Hookworm Records developed a model that in the ever-evolving music business, the best way to benefit the community of artists the way that we wanted to was not to sign bands – but to sign singles. Read more>>

Amy DeCaussin | Multimedia Storyteller & Communications Manager

My creative work finds its purpose in elevating messages that need to be heard for the benefit of the community and our world. Through mixed media illustration, photography, and time-based media, I tell stories that inspire participants to consider different perspectives, draw attention to programs and causes that I am passionate about. Currently, I am the Communications Manager at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. This full-time position has provided a place for my creative work to thrive with the support of an innovative team and a congregation of 1600 parishioners. Outside of the church community, I’ve had people question its relevance to our world today. I would argue that the church couldn’t be more relevant. Read more>>

Christine Debrosky | Pastel and oil impressionist painter