Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder. We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Dr. Cara Riek | Family Nurse Practitioner & Board-Certified lactation consultant

After struggling with breastfeeding (my son) and eventually changing careers from teaching high school math to nursing, and then on to getting my Doctorate in Nursing Practice and specializing in Breastfeeding, I decided to help moms who are struggling with the same problems I had and open a practice (in Scottsdale, AZ and now Mesa, AZ) that specializes in breastfeeding and helping moms and babies to thrive. Read more>>

Nicholas Campisano | Co-Owner

I’ve always had a drive and passion to challenge myself to be the best person I could be. And I’ve been blessed to have an amazing business partner in Joshua James, and the support of our respective families, especially my wife, I couldn’t do this without her. Coming together to create Born & Raised Hospitality, we’re driven by our passion to have a positive impact on the surrounding community, to create a culture for our crew to thrive and showcase their amazing abilities to create a welcoming place where people can enjoy great food and service and ambience. That’s what drives us every day, to continue to be a gathering point that’s making our community the best it can be. Social impact: how does your business help the community or the world? Aside from creating jobs at the restaurant, there’s a ripple effect for all the other local companies you support when you operate a restaurant. Read more>>

Ray Thiry | Musician, Teacher, & Event Planner

I’ve been a musician for many years. I started Ray Thiry Music, LLC because I was performing and teaching a lot around the valley and I wanted a way to keep accounting separate and I’m able to deduct business expenses through the LLC. Read more>>

Danielle Petty | Chief Operating Officer at Digital Radar

It was an act of sheer rebellion! Seriously, as the great Tom Peters once said, “Only pissed off people change the world.” When I led teams in the Google Ads Department for several years, my role allowed me to work with hundreds of other marketing agencies across the country. I taught them how to properly manage Google Ads accounts and drive positive results for their clients. But it was outrageous to see how many agencies didn’t care about how to improve account performance or how to maximize results. Many simply wanted to cash the check. It was especially infuriating when I would share suggestions on how to optimize campaign performance, and was told, “Well, the client hasn’t complained, so it’s fine as it is.” These agencies were willfully keeping clients in the dark — either through incompetence, where they simply couldn’t provide ad budget analytics and insights, or through negligence, where they chose not to. Read more>>

Emily & Lindsey Rieve & Schoenemann | Business Owners

We (Emily & Lindsey) met while teaching 7th grade math/science in Gilbert, AZ. We found that we worked really well together and loved collaborating. In 2016 Emily and her husband took a trip to France. While visiting a castle in France, they stumbled upon a self-serve wine tasting shop. Emily loved the idea and excitedly told Lindsey about the wine shop. We decided to leave education and pursue our passion by opening a self-serve wine bar in downtown Phoenix on Roosevelt Row. When we work together we are creative and innovative and we’ve loved building our business together. We also love supporting Arizona wine and other products. We’ve gotten to know a lot of the wine makers here in Arizona and want to showcase Arizona wines. Read more>>

Gia Ciliento | Owner & Creative Director

I just remember thinking if I don’t do this now, I may never get the courage again. It has been nearly 10 years since I started my business and sometimes I look back and think, Gia, you are crazy…what were you thinking! I jumped in so fearlessly without all the answers, but with the dedication to figure it out as I went. I figured if I’m going to work my butt off, I might as well work for myself. From that point is became more doing than thinking. Read more>>

Dr. Jingxin Yang | Pharmacist & CBD Compounder

The reason why I start my own businesses because it is all about chasing my passions. To start a business, it just requires enough drive and passion in what you are doing. I believe everyone is capable of fulfilling all of their dreams, one way or another. When I was little, I dreamt to be a chef, an artist, a fashion designer, etc. Even though those things are not my professional career, I have developed hobbies and created things based on those dreams. I am always learning and self improving to be able to do everything that I enjoy; it’s the most enjoyable and rewarding feeling. Read more>>

Aladdin Hussein | Custom Tailor

The process was that I want to be independent and build some thing that I will be proud of and so my kids after me , For someone at age 21 Coming halfway across the world did not speak the language That alone Can tell you that person is very adventurous and I think to own and start a business you have to be adventurist and willing to take risk which some thing I really love to do. Read more>>

Matthew Fox | Founder & Wealth Advisor

The thought process behind starting my own business was a culmination of years of work in the asset management industry. After working as a portfolio manager for half a decade, I identified what exactly I wanted to do. Help people compound their wealth by encouraging them to invest in the stock market, and managing those investments for them. I was able to learn the ins and out of the financial advisory industry after serving as an investment committee member managing $4 billion in client assets at a regional bank in New York. Two things prevalent in the industry did not sit well with me though: 1. high account minimums of to open an account and retain an advisor, which often excluded a sizable portion of the population from benefiting from financial advisory services, including young millennial professionals, and 2. high investment management fees of 1% – 2%, which while may not seem like much up front, can add up to tens of thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands) over the lifetime of an investment portfolio, significantly impacting a clients retirement trajectory. Read more>>