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.

THE YETI | RADIO JOCK/PRODUCER

Initially there wasn’t one. I was introduced to social media broadcasting by a friend and then was given the opportunity to enter into internet radio broadcasting. Once I learned to unmute the mic and get over the nervousness of being in the spotlight, so to say, the next big step needed was to learn how to produce the shows and to create my own radio personality now that I am comfortable (still working on that lol). Read more>>

Quinn Conahan | Student & Small Business Owner

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit dating back to 4th grade when I sold custom bookmarks to my classmates. From then on I started small business over the years which all ultimately fizzled out. Never the less I kept creating! My idea for Quinn Jewelry was a bit of a cliché: necessity is the mother of invention. I found that all high quality jewelry was too expensive and affordable jewelry was terrible quality. That’s why I created my line of anti tarnish, water resistant, hypoallergenic jewelry, all at a price a college student can afford! Read more>>

London Da Rapper | Musician, Songwriter

I don’t look at being an artist is a business. It’s a passion, I love music, I’m in love with Hip Hop. It lights my soul when I perform. Then again “ This is a business, and I love everything about it. I’m not stopping until I achieve every goals. It’s a process Read more>>

Spencer Mak | Owner | Dog Trainer | Animal Behaviorist | Entre’pet’neur

I didn’t want to answer emails until I died… but seriously… I have only really worked for 2 companies in my entire career, and in both roles I found myself climbing the ladder very quickly, working my way into leadership and executive roles – but as I climbed higher, I felt detached from the work. Emails, conference calls, work trips… I was starting to feel really detached from my role as it became more about tasks and deadlines than it was about people and passion. Read more>>

Serena Rios McRae | Watercolor & Digital Artist

I really, really never wanted to work for someone else ever again. I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. I am just wired that way. With my combination of ADHD and Bipolar Disorder I can solve any problem. I can think up, plan out and execute a business plan in a week. The downside is the weeks of exhaustion and depression that follow those moments of creative Mania. And those low times are what made it impossible for me to hold a job with an employer for any length of time. Read more>>

Renata | Life /Style Bloger & Jewelry Store Owner

I always have been entrepreneur, love freedom in schedule and making my own decisions. Also, I always have fun feeling and knowing that my left and right brain are working, yes, logic and creativity is used. I think all of these thoughts just sum up why starting my own business was very logical path for me to take. Read more>>

Sherrie Zeitlin | Artist and Founder and Director of THE ART RESOURCE CENTER

I’ve been working in clay and fibers since the early 1970’s. I flipped a coin and went for my MFA in clay but it was easier to start a weaving business in a small apartment after receiving my degree and hence had a weaving business for 25 years. I made large scale woven constructions for architects and Interior designers around the country until I got tired of matching the red white and blue weaving to the red white and blue interior. Read more>>

Annie Perez | I am the ambassador of fun. I promote local as much as possible

I wanted to help changes negative perspective of my city. I saw a need and created something to fill it. A one stop page to find all things local to support. That not just tells or suggests things to do but shows you what you get when you go to help encourage others to go and support those local businesses, artists, events, etc. Read more>>

Honey Gould | Partner of HoenysBlooms

Our business came around very organically. I am one half of Honeysblooms, and my daughter is the other. I decided to make her this installation I had seen on Instagram from a European company, because I searched everywhere and couldn’t find any realistically options in America, let alone the valley. When I surprised Angel at her birthday brunch, I was approached by some girls asking where I got the life-size, pink, floral number from. I re-told the story, and despite my insistence it was not a business, they begged me to make one for their upcoming birthday. I did, and it just flew from there really. Read more>>

Andrea Merrill | Brand & Website Designer | SEO Strategist

For as long as I can recall, I have always been certain that my gift is helping people. Knowing this fun fact, I attended and graduated from college with a degree in Science of Psychology of Applied Behavioral Analysis. I did what most do in my field and became a behavior and trauma therapist after college. Honestly, life wasn’t that bad. I was helping people and understanding how our experiences shape and mold our perceptions in the future. This seemed to be the perfect choice for me, career-wise. Read more>>

Justin, Princesita, Jaden Scott | PB&J Junk Removal

Because we care so much about the world and our planet, we were very sad to see how much junk and trash we all consume. We wanted to make a difference, we wanted to make a change. We wanted to clean up our world one home at a time. And that’s how Pb&j junk removal was born! We recycle, and reuse as often as we can! Having a degree in Environmental Design with a focus in Sustainability, we have applied what was learned through out this journey of growing our business. Read more>>

Ethan Turner | Perfumer and Sommelier

It started with a problem. For many years, I had been searching for a smoky, peaty, earthy, and bold fragrance. One day, while searching, I got annoyed with the large amounts of fragrances to choose from. So, I decided to build my own fragrance. My friend, Emeka Ukaga, sitting nearby, over heard my epiphany, and offered to pay me if I built him a custom fragrance too. With that said, I knew there was a business to be made. Read more>>

Mahalia Ashby | Arizona Couple + Wedding Photographer

In February 2020, I had my first kid. Literally a week after I had her, everything shut down because of COVID. I really wanted to get newborn photos of her, but I didn’t have much money as a single mom and no one was taking pictures during that time. I had started researching camera’s because I wanted to take my own photos of her. I learned photography in high school, but never had the chance to keep going with it since I didn’t have a DSLR. Read more>>

Krista Carpenter Beasley | Accidental Influencer and Turophile

I’ve been in the financial change industry for almost 20 years, and building boards became an outlet for me to tap into my creative side and embrace something I really loved. My love of cheese is something that people who have known me for years have always teased me about (I will literally rhapsodize about a cheese when I really find a special one). Read more>>

Rosa Cardenas | Interior Designer, Wardrobe Stylist & Consultant

My process has always been simple- I follow my passion. My passion has always been my driver in everything I do. I do things that make me happy, bring happiness to others or create a change for my community. I have always had a love for textiles. I loved color, texture, lines and dimension.. This love was cultivated through our family business (furniture and interior design) that we have had since 1982- still going strong. Read more>>