We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Monica Walsh | Professional Hair & Makeup Artist

One of the most important decisions I made was to be my authentic self with my Brides and their loved ones. I think It’s important to connect on a personal level with clients as it helps me better understand them and their vision! I really want all of my Brides to feel comfortable talking to me about anything. Read more>>

Domenick Montanile | Owner of Venezia’s NY Style Pizzeria

Very early on after I started my business I decided to set up bonus programs for my management staff. Giving them incentives on work performance was key to help grow the business and also reward the Managers who over achieved. It was also important to give them instant gratification on their bonus so that they would see the reward on their next payroll check. Read more>>

Suzy Goodrick | Wedding Photographer for Free-Spirited Couples

Other than working for myself, the single most important decision I’ve made is to unapologetically create a visual brand that aligns with my values and aesthetics. There are many different brands, voices, and styles of photography, but when I made the intentional decision to be myself and attract the specific clients I desired to work with, everything felt more natural and aligned more easily. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard work. It was incredibly hard work (and required some soul searching) to create a website and social media presence to attract adventurous and laid back couples. It took years to hone my craft and create brand recognition with depth and clarity, but it’s been 100% worth the work. Read more>>

Donna Werking | Owner, Marketing Agency

We believe all businesses should identify tangible goals and build a successful model for their company. From our inception, we identified as a boutique agency who’s goals were to service a the Central and Northern Arizona region. That is certainly reflective in our name, Northern AZ Social. In the first three years, we were able to reach that goal, and along the way, we have continued to refine our strategies so all of our clients feel they are the only client. Read more>>

Ceiphers & Rachel Olweya | Small Business Owners & Change Makers

We have built a business that is fashioned to make a difference. Ultimately, this created an opportunity for our customers and supporters to be the heroes in our story while we serve as their sidekick. Our job as the sidekick is to identify the needs within our community, come up with the solution and present it to the true heroes: our customers. Thanks to them, we are able to grow our business while growing our impact. We have been able to donate to our international community in Kenya and our local community in Phoenix, Arizona because of our customers. Donations to Nyaburi Integrated Primary School in Kenya have allowed students to be empowered to focus on their education by providing school supplies, backpacks, shoes and other necessary materials. Read more>>