Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Marie Burns | Financial Advocate

I had been a Registered Dietitian for over a dozen years before my current 20 year career in financial services so I understood the importance of eating well and staying active. After helping people balance their diet and exercise and now helping folks balance their finances, I realized that I needed to tie it all together. The more we take good care of our mind and body, the less we have to worry about running out of money…because good health costs less than poor health. So I launched my financial literacy business for women called Mind, Money, Motion. Diet, exercise, and finances are all inter-related and very much based on behavior change. So I focus on educating women through my podcasts, blogs, books, and money tools. Our country has not embraced the realization that personal finance is a necessary life skill. Read more>>

Mike Faulkner | Co-Founder

I love the fact that this company started very organically. We didn’t see a need in the market or an easy way to make money. My business partner, Jacob Raymo, and I started this company out of my garage because we truly love the craft and enjoy hanging out together. We still keep that front of mind today. Do what you love and surround yourself with people you enjoy being around. I feel like our culture at Public House Creative shines through in the products and services we offer and is what sets us apart from other companies. Read more>>

Asiria Valenzuela | Facilitator in Family Constellation Therapy

I love to teach and help other to bring awareness into their life. Read more>>

Meghan Alfonso | CEO & Founder

I started the Pearce Family Foundation because I saw there was a disconnect between the hospital and the home for families who have a child suffering from a chronic or life threatening illness. I worked for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and met a lot of families who needed not just medical assistance but help with their finances at the home. Seeing how stressed out the parents were from not just having a child in the hospital but having to worry about how they were going to pay their rent is what drove me to start PFF. I wanted to step in and show them that there are angels around us, which is how our main initiative was created. Read more>>

Jesse O’Brien | Founder & Head Coach

With the fitness industry, there is a lot of fitness models that are driven by the consumer. What does the consumer enjoy, what makes them most comfortable, etc. My belief that this is a backward way of building a fitness company that provides massive long-term value to its customers. Fitness companies solve 3 problems: 1 – How to get someone to start exercising 2 – Make sure they do not miss a training session 3 – Get them to restart ASAP if they do miss I was a fitness professional for about half a decade and from my experience, I felt like fitness companies were not guiding their consumers in a manner that led towards long-term fulfillment. Central Athlete is the distillation of my personal education, experience, and plugging the holes that I felt like were not addressed with current fitness models. Read more>>

Megan Olson | Nutrition Practitioner

For as long as I can remember, I struggled with food and being overweight. I tried every diet since I was a teenager and always failed to keep the weight off permanently. In 2009, I found myself at 210 pounds and miserable. I was working in a stressful career that I did not enjoy. One night I decided to go for a walk and that walk made me feel so good that I decided to walk every night. A few weeks later, I was walking daily and beginning to crave healthier foods. I began watching portion sizes, reading food labels and creating my own healthy recipes. Prior to my weight loss, I rarely cooked but dedicated myself to learning while I was losing weight. After one year, I lost 80 pounds. In 2014, I started Skinny Fitalicious, a website dedicated to helping women lose weight with lower calorie, macronutrient balanced recipes. Read more>>

Regina Tierney | Designer of Clothing and Jewellery

My thought process has been what is true to me and what will be the outcome of this decision, is that where i want to be? The main thought behind starting my own business was creating freedom of lifestyle and choice in my life. As a artist i wanted to create something authentic to myself and my culture and use my own vision to inspire people and to create a livelihood for myself in the process. I wanted a happy life of only dealing with people who value me and my culture. This had lead me to choosing a path for my business which in the business of fashion is very off the beaten track. I have purposely avoided so called experts and business Gurus because other peoples views of what is a successful business is ultimately not my idea of what success means to me. My business did not happen through a logical plan it happened through sticking to my vision and intuition. Read more>>

Luke Stevenson | General Contractor

I believed at a young age that the easiest way to make a good living and enjoy freedom of time would be through self-employment. I went to college for several semesters while framing houses full time to pay for it. During that time I realized I did not necessarily have to pay for an education, I could get paid while receiving one. With that in mind I worked on developing my skills and rounding out my knowledge with the goal of one day working for myself. After seven years in the trades I was ready to take the plunge. Read more>>

Paddy Rasmussen | Transition Coordinator, Interior Designer & Allied ASID

I wanted to help people transition so they could fully engage in life again. . I didn’t want them to feel like they had to do it alone. I created my service to help them through the process, to break it down in steps so they didn’t feel so overwhelmed & burdened. I want to be their Advocate and help them through the process. Read more>>

Jennifer Soltis | Party Planner

I have always been the Pinterest perfect mom! I love everything about party planning and knew it was something that I wanted to pursue. I am a stay at home mom but needed something for myself and my creative side. I came across the idea on Pinterest one night and just knew that it was something I could do. The next day my business began! Read more>>

Miguel Mora | Tattoo Artist & Social Media Bartender

I had worked in a corporate environment for a little while before, and even had a pretty solid Bartending career before Covid. But after everything happened with the Pandemic, I decided with the amount of time I spent working for other companies, I could’ve put my art and skills towards something on my own. So it sparked the idea to officially go into this 100%. Read more>>

Angela Childress | Licensed Aesthetician & Makeup Artist

I’ve worked for so many companies and people, in so many different industries & markets in my lifetime. I have a couple of degrees and a few certificates. I was working as a contractor with the federal government for some years and while that is not a very glamorous job, I always presented myself in a glamorous way (i.e. wearing makeup, high heeled shoes, and accessories). After 13 years of working as a contractor, one day, I realized that I hated what I was doing and it wasn’t making me happy as it was stagnant and although it paid the bills – as an artist- it wasn’t very fulfilling. it was time to focus on something that I am passionate about. So, I began a couple of different projects and kind of figured out along the way that I am a great seller and that people pay attention to the things that I wear and the things that I like. I realized I had something there. Read more>>

Tylor Foster | Owner & Chief Pilot

My name is Tylor Foster. I am the Owner and Chief Pilot for First Take Aerial. Originally from the Chicago area, I relocated to the West after graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University. Boiler Up! Upon graduating I began working for one of the largest general contractors in the US, Granite Construction. When the drone industry started to “takeoff” (no pun intended) I became involved with drones for construction progress documentation and volumetric earthwork data analysis. I became fascinated with the technology and gained a passion that opened up a lot of doors. I started to see all of the different opportunities that drones bring to many different industries. Wanting to pursue these roads, I bought myself a setup and began my journey. I started practicing flying and exploring different techniques and avenues. Read more>>

Ben Ramirez Reed | Co-founder & Dog Product Designer

I’ve always been an environmentally minded person. From a very young age I would wonder out into the woods just to stare up in wonder at the trees and the birds in them. My first job, that lasted for 18 years, was working with and around dogs. During that time I went to SUNY Cortland college in New York and got my Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology. After I stopped working with dogs, I started my own business making dog supplies with leather. But this always grated on my environmental concerns. Leather just isn’t great for the environment. Massive swaths of rainforest are cleared everyday, often to make room for pasture land for the cows that leather comes from. I knew that there had to be a better option than leather out there. After quite a bit of searching I found a brand new textile called Piñatex, made by a company called Ananas Anam based in the UK. Read more>>