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.

Ewelina Bochenska | Akashic Records Channel & Holy Fire Karuna Reiki® Teacher

It was a very organic, gradual & natural process. In a way it was a long time coming, it took about seven to eight years. I had many different careers before I fully embraced my spiritual work which is channeling Akashic Records and working with Holy Fire Reiki energy. I have always been interested in the spiritual aspects of our human existence. It wasn’t until both of my parents got very ill, my dad terminally ill, that I decided to commit to this work full time. In 2017 I took my first official training in Holy Fire Reiki 1&2 in Sedona, AZ, which is a Japanese relaxation technique that also promotes healing. Read more>>

Jasmine Gayongala | Registered Nurse & Baker

I wanted to bridge the gap between Filipino desserts and other pastries. I wanted to introduce flavors from the Philippines and show the world what unique food the Philippines has. I love my culture and want to share it with others. Desserts RN is a creative outlet for me. This gives me the chance to reinvent desserts and give it my own twist. I remember I loved baking since I was a little girl, always trying to make cakes or cookies for my family when they would come over. Now I get to do it as often as I want! Read more>>

Isabella Wilkey | Founder at Seekr Agency

I graduated from Xavier Prep with the sole intent of pursuing film school in Los Angeles. At the time, my father was in the early stages of developing a new entertainment start-up and I spent every free minute working with him. As his project evolved, I became hyper focused on the talent casting and audition process as I had such a clear vision of how I thought that should be managed. The original plan was to hire a third-party company to help plan and promote the auditions but that just did not seem to make sense. I finally approached my dad with the proposal that I should form my own company and manage his auditions and casting as I understood his vision for the company. Read more>>

Tessa Scissorhands | Licensed Hair Wizard

Well my whole life, my parents were self employed. Seeing their success made me aware that I could be successful on my own. I started my first business in high school, it was called imaginePLUR and I sold hand made tie-dye and painted clothing. Then I worked in retail for 15 years. Working for someone else, being an employee, is not fulfilling. But they trick you with benefits to make you think it’s the best thing in the world. Really though, being by myself in my own business has shown me so much growth! It just made sense, and my clients love being in my studio. Read more>>

Jessica Hershfield | Founder & CEO of Just Enough Wines

I spent my entire career before Just Enough in big tech. I was at some of the best tech companies in the world (Google, Uber, Lime), but I found myself unfulfilled in the work I was doing. I knew I always wanted to start my own company, but until 2019 I didn’t have the courage. After some soul searching, I finally took the leap; and decided in 2020 I wanted to start my own thing. Read more>>

Charlotte Clawson | Artisan Soap Maker & Small Business Owner

Basically, my story starts like many stories start, I wanted a way to earn extra income that provided flexibility financially and creatively. Where I really put a focus is on having my children around when I run my business. From the very beginning I always wanted them to see what you can do when you put your mind to something! In life there are challenges we face from time to time, my greatest dream is to see my children succeed and I believe it is up to me to teach them how to be self sufficient and how to create something from nothing! Read more>>

Chandler Poling | Co-Host & Producer

Chandler: I decided to start X-Reads: An X-Men Experience back in 2019 as I was slowly getting into podcasts over all. I was introduced to a show called ‘A Date with Dateline,’ which has two friends breakdown and discuss an episode of Dateline together per podcast episode. I loved their friendship and dynamic and thought to myself that I have a friend that I can gush about X-Men comics with easily and we can do an episode per comic issue and just copy that format. So, I rang up Chris and together we launched in July of 2019. Read more>>

Justin Coldiron | Company Culture Expert

I started The Coldiron Hour out of a mixture of things. First, from my college friends; I used to be VERY transparent and blunt back in 2014 when I was a fresh college grad with an Engineering Degree. It was bad. So my nickname was, The Coldiron Hour. I just told people how it was; that’s just who I was at the time. Second, I was tired of working in Corporate America. I had had enough of the, “Monday Blues” stories, or the, “It’s FRIDAY!” chants in the office. I had also grown up around parents who lived through these, too. It was definitely time for me to start a brand that would disrupt the outdated, toxic, ways of Corporate America and the poor treatment inside of it. Read more>>

Dontay Moch | Health and wellness Specialist

My passion grew in health and wellness at a young age and after a few years of coaches and trainers/mentors I decided to do it myself and give it a go. From basic fitness to performance from performance to Health and wellness. I started a dream to become a one stop shop! Inferno supplements , inferno meal preps , and coach/trainer and mentor. Read more>>

Greg Bháird | (pronounced worj) Painter & Photographer

I had been really in to creating art all throughout my childhood. There was always some societal viewpoint stuck in my head that making art was not a good career choice, and I’m not sure where that came from because I don’t ever remember learning that from anyone directly. So, when I became an adult, I got a job, and I had many jobs over the past 25 years, and with every job, in the back of my mind I really just wanted to be creative again. So, when the pandemic came and after that first year, I had read something online about how well artists had been doing, I had my “a-ha moment”; Read more>>

Meredith Blake | Owner at Myth Salon

My thought process behind starting my business is that people deserved a place to feel understood and cared for. myth salon is holistic in its approach to hair care, and people care. I dive into scalp health, personal routine, and stressors that the client has in order to assess the hair and provide the service that each client needs. I use only plant based products for coloring and styling. I believe when our hair is healthy our spirit is happy. I want everyone to leave myth feeling rejuvenated and more like themselves than when they walked in. Read more>>

Jack Henderson | Podcaster

I wanted to make an impact surrounding the issue of mental health and the stigma that continues to grow around it everyday. I grew from 5-15 really quick during my childhood and throughout that time I struggled a lot with what went on in my head. It wasn’t until early 2020 during lockdown when I decided I wanted to make a change and help those who struggle with processing and encountering their thoughts with the experiences I’ve been through…. Because I have been there and still find myself in that position every so often. So HendosHotTopics was born. It is safe to say that the podcast has created a safe space for someone like you or myself where people can find others with similarities to themselves to give them the comforting realisation that they aren’t alone. I do it for the people who have trouble realising that it’s okay not to be okay. Read more>>

Cynthia & Ceci Astorga | Interior Designers

For years we had our hearts set on starting our own design company, but there was never an opportune time to get it off the ground. We were also struggling with the idea of how to make our company stand out amongst hundreds of other design companies in Arizona. We just could not find our footing in the design world. Then, the pandemic hit and like many others, we were laid-off from our jobs. Oddly, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise. Staying home allowed us the time to clear our heads and with it brought us courage to start our business. It came with its hurdles though, because people were being advised to stay home and quarantine as much as possible. Read more>>

Lauren Pond | Owner of Chandler Tactical Firearms

After serving in the US Army as a combat infantryman, you are reintroduced back into the workforce with a world of options. I decided to make a career as an e-commerce sales manager for a General Motors store in Colorado, to gain sales and workforce experience. I had great mentors that showed me the importance of the guest experience. After a few years, I moved back to my home state of Arizona to pursue a position at a regional top-performing store. This allowed me to fine-tune the craft and art of selling and negotiation. Read more>>

Natalia Carnevale | A typical gal

When I created my business, I was driven by creativity. The education system is changing and now more than ever we need out of the box thinking. Creativity sparks joy and connection amongst my community and I wanted to see more of it. Read more>>

Carmen Salvá del Corral | WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR

At all times it was positive, I really did not realize the stones that I was going to find along the way Read more>>