Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation. More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Melissa Vega | Balloon stylist

I was born in Mexico and was brought to the US when I was 5 years old. I watched my parents work so hard to provide for myself and my two younger siblings. They earned everything they have today by having strong work ethic and giving 100% in everything they do. I have admired that so much throughout the years and it has shaped me in the women I am today and how I show up for my business. Read more>>

Carol Hatch | Lead Designer and owner of Designer Blvd,

I grew up in Mesa AZ. But after I was married I moved to California. I was a clothing designer for 12 years. I grew up in retail and have been designing spaces my whole life. I had 5 retail stores in San Diego. We also sold our cloting line nationwide and were featured in many specialty and well known department stores. I began to have a relationship with Nordstrom and other businesses. Soon store clients wanted my help in design. Then other businesses. I started doing display for Nordstrom and the malls. I have always loved interior design and loved building my stores, and homes and helping others. Read more>>

Jessica Claire | Latina Business Owner

I was born and raised in West Covina, CA. I was brought up in a Mexican family, in a not so great neighborhood. As a child I remember watching my dad draw all of the time & I was always begging my parents to buy me my own art materials. My mother enrolled me in Ballet classes and a Ballet Folklorico group. I danced for about 13 years. She once told me that she wanted to make sure that I saw the world differently than the other kids that lived in our neighborhood. As I got older I took on more hobbies like crafting, sewing, decorating events. Read more>>

Shari Lopatin | Writer, Journalist, and Author

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Ariz. as the daughter of two teachers who moved from Queens, N.Y. to Arizona in the 1970s. My family is Jewish and we tend to be liberal, which made me a liberal Jew growing up in a conservative, Christian state and neighborhood. I was the diversity within my group of friends. I feel fortunate that my friends accepted me for who I am, but even with that acceptance, I always felt like an outsider to an extent. I was also a weird, quirky kid who looked younger and more immature than everyone else. I blinked excessively, wore thick, oversized glasses, was hyperactive to an extreme, and laughed nervously when talking to others. For this, I dealt with bullying throughout my childhood. Read more>>

Abby Kahn | Owner + CEO of Abbsolutely Organized

I began my career teaching kindergarten and 2nd grade in the Phoenix area and throughout my six years in the schools, I always loved creating inviting and special spaces for my students. Setting up my classroom was always one of my favorite things to do! After I became a mom, I equally loved creating activity-based play spaces for my children and finding ways to make my family’s life easier by developing easy to maintain organizational solutions throughout our house. When my friends started asking me for help setting up and organizing a range of spaces in their homes, I knew I to wanted to make a career out of it. I’ve always been personally organized (the “Abbsolutely” is a play on my name), but now it’s my passion to help others create positive emotional connections with their spaces and to work with my clients to create and sustain happy and orderly homes. Read more>>