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Gilbert’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyagePhoenix is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Greater Phoenix area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out inspiring stories from Gilbert and surrounding areas below.

Rex Van Dine

As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a musician. At 11, I started taking guitar lessons. I liked it but that wasn’t my passion. In middle school, I started taking Choir and fell in love with singing. I particularly liked learning the meaning of the songs. I studied lyrics. When I say studied, I mean picked it apart word for word. I joined my first band at 18 and that’s where my journey began. In December 2012, I went to a former bandmates birthday party. We got to chatting and he asked If I was still writing. I picked up his guitar and began playing one of the songs that I wrote. Other friends and former bandmates gathered and we started talking about music. When I went home, I figured that was that. A good night with old friends. Read more>>

Mora Steele

I started doing hair back in 2006, even though my journey began long before that, this is where Hair&Healing started to show herself to me. One of the first days of Cosmetology school we learned about consultations and the importance of them. Asking questions about “how” someone wants their hair and also making sure it works for their lifestyle. I was always more curious about “why” someone wanted what they wanted and how it made them feel. I started to notice that there was such a beautiful and deep story within each client and that they were ultimately looking to FEEL more like themselves. Over many years, I went through my own personal awakening and it became so clear that there was much more to my “job” behind the chair than met the eye.. this was my calling to not only deeply connect with the people in my chair but also they were experiencing profound healing through this modality. Read more>>

Clarita Escalante

I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and after sitting in a victim mode for almost a year, I decided to do something about it and that’s when my Journey to Health began. I was determined to never hear the word “cancer” again, so I decided to go back to school and fully understand Nutrition and our body functionally. I studied for my own knowledge but after several friends and family reached for guidance around Nutrition, that’s when the idea came to start my business and educate others in Nutrition as well. My approach to Health and Wellness is a little bit different than other Nutritionists or Health Coaches. I focus on Mind, Body and Soul (Holistically). We can be eating all the healthy food and do all the exercising but if we are not in peace with ourselves, we are not healthy either. I work on building habits around their new goal(s), we go deeper on the why they want to change, establish a Journal or Meditation/Mindfulness routine, build a movement plan and help them create a balanced meal. Read more>>

Anela Tayan

I first started dog sitting when I was 12 years old. I would watch the dogs for some of the residents in my neighborhood that I grew up in. As the years went on, and I moved to Arizona in 2019. I eventually met my partner, Traigen. We met during a timeframe where I was gradually accumulating dog clients. We began to watch dogs together! Just as a side hustle though. Two years into the relationship, we were trying to figure out what really makes us happy. He finally came to the conclusion after a few trials and errors. The answer was dogs. We slowly started taking on dog clients. A few dogs walking clients turned into multiple back-to-back overnights cares and dog boarding clients. Here we are now at about five months into running our business. We have accumulated over 50+ reoccurring clients. We wouldn’t want it any other way. We are continuing to further our pet knowledge and credentials as time goes on. We are very committed to serving our Arizona dog community!. Read more>>

Virginia Carroll, CPSA, CPX

I was exposed to art at an early age when my mother signed my sister and I up for some art classes at the YWCA…that was all that was needed to begin my journey as an artist. I took every opportunity that came along to enhance my skills in creating art from elementary school through high school and college and even today, if I feel I can benefit in some way by learning about a new material or technique, I will avail myself of art workshops. I began in the traditional way with the traditional media…first pencil and charcoal then moving on to various color materials including pastels, watercolor, oils and, when they came along, acrylics. In 2006, I accidentally stumbled across colored pencil as an art medium, was immediately hooked and have used no other medium since that time. It suited my needs as an artist as no other medium ever had! This was because of the precision and detail I was able to accomplish with the fine point of the pencil. As I learned to work with this medium, I searched for different materials and ways to use them to enhance my skills and improve the final results. I tried different surfaces on which to work and learned to use different ways to blend and burnish the layers of pencil that were layed down on the surfaces. Read more>>

Karali Hunter

I grew up in a VERY small farm town in Idaho with a farmer dad and a stay-at-home mom. Somehow, I ended up as a concert pianist. I found myself in AZ completing a doctorate degree in Piano Performance and running a high-level piano studio. I have always had a passion for teaching, and I started to realize that the interest in high-level music education was plentiful in the East Valley, but teachers who specialized in elite training were full, with no room to keep up with the demand. With the encouragement of amazing supporters and with a few amazing music teachers, I began Hammer & Strings Conservatory two years ago. H&S’s mission is to provide the highest level of music instruction to all ages and levels. “Intentional Excellence” is our motto, and we believe that when you begin with the best teachers, a beautiful setting, elite level instruments, and the experience of performing on the world’s biggest stages, excellence will almost always be the result. Read more>>

Hina Imran

As a Muslim American woman who chose to wear the Hijab (headscarf) at a young age, I always firmly believed that nothing can stop me from achieving my dreams. Hijab is a head covering worn by Muslim women as a devotion to God. It is a reminder of who I am and what my values are. It’s not just a cloth on my head, it’s a part of my identity. The truth is I always wanted to wear it because I love when someone looks at me, they visibly see a Muslim woman. In a world where women are often sexualized, there is something powerful about knowing that others will not judge you based on what you’re wearing or for your looks. They listen more to what is being said. It allows me to unapologetically be myself. Having this mindset from my teenage years, I felt like it empowered me to move forward in all aspects of my life. Read more>>

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