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Inspiring Stories from Peoria

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 Peoria and surrounding areas below.

Robin Somerville

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Washington state specifically. Growing up, being active and enjoying the outdoors (even with the PNW rain) was a big part of my life – Boyscouts, baseball, family camping trips. I also didn’t know how to define it at the time but now know that I was a young entrepreneur at heart. I was always hard at work around the neighborhood doing yardwork and setting up lemonade stands that I’d enlist my younger and cuter siblings to run. After graduating high school, I shipped off to Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego. I spent a total of five years in the Marines serving in Southern California, Japan and Iraq. After leaving the Marine Corps, I decided to stay in Southern California, where I secured a job as a Quality Technician at a home audio company, Sonance. While I worked during the day, I attended Brandman University in the evenings earning my Bachelors in Business Admin degree, eventually graduating in 2012. Read more>>

Ashton and Avery Brightwell

In 2016, our family drove all the way from South Florida to visit the Phoenix Area. It was the perfect vacation to sightsee with the kids and be able to introduce Avery to The MMA Lab. On the thirty-two hour drive back, we talked about just how right the trip felt. When we got home, we decided to list our home for sale and made the move to Phoenix at the end of 2017. Fast forward to 2020. The gyms shut down due to the pandemic and we found, much like everyone else, we had a ton of time on our hands. We ended up making one of our signature cannoli cakes to share with family. As we sat around, waiting for the cake to cool, everyone started digging into the cannoli filling. There seemed to be no limit to what could be dipped. That’s when we had our aha moment! Over the next several weeks, we constructed a business plan, launched our social media and website, and reached out to the Get Local Arizona Farmers Market. They had a spot for us, thus starting this small business journey. It wasn’t long before we felt the love from this community and their support for small business. Read more>>

Janelle McCain

I was born in Alexandria, Virginia and raised in Peoria, Arizona. As a small child, I was always very shy and not a very social person. Until my mother, Jaylisa decided to put me into pageants, later competitive dancing, and later modeling to try to help build my confidence. I have been in the entertainment industry since 2003 and graduated from Barbizon Modeling School in 2009. There were many obstacles that I had to overcome, but every day I am still learning on how to better myself with my peers. In 2015, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Arizona State University to help me in furthering my goals and dreams. Read more>>

Brandon Lev

Two years ago, we just returned from a summer trip and we had four weeks before school started. I wanted to earn some money, so I was bugging my dad for chores to do. He decided to challenge me by offering me $100 to come up with 28 inventions in the 28 days before school started. One of those days my mom was cooking shish kabobs on the grill and the meat was burned on the outside but still raw on the inside. So, I thought to myself why not have the skewer cook the meat from the inside out while the grill is cooking the meat from the outside in as an invention for the day. That’s when the skew-b-que started. Then, I realized the electric skewer can also be used by itself to cook or reheat food from the inside out without having to use a grill or campfire. Read more>>

Bridget Brooks

Being in Arizona native born and raised in Prescott Arizona, I didn’t leave my small hometown until I was 30 years old as a single mom with two girls. I had always been in the advertising industry and worked for the Yellow Pages and even the local newspaper. I decided to make the move to the Phoenix metro area in 2012. I got the amazing opportunity to work as an ad creation specialist with Facebook in 2014. Working lots of jobs in the advertising industry after Facebook I decided to launch my own agency in 2019. My agencies motto is we are obsessed with your success my agencies mission is to help our community grow and thrive and prosper in every way possible. It’s our purpose to share our knowledge of advertising and Facebook ads through creativity. Read more>>

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