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Inspiring Stories from Surprise

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 Surprise and surrounding areas below.

Veronica Tallabas

The passion for makeup started at a very young age as I would watch my sisters get ready. When I started experimenting with makeup up, it was right after I experienced a traumatic situation in which I turned to art as a form of healing. I then started Mica’s Beauty Bar as a service, doing makeup on other people to help rid of social anxiety. Read more>>

Emili Farnum

Unlike many “creatives” my passion for photography did not begin at a young age. Now that’s not to say that I didn’t have a creative background. In fact, as far back as I can remember, I always had a passion for art. As a young girl, I would frequently draw in a sketchpad or gift handmade items to family. As the years progressed and I got older, that artistic passion became channeled into graphic design. Read more>>

Kenneth Kelley

I would tell people if you are doing good on the west side, I want to know what you are doing. I want to help if I can, or maybe I know someone who can help you. Now I tell people I go around bumping into people and connecting the dots to make the world a better place. My goal with my business isn’t to get rich. My goal is to make a positive difference. Read more>>

Jeff and Jessie Ross

For eight years, we played together all over the Puget Sound region of Washington. I was very fortunate to be a part of a fantastic community of artists and musicians. Most of us knew each other’s songs, so some nights ended up being a collaborative effort, rather than a single solo player, even if the evening was billed for one artist. It allowed all of our styles to evolve, and I know I’ve taken a few tidbits from my friends over the years. Read more>>

Raluca Pintea

My life has been very eventful, to say the least. I had a lot of ups and downs. When I was six years old my family, and I came to America from Romania. We moved to Arizona to have a better life, little did I know then that I would be calling America my home forever. Read more>>

Laura Kearns and Kelsey Cook

Kelsey wanted to open a Board & Brush because she loves crafting and was obsessed after she participated in her first workshop. Kelsey’s husband’s job moved them from Georgia to Arizona. Laura, from Arizona, suggested that they open a Board and Brush as Kelsey was interested and was looking for work in Arizona! Read more>>

Amey Fields

One of the parts of my job that I really was passionate about was helping moms and babies with breastfeeding. I decided that I wanted to add IBCLC to my title (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) so in 2010 I started my clinical hours, and in July of 2012, I sat for the boards. I started Az Breastfed Babies in 2014 and continued working in my role as a labor nurse as well as lactation consultant until 2016. Read more>>

Jordan Gilman

Jordan Gilman truly grew up studying the design and marketing habits of the top brands in the world – motivating him to design his first website in the 4th grade. Since then he has gone on to work with some of the top entrepreneurs and businesses across the world, helping them increase their reach in the digital marketplace. Jordan Gilman is a Creative and Branding Expert who has consulted and managed digital brands for top-level CEOs, professional athletes, celebrities, and $100 million lifestyle brands. Read more>>

Kaity Baugus

It has always been in the back of my mind as a dream of something I want to professionally do. However, I was scared of entrepreneurship and of the unknown. I was going to school for education, then switched midway to dental hygiene. I felt like something was missing. I didn’t really feel like I was doing what I needed to do. I then began exploring the idea of making my dream of becoming a professional photographer come to life. Read more>>

Garrett Galindo

During my time here, I became very interested in so many of the art pieces that decorated our multi-purpose classroom and my 3D design teacher who had noticed my curiosity recommended that I take her fine art course as well. I eventually signed up for Fine arts, and this is where my love for painting truly blossomed. Growing up as a Latino boy in Arizona who didn’t speak a lick of Spanish definitely led me to a bit of an identity crisis during my adolescence and teenage years. Read more>>

Bathsheba Adams

Entering foster care at the age of five and being raised as an adopted child she discovered her purpose through operating in her passion to help people. She employs her talents to deliver her message of keeping God first, forgiveness, and success. Ultimately, her goal is to continuously collaborate on projects with those who share the drive to help people while crossing all boundaries with no exception to age, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, education, and culture. Read more>>

Heather Shrum

I loved baking and always dreamed of running my own bakery. My dream became a reality shortly after my daughter was born. I was three months into my breastfeeding journey when I felt my supply was dropping. A friend of mine had told me to try lactation cookies. I had no idea what they were. After hours of browsing through recipes, I threw a batch of cookies together, and they not only did they taste amazing but quickly improved my supply! Read more>>


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