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Maricopa’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 Maricopa and surrounding areas below.

Shawn Ahkeah

I am a full-blood Navajo ( Dine`) from northwestern New Mexico in a town called Shiprock which is located on the Navajo Nation reservation. I have been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon or pencil in my hand. I always love to create art as a young child and made mainly crayon drawing. My family moved quite a lot because of my fathers occupation so I attended different schools off the reservation. While attending different elementary schools, I had a special counselor/teacher who was also Navajo who would visit me once a week. I would spend all day with her and she would teach me my cultural art such as beadwork and painting. Being introduced to paint for the first time, I was hooked and have been painting ever since. After I graduated High School, I enlisted in the United States Air Force and then later began a long career being a Land Surveyor. Read more>>

Brittany Sherman

I am a 26-year-old mother of two and a military spouse. I have always loved to create art and it has been a dream of mine since I was little to make a living off my art. In college, I was trying to decide between a Chemistry major which is what people told me was the “right” thing to do and a Graphic Design major which was what I wanted to do. After I married my husband my sophomore year we were restationed to Virginia and college got put on hold. I got a full-time job as an assistant kitchen manager but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. A year later, we decided we were ready to start our family and I got pregnant with our son who was born in August of 2017. We were very lucky to be in a position where I could stay home to raise our son but it reignited my desire to make my dream of making money off my art a reality. I wanted to add to our household income while being able to stay home with the little ones and not worry about where we will move in the future. I also wanted to be able to show my children that they can follow their passions and create the life they dream of. Read more>>

Deborah Risper

I have been an entrepreneur pretty much all my adult life. What I learned early on is if there is a need, you should become the genius and meet what is needed. My journey started 11 years ago when I opened my first tax service. I am a proud 11 year IRS-certified tax professional. I started probably like most folks, servicing family. Family then brought friends, which from there, I grew. I have had great success and many of those relationships have cultivated to other parts of my business. Fast-forward to today; my clients won’t let me quit! I sometimes don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. Nevertheless, I count it all joy that they entrust me with their financial information and decision-making. But outside of tax season, I am a now five-time Author, Speaker, Editor-In-Chief for Women Of Excellence Magazine, Business and Book Coach, a.ka. The Billionaire Brewer. I help my clients go from telling their story to selling their story. Read more>>

Fredy Moso

Born and raised in Nogales Arizona and currently residing in Tucson. I’ve been recording music for about seven years. Photography and motion picture became a passion of mine through the years, mostly because of correlation to the music piece. My latest approach to this music is in Spanish. something I’ve been talking about doing for a long time. Read more>>

Justin Avila

When I was young, I remember always being creative and imaginative with whatever was around me. People who observed me would share that I was always never bored because I was always playing, drawing, making crafts. As I grew up, I still enjoyed still using my head full of imagination. During school, I would be creative with class projects, and with art class I had fun with the variety of concepts I learned throughout the years. After high school, I decided to continue to be creative and still practice my skills as an artist and creator. Messing around with YouTube videos, making things in video games that gave me that ability, getting in touch with digital art via Paint Tool SAI, and many more activities to help keep my mind going. Read more>>

Anna Fuller

I moved to Las Vegas in October 1, 2017. I started as an agency Patient Care Assistant having let my CNA lapse. So after 1 1/2 years of going to people’s homes and barely making enough to get by, I decided to find a school in Las Vegas and get my CNA all over again. The school was a joke, I spent $3,000 to pay for the course and it was like rompers room. The teacher cried daily bringing her personal issues to class and I was NOT able to learn anything. I found a FACETS Healthcare Training, flyer in the classroom and I called Vicky RN/owner immediately. From that day forward my goal was made a piece of cake. I passed my state board certification exam the 1st time and immediately went to work in a post-acute rehabilitation center. FACETS Healthcare Training study guide and clinical videos are sooooo well done and effective, and they guarantee a pass the 1st time is ALL TRUE! Read more>>

Sunny Wilson and Chris Mitchell

Old Pueblo Collective was dreamed up four years go on the doorsteps of a posh little gallery in Tucson, Arizona. My husband Chris and I were shocked to find we could either afford to start an art collection or send our kids to college. I tried to convince Chris college was overrated, but we left empty-handed. As art lovers and creators, it made sense for us to build an organization that values artists and makes wildly unique art accessible to everyday people like us. We were not rich by any stretch of the imagination, and investors were not lined up with stacks of cash to throw at our startup. Like most small businesses, we began with what we had, an unimpressive shelf of art supplies and a walk-in closet with enough space to cram in a student desk and a laptop. Indeed, OPC’s first office space was in our bedroom closet. I swore I’d never tell anyone at the time, but now that we don’t share a space with our winter clothes, it’s almost laughable. Read more>>

Ariel Fan

Holy Voids is a slow fashion brand created in 2018. From the start, we wanted to find a balance between form and function, beauty in the simplistic and the brewing of creative forces. We try our best to make intentional, locally made, staple pieces for people to cherish year after year. Read more>>

Patricia Glover

I entered the legal field about 15 years ago through a friend who asked me to fill a legal receptionist position at her office. Although I had no prior desire to work in the legal field, I quickly fell in love with it. When I moved to Arizona in 2007, I used the receptionist experience to land a job as a legal assistant at a prestigious bankruptcy firm. While working there, I began my college education in legal studies. Read more>>

Olivia Mcdowell

My passion for the arts began when I was a little girl. Starting in kindergarten, I had always loved to bring my creative ideas to life, imagining my own film ideas as well as modeling for my own enjoyment in various types of outfits and pretending to run my own fashion shows. As the years went on, more specifically my freshman year in high school, my art style began to develop into something unique and my brand name, VikiiT, was born. Read more>>

Joshua Urquiza

Being multifaceted and talented, I always had big aspirations. Some of those include music, pro Wrestling, broadcasting, and designing clothing. After trying to live two of those dreams, I decided to stick with Broadcasting. Not knowing where to start, I looked into anything to get me started in hosting some kind of show. Finally, I found podcasting. I started by practicing the art of conversation by having in-depth conversations with friends. Read more>>

Katlyn Bailey

When my daughter was born, I really wanted to take up photography because I wanted to be able to take great photos of all the memories I knew we were going to create and I wanted a platform to post on that we could look back on one day. So, I decided to buy a camera and post all of our memories on Instagram. This all started when my daughter was born in April of 2017. I started out as a “mommy blogger”, but eventually turned into a lifestyle content creator. Read more>>

Chelsea Jones

I have been blogging/Instagramming off and on for the past three years, but it wasn’t until my triplets were born that I began taking it seriously and more consistently. During my pregnancy, I searched everywhere for resources about multiples and only a handful came up and most of those were outdated. I wanted to create a space where other families preparing for multiples or just welcomed in a new set. Read more>>

Laurel Elders

My story became truly interesting when I turned 34. I was doing ok in life I guess. I had a bachelor’s in Organizational Psychology, was a Certified Coach working full time and was a divorced single mother to three kids. “I am so sorry your stomach hurts Laurel.” My boss said as he looked at me with heartwrenching levels of apathy. “But we really need to get this project done and put aside all the issues.” My heart sank. Read more>>

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