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Mesa’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 Mesa and surrounding areas below.

Desiree Reed

I am a professional mermaid. My company provides real-life swimming mermaids for various events all around the Valley. This was something I happened upon by chance. I saw how amazing it was and there were not many people here in Arizona doing it. So I decided it was something I wanted to do and I started my own company. It took me 2 1/2 years to raise the funds for my professional equipment. Read more>>

Paula Henderson

I’m the Owner/CEO of FAB50Focus, Personal Fitness Strategist and Motivational Coach. My passion/purpose is helping women to develop a personalized Strategic Fitness Plan and become empowered, self-confident, full of energy to live their best life while looking FABulous! I was born July 7, 1965 – weighing in at 3lbs 4ozs in Greenville, Mississippi, a small rural town north of the capital of Jackson the second child of a single mother. Read more>>

Thomas Salcido III

Art has helped me graduate high school and pretty much saved my life. For starters, I can honestly say I was a trouble maker as a child, always getting into trouble at school and in the streets. I never took my artistic skill very seriously, just never thought it could take me anywhere, but one person knew it would. Kelly Hogan was my 8th-grade art teacher and now a life long friend of mine. Read more>>

Sevinj Ahmadova

I am 25 years old and all my professional life I have spent in the financial field. I have graduated from my master’s studies two years ago and after seeing my graduation photos everything started. However, I would like to talk a bit about the period which was before: so during my master studies, I did not have much time to prepare food (or I perceived myself so, I don’t know) and I was eating all my meals from outside, and of course, I was eating unhealthy stuff. Read more>>

Daniel Huber

I’ve always been interested in combat sports. I started wrestling when my Grandpa showed me a few moves when I was ten years old in the family room. I’ve been wrestling ever since that day, fascinated with the detail of technique and the unique, diverse benefits combat sports has given me. Flash forward to 2012, I was on Team USA and represented our country in the World Grappling Championships in Krakow, Poland. Read more>>

Tricia Samsal

My story starts in 1998 when my mother and I started a business that focused, primarily, on scrapbooking accessories and vintage collectibles. Throughout the following years, the scrapbook craze began to die down, and, in 2005, I became a sole proprietor and began selling vintage finds and art supplies. As a sole proprietor. Read more>>

Isarae Koval

Back in 2014, I started trying to get in touch with my life’s task with the goal of mastering a field. I was still exploring lots of creative avenues but kind of narrowed it down to visual arts and writing. Around then, I started a journaling habit, which I still maintain. That’s probably been the single most useful thing I’ve done for my personal and creative development. Read more>>

Dara Fowler

I have been self-employed running Dara Fowler Graphics from home for 17. I have clients around the world and have always stayed busy — without self-promotion. Through the years, I have had publishers as clients, serving as Art Director for at least a dozen publications. I love publication design, and I have really enjoyed the lifestyle and community magazines I have been a part of. I also really love living in East Mesa. It is the perfect little corner of the valley. Read more>>

Landry Low

I’ve been sewing and making quite literally my whole life – my grandma began teaching me how to hand sew using yarn and plastic canvas when I was two (and I just never stopped)! When I was in my junior and senior years of high school, I attended a two-year fashion program at East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, which I largely credit for being the reason that I was not only accepted to my dream school but accrued enough money in scholarships and grants to actually attend. Read more>>

Jonathan Yazzie

I started by shooting photos with film. Then I had took a break for a couple of years and purchased a mirrorless camera. I shot as many photos as possible to create somewhat the vibe I have now with my photos. What has helped me through this path is definitely consistency. I reached out to many people to take their photos, many no’s but the more I asked the more comfortable I was with asking and it became more yes’s. Read more>>

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