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Phoenix’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 Phoenix and surrounding areas below.

Janelle Stahl

I’ve always been an outside-the-box thinker, a creative, and a word lover. It probably started with lucking out and getting some of the greatest teachers ever, each of whom played pivotal roles in fostering my enthusiasm for language and writing. In sixth grade, I was one of the few who loved diagramming sentences, and in high school, I was always thrilled to tackle a new research paper. Read more>>

Christa Suppe

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in documenting “life” and “memories”. I started in High School, blogging about anything and everything and trying to take photos to go along with each post. It was a fun creative outlet that opened the door to the world of documenting.  When I moved into college as a Graphic Design major, I fell in love with Photography. It was a required class and I really took to it. While all of my peers were taking photos of Fashion, I decided to take photos of couples, and families to display as my final project. It was after that, that others started inquiring about me photographing them. 12 years later, I have been working as a Full-Time Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer – working with hundreds of couples and families doing what I have always loved: Documenting Memories!! Read more>>

Misty Cosper

I am a Heart-Centered Bookkeeper / Accountant and a With Heart™ Transformational Energy Coach. While we once lived in a world where those two “worlds” did not exist together, it has become my intention, and my experience, that these two worlds can no longer be separate of each other. In July of 2018 I started my business, however, my business was not created because of a big dream or vision of huge success.  As a single mom of two amazing kids, and without any plan in place or money saved up, all I had was absolute desperation from another “dream job” failure and a deep knowing that there was something more, something were I no longer had to separate all the different parts of myself.  Read more>>

Kierstan Craft

I always knew I wanted to be an artist. Art was the one thing that made sense to me besides books. If I wasn’t drawing, I was read, and if I was reading, I was drawing. Growing up I was constantly drawing characters and scenes but had trouble finding a niche. During the pandemic I was able to find myself a little more and started painting the characters I was reading about. Mythology and fantasy has always been a bit of an outlet for me. Incorporating mythology into my art has been fun, and I’m hoping to inspire people to look more into the stories as well. Read more>>

Eliseo Rangel

The world beyond the U.S. has fascinated me since my single-digit years when I was running through the backyard armed to the teeth with sticks and imagination. I still remember the moment I stepped out of a Parisian subway station into a foreign city for the first time. Streams of people crowded the sidewalks, chatting in a language that glanced off my ears and disappeared into a haze of incomprehension. Gasoline and exhaust from the constant bustle of cars mixed with the smells of toasting bread from a nearby bakery. And the sounds! Honking, shouting, laughter, leaves rustling in the wind, footsteps, street market vendors calling to each other while packing up their stalls. I was instantly hooked. I went to school to be an artist, but a debilitating case of creative burnout led me to the travel lifestyle and I ended up working dead-end jobs just to save up for my next trip. The phrase ‘five-year plan’ was about as foreign to me as the countries I was visiting. I didn’t even enter the travel industry until 2018 when near-broke and unemployed from a cross-country backpacking trip, I answered a remarkably quirky ad for a student travel company. Read more>>

Malika Hobeheidar

From Phoenix to Gilbert, I’m quite all over the place, which somewhat makes me a Phoenician at heart but originally, I was born in Paris, France. I’d like to think that’s where my aesthetics to beauty comes from. My drive for success comes from being an All-American girl. I grew up in a very rich cultured household, in a town that was much different than the city life I remember of Paris. Growing up, I always felt a little misplaced, until my 30s when it all kind of clicked. It happens to the best of us. Today, at 35, I proudly find myself managing two businesses: my family’s restaurant – Otto Pizza & Pastry of 29 years and my own little startup – Malika Photography. I received my MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2018, whilst working full-time as a French bilingual representative at American Express when I realized the entrepreneur inside of me couldn’t settle. Behind the scenes, I was also concentrating on my art for photography. After graduating, I suddenly found myself leaving AMEX for Otto’s. My ultimate goal was to help my family, while feeding my entrepreneurial needs by applying my educational skills to the business such as HR, accounting, financials, communication, leadership, etc. Read more>>

Jillian Allen

I’m an Arizona native, and I’ve been interested in the hair and beauty industry ever since I can remember. I grew up dancing and styling my friends’ hair for dances and special events. After high school, I moved to Holland, Michigan, and graduated in 2006 from Hope College with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Dance. I worked 12 years in corporate marketing and event planning, and I would style hair for my friends’ weddings on the side. I eventually realized I’d rather be behind the chair than behind a desk. In 2017, I pivoted careers and earned a cosmetology license at Penrose Academy. I currently work at The Bespoke Salon in Phoenix and offer cut, color, extensions, and bridal styling. Read more>>

Dan Brown Jr.

Absolutely! Normally in these types of interviews, I’d speak about my musical heritage and upbringing, how we started the now, multiple Emmy Award-Winning Production Music Powerhouse CrimeSonics, and our experiences working with the biggest brands and networks from around the world, but if it’s ok, in this interview I’d like to talk about Brianna Wells and our newest endeavor, Documentary-Filmmaking. For the past several years, we’ve been diligently studying the craft of documentary films and patiently waiting for the right subject to bring to life. Then we learned about Brianna Wells and her story. A little context. On the morning of December 29th, 2014, Brianna’s body was found, in a South Phoenix alley. She had been murdered. Her tragic story gripped our hearts here at CrimeSonics, so we started digging around a little and quickly realized, something just did not seem right. Read more>>

Jeremy Razar

I was a business major and a creative, ultimately graduating from the WP Carey School of Business at ASU. In the corporate world, I’ve been able to leverage my business background into a successful career as a Sales VP in the Enterprise Software space. Up until the Summer of 2018, I hadn’t really explored a specific outlet for my favorite creative pursuit – songwriting. I’d been a guitar player ever since the age of 12 and developed a really good ear for melodies. I would hum melodies and turn them into chords on the guitar. Throughout my life, I had written hundreds of these chord progressions but never fully developed them into songs. But in the Summer of 2018, I found myself between jobs. I resolved to finally get into a professional recording studio to try to find my sound and develop a few of these chord progressions into a song or two with full lyrics, vocals, bass lines, drums, everything, Could I make a full song beginning to end, one that would be worthy of being heard on the radio? Fast forward three months and I had recorded ten fully structured songs with verse-chorus-bridge, and lyrics fully mixed and mastered. Read more>>

Debbie Waitkus

In 2000 I left my position as president of a firm in the corporate financial world (leaving the nylons behind!) to create Golf for Cause®, a company that focuses on helping organizations and individuals use golf as a tool to raise money, forward relationships, and promote personal growth. Thousands of golfers, many of them women and a large percentage of them new golfers, have participated in various Golf for Cause workshops, conferences, clinics, tournaments, leagues, and just-for-fun events to learn how to turn golf into gold®. Charitable fundraising is gold, yes. And so much more than that. There is the gold that is a richness of friendships, of personal and business relationships, of bonding and teambuilding. The gold that is quality time spent with people you care about. The gold that fills your vault of treasured memories. The gold that is a connection with nature that yields a continuing harvest of invaluable insight and self-discovery. Regardless how well you play, how often you play, where you play, or whether you play at all, golf is a gold-laden game that can take you places you never thought you’d see and introduce you to people and experiences you never imagined possible. Read more>>

Beth DuPree

I am the seventh of seven children born to amazing parents where I was taught that the only limitations, I have in life are those I place on myself. A surgeon by education, I am a healer to my core! I transitioned my primary breast care practice to Sedona Arizona in September 2017. I had thirty-five years of expertise and passion to Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona where she led a fully integrative breast cancer program that has received NAPBC (National Accreditation Program of Breast Centers) designation in December of 2019. Sedona has long been her favorite place on the planet since visiting on vacation in 2001 on a trip to the Grand Canyon. I was Vice President of Holy Redeemer Health System in Huntingdon Valley PA overseeing Surgical Services, Women’s Health, Employee Wellness, and Integrative and Holistic Medicine. I held an academic appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Surgery at The University of Pennsylvania. training young breast surgical oncologists. Read more>>

Miguel Urbina

I started writing the day 50 cents album get rich or die trying dropped. As soon as I heard the album, I knew I wanted to make music rap more specifically. Always wrote to myself until high school I started actually showing people and went to my first studio where I finally laid my first track, it was a learning experience. I always had a pen I just needed to learn how to make music. Linked with my cousin Benny loc and we made music ever since, honing our Craft. He started battle rapping and from day one was telling me to get into it since I write like that on my songs anyways then I had my first battle… It felt like I found my true passion. Battling is my gift, my talent. Music is my skill. Love them both but battling really took my heart. Read more>>

Carrie Hamblin

Originally from South Florida, I moved to Phoenix in 2003 to complete my degree in interior design. I had never been to Arizona before and was excited for a new opportunity and to live in a new place above sea level (haha). My parents, my cat, and I packed up and drove across the country to my new home. While working toward my interior design degree at Scottsdale Community College, I worked as a design assistant for several interior designers and learned all aspects of the trade. I completed my bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University and was ready to officially start my career! After working directly with homeowners designing custom cabinetry, furniture, and window treatments, I found a home in sales at Facings of America. Throughout my career at Facings, I have worked in sales, marketing, product development, and now as Operations Manager. I wear many hats and I love each one. My most important accomplishment over the past nine years has been becoming a mom to two incredible boys, Franklin and Henry. Read more>>

Jackie Lee

I got started by accident. I was a third-grade teacher and I was in need of a creative outlet after teaching all day. I asked my husband to make me a batch of cookie dough (I glad never made cookie dough) and I made icing. I just had fun decorating cookies and instantly became hooked. I worked for months on perfecting a cookie dough recipe as well as an icing recipe. I would make and decorate cookies each night after I came home from school. I would give the cookies to coworkers and soon they began asking for specific shapes. After four months, a friend asked if I would make cookies for her daughters’ wedding. I said yes! My motto was always say “yes” no matter what! I wanted to learn as much as I could and took each request as a challenge. After making cookies for 7 months, I decided to take a year off teaching to see what I could do with my newfound hobby. I jumped in with both feet and learned every aspect of a small business-creating, baking, marketing, ALL OF IT! Read more>>

Karen Lukacs

I grew up in a place where making things by hand was part of the culture, at a time when interest in crafts was widely practiced and appreciated. The environmental movement was strong, US recycling programs took shape, and on weekends I participated in a local recycling group. It was a time when the wearable arts movement blossomed and caught my attention. I have always done something with needle and thread. Embellishing jeans in college made for extra money. In my first studio, I produced ballet costumes and created custom fabrications for architects. For a gallery, I helped with textile installations. In my second studio, I designed and fabricated custom yardage for interior designers. In my Tucson studio, I design and make pieces to wear, to carry, and to decorate the home with a focus on thoughtful design and quality construction. My work has won awards, shown in galleries, is in private collections, and been published in magazines. Read more>>

Oscar Rivera

As a native of the Sonoran Desert, I grew up in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico until I was 14 when I moved to Tucson with my family. Already knowing that I wanted to be a filmmaker, I decided to teach myself the craft and I poured myself into every book, magazine, website, and DVD special feature I could find. By the time I graduated from high school in the summer of 2007, I had managed to make and exhibit a short film (with the help of my family) and had accepted an offer to shoot my first feature film as a cinematographer. That film led to another, and the friendships I made on set led to more relationships over time. In the following years, I would continue to study, develop my craft and network, meet the love of my life, and with her help (and as always, the help of our families) face the uncertainties of a life as a freelancer. Over time, I became established in the Tucson film and advertising markets, where I shot 10 feature films, 28 short films, and well over 250 commercials. However, as anyone who aspires to work on bigger and better projects, I always kept an eye on Hollywood. Read more>>

Adrian Cavada II

I wandered most of my life aimlessly. I chased pleasure after pleasure thinking it was the answer to my problems. Just to find out, I was simply attempting to escape the hell that I was living inside my head. Until one day, I realized I was insane because I was repeating the same actions and expecting a different result. And because of that realization, I knew I had to do something different in order to live differently and not be in a constant state of despair. I knew that I had to take action and responsibility in creating the life I want for myself. I came to understand my character within my life story and I affirmed that I was not a victim within it but actually the hero. So, I took the initiative to transform my life through means of healing myself by creating structure and flow in my life in the areas of my mind, body, and spirit. And because of that initiative, the fear I had towards living a self-fulfilling life transformed into the passion I have to help others do the same. Read more>>

Sara Maria

Sara Maria is a Lifestyle Influencer, Author, and Speaker. She has always been passionate about helping others. Originally from VA, Sara Maria sold everything and moved across the country in 2018, when God told her to move to Arizona. She spent the first 9 months working at the City of Phoenix Section 8 office. It was there that she noticed the disconnect between Landlords, Tenants, and the Section 8 office, and she quit her job and opened her first business, The Landlord Liaisons. This was her first business and it connected Section 8 Landlord & Tenants together. In 2019, Sara Maria co-authored her first book, ‘Empowering Women to Succeed: Overcoming Obstacles. In the book, she shared her story of how she changed her mindset and the goals she was able to achieve because of it. Sara Maria is a firm believer in speaking life over yourself every day and is an advocate for Mindset and Mindfulness for self-growth. Read more>>

Jenna Neumann

My story starts a bit unconventional. I grew up in small-town Wisconsin with dreams of becoming a middle school teacher and coaching high school basketball. When I graduated college, I stayed in the teaching industry for seven years until I felt I was destined for something different. I ended up getting out of the industry and took a job in Texas as an Office Manager for a solar company. I was enjoying learning about the industry, taking courses, and soaking in all things solar. About four years in, I decided I wanted to make the move back to Arizona, where I was teaching for a few years prior, and my former CFO, now business partner, Christopher Yau, approached me about the idea to start our own solar company and a few months later, iVee League Solar was born. With our combined passion, knowledge, and expertise in the solar industry, it only made sense for us to continue our solar journey in the sunny state of beautiful Arizona. Read more>>

Darlene Ziebell

Darlene Ziebell is a veteran serial entrepreneur, CEO, management consultant, and author. She purchased her first business over 30 years ago and learned to create her consulting methods from a unique blend of large enterprise strategies and the battle scars she acquired in four entrepreneurial endeavors. She personally experienced startups, mergers, ESOPs, acquisitions, IPO, partnerships, liquidations, and lawsuits. She achieved high-level sales figures that placed her in the top 3% of successful female entrepreneurs four times. One of her many endeavors was a business management consulting startup that grew to eight figures with a client base representing 20% of the Fortune 1000. She currently consults with entrepreneurs offering management services. Acting as their CO-CEO, she prepares them to predict confrontations, provides insight for planning and growth, and steps for increased profitability. In the United States, 85% of all small businesses fail before their fifth anniversary. Darlene has beat those odds four times. Read more>>

Sean Golightly

Like many musicians, I got my start in the church. I played bass and sang in the band, and picked up an ear for music along the way. As a younger man, I did a lot of street performing- busking as it’s called – and toured by bicycle across the west. Alongside my music, I’ve been a student of cultural anthropology, archaeology, and the art of communication. Now, I’ve put down roots in Flagstaff, where I write and perform with a myriad of musical groups all while releasing a bulk of my material as a solo artist. In my time I have developed a great love for American music. I think it is one of the few spaces where the multicultural dream of America has is nearly realized. Most folks say my style is country, Americana, or blues – and if you know a thing about music, you know these sounds have drawn upon traditions that reach as far as the Scottish Highlands, West Africa, and of course, the Indigenous music of Turtle Island. It’s humbling to consider oneself as an artist in this greater context, and it’s an honor I doubt I’ll ever live up to. Read more>>

Kaytlin Brown

I’ve always been fascinated with the body and its ability to heal itself after trauma, injuries, etc. That fascination led me down the path of becoming a massage therapist (after receiving my BS in Exercise Science). I’ve now been licensed for 10 years or so and have spent the better part of that building my own thriving massage practice in Denver, CO, where I mostly helped people with preventative, therapeutic bodywork. In 2019 I gave birth to my son, Simon, and gained a whole new level of respect for what our bodies (especially pregnant people) are capable of doing. I had an incredibly empowering birth experience which lit a fire inside to be more involved in that whole part of life. That’s when I decided I wanted to be a doula and offer bodywork and birth support to pregnant/birthing people. I had just got my practice up and running again after maternity leave when Covid reared its ugly head. I made the difficult decision to close my practice in Denver due to the uncertainties of the virus and the more vulnerable population I was working with (pregnant people). I just couldn’t picture myself having to make a phone call informing someone that I had exposed them somehow. It felt like the right thing to do at the time. Read more>>

Heather Simpson

As I watched my car get repossessed out of the parking lot of my apartment, I felt helpless. I recently had to move myself and my children out of our family home as the bank was close to taking that too. I was in the middle of a divorce, on food stamps, and depressed. As I walked back into my new place with tears streaming down my face, I realized how much I was acting like a victim instead of taking responsibility. Looking into the eyes of my 3- and 7-year-old, I knew I had to take action… different action that what led me here. That’s where it all began for me. I made a commitment that I would not allow myself to be in another situation where anyone could take anything from me again, where my kids could count on me, where we could live a life that we not only survived in… but THRIVED in. I got to work. On myself, my mindset, and my personal growth. As I learned about the value and importance of taking accountability and trying my best every single day, opportunities unfolded before me. Read more>>

Melissa Medina

My story begins in Brooklyn NY, the famous Coney Island area to be exact. I’m 2nd generation Puerto Rican to be born off the island. At the age of 9, I moved to the Island to live with my grandparents. I returned to NY in 2000 to finish high school and started a family a little earlier than expected at 19. Wanting to raise my son out of the crazy of NYC I moved to AZ in 2004 right before my son was born. I like to think that Brooklyn gave me my grit and hustle and Puerto Rico gave me an intimate connection to my Latina roots and community and Phoenix is where those two merged and flourished. Since I can remember I envisioned myself working in the legal field. Attorneys and Judges always intrigued me. I loved how formal and powerful their roles appeared. I got my 1st job as a legal assistant in 2005 for a criminal defense attorney and quickly feel in love with the job. It was a lot what I had envisioned and a ton more, what was so special about working in the legal field was how it felt to help someone and the warmness you felt when they expressed how you made a difference in their lives no matter how small you felt your role was. Read more>>

Adriah Williams

I started about 3 months ago, I was working for a company that helped families with children with disabilities out by teaching the development skills and some behavioral skills, I was also a medical assistant. I’ve always felt working with kids and helping out those in need was my passion. I wanted to be a nurse for the longest but due to COVID, I decided to find another passion that would allow me the freedom to be able to continue that passion and be able to voluntarily help many people in need and give me the freedom to do as much as I desire. I was on my way home from my birthday trip and said “I want to do lashes and skincare” in that very moment I ordered a mannequin head and started watching several videos to ensure this was something I could truly be passionate about and indeed it was. I then got certified 2x and I’ve been a bit introverted the past couple years when it comes to friends so I didn’t have to much support from the inside other than my mother and myself but that is more than enough. Read more>>

DJ Jahmar

My father Was a DJ and I followed in his footsteps when my dad got cancer. I began djing his gigs while he was down and over time gained a fan base for my style of djing. Most DJs at the time only focused on mixing and blending with little microphone talking or crowd interaction. my style includes the mic, blending, and interacting with the crowd thru storytelling and quick slick comments. I began working with celebrities touring since I was 18 years. I have worked with Pastor Troy, Snoop Dogg, Ziggy Marley, Trap Beckham, Tory lanez, and my Brother Safaree To name a few. I have DJ the BET Awards, festivals and other gigs all over the world. I try not to put Myself in a box when it comes to genre. I really Love all music and appreciate the art and sound. My musical selections to rock the crowd. With a wide range of electic taste including reggae, reggaeton, hip hop, traditional rock and pop. I also Produced Reggae Music and Currently have two Albums on Spotify over 100k streams each released this year. I created my own charity “DeeJays Against Hunger” that aims to fight hunger among families that are homeless. Read more>>

Andrea Benjamin

I started my career nearly a decade ago when I got my first job in print, creating ads for newspapers and magazines. In the years that followed, I worked my way up to a Creative Director at a digital marketing agency, working with hundreds of small businesses along the way. And while I loved what I did every day, I knew I wanted to call the shots. So, I took a leap of faith and I left my 9-5 job to follow my dreams and start my own business. While I’m originally from Fargo, North Dakota, my family moved to Arizona when I was 6 years old. I came to love living in the desert, though I briefly moved back to the Midwest to play college basketball at Concordia College. I didn’t know it at the time, but my experience as a college athlete would shape me for years to come. I learned how to work hard, be goal-oriented, and work with a team; and balancing work, school, and basketball was a lesson in time management. Today, these skills allow me to successfully run my own business, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that experience. Read more>>

Reetu DeLeon

I began my personal journey with therapy when I was in college and started going to therapy myself. I had always wanted to be a journalist, but when I noticed how much my life had changed because of my therapeutic experience, I knew that was my calling. I wanted to help people the way I was helped. I graduated from ASU with my undergrad degree and then decided to move to San Diego for a couple of years before moving to New York to go to New York University for graduate school. I graduated with a Master of Social Work degree in 2004 and decided to stay in NYC. That was one of the best decisions I made. I loved working in NYC because of the diversity of clients and the cutting-edge experts in the field that I had a chance to work with and train under. I did my post-graduate work at the Ackerman Institute for the family, where I specialized my work in couples and family work. This helped me find my niche in the field and I was able to specialize my work. I also became trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy, an attachment-based model that further supported my previous couples and family training. Read more>>

Ali Mahmood

Growing up I was a professional in the photographic field, I was the best of the best back in my home country which is Iraq. Smartphones came to light and the industry took a big hit; I knew from that moment that I needed to do something that would not be taken from technology. Food was one of my first instinct, I researched and made sure that whatever I was going to do was not going to be defeated from technology. I looked around and wanted to do something healthy, high protein, no side effects on cholesterol, gaining weight and delicious. It was The falafel, The challenge was going to be making the best falafel in the world. I was good in chemistry so I know what would be the outcome when elements react with each other. I watched 100’s of YouTube recipes and I made a small lab to make experiments to make the best falafels. after a few months, I perfected the most amazing falafel recipe, crunchy from the outside, fluffy from the inside, and made sure the color was a real golden brown, and flavorful. I arrived to Arizona in August 2015, and I started to look for space to build a Restaurant but the cost was out of my budget. Read more>>

Jay Macklin

Michelle [Macklin; wife] and I started Desert Platinum Properties back in 2010 after we left a previous affiliation. We had our own team and were doing very well in 2013, so we decided to open up our own franchise and grew that from 15 agents to over 150 agents by 2018. In the summer of 2018, we decided to go independent to focus more on the luxury market. By February 2020, we had grown the brokerage to 190 agents. With agent services like marketing, coaching, and lead systems generating business for the agents, attracting agents to the company was fairly easy. In August 2020 we became Corcoran’s first affiliate here in Arizona and in October 2020, we launched Corcoran Platinum Living. With an emphasis on the high-end market, we have been for the last year focusing on elevating the agent experience by providing better systems, technology, support, and lead systems to help agents stay consistent and become more scalable. I always say that I am a marketing coach and company disguised as a real estate brokerage, and that’s because of what we do on a daily basis to help our agents succeed at a much greater rate than the average agent. Read more>>

Benjamin Ramirez

It all started for me when I was working at a dog daycare that my mother owned and ran. Over the course of 18 years, I worked my way up to managing the business. You can imagine I saw every kind of dog from every situation! I always noticed when people were walking their dogs into the daycare, and the dogs were jumping and barking with excitement, people would have problems with their dog’s collars. To tight and the dog would start coughing terribly, to lose and the dog would slip backwards, the collar would come off and the pup would run free as a bird! (And cause trouble) In the afternoons, people would come in to get their dog and go to grab their leash (much like a coat check, the leashes would be by the door) and they couldn’t find their leash. It seemed like everyone had the same nylon leash from Petsmart. So, I began making leather leashes and collars as custom requests for pups. But there’re a few things wrong with leather. First: if you get it wet, it’s done. Game over. The leather will stretch, then crack. Second: leather has a heavy environmental impact. From the deforestation for pasture land to the chemicals used to tan the leather. It’s not good. Read more>>

Melanie Alston

After participating in a lot of physical and sport activities throughout my life as a teenager, I always remembered my feet hurting.  As I got older, I found myself working many jobs where I was required to stand extended amounts of time.   I began searching for a product that would feel good on my feet, but was never satisfied with any of the foot products that I tried over the years.  I was sure there had to be a better solution to increase my overall foot comfort.  Later on, I began researching my hosiery and sock footwear idea much more on how I wanted it to be made and feel when I walked on my feet.   Then, I started researching how I could protect my idea through a patent.   I began writing my own patent after reading some books on how to patent and trademark it yourself.  I ended up in a Pilot Pro-Se Program that President Obama had just initiated in 2014 for inventors, after a long back and forth with many patent attorneys that told me my idea was not protectable.  One attorney I was previously working with had just dropped me. Read more>>

Nami Milivojevich

After studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, I worked as a fashion designer for over 20 years for brands like Moschino in Milan, J. Crew, Geoffrey Beene, and Victoria’s Secret in New York, and Puma in Nuremberg. I designed pretty much every type of garment there is, from silk ball gowns to jeans and technical sportswear, swimwear, lingerie, and everything in between. I was very lucky to have such a varied experience as a designer and for some of the best companies in the world. As much as I loved my work, it became harder and harder to continue to design for others. I’m a professional and always did my job well, which, as a designer, meant putting myself in the mindset of whomever I was designing for to make the best product I could for them. However, something was always missing… I needed to figure out what was important to ME. I wanted to create a product that matched my values, my aesthetics, and my way of living.  Read more>>

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