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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.

Hart Shafer

My wife, Kerrie, has fought chronic daily migraine since she was a teenager, and in 2003, the attacks became intense enough that she had to stop regular work. We’ve tried everything we could find that might help her, including countless drugs, physical therapy, Botox, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and even an implanted experimental nerve stimulator. During a visit to a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in 2011, Kerrie was wearing her sunglasses because even normal indoor lights were so painful. The doctor was sympathetic to why she needed the sunglasses but warned us that wearing sunglasses indoors could make her sensitivity to light worse over time as her body adapted to the dark. Read more>>

Justin Haines

When I first ventured into business on my own, I ran into some obstacles and had some tough learning lessons. It wasn’t until I hired a coach that things started changing for me. As I continued to learn and grow, I started sharing these ideas with my business partners, and the people around me. What I noticed was that some of them started to make powerful shifts in their life, I then knew I needed a bigger platform in which to speak. The Agent Evolution was born. Read more>>

Shannon Smith

I started Sassy Soirees 14 years ago with my laptop on my apartment floor. In the beginning, I would plan any event, on any budget, just to gain experience. I would go to wedding vendor meetups to network, and to learn from what they were doing. It wasn’t too long before those relationships paid off and people started referring me to their clients. As more business came in, it gave me the ability to pick what events I would plan based on criteria I was looking for. Read more>>

Buzzy Sullivan

I was born and raised in Montana, which is home to some of the most expansive wilderness areas in the United States and also one of the largest EPA Super Fund Sites. This duality of the place helped form my interest in the human/nature interface in the American West. As an adult, I moved all over the West living in Montana, California, and eventually landed in Oregon, where I stayed for 14 years. In 2013, I moved from Oregon to pursue my MFA in Photography at Arizona State University. Read more>>

Tammy White

My name is Tammy L. White, and I am the owner of Buttered, an organic skincare company. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, and a naturalista. I embrace and celebrate the natural beauty that each of us fabulous humans possesses. I was born and raised in the great state of Michigan but have made Phoenix my home since 2006. My journey to Buttered began in the spring of 2007 when I embraced my natural hair with all of its curls and coils. In December 2015, I started experimenting with organic bath and body products by making body scrub gifts for family, friends, and coworkers. Read more>>

Raay Francy

My story is complicated, but if I were to narrow it down to a window, I’d start with how, growing up, I always felt like I existed outside of the world. I watched it develop around me, but I was too shy and introverted to get involved with it myself. My fashion style spoke for me, and all I spoke to were the blue lines on notebook pages. Being a size 12+ back in the 2000s meant not being able to shop the styles that were popular which was the catalyst for me finding my own genuine look. Read more>>

LeAnn Hull

I lost my 16-year-old son, Andy to suicide on Dec 12th, 2012. He was my youngest of four children and a light to our family and the world. After he moved to Heaven, my focus became helping others become aware of suicide prevention tools. His nickname was “Sunshine” and thus the name of the Foundation. He was the least likely person to complete suicide which allowed me the platform to dispel the myths of who is a candidate for suicide. Red more>>

Manasa Magona

My name is Manasa “Moinasia” was born in West Africa Freetown, Sierra Leone and I moved to the United States when I was 12yrs old. Thankful to God for everything and the woman I am today. Growing up I have always believed your words are powerful and I love to inspire, motivate people through words. That’s why I started my Inspirational word bracelets and necklaces. I love to encourage people, and always remind them, that no matter what happens in life or what you might be going through there is still something to be thankful for; because you are not what you are going through. Read more>>

Carlos Montúfar

I am a transplant from El Paso, TX. I was born in Monterey Park, CA, but my mother brought us to Texas for a better life and safer environment. I was pushed in the direction of math and science growing up, but my passion was for the arts. I began drawing and painting at a very young age, winning community awards for my artwork as well as debuting my mural work at Americas High School, the school I attended before moving to Phoenix. Another one of my passions was Flamenco. Read more>>

Bethany Stein

Cactus Cookies was founded as a way to make it possible for me to continue to be a stay at home mom. I was going through old recipes after my grandmother passed away and found many she and other family members have used over the years to make delicious cookies that are Christmas staples in our house. I loved baking with my grandmother, and this was a special way to keep her close in my heart and in my kitchen. Read more>>

Jennifer Millikin

I caught the writing bug in the fifth grade. I read and wrote until I was published in 2015. Since then I’ve written five full-length novels, one novella, and my sixth book releases on March 6th, 2019. People tend to romanticize writing a novel. They may picture toiling away in front of a computer with a steaming mug of coffee beside them. In reality, it’s more like a knock-down, drag-out fight everyday. Finding an audience, writing flowing, beautiful prose, and marketing are just a few of the responsibilities. Passion is what gets me through the struggles, and passion is what draws in readers. Read more>>

Kimberly Muro

My story begins in Texas, y’all. I am the daughter of an El Paso Fire Captain and an entrepreneur. I am the mother of two sons and a pack of rescues, which includes dogs, rats, and fish. I moved from El Paso to Phoenix, where I met my husband at the MVD and married him less than two months later. My background is in Higher Education, where I worked for many years before deciding to change to the Massage Therapy Industry. I opened up my massage therapy company, called Kneading Attention, in 2012. During my massage therapy training, I learned what veganism was and it clicked for me. Read more>>


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