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Tempe’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 Tempe and surrounding areas below.

Kristen and Kevin Gluch

In 2013, I (Kristen) was in a thrift store in Phoenix. I had been a regular there, sourcing my own wardrobe and internally crying when I’d find a designer piece for a couple of bucks, but one that wasn’t my size. Sometimes I would find those pieces there day after day, week after week, knowing that if the right buyer didn’t come along, they would be headed to a landfill. Read more>>

Samara Cyn

I’m originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, but I was raised a little bit of everywhere. I moved to Arizona about three years ago straight out of high school to start college. It wasn’t until February of last year (2019) that I wrote my first song. I’ve always been interested in spoken word though, and when I was younger, I’d occasionally write lyrics to popular instrumentals when I was bored. Read more>>

Shaun Rogers

My professional career as an artist started back in August 2016 when I was accepted into the 57th Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. I remember one afternoon when the mail arrived. I received a letter from the heard museum and was excited to open and see if I was accepted. I knew this was the acceptance letter I was waiting for because I was seeing others posting on social media that they got their letters and were to showcase for the upcoming Heard show. Read more>>

Jennifer Johnson

I’ve been in love with beauty since I was a little girl. Anything that involves hair, makeup, and fashion I was all in. I knew I truly loved makeup and all the different looks you can up with was in 2016. I started trying new looks, new brands and I started to do makeup on friends and family. I’ve worked for Sephora and I absolutely loved it! I’ve worked for a skincare line and that was amazing. Read more>>

Brenda Foley

The story of The Bridge Initiative: In 2014, Tracy Liz Miller approached me and said she’d heard of a grant funding new art projects and would I be interested in going in on an application with her focused on amplifying female theatre artists? I agreed and we put together a pitch for The Bridge Initiative, saying we would hold a national contest for a new play. Read more>>

Whitney Cunningham

I decided to enroll in beauty school to pursue skincare at The Studio Academy of Beauty, spring of 2016. Fast forward to Fall 2016, I graduated from school, and was officially a Licensed Esthetician. So over the course of the next few months, I went on several interviews at different spas, and none of them really seemed like they were the right fit for me. A former classmate of mine texted me and asked me if I’d like to work at a lash studio that she currently works at. Read more>>

Gary Chambers II

My name is Gary M. Chambers II Owner & Operator Fitness In Fitness Out LLC. I attended Arizona State University on a full athletic scholarship and went on to receive my undergraduate degree in Exercise and Wellness while holding an active role on the ASU Football team. Post-college I went on to pursue a professional sports career entering the NFL as a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills and various other professional organizations. Read more>>

Just Idle Hands

I’ve never sat around idly. I’ve always just kept my hands busy. I started working in a body shop at a young age. Over the years, I learned how to work with metal and the mechanics behind it. While painting cars, I realized how the eyes perceive things and the basis of color theory. Building custom cars and motorcycles opened my eyes to other forms of art. Fueled by my desire to constantly create new and challenging things, I entered the contemporary art world. Read more>>

Ryan Vaughn

Over the past twenty years, drummer/percussionist Ryan Vaughn has become a fixture in the independent music scene. Ryan has performed with some of the best independent singer/songwriters; including Caleb Hawley, Chrissi Poland, Zach Hurd (Bay Ledges), Sonya Kitchell, Elizabeth & the Catapult, Wakey!Wakey!, Ian Axel (A Great Big World), Rachel Platten, Lucius, Emily Kinney, Charlotte Sometimes. Read more>>

Natalie Welson

When I was younger, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. The only thing that really kept me from committing to this was that I wasn’t entirely sure what it was that I wanted to motivate people to do! It seemed as though I couldn’t pinpoint it, but I knew deep within myself that there was a calling I had to answer. I experienced some pretty heavy traumatic events over the course of a few years and had to work extremely hard to pull myself out of the darkness I had plunged into. Read more>>

Bow Williamson

In the late 1990s as a second income, we bought, sold, and staged homes with our personal collection of vintage furnishings and home decor. We received tons of inquiries about the pieces we used to stage the houses but we never sold any of them. There was a place in S. Florida that rented and sold movie props which is where most of our collection came from. Read more>>

Jared Yazzie

I grew up on a border town to the Navajo reservation, which was an experience I believe helped me balance my different identities as a Diné student in a non-native dominated society. It wasn’t until I arrived in college that I found a passion for the arts through streetwear, fashion, graffiti, street art, graphic design, and screen printing. The world I was taking part in had a deep displacement of representation for indigenous people. Read more>>



Erin DuPree

Despite my natural, outgoing disposition, I had always found it hard to talk to others, make new friends, or maintain lasting relationships. I was a regular listener to self-doubt, and I didn’t think I was special, worthy… certainly not interesting. I always figured I was stuck in negativity mode, and it never occurred to me to pursue genuine happiness. After two c-sections and lots of extra weight gain, I started taking group fitness classes in Ahwatukee. Read more>>

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