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The Most Inspiring Stories in Utah

The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some incredible artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the incredible group below. Check out our favorite stories from across the Voyage family.

Tyler Green

It was during a late-night brainstorm at the family cabin with our late dad, Jeff Green (The Jeffrey Cooler) that we came up with the concept for the Basecamp System. We’d always been a truck family and had spent many hours sitting on open tailgates together sipping cold ones and watching the sun go down. Co-founder Dillon Green had the idea to create the world’s first locking tailgate pad for bicycles– but it wasn’t until he took the idea to the family that it expanded into the world’s first modular tailgate system. What if, our father theorized, we could transform a tailgate from essentially wasted space into a functional hub complete with chairs, a cooler, and more? Read more>>

Raelyn Robinson

Raelyn graduated from Aesthetics school in 2004 and has worked in the industry ever since. She has taught the Basic and Master Aesthetics program at two different schools and managed a medical spa. Bella Vida Laser & Aesthetics was always a dream she had believed was out of reach. But tired of working for companies closing due to the poor economy and high prices, she saw a need for affordable treatments and created Bella Vida with the support of her loving family. Now, Bella Vida Laser & Aesthetics is a successful clinic specializing in laser hair removal, teeth whitening, botox, Dysport, filler, vaginal rejuvenation, and clinical facial treatments. Read more>>

Amanda Ree Hughes

I grew up in a rural Utah town and am an alumna of Southern Utah University with a degree in Theatre and Special Education. I then went on to obtain my Masters of Fine Arts in Arts Administration and Management from the University of Alabama. Over the years, I have worked in various aspects of administrative leadership before returning to Utah to find my second home at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake 11 years ago. Most recently, I served for two years as a consultant for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, serving Clubs across the Pacific and Southwest regions. Along with my position as the CEO, I am a Club parent, and the mission is very dear to my heart. Read more>>

Anna Pocaro

I discovered my love for photography at a very young age. I was likely nine or ten when fate drew me to my mother’s 1970s 35mm Nikomat film camera. Despite the complexity of a fully manual camera, its heavy and solid metal pieces, it quickly became and remains to this day, my most prized possession. In high school, I began exploring and shooting subjects that piqued my interest, combined with the privilege of unlimited access to the darkroom key. Each day I reveled in the creative freedom of what existed behind its secret revolving door. I was learning the traditional process of photography, and mostly discovering a tool of which I could honestly connect, record, and process my intimate interactions with life and the world around me. Read more>>

Jason Dunn

My whole life, I had a deep passion for all types of wildlife. My parents were constantly taking me to natural history museums and other zoological institutions. Since this point, I have always wanted to run a zoo and dinosaur museum. As my passion lead me to Gather information, my learning process started to Immerge a theme. The theme that indicated humanity and wildlife were in constant conflict. Soon I observed other conservationists, biologists, and television hosts try their hand to solve the problem of coexisting humanity with nature. Many naturalists were condescending and degrading to the various people they were trying to influence. Read more>>

Michael Sudbury

Something about me has always looked for the little-known and poorly understood things in life. I like understanding how things work, I find beauty and pleasure in it. I loved math and science in school, still do, but there came a moment when I realized that wasn’t the path for me. Now, that attention and fascination of mine have been turned on us human beings. Over the years, I’ve come to learn much about where we go wrong and end up caught in pain and stuck in misery. Truthfully, I learned because I needed the lessons for myself, but what I was drawn to was all the ways we seem to “miss” how health and happiness really work. Like many, I once scoffed at bodywork, “energy,” and things like going barefoot or taking ice baths to improve your health. But I’ve seen and felt too much now to ever again think doctors and big pharma have got it all figured out. Read more>>

Jordan Zaugg

To sum it up, I am Canadian. I am actually American too, being born in the USA and raised in Canada. The story I stick to when people ask me why I’m in Utah is that it’s in the middle. My wife is from California, and myself being from Canada, (southern Alberta to be more precise) Utah is right in the middle. It’s a 12-hour drive to her hometown and a 12-hour drive to mine. However, Utah has so much to offer and is such a great place for families. this is why we are still here. When we first were married, nine and a half years ago, I worked everywhere. Read more>>

Austin Whitney

I first jumped into Real Estate in 2017 when my wife and I purchased our first house and rented out our basement. This paid for more than half of our mortgage at the time! A few years later, then purchased another house a few blocks away from where we lived to flip! We did this in our “spare” time while my wife and I both worked full-time. Our typical day was: Go to our jobs from 8 am-5 pm, grab a quick bite to eat at home, and head to that project until about 9 or 10 in the evening. Sometimes later depending on what we were doing that day. After that, we decided to act as the investor and started focusing on growing our business instead of just handling the day-to-day operations! Read more>>

Jonny Hintze

I’ve worked in the cycling industry for almost 20 years now and love riding my bike. At any given time, you can find me chasing the perfect dirt trail or pedaling up one of our local canyons from Salt Lake City. I love skiing too. I actually started riding my bike in the summer to get in shape for skiing and have skied Alta most all my life. Between skiing and biking, I’ve spent countless hours in the Wasatch Mountains which I’m lucky enough to call my own backyard. Along with my love for the outdoors, I love art and design. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Utah and have been working as a designer for nearly 10 years now. Working in the cycling industry, I’ve been exposed to many products and product designs. Some are good and others are not so good. I’ve often thought of how I could improve the design or how I’d design it if I was to do it myself. Snēk is just that. It encompasses my design and the lifestyle I love. Read more>>

Ethan Walters

House of Wolves started as a small private studio in the warehouse district of Salt Lake City. Once COVID hit and we had to close down our studio, we shifted gears to design/illustration services for various companies. From there, we decided to step things up and find more ways to expand the business. Started with selling stickers and other small merchandise offerings shipping from our kitchen counter. We just exploded in the last year and now my wife, Meghan Vishaway, works full time for the company managing customer relations, my books, product/content photography, and fulfillment. Currently, we provide, not only lite tattoo and full remote design/illustration services but everything from stickers and prints to shirts and hoodies. With tons more being added monthly! Read more>>

Angelo Berardy

The whole idea of booking for tattoo artists came when I was trying to get in contact with my tattoo artist to finish my arm sleeve. I realized how busy he was and thought about what his days might look like. From tattooing anywhere between 5-10 hours a day, designing, drawing, texting/calling clients to confirm appointments, speaking to potential clients, pricing, collecting deposits, organizing schedules, etc. All in a timely manner. There was definitely a gap I could fill, in terms of helping with their sales side of the business, as I saw the same concepts I did day in and day out at my full-time tech sales job, where I could apply the same skill set and help someone tremendously. Read more>>

Rhodelle Graham and Susan Facer Home

We weren’t looking to get into the event rental business – it came looking for us! Rhodelle’s husband built eight beautiful wood farm tables for her daughter’s wedding in 2018. At the reception quite a few people asked about renting or buying them from us, so we had a decision to make. Do we sell these amazing hand-built farm tables, or keep and rent them out for weddings and events? Rhodelle really wanted to hold on to them until her younger daughter’s wedding but wasn’t sure if she was up for starting a business. Then miracle of miracles, Susan said she’d come on board and start this crazy adventure with her. Rhodelle bought a trailer, Susan purchased chairs, we took a leap of faith, and here we are! As time went on we built an arch, bistro tables, a few more farm tables, and added some antiques. This little business started at home and we are keeping it in the family, so the name Home Sweet Home Event Rentals was a perfect fit. Read more>>

Kelsey Guy

This shop started when my son was born in 2018. As a truly Disney-obsessed human being, I had to have everything be DISNEY from his outfits, his beddings, his toys, his bath accessories, the list goes on. But when the time came to find a Disney teething toy there were none to be found! So, I decided to make them myself, which is a BIG PROCESS! I have now designed two custom teethers, one inspired by my all-time favorite Disneyland ride It’s a Small World, and one inspired by Mickey Mouse and my love of Starbucks; I also have a custom bead inspired by Mickey’s Funwheel at California Adventure and I love them all! Read more>>

Morgan Phillips

I have always had a love for photography. As a youngster, I loved taking photos and having them developed at the local drugstore. Waiting for the images to come back was so exciting. Fast forward, life happens and I lost the connection to my creative side. It seemed too difficult to fire up a camera, take some photos, develop them, upload them to some photo-sharing website to share with the world. Then a breakthrough… well, I mean Instagram came out. It was an easy place to start sharing my work with the world and I did. I got quite lucky and it took off like a rocket. This is how my career got launched, I stumbled on an app, shared my work. I worked hard building relationships with clients and my work life took off and I never looked back. I have been a full-time photographer for about 10 years now! Read more>>

Sarah Garcia

Sarah here the creator of Tooele Adventures. Moving to Tooele, Utah our family had to create and search for local adventures. It was easy for us to drive 30 miles into Salt lake city to find family events and activities. But we truly wanted to enjoy Tooele city more. It’s amazing after living and adventuring here for four years we are still learning and finding more. This last year we learned there were local Peteoglyphys in our county. What an adventure to find them here in our backyard. Our family loves living in Tooele the city that we keep finding and sharing new adventures. Read more>>

Travis Hoki

Hoki Skateboards is a family-run company that launched in September of 2018. In late-elementary school, I fell in love with skateboarding. Around the age of 12, I created a logo that spells out my last name “Hoki”, but when flipped on its side it is a little skateboarder. I always thought it would be cool to do something with my logo one day. In college, I studied Digital Media. I started with an emphasis on animation and later switched to web development. I played with and updated my logo a little during college. I also focused more on my love of breakdancing during this time and didn’t skateboard very much. I returned back to skateboarding when I became a father in 2016. I found that skating was a good way to exercise and have fun and still have my son and family around. Read more>>

Eric Cooper

It all started with two boats on a pond. I was 15 years old and fishing with my dad and brother. While fishing was their passion, I was still searching for mine. That day, I borrowed my dad’s point-and-shoot camera and took a photo of these rowboats out on the water. It was the first time I took a photo in which I tried to tell a story; tried to convey a feeling. Ever since then, I’ve tried to capture the world around me in a way that allows me to share those stories with others. Though I never stopped loving photography, it was about 12 years later that I finally got more intentional about developing my skillset. I was living in Connecticut at the time but found myself traveling as often as I could, always with my camera in tow. Read more>>

Hailey Ipson

I started pottery when I was 13. I signed up for a 3D art class where pottery was one of the options. Thanks to a random draw, I was lucky enough to be one of seven people who got to learn. I continued taking classes in school, all throughout Jr. High and Sr. High School. I received a talent award at BYU for my pottery and was an art major for my first year there to qualify for that scholarship. After changing my major, I didn’t have access to a studio for the first time in six years. I accepted that the pottery part of my life was probably over, but I really missed it. For my birthday in 2020, my thoughtful husband bought me a membership to a local pottery studio in Spanish Fork. Read more>>

Judd Miller

I’ve been drawing and painting since I was very young. I was initially interested in more of a traditional painting/fine art career, but life at times steers you where you need to be. I decided to become a tattoo artist after learning I was going to be a father, wanting to continue to do art for a living, but with a steadier income. I’ve always loved tattoos since I was young. My dad had the album “Appetite For Destruction” from Guns N’ Roses back in the mid-’80s. I would steal it and listen to it in my room and pour over the liner artwork, which was done by Robert Williams. But it was Axl Roses’ tattoos and his bad boy style that initially piqued my interest in tattoos and tattooing. Read more>>

Julie Shipman

I’ve been a photographer for just over 20 years. I graduated from Duke University and then went on to get two Master’s Degrees, one in Mass Comm and the other in International Politics. I taught history for almost a decade. My father died in a plane crash when I was 31 and sort of derailed my plans. We did a temporary move back to Utah, where I picked up his old film camera and started shooting. We never left Utah, and I never went back to teaching. I opened up a photography business when my friends said they loved my work. Read more>>

Christine Connell

After I graduated from college, I started working as a forensic accountant in the DC area. Though the work was exciting at times, after a year, I found myself bored. I wanted to travel more. I wanted work that was more rewarding. I began taking more vacations, but it wasn’t enough. I always joked about how I would go work with one of the law firms we did investigations with so I could do more interesting work and make more money. Never thinking it was even a remote possibility, I joked about how I wished I could get paid to travel for a living. Read more>>

Taylor Skye Lambert

My name is Taylor Skye Lambert and I’m a Utah-born and raised artist and the proud owner of TSLambert Art. Throughout my life art has played the role of comforter, educator, loyal companion, and confidante. Art was there for me when I was being bullied in grade school. Art was there for me when my ADD made it difficult to focus in class and I drew on my notes in order to help my brain listen. Art was there for me when I survived an assault and to help me cope with my PTSD. Art was there to comfort me as I recovered from brain surgery, as well as when I found out the tumor grew back and I prepared to undergo radiation therapy and another surgery. Read more>>

Jennifer Holub

On Purpose Marketing came to life in 2019 after Jen had taught a class for the Utah Women in Business. After the class, attendees and friends were trying to hire her to do their marketing. Jen was currently operating her own small business. She hadn’t thought of making it a business versus a hobby and was just a necessity for her current company. At that point, Jen reached out to a long-term friend of hers, Camille, who had always had dreams of starting her own marketing firm after teaching herself marketing for her family businesses. Together they incorporated and founded On Purpose Marketing. Read more>>

Emily Carroll

My name is Emily and my husband, Dallas, and I are small business owners located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Long story short – we began our business when Dallas hand-made a neon sign for our wedding and we got such a positive to it that we decided to launch Love At First Sign! Since then we’ve made countless wedding, business, gamer, and home decor signs! Our goal is to create signage to help your event or space be as unique and electric as you! Our favorite part of providing affordable yet custom neon signs is seeing how each customer uses our hand-made custom neon in their own way! Read more>>

Kimberly Henrie

Like everyone, my story is filled with various experiences that have helped to shape the person I am at this moment in time. I am a daughter, a student, a friend, a wife, a mother, an entrepreneur, and a leader. I have three college degrees: A Bachelor’s degree focused on International Business, an MBA with an emphasis on Human Resources and Organizational Development, and a Doctorate in Education, Leadership & Policy focused on developing the next generation of leaders. I have worked in the private sector in manufacturing, finance, and customer service. I have also worked in the public sector for higher education and government finance. Read more>>

Caro Nilsson

I have been painting and making art for as long as I can remember. I had a lot of energy as a kid, I think giving me some crayons and paper was a way for my parents to get me to be still for just a second! My practice still works this way, I find myself needing to run around outside and get my jollies out (and also let the world IN), and making art gives me the stillness I otherwise find hard to land in. I went to school for architecture and art at the same time. I felt like I needed to do something ‘practical’ with my education, and architecture seemed to me like a good way to do “art” but also math, in a technical way. Read more>>

Sherry Verduzco

I have always loved to tan. I have seasonal depression and it seems to help with that. My sisters and I would have to drive 30 minutes, which is the next closest town to tan to where a good friend of mine owned a tanning salon. I would always ask my friend why she didn’t open a salon in Duchesne. She had intentions to in the future but before that could happen someone came into her salon and offered a good chunk of money to sell her salon and she decided to not open one here. So that got me thinking, why not open one myself? I have attended Eagle Fitness since it opened and there has always been this room in the back that the gym owner and I had thought would be the perfect space for a tanning salon. Read more>>

Dalton Campbell

I have always had a passion for food, I started cooking around 8 years old. I have been in the food and beverage industry for the last 15 years. Starting out as a dishwasher at 13 and rapidly moving up to be a prep and line cook I have been in food and beverage ever since. I have had two executive chef jobs in the catering industry running food and beverage operations at a large scale. In January 2016, I quit my executive chef job as the stress and demand were overwhelming. I was just about to get out of the food and beverage industry when I began picking up small personal chef jobs on the side. I realized this was a great knitch to the market and brought back the fun and creativity of cooking which I had always enjoyed. In April 2016, I started my business Park City Elite Private Chefs geared to put together a team of elite private chefs conducting high-end intimate dinner parties focused in the Park City area. Read more>>

Zach Gus

Gustavo Synthetics was first thought up on a long night of watch when I was in the service. I was thinking of ordering oil from a guy selling Amsoil Synthetic products and got to talking with him and he changed my mind on the spot. That day is the day I went from being the customer to the dealer. I started my remote dealership in Sothern California and reached out to the desert community such as Ultra-4, MX, and Enduro. When my contract ended I moved my dealership back home to Northern Minnesota where I started a partnership with a friend of mine using the dealership to sponsor our YouTube Channel, riding MX, and heard enduro around the country promoting Amsoil. Read more>>

Maleny Castro

From a young age, I was always this optimistic and creative little girl. I loved the thought of growing up to change the world. Life, in general, started early for me when I became a mom at 17, and it almost felt like there was no hope for my future. Being a teen mom taught me many things. I didn’t want to be defined by it but to keep going and succeed from it. I went on and graduated from SLCC with an A.S and landed a decent job working at a hospital. Read more>>

Jessica Winters

WinkClique was birthed during long days and short years and I slowly lost myself in the depths of raising young children. I was no longer recognizing myself in the mirror and my husband asked me a simple question, “What makes you happy?” Feeling beautiful without spending too much money and stealing too much time from my loved ones. I’ve always been a lover of DIY projects and began learning how to give myself a full set of nails, salon-quality pedicure, derma roller treatments, root touch-ups, and full color, spray tans at home, eyebrows that mimicked microblading, the list goes on. The confidence I gained from not only self-care but knowing I had done it all myself was liberating. The only thing I had not mastered was how to attain eyelash extensions without paying the price or spending the time. Read more>>

MarioHernandez

I started singing at the age of seven in Maracaibo Venezuela, then I started professionally at 12 in a band called Epok Latina in 1985, being the first salsa (Latin music) band in the world made up of children, there I obtained great awards and recognitions. Then my career as a soloist began in 2006 and I have obtained a first place on the music billboard in Venezuela on several occasions. graduated in marketing and advertising in 1995. I have developed my career as a host for several shows obtaining favorable public acceptance. The percussionist also by profession, I have been called by the band my happy Pill in Portland. Getting my artist visa in the United States. I am currently in West Jordan, Utah, is highly demanded by show producers across the state. Read more>>

Hildegard Koenig

Ink Against Cancer, LLC was founded in 2017 in an effort to raise funds for our brother Austin Bell “Wolf” while going through his own cancer journey. After our brother’s passing, we kept the promise to establish an organization to continue to help other cancer warriors in his memory; especially children. In 2020, IAC-Cancer Warriors Foundation was created as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) foundation. IAC- Cancer Warriors Foundation is committed to making a difference by keeping the spirit alive and honoring the memory of our brother, mother in law and all others who have fought cancer courageously. Our foundation has non-paid staff and is all volunteer-driven. Read more>>

Ulises Perez

We are told to go college or find a job, then work for 30 or so years after that you get to retire. However, that just doesn’t sit well with me. At an early age, I fell into the idea that you can do anything you set your mind to. Ever since that, I’ve focused on becoming the very best version of myself. Although it hasn’t been easy to do so. I’ve had major setbacks in my life. Car accidents, hospital stay, and I even had Covid. All of these setbacks or what I like to call challenges have really been the reasons why I am the way I am. Growing up in an immigrant family has had its challenges as well. It seems like our future is just to work work work. But that also doesn’t sit well with me. Read more>>

Maddie Morrill

I was enamored with art from a young age. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family of artists: my grandmother is a professional watercolor painter, and she taught me how to paint before I even knew how to write my name. My dad is also involved in the art industry, and for the majority of my life was a freelance digital artist. I grew up with both of them encouraging me to create, and I would not have become an artist if it wasn’t for their support and instruction. In fact – both of my parents told me I needed to go to art school, not the other way around! Read more>>

Michael DeShazo

My wife and I had the idea to start a small distillery that focused on high-quality, small-batch, spirits about 12 years ago while traveling on vacation. We finally met Ethan Miller, our distiller, as he was leaving another distillery, and the idea began to take on a life of its own. We were able to finally open our doors in May of 2019, and make a strong start, then COVID hit and we were one of many businesses that had to find creative ways to survive. We used that time to build our brand, and have been successful in getting our name out there. Now, we are back on track and our products are being used by bars and restaurants across the entire state. Read more>>

Aja Martin

Local to Utah, I went to West High School downtown. I began taking Industrial Design in school and with that, I learned jewelry making. Our teacher was fantastic. He taught us all about lost wax casting, soldering, and metalsmithing. After my first year as a student, I decided to continue the rest of my high school as an aid for that class. I was in love. I attended the University of Utah as an early graduate and got a double bachelor’s in Environmental Sustainability and Urban Ecology. During this time, I was not making jewelry. I started dating my boyfriend in my last year of college. He was a welder. One night, he was out in his shop tinkering around with an old CJ6. I noticed he had an acetylene torch and a box of scrap copper. I pulled out an old 4” copper pipe and started cutting out bracelets from it. Later, I posted them on Instagram and it took off from there. It’s been a journey and I’m definitely still on it. Read more>>

Niyomwungere Eric

Young Spit is originally from Burundi a landlocked country in east-central Africa, bordering Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The main languages spoken in the Burundian Republic are Kirundi, French (both official), and Swahili. Niyomwungere Eric (born 13 February 1997), popularly known by his stage name Young Spit, is a Burundian singer and songwriter. In 2016. He rose to prominence after releasing “Shanna”, Following up with his second single, “Cinderella” the lead single from his debut studio album Era257. “Uwanje”, “Wine”, “African Beauty”, “Tonight” and “Iwacu”, “Ready Set Go”, “Let ’em know” were also released from Era257 the album. In February 2020. Rock Star, his self-titled Ep, was released in June 2020. It was supported by four singles: “BlatMan”, “For me”, “Mission, “Its Your Love”. Read more>>

Taylor Smith

I’ve been practicing drawing and painting ever since I was a child. In high school, I wanted to become a tattoo artist or a painter but there were always outside influences telling me to do otherwise when it came to the arts. When I started at Southern Utah University I was a criminal justice major with a forensics science minor. I was still practicing my art, of course, starting with realism and from there blossomed more into abstract art. Read more>>

Isaac Allred

Ever since I was a little kid I have dreamed of being a tumbler. I remember teaching myself my back handspring when I was 6 years old. I have gone to several gyms looking for a tumbling coach, but have found that I am my best teacher. Tumbling and acrobatics have always felt second nature to me. My skills came to me very easily and I’m not sure why. Along with acrobatics and tumbling, I began to explore hand-balancing and contortion, finding that my body had a great sense of balance and flexibility. I began to share my acro videos on Instagram, I was blown away when my training videos started getting hundreds of thousands of views. My Instagram platform @isaacallredd currently has a following of over 26,000. Read more>>

Laura Zundel

I’ve been making jewelry ever since I can remember. I have always loved how fulfilling it is to work with my hands and create something beautiful from many different pieces. I started selling my handmade pieces at local craft markets back in 2014 and put every penny I had back into my next supply purchase. It was an amazing creative outlet for me but it never dawned on me that I could actually make it a source of income to support me and my family. Read more>>

Melanie Allington

I have been playing with photography off and on over the years but started getting serious back in 2011 taking senior and family portraits that for a few years slowly mixed in some bridal portraits. By 2017, I had grown a bit and learned a few things about myself and my photography. I loved experimenting with and I especially love having a challenge. Action shots are my favorite type of shot to capture. In 2018, I started shooting Ultra4 racing. Now that is a challenge. Race Cars! The races are typically 150+ miles long, out in the middle of the desert going 100+ mph, then slowing just a bit on the rock obstacles or not slowing down, just depends on the drive and the car, then back to 100+mph on the desert. It’s all about the speed, adrenaline, and the checkered flag, and for me, it’s about getting the shot. It is so exciting! Read more>>

Juanis Gilliland

Carrying on a Family Tradition My name is Juana (Juanis) Gilliland, and I was born in beautiful Tampico Mexico. Growing up, I loved going out with my wonderful mom to the local open-air markets enjoying amazing fresh fruits and vegetables, visiting wonderful people, and seeing the most beautiful flowers and plants imaginable. I had a humble upbringing which has given me a wonderful appreciation for life. I am very proud of my amazing parents who tough our family respect for others, hard work, and honesty, and always give to others. Read more>>

Anne Franco

In 2001, I started working for a Bridal Designer in the customer service department. I loved it so much that after I left there and had my son. I decided that I would prefer working with the Bride instead of the stores. I started my career at Fantasy Bridal in 2003 and worked for many years as a consultant under the old owners. I left to grow my family and further my career in real estate and retail management. Years later I got a call from the owner of Fantasy Bridal saying she was looking to retire and wanted a manager and partner. It just felt like coming back home. Through a lot of work and love we have grown the business, the former owner retired, and we have an amazing team with years of experience. Read more>>

Justin Alphabet

My name is Justin Alphabet! I’m an Actor, Athlete, and Ginger. I work in film, commercials, TV shows, and social media sites. But I didn’t always, my story starts off working in the medical field (Hospice specifically) and I took care of people for a short time until they took their last breath. As I watched these people die, I realized they weren’t coming back, and more importantly, I realized I wouldn’t be too far behind them. So, I asked my patients, what do you regret the most? And they always answered in three ways, 1. They wished they had more time with family. 2. They wished they had pursued more opportunities or experiences. Read more>>

Brandon & Whitney Beckstead

My Mini Pony Party and Pets have been in business for five years. We’ve had horses most of our lives but never miniature horses, so we ended up buying four of them to start our little herd. We learned how to drive carriages, hook horses up as a team, or drive single. We have always enjoyed going through the drive-thru at the gas station and taking our friends and family for rides. We saw the joy that our minis brought others and decided to make a business out of it. Hence, My Mini Pony Party and Pets were born. We have a lot of fun giving pony rides and providing petting zoos for adults and children. We enjoy dressing our minis up as unicorns and letting everyone have one-on-one time with our wonderful animals. Read more>>

Heather Maslowski

My lovely parents named me Heather Joy. “Heather” is a low-maintenance and hearty, little shrub, which suits me quite well; as does “Joy.” I had a charmed childhood, with my slightly older sister and much younger brother. Our parents had more love than money. When I was little, my sister and I played happily with our vivid imaginations and simple toys. Resourcefulness, it seems, flourishes in the absence of resources. In college, I studied Mechanical Engineering and worked for an architectural and engineering firm, where I designed and engineered houses and apartment buildings. I later worked as a scientist, conducting materials research for my university. Read more>>

Michael Bird

I started makeup as a hobby, thinking I couldn’t launch it into a career. I started posting two years ago on Instagram. Three months ago, I found a makeup course online and it changed my life. My skill improved so much and helped me to gain a career as a makeup artist. Read more>>

David Talbot

This journey all started when I needed a print made for a client of mine. I’m a wildlife photographer who picked up a camera as a way of therapy to help me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that stemmed from my time in the Marine Corps. When I went to the website of the place I got my photos printed and the website wasn’t there anymore. So, I decided to call them to see if it was just a technical issue or what had happened. When I called they said that they were not doing the photo printing anymore, and in the same conversation they asked if I would like to purchase the business. I told them that I would have to talk to my wife and they set up an appointment for the following week to discuss the business and what it would all entail. After a few conversations and months of figuring out if my wife and I could do it, at the end of March 2021 we made the leap and purchased DIY Photo Printing. Read more>>

Stephen Wolochowicz

When I was an undergraduate student at The University of Delaware, I enrolled in a ceramics class. I was immediately hooked. There are a lot of factors why, but mainly the sense of community and support within the ceramics area. My work wasn’t really anything special but at the time that didn’t matter that much to me. By the time I graduated with a BFA in ceramics in 2000, I had developed a love and dedication to the medium. Looking back, I think my final BFA exhibition had some really interesting ideas in development. Some of those concepts still carry through in my work even today. I took a few years off to develop a body of work that I felt was worth an application to graduate school. Read more>>

Riker Chance

My interest in photography began when I was about 20 years old. Though I lived in Florida at the time, photography gave me the opportunity to travel to many different places around the states and the world. I’ve dabbled in a wide variety of photography throughout my journey as a photographer, before finally focusing on Amazon and e-commerce photography. I’ve done everything from photographing high-end architectural real estate for resorts across the nation to weddings and beach portraits, as well as vehicle, travel, and lifestyle photography. I loved photography so much that I just kept with it. While I didn’t get a degree in photography, I continued to learn and grow, strengthening my skills and finding my style as a photographer. In addition to photography, I also personally love learning about business. This interest went hand in hand with the desire to create a company for myself as a freelancer. Read more>>

Isaac Gonzalez

Founded by Isaac Gonzalez, Fatfish Media started as a two-person event production team six years ago. As Fatfish’s event management and design expertise brought them clients such as Adidas, Sundance, The Piano Guys World Tours, Amazon, Western Governors University, Modere, LoveLoud Fest, and more, they grew to match demand. Their team specializes in large-scale virtual, live, and hybrid events in Salt Lake City and around the world. Fatfish is also passionate about investing in its community and supports its nonprofit partners, Equality Utah, the state’s premier LGBTQ civil rights and advocacy organization, and Spy Hop, a digital media arts center offering in-school, after-school, youth-in-care, and satellite programming for Utah students ages 9-19. Read more>>

Earthling Emporium

The Earthling Emporium was started as a sister store to Ginger’s Garden Cafe and Herb Shop in Springville, UT. There was a small corner with crystals and where some friends would sell handmade arts and crafts. As the cafe and herb shop grew that small corner did as well. Eventually, the boss asked some of the staff to take an old room upstairs and turn it into a store. In order to facilitate the expansion from a small corner to a store of its own, we reached out to many local creators and artists. We opened in December of 2020 with just 15 creators on our shelves. We now a stock products from over 50 local creators! This has allowed us to grow and support our local community as well as provide customers with a really unique range of products. Read more>>

Mitch Meyer

I booked my first wedding job in 2005, I had just graduated from college with my degree in Visual Art and Design. I began attending some bridal expos and continued booking wedding jobs. In 2007, I found a job with a talent agency and started shooting modeling and actor headshots. I worked there until 2009 and decided to open my own studio. From 2009-2015 I shot a lot of advertising/commercial work and did weddings mostly in the summers. I met my wife, Morgen in 2015 (while shooting a wedding) and we began shooting as a team. She had a passion for photography but wasn’t working one professionally. Today, we are still working together and I continue to shoot on my own doing mostly commercial work/editorial work. Read more>>

Britt Sederholm

Woof, okay here we go!! A little background on me: I was super active my whole life, very involved in sports and activities and I even played volleyball all 4 years in college. In my last year of college, I developed a bad relationship with food and my body that led to an eating disorder. Shortly into my first year out of college, I hired my first online coach for health and fitness. Although I would never recommend that coach to anyone, knowing what I know now, I’m very grateful for the experience. Because 1. it ignited my passion for this industry and 2. it showed me how much work needs to be done in the Health Coaching field. Read more>>

Samantha Winslow

I got my start in graphic design during my junior year of college. I was originally going to school to be an elementary teacher but after realizing I didn’t have the patience for the job, I switched my major. I always considered myself as a creative person, I was interested in pursuing art so I decided to find a way to study something I loved in a practical sense. I do photography as well, I was originally a model, then, I wanted to see what it was like to be on the other side of the camera. So during my senior year of high school, I bought my own camera and asked my friends to model for me. I’ve presented my work at numerous shows throughout Boise, Idaho. Read more>>

Krystal Turner

I was Security Forces in the Air Force Reserves for six years. I deployed to Kuwait and when I came home I decided I wanted to get into Law Enforcement. In 2016, I went through the San Bernadino Sheriff’s Academy in California. I graduated from the Academy and swore in as a Deputy. Then my husband and I decided to move to California. I was a Deputy for almost four years. I absolutely loved it and truly wanted to make a difference in the world. Read more>>

Abraham Castaneda

The idea of paying a huge mortgage for 30 years was leaving a sour taste in our mouths. As a couple, we imagined being financially free and began to research and brainstorm ideas. We fell in love with the look of Adobe homes but also wanted to have a home that would be energy efficient. Through our research, we found straw bale homes, so we went with that concept discovering this non-traditional (alternative) way of living. After the pandemic hit we realized how easily we could lose our jobs and with that, the ability to pay our mortgage and bills. Read more>>

Stephanie Parrish

In 2012, I moved to Alberta Canada from Salt Lake City, Utah, There I was introduced to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Polychromatic Light Therapy. I was able to study under the leading doctors in both of these fields and became certified internationally in both, I was able to open a clinic along with my partner and see amazing blessings happen for three years in that clinic. In 2015, I moved to Southern Utah and there established the Vibrant You Hyperbaric Oxygen and Light Center, While in St. George I had the opportunity of hosting a local radio show, focusing on the different modalities that I offered at my clinic. I was able to interview many of our own clients and have them share their miracle stories, as well as doctors and therapists all involved in the natural health and wellness industry. Read more>>

Chantelle Petersen

Growing up, my parents always had a dog or two. As a young wife just starting a family, we had a female dog named Collee that ended up getting pregnant by a neighbor’s dog. They were mutts but I had so much fun raising the puppies. After learning the ropes, a little bit, I decided to get a toy Australian Shepherd from a very good friend of mine who raised toys and mini Aussies here in town. When I got the chance to get a puppy from her, I took it! That was the beginning of Rafter C Aussies. From there, I added seven more mini Aussies who helped me get where I am today. I now have three breeding pairs and a few retired mommas who have earned their stripes at our place. Read more>>

Michael Chandler

I have been working on helping entrepreneurs succeed in business since I was just a teenager. I always loved to see what things could be done to serve and reach people and equally loved all the creative ways people were able to help each other to earn a living. For the last 20 years, my company EntreTEK has been on a mission to help eliminate world poverty through entrepreneurship one family and small business at a time. Read more>>

Karen Wade

The story of Ear Sugar began in 2011 when I decided to combine my passion for creating handmade things, with my love and need for simple comfortable jewelry. As odd as it seems, I had always had a hard time finding pretty stud earrings that were high quality, and affordable. I’m a wife, and busy mom of two girls, so wearing expensive or bulky earrings just wasn’t the right fit for me. I needed something comfortable, yet eye-catching that I could wear 24/7. After much frustration with low-quality studs that either hurt or broke, and the alternatively high-priced diamond earrings, I decided to try and make my own. Read more>>

Heather Sprouse-Madison

It started over 26 years ago in Cedar City, I was a freshman in college and had an opportunity to start my own dance studio. I opened my first studio in Cedar City while I was putting myself through college. In a few years, I expanded to two studios at my one location and it kept building… three studios and now four. I finished my degree in Accounting and went on to get my Masters of Business Administration. I had people constantly asking where my dancers were located as we attended competitions and dancers were doing well and competing against some amazing studios throughout Utah and this soon led to opening a studio in St. George 10 years after I first opened Cedar. I started through community education in St. George for two years to build up enough to be able to afford a lease and then it took off and I started with one studio. Read more>>

Makisi Tapa

I started singing at a young age in church and that’s all it was strictly for a while. Honestly, it was in church that I discovered I could even sing. I would always sing just when I was by myself, mostly in the shower. I was in 7th grade when I sang for the first time in front of people, it was at a church Christmas program. Someone had recorded it via VHS and when I went to school the next day a teacher who attended a different church approached me and said “I didn’t know you could sing!”. From this point, I still was just singing at church events. My older brothers would take me around sometimes and force me to sing, you can ask anyone from my childhood about this. They’ll vouch for me that my brothers would make me sing or beat me up haha. Growing up, I would sing around the house with my older sister Julie, she would sing anything or be anywhere in the house and we would harmonize off of each other. Read more>>

Ryan Innes

I’m originally from AZ. The oldest of seven kids. I grew up the majority of my life in Thatcher out in the Gila Valley. Music was always a part of my world. I was a member of The Phoenix Boys Choir as a young boy. My mother started me in piano at age 4 and being a teacher herself I continued playing all the way through high school. I couldn’t play football, which was my true passion then unless I played the piano. I was also in the school’s bands, marching, and concert, from elementary school to sophomore year, AND I sang in some sort of school choir every year I was in school. It was just as much a part of my life as any sport but just something I kind of always did. Not a true focus. Read more>>

Amy Rupp

Originally I was running an Etsy shop for various different T-shirts. It was something I was trying out but didn’t have any real motivation outside of making some extra money for my family. It was difficult to manage on my own and wasn’t very successful. Alyssa and I had started discussing a line of T-shirts we could offer in my shop that was focused on mental health. Over time, it evolved into a discussion about closing my shop and starting our own clothing brand with our own website. We are both very passionate about mental health due to our own experiences with anxiety and depression. We also have lost two family members—our niece a few years ago and our mother recently. As a result, we feel very motivated to raise awareness about mental health. We did a market survey about mental health and gathered feedback on our designs from people we knew. After being received well, we decided to go for it. Read more>>

Jessica Ash

I think I’m still curating my story… this feels more like “the beginning” then my initial start did. I’ve always been intrigued by everything around me; existence, vastness and beauty (especially in people). I started taking pictures in high school and took one photography course. As with any artistic field, photography is very subjective- I find it best to learn the mechanical technicalities as necessary and learn the rest hands-on. Vision comes from within. Read more>>

Marcus Johnson

My name is Marcus Johnson I’m originally from Atlanta, GA. I’m married to my beautiful wife Trinidy. Between the both of us we have eight kids. My wife and I use to date in high school back in GA. We met back up 15 years later, Trinidy made it to Utah thru the Air Force 15 years ago. She convinces me to come, I’ve always loved her. I’ve been in Utah for six years. I decided to go to barbering school at Paul Mitchell Salt Lake around February 2017. I graduated in December 2017 and had my shop open by March of 2018. We are almost into our 4th year, March 10th, 2022, and it’s been a long, hard, and AMAZING journey. Read more>>

Bret Edge

I began hiking and backpacking at around the age of 20. I carried a point-and-shoot camera to document these adventures with my friends and the photos I would take were nothing more than snapshots. In 1999, I attended a gallery exhibit showcasing the photography of Jack Dykinga, Ansel Adams, and David Muench. The images so inspired me that I purchased my first DSLR a few weeks later and determined that I would invest the time and energy to stop taking snapshots and start making high-quality images. Over the next couple of years, I shot hundreds of rolls of film and voraciously read photography “how-to” books. Slowly my photography improved and I sold my first image a little over two years after buying the DSLR. Read more>>

Brandy Chenoweth

In 2017, shortly after moving to Salt Lake City, I got a golden retriever puppy that I named Scout. Growing up in dog-friendly Boise, ID, I knew I wanted to take Scout as many places as possible with me. After doing some initial research about the area, I couldn’t find a reliable and accurate source of information regarding where dogs can go. I figured that if I had these questions, other people must too! In October of 2018, I launched Dog-Friendly SLC on Instagram. As more and more Utah dog lovers found our account, it became quickly apparent that we needed a place for the information to live for the long term so DogFriendlySLC.com debuted in June of 2019. Now three years into our journey we’ve partnered with dozens of local businesses and provided information for thousands of local dog owners! Read more>>

Helen Susan

I’ve been in the beauty industry for 14 years, ever since I was a senior in high school. I started out as nonbeing very committed to the industry resulting in either doing it part-time or not at all the first nine years. As of five years ago, I had a shift of mindset and realized how much I enjoyed working for myself and the possibilities are endless. I moved here from phoenix AZ nine years ago and started my business around 4 years ago. Read more>>

M. Fernanda Luna

I started my venture in the year 2020 in the midst of a pandemic. I was out of work because of the whole situation. I always had the idea of ​​creating my own business as an artist and art teacher but due to studies and work, I always had little time. Through social networks (Facebook and Instagram) I began to promote what I was doing, painting mattes, with personalized designs. Mate is a very common Argentina drink that is found in every home and is shared with the family, friends, and foreigners as well. Something so common that passes from hand to hand between people can have a bit of art too. Read more>>

Rob Bennion

I began singing before I could speak, according to my mother. I picked up the saxophone at 10 and was performing in nightclubs with college bands when I was 15. In 2007, I was working at a club in Japan playing sax six nights a week and I started to get bored playing along with “backing tracks” so I started DJing along with playing the sax, and this has become my main focus and selling point, combining live and DJed music to create an excellent and versatile musical experience with fewer players than traditional bands. My band “Gold Standard is a DJ+band hybrid with live drums, vocals, and sax. I also often DJ solo and my most-requested song are “more sax please!” Read more>>

Lisa Dickman

After 20+ years as an LCSW working with people (mostly teens) in the mental health field, Covid hit. I found myself no longer working and finally feeling I had the opportunity to start another business. I decided I would stay home and take care of my kids (school was closed and they were homeschooling), I am a single mom so staying home during this time just made the most sense. I am also the co-owner of a local roaster, coffee shop, and bakery called 3 Cups and had helped the business privet daily to keep the establishment afloat during the shutdown. Read more>>

Claudia Gebhardt

When I attended college in Wisconsin (born and raised), I was so uncertain of where I would end up in life. I switched majors so much and really had a hard time “finding my path.” It’s not till I ended up pursuing an Information Science and Technology degree where it opened doors into the marketing world where I only had one-week post-college till I dove straight into corporate. Although I’m still in the corporate, now based in Salt Lake City, with all the craziness/changes that have happened I’ve also been running my own business. I currently work with women-owned and local wine businesses! Read more>>

Joseph Burns

I for the past five years have been traveling the country working and photographing this amazing a beautiful country. I have been doing work travel since 2016. I work in resorts all over the country and have been building my photography portfolio. I am so fortunate to be working in vacation destinations throughout the country. I have worked in places beginning in Alaska and was fortunate to be in both Anchorage and Fairbanks exploring the beauty of the last frontier and photographing its endless beauty. Capturing the Northern lights was just one of the highlights. After Alaska, I found myself in Summit County at a ski resort. Next up with photographing the vast lands of the desert in Death Valley. Simply breathtaking. Read more>>

Crystal Palace

I began my drag career in Los Angeles where I worked regularly as both a queen and king for three years. After COVID-19 hit and stopped my career in its tracks, I spent most of the quarantine trying to recover from serious mental health and drug addiction issues that have been plaguing me for the majority of my life. I was lucky enough to be able to receive ketamine infusion therapy in October 2020, which really helped me get my life back on track and soon thereafter was informed of an apartment becoming available in Salt Lake City that would be much more affordable than what I was paying for in LA, so I packed up my life and headed out to Utah to start over. I have drag family in SLC and knew that I would be able to foster a community here pretty quickly and have been a resident performer at Why Kiki since things started opening back up again. I’m in a much better headspace to be able to focus on my art as well as finally having the wherewithal and energy to convert to Judaism, which is something I’ve wanted to pursue since I was a teenager. Read more>>

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