Melody Lewis is Mojave, Tawa, Hopi raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation. She is the founder of “Indigenous Community Collaborative” and is the co-founder of “Cahokia, Social, Tech and Art Space”
DreamBuilder was essential to Indigenous Community Collaborative’s work as when Melody moved to the city from the reservation, the language and business practices were different to her. There are 574 nations in the United States, 22 located in Arizona; every single one of them has a different way of doing business, explained Melody.
DreamBuilder has given Melody the support and the language to be able to navigate the system of how to do business in Phoenix, Arizona.
From Phoenix, Arizona 2022 DreamBuilder graduate, Billie Branch, started an organization called Branch International. It focuses on creating economic development programs, mental health services, and community outreach for those in underserved communities.
Billie had a business plan before she started the program, but she described it as “absolutely terrible” which came as a surprise for her. Thanks to DreamBuilder Billie was able to fix her business plan and do it in a clear, concise, and educated matter that will benefit her and her business. With her new business plan, Billie was able to take her business to another level.
“I’m just so excited about my new and improved business plan and everything that I learned with DreamBuilder.”
Originally from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Angelica Ferrier is the creator and owner of Studio 93 / Creative Academy. Her business offers a creative space for people of all ages in the art and discipline of fashion design.
Angelica learned to set goals for her business through the DreamBuilder program. She now sets short-, medium-, and long-term goals. In addition to planning what is necessary to achieve the proposed goals for her business, Angelica realized the importance of planning and executing projects in terms of growing her business.
“I think it is a common mistake among entrepreneurs that many times we do not plan and do not execute these projects, which ultimately are to make our businesses grow.”
Originally from St. Louis Missouri, Lisa Robinson started her own business, Virtuoso Mobile Notary Services, with the help of the DreamBuilder program.
“Dreambuilder has been an amazing program for me,” said Lisa. Before the program, she was running her business from her “own little plan” in her head, when she got involved with DreamBuilder it taught her that business dreams must be on paper as it is imperative to have some kind of plan in order to be successful.
As she went through the program, she was stunned at how much it taught her about business, specifically the structure and management part, some areas where Lisa felt she was lacking. Before the program, she felt like management was not her forte as she only had bits and pieces of it, but DreamBuilder helped her elevate her skills and piece them all together. As a result, Lisa feels like a better business manager, one that can manage her own business.
“I’ve always had the product, just didn’t have the management skills and I’m very grateful for DreamBuilder.”
Imelda Hartley, Owner of Happy Tamales, LLC. Phoenix, AZ
Graduation year: 2020
I am the founder of Imelda Happy Tamales. It all started with a dream to get ahead and provide for my 14 children.
When I was allowed to learn through the DreamBuilder platform, I began to see a dream materialize into a reality.
“One of the most important things on DreamBuilder program is that the people who guided me, in the beginning, are still there to provide support after graduation, which is priceless.”
Education in entrepreneurship is an excellent fuel if you use it correctly. It can positively touch the lives of thousands of people worldwide. DreamBuilder has that power, and it is entirely free. There are no barriers other than breaking the borders of your fears. So, dare to dream and be the master of your own business.
Rachel Wright Labus, Founder Vita Nova 501c-3non-profit organization. Dallas, TX
Graduation year: 2020
Vita Nova’s mission is to provide a structured, safe home for women transitioning from substance use disorder. VITA NOVA manages a transitional home for women seeking a new start and helps connect them with opportunities that they need to get their lives back on track. Rachel’s organization focuses on meeting the needs of these women as they reintegrate into their communities and build a healthy, independent lifestyle.
Rachel’s advice to women who have a dream of starting their own business is to take the time to educate themselves with DreamBuilder.
“Not only will you gain the knowledge and confidence to move forward with your idea, but you will have fun in the process. The course offers a plethora of resources that will come in handy at some point on your journey.”
Rachel was one among the DreamBuilder Pitch Competition 19 contestants. Due to her outstanding presentation, she won 1st Place.
Hilary Adams, Owner, Story and Horse, Centennial, CO.
Graduation year: 2020
Hilary was especially keen to utilize DreamBuilder to clarify her business vision and develop a living business plan that would enable her business to evolve and grow.
“Participating in the DreamBuilder Pitch Competition was like jumping off a high dive.”
Hilary won Second Place in the 2020 DreamBuilder Pitch Competition, which helped her clarify her value proposition and ready her business to take advantage of the growth in the industry Hilary advises other women who are ready to convert their passions into a living to start with the DreamBuilder course. “The questions presented will help you discover the path, purpose, and power of your business idea.”
Karina Cordoba, Owner, LIFE Photography AZ LLC, Phoenix, AZ.
Graduation year: 2020
Participating in the DreamBuilder program gave me many tools to rethink my business. In addition, the business matter experts gave me additional ideas to improve myself.
“Before DreamBuilder, I felt stuck. After the program finished, I put all the ideas I had in order. The program gave me many challenges but also many satisfactions.”
Participating in the pitch competition gave me a lot of satisfaction. I was able to see the community’s needs and realized that my business covers a necessity, which is to offer a photography school in Spanish.
Karina won first place in the first Pitch competition organized by the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix.
“I learned so much about how to start a business. It was not easy; there were long nights, tears, and stress. After 6 weeks, it was a great feeling knowing that I arrived at the end of the program, and I now have a business plan. I’m so excited for what’s ahead!”
Augusta Perry, DreamBuilder Graduate.
“I decided to do something that I always wanted to do and that was to become a truck driver. My advice to other small business owners is to dream big and look forward. If it seems impossible, break it down into smaller tasks. Move through each item to ensure compliance, licensing, and purpose are part of your goals.”
Marcella Williams, DreamBuilder Graduate, Owner of CDL Focus.
“DreamBuilder helped me prepare for and think about things I had never considered. Even when I completed the program, I have been given many resources to guide my decisions. I may be the sole owner of my business, but I am not alone.”
Lindsey Brawley, DreamBuilder Graduate, Owner of Gila Escape Room.
“I took DreamBuilder when I was starting my business, and it was a big help. DreamBuilder was a key factor in the successful launch of my business.”
Patricia Munoz, DreamBuilder Graduate.
“DreamBuilder allowed me to see the strengths and weakness of my business and to reconsider key aspects of my business. The DreamBuilder program built my confidence and helped me fall in love with my dream and gave me great direction on where to focus my passion.”
Carmen Bolivar, DreamBuilder Graduate, Owner of Hamiel Bridal’s and Quinceañeras.
“The program has given me a lot of strength to move forward… to continue to overcome all of the problems that we women face every day and to keep going for our children, for our families, and for ourselves, I’m very grateful to DreamBuilder.”
Silvana Farfan, DreamBuilder Graduate, Owner of Muebles Adria.
“The DreamBuilder program was incredibly beneficial to me and my business. When I began the program, my business had already been open for about a year. I could not understand why my business wasn’t flourishing until I realized the areas that needed my attention. Thanks to DreamBuilder, I now have the confidence, knowledge, skills, and the ability to ensure that I continue to have a lucrative business.”
Misty Thompson, DreamBuilder Graduate, Owner of Mystified Enlightenment.
“DreamBuilder allowed me to polish what I knew from experience, and at the same time, taught me so many details that I didn’t know. It allowed me to update my knowledge and stay ahead. For me, the most important lesson I learned was how to price my products and everything that I need to consider when I set the price. I keep much more rigorous detail of my costs today.”
Maria Del Rosario Rojas Trujillo, DreamBuilder Graduate, Owner of Creatoris.
Sponsored by Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, the DreamBuilder program leverages the expertise of Thunderbird School of Global Management, a world leader in international management education, to empower women through education.About Us