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Fabulous People: Melissa Anaya

Melissa Anaya is the founder of JAMM7 Media, a social media marketing agency for food and beverage related businesses, and EatDrinkAZ, her new foodie video series featuring her favorite places to eat and drink in our great State 48. Learn more about Melissa…

Hometown:  Mesa

First job: I was a Youth Dance Instructor for the city of Mesa, teaching young girls how to jam out! Dancing has always been my first love. It’s given me the confidence I’ve used throughout my life for things like being on camera or in front of a crowd and to put myself out there and go for everything I want!

Favorite AZ restaurant: Virtu at Bespoke Inn in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s quaint and so elegant at the same time. It feels like a European Cafe. I can go there and enjoy breakfast with my kids, lunch with the girls or a romantic dinner date with my lover. Their hand-crafted cocktails are amazing, their charred octopus is to die for and their mascarpone polenta with pork ragu, runny egg, salsa verde and fett’unta is my all-time fav!

Person who has impacted your life the most: I would say my partner in crime Jim Grieshaber. He came into my life five years ago and has never stopped pushing me to be better. He gave me the advice I needed to leave my job. He has always been my biggest fan and tells me I’m amazing every day. He literally is one of the most positive humans I have ever met.

Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: When I finally made the choice to quit my job as a marketing manager/bartender and start my business. I had never been on my own or taken care of myself until after I turned 30, and I was doing it! But I knew there was so much more out there for me, so like Lisa Nichols says, I took that big leap off the edge and I went for it. Every time I think about it, I smile.

The biggest obstacle you have overcome: My own mindset of never thinking I would or could be a business owner. I never thought it was possible until I actually started doing it. Every day, there’s a new challenge to find a solution for. Everything I conquer makes me better!

Someone who inspires you: Veronique James, CEO of The James AgencyAs a female entrepreneur, I absolutely love her! I follow everything she does. She’s smart, beautiful, passionate, up on all the trends, ethical and so much more. But the way she inspires her employees and the thriving work environment she has created through her team-building is something I aspire to. She’s just a rockstar. She is showing us all how to run our companies in the 21st century.

Favorite quote: “Don’t cry to quit, cry to keep going” from Eric Thomas, aka ET the Hip-Hop Preacher. I saw this and it changed my life forever.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: The most important thing is you have to have passion for food, fun and experiences. I go out all the time and I eat and drink everything I can. Every nationality and type of food, cocktail, wine, beer, you name it. I also think my experience in every area of the industry has been huge for me. I was a server, bartender, bar manager, marketer, social media manager, brand ambassador, event planner, you name it. I learned to obsess over the details. And finally, my business is very data-driven. My clients demand quantifiable results along with exquisite presentation of their brand.

What you think makes someone fabulous: To me, a combination of confidence, kindness, positivity, passion and love for life makes a person absolutely fabulous. Cheers!

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