April 22, 2024 12:28 am
How being laid off led to a new career for one Mesa business owner

In Mesa, Arizona, a Valley woman turned her layoff into an opportunity to pursue her dream. Marina Flores had worked in corporate America for nearly two decades when the pandemic hit and she found herself without a job. With bills to pay, she had to find a creative solution to make ends meet. That’s when she decided to turn her side hustle of making shave ice into her full-time job.

For four years, Flores operated from a trailer, building her dream and forming partnerships with local schools to support their students and programs. Rather than charging schools to come, Flores would make money from the students and then give them a percentage of the profits. This helped her grow her business and connect with her community.

Now, after years of hard work and perseverance, Flores is opening her own brick-and-mortar shave ice store near the area where she grew up in Mesa. This new chapter in her life is a testament to the idea that there is always something good to come out of challenging situations.

Flores hopes that her journey will inspire entrepreneurs of all ages to bet on themselves and pursue their passions. Despite losing her job in her 40s, she was able to start a new career and build a successful business from the ground up. Marina’s Fresh Fruit Shave Ice will be a place where the community can come together and enjoy a sweet treat while supporting a local entrepreneur.

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