The Women Who Inspire Us

Makenzie Marzluff

Founder, Delighted by Hummus

Makenzie Marzluff started with a healthy cookie-dough dip for a Super Bowl party using chickpeas and other sweet ingredients, and after a year of popularity amongst friends, she decided it was time to bring the first dessert hummus to others. 

Shark Tank Success

Mackenzie launched in Scottsdale farmers’ markets and later appeared on Shark Tank, obtaining a partnership with Mark Cuban, helping to bring flavors like brownie batter, red velvet and snickerdoodle to national shelves.

"The product was extremely unique. Being the first to market, while it does have its challenges, certainly has its advantages. People pay attention, including the press," she says.

Stay True to Yourself

Makenzie attended a retreat in Sedona that inspired her to pursue her passion for her product.

"I remember showing up to my first farmers' market with the intention of touching lives, not selling in mass quantity. I would ask customers, 'What are you delighted by today?'"

Have a Vision

Makenzie wanted to veer from traditional business practices. She never wrote a business plan and believes that every challenge is just an opportunity to grow. Delighted By's mission is simple: to inspire others to spread their glitter.

"Delighted By is here to remind people that we can co-create a thriving, delightful, inspiring life for ourselves by knowing we are worthy of this."

Heather Elrod

CEO, Amazing Lash Studios

Heather Elrod has a compelling story about taking risks to open her own business while empowering other women to do the same in her business and in her community of North Scottsdale.

“I was inspired at a young age by my grandmother who was a female entrepreneur well before it was acceptable. She left a legacy for my father who raised me with great encouragement and belief in myself."

All Entrepreneurs Start with a Dream

The most common trait of successful entrepreneurs over time and through events of failure is tenacity, Heather says.

“We must never lose our passion and belief in our dream. Also, you must have a viable business plan for profitability and the resources to sustain you until you become profitable or your dream will not become a reality," she says. "According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, Women Business Owner Statistics, more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, so it’s the perfect time for women to start a business."

How I Inspire Others to Pursue Their Dreams

Amazing Lash Studios allows women to fulfill their dreams on their terms.

“We have a franchisee who quit her job, sold her other businesses and opened an Amazing Lash Studio. She shared, tearfully, how it changed her life and saved her family. How fortunate am I to be part of that?”

Setting a Standard
Amazing Lash Studio is the industry leader in lash extensions with 216 studios across the country. They are industry innovators as well, launching several new lash services and other non-lash beauty-related services such as brow services.  

Cathy Hotchkiss

Real Estate Agent, North Scottsdale Walt Danley

Cathy Hotchkiss began her real estate career in 2007 after being a licensed interior designer for 27 years. Her career move to real estate was a natural evolution as her design background is instrumental in assisting her real estate clients.

“My services include much more than just assisting clients. Clients are always needing referrals for movers, cleaners, etc.; some are part-time residents and need help with repair companies, access and supervision," she says. "My interior design background is very instrumental in assisting clients to see their current or future home’s potential.”

Community involvement

Cathy participates on various committees, boards and women’s groups in North Scottsdale. She is a mentor to new agents and is always there for advice.

“I am a supporter of UMOM Phoenix which restores hope and rebuilds families’ lives by providing shelter, education and affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness of which the majority of admission is female-based,” she says.

Knowledge through Experience

Cathy knows that finding a seasoned agent is key when mentoring other agents in truly learning all the specifics of her business. From open houses to establishing comfort with buyers and sellers, she wants agents to understand the importance of being a neighborhood specialist and learn everything there is to know about that area. 


Professional designations help in becoming a better agent, and this is the advice she offers to others, as well as "never stop learning." 

“I have been in this business 14 years and am still learning new things all the time.”

Abby Feldman

Owner, North Scottsdale Firewood and North Scottsdale Landscape Professionals

Abby Feldman is a business owner in male-dominated fields. However, she has an important role model who helps her remember the confidence that comes with hard work.


“I found my inspiration through my mom who was a never-ending student in education," Abby says. "She was a reading specialist, assistant principal and taught at Syracuse University. Upon retirement, she provided volunteer services at our local Jewish Community elementary school. She is still a volunteer and is on a library board.”

Hands-On Approach

“One of my companies [North Scottsdale Landscape Professionals] provides volunteer services for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. We make it so our companies are always available for an emergency like the recent North Scottsdale snow, which caused a lot of damage to the animal structures and several trees," she says. "We were there first thing Monday morning and spent all day cleaning up the area. North Scottsdale Firewood delivers free firewood to Hunkapi Farms, an equine therapy facility. We are available at a moment’s notice—my philosophy is ‘just get it done!’” 

Teamwork is Key

“I refer to my employees as working with me, not for me. I speak to them in an inquisitive, ‘what do you think’ manner. My landscape foreman takes the lead with the crews, and I have actually learned a lot from him. There must be a sense of happiness in the grueling day-to-day work life, so I want my employees to put family first and love what they do when they are at work."

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