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Raven Thomas, President and CEO of The Painted Pretzel

Instagram: @thatssoooo_raven

Twitter: @RavenCThomas

I chose this as my career because it chose me. I didn’t intend on this career path, but while doing something I love, I suppose the path was naturally paved for me. 

I hope my greatest contribution to the Valley culinary scene is to encourage other women, specifically mothers, to find the time and courage to follow their dreams.

Making others smile and find enjoyment in my products is what I love most about what I do. Finding a balance between family time, business and personal space has been the biggest challenge. I actually don’t have an equal balance, and that’s OK. It changes regularly based on the daily situations.

I separate myself and my brand from others in this field by remaining unique and not constantly monitoring what others are doing. Instead, I take feedback from what my customers like and grow according to them.

My New Year’s resolution is to step outside of my comfort zone and accept new challenges and opportunities for growth without reservation.

My greatest advice to share with young girls is to not be defined or confined by others’ dreams for you. Be fearless and courageous and determined to fulfill your potential. Set goals, and go for them all.

Scottsdale-based The Painted Pretzel, which was featured on “Shark Tank,” makes and sells chocolate-dipped pretzels.