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College Park’s Hidden Gems

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of College Park’s gems below.

Tiffany Emerson

After working in corporate America for 20 years, fashion has always been a passion of mine. My friends always come to me for styling assistance. I lost my job due to Covid19 in June of 2020. I then focus on starting my own boutique and I honestly haven’t looked back. Read more>>

John Beverly

I’m originally from Mobile, AL. I graduated from Gardner-Webb University (NC) with a BS in Business Management, and I have a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from the University of West Alabama. I began my career in Sports Marketing, working as an account manager for Brand Connections, which was a very small marketing firm located in Charlotte, NC. There, I learned the importance of networking, marketing and communication as we (Brand Connections) focused on brand management and building the brand inside the NASCAR umbrella. While I enjoyed the fast-paced atmosphere, travel, and the people that I worked with, I had a passion for teaching and coaching high school football. After being with Brand Connections for a few years, I left the company and moved back to Alabama, where I began to teach physical education and coach varsity football. After being an education professional and football coach for the next eight years, my family and I decided to transition to Atlanta, GA. Read more>>

Markeisha Constant

I was born in Texas, raised in Alabama, attended college in Louisiana and moved to Atlanta in 2007, a year after I graduated from LSU. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. I have two master’s degrees and I am a proud dog mom to Bristol and Blanca. Over the years, my career has been focused on Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have worked with children and families in therapeutic foster care, and I am a certified foster parent trainer and home study writer for the state of Georgia. Presently I work in crisis management and suicide prevention and intervention. My heart lies with volunteering and advocating for youth homelessness and I currently sit on the executive board at a shelter in Midtown Atlanta. You can also find me coaching high school volleyball. I own a small graphic tee business, Six Footer Apparel and my newest venture is Shugga & Spyce & Everythang Naughty which was born out of my fascination with human interaction, sexual dysfunction, and relationship dynamics. Read more>>

Big Rez

In terms of music, I’ve always been a huge fan of music, all genres. I started rapping at a young age, around eight years old. I remember having multiple composition notebooks filled with raps. I had dreams of one day being on 106 & Park. Anyone who knew me growing up knows that’s all I ever talked about. I was influenced by many artists. I took bits & pieces from each artist that influenced me. Bow Wow influenced me to pick up the pen at 8. Kanye influenced me to be myself & pop my sh-t. Common, Pac, & T.I. taught me how to paint pictures with my words. Biggie taught me wordplay & metaphors. Hov taught me how to involve effective double entendres. I could go on and on about what I learned from certain artists but that would probably read as long as a novel. – In terms of labels, I used to study Cash Money Records, Bad Boy Records, No Limit Records, Roc-A-Fela…& I’d think to myself, I want to do something like this…I want to create something similar to this… but not a traditional label. I don’t want to suck the artist dry & control everything they do. Read more>>

Amerika Monae

AMERIKA MONAE grew up the youngest of three girls in Chicago, IL and was raised by her single mother. Being in a home full of women, it was destined someone would tap into the beauty industry! Amerika launched AM MINKS in 2015 and began selling Human hair extensions, so soft and of top-tier quality to the point that the term MINK just stuck. Always with the intent to expand with everything beauty-related the CEO decided to move and take her ten years old daughter hustle and ambition from Chicago to Atlanta, GA! Her hometown brand and business has began to grow not only physically but she has shipped units to over 15 states in the US! Shortly after the move she opened up her very own beauty bar suite in Union City (a few minutes from College Park and the Airport area), where she currently still services and styles custom units that are shipped all over the World. Read more>>

Ola Amokomowo

It’s so exciting to catch up with you guys again and for the third time. It’s great to know that people are still inspired by my story and is eager to learn more, and want an update. Since we last spoke, so much has happened. Moving from Jersey to Atlanta, three years ago, the transition was smooth but the grind was real. Even with a degree from Howard University in Audio Production, several personal curated events under my belt and influential solid connections, I wasn’t able to jump right into the entertainment industry like I wanted to. However, the first job I obtained when I relocated to Atlanta, definitely helped me make the necessary connections with the right people. Read more>>

Riquel Angela

The idea of A+ Vibes, started when I was at one of the lowest places in my life. I was struggling mentally. I was allowing the pressures of the world, society, people, and my own insecurities at that time to affect me. I was tired of feeling like I wasn’t enough for anyone or anything. I wanted to live a Positive life, that’s when I knew that in order for my life to change it had to start with me. So that’s when I began searching for Inner Peace, Self-Love, and Life Elevation. During that time, I found an interest in reading books about Self-Love, Self-Help, learning about positive affirmations, and manifesting. On my journey to living an A+Life, I grew more Mentally, Emotionally, and even Spiritually. I saw major elevation in all areas of my life. During that time, I discovered Self-Love, Inner Peace, the power of Journaling, Yoga, Meditation, and the Law of Attraction. Read more>>

Crystal Perry

Melanated PEARL Corporation, located in Hampton, Georgia, is a non-profit organization that aids women in Clayton County and the surrounding Metro Atlanta area. Since November 2018, Melanated PEARL Corporation has helped women learn valuable skills and become more education-focused to improve their ability to live fulfilling lives. P.E.A.R.L. is an acronym that stands for Passionate Engaged Activists, Resisting Limitations – our organization aims to speak to our audience’s passions, engage them, give them a call to action, and show them how to resist the idea that they are limited in any way. As an educator, trainer, and leader in professional development, I know and understand that staying stifled in old practices and fixed mindsets can cause businesses to languish. The way businesses and organizations educate and train employees to advance along their career paths continually changes. That said, my most significant obstacle in 2018 was becoming “21st century capable”. Read more>>

Dr. Christie Black-Murrell

My writing journey, started as a young kid probably around age 8 or 9 when I started journaling. This was my safe place to put all of my feelings and thoughts good or bad. As I got older it was where I would write my poems which later turned into my very first book. “Random Thoughts of a Perplexed, Relaxed Soul”, was my first collection of poems and was so special to me because it started being written when I was high school. Now 14 years later, I have written twelve other books in various genres including poetry, adult fiction, and children literature. The one common glue of all of them goes back to my purpose of “speaking life” to all I come into contact with. Read more>>

Bronson McBride

I started some years ago, with ideas I wanted to get out of my head. However life happens and those ideas get pushed to the back. Fortunately 2020 happened. Inside the pandemic, for the first time we all had the chance to simply press pause. The world slowed down a lot. With the pause, I decided it was time to take an idea out of my head and put in the real world. I took advantage of whatever extra money I had coming in that I could spare and put it towards get B Good Clothing off the ground. I invested in software and equipment. I took the extra time to learn enough to get me rolling. Read more>>

Katherine Mcdougle

When I started my Paparazzi Jewelry journey in 2018 I had no idea where it was going to take me. I came across my Sponsers live jewelry sale on Facebook I watched her show jewelry that was beautiful for only $5 I was Immediately intrigued So I ordered over $85 each live after about my 3rd order she Extended me the offer to sign up with the company to get Discount or I could sale the jewelry iota was my choice at the time I was working for a beauty supply in California where I wasn’t making much money So I said imma sign up just for the discounts lol If someone would have told me then that I would have an awesome team of 68 MEN and WOMEN in various parts of the US, literally on the east coast , west coast, and in between I wouldn’t have believed them. More are joining every month!!! It is a business so yes, I do have to work–nothing comes super easy right? But the payoff is wonderful. And I can truly say that in most cases it doesn’t seem like work because I enjoy it so much. Read more>>

Shannon Stevenson

I began baking back in 2015 after my grandmother passed and my engagement ended. I was in a dark place and depressed. After those two life events all I would do is go to work and go home. I wasn’t going out with friends, I wasn’t doing anything. One day I was laying around, as usual, and something told me to get up and do something with yourself, your life is not over. While I was sitting there thinking what to do I began scrolling through Pinterest. While scrolling I seen a recipe for cupcakes. So I saved the recipe and when to the store and picked up the ingredients. They didn’t come out so pretty, hahahaha, but I didn’t want to throw them away so I took them to work and gave them to my co-workers. My co-workers actually said they tasted good. I made a few more batches, different flavors, and took them to work and my co-workers devoured them. After a little tweaking of the recipe and practicing decorating them I started selling them for a $1 a cupcake. Read more>>

Samuel Enchill

I have always been an Entrepreneur and that’s what I love to do. I started a different business and I needed something else but I wasn’t so sure what. I was diagnosed with CLL- Chronic Lymphocytes Leukemia and when I started treatment I really needed something else to do.I I love suits am a suit person so my good friend who also had started a clothing line “Marcyboutique “ drew my attention to me being a suit person and that can be something that I will love to do. I took that in good faith and SamEnchill Collections was born Read more>>

Chandrelle Haynie

Chandrelle Haynie, owner of Drelle Nicole, Inc., started her career in fashion at the age of 27 when she started selling lingerie and novelties to supplement her income. She realized there was a need for plus size lingerie and hired her aunt, who was a seamstress, to make the designs for Chandrelle to sell at lingerie parties. At that time, Chandrelle wasn’t a stranger to sewing, because she would make doll clothes by hand as she was growing up. But she wasn’t familiar with sewing on a machine. Chandrelle asked her aunt to teach her and they worked together for a year until her aunt succumbed to complications of surgery. Chandrelle gave up on sewing while dealing with the loss of her aunt and the failure of her business. In 2015, a friend gave Chandrelle a brand new sewing machine to help rekindle her motivation. Chandrelle needed to put it to use. She was given some fabric from Ghana and decided to make a full length maxi skirt. When Chandrelle finished the piece, she gave it to a friend who took pictures in it and posted the photos on Facebook. The skirt got a lot of attention and orders for skirts started coming in for Chandrelle.  Read more>>

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