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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 Jester

June 17th, 2021 I opened my first restaurant located in Rex, GA. We are currently a takeout eatery specializing in serving Foodgasms! I officially started my business April 20, 2020. I began catering weddings, private events, corporate meetings meal prep and as a food vendor some of the hottest pop-ups in and around Atlanta! I realized that cooking was definitely my true passion and ultimately knew it was time to make a career move! In 2013 I received cooking experience and training working with some of the best chefs in Atlanta at the Marriott in Buckhead. Growing up, I would assist my mom in the kitchen because she also has her own catering business and has a passion for cooking. June 2021, we both decided it was time to make a career change, step out on faith, and go for our dream. Read more>>

Ashley Stapletno

I’ve been in the financial services industry since 2001. I made the jump to Edward Jones in 2012 from SunTrust Bank. People thought I was nuts because at the time, I had a two years old and my wife was about to give birth to our second child. I was promised a salary that was 35% below what I was making at SunTrust. Also on way to prospect was go door to door. IT DIDN”T MAKE SENSE! I knew I wanted to own my own business and Edward Jones was a company that valued hard work, in fact, they rewarded it. Despite the doubters, I made the jump! I knocked on thousands of doors and cold called many businesses. The early years were tough! The year after I started, my office moved an hour away from where I had been prospecting because another advisor left to join another firm. I had to start over. My mother in law passed away a month later from a long-term battle from breast cancer. Many more challenges came my way, but I prayed like it depended on God and worked like it depended on me. Read more>>

Tanya Bradwell

I have always had a love for the arts. Whether it was admiring paintings or photography or enjoying a live production of a stage play; I have always been fascinated with the idea of people having a creative idea and then bringing that idea to life as a visible or tangible thing. In my younger years I was heavily focused on my academics and I did not seriously explore my inquisitiveness of crafting or creating. Being the oldest of 9 children and a member of a large family, the importance of education was instilled in me by my mother and my grandparents. I wanted to make them proud so that is where I put my energy. With the values instilled in me by my grandparents and parents, I went on to earn my bachelors and masters degrees from my illustrious alma mater, Florida A & M University. Then, while beginning my professional career as a professional school counselor I continued my education and eventually earned a doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology. Now, I have been a full time educator for the last 20 years. Read more>>

Clara Campbell

I fell in love with makeup about 5 years ago. I was playing in makeup one day and I was like this looks nice on me, then that one single day turned into many days of practicing. One evening after work I had a deep conversation with myself and asked what would I enjoy doing for the rest of my life… Then the first thing to my mind was makeup. At that time, I was working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Management and working full time and I thought … How can I make this possible?? So I started looking for makeup training courses and the institution Industry Makeup Academy is where  I received my certification. I had an awesome experience and met some beautiful people. I had breaks in my journey were I started makeup then stopped, so in the recent years, I said I’m going to make the best of my gift and now it’s starting to show. Read more>>

Daya Brown

From the words of Langston Hughes in his poem titled, Mother to Son, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” The journey of getting where I am today has consisted of blessings & curses. My gifts have stemmed from pain and insecurity and became the solvency towards my healing. This short life that I have lived so far has not been consistent with constant contentment and flowers. Many tend to look at my success and fail to see the true colors within it. They have failed to see that I have fought with those who were drowned in hate, the heart has chattered, self-love became intangible, dreams felt too far fetched, and sleep no longer was my friend. However, I would do it all over again because my success is not just about me. It became a means of breaking generational cycles and for my little brother to understand it is never too early to follow your dreams. I found my love of poetry in my sixth grade ELA teacher classroom, Ms. Jackson. Read more>>

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