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.
I am 21 and I am the owner of my eyelash brand “WhatLashezz”. WhatLashezz started in my dorm room my first year of college back in California at CSULB. I now live in Atlanta and am a full-time entrepreneur. I specialize in eyelash extensions, this year I have expanded to teaching classes and building a larger audience through my online store. On this store I sell handmade eyelash extensions as well as 25mm and mink lashes. Every step of the way I have learned more and more about what it takes to run a business, beyond grateful for the experience. Read more>>
From the young age of 7, Shawn’s father worked at the movie theatre on the Army Base in the projection room. Shawn followed him to work whenever he could. Back then, movie theatres were more of a “hands -on” process. The sight, sounds, smells and overall experience with handling film still drives his passion today. Shawn’s first experience with photography was in high school when his teacher gave him a camera and an assignment to capture “whatever meant the most to him”. Time in the darkroom, the manual process of developing film along with the anticipation of the final product was motivation in itself. The positive praise he received from his pictures around the players and energy on and around basketball court confirmed his belief in his talent and skills behind the lens. Read more>>
I am from Pontiac Michigan. I’ve always grown up wanting to get into acting but never had the courage or even thought I’d be in the position to peruse it. In July of 2018 I actually moved to Atlanta. After about a month of being here, I would see so many casting calls and I eventually just went for it. I was casted as an extra on a show called American soul which I later went back and did a robbery scene with R&B singer Kelly Price! After that I ended up getting casted for a bunch of projects including rapper Iggy Azalea’s music video “Sally Walker”. While I love acting, I told myself I needed to get my hands onto something else so I started my own podcast entitled “Sip&Chat”. It took months for me to get my podcast off the ground because there were a lot of complications but by me not letting them get in the way, I was able to launch it in April of 2019. Read more>>
I first started shooting in high school in an advanced design class. My childhood friend Jovan who is one of the dopest photographers I know, really inspired me throughout that course. I was able to learn a bit of swag from him and I can see his influence in my photos now. Before I even knew DSLR’s existed, I was using a blackberry and iPhone to take my photos. It was more about the composition than the quality of the photos that caught my teacher’s attention. She kept saying there was no way I could have taken the photos for my project on the phone. From then on, I knew photography was something that came naturally to me and also something I enjoyed doing. However, I would always put the camera down and not take it seriously. Read more>>
I started this business for my daughter. I love clothes. I was starting to see the same clothes everywhere I went. We went to the circus for one year. I know I saw 30 of the same jackets Jedi had on. I was like, oh no! This is crazy. I mostly thrift for statement pieces for the whole family. It’s not easy finding t-shirts all the time so that’s what I usually buy in-store. The t-shirts can be kinda corny sometimes, or too glittery. Jedi would end up covered in glitter. I decided to do something that fit our family. One that was inspired by Jedi but created just for all of our babies. I came up with Green Bugs. I have created seven characters so far. All of them are not bugs. They are all little critters, though. Read more>>
So I started Big Mouf’ in March of this year during Quarantine. I wasn’t working my job at the time due to hours getting cut, plus I hated my job. I knew since before I graduated high school that I wanted to be my own boss and make my own rules, and this year I did just that! Now, if you would’ve asked me four years ago what type of business I wanted to own, I would’ve told you, “I simply don’t know.” But I did know I always wanted to open a business in the beauty industry. I genuinely love making people happy. And I know I always was happiest when I felt confident in my appearance, so I knew I could put smiles on people’s faces just by offering a product or service that will enhance their outer beauty and bring the inner beauty out. Read more>>