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Downtown’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 downtown’s gems below.

StunnaGG

I started my brand GLOW in 2018 after losing a number of close friends. GLOW was a simple yet unique Word & Acronym. GLOW is an acronym for Glory & Loyalty Oversee Wealth. This came about with dealing with life experiences. Glory is to take great pride or magnificence, being the best at whatever you do. Loyalty is to First be loyal to yourself and never give up at anything you’re doing and to the people around you. Being Loyal & Focusing on being great is more important than the money because it’s going to come with due time, Which is where the oversee Wealth Comes From. This Brand is Motivation for Anyone to chase their dream and never let anyone stop them, including themself. I express myself and creativity through my designs. You can follow my brand @glowgg_ on Instagram and Twitter. Read more>>

Erica Trimble

It was when I meet my soulmate, and the love & fun we found with each other gave me an idea to start a company that will create fun and more sexiness in the bedroom. So after four years of going back n forth on how I was going to get my business going, I finally took the leap of faith to begin. I’m so happy I did, it’s been so much fun just to see the excitement on women and men’s faces when they think of what that lingerie is about to create in their bedroom. 🤫That’s where we came up with the initial S.E.X (Sensual Emotions & Xtreme fun in the bedroom. It’s so much more in store for Oh So Fine Lingerie, we have so many more plans ready to be birth. Read more>>

Ommeni Richardson

I was born and raised in Sussex County, DE. I had the privilege of being supported by two loving parents throughout my entire childhood. My entrepreneurial drive was crafted by the many lessons on faith, economic empowerment, and creativity that both parents presented to me. My mother has always been big on generational growth as she wants all of her children to excel above her accomplishments. She has been the most faithful customer to all of my business ventures and continuously encourages me to seek new heights. My father always insists on multiple income streams; he handed me a three-dollar craft box at a yard sale which initiated my longest-running business venture to date! In addition to my parents, I have a loving family and several spiritual, educational, and career mentors who are absolutely God-sent! In spring 2012, I began my first major entrepreneurial venture, OmmYuNique. This is a handmade art variety brand that I began my freshman year of high school. OmmYuNique initially provided custom and ready-made jewelry as well as repairing and repurposing services of jewelry. My main customers were relatives and locals. Read more>>

Paulette Jones

I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. I grew up as an only child in a single-parent home. I watched my mother work two jobs at a time to keep a roof over our heads, food on our table and clothes on our back. My mother, LeRhonda Carter, instilled in me through leadership that the grind never stops. Our family is extremely close, almost inseparable. I grew up watching the beautiful, strong black women in my family provide, lead, and overcome and I had a strong black male figure, my uncle AJ who is like a father to me, to set the standard of knowing my worth when it came to men. My heart belongs to music and my passion is helping others but I have never been the type of person to plan my life out. I didn’t have a dream occupation, I wasn’t planning out my future like most of my peers. I live for spontaneity. I operate on the fly! With that being said, creating a magazine had NEVER even been a thought for me. Starting out, I was working as a writer for another online magazine called B Social and even this position was spontaneous. Read more>>

Natrell D. Hampton

I am a master cosmetologist and herbalist. As a young girl, I was always playing in hair, trying new designs and styles. I would also be in the kitchen with my grandma learning about different herbs and plants while she would be cooking. After losing my grandma to lung cancer, I decided to go to school for cosmetology I also studied to learn more about herbal help for health, hair, skin & nails. This was also therapy for me as well it gave me an opportunity to see hair and herbs as a connection to life. I spent a few years assisting and shadowing under a few well-known stylists in Downtown Atlanta. Working in these salons gave me insight. I wanted to run my own business. I wanted certain standards and expectations. I knew when it was my turn. I wanted clients to always feel a comfort and security when they came to see me. I wanted them to know they were not just money coming in to get service but people ready to develop new relationships for great guidance on healthy hair goals. The smile I get from a happy client is indescribable. Read more>>

Chelsea Necole

I started cooking and babysitting children at the age of 15. I’ve always had a passion for both. For the longest, I knew I wanted to be successful in something; I just wasn’t for sure whether it would be cooking or nannying for children. Lol. In 2008 I started working for the Atlanta Falcons. I was responsible for overseeing and nannying the player’s children during football season at the stadium. I loved it! This was an only part-time though. Full time I worked at various child care facilities, schools and worked as a nanny for various families. In 2017 I started working for the Atlanta United Soccer team doing the same as for the Atlanta Falcons. This looked great on my resume as I started having more families wanting me to teach their children. In 2019 is when I said I want something different to add on to my resume. So I went and purchased an LLC and came up with Lets Roll Gourmet Egg rolls. This was just another mission I was determined to accomplish and I did. Everyone loves my cooking. Especially my egg rolls because they consist of many different flavors such as strawberries and cream, Buffalo shrimp and they even have unique names such as my “Bougie Roll,” which consists of grilled chicken & spinach tossed in a creamy Parmesan sauce. Read more>>

Michael Rothlis

My story, being my musical journey, starts with my parents getting me into piano lessons when I was five years old. It was something I honestly dreaded when I was a kid. I didn’t think I was into music as much then. But then, as time proceeded, I soon started to discover the talent I possessed and a true passion I had for music composition and scaling. At that time, I lived in Austin, Texas. Then when I turned seven years old, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where I was culture shocked. I continued to play piano for ten more years, where then I became interested in video production and graphic designing. I stopped playing piano for a little bit and became more involved in video game montages and creating flyers and other things along the lines of virtual production! This came about for the next few years of my life. Then I started going to college in Athens, Georgia, where I steered away from all of it for a little while, and in that time, I felt I had I was in the wrong direction because I was being someone who I didn’t want to be, choosing a career path that didn’t fit my desire and passion. This eventually led to one big ego death, where I realized I didn’t like who I was and moved back to Atlanta, Georgia. Read more>>

Roxanne Dixon

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devasted New Orleans, Louisiana and I was forced to evacuate with my then 12-year-old daughter to another location. Since we had never visited Atlanta, we decided to travel here because in our minds we thought we would be returning back to New Orleans in a few days. Unbeknownst to us, the levies broke and what should have been a few days away from home turned into 15 years in a new environment with no family, no friends, no home, and no way of sustaining life. BUT GOD! Because of my faith, God placed strangers in my life that supported and encouraged me to get on my feet and start the next chapter of my life. When I knew Atlanta would be my home, my first order of business was to secure employment. Thankfully, I am an educator; so, acquiring a position was not difficult. Fortunately, the wonderful people that I met as an educator opened doors and friendships that will be with me for a lifetime. After securing my teaching assignment, I then secured a church home. Hearing God’s promises was very instrumental in me being confident that I could rebuild and start again. From there, I enrolled in school and received my Specialist degree and then a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Read more>>

Zabrina Starr

I always had an ear for music at very young age. By the age of 14, I became more interested into beats and sounds and started free-styling. By the age of 16 and a half my uncle was murder, I went through a bad heartbreak and my mom moved me to Atlanta. Then I started writing my own lyrics and songs after graduating high school. I continue to write music, I became more serious and started to record my lyrics and music. I still wasn’t were I needed to be as an artist. I wasn’t quite ready yet because I thought I had found love again, but I never gave up on music. I still was recording and writing music but wasn’t as focused as I should have been, now that I have gain focused, I have released two singles and a video within a year and a half. Read more>>

Jon Madrid

I am a 19-year-old Entrepreneur/social media/music artist. I live in Los Angeles, California, this is where I create all my videos and record all my songs. I just started recording music a couple months back but aside from that. I’m very outgoing and I’m very free-spirited. I just love to make people smile and feel good. Read more>>

Moneyy Shawn

I had to get out of my comfort zone and verge with the uncomfortable. I was doing anything to keep my head up and to stay motivated in any way. I started getting active and networking in the underground scene and started noticing instant results. I made connections off my energy, charisma, and becoming a familiar face. Number one thing I recommend is to stay confident, consistent, and patient and everything else you will need will find its way to you along the journey. Read more>>

Jamiah Hudson

I’m Jamiah!!! A Singer/Songwriter born and raised in Augusta, GA! Super country gal lol. I started singing in church at the age of five, where I lead my first solo. After that moment, I knew my family knew and everyone around me knew that I was born to sing. From there, my mom and grandparents who raised me really poured into me and help me cultivate my gifts by putting me in voice lessons, acting classes, guitar and piano lessons. ALL THINGS ENTERTAINMENT. I did talent shows and competitions, which allowed me to be put in front of important people at a very young age. By the age of nine, I booked my first official and paid show! It was “The Wiz” directed by Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon which showed at the Rialto right in Atlanta. At age 11, I booked my first big leading role starring as JOJO in the “Suessical The Musical” shown at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre also in Atlanta and we even went on to tour. (Now, I was living in Augusta still at the time, which is 2 hours away from Atlanta, so me my mom and nana would drive everyday to and from Atlanta for rehearsals and shows! But because the role was so demanding, I was pulled out of school and began homeschooling. Read more>>

AJ Jackson

I started my journey back in 2010 curating events/parties with my entertainment company Viceteam (which I still do today). I took the creative side of that and knew I could do more. I always wanted to dress nicely for events and just everyday moving around. So I started getting into wardrobe styling. Went from styling friend to getting introduced celebs through the parties and working with them also. After so long ago that I realized I did like a lot of clothes that were being sold in stores so I started to look into clothing design. I started doing my own research. I almost decided to go school for fashion designing but I just decided to keep watching YouTube videos and gain my own experience through trial and error. 2016 is when I got an opportunity to design with a brand by the name of “Godi Wear”. With that brand, I found my love for designing what I love most sweats and hoodies. I had the opportunity with the same brand to co-design two sneakers alongside one of my brothers. If you know me, I love sneakers and have a great imagination. So that was an amazing opportunity to create what I wanted. Read more>>

Jarin Subah

I basically started my business on this pandemic. I realized I wasn’t doing anything productive during that period, and seeing people around me doing something or the other really inspired me to do something on my own. On top of that, I’ve always wanted to do something for my mother, so got the opportunity to get my mother on board as well. Read more>>

Destiny Momodu

I am a Visual Artist/Tattoo artist from the west side of Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve been an artist all my life since I was like 4 or 5; my father was an artist but never showed his work to people, but my sister art and I are my life, but I didn’t call myself an artist until 6th grade being from the west side of Atlanta, GA wants to be a well-known artist was very unheard of I always felt like an outcast growing up even when being in large social groups I would still feel different as time went on I graduated high school and thought maybe I should try being an art teacher a year later I dropped out of college and quit my job as a teacher assistant. I invested my last check from my job into tattoo supplies and a tattoo machine, and the rest was history. Read more>>

Tiara Chameleon

My fashion journey began when I was scouted out at 13 years old, in a mall with my family and a basketball in my hand. Unaware of what my future would be, I learned what it meant to overcome the unknown, to embrace my fears, and how to take a leap of faith. Today, I celebrate making the right decision! I became an award-winning model and pageantry winner, acquiring 16+ trophies & ribbons. This was a result of my opportunity to compete in Hilton Head, FL, Cleveland, OH, and travel back and forth to NY while in high school. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Marketing & Management from The Art Institute of Chicago. While there, I went to Italy for a semester to study International Fashion. These precious moments shaped the woman I am today. I come from a world of understating the fashion and beauty world from multi-dimensions, which makes me very knowledgeable and outstanding in this field. It was in my modeling career where I soon discovered that I had a greater love and joy of working behind the camera instead of in front of it. With years spent chasing a modeling career, going to “Go-See” after “Go-See,” “Fitting Sessions,” and more, the light clicked for me over time backstage, where I would find myself constantly feeling insecure with my look or being underwhelmed with the process. Read more>>

Alexis Brown

When one thinks of skincare we often think of picture-perfect glass looking skin, an unrealistic representation of what all skin should be. I wanted to be one to change that narrative by making others feel comfortable and confident in their own skin while leading them to a healthy skin care journey. My skincare business was pretty unexpected. The summer before my 11th-grade year in highschool, I was on my break working as a lifeguard and randomly decided I wanted to make my own facial scrubs. Me being a 16 year old at the time, I had little to no knowledge of the true fundamentals of skincare. So I took it upon myself to research and educate myself on what properties and ingredients nourish and heal the skin without inflicting harm. That same day, I insisted my oldest sister take me to the store so I could proceed to buy the ingredients for my first two scrubs which are now known as the “Aloe vera” and “Blueberry scrub”. To my surprise, these two products worked amazingly on me and my family’s skin and I wanted to share my creation to others. I then marketed myself to a private Instagram story that included some friends and classmates to get a feel of who would be interested in trying out my scrubs. Read more>>

De’Anthony Turner

I am originally from Montgomery, Al and in 2011, after leaving college after two years, I moved to Atlanta to start a comedy career. Over the years, I have toured with Kountry Wayne, Rickey Smiley and David and Tamela Mann. I’ve been featured in shows with Mike Epps, DC Youngfly, Sommore, Michael Blackson, and many others. I also starred in many stage plays and have written, produced, and toured two of my own. In 2015 I signed with the people store agency, and over there course of five years, I featured in three hit television shows, including season 1 of Atlanta on FX, season 2 of Queen Sugar on OWN, and season 1 of Boomerang. In 2017 I became a radio personality for a hip-hop station in my hometown until 2020, when I moved back to Atlanta and began working in the Trap Music Museum. I also won the Atl’s Hottest Comedian of 2020, even with Covid. I just finished filming my own series entitled “Decisions” that is in post-production and I am ready to shop around. It is about a singer trying to make it in the music industry while balancing her personal life and career. Read more>>

Mari K. Bell

The Quarters and founder of No Ma’am Nation. Who am I? I am the ladies of No Ma’am. I’m a southern girl who has lived a number of places, including up north. I attended an HBCU and pledged a sorority (OO-OOP!). I also attended PWI (predominately white institution). Yet, some of the smartest individuals I know never finished high school or attended any school. I’ve had a lot of careers and a lot of ups and downs, including caring for a sick parent. I’ve dated the wrong person. I married the right one. Now, I’m a wife with a blended family. I made mistakes. I recovered. I gained weight. I lost weight and I gained it again. I am a work in progress – and I know I’m not alone. So, Why No, Ma’am? I looked high and low for something that spoke to all of who I am as a black woman over 40 and couldn’t find it. I envisioned a fun, resources, real-life ish, naughtiness, and most importantly, defiance of aging stereotypes. When I couldn’t find it, I decided to create my own. I created No Ma’am Nation to offer women 40 and up a community of other energized women eager to connect, laugh, learn, and re-energize. Through No Ma’am Nation’s social media presence and online broadcast, membership has grown by the thousands. Read more>>

The Williams

Mother Earth Organics started as public health project to increase the access of high-quality produce for our family and grew into an organization that strives to create agricultural opportunities for students and families in Black communities throughout Georgia. Mother Earth Organics’ network spans from Atlanta, two multi-acre community gardens down to a twenty-acre farm in Appling County. As the size of the operation grew so did the mission. Mother Earth Organics has released information on our Dalmatian kennel and has a few other services coming we can’t wait to announce!!! Mother Earth Organics started as an attempt to increase our family’s access to organic, non-GMO produce. We started a network that provided the best quality fruits and vegetables that it grew into something we wanted to take on full time. What started out as a layout for a garden has grown into a blueprint for our grocery store. Read more>>

Danni Thompson

I started Danni Gyrl’s Playhouse in 2013 as a Graphic T-Shirt company… once I realize there were more opportunities in the fashion industry, I expanded my brand and added women’s apparel. My motivation came from attending Magic convention in Vegas, where I was exposed to different vendors, which allowed for my creative side to flow… once I realized Vegas was a place for all fashion business owners. I made it my point to attend twice a year. Each year I learned something new and networked with my top vendors to keep Danni Gyrl’s Playhouse popping. I discovered that most of my vendors were in Los Angeles, that’s when I shifted my business and started negotiating with those vendors in The LA fashion district. Best decision I made, because I was then able to work in LA for a few days putting my collections together and making frequent trips to the west coast year round. Read more>>

Erica Gray

As a licensed master Cosmetologist working in a high traffic salon we often run out of things. We run out of Lightner, hair color, styling products and even extensions. I realized early on that we were in a hair desert. The closest professional beauty supply was miles away. We were losing time out with our clients by having to leave to get product. And It doesn’t matter how prepared of stylist u are, u simply can’t hv everything. So I thought, “what if…” and it began from there. Read more>>

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