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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.

Destiny Bell

My love for fashion started in middle school and developed simultaneously with my passion for music. Growing up, I would watch MTV music videos in the morning while I got dressed for school. I loved getting lost in the music and playing with the idea that I could be whoever. Read more>>

Bryce Cobbs

I’ve been into art since I can’t remember. I remember drawing even in elementary school, doing caricatures of my classmates and being tasked with the design duties for our projects. I really got serious around my junior year of high school when I took my first art class. Read more>>

Janell Allen

I am a Professional Makeup Artist here in Atlanta. Honesty I have always loved makeup since I was a little girl no matter if I am Walgreens or Sephora makeup is just something that has always brought a joy and excitement to my spirit. I never thought in a million years that I would actually turn something I love into a career. Read more>>

Zainab Jah

I have always dreamed about helping others, specifically focusing on health. I had this fixed vision that I wanted to be a medical doctor for a long time. After focusing on psychology in undergrad and pursuing my Masters in Public Health, I realized that my true passion was rooted in mental health. Read more>>

Stephanie Caudle

Black Girl Group literally came from a dream. I remember it very clearly. I was working at a super stressful job in PR that commanded more than 12 hours of my time each day. I remember going to bed that night asking God how I was ever going to be able to survive in this workplace and balance being a mom and a wife. Read more>>

Harold Dobbs

My business started in 2017. It was always an idea but in 2017 I actually stop procrastinating and put my idea into reality. I feel like being a Humble Hustler is never bragging or boasting about yourself or your accomplishments through life because just as easy as you got it can be taken away. Read more>>

Maria Yagnye

I could honestly probably sit here and find inklings of where this all got started that trace back to my childhood however there is but so much time in a day. So to keep it relatively brief, I’ll start a few years back… I just remember being at one of the lowest points in my life. Read more>>

Lance Bertrand

I started my company in November 2013 after graduating from SUNY Stony Brook in May and failed to get the job in corporate America I thought I wanted. I was a kitchen designer for five years at making an hourly wage. I did not see an opportunity for advancement with my employer at the time. Read more>>

Jairus Ellis

It really started back in high school, whenever my friends and I would have downtime from school and sports. We just made short skits for the fun of it, we would upload them to YouTube to show our friends and family. It was from then I started to develop a real passion for filming making and just content creation in general. Read more>>

Lance Woods

I was born and raised on the west side of Detroit. Educated in the Detroit Public School system, and finished high school with a 2.8 GPA & 16 on my ACT. Labeled at-risk because my environment was filled with a lot of negativity; which made it very difficult for the average kid to flourish and grow. Read more>>

Dsto Moore

I’m a Photographer from Macon, Ga. I was born and raised in the Pleasant Hill Neighborhood. I have been doing photography for close to five years now, my wife Shatara and I started Lovely Portraits around five years ago, my wife was the first to do photography and I started after her. Read more>>

Erin Carson

I’ve always been an artist, ever since I was a little kid. In high school, I took four years of art classes and began preparing for art school. I considered a lot of different career paths, SFX makeup, theatre makeup, graphic design, illustration, the list goes on and on. Read more>>

Tee Glaze

I began shooting videos in the inner city three years ago in Milwaukee, WI. I filmed interviews, vlogs, music videos, etc. just pushing a lot of street hip hop content. I started a YouTube channel under my production company MillionDollarGrind. Read more>>

Michelle Maney

Ever since I saw my first National Geographic magazine I wanted to be a nature photographer. I would watch Animal Planet and nature documentaries and pretend I was actually there. After receiving my first camera I shot as much as I could. Read more>>

Queen Miller

I started dancing at a very early age I was dancing for my church Hosley Temple CME, and as I got older, of course, I start branching out and dancing with different teams and organizations including teams at the schools I attended. Once I was finished with school I have seen that dance was way more the extracurricular activity to me. Read more>>

Dani Washington

Amor Mas was initially started as my personal travel blog while I lived in Spain. During the course of my time there, family tragedy struck which forced me to return stateside. Once I returned, I longed for the warmth of the Spanish sun and found myself wanting to have a little piece of the countries. Read more>>

Darian Cook

I began my business 12th & ViV after my love of candles turned into an obsession. My cabinets started to be filled of candles, from dollar store to TJ Maxx. After a while, it became an expensive habit, but since I loved the way candles made my home feel. Read more>>

Johnny Graham

I’ve always had a good work ethic even from a young age. I’ve done everything from sign spinning to working at a detail shop. Eventually, I landed a job with a company that was just getting started helping Amazon build out their facilities. At this time I developed a hunger for business and technology. Read more>>

Keosha Sath

I wanted to find my zen. After I got married and had my daughter I was only focused on being the best mommy and wife for my family. I neglected me. I set out to find my personal happiness again. one night my three years old told me she wanted to be a doctor when she gets older. Read more>>

Angely Martinez

I started making jewelry back in 2011. I was taking a jewelry course in college while in my 3rd year of business school. Since childhood, I had a creative mindset but did not know what area I wanted to do. At one point I wanted to design interiors. Read more>>

Shyriah Marshall and Germaine Pentsil

We started out as best friends with the same idea of encouraging others to start their own businesses, brands, etc. We both already had our own consulting businesses and we’re working on building our brands. Initially, we wanted to start a social club for like-minded individuals, however. Read more>>

Kimberly M. Starks

I’m a native Atlantan (southwest Atlanta) who started out as a reporter for various newspapers in the Southeast (the Savannah Morning News, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Marietta Daily Journal; and I was a member of The New York Times’ inaugural cohort of the Student Journalism. Read more>>

Inna Polutska

Me and my fiancé wanted to start import business for many years but couldn’t find exact product we needed. After a long research, my fiancé found an aqua farm near my hometown Kyiv that produces black caviar and we decided to give it a shot. Read more>>

Selina Taylor

I grew up with a very health-conscious mother. She limited my sister and I’s consumption of sugary drinks, soda, candy, and processed foods, even over the counter medicines. She always went the natural route whenever she could. I grew up on home-cooked meals and clean snacks more than half of my adolescent years. Read more>>

Desirae Suggs

 I was well heavy for most of my life. In fact, I remember having high blood pressure in middle school due to my weight. I was typically picked last for group sports in my younger years. As I got older, I excelled in academics and found a love for volunteering. Read more>>

Vatrice Davis

I am an author, Certified Virtual Life Coach, and preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have a passion for at-risk teenage girls and women, as I myself was a young teenage mother, doing the best I could with the tools that I had back then. My passion is to empower the brokenhearted and equip the less fortunate. Read more>>

Imani Randolph

The Owner and CEO of WINKED STUDIO LASHES is Imani Randolph. She’s a 25-year-old avid beauty enthusiast originally from Chicago, Illinois. Miss Randolph graduated from the illustrious Clark Atlanta University in 2016 but not without getting her pearls. Read more>>

Asheena Davis

I started for my children. I wanted to do something that I KNEW they could benefit from; something in a market that always has a demand. I also wanted to push my own dream. I mean, think about it, the cooperation we work for, that’s someone else’s dream. Read more>>

Adela Bejo

While my path to pastry wasn’t a direct one, I knew I was destined to find my way to flour and butter. Food & music have always had a special place in my heart. At the age of 12, me and my family moved from Tirana, Albania and settled in Metro-Detroit in January 2000. Read more>>

Jhane Shephard-Howard

Hair has always been a big deal for me. I remember back when I was a kid, I really didn’t care to have the Barbies that you could dress and play within her mansion, I wanted the one that was just ahead. I wanted the one that I could sit and braid her hair all day. Read more>>

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