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Downtown’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageATL is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Atlanta’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out Downtown’s risiy66ng stars below.

DJ New Era

I started my path as a Dj in Huntsville, AL, while attending Uni Alabama Huntsville. My first party ever was a college party. I started Djing on the campus of Alabama A&M with Greeks such as Phi Beta Sigma, Delta Sigma Theta, and Sigma Gamma Rho. When I finished college, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. My parents gave me the option either work a job, military, or step out on faith and push forward with my dreams of being in the entertainment industry. I knew my passion was in the music, so I would travel to Atlanta and network my company @ PBrowns record pool for artist & Djs. Read more>>

Victoria Miller

I started out working in corporate America in my early 20’s while raising my young daughter and attending college. I have always been ambitious but had a creative side that wasn’t exactly fulfilled by my corporate job. I was intrigued when a colleague asked if I would be interested in assisting his wife coordinating weddings occasionally on the weekends. After several weddings at the local venue she managed, I realized that I enjoyed my side job way more than I felt that I ever could my career in corporate America. Read more>>

Na’imah Bryant

My journey with writing began early on with my first favorite form, poetry. It was more of a side habit at first because I was more interested in other hobbies around the time. Unexpectedly, I began trying my hand at more small pieces of poetry and naturally grew to find real enjoyment in it. I explicitly remember around third grade I had this mild obsession with creating haikus. The five-seven-five pattern was comfortable enough to test the waters with poetry until it leads to more for me. I spent a few years perfecting my “newfound” craft and studying more styles of writing outside of poetry and haikus. Read more>>

Paige Alexander

My mom gave me a sewing machine for Christmas instead of sewing by hand since I had a freak accident with needle and thread while taking in some clothes that didn’t fit. Once I got the machine, I started playing around with fabric. Until one day, a friend of mine asked me to create an unconventional piece out of trash bag where I created a couture dress. The crowd was in love and that is where it all started. I started with making custom pieces one by one to now having a full-blown luxury design company. Read more>>

Montravious White

I always was interested in photography and videography. I shot my first video using car headlights right in front of my apartment. I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing but I just knew how I wanted it to look. I was always taking pictures like during the family gathering or just of my friends and they always said I had an eye for pictures. So other times I develop a passion for photography. If I didn’t have bill to pay, I would take pictures absolutely free. Read more>>

Sonya Ivashchenko

I actually started working in the “creator” field when I was about 11 years old. I saw my dad using Premiere Pro and After Effects and was intrigued by all of it. I got a really basic camcorder for Christmas one year and started recording EVERYTHING. I then sat for countless hours following tutorials and compiling videos that were about anything you could think of. When I got to middle school, I became a part of the news team where I was editing all of the segments we had for the week. Later, I got into high school and started working for the Jumbotron Crew as well as doing a lot of video work for the board office and the school system in general. Read more>>

Emeka Uchegbu

I began my entrepreneurship journey in 2013 with the creation of the brand G-Nation. We supported creatives and businesses of all forms with promotions & content creation. Our mission was to create a global network dedicated to the advancements of talents, entrepreneurship and anyone with a dream. The main tool we used to build this network was Twitter. At our peak, we had 80,000 supporters across the globe. As our online presence skyrocketed a greater demand for more advanced promotions and content creation grew as well. At this point, it became a mammoth movement that I could not run on my own. Read more>>

Latyna M. Humphrey

As cliche as it sounds, I created my business with hard work. In late 2015, I decided that I wanted to shift the dynamic of my life. I knew that at some point, I wanted to be a politician. I also knew that I didn’t have the tools or the support to be able to do that. But, what I did know is that ALL GOOD LEADERS SERVE. So, to that end—I decided to help the residents of Flint, MI. At that time and quite frankly present day, the residents of Flint are still dealing with the infamous water crisis. I utilized my tax refund and drove back and forth from Columbus, OH to Flint, MI biweekly for six months to help the residents of Flint. Read more>>

Amanni Malloy

My whole life, I grew up in the beauty industry. My grandfather has been doing hair for many years and growing up, I was always surrounded by it. Whether it was spending days after school in the salon with him or just ending up there on the weekends, hair was all I seen growing up. Sometimes throughout my middle school years is when I knew that I wanted to start my own business. Off the bat, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so for a while I just played around with the idea in my head. Read more>>

Onnie Sanford

After my second child was born, I had very low body image and self-esteem. I decided to make a change in my exercise routine which led to a drastic change in my eating habits. I met with a nutritionist and really learned what foods worked for my body and health. As friends and family started noticing, I cooked extra meals and sold them for extra money. I never intended on starting a business, much less a meal prep company in Augusta, but here we are five years later. I created a customizable meal prep company based on desires that I wished were available when my husband and I were starting our health journey. Read more>>

Kaylan Johnson

My podcast “KSquared” first started off as a college radio show at St.Johns University located in New York City. I came into college my freshman year knowing that I wanted to have my own radio show, so I looked into the process of how to get one, completed my service hours and passed my board test, and at the start of my sophomore year in college, I finally had my own show along with my two friends who believed and took part in my vision, and became co-hosts. I knew I wanted to use radio as a platform for a black girl like me, attending a predominately white institution in NYC. Read more>>

Jamie Mayes

I started my journey when I was fifteen years old. I was encouraged to enter a public speaking contest by a school sponsor who knew I had a passion for writing. After my first competitive speaking experience, I knew I had a gift, and I knew God had called me to share my work with others. Following high school, I enrolled at LSU, where I earned my degree in English. I eventually started teaching high school English and went on to earn my master’s degree from ULM and my educational specialist degree from Northcentral University. In 2011, I began my journey as an author when I published my first book. Read more>>

Troy Vaughan, III

In 2009, Troy and Candyce Vaughan (then boyfriend and girlfriend) began hosting house parties in Decatur, GA called “Battle of the Sexes”. These parties were deliberately created to convene their friends to debate topics related to singlehood, dating, marriage, divorce and sex/sexuality. Indirectly, it was a way for them to bring their single friends together meet and mingle and hopefully make love connections. After a careful inventory, both Troy and Candyce realized they had friends, fraternity brothers and sorority sisters who were successful, had impeccable resumes, but repeated misfortune in dating and relationships. Read more>>

Carter Head

As I now reminisce and reflect on this journey, I have embarked upon that placed me in this position and stance in my life. I am sure was instilled in me by my mom, my best friend’s father, my participation in sports, and my religious views. I am sure can’t help but to wonder how so much of it helped build by wisdom, empathy and, growth in becoming an advocate for the youth, the disenfranchised, hurt and the honor of meeting and learning about thus far. Read more>>

Preston Thompson

I was born and raised in Marietta and ended up staying local for undergrad and advertising school. After graduating from Kennesaw State, I moved in town as soon as I could into a cramped in-law suite in the basement of two very kind retirees. A couple of months later, I wound up at Miami Ad School at Portfolio Center for copywriting. After heaps of cheap food and a couple more in-law suites, I’m now a much better cook with a permanent spot who’s been able to write for brands like Under Armour, Atlanta United, UFC and more doing internal communications and experiential & traditional advertising. Read more>>

Keelan Walker

In 2011 I picked up a camera and pursued curiosity and later built the business of my dreams. I built a brand, marketed my services, and quickly turned this dream into a reality. I own a full-service portrait studio that specializes in newborn and first-year milestone portraits as well as Wedding photography. Read more>>

Hampton Thompson

Interesting story lol I started doing music, which I still love writing but I would hate to be out late in clubs performing and etc so I needed to find a new passion. I’ve always been artistic and creative since high school. So while working my 9-5 I had some money saved and I said let me just invest in myself and build my brand and I asked God to bless my journey so I took a step out on faith and bought my first camera it was a canon t6i which I am currently still using! Read more>>

Christal Harley

Claws by Christal was founded in 2019 by Christal Harley, a college student attending Morgan State University. During the time of the Government shut down of 2018, Christal unfortunately was laid off and decided to find another source of income until getting back on her feet. She has always been passionate about nails since a young age and figured that she could make a career out of it. Thanks to a few YouTube tutorials, support from friends and referrals. Claws by Christal was born. Read more>>

Mar Scott

I’m started off just chasing a dream & dollar, being the only son of my mother. Being raised with raised by a single parent, my life took several turns & many ups & downs. Like any other kid, I wanted to be a ballplayer (basketball/or football). Growing up in the urban community, I had a chance to experience life in the streets & also life as a leader within my family & friends. Making a few life-changing decisions, I begin to write & draw a lot. While being addicted to hiphop music, I start practicing my craft to sound like Tupac, Scarface, Biggie Smalls, & Jay A. Read more>>

Kayla Brock

I was always a very independent child. I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago and I was an only child so I just had the mentality of doing what I needed to to get things done and tended to rely on myself. I got my first job when I was 15 in retail which was miserable. I remember one day I ran out the store crying but I always wanted to work so that I could earn and save my own money. I believe I was in high school when I got my first small camera. I always loved taking photos just snapping travel shots or my friends or of a house that I liked. I went to college in London and that was when I moved more towards shooting portraits. Read more>>

Brittani Brisker

I was a long time migraine sufferer. I tried every prescription treatment out there, and nothing worked so I started to look for natural remedies. One of the only things that gave me a sense of relief were inhaling candles. Pure lavender candles became my preferred candle of choice. After buying candles for years, I began to study labels & learned of all of toxic ingredients in them. So I did my research & learned how to make clean candles. I developed a recipe made up of the pure soy wax, essential oils, and cotton wicks. I quickly became obsessed with candle making & it became my preferred hobby of choice. Read more>>

Lildon Williams

I got started doing music very early. Just being around older siblings made me grow into music. I got into having a clothing line by always wanting to have designer brands but not a lot of money to purchase them. I got myself together, came up with some designs and pushed my line out there. Read more>>

Nekeria Hutchings

I was born and raised in Macon, GA. I’m 24 years old with a three years old daughter I been on my own since I was 16 years old I obtained my high school diploma with a culinary arts trade I’ve been in business going on four months now and it’s been amazing experience. I have had my ups and downs where I wanted to give up but I’ve come so far within these couple of months, before I became a business owner I was a dancer I danced for one year & seven months I stopped dancing January 4th after I had my 24th birthday which is January 7th and I used the money I saved up from dancing to invest in myself. Read more>>

Destini Blunt

I have always wanted to be in the entertainment industry for a long as I can remember. It has always been told to me that I was born to be in movies and on the tv screen. Once I was old enough to make that decision for myself, I began to research my craft. I turned 18 and less than a week later, I submitted to be part of background on the tv show STAR. From that moment of being on set for 12+ hours, I knew that is where I wanted to be for as long as I could. With being on several different sets, I met a wide range of wonderful people. Who opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to do more than just background work. Read more>>

Diggy Dulche

I was born in the mid 1980’s to two immigrant parents in Dayton, Ohio. They always taught me to focus on my education and professional career goals, and leave the arts and music (which I always loved) to my hobbies. I started off as a fan of music and was exposed to the industry in my early 20’s by way of open mics and a few Facebook friends who were artists. I always thought it was a NYC / LA type of culture and was pleased to see independent artists in my own city creating an indie culture and movement. I started off doing photography at open mic events and taking video clips of people performing, then I would edit and upload snippets of my experiences and post on YouTube. Read more>>

LaDarrius Hutcherson

I’m 28 years old and I was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. I attended G.W Carver High school. The road to success was not an easy one because I always felt that I had to work 10x harder in order for me to reach the level of success that I desired. After high school, I went off to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL where I studied business. For me, the core of my love for the business world started in college. After attending calling, I started working in Marketing and Advertising. I worked with small to medium businesses and helped them formulate plans to generate revenue through advertising programs that I was responsible for setting up. Read more>>

Kenidee Sellers

Hey Everyone, my name is Kenidee, but I also go by Kenbella. I am currently a rising junior at Georgia State University. Ever since I was young, I always displayed a passion for beauty and fashion. Until late March 2020, I never thought I would be able to start a business at 19. The thought and dream of running my own business crossed my mind several times, but I never knew where to start. It took me a long time to realize consistency was a major key in becoming successful. It’s one thing to say that and it’s another to do it. I let my passions drive me because it is very easy for me to get discouraged. Read more>>

JAAS Jasmine

I was singing even as a little little thingggg lol my classmates use to make me sing in the bathroom between class but when I moved to Chicago, I got a chance to go to my first studio and the idea of it being real came to life. I grew up in a very – go to college-graduate- get a job- type of household so music wasn’t really looked at as realistic u know but it found its way to me anyway. This past year I been releasing songs, the feedback and support has been the most motivation! I love that they feel me. Read more>>

Al Hoskins

I started filming in 2012 on YouTube, I did vlogs, comedy, skits, and spoken-word on that channel. It picked up a lot of traction for about 3 1/2 years and I became a youtube partner with them in 2013. I taught myself how to edit, film, and write scripts. I stopped posting vids on that channel and started a new channel in 2016, which is the name of my company “ALsoHD Films”. I always wanted to see how it would be to record a music video because they looked fun. I never thought about it growing up or paid much attention to music videos like that. My first music video was shot on a cell phone “Samsung Galaxy s7” it had just come out and that’s the only thing I had to use at the time. Read more>>

Jameel Petry

I am originally from Florida. I was born and raised in a small city Pensacola. There wasn’t much to do or an influence to follow, I spent majority of my time watching tv and amongst my family. I was always artistic and expressed myself through my wardrobe. It was rough being teased as a kid for being gay but I learned to embrace it. My parents noticed how well I liked myself groomed and they called me a ”pretty boy”. That actually was a good thing where I’m from but I felt like it was hope of me not being gay. The older I got, I explored more I was out shopping alone and I passed through the makeup department at Dillards. I was so amazed at the MAC counter I saw a guy older than me so well put together and his skin looked like butter. Read more>>

JaBrittny Harrison

Starting the Vixen Collection was literally something I thought about doing for a while but I never acted on it. One week I worked really hard on my regular job, I mean putting in as much overtime as possible and I decided I was going to pay my bills and whatever was left, I made the decision to invest in myself to see how far this business could really take me. Read more>>

Jazmyn Frye, Esq.

I am a young African American female from a small farming community in Ohio. My desire to become an attorney is rooted in my childhood. When I was an elementary school student, local law school students mentored and tutored kids in a summer school program in which I was a participant. I was always impressed with how the students carried themselves, the fact that they would constantly tell us that there was no limits to what we could achieve, and I was also impressed with the fact that they would actually volunteer their time to work with us. Read more>>

Kodisha Bivins

I grew up with a mother who was heavily addicted to drugs and an absent father who was also a drug addict. I was very much so a loner and to escape the reality of my world, I started writing my thoughts, pains and dreams in my diary around the age of 11. I saw a lot of bad things as a child and was responsible for raising my younger siblings when my mother would disappear, which would be weeks at a time. I was always writing and one day, I started listening to rap music and became very inspired by the strength and power of the rap female group Salt-N-Pepa and that led to me writing my first rap. My rap, poem or whatever you want to call it was very unimpressive to say the least. I kept writing from then on and grew to love the arts. Read more>>

Andrew (Drewski) Brown

Originally from Memphis Tennessee, I moved to Atlanta two years ago to pursue my love of filmmaking. Comfortable now, my first film “Plucked” has been completed and is currently on a festival run. My producer, Kiah, and I worked for months to get it done and are excited about the results! I can’t wait to release my next line of projects. Read more>>

Yvetta Lambert

I started my business because I wanted to live life on my own terms and no longer be controlled by corporate America. I had a four years old daughter at the time that I adopted out of foster care, she had special needs that I wanted to make time to take care of. I have always been passionate about helping others and as I learned more about credit and finances, I began to teach others. There were several people that offered to pay me for my services so I decided to turn it into a business. Read more>>

Shellie Slack

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. At age 25, I decided to truly give my life to the Lord and commit to a journey of growing with Him after becoming tired of doing life my way. I wanted true joy, happiness and purpose for my life. I always longed to be a butterfly. I admired the beauty and freedom the butterfly had as it flapped its wings through the air so gracefully. My journey has consisted of the renewing and transforming of my mind, heart and soul. God rescued me from my feelings of abandonment, depression, loneliness, lack of self-worth and self-love from the trauma I endured as a child. Read more>>

Letecia Reeder

I started acting and singing when I was younger. From growing up in choir, chorus, plays. Also, having the opportunity in younger years working with Bobby Womack and others. Around my teenage years took a break from my passion, and in 98 and 02 lost both of my parents. At that time, when back to working 9-5. But what I didn’t know that was God had other things for me in store. Read more>>

Crystal Robinson

I’m from Detroit. It’s a hustle mindset type of area filled with niche markets. About seven years ago, I was going to school for psychology and I just wasn’t filling fulfilled. I knew my passion lied in working with garments, but I didn’t know where to begin with it or if that was even a feasible market to tap into. Yet, I knew when I was good at the time and that was tailoring. I was so small so I always had to know how to tailor. Read more>>

Kelley Hickman

I am a writer, bookseller, and founder of Konscious-Kidz. I am a native of St. Louis, Missouri by way of Atlanta, Georgia. I have been a book lover from as far back as I can remember. As a child, I can recollect the butterflies I would get whenever Scholastic had a book fair. I looked forward to taking home their newsletters and circling every book on the page. Read more>>

Najee Rodriguez and Jaunikka Calloway

Me and my business were teachers at a daycare. One day on the playground we talked about babysitting kids and how much we love it. So we took the idea and made a business out of it. We started in 2017 and our business has been growing ever since then m. We are mobile so we travel to the client’s home. Read more>>

Jeremiah Joseph

I mostly go by Jay or my personal Instagram name @jayskateday. I originally started Atlskates as a brand to sell shirts and boards with a different name about three years ago but realized I didn’t really want to compete with other brands in Atlanta. Instead, I wanted to help all the local brands in skateboarding get noticed and help skaters get noticed as well. So I started Atlskates with the mission to bring Atlanta skateboarding together to be noticed and respected! I mainly run it through Instagram @atlskates to share other local Atlanta skaters. Read more>>

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