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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 rising stars below.

Ymani Foster

AlysseNYC was created for the little girls who never got a chance to play in their mothers closet. Once I had my daughter, Aspen Alysse, I decided that it’s my time to create a brand. I wanted to create something for her. Before even thinking about children, I had already saved so many bags for my daughter. Which inspired the thought, why don’t I have a business for her or based around her. I’ve always been obsessed with ostrich feathers or anything girly and she came out exactly like me. Read more>>

Laura Orellana-Martin

I was born and raised in El Salvador, I have childhood memories of being around the kitchen, having parties with delicious food. At age 5 my sister and I moved to Guatemala and lived there for a year and we learned about their food and culture. At age 11 my dad took us to a beautiful restaurant for a birthday celebration, looking around the restaurant and seen how the servers interact with the guest and the food was beautifully presented and delicious I told my dad one day I was going to have a restaurant like that. Read more>>

Destiny Kelly

My story is pretty unique as in I started off as a “Salon Baby” shampooing and styling clients at the age of 12 alongside my Mother. Not realizing what my true passion was I attended Georgia Southern University and received a Bachelors of Science in Heath Education and Promotion and a Masters in Healthcare Administration. During that time at GSU I was the top hairstylist in the Statesboro. Styling all of the students on campus for a reasonable price. After finishing college I moved to Atlanta and interned at Grady Hospital. Read more>>

Roman Parks

I started creating content back in November of 2019 & got signed to Diversifi Talent in July 2020. I specialized in dance content & collaborated with brands such as Triller, Popeyes, Samsung, Etc. I created the Super Freaky Girl dance trend on tiktok with 545+ UGC. Aside from being a creator, I am a dancer & model. A big struggle for me was not recieving credit for my dance trends I created on tiktok. Many videos were posted of my choreography but barely anyone credited me for my work. Read more>>

Destiny Zellander

My journey began in May 2022. That is when my desire to start a fragrance business began. I’ve always loved smell goods. However, my business was originally going to be a candle business. I joined a few candle making groups on Facebook to get tips and inspiration, but I began to see different products that people were making. Then I thought to myself, “Why just stop at candles? There are so many possibilities of products that I can do with fragrances.” So, I decided to expand and make other products besides candles. Read more>>

Shanda Davis

I started Good Eats and Sweet Treats ATL just playing around in the kitchen. When I say playing around I have a passion for cooking and sharing my experience with social media as content. I decided to experiment with Candy Apples (they were horrible looking to me lol) I posted them on my Facebook and the rest is history.There are always obstacles and challenges in any business some days I wanted to throw in the towel but overall its all been and still is worth the bumps in the road that I have endured. Read more>>

Omega Edwards

Hello my name is Lawrence Edwards also known as “Omega” from North Saint Louis, Missouri. In 2016 I landed a background role as a Ravager on Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2 which was filmed in Peachtree, GA. After that role I met young independent filmmakers that inspired me to create my own project name “Street Runners” starring myself, Benzino, and Christian Middleton. Street Runners won the Rick Conway Award in the Kansas City International Film Festival in 2019 establishing myself as an award winning filmmaker at the age of 29. Read more>>

Jorge Yzaguirre

My interest in cooking started as a child. My mother was the neighborhood tamale lady and she would sell dishes like tamales, Gorditas and menudo. As a first generation mexican American, I fell in love with masa dishes like tamales, sopes, and mole but also had love for southern cooking like shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, Mac and cheese and pasta. I would also spend my summers in Mexico with my grandma fidela, where she had farm animals, so we would have our own eggs, and chicken for mole. Read more>>

Calvin & LaQuita Dasher

drinKKupz, started from my husband and I making casual smoothies at home which turned into us experimenting on various different drinks and the benefits of each. There was a lot of product and time in between before we finally decided we’d do a test run amongst Family & friends for the most part the results were amazing! At that point we felt like we were in a few months and what could possibly go wrong. Needless to say we were both right we’ve continued working very hard and being faith led and the hard work is truly paying off. Read more>>

Audrey Bell -Jenkins

Real Women Revealed, LLC started out in my living room talking with my lady friends about life (i.e. marriage; children; dating; careers; economic development; goals; self-esteem; and etc. If we felt we needed a safe, authentic place then it was clear to me that this is something most women would appreciate. Being in a place where you could be vulnerable, without judgement. A place with respect, and constructive criticism. Providing feed-back out of love and respect. Read more>>

Meredith Hope

I knew early on I wasn’t going to college and as soon as I finished High school, I embarked on the adventure to the military. It was good for me. It was a great 5 year experience which really enhanced my growth. They taught me the discipline necessary to get the job done. They sent me to Chinese language school and I continue to use my language skills, having picked up Spanish along the way and also graduated college. After the military, I worked in corporate America in the automobile industry.  Read more>>

Shayla Wilson

Hi, I’m Shayla. The Founder + CEO here at Defined Elegance Candle Company. I started Defined Elegance Candle Company when I couldn’t get my hands on a clean burning candle that was fragrant. I’ve always had a thing for candles. Growing up, they were my peace. When I noticed after burning big-box brand candles I would get a headache, I combined my love for home decor + candles; Defined Elegance Candle Co was founded, January 2017. Read more>>

LaJune Singleton

As a child, I was introduced to fitness by my mom walking, running, and working out to Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies. The love of being active led to become an AFPA Certified Personal Trainer in 2010. Not long after becoming a personal trainer, sustained a severe injury to my right knee. Did not realize that injury was going to be life changing completely. Life is funny; never thought that an athlete, who was in great physical condition and always kept a positive attitude, would go through a comprehensive reform both physically and mentally. Read more>>

Dominique Davis

I became an entrepreneur at 18 while I was still in highschool. I started my first ecommerce company NuNique Hair back in 2017. Once I graduated high school, I continued my business. My business was growing fast to say it was my first time as a entrepreneur. Within two years I opened my first mini store doubling my sales! I launched a second part of my company NuNique Boutique. I really enjoyed having a boutique because I felt I could be more of myself. I had my store for two years until I decided to move to Houston in January of 2021. Read more>>

Quinn Brathwaite

My story begain in 2My story begain in 2003. When I use to write my raps in my notebook. It took me years to hone my craft and by 2006 I started recording.003. When I use to write my raps in my notebook. It took me years to hone my craft and by 2006 I started recording. No it definitely hasn’t been smooth whatsoever. A lot of ups and downs, disappointments, heart break but it builds character and adds on to the legend. I’m an artist, a rapper, writer, part time producer lol. Read more>>

Kiara King

My name is Kiara King. I’m a Licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist based in Birmingham, Alabama. I’m a 2021 graduate of Aveda Arts and Sciences Institute where I studied Esthiology. My love for makeup and skincare started about five years ago when I started my first freelance business, Kiara Kay Beauty. My work has been featured in weddings, branding shoots, maternity shoots, and many more. Being a young entrepreneur has definitely been a rollercoaster ride. Read more>>

Mary Shelton

I am the child of deaf adults which is officially called CODA. My parents were born here in North Carolina however since my dad was white and my mother was black , they were not allowed to marry here . The Governor Morehead School was where they learned their life skills and they were housed there 9 months a year and they waited until both their parents passed away to marry and move to Detroit Michigan where it was legal. There however there first born was stolen at birth and the last born was murdered. Read more>>

Larita Rice-Barnes

This question in so many ways feel so loaded. I say this because where I am today is greatly contributed to my mother and grandmother. I was raised in the home with two strong, Black women. Women who I saw give to others through their time, talent and monetary treasures everyday. My grandmother who I affectionately called Gramma was one of the grandmothers that fed and clothed so many families in our neighborhood and beyond. These two women were just pure and kind-hearted individuals. Read more>>

Kayla Plush

Never in a million years would I have thought I would’ve been a graphic designer. Growing up, I’ve always known that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t quite know what field or what direction I wanted to go in. Prior to starting my business, I was an extremely busy high school student; on three different dance teams and one modeling team. Between going to practices and balancing school work to maintain my 4.0 GPA, I didn’t have much time to have a business (at least I thought). Read more>>

Iesha Campbell

One day while getting my taxes prepared I asked my tax preparer whether she would teach a class on tax preparation because I wanted to learn. At the time she didn’t have the time but eventually she started with a small group of 5. We got together daily for a few months to learn the fundamentals because there is alot involved with tax preparation. I worked under her for 2 years until she guided me step by step to branch off on my own and form my own business. I am blessed to be the owner of Campbell’s Elite Tax Services. Read more>>

Derrick “Lamb” Lambert

My name is Derrick “Lamb,” and I am the president/CEO of DuTime, a management and marketing company. I began my career long before I knew it by working in commission sales after graduating high school. Here I learned how to sell products, build relationships, and develop management skills. Working in commission sales helped establish the groundwork for me to secure an internship in 2012 for a fashion brand called Meskita, where I worked closely with the designers, marketers, and logistics. Read more>>

Calijah Durant

Kash Collectors was an idea I created over quarantine and took seriously as I came back to Atlanta and enrolled in Morehouse College. The idea was inspired my my late uncle who not only was a rapper himself, but someone who always tried to help give back and be a good person somehow. This motivated me to carry his name as well as put it into something I was passionate in to create something bigger. The mission for KC is to manage artists/entertainers and utilizing our connections and services in order to help pursue their personal dreams and goals. Read more>>

Shannon Bryant

When I founded SB People Consulting in 2019, I intentionally built my business philosophy around three concepts: Education, Training and Empowerment. Through these targeted areas, I shared my message that human resources is about much more than just compliance, policies and rules. It is also about developing a strong workforce through proper recruitment, conflict resolution and employee engagement. Now, in 2023 we have expanded our services and offered project management and virtual assistance as we continue to provide the best support to our clients. Read more>>


Hi I’m $WVNK! I am a 25 year old recording artist hailing from Greenville, SC. I started making music in 2016 as an outlet to cope with the mundanity of college/work life. It began as a hobby and ended up a passion. The doors that have opened for me since I started on this journey motivate me to keep going. I’ve been blessed to meet some of the most influential people in my life through my artistry, and with these people I’ve created some of my most precious memories. Read more>>


I started doing hair at the age of 16 after watching the movie Boomerang, I wanted to achieve the hairstyle that Halle Berry had worn as her character in the movie role. My grandfather was a licensed cosmetologist, so I asked him to cut my hair the same style. I came from a single parent household, so my mom couldnt afford to send me to the salon to maintain my look. I then began to cut and style my own hair from that day forward. I started doing friends from school but never took up cosmetogy school until I was 27. Read more>>

Candace Rivers

As of today I’ve been working, living, studying, and professionally working Health & Wellness industry for 20 years. My career started at a local family owned gym at the age of 19. A opportunity that I forever thank God for leading me to. Tom Buzan the owner of Anniston Family Fitness Center quickly became my mentor coaching me in mindset, health, wellness, scripture, people, and more. His coaching left a lasting impression on my life that I will forever carry with me until the ends of days. Read more>>

Alex Wyche

Minority Baseball Prospects (MBP), was founded in April 2020 by Alex Wyche. In 2020 the nation was in the heart of the pandemic and everything was brought to a complete pause. Founder Alexander Wyche was then the head coach of one of the most prestigious black baseball programs in the country, Redan High School. During the pandemic the one thing that was on his mind as his student-athletes sat idle was how he could continue to get them college and professional baseball evaluations. Read more>>

Aaliyah Strong

On February 2, 2022, my fiancé Tyshon Ross was shot and killed in front of me. We both worked at a well-known lounge in Atlanta. At the time, I was a waitress, and he was a Security Guard. On the night of February 2nd Ty lost his life for simply doing his job. As the days progressed, my entire life was in shambles. It almost felt as if everything came crashing down at once. Not only did I lose Ty that night, but I lost a piece of myself. Not to mention, I was no longer employed. Read more>>

Bekah Marie Knott

I began writing music and performing in church at a young age. I always enjoyed being a part of a band. I pursued a degree in music on a collegiate choir scholarship and ended up with a performance degree with a minor in marketing. From there I started playing live solo and duo acoustic gigs as well as some originals mixed in. I also taught voice lessons for about two years. As a band we played out a lot over 2022 and decided to take 2023 to revamp our vision as well as pursue a virtual performance basis. Read more>>

eve jean

I’ve always had a love for interior design from watching shows to magazines , to helping friends with their apartments or homes . fast forward to 2017 we bought our first home which was a full gut renovation that we built from the ground up and did major construction let’s just say this was my first huge project . From dealing with permits , different contractors, to architecture some up and downs let’s just say building a house is not just the before and after there is so much in between that goes into it .Read more>>

Brianni Walker

I started my virtual assistant business in January 2022 while working as a full time third grade teacher. Once I got to a place where I had to choose between working full time and building my business, I chose to invest in my business full time. I left my teaching job at the conclusion of the school year in June 2022. I transitioned to a virtual assistant agency in August 2022 and have been building my agency since then. I launched a coaching program for aspiring virtual assistants in January 2023 where I help women lay the foundation for a successful virtual assistant business. Read more>>

Lecretia Akines

I’m a self-taught seamstress whose love of African fashion and sewing started in 2013. There is an African proverb that says, “Children are the reward of life.” The birth of my daughter rewarded me with a spark of creativity that I had never thought to tap into. After creating my first set of baby clothes for her, I realized there were others like our family, who were looking for African print inspired accessories for infants and toddlers. Read more>>

Cameron Storey

I am an educator and a writer who believes in the power of words and relationships to create change. Our words hold weight; they carry meaning; they serve as vessels of change. They give us the opportunity to create relationships, to build, and to empower. Writing is one of the most powerful tools we possess. As an educator, I want those in my community to understand the power and gravity of words. Words we create. Words that endure. Read more>>

Thando Kubheka

My name is Thando Kubheka(@seaweedsword). I am a 24 (born 1998) year old aspiring Illustrator/Digital Designer. I was born eZola Clinic, Soweto and had been moving around ever since. I’m currently based in Alberton. I’m a graduate of Vega Bordeaux with a Bachelor Of Arts in Digital Design. My work serves as a symbol of my underlying subconscious activities or dialogues, the truest expression of what I’m really feeling, either at the time or just in general. Read more>>

yun kobe

Ghanaian American based rapper, Samuel Yeboah, popularly known as Yun Kobe have been off the music scene for quite some time now. The “BAD” hit maker is not having it easy with his fans on social media as they keep asking him of his next release. The rapper is busy running a real estate business, a charity project, cars for uber business, own a hotel and a day care. According to the information gathered, Yun Kobe has paid tuition fees for about five students from other schools as part of his charity projects, Read more>>

Jamaal Shakur

My story as a Chef started at the age of 7. I constantly watched my mom cook breakfast & dinner, so one day I asked her could I help. I did it because I wanted to bond with her. I started off baking and I liked it, it was fun and it was creative but over a couple months I started to get bored with it. I wanted to cook! My mom pulled me to that side and I fell IN LOVE with it. Holidays, dinners, lunches, breakfast I was doing it all with her. She taught ke how to hold a knife, clean as I go and the basics/fundamentals of cooking. Read more>>

Mihai Daniel Juravlea

I recently started learning blender because 3d artworks give me a lot more creative freedom! I always get stuck when learning something but i always try again and get it right, never give up! One thing that sets me apart from the others is my will to become really known in this industry, not everyone takes it this seriously Risk can be really beneficial as long as you’re ready to take the consequences in case things don’t go as expected All prices vary due to every artwork being an unique piece! Read more>>

Alisha Brooks

Opened in November 2020, The Black Hair Experience is an interactive space that celebrates Black hair and culture through photo activations, art, and community. With two permanent locations in Atlanta, GA and in the DC area (DMV) along with several pop-ups across the country we are working to create brave spaces. In addition to our exhibits, we’ve created community-based workshops that educate, foster self-love, and friendships.  Read more>>

Melanie Morgan

In 1989, I learned my trade under the supervision of a master jeweler and the Frankfurt goldsmith guild in Frankfurt Germany. In 1995, my husband and I moved to Georgia with our then 1 year old daughter. I mostly worked part time in jewelry stores as a bench jeweler combining my profession with raising two children. For the past 20 years, I worked flexible hours at a local Jewelry Store in Athens Ga. I started my own business approximately 6 years ago while still working at Aurum to have more freedom in creating my own designs. Read more>>

Tracee MdDaniel

In addition to advocating for basic equitable human liberties and pursuit of happiness that are afforded to others, Juxtaposed Center for Transformation, Incorporated was founded in 2007 by Tracee McDaniel to use as a vehicle for spreading the good news about Trans, Gender Non-Conforming and Non-Binary people. JCT also celebrates our resiliency, existing in every country and on every continent since written history began. Read more>>

Branden May

My name is Branden May. I’m a street photographer based in Atlanta with over 15 years of experience. When I was 12 my dad introduced me to film photography and I haven’t been able to put my camera down since. My work is unconventional, encompassing nearly every aspect of photography, but I am particularly fond of street and architecture genres. I study and capture how buildings interact with people, other structures, and most importantly—light and shadows. Read more>>

Princess Heirsmac – Akinjogunla

I went from sewing for my little dolls to designing my 10 years old wedding outfit, to going into designing and sewing wedding dresses. I am just so grateful to have designed and to be a part of the journey with over 300 brides and counting. So grateful Challenges comes up with manpower- finishing the right talent to work with you and believe in the brand. Luckily I went to school and studied to be an HR professional so the knowledge I have gained over the years comes in handy with managing talent and preparing them for the future. Read more>>

Larry Chambliss

Hi My name is Larry I’m the owner of June8thny I started back in 2017 when I was apart of another brand . I was with that last brand for 3 years before starting my own brand . I started June8thny Feb 2020 . My brand focus on building confidence and showing all inclusiveness! I believe fashion is a perfect way to express yourself physically! It’s has not been a smooth road , many struggles from finding a steady reliable seamstress to help make my garments to marketing my brand to a higher scale audience. Read more>>

Trina Pierre

Hello! My name is Trina Pierre. I started during hair when I was 10 years old. I got my license at 19 years old. At 22 years old I was styling hair in Europe. Once I got back state side. I started during Hair Magazine work. I open my 1st salon in Tennessee. 13 years later I moved to Georgia and opened my 2nd salon. I started doing competitions and platform work for Bronner Brothers. From there I went back to Cosmetology School and received my Instructor License. Read more>>

Dara Tice

I started as a tribute to my father. I lost him to Covid in 2020 and realized how few images I had of him. I had studied photography in high school and college but never thought I would make it a business until I felt compelled to help others obtain family heirloom photography because I had so little of it. It has been an explosion of success. I think when you are following your true passion and calling things just fall into place. I specialize is heirloom photography. Read more>>

Erika Mitchell

In June 2018, Six months after being sworn in as a School Board Member for the Atlanta Board of Education, I visited Fulton County Juvenile Courts and learned that serval students had been victims of Human Trafficking. After being informed by Fulton County Juvenile Courts of the concern for some students’ safety from being exploited for sex, I partnered with youthSparks to develop the first Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking policy for any school district in Georgia. Read more>>

Deandre Shuman

Started making beats at Grand Hustle studios . Next had got a huge placement with Shawty Lo & Lil Wayne . Then got more placements with Dae Dae, Boy, Gunplay (MMG) , Rich Boy, Pastor Troy, Yung L.A, 112,Montana Da Mac, Bankroll Fresh, Str8 Dropp The Prophet, Young Fletcher & many more. Its been up & down . With no deal alot of the placements we got were on the indie side. Our production, promo & marketing is heard in 195 countries. We are known for our hot productions . Read more>>

Valerie Bruno

Ever since I was young, I always had a passion for the fashion industry, however, I never thought or even attempted to pursue modeling in any form or fashion. It was not until in my late 20’s that I embraced myself and from there, my drive and determination took the lead which started me on this incredible journey. After graduating and staring my business, Originally Crafted Events, LLC (OCE) in February 2020, which mainly focused in the craft beverage industry, the pandemic hit shortly after.  Read more>>

 JaQuay Copeland

In the Spring of 2013, I took a leap of faith by leaving Virginia Commonwealth University’s Interior Design program to pursue a different career path. As a kinesthetic learner, I felt my time was best spent learning hands-on, so I immersed myself in the design world for the next seven years. By working within different areas of the design industry, my understanding of the design world became much more well-rounded. I was able to quickly sift through the areas where I excelled versus the areas I didn’t, Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Imani Thomas

    March 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Yes! Place of Kai is where it’s at!

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