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East Atlanta’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 East Atlanta’s gems below.

Ethan McDowell

Before I was ever protecting the universe as Captain Jack Kemmer of “Space Command,” pushing superheroes to their limits as Agent Charles Forsythe in DC Comics’ “Doom Patrol,” or raising the DeBarge family in TV One’s biopic TV Movie “The Bobby DeBarge Story,” I was just a little kid from Wyoming who had a big imagination. Read more>>

Brittaney Robinson

I’ve always had a strong interest in fashion, costumes, and art. The concept for my online store came about while I was studying Fashion Retail Management at the Art Institute of Atlanta. I was taking an intro to an entrepreneurship class and our final project was to create a business, including a business plan with a 5-year breakdown. Read more>>

Breyona Dunlap

I started out working in the childcare field for ten years performing as a nanny and a substitute teacher at a couple of preschools. After a while, I realized that I needed to start working on my childhood dream, which was to open an entertainment center for children similar to Chuck E. Cheese and Catch Air. I was not sure how I was going to get started due to the lack of funds. Read more>>

Demetrius Williams

Clothing hasn’t always been my strong point. I simply wore graphic tees and regular button downs, etc. I wanted to create something of my own that depicted how I once lived in a trailer home in Twin City Georgia to now having my own apartment. Struggle doesn’t last forever. Read more>>

Kaylen Isabella and Erika Askew

We serve sentimentalists who vibe with a mid-century modern style design. Keen Rentals was created by a friendship between two gals that share an attitude for vintage finds, classic rock, and a neutral-toned wardrobe. At the time, we were both planning events for local Atlanta Chef Ford Fry. While we were styling a photo shoot for one of the venues. Read more>>

Morgan-Tierra Ukaonu and Brianna Ukaonu

The idea for Humble Opinions started about three years ago when I (Morgan) was still in college at the University of Georgia. Wine nights with my close friends sparked the initial idea because we would always get into these deep conversations about the most random stuff. It’s extremely entertaining to sit and chat with people where you have the opportunity to hear different opinions and views on different topics. Read more>>

CJ Murphy

Growing up, I witnessed how my parents and grandparents treated each other. The love and respect in their marriages was a foundation on how you should treat someone you love and nurture that relationship. My grandparents have been married for over 64 years and my parents for 36 years. Throughout their relationships, they are devoted to making each other happy, even after so many years. Read more>>

Chuma Chapman

Through my experience as an employee, I observed several opportunities for growth and capitalized on some of them. The final opportunity I acted upon was to open my own small enterprise and specialize in drapery. At that point, I had a reasonable amount of knowledge, training, and experience in the field, therefore, I took a leap of faith and opened A Touch of Drapery. Read more>>

Millicent Hall

I’ve always been a creative. I love making things and making them pretty. I think I get that from both my mom and my dad. My mom is a master cosmetologist (as well as some of her sisters) and my dad is a carpenter. So, I think making things pretty has always been my jam. I started out selling different items decorated with vinyl on Etsy. Read more>>

Zantosha Randolph

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a creative individual. Much of my creative side comes from my mother. I grew up watching her sew cute little outfits for me, decorate our home for every occasion, and write poetry. From the time I was five years old, I dreamed of being an “Artist.” Read more>>

Claire Collins

I consider myself lucky to discover my passion at a young age. I was in my first play at Spotlight children’s theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I would go on to perform in over twenty plays, including the longest-running play in the USA, The Drunkard. I lived and loved there from age 9 to 15, my first kiss was a stage kiss! I loved getting a new script, repetition, nights with a highlighter pen, being the first one off book. Read more>>

Amber Owens

I appreciate expressive clothing that aligns with my personality and passions. I started with a list of quotes that millennials can relate to and even formed a small group of friends and family to vote on which would be released first. After all of the leg work, a part of me was still a little afraid. I had no clue how to start on my journey to entrepreneurship and at times I counted myself out before it even started. Read more>>

Christopher Stevens

I started late. I mean I was always drawing and painting but I was almost 30 by the time I decided to get serious and go to school for art. I was lucky though. I had the backing of my family. I still remember calling my mom and telling her that I was quitting my job to study painting and she said, “well, it’s about time.” Read more>>

Kenneth Stodghill

Growing up, I suffered a lot of health issues that delayed my education and experiences. I was born with holes in my eardrums so I had to undergo several surgeries to have tubes placed in my ear. I had to get my tonsils taken out before doing the surgery which caused me to have a speech impairment. My family pushed for me to be great. Read more>>

Jared Middleton

My love for eating good food is what pulled me into the kitchen but, my strong desire for making people smile and feel good is what gave me the love and the passion that I have for cooking. As previously stated, I grew up watching and helping my dad in the kitchen. Every once in a while, I would decide to go in and try something on my own. Read more>>

Christopher Austin

Rising out of a small island of St. Croix, USVI, Chris Austin or to the art world “Eighty” is out to bring his light, vision, and imagination into the creations of his artwork. This vision comes from his transition from the concrete jungle of New York City to the tropical rain forest of the Virgin Islands. Read more>>

Shuvonta Smalls

I’ve always had a passion for Art. Loved coloring and drawing as a kid. It wasn’t until the 8th grade, I was picked as one of the most gifted within my Art class and we went on a trip to the South Carolina Lottery headquarters. There is when I saw the Graphic Designers there and how they did their job and that was when I knew what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Koby Gillam

Eazie Peazie Naturals came out of a need for my own skin issues. I was experiencing eczema that came in waves. It started on my stomach and then it really hit me on the inside of my arms. We got the diagnosis after my mom took me to the dermatologist. Of course, they are going to give you all types of things that have ingredients of things that you don’t know or pronounce. Read more>>

Brandon Tackett

Sure, I’ve had an interest in art for as long as I can remember. It started with me just doodling and sketching my favorite cartoon characters as a kid. At nine years old, I was accepted into a summer program at The Baltimore School of Arts, which has many well-known alumni such as Jada Pinkett-Smith and Tupac Shakur. Read more>>

Morgan Lett

As beneficial as technology is, it can be disruptive too. It can be a source of toxicity and distraction. As an artist who is on almost every social platform, and who invests her energy in several spaces, its become a daily obstacle course to stay balanced in the middle of it all. We have to tune out more. We have to be okay with being nothing. Read more>>

Jordan Chapman

I always want to learn, so I hope that people can take away that you can always learn more. My work has been tried and tested after a lot of trial, error, and failure. I don’t quit, and I do think that everyone should know that if I was someone who didn’t follow through, I would have left this industry three years ago. Read more>>

Priscilla Williams

I barely consider myself a fashion designer. It wasn’t until attending Southern Poly for my Apparel and Textiles degree I found another passion of mine, precision. I found utter satisfaction in calculating measurements from a human body, translating them into a pattern, and ultimately creating the garment. Being a self-taught designer, I was loosely copying patterns of previously manufactured clothing and modifying the style according to my body. Read more>>

Tempestt Radford

My personality has always been bubbly, fun, outgoing, funny, silly, and friendly. I am told still to this day that I have not changed since I was younger pertaining to my personality. I tend to try and keep the atmosphere around me fun and exciting. I always try to learn the latest dances just to keep the connection with the girls open and fun. Read more>>

Carissa Kubitz, Anthony Gibbs, and Rachel McGehee

The need for healthy community gatherings for all ages will only increase over the coming years. Breaking away from our devices to connect with ourselves, others, and the eARTh in deep, meaningful ways will continue to be a theme of growing importance. Also, this ultra-connected technological society leaves many people feeling that true connection is missing. This is where cOMingle comes in, to blend to a harmonious whole. Read more>>

Melvin Griffin, Pelatiah (Ish) Williams, Trenton Foston, Lauren Williams and Amber Miller

As the years went by, we’ve grown from our original podcast concept to a full team of creatives with a focus on highlighting our city’s vast talent. The podcast began in ’15 with us just talking music, interviewing artists from around the state. After hosting and DJing events in the city for our friends, we started throwing our own artist showcases in ’17. Anything from visual artists to performers, we love to create events to give our city something to do. Read more>>

Marvin Lutherore

This passion comes from the many influences I’ve had during my growth as a musician and songwriter. My goal has always been to push the limits of the stereotypes placed on Black art. I’ve been inspired by revolutionary artists like Prince, Nina Simone, Andre 3000, Erykah Badu, and Frank Ocean, who through their art and their lives challenged the norms that surround Black artistry in the music business. Read more>>

Marcus Fitzpatrick

We are a Personal Chef and Gourmet Catering Company. Specializing in a tailored approach to our food services, known for our creative culinary and unique plating. I am most proud of our commitment to staying health conscious with our food services. I believe this sets us apart, committing to bring a fine dining feel to healthier food options in our community. Read more>>

Brandon Douglas

I think I just loved to draw out things I wished to see in the world. Around Middle School, I started drawing dresses. I stopped after a while and didn’t show too many people; I’m not sure why. The homophobia and false importance of gender roles which society pushes on young boys is probably to blame. It could also be that as a child, I had a new hobby every week. Anyways, that phase didn’t last long, and after it, I stopped drawing as much. Read more>>

Shantella Ray

Like most dancers, I’d have to say that I’ve been dancing all my life, but my journey has been different. I was not put into a studio at a young age. I taught myself by watching music videos; Missy Elliott, Ciara, Destiny’s Child, etc. After Graduating high school, I got married at the age of 20 and shortly after started a family and fell into a housewife role. Read more>>

Taski Martell

I’m supposed to be using my voice. It comes too natural. I try not to sound like other artists by only following a certain sound and staying true to it. My biggest inspirations are Kanye West and Travis Scott. Their sound is just so hard. Nobody sounds like them. I’m just tryna keep that sound alive. Not many people can keep up with and carry it and make it their own. From the beats to the visuals to the whole experience of hearing music. Everything has to be perfect. Read more>>

Tasha Diorr

Our mission is to empower all women that you can do anything. Empower all women To build. To grow. To rise above all and beyond that was meant to hold you back. We stand together. To help all women with resources, they need to thrive. I’m the owner of “Queen of hers” where I sell women fashion shades. I’m always working on my brand, which will come out next year. So, you guys definitely look out for it. Read more>>

Meme Bee

As I continued to grow this business though, I had another opportunity come where I could sell swimsuits & exotic dancer clothing. This business is still brand new, and only about three months old, but I have had a good number of orders since starting. At this point, I’ve started to consider myself as a serial entrepreneur! Read more>>

Tajah Farley

I do my own photography and I take them all on my cellphone as well as my own makeup. I learned to adapt and budget so I can be able to afford to do my cosplay. With my cosplay I’m hoping that I will be able to inspire others, especially people that aren’t of a smaller build. Having a tummy can scare people away from being themselves or being sexy. I had to grow the courage to show off and be who I am in my cosplays. Read more>>

Taniel Tenn-Hue

Black Owned Online Beauty Supply Store. We specialize in natural healthy hair as well as men care products. We sell from heating products to natural hair products, skin care products, children hair care products, men products as well as Raw and Virgin hair plus much much more. We are open 24 hours, seven days a week, and fast shipping. You could always reach me through phone,texts, or email, and I’ll always help that person with there hair care goals. Read more>>

Lesibu Grand

I was very open to different musical genres which would eventually lead me to attend the Pains of Being Pure at Heart concert. There, I ran into John “Hutch” Renaud (an acquaintance at the time). Upon that encounter, we shortly realized our common interest in music and songwriting in general. We met over coffee to discuss our goals as artists and the stars seemed to align. Read more>>

YFA Zvndxr

I create music because it was the only thing powerful enough to save me from myself, so I figured maybe I can save people too. I definitely want everyone to enjoy my work but more than anything I want them to learn love, in all its forms, from the things I say. Read more>>

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