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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.

Keandria Hayes

I was born a creator. God gave me the natural gifts to sing, dance, choreograph, act, and write which contribute to me being an all-around performer today. My parents always told me stories of how I would hum the different theme songs from the shows I watched as a toddler but I wasn’t even talking yet. They knew early on I was born to be a star based off of my reaction when music would play. How I would try to dance but couldn’t stand so I was wiggling and rolling on the floor. My dad shared his broad range in music with me which opened the door to my love for the retro eras. He shared his knowledge as a music producer as well as a musician which influenced me to go after my dreams of becoming a singer/entertainer. Read more>>


Kartier also known as Pretty Kartier, is a native from Columbia, SC, now residing in East Atlanta. Kartier was born an only child, Kartier grew up playing basketball with those of the neighborhood before being able to play basketball at Hand Middle School. Once she was able to start playing basketball through school, she was a highly scouted recruit and became a major prospect for colleges around the country. She then attended Dreher High School where she won two state championships and became 3-time 3A state player of the year in the South Carolina High School league. During her junior year of high school, she committed to play at the University of South Carolina on an athletic scholarship. Read more>>

Ashanta Johnson

I started with having a vision not only for myself, but for my Daughter. I want for her to know the importance of working hard to get what you want. I want her to know that Taylor’s Treats was designed for her so when she’s in middle school/high school/ college that she knows that her Mom created this Avenue for her to take on for herself and for her to build it along the way. In which ever road in life that she may take. I want her to know how hard I’m working to make Taylor’s Treats bigger and better every day. I want to instill a business mindset in her just in case she needs a backup plan in her near future. Read more>>

Shenee Campbell

During my matriculation at Spelman College, I found it extremely difficult to stay focused and grounded. Overwhelmed with school work, working a part-time job, being away from my family and struggling to make authentic friendships, I constantly found myself having major anxiety. After a phone call with my mother, she realized I was flustered and recommended that I take some “me” time and recommended that I go back to my dorm, light my favorite candle, and have a selfcare day. that day, I went home, cleaned up, ran a bath and lit some candles and I instantly felt better. But it was a familiar feeling and I remembered that the smell reminded me of home, my childhood, peace and love. Read more>>

Shermika Anglin and Tamika Brown

Style is creating your own lane and making your own rules. To that end, we love everything that begins and ends with affordable accessories. We are frequently complimented on our sense of style and enjoy how accessories can elevate an otherwise uninspiring look. We decided to start an accessories brand that joins well-heeled women on every occasion (first date, girls’ night out, wedding, and everything in between). Read more>>

Tabitha “Queen “ Cornish

I used to get my hair done and while spending for what seemed like eternity under the dryer, I used to look through hair books for styles and would always see that people of color did nails. It excited me! I never saw such beautiful, creative nails nor them done by people who look like me. As I became a young adult, nails became an expression for me. Representing who I was and my personal style. One day I thought to myself, “Since I’m always getting my nails done, let me just see if I can do this myself!”. The next day I began researching schools and later decide to enroll in to ISSN (International School of Skin and Nails in Roswell, Ga). Read more>>

Jhubria Johnson

I founded Virtue Essentials In 2019, I held on to this name for an entire year. Before I decided to get my LLC, and trademark my business. I was so indecisive on making this my brand name, because I always told myself I wanted a unique brand name for my business. So with me sleeping on it for an entire year, and asking God to show me if this brand name would look good to Corporate. February 2020 is when I launched Virtue Essentials. At the time I had a part time 9-5 job that helped me with strategic planning, leadership skills, marketing, time management, and business development. Read more>>

Trice Albea-Ryans

During 2012, I was working as a Security Analyst in my hometown of Augusta, GA. Although I chose IT as a career path, I was very heavily influenced by my late father’s career in the barbering industry. So I knew that I wanted to do something hair related as a side hustle and was thinking of opening a beauty supply store. One day I was sitting at my desk and a light bulb went off that I should build an online store to sell hair extensions. At that time, local hair distributors weren’t as popular. While working on my Master’s degree, I started to research how I would start my business as a hair distributor. My goal was to have my business plan finalized after graduation so that I could focus on my new business, as well as my budding career. So I started to test hair suppliers and mentioned to a childhood friend, Shonda, what I was doing. So she also started wearing my hair. Read more>>

Azandria Freeman

I’ve always wanted to model, but I’d always found every reason why I shouldn’t like my size, my skin tone, or my teeth. I was pretty shy and self-conscious growing up and kept to myself for the most part outside of school. During my time alone, I’d listen to music and stare at Essence, Allure, Seventeen, and Vogue magazines and studied the images hoping that one day I would get the chance to be on those pages. As I became older and became more confident, I had more freedom to experiment with my look more. While attending school at the University of Georgia, I was also a part-time student at YouTube University, where I gained a degree in making something out of nothing. Read more>>

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