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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.

Monica Dickerson

It all started with an itch and an idea. As a long sufferer of eczema and psoriasis, finding the “right” commercial soap was always a daunting task. The expensive soap that worked in the Summer felt like sandpaper in the Winter. Therefore, I decided to use my love for crafting and science to make my own. Read more>>

D’Ante Wilson

My story of DarionStudios actually comes from two plot lines. The plot line of the actually business of taking photos start from my childhood. I actually hate being in pictures for my entire life. At some point in my childhood, my parents were just like fine how about you start taking the photos instead. Read more>>

Corrie Ladd

I knew in high school that I wanted to pursue a career in the arts. I had some tremendous art teachers that aided in the development of my creative identity. So once I decided on the Drawing program at the University of Florida, I believed I would be able to map out life’s trajectory… both personal and professional. Needless to say, there were many unforeseen twists and turns that left me with the following challenges; away from home, divorced, sunk in a divergent career path in senior care sales, and incredibly unsure of my future. Read more>>

Clennette Reid

I’m a native of Atlanta, GA and I am the youngest of two girls. I’ve been a plus size girl most of my life, and rather than be ashamed of it I learned to embrace it very early on. I was always intrigued by makeup and fashion starting back in high school. By the time I was a senior, I was doing my own makeup and lashes. Read more>>

Rhonda Green

When I moved to Atlanta, I started out pursuing a career in acting. Being on stage was something I was always passionate about while in college and I was very good at! I majored in Business Administration but my heart was set on being on the big screen. However, life took a few turns for me and I ended up pregnant, a single parent, with very little support. Read more>>

Corina Bryant

I grew up in Mexico and went to school to become a lab chemist, sadly my mother, siblings and I had to flee from Mexico due to my father’s violence. We arrived in California when I was seventeen years old. It was always a dream of mine to be a part of the beauty industry. Read more>>

Ryan Thomas

I’ve been working in Early Childhood Education now for eight years. Working with young children has always been my passion, I never would have thought it would have been Preschool Children. This journey for me started in September 2012, three months after high school. Read more>>

DeAndra Arvinger and Jasmine Mendes

A little bit about ourselves and how we became business partners. We (DeAndra and Jasmine) met at a hair model call in July 2012. A few months went by, we didn’t talk much. November 2012 we ran into each other at FedEx working a second jobs for the holiday season. Dee Dee left after the second night but Jasz continued to work. Read more>>

Ramona Condell and Kamaria Morgan

When I moved to Atlanta, one of the first things I asked was how to be part of the carnival here. I met Kamaria through mutual friends and played mas (the term used for participating in carnival, in costume) with her in my first Atlanta Carnival in 2003. She’s now one of my best friends, and we’ve played mas countless times together, and some apart, in Atlanta, as well as all over the Caribbean. Read more>>

Azhane’ Kennedy

I’ve always loved entertaining people. I get a high from seeing people react to anything I do on a stage or on-air. It started from dancing in Pontiac, Michigan with Dancers For Christ to making the production team at OwlRadio at Kennesaw State. I developed a true love for performing for the masses and that’s my passion…TO THIS DAY. Read more>>

DeJah Kedar

My grandmother had been crocheting for longer than I’d been alive and snuggling up in all of the beautiful afghans around the house made me want to make one of my own. She took me to the store and bought me my very first crochet hook and skein of yarn almost 12 years ago! Once I was shown the basics of how to get started, I couldn’t put the yarn down. Read more>>

Peter Roglin

I started playing piano when I was around six years old after seeing people performing at a school recital that was part of our assembly period and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I studied with the same teacher for about 6 years. Her name was Young Hae Kim and she was an awesome teacher. Read more>>

Eddie Smith

My clothing brand got started through inspiration from a hashtag and finding a passion. My journey began when Instagram became popular and hip. At the time, I was placing my old brand name “live above means” as my hashtag in my captions. Randomly, one day a friend of mine told me that he had been living his life based on my hashtag. Read more>>

Khalid Ovesen

My mom understood the importance of higher education so while in college herself, she basically taught me much of what she learned managing businesses and working in nonprofit. My family flew me around the world as a kid to experience different cultures, so high school was a pretty lackluster experience. Read more>>

Matthew Roachford

I come from a large family, 11 members, and we were all encouraged to pursue what we desired, as long as we were driven to accomplish it. I loved fashion and everything associated with it. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I bought my first DSLR camera. It wasn’t until the junior year that I began to shoot. Read more>>

Alyssa Thomas

As a child, I always had a business-like way of thinking. I would assist my dad whenever he would sell at his own concessions stands, ice cream stands, etc. I knew I was good at it and one day wanted to have my own business. I never knew what kind of business but that all came to me once I graduated from the illustrious Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Read more>>

Theron Madison

I’ve started film-making in the year of 2012, before that, I wanted to be an actor. I’ve fallen in love with films and wanted to learn anything I can about film-making. When I was little, I was one of the awkward ones in high school, always being bullied and not understanding me, but movies were like an escape for me. Read more>>

Kiera Mitchell

remember watching some of the very first video posted on YouTube. I began making dancing videos in 2010 with my sister. By 2013, I completely stopped watching television and YouTube became my source of entertainment. I would always say one day I’m going to start my own channel again and in December of 2018, I did exactly that. Read more>>

Juanita Davis

I’ve always had an interest in human behavior so naturally, I was drawn to psychology in college. Courses in Abnormal and Evolutionary psychology absolutely intrigued me! I pursued a Psychology degree in undergraduate, a Social Work degree in grad school, and shortly after, I started my career in mental health. In my years of working in this field, I noticed a disconnect between mind and body when it came to treating people. Read more>>

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