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Hidden Gems from Marietta & Surrounding Areas

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 gems from Marietta & the surrounding areas.

Joel Liner

I’m a barber by trade and years ago, I had a brand called Barber Vintage, which catered to Barbers and hairstylists. It was cool, but I always wanted to offer apparel that catered to everyone. I had the idea for a long time and I knew I wanted to build something around the concept of Legacy. After testing a bunch of names, I came up Legacy Over Lust. Read more>>

Marjani Aladin

Absolutely, it has been quite an exciting journey! Boards and platters was birth out of a true desire to bring something quite literally to the table. I have always grown up in a family where the women, especially our entertainers. When someone comes over you make them a dish and greet them with a drink. You make them feel at home. As I started to cultivate a strong group of female friends, I felt the desire to bring something to the table that was delicious and unique and reminded me of, quite honestly, both of my grandmothers. When I started making charcuterie boards, it was so fun and interesting to taste and explore all of the flavors with my friends and when I saw how often people enjoy them for their picnics, date nights, celebrations, I realized with the help of family and friends that this was a business that I was really passionate about starting. Not only was it something that made me feel good, but it provided a moment of opulence and luxury that was so magical to be a part of in the middle of a pandemic. So boards and platters were born, and we have been growing and expanding for the last nine months ever since. We’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing corporations, our individual clients, weddings, and milestones and it has been such an amazing journey. Read more>>

Hope Marshall

My interest in teeth honestly started as a child when I would pull out my neighborhood friend’s loose baby teeth. I truly became interested in dentistry in high school, which inspired my childhood dentist. Dr. Newton told me I would be a great dentist (he probably told all of his teenage patients this) and I realized that dentistry would be great blend of my creativity and scientific nature and a great way to build relationships with families in the community. Through college and dental school, I realized that dentistry is so much more than “saving teeth” or “creating smiles.” Good oral health is of utmost importance for overall health since tooth and gum infections have significant negative effects on the body, especially the heart. My current role is to educate patients, prevent pain and infection, and help patients become healthier. Read more>>

Immanuel “Rambo” Alvarado

Since I was a child, I have always wanted to act and write. I started writing poetry at the age of ten. I started creating music at the age of 14. I grew up in much different low-income and impoverished neighborhoods within the Metro Atlanta area. Growing up in a household of eight, it was very hard for my parents to be able to afford certain things that I needed to express myself artistically at such a young age. So, once I got to high school and was able to buy my own things, the first thing I ever purchased with my own money was a microphone at the age of 15 after I got my first check from a local McDonald’s. It was from that moment on. I realized that I wanted to tell my story and change people’s lives through music. Since that day, I have released countless number of music through collaborations, singles, features, albums, and EP’s. I have also written, directed, and filmed many freelance projects (PSA’s, short films) and other collaborations with friends (music videos, comedy skits). Among other ambitions, I have also begun creating a media production company (ShotsbyRambo) in which I am in the business of creating a plethora of media content, however, ultimately specializing in music videos & skits. I also am a local personal trainer. Read more>>

Talonjara Johnson

I am a native of the historic district of Savannah, Georgia. I grew up in a single-parent home in an urbanized community where economic resources were very limited. Despite the limited resources, life’s barriers and obstacles empowered me to break the stereotype of poverty-stricken minority families devaluing health and educational advancement. Along my journey, I have been adopted by a host of mentors and educational leaders who saw the young leader within myself. I then attended Savannah State University for undergraduate studies with a focus in Social Work. It was because of the University’s early college Upward Bound program that led me to consider higher learning. Upon receiving my degree in Social Work, I then returned for graduate studies with a focus in Public Administration as it would allow me to be a greater impact to my community. Along my success journey, I inherited some hereditary health issues. I was one to never consider the well-being of my overall health. I believed that if the clothes fit and I had a pretty face, health was not that important. Read more>>

Shadonna Walker

As a young black girl, owner, Shadonna Walker, was often teased about her skin tone. The issue was, there wasn’t a proper skincare routine which obviously reflected as such. A day with her family turned into a lifestyle skincare change for her. Shadonna remembers quite vividly an interaction she and her father had; She recalls him stating to her “you have to take care of your skin. You are dark skin and can’t use what everyone else uses”. This sparked a small interest of developing an essential skincare routine. From that moment, she began to sample different products, but neither would work, so she resorted to simply using a petroleum jelly. However, as time evolved and her knowledge, she realized that it was not providing the nutrients that her skin needed. As time moved forward, now a college student, Shadonna then learned about Shea Butter which then led to her knowledge of “Whipped” Shea Butter. From this moment, she never looked back and knew that this was her “cure” to healthy and glowing skin. Shadonna was fascinated with Shea Butter and longed for others to have the same love for it as her. However, Shadonna encountered another issue that was problematic, which was finding a product to use on her face. As she continued to use her whipped Shea Butter, she learned that it was not the best product for the face due to it being a heavier product that can clog your pores. Read more>>

OG Diplomat

I’ve always had a passion for clothes I think it comes from my mother being a seamstress and seeing her make clothes and costumes for me when I was a kid. I’ve also been drawing since I was 4 or 5, so I’ve always had that love for creating art. My father has been a prominent entrepreneur throughout my life, so when I was 12, he mentioned to me and my brother about how this mother and son duo became millionaires by creating a clothing brand called “Johnny Cupcakes.” It was then he challenged us to come up with something that could do the same. That’s when I came up with my first brand Illuminate. I didn’t do much with my brand during my middle school & high school years due to me being so focused on sports, but it was something I knew I always was going get back to. So once I got to Tuskegee, I went all the way in with it and launched “Illuminate The Brand.” I used my first brand as a stepping stone and a learning experience for me. Once I became more polished, did my research, acquired more knowledge and experience within the industry. I transitioned ITB more into my graphic and logo design company, and I launched my current apparel brand, “Pistols & PalmTrees™️.” Read more>>

Yolanda McKinney

I am a caterer and foodie at heart. I am a software engineer by trade and I started my catering business, 2 Spicy Kids in 2015. I have a love for food and always wanted to cook with my own amazing spices and seasoning blends product line. Our mission is to provide the finest in gourmet spices and seasoning blends to our customers to enhance amazing meals. Our goal is to keep seasonings chemical, filler-free, low salt levels, and staying true to the herbs and spices that we use in everyday cooking. The health of people and the foods we eat on a daily basis is what truly matters to the 2 Spicy Kids! We want to help our customers to create amazing and creative meals to enjoy every day with 2 Spicy Kids Seasoning Blends & Spices. Thank you to our customers and fans for supporting us on this journey. Read more>>

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