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Hidden Gems from Norcross

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 Norcross and the surrounding areas.

Sharee Allen

I got started in my career my working at the only 4-Diamond Resort in Daytona Beach, Florida, while attending college at Bethune-Cookman College. My first position was a banquet server and we worked several weekends every weekend. I loved seeing the joy on the client’s faces through decor, food and beverage. Shortly after that, I gained a passion for events. While working at the resort, I was offered a position as a Catering Supervisor for Americrown Catering (Catering for Nascar). This position was extremely motivating and pushed me into my passion. It was a traveling position that provided the support and guidance required to execute large scale events. Read more>>

Kieara Hall

Pregnant at 17, the thought never crosses my mind that I wouldn’t be able to finish school or accomplish any of my dreams. I honestly was more afraid of not being accepted as a young mother or being constantly judged for bearing a child in high school, outside of marriage. I’ve never really been the type to be afraid of trying something new or taking a chance. I’ve always been a rebel and moved to my own beat, at my own pace. I am definitely not proud of every choice that I’ve ever made, or even most choices I have made, but my experiences have shaped me to be the strong, resilient woman I am now. It is exhausting being independent and raising a beautiful and talented daughter, yet I have defied many statistics so that she has no excuses of living to her full potential without making all of the mistakes I’ve made. Read more>>

Nedra Nicole

Growing up, I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty industry, from working as a shampoo assistant as my first job at age 15 to studying cosmetology in my latter years of high school. As a young girl, whenever I would get my nails done, I was always intrigued by the process. I’d watch and ask questions about different products and would want to know the purpose of each one as they were being used. Fast forward to the last few years, that interest resurfaced and grew. I found myself being inspired by the black nail techs whose businesses I was a patron of. Their creativity and passion truly inspired me. Read more>>

Jociana Sauve

I was born and grew up in the heart of New York City in Manhattan, so I was exposed to a melting pot of different cultures and people from a young age. My mother was an Afro-Brazilian immigrant, so my brother and I grew up immersed in Brazilian culture and language. Everything revolved around good food, music, and dancing. My father was the son of poor farmers who were immigrants from Canada and Ireland. My dad embraced and loved everything Brazilian, so we had and went to a lot of parties. We had a lot of fun growing up and even though we were poor, we didn’t know it. Read more>>

Keely Hackney

Back in 2001, I was a 21-year-old not really knowing what I wanted to do for a career or even a college degree. I knew I loved psychology but didn’t think I could ever have a career in that field without going on to get my doctorate. Then fate happened… I met someone who worked with children with autism. I asked her so many questions and bugged her until she got me a job working as an Applied Behavior Analysis therapist, or ABA therapist, for short. I fell in love with my job on the very first day! Back then, I didn’t know what a journey this field would take me on. There was no credential in ABA therapy; no-one knew what ABA was. But several years into it, the BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) credential was developed and Master’s programs were being offered at a few universities in the southeast. Read more>>

TaKendra Ramsey

I am a military brat but currently, call Atlanta my home. I have been an RN for 11 years and will receive my master’s degree in nurse leadership and administration this month. I have a bunch of great friends with whom I 3 business opportunities but I couldn’t find my niche. That is until I took a candle making class in a whim and absolutely fell in love. I love everything that smells great and I wanted to share that with the world. Thus, I decided to launch A Scented World. I launched Memorial Day this year and it has been a special journey. One I couldn’t have done without the support of my friends, especially Latesha, Bridgette, Huey, and Areca. Read more>>

Fran Rissland

Being a stay at home mom to 4 kids for 12 years, I was trying to figure out my next career path. I have always like to work and get myself busy raising my kids. My kids are getting older and are more self-sufficient, but still need me, especially Riley. Riley was born with a rare syndrome called Cornelia de Lange syndrome. We did not know about his diagnosis until he was 17 months old. He is now 16 years old. I have always wanted to get back into the workforce but getting a job needed to be VERY flexible. I looked for part-time and even full-time ‘flexible’ jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed, but most jobs were ‘on location’ with no flexibility. I needed flexibility. Read more>>

Elizabeth Kayange

I officially started my business in January 2019. I always took pleasure in cooking and always enjoyed my time in the kitchen. So, one day one of my dearest friends asked me if I’ve thought about opening a catering business just something like that. He told me that i was able to get money by doing something I am passionate about then after about it, I decided to jump into the catering business and launch Elizabethcooks for you. Elizabethcooks is a catering service here in ATLANTA, Georgia. We have a big diversity of foods from African, European, American. From appetizers to meal courses and dessert. We have a big variety and we are so excited to serve every single person who needs us. And during the weekend, when we don’t have big orders to take care of, we make some quick meals to order the same day and get it to deliver. Read more>>

Jaye Washington

As much as I wish I could say I’ve always dreamed of full-time entrepreneurship, that is not the case. Since about 2014, though, I’ve always had a side hustle writing resumes, editing papers, and helping others develop strong messaging, but it never dawned on me that I could turn this natural gift and talent into an established business. While I knew I wanted to do something for myself, I wasn’t sure what that looked like because I was ok simply side hustling. Plus, at that time, I didn’t know what consultants were or even how to scale my business for full-time profit and growth. Read more>>

David (Dave B.) Brown

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised North of Atlanta in the heart of Suburbia. I’ve always been interested in creating art and learned how to make comic books with stacks of notebook paper. Me and my dad would create our own superheros and characters, which gave me the keys to explore my imagination to the fullest. He’s by far one of the strongest role models in my life so of course, I wanted to follow his footsteps and work with computers, specifically Digital Animation, which led me to study Computer Science in college. That ended up making me miserable so I switched to Creative Writing but I still wasn’t fulfilled. I wanted to incorporate visual aspects to my stories so naturally, I gravitated to Film Production. Read more>>

LJ The Creative

I’ve been through a lot but I wouldn’t change my path for anything. I started off three years ago as LWJ Phocinema receiving recognition for my music through Skully Magazine as well as this one for my photography, but since then, a lot has happened. I’ve been able to expand and now I’m doing more in film as well as more graphic work. I’ve become a student at LA Film School and I’m glad to be learning new things like screenwriting. The Phocinema brand has been a part of a lot of Atlanta creatives projects like Amore Allure, Taylor Greenshine, and The Rhi and Lady G show. Each of those creatives have been a big part of my career so far. Read more>>

Jaye Washington

As much as I wish I could say I’ve always dreamed of full-time entrepreneurship, that is not the case. Since about 2014 though, I’ve always had a side hustle writing resumes, editing papers, and helping others develop strong messaging, but it never dawned on me that I could turn this natural gift and talent into an established business. While I knew I wanted to do something for myself, I wasn’t sure what that looked like because I was ok simply side hustling. Plus, at that time, I didn’t know what consultants were or even how to scale my business for full-time profit and growth. Read more>>

Angela and Chalie Perry

Our journey really started nine years ago. We are serial entrepreneurs and Sozo Realestate is just our latest venture. We starred so Sozo Realestate because our company His and Hers Contractors of three years needed a new direction. We took our skills from construction of remodeling homes and making them beautiful and decided to make old mobile homes beautiful and livable. We buy, fix and sale affordable living spaces and our main focus lately has been mobile homes. While doing this we show other investors how to create generational wealth for their families. Read more>>

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