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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.

Satoka Merritt

I am originally from Shreveport, La where I currently reside in Atlanta, Ga. I move from Dallas, Tx to Atlanta about five years ago. When I first moved here, I had no clue where I would end up and how things would be for me here. I got here the end of July 2014 and decided to go to barber school. I had no clue what I was doing or even if this was the path for me. Read more>>

Charita Doe

Altruism has always played a major role in my makeup. I have always been the one to help out or make things better for the underdog or anyone who face trouble. I grew up with a religious family that often engaged in feeding the homeless, street ministry & a host of other community outreach activities. I found a sense of tranquility and peace whenever I helped out, inspired or encourage people in the community. Read more>>

Naaz Malek

“There are so many things!” used to be my response when I was mundanely questioned about my interests and future pursuits during college. Thankfully, it is still my response to people when I’m asked about what I do. What was once perceived as indecisiveness, by even my own mother, my jack of all trades nature allows me to do “many things” simultaneously and live a very fulfilling life. Read more>>

Givini Vega

Being the oldest daughter in my household of three girls, I, by default, became the designated hair stylist in the house. I remember teaching myself to cornrow on my Barbie mannequin whose hair would turn green and pink depending on the temperature of the water. My middle sister was my braiding and color guinea pig while my baby sister was my first natural hair client. Read more>>

Patrice Ayanna

I have always had a passion for fashion. I was a theatre kid and I love to create. I love all facets of the arts. My first love, however, is writing and that is where my story begins. The earliest I can remember is age seven writing songs and poems and short stories and acting them out for my mother who was my greatest encouragement. I started a blog. Read more>>

Nadia Rochelle

I’m a “southern girl” who had my upbringing in Columbia, SC. I was reared in a single parent household by my mother after the passing of my father; I was three years old when he transitioned… the youngest of my parents’ five children. Just that quickly, my mother became a 35-year-old widow and although she wasn’t an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Stella Ihenacho

It started with a question: ‘Why am I quick to carry out the ideas and vision of others but give myself a million and one reasons why I cannot do so for myself?’ I am a Woman, a Wife, a Mother, a Daughter, a Sister and so many other things in one. I easily run with the vision, ideas, and project of others, I consult for numerous business but I hesitate when it comes to mine. Read more>>

Valeria Porter

I have been playing the piano since the age of five. I have played for several churches and school choirs. I continue to provide music for weddings, funerals, birthdays, and other special occasions. I always felt that my hands were anointed to do great things. My father would always say, “You got the gift…all you got to do is use it!” With that in mind, I combined both of my passions and launched Virtuously Gifted ~ The Musician Beautician. Read more>>

Brittany Allen

One thing that I believe that sets me apart from others is that I enjoy advertising my hair collection on myself, and being honest to my customers about suggestions of which hairstyle or texture would look good to them, and which texture that I like to wear myself. Also, my hair collection could last for years as long as customers treat the hair with love. Some people think that since its bundles you could just lay around and not take care of it, and it should fall into place. Read more>>

Tonita Washington

God answered my prayers with rapid growth. What I did not anticipate is the challenge of finding dedicated staff. Not having a good and strong team can cripple you and your efforts but within these obstacles, we learned hard lessons, and surprisingly our patients have been very understanding, forgiving and patient with us through this growing pain. Currently, I have a great team, and just pray we continue to learn and move forward. Read more>>

Kobi Speight

There’s no limit in my kitchen & no limit to where I can take food. I mainly create custom desserts from cakes, cookies, donuts, rice krispys, cheesecakes, you name it. I like to consider myself a “dessert stylist” instead of your typical baker because I make sweets that looks just as good as it tastes. My love for the science and art behind desserts & food, in general, leads me to create unique colors, taste, and textures in the kitchen. Food is limitless. Read more>>

Pat Nichols

While writing my first two novels, I studied the craft, sought critiques, connected with other writers, and attended conferences. When I began writing my third novel, I made the decision to pursue traditional publishing. Thus, I attended more conferences and learned how to pitch to publishers. Four years after I first opened my laptop and typed Chapter One, I was blessed with a contract for “The Secret of Willow Inn’, book one of the Willow Falls series. Read more>>

Willy Wong

I can do a hair cut so many different ways but that has to come from within me. It’s easy to get complacent in this industry and just not look for more but just cut hair and make money. I don’t like to look at it like that though. I want my clients to be proud of saying I’m their barber. Walk out of my shop and people say ‘dang who cut your hair. Read more>>

David Hoang

With parental pressure mounting early in life to aspire to become a doctor, I did the next best thing and became a professional nerd. Though math was an Achilles heel, this genetic flaw did not prevent me from practicing the sacred art of Creative – Ninjitsu. Read more>>

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