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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.

Mark Burgess

Starting my company was not easy at all. Like most entrepreneurs, I started off with just a dream of something that I thought would be cool. I was living in a three-bedroom apartment in Rocky Mount, NC with my mom and sister while going to college and working a full-time job. A lot of the time it was hard to “Find Time” to invest, so I had a lot of sleepless nights just to come up with ideas. There was another clothing company that I had been ordering from for a couple of years. As I ordered from them, I watched EVERYTHING they did from social media presence to how they shipped and packaged orders. They taught me everything without even knowing! I eventually taught myself how to screen print and starting printing on the floor in my room. At that moment, I thought the company would take off. I was completely wrong. ideas started to become more complex and I just wasn’t as good at printing as my ideas were so I began to start ordering the merch from other companies which meant I wouldn’t make as much profit. Read more>>

Christopher Fletcher and Angelica Finley

We met in 2016 while working in the hospitality industry. Realizing we had similar goals and ambitions, we decided to venture into business together. We opened Flavor Rich Food Truck in April 2018. It has been one of the greatest decisions in life thus far. We enjoy serving people amazing food and being able to meet people from different areas while doing food truck events and festivals. With the ongoing success and support of Flavor Rich Food Truck, we decided to expand and open Flavor Rich Restaurant in August 2020 in the middle of a global pandemic. GOD is so amazing and he just keeps elevating us with great support. Read more>>

Venessa Abram

Founder & Executive Director of SDP3, a 501c3 non-profit organization which advocates for suicide prevention and raises awareness on bullying and mental health. The organization was established following the tragic suicide of my brother, Sergeant First Class Randolph Davison in 2016. His passing took a traumatic and heavy toll on our family, especially myself. However, amidst the loss, uncertainty, trauma and emotional toll, I identified that there was a need for more intervention in the area of suicide prevention and the factors which contribute to it. As such, not long after his passing, SDP3 was founded and has since impacted tens of thousands across the world. By helping others heal by providing them with the support and resources needed, I have by extension experienced my own healing becoming a part of a cause greater than myself. This has resulted in national recognition across the USA, global recognition as far as the Caribbean and Africa and partnerships with key institutions which champion radical and significant change. Read more>>

Pamela Green

My Beginning started off rocky and I lived in Cali at the time. I was molested as well as bullied at an early age by a female friend of the family! So for years, I deal with low self-esteem, depression, rejection and so many other insecurities. So many of my experiences began early in my life. I began drinking alcohol & using drugs at the age of 13, smoking cigarettes at 12 years old. At first, the drug of choice was weed then from there it was cocaine, then we experimented with free basing this was when I was in the 11th grade and from there acid, popping pills and then crack cocaine! I was hooked up until 1990! I stopped for a year when I found out I was pregnant! But after I had my son, I started right back up! Until it happened, I met a man who changed my life and delivered me from my crack addiction! That man name is JESUS! He started me on my way to where I am today. It was one last episode that brought me out into HIS marvelous light! I had gotten involved with a young man that was living a lifestyle of Gangs & drugs!. Read more>>

Morgan Summers

I have always had a passion for three things: making money, saving money, and helping others. As a child, around the age of five, my mom created this game. Whenever we would find loose change around the house, we would put it into this big jar and we would continue to do so until it filled to the very top. Once the jar was filled, we would dumb all the coins out and stuff them into coin collector and then take it to the bank. It was my favorite thing to do! My mom, Vanessa would always say, “This money is not for now, it’s for the future.” Honest, I wasn’t even thinking about touching that money because I just loved watching 10 cents turn into 10 dollars turn into 100 dollars, and so forth. I was fascinated by how a little bit of money could grow over time. So from there, I created this money mindset to save for the future and make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains. When I got my first summer job in high school, I would immediately put half of my paycheck in my savings and half could go towards anything I really needed. Read more>>

Rebeka Self

I was born and raised in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Oregon to be exact. I have a large family and almost all of them are still living in Oregon. My love for the outdoors, camping, snowboarding and coffee were all developed there. I graduated from Oregon State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in International Business. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer and go on to law school, but after working as a paralegal for several years, I decided to go back to OSU to earn my Masters in Early Childhood Education. I met my husband, Nathan Self, in 2006 in Los Angeles. We were married on August 9th, 2008, in a tiny white church on Orcas Island, Washington. We had our two sweet girls, Sydney (age 10) and Cameron (age 7) in Portland, Oregon. In 2015, Nathan took a job in Alpharetta, Georgia and we made the big cross country when our daughters were 4 and 1.5 years old. I homeschooled the girls for five years, found some at-home Paralegal work to do and started a successful Etsy shop. We started attending Passion City Church, found incredible friends and community, fell in love with Georgia and quickly realized that this was home. Today, we cannot imagine living and raising our family anywhere else. Read more>>

Maryam Jernigan Noesi

I was born the last of four children to my parents while living in Western Massachusetts. As I think back on the values that they instilled in all of their children, they are the ones that inform a lot of what I am passionate about and do today. My mother, who was originally born in the South, and ultimately relocated to MA due to lack of work or career opportunities, was a big proponent of education. I have very fond memories of her taking me to the library and encouraging me to read, to always be curious, and to identify as someone who worked hard and took great pride in my academic success. Likewise, my father, a Vietnam Veteran at the time of my birthday, came from humble beginnings but worked hard to support our family. He eventually went on to pursue a degree in higher education. What I remember most about what he taught me was to think critically about anything that was presented to me as information. Always ask where the information comes from. Read more>>

Christelle Anani

I’m 21 and just graduated from GSU with a Master’s in Marketing. It has been a journey, but I have always prided myself on my resilience. I don’t let life’s challenges bring me down, at least not for too long. In the beginning of the pandemic, I was set to graduate from UGA (May 2020) and I did, but the chaos of the world and the uncertainty of everything deeply affect me and even led to an abrupt change in my job situation. I really had to lean on God during that time and luckily, I was able to virtually network myself in a social media management job at a marketing agency. I was able to use my job to strengthen my skill set and I now serve as an Account Manager there. During fall of 2020, Many of my friends started to pursue their true passions and launch multiple platforms. I am so grateful for and proud of them for doing so because they saw potential in me and encouraged me to help them brand, launch, manage, and create content for their passions. This was the catalyst in the creation of my business: Creatively Christelle, LLC (creativelychristelle.com). Read more>>

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