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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.

Nimi Bello

For years my friends and family identified me as the go to for connecting people to other people and connecting people to resources. I didn’t really honor it as gift until I got into the corporate world and realized I have a passion for networking and connecting to new people. One disappointing aspect that I was faced with was the fact that when I walked into networking events, I rarely met people who were like me- A young black professional Christian woman. Read more>>

Shana Trimble

Wow! My story took a long scenic route. In no way was it traditional. I always wanted to be a therapist. It was a dream, one I thought wouldn’t come true considering that when I was growing up, none of the therapist I seen look like me. Nevertheless, my desire to help others get through their tuff times, especially as it relates to mental health and relationships, both big and small, was my desire for as long as I can remember. This desire was strengthened even more when my youngest brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, my husband and I started a family really young. I was 17 when I had my first daughter and our life began. We got married and had two more beautiful daughters. Read more>>

Chris Tran

Well I was never the best in school, most of the subjects never really interested me. All I knew was I wanted to make enough money to take care of my family and pay my bills. At first I tried selling pokemon cards, that made some decent money for 12 year old Chris but I knew I needed a more reliable income. I guess that’s what lead me to starting work early. I’m glad I did, because I feel like I’ve learned far more in the field than I ever would in the classroom. I jumped from job to job for a while trying to figure something out, never 100% sure what I really wanted to do with my life. Read more>>

Ya’Ron Brown

Our rollercoaster ride to get to this point, looking back is so crazy. If you can believe it, we actually started out as a cookie company that developed because my beautiful wife was pregnant with our twins and was eating McDonald’s chocolate chip cookies all the time! She craved chocolate chip cookies and it was close to our house. I didn’t want her consuming those artificial cookies, so I began to experiment with different recipes until I felt like I had the perfect all-natural cookie. And according to my wife, after a few failed attempts, I finally got it right. We began to dream about exposing our cookies to the public and then one day we met someone who was working with William Sonoma selling spices and he plugged us in with them to sell our cookies. Read  more>>

Leia Ali

Urban Empress Lifestyle was created to support Black women in their healing and spiritual practice. Our mantra is fierce, fine, and FREE. I started Urban Empress Lifestyle as a part of my own healing. I am the survivor of a rare skin condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). What the hell is that Leia? It is a debilitating, chronic and inflammatory skin condition that affects all your intimate areas. I was diagnosed at 18, told to apply for disability at 23 and had a miraculous reconstructive surgery at 38. Read more>>

Briyanna Releford

BookClub Podcast started with just a group of friends winding down after work. My group of friends are eclectic and we all have different views, respectively. One night my best friend and I were winding down and I came to a conclusion to start a podcast. My interest falls between entertainment, lifestyle, cannabis and civil rights. A lot of the topics discussed are centered around this. One week we may discuss injustices in our community and another defining “friends with benefits”. I created this vibe for both my listeners and guest. BookClub Podcast is more than a weekly dose of conversation, it’s a platform for our culture and community. Read more>>

Mia “Kcee” McCoy

Like many small businesses, Cr3ate started as a hobby. Creating gifts for family and friends, decorating trinkets, and doing the most on school projects. Hobbies expanded to include photography, party planning and home decorations. I found myself dabbing into ‘all things creative’ until I found my true passion, creating custom t-shirts. I LOVE the challenge of being unique. I came to realize that I not only enjoyed making original products for people but that everyone wanted something different than anyone else owned. My close friend at the time decided to start up my business on Etsy and purchase the machines I needed too. She had more faith in cr3ate than I did at the time. Everything was head-on from that first sale! Read more>>

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