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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.

Nicole Linder, AD and Jámee Forbes

The business started with a hungry conversation sitting on the couch in the family room. We were discussing how we eat and how we love customizing our own burgers (vegan). We love putting all kinds of “Junk” (veggies) on them. So, that’s how Junk Yard Vegan was born. We had our first event on June 4th, 2019 at Indie Green Fest in Duluth, GA. We sold out and it has been uphill since then. Read more>>

Rebecca Dejean

After spending several years working in the tech industry in Austin, TX, and often the only black woman, I seized the opportunity to create something unique. Let’s start from the beginning, in 2016 I traveled to my home country, Haiti for the very first time. It was two months after the devastating Hurricane Matthew and I felt moved to support relief work. Read more>>

Chelsea and Chelsea Castellanos

Our story really begins with me, Chase, falling in love with cheerleading as a junior in high school. While attending Shiloh High School, in Gwinnett county, I fell in love with sport of competitive cheerleading. I’d found a sport where I was accepted, I was supported, I was filled with positivity, and most of all found a place where friends became family and the gym became home. Read more>>

Danielle Coke

I went to Georgia State and got my B.B.A. with a concentration in Hospitality because I was so certain that I was supposed to be an event planner. I got a job at an events agency in a graphic design and marketing capacity, and I realized quickly realized that I wanted to explore that further. I quit my job last year and set out to build my own social media agency, which launched in January of this year and had an amazing first quarter. Read more>>

Navarro Aschenbrenner

The son of a Jamaican mother and German father my story begins in the city of West Palm Beach. Growing up surrounded by and being able to embrace the cultures of both families was and still is something I’m proud of. After spending the 1st decade of my life in Florida, I moved to Gwinnett county. Adaptability was a skill I had to pick up at a young age because this was the third place, I was calling home within the first ten years of my life. Read more>>

Kaia Clark

When I was six years old, my mom taught me how to make jewelry and work with metal findings. Fast forward 13 years later and I’m still making jewelry for myself and my family. However, this was the turning point for me. I posted a couple pieces on my Instagram and immediately had messages flooding in asking where I bought them and how they could get some too. From there I starting making new designs and jewels for my friends and followers. Read more>>

Russell Clark

I’ve been in event marketing and management for 24 years. I came to Atlanta for graduate school and to work the 1996 Summer Olympics. During the first half of my career, I was fortunate to work with major event properties like the Olympics, Atlanta Falcons, the Georgia Dome, Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Bayou Classic and FedEx Orange Bowl. After a three year stint working for ISP Sports and Florida State University Athletics, I decided to step out on my own. Read more>>

Susan Davern

I was born in Stuttgart, Germany as my father was a Green Beret in the US Army and we traveled all over the world. I began my dance training in Tulsa OK with the Cecchetti method and fell in love with ballet. Our travels then took us to Seoul, Korea and I danced with the daughter of the last remaining royal family member in Seoul. It was most exciting. The Palace staff in Seoul made our costumes, and I got to enter into parts of the Palace not open to the public. Read more>>

Arlene Starr

As far back as I can remember I have always been exercising and trying new health and lifestyle routines to get me to my best self. I have always been creative and love to do gift packaging and creating things for individuals to love. As I got older and life becomes more stressful, I had way less time to enjoy for myself and my health. So I decided to combine my two loves of living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of myself into something more than others can enjoy too. Read more>>

Antonia Lawrence

God has given me several very significant and powerful roles that I take very seriously. My goal in every role is to make an eternal impact on people’s lives, to bring a greater awareness of the presence of God and how important it is to have that relationship with Him. I am a mother of six amazing children, I am a grandmother I am a sister, a friend; a worship leader, teacher and mentor. I have a very international and diverse background that has definitely shaped who I am. Read more>>

Susan Keeney

I was a special education teacher for 22 years in the public-school system. I began noticing a pattern in the future of my students. At age 22 when school services end majority of my students ended up doing nothing, no purposeful adult outcomes. 22 is usually a great time of life to explore opportunities, go on adventures, and build your future. My students with disabilities were experiencing the exact opposite, they lost connections with friends. Read more>>

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