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Inspiring Stories from East Atlanta

The heart of our mission at VoyageATL is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Atlanta’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out East Atlanta’s rising stars below.e

Valencia Henry

J Valencia Style Studio started out as a Hair Company called Dynasty Hair & Personal Car. One night I was up around 3 am visually creating the environment I wanted as a stylist and one who was up and coming. I felt like I needed to have all bases covered for branding, marketing, and content creating. The Studio to me was more than just a hair company or salon; it is a premier studio that serves a diverse customer market. Read more>>

Xt Venus Valentine

I started doing drag right after I finished my physical transition, (Little sooner than dr.s orders) but I finally felt I was back in my body & that I could start performing! Started from getting to know the ATL queer/drag scene, attending events & then later I started taking photos for some folks & events happening here. Then like I said I got surgery, put my Drag persona out there & my first gig was a charity gig for Charis Books Atlanta. Read more>>

Danielle Slaughter

In 2012, I started a personal blog, Mamademics, as a place to chronicle my life as I attempted to balance my roles as a wife, mother, and academic. Two years later, I wrote my first viral post, Why White Moms Need To Care About Murdered Black Children. That post was the beginning of a new series on my site, Raising an Advocate. Read more>>

Alexis Chase

Holy Comforter was founded in 1893 and after going through significant changes throughout the years, in 1997, we opened the Friendship Center. The Friendship Center is a day program for people living with severe and chronic mental illness. The trigger for starting the program was a round of reductions in publicly funded day programs for people with mental illness. Read more>>

Tim Short

I turned to art as an identity and really delved deep into it and I haven’t looked back since. I took advanced painting classes and excelled and enrolled at Georgia State in 2011. I got my BFA in Painting and Drawing and a minor in African American Studies in 2015 and I’ve been trying to build a steady studio practice and career ever since. Read more>>

Clinch

Clinch born Bobby Shai’Kese Thomas June 24, 1993 is an Atlanta based rapper Born in Topeka, Kansas, raised in East ATL. This Original and refreshing artist started recording at just eight years old. Through hard work and consistency Clinch was able to sell hundreds of copies of his mixtapes while just in middle school. Clinch landed his first show by opening up for J Holiday & Zapp+Roger (Computer Love) in (2006). Read more>>

NaTasha Cameron

After opening businesses in the field that I had worked in for almost 10 years, in 2018, I started researching beauty supply stores and quickly learned that there were very few African American owned – only 3 percent, I saw this as a challenge and immediately started doing my homework to open AD Beauty & Hair, LLC to bridge the gap. Read more>>

Danielle Rountree

God granted me the vision to see my purpose. October 3, 2017, my purpose was fulfilled, Glamorous Gemz was founded. I’d become Danielle Rountree, the motivational speaker with my very own Non-Profit Organization. There weren’t any similar organizations when I was younger. I decided I would be the role model I once longed for. Female empowerment should be at an all-time high because self-esteem is at an all-time low. Read more>>

Black Shawd

I started doing music as early as four or five. I remember, I would just listen and try to memorize every song that I heard, that came on the radio. I remember my moms would always buy cd’s and playing these jams all the time. She was a big Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston fan, but who isn’t. Being that I grew up in the church real young, I was always singing. Read more>>

Brandon Whitehead

When I started music, it was actually an accident. At the time, I was doing video for small independent artists, I was still in school and had just taken my last final for the spring semester in 2017. That same night had to record an in-studio video for someone and the vibes were awesome! After the artist’s session ended, the engineer offered some free studio time just to see what I could do. Read more>>

Armetria Coasey

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to act. I debuted in my first Stage Play titled ‘The Amen Corner’ in 2011. The thrill and excitement from that experience really fired my fuel and I went to audition for a talent agency. Being that I had no formal training, nor had I ever been in front of a camera, the feedback I received caused me to lose confidence in my abilities and ultimately discouraged me from pursuing my dream any further. Read more>>

Willie Slaton IV

Ten kids originally made the team and we set off on a journey to impact the youth in our community well beyond the field. Fast forward to 2019 after year around dedication to service, sport, and scholarship, we have over 80 kids in our program who are excelling in and off the field all across the country! Read more>>

I’love Yancy

I tapped into my aesthetic beauty when I was in the 6th grade. I always had a passion for art & creativity. I would always do my peer’s myspace pages, and edit their pictures for them! Everyone came to me to do their backgrounds, add music to their home pages, and add different crowns and stars to their pictures! My interest from creating visual content developed into graphic design. Read more>>

Ray Harrison

I like being in places that people aren’t used to seeing us. During my time in undergrad, I met Tobias Harris and Glenn Saddler, my partners in crime as we are the three members of Atlanta Hip Hop collective Far Out Family. I studied Economics at Georgia State University and became a licensed stockbroker shortly after graduation. My son is eight years old. He’s deeper than you. Read more>>

Luna Yarbrough

With this new found inspiration, I’ve also developed the burning desire to spread my creativity beyond servicing clients behind the chair. Which is why I’ve created my Online Shop & Blog, LaLunaColors.com. LaLunaColors is filled with things that make me happy; professionally painted Rainbow Wigs, Hair Extensions, and handcrafted Crystal Crowns. This shop is an extenuation of my career, my journey, and my life. Read more>>

Nicole Clockel

One day the Alliance called me for wardrobe crew help on The Prom, and I couldn’t say no anymore. They even explicitly said, “We can’t guarantee how long we’ll have work for you,” and I quit my job and dove straight into the freelance pool for a solid year. I’m now in my second season as their full-time Design Assistant and still designing costumes for theatres across Atlanta. Read more>>

Kiersten N. Brydie

I started writing poetry in 7th grade. I remember my parents gifting me a little black composition notebook and I stored everything in there. I’ve always had an obsession with words, stories, books, and poems – but I never found myself represented in them. Read more>>

Ryan Stokes

My photography journey when I found out my school had a resource called the ‘Digital Aquarium’ which housed all types of multimedia equipment available for students to rent “free of charge”, so I started renting cameras and lenses to practice with so much to the point where they knew me personally. Read more>>

Jenna Barrow

I was always interested in the digital arts but not even the technology was readily available for me to access, upon my research for ways to get the things I need I came across SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design and I insta-stalked as well as subscribed to as many of their social media as possible because to me it seemed like an impossible dream that my mother already made clear was out of our financial reach. Read more>>

Jalen Harris

I knew the entertainment industry was where I wanted to build my livelihood, but also where I knew I had purpose. From receiving certified artist training, agency/management contracts, and lots of performing experiences, I was able to cultivate my talent and craft. By age 21, I had participated in various television shows and programs, a Warner Brothers Feature Film, and a starring role in Disney’s The Lion King Broadway North American Tour. Read more>>

Will Johnson

Learning how to sew really opened my mind to a different level of style. In 2017, I later designed hoodies and other shirts. Then most importantly I got a business license and start learning the business aspect to this. 2018 I did a fashion show at my school (Kennesaw State University). That really gave me confidence to really give this my all. Now I am preparing to come out with more shirts and hoodies. Read more>>

Rochelle Johnson

As a female in media, this journey has not been easy but so very worth the Lessons. It was a relatively new lane for me so I had no connections just an idea and a determination to make this work. I worked every aspect of my business, sleeping very little and still a full-time mom to three sons. Read more>>

Jasmine Lewis

I fell in love with the art all over again and quickly changed my major, once again, to Communications Broadcast. I Graduated with a bachelors of Arts Degree in December 2015 and landed my first job in the industry six months later at DeKalb County Television Station, where I was encouraged to showcase my talents and creativity. Read more>>

Yvonne Rosegarden

I am an indigenous love healer. My first teachers were my grandmothers: Martha, a Black Native of Saponi, Chickasaw and African heritages; and Viola, a Choctaw Louisiana Creole, who taught me loving hands touch medicine and plant remedies.

Shana Arnold

From starting More or Less Vintage in the Spring of 2018 to now, I can say that I’m very proud of how far I’ve come and the help I’ve gotten along the way from family, etc. Staying consistent, collecting authentic pieces, and keeping that passion, has allowed me to make somewhat of a name for More or Less Vintage. It’s not really about numbers for me, it’s about quality and staying true to what More or Less Vintage stands for. Read more>>

Brittany Kennedy

It all started with my mother and I doing a fun and simple craft with my little cousin. In our household, we are somewhat of what you call health freaks. So I started to wonder what it would be like to create natural products that can benefit the outside of the body. It has been almost three years now since I started creating natural body care products. Read more>>

Mallory Denae

I had spent the past ten years trying and documenting almost everything under the sun for how to heal from trauma, and I wanted to create a shortcut or a map I wish I had had when I was younger to know what is helpful for mental health and what is not (i.e., don’t join a cult). It would have saved me a lot of trouble, gas money, and stopped me from blaming myself for everything in the first place. Read more>>

Shar Bates

Throughout this journey I am STILL a music head and produce quarterly events like Art of Radio, where we interview Industry Moguls that are nationwide “Record Breakers” that allow artists to get the “tea” from Music Execs on ways to navigate through this industry quicker, while spending less and avoiding the pitfalls of the industry. Read more>>

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