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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.

Jordan Roman

Never in a million years did I ever think this would be something that I would sign up for. Nonetheless, this job changed my whole outlook on life. While working with the kids I served and still serve today, I gained a new level of humbleness that one can only gain from actually being in the mix. These kids touched me in ways I never could imagine and open my eyes to problems I never knew existed. Read more>>

Elyse Davis

It all started with my afro. When I cut off my permed ends back in 2011 to set my curls free. I fell in love with my hair in its natural state. I thought to myself, “This would be perfect with a winged liner and a red lip!” That excitement spurred a love for makeup, which I dove into mastering for myself, and eventually others. Read more>>

Travis Jones

My journey started as a little boy growing up watching my parents and grandparents cook some of the most delicious southern food around. I’d sit in the kitchen and watch, as they used different types of herbs and spices to make everything taste wonderful. As I grew older, I started cooking as well. However, I could never make the food taste as good as my elders could. I’d asked for a recipe, but like most southern families there were none, only an inherent ability to season a meal until it ‘felt right.” Read more>>

Nico Joy

I’ve always had an appreciation for beauty and aesthetically pleasing things. But it wasn’t until later that I found out it was my passion. Actually, I originally went to school for graphic design and got my bachelors degree in the arts at Georgia State University. I had internships and worked in the corporate setting for a little while during undergrad and post-grad. Read more>>

Brooke Ford

I grew up in both Maryland and Virginia, so I proudly represent the DMV! As a senior in high school I worked at Up Against the Wall, an urban clothing store in our hometown mall. That part of my life still has such an impact on me because that’s where I really fell in love with fashion and diverse brands. Read more>>

Taliah Miller

Doing hair was always a hobby for me. I would do my dolls hair as a little girl, which upgraded to me doing my own hair at 10 years old. I then started doing my cousin’s hair, which then led to others. By high school, I was doing my friend’s hair before, during, and after school. Read more>>

Tyrone Bowie

I don’t try to be like anyone else but myself. People want to work with me because I give them that vibe they’re looking for, or missing in music production and recording. You can be the best producer, engineer, or musician, but if the vibe is not right, nothing productive really is gonna come from it. It blocks the creativity and the flow of music. Read more>>

Alene Paulk

When I was in college and told my mom I was changing my major from pre-medicine to art and econ, she was like, “How are you going to make a living with that?!” It’s interesting to me that cake artistry has allowed me to scratch both my creative and business itches simultaneously, and that it’s the last thing I’d have thought of as my vocation and way to share my art. Read more>>

Isoke Luqman

Food insecurity is defined as the lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. GA is 6th in the country for food insecure households and 5th for food insecurity among children. 19% of all households in GA are food insecure. A food desert is an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. Read more>>

Bea Ward

I was 15 years old when I realized I wanted to be a photographer. I told my parents and my mom bought a camera (just because). She never used it so I took it upon myself to use it. Around 17, I took a class that a program offered and there I learned how to shoot manually. I practiced shooting anything throughout the years and lucky when I attended college. Read more>>

Alison Burnett

Zac co-founded FH back in 2012 after a cross country motorcycle trip landed him on an organic farm. I joined the team in 2014 through Friends of Refugees. My husband and I had decided to move back to Clarkston, and I was specifically looking to get back into farming. Read more>>

Dameshia Days

Through it all, my “hidden talent” stuck with me. I kept doing my family and friends hair as well as my own when I could. As the hair industry evolved, so did I, learning as much as I could to keep myself and my clients up to date. I told myself at 19, I would learn to make wigs and start a wig line and I did. Read more>>

KnoW Fitness

We decided to start our business, KnoW Fitness, with the everyday person in mind. Our approach is to inspire the community, especially African Americans to get up, get moving, and live healthier lifestyles. I was an ambassador for a nutrition company at the time and Wayne is a personal trainer in the Greater Atlanta area. Read more>>

King Jai

King Jai, coming up was a peripatetic. Moving from one place to another had its pros and cons. Being able to adjust to different people was a skill picked up in the process. Picking up an instrument in the 4th grade is where King Jai got his start as a musician. Playing nonstop until college at Kentucky state university in Frankfort KY was a blessing. Read more>>

Jaleesa Smith and Erika Hill

Erika Hill and Jaleesa Smith met in college and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. from Savannah State University and we have inseparable ever since. We both had a passion to help the community and provide global opportunities for our youth. We pondered for years the best way to make this dream a reality, knowing little about the nonprofit world. Read more>>

Dr. Janet Lamar

Queen Esther Network is different & unique in the following: We believe in Empowering and providing a Media Platform for Leaders to demonstrate their Skills & training via TV. The trainings & skills are used to transform people lives through the airways. Our approach is to make sure each viewer is left with instructions, deliverance, healing, directions, or next steps. Read more>

Eric Rollins

After leaving high school, I enlisted in the army. I serve ten years and I was also injured in Iraq. Once my disability became too much for me to continue to serve in the army, I was medically retired. Upon retirement, I went through a deep depression with the loss of the only career I knew. Read more>>

Tailor Payton

My Hungry Homegirl journey started, as I was working in Corporate America. I wasn’t necessarily happy at work and wanted to start a platform where I could be artistic and do what I love. I always had colleagues tell me how inspired they were that I always found time to make a work-life balance. Read more>>

Kent Christian

My business is named Soulfully Beautiful by Kent Christian. I am the owner and Key makeup artist. We specialize in complete GLAMOUR!!! We are known for flawless skin like makeup application. We believe in showing people the best version of themselves through the art of makeup. Read more>>

Z’a Williams and Sharita Frazier

Z’a-I was born and raised in South Georgia, Valdosta to be exact. At a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Not because I knew one, or had someone in my family but because I knew the law was what determined the how we should act in society and I wanted to learn more about the how and the why, and I figured a lawyer would be the best way to go. Read more>>

Vincent LaMotte

This taught me that nobody is going to believe in your vision like you, you have to invest in yourself. With that mind state, I now have a system I have designed that I follow when approaching a project, it’s CREATE, PLAN, EXECUTE, MARKET, SHOWCASE. This has been my recipe for success the past four years and I model I hope others will follow. Read more>>

Myke Epps

Conyers Fit Body Boot Camp is a studio geared towards helping individuals create healthy lifestyles. We specialize in making the process of fat loss more efficient so that everyday people with everyday lives can achieve results without the need to spend hours working out. Read more>>

Wayne Hartley Jr.

I have always known that I wanted to work with animals at a young age. I had it all, snakes, birds, turtles, cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, fish, you name it. It was something about taking care of them and being around animals that gave me joy and peace. I didn’t know it then, but I was setting myself up for a future of caregiving. Read more>>

Brittney Scott

As all women do when pregnant for the first time, I read many books and articles about the “Do’s and Don’ts” of pregnancy. One rule stuck out, “…discontinue use of anything that contained salicylic acid because it was not safe during pregnancy.” But, of course, all of my facial products contained this (as most do because it helps clear acne). As a first time, soon-to-be mother, there was no way I was risking the health of my unborn child – so, out they went! Read more>>

Samuel Wright

I started off writing as a kid. I remember receiving a creative writing award in elementary school. Middle school was when I really experimented with writing, but it’s been in my blood. My father, Samuel Wright Sr, wrote for a few local newspapers in Atlanta as an adult and also wrote a book. It was around me, but I did it on my own in middle school. Read more>>

Thla Lira

Music was my first love. I found so much comfort and peace by listening to music. I started drawing about a year ago. Drawing has helped my makeup since I do draw on my face. I like a lot of things, but I definitely do makeup every day. I find a lot of inspiration in colors, characters, and where my mind goes. It’s exciting, and a fun way to express myself. It’s a kawaii lifestyle. So, it feels GREAT. Read more>>

Lorenzo Moore

I’d like to say I have an active hand in both the music and the acting sides of the entertainment industry. Musically I’m a writer, rapper, engineer, producer, and composer. I also am a theatre and film set trained actor and I hope to merge the dimensions of my musical craft with my acting. Read more>>

Victor Thomas

When I got to college, around my sophomore year, I got into making beats and writing lyrics. I was determined to expand beyond what I had learned in high school and incorporate that into what I was doing on the computer. I and my friend decided to start working on a project in which we completed after a good amount of late nights of practicing and finding a flow that fit our style. Read more>>

Matthew Steele

I started recording music with some of my friends that I went to high school with, and we even started a group. Since then, I always strive to achieve different sounds with my voice really. I used to record on my cell phone before I could even afford a microphone, there were no excuses. My drive is always on go when I want to learn something that could contribute to my art. Read more>>

Prince Finest

I wanted to take something negative and turn it into something positive… something we can feel good about and be proud of. We are all weird to someone so we might as well be ourselves & be proud. That’s what “Stay Weird” means… be yourself, no matter what anyone has to say or think. You’re beautiful, smart, strong & WEIRD!!! Read more>>

Tanicka and Chenia Sherman

Tanicka and Chenia Sherman two sisters and natives of Cincinnati, Ohio began their business in 2004 originally as a shoe company titled (Exotic Shoe Gallery/Ikandi Shoes), which later merged into an accessory company Luxor Bijoux. Although their business was a success, the two still felt compelled to bring forth a unique connection to the world. Read more>>

Curtis Dre

After having my curiosity triggered by one Instagram post, I was determined to figure out how to custom sneakers. That is when YouTube became my best friend. I started watching a tutorial on customizing sneakers. There weren’t any detailed videos on YouTube at the time, so the information was scattered and I had to put the pieces together. I started by painting the sneakers that I had in the closet. Read more>>

Paul Athol Lewis

After reaching out to several local galleries, it was clear that rejection would always be present somewhere in my life. This leads me to sell paintings on the street. Once I sold my first painting, I realized I never wanted another job. Eventually, I would find my way to Atlanta, GA to share my work with the people of a progressing town. Read more>>

Josh Johnson, Katherine Esparza, and Brooks Sullivan

We all met through the film industry and bonded over our love for indie rock music. Josh and Katherine met on the set of Stranger things. While Brooks and Josh met on the set of an independent film. Together, we jokingly decided to start a band. Over the past few months, we have formed a fully functioning indie alternative band. We are excited to share our summer sound. Read more>>

Young Vokal

“The Train don’t stop for nobody” “What’s coming is always better than what’s been,” two infamous quotes that the sensational R&B singer from Boston has followed throughout his everyday life. CttcRadio calls him “The Haitian Sensation” Young Vokal was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti until the age of 11 when he and his family moved to the United States. Read more>>

Kaylah Waite

My production company is called No Other Skills. I specialize in travel photography, video production, and creative portraits. My style is very vibrant and clean. Each image has a story behind it. I don’t shoot to keep up with trends. Although there’s still room for plenty of improvement, I’m proud to say that my company is a representation of exactly who I am and what I stand for. Read more>>

Nico Joy

Immediately begin marketing myself and put my graphic design skills back to use. I went all in. Although Flesh Bar is fairly new, it’s a forever growing business and I’m excited to see what the future brings, but I feel it in my spirit that this is my passion, purpose, and pleasure and it’s nothing but success from here. Read more>>

Nakiya Reid

I’m a fashion model who is very passionate about my work. I first started modeling when I was seven until the age of ten, then I took a break. Modeling gave me the confidence to be who I am today. I am 22 years old, and I am looking to get signed with an agency. Read more>>

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