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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.

Caitlin Smith

I started my business right when covid-19 hit hard, and all schools were shut down. I reached out to one of my business friends and literally told him “help me start a business”. He gave me some tips; I started my business Instagram the same day. I started as “caisbeautybox” and I launched may 31, 2020. Business was going slow, I had no motivation due to covid-19 and trying to find my worth in myself, so I stopped, and took a break to get myself together. After, I started back up, rebranded, and started being called “shopcaiscollection”, when I launched my rebrand, that’s when everyone started hearing my name and when orders started going through the roof, I was happy and I never wanted to stop. Until, my mental health got horrible and I started becoming sad and suicidal, I didn’t know who I was, I was hiding that I was sad for a long time & realized if I don’t stop myself now, I may be overwhelmed & commit suicide, so I stopped again I ghosted everyone for two to three weeks to give me time to actually heal. Read more>>

Kennedy S

For starters, I’ve always been a lover of fashion! I’m originally from Detroit and we’re known for having over the top fashion and hair. This is why I’ve always been big on glam and the whole works. Since, I was a child I’ve always had my own style and have never been scared to push the border. I’m the kind of girl that will go grocery shopping in a fur coat lol! Living in Detroit, boutiques were some of our main stores. So, being younger I remember being in the mall and wanting to own my own boutique. I purchased a receipt book and I would write out fake receipts as if I actually had customers! In high school, I joined a fashion club at my school, in which we learned how to design and construct clothes. At the end of each school year, we would have a fashion show that showcased our designs. That experience gave me my first feel of what it would be like in the fashion industry. Fast forward, I ended moving to Atlanta for college. Read more>>

Sean Zearfoss

Small Reactions formed as an earlier band loosely affiliated with the jam band genre. I’d mention the name, but there might be some audio or video evidence that is best left to the dusty annals of history. You would probably prefer hearing us as doing what we now instead of a Phish knock off. We still jam on occasion, but we try to sound more like Can or a looser Stereolab. (We still love the Grateful Dead, but we just don’t sound like them anymore!) Until we signed with SofaBurn, we were almost entirely DIY. We have a small team of folks that we’ve hired, but mostly everything rests on our own shoulders. We pressed our records, booked our own tours, designed our own merchandise, and do our own graphic design. This amounts to a lot of work, but it pays off when we see the finished product. Well, actually, I wouldn’t say it “pays” yet, but maybe one day?. Read more>>

404 Travo

Errysince a yungin i alwayz hadda passion fo music but ain neva think to serious of it cuz i was more into sportz then but In 2019 i started makin songz on my phone wit dis app called soundtrap fo fun till one day i made dis sng call “Thru Da 6” on dere,I dropped it on soundcloud nd it caught a buzz den i shot a video to it on YouTube nd it been up errysince but ain start takin it serious till like late 2020 wit dis song call “Survive Da Storm”on YouTube. Read more>>

East Atlanta Montana

East Atlanta Montana is a recording artist from Atlanta, Georgia from an area in Atlanta known as Zone 6. Growing up in this area was tough but Montana’s mom made the best of it while raising four kids alone. She even moved them to better areas to keep them out of trouble but Montana still found trouble as a juvenile. He was in and out of detention centers and on house arrest where he used his mom’s laptop to record music and ended up in more trouble so he had to go to a military program for six months where he received his GED. After he came back he formed a group called Gwalla Boyz. The group created a buzz throughout Atlanta and was offered management and label situations but couldn’t come to an agreement because it was so many members and they split but CEO Mario who is the brother and manager of East Atlanta Montana kept the name and made a promotion team with Montana and they threw parties in Atlanta and the name became even bigger. Read more>>

Chris and Jay

We met on the campus of Alabama State University in Montgomery Alabama and began dating in 2015. Building together was always our goal, so February of 2020 we aggressively brainstormed about business ventures and ideas. May of 2020 we launched our couples YouTube Channel and shortly after CJ Brand Apparel was birthed. Read more>>

Jason Kochis

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest creations were stick figures of Star Wars characters. My kindergarten teacher was so impressed with a drawing I did that she told my parents about it at a parent teacher conference. I drew my favorite cartoon characters for fun until about middle school. In middle, I became frustrated with band class. The band director was absentee and there were 30 other clarinet players, so at the start of a new semester I was looking for another class to replace band. My mom suggested trying art since I liked drawing so much. That suggestion changed the course of my life. By the time I got into high school I knew I wanted to go to college for art. I originally wanted to draw comic books professionally, but after I started attending Ringling College of Art I fell in love with painting. I graduated with a BFA in Illustration and I moved to Atlanta where I got a full time job as a graphic designer. I eventually got into designing t-shirts and creating gig posters for band events, and still do that to this day. Read more>>

Natalia Tyniec

I typically go by Natalka – but call me whatever you like. I was born in Warsaw, Poland but have lived in Georgia since I was six years old, making me an ATLien at heart. I’ve had a passion for art ever since I was a child and have pursued a creative life ever since. I graduated college from Kennesaw State University in 2014 with a degree in printmaking. If you would have asked me what my concentration would be when I first started college the LAST thing I would have guessed would have been printmaking… But I ended up absolutely falling in love with it because of its versatility, how hands on it is, and how it gives me the ability to reproduce my work. I continue to make prints and have even ventured into printing apparel as well. All of my prints are hand carved, hand printed, one of a kind… and I hope folks can feel the love that I put into making them. You can find my prints and other 2D works on my Instagram (@NMTartistry) or on my Etsy page (www.Etsy.com/shop/NMTartistry) In 2016, I started face and body painting which led me to start my body art business (@NatalkasPrismaticPalette). Read more>>

Taylor Merriweather

Cooking is always been my passion have always enjoyed cooking. I love to cook with my mom and grandmother when I was younger. I always knew cooking was going to be my career at first didn’t know that that would turn out to be my dream. I went to culinary school at the le cordon bleu in 2014 graduated summa cum laude. Shortly, after I graduated from the corn on blue I am Rolla Johnson and Wales university, bachelor’s degree in sports event in entertainment management I work for the Falcons I ran the front of the house of the premium restaurants and clubs shortly after that I was promoted to run the owners club. And that’s when I realize that echo am on restaurant I learned a lot working for Leavy restaurants shortly after that I relocated to Texas and work for the San Antonio Spurs pretty much doing the same thing one day I had an Epiphany and decided that I’m going to work for myself I’m not going to wait for anybody else. Read more>>

Lakita Jones

I been braiding since a little girl and honestly I never saw braiding as a career. Braiding just gave me the freedom to express my creative side. I tried for years to live by society expectations of me until I entered into a season of my life where I was fed up with college, my job and just my life. I wasn’t happy and my time was not mine. Then ONE DAY I clocked out my job not knowing I wouldn’t return. That was the beginning of my faith walk and the start of RELEVANT HAIR. Read more>>

Andre Sullivan

After losing my aunt and uncle in 2015, I had my first book published. In April of 2016, I went on a book tour. In June 2016, I had my first book signing at Barnes & Noble. Since then, I’ve released two other books in the same series. 1 Amazon Best Seller. I’ve done television and theatre. Co-founder of a non-profit Young Brothers Academy where we mentor young men in the community. Recently given a TedTalk. In the last year, I began painting portraits and murals and have found great success and financial and mental freedom. Read more>>

Jaime Quinones

Jackwagon is an Atlanta-based band founded in 2010 by Eddie C. (bass/vocals) and some friends. After some personnel changes through the years, it has always remained a blues-based Rock-n-Roll band at heart. Current guitarist Justin has been with the band since 2014. Justin and current drummer Jaime Q. (Hi-Me, PLEASE don’t call me Jay-Me!) used to be in a Rage Against The Machine tribute band together for two years, and when that disbanded, Justin joined Jackwagon soon after that. After attending a Jackwagon live show with Justin on guitar, Eddie on bass (both Eddie and Justin share the main vocal duties), and Danny on drums (key contributor in many Jackwagon older originals) Jaime fell in love with the music and instantly became a big fan. Read more>>

Courtney Stewart

LipRevolt was born out of the desire to make a difference in the world and to share my story to help someone heal. As a sexual assault survivor, a former foster child, and a Black woman in America, I noticed the need for people to find things to help them cope with trauma. For me, that was lipstick. Lipstick has a way of making people feel powerful, capable, and ready to take on the challenges of life. Hence, LipRevolt! LipRevolt is a cosmetic brand that promotes social activism. I created LipRevolt to empower people to use their voices and speak up for themselves and for others but also as a means to give back to the community. Read more>>

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