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Midtown’s Hidden Gems

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 of Midtown’s gems below.

Aly Merritt

My current role in tech and startups was not where I started — I think this is like my fourth or fifth career now? But I’m definitely where I’m supposed to be, at least for this time and this place in my life. I started in journalism and graphic design, back when print newspapers were still a thing. I interned and worked at major metro papers all over the U.S. as a night-shift page designer and copy editor. Read more>>

Jennifer Davis

I started working in the payroll department in 2007, working for the City Of Savannah, and realized how much I enjoyed working with numbers. That’s also the same year I had my first child. I knew I wanted to start my own business while helping others eventually. I did some research about the most successful types of businesses, and tax preparation was at the top of the list. Read more>>

Aaron Jones and Dajaneira Wilson

As you may already know, we are Mom (Daja) and Dad (AJ)! If you are new, welcome to our channel, and we will soon become your favorite couple! We are small YouTubers who currently live in the Metro Atlanta area. We started our channel simply seeking to add some fun to our relationship and fell in love with the process of creating. Read more>>

Antoine Woods Jr.

I am a 3x founder, programmer, brand strategist, and venture capitalist. I had the great fortune of joining a startup while in college, and that experience led me to a life of entrepreneurship. I began building apps & websites in the late-2000s and eventually pivoted to helping other founders launch companies as a brand strategist. Several years ago, I experienced personal loss, and through that experience. Read more>>

Ashleah Nelson

My advocacy of and commitment to body autonomy started in the 4th grade. One of my classmates was freaking out about having her period because she didn’t know what was happening to her body. My mother had recently given me a book titled “The Care & Keeping of You,” which had a chapter about menstrual cycles. I thought, “this would be perfect for my friend” and brought it to school the following day. Read more>>

Tiffany Cosey

I was born in Washington, D.C. and raised under humble circumstances, so I decided early on that I wanted to live in a world different from my environment. I was accepted into the Visual Arts program at Suitland High School Center for the Arts. As a student, I studied photography, printmaking, and painting. I was very much an introvert, so I joined the school’s senior fashion show as a way to break out of my shell. Read more>>

Martin Russell

I’m the M in M&A Aerial. I’m originally from Boston, having lived in New York and Connecticut. But Georgia is my home. As a kid, I was fascinated with how machines worked. This translated into me saving birthday funds to buy radio-controlled car and truck kits. I would build them, crash them and then they would sit because I didn’t have disposable income for repairs, and parental sponsorship was furloughed. Read more>>

Erica Portalatin

As a kid, I would go to the thrift store with my mom after school every day. At the time, I used to be so embarrassed because of people associated shopping at thrift stores with being poor. I starting embracing it once I noticed I was always getting compliments on my outfits. Growing up, I always had a passion for Hip-Hop & Fashion. After graduating from high school, I tried attending Johnson & Wales to study Fashion Merchandising. Read more>>

Tamika Tanner

I attended Redan High school and upon graduation, I was ranked number 3 in the state for video editing. I continued my education at two of the best HBCU “s, FAMU and Howard University graduating from Howard with a BA in Communications. While attending Howard, I worked for WUSA channel 9 news as a sports editor and interned at WPGC 95.5 with Big Tigger. Read more>>

Helen Chan

I am from Hong Kong and I came to Atlanta three years ago to complete my Bachelor’s degree in TV production. After graduation, I worked as a Production Designer in the film industry in Atlanta for a year. Now, I am back at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for my Master’s in Film Directing. Since I was a child, I have been exposed to different forms of art like painting, sculpture, music, dance and film. Read more>>

LaKisha Greenwade

After living in Baltimore, MD for nearly ten years, I sought to create a solution for myself after experiencing multiple surgeries. It would be a new form of technology that was also fashionable, aiding in my comfort. My timing was perfect in hind sight because the Baltimore uprising occurred, and I was committed to finding a way to rebrand the city and black children. Read more>>

Curt Bonnem

I originally hail from the Windy City, where I began my journey as a performer in the 5th grade as a chorus member in a children’s theater production of Cinderella. During the opening night curtain call, I thought to myself, “This is what I am gonna do!” and have been performing in one medium or another nearly non-stop ever since. Music was also a major part of my life from the time I was very young. Read more>>

Nicole Nash

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan but my parents moved my sister, brother and me outside of the city where I went to high school. I watched my father work and go to law school to become a lawyer. I looked up to him, and I wanted to be him. I saw how much he did for others. I also watched my mother closely, especially when she spoke about saving lives as a doctor. Read more>>

Rena’ and Jana Austin

Our story began in Mississippi, where we are originally from. As early as being teenagers and young adults, we have always been outgoing and set high standards and goals for ourselves, which started our long but rewarding journey to the women we are today. Being twin sisters, we naturally stood out in the crowd and taking proud in our fashion. Read more>>

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