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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.

Nic Blaize

I’ve been in the beauty and pageantry business for over 30 years. I was scouted in NYC when I was 10 years old and started modeling for companies like Dark and Lovely and Fashion Fair when I was a teenager. My pageantry journey began when I won several local pageants. At the age of 17 I competed for Miss Guyana and became the youngest contestant to win that title. From there I won several other beauty or talent based competitions.  Read more>>

Paul Owusu

Phreshly was born at the height of the pandemic. I tweeted Issa Rae after watching Insecure, the comedy-drama TV series she created and starred in. The tweet went viral and replies validated a universal problem. I realized that we’re in a new era with a rise in consumers that are looking for better-for-you options, but today’s ready-to-drink products are poorly positioned. This is where Phreshly shines as a brand. Read more>>

Rachel Craig

Reiki Healing with Rachel C. I’m Rachel and for me Reiki has helped me stay grounded after my mom’s death, helped me find compassion for my dad, and has helped me find my life’s passion/dharma. I offer individual Reiki sessions, in-person on Mondays & Tuesdays and remotely all the time, to help empower others on their own journey. It’s taken me 4 years to get where I am today and I’m not done growing yet. Read more>>

Henry Lewis

We each started out in different industries and formed a partnership. VZN is a full time finance professional and music artist. Niya and Thrax have backgrounds in the fashion industry; Niya decided to focus on fashion photography. Thrax is in merchandising and music management. Reese’s background is in sales, event planning, and strategy. We decided to leverage these backgrounds to create the platform you see today.  Read more>>

Helen Chan

I am originally from Hong Kong. I came to Atlanta in 2016 for my undergraduate degree at SCAD, and since then, I have spent most of my time here pursuing my filmmaking career. After graduation, I worked as a Production Designer in Atlanta and Hong Kong for two years. Now, I am back at SCAD for my Master’s in Film Directing. Since late 2021, I have been directing passion projects to build my portfolio as a Music Video and Commercial Director. Read more>>

Gavin Crusoe

I was inspired by my local mentor who was very involved at church production and had me working along side of him. That slowly turned to me taking photos of my friends along the years. I received my first camera, a Nikon D70 from my girlfriend and decided to take it seriously. I direct messaged artist and brands I loved and was inspired by. I got my break working with Dykingz as their personal photographer and slowly got to work with several big Atlanta artists from Skooly, Noodah, Big Papito. To upcoming brands called Matieré, Forever Hungry Atl, and many more. Read more>>

Dasha Jackson

My first job in highschool was as a stylist at a prom shop that rented out formal dresses to the local students in the area. While working there, I learned about body types, how to select dresses that compliment skin tones and more. This was the first time I heard the phrase, “This washes me out!” I quickly picked up on how to support my clients with their vision, listen closely to their needs, and make dress-shopping a fun experience that should be stress-free. Read more>>

Frank Bauknight

I have always been into art since I could walk. From drawing, to dancing and singing. I didn’t start my hobby for creating music until around 2011. And in 2016 I moved to California on a whim, running away from many things and my hometown Charlotte, NC. However, being there was the best decision I ever made, I found myself, and I begin to write my first project “The Start of Something Blue”. Ever since then I’ve been releasing a project every single year, learning more about myself, the industry, perfecting my craft, and outdoing myself everytime.  Read more>>

Kevin Mellon

I grew in Kansas City, loving music and comic books, and started making my own as soon as I realized that humans made them. The music came a little later, due to hesitance from my parents, After putting out a few albums in High School, and drawing hundreds of comics pages, I ended up going to the Kubert school in NJ, which is solely devoted to comic book illustration and instruction. Upon graduation I moved back to KC, played music, and worked in bars, liquor stores, pizza places while trying to get a comic book career started.  Read more>>

William Warren

As a twenty-something, I found myself in a corporate marketing job for a big Atlanta company. It was a dream job at a dream company with a dream team…except for one small detail. I’ve always had a passion for drawing, and this role had nothing to do with drawing. After a few years, I began to find small ways to weave creativity and drawing into my work. For example, if I had a presentation to give, I would illustrate my PowerPoint. Read more>>

Madison Maria

My journey started with doing makeup on myself, guess you can say I was “self taught”. In middle school I used to sneak and wear makeup then take it off before I got home hoping my mother wouldn’t notice. Later in high school I did my own makeup for prom and graduation, when the photos came back I realized my work was just as good as the artist I wanted to book with. Unfortunately didn’t get the chance because I waited too long to book my appointments.  Read more>>

Brasmyne Holmes

I remember always being in the kitchen with my mom, grandmothers, and aunts as a kid. I was so curious about food and cooking. There was just something so magical about the way that food brought the family together. Growing up as a teen, I stay glued to the tv watching cooking shows, and I even started cooking dinner for my family on my own. You couldn’t tell me nothing back then! As an adult, I began to reflect on what contributions I was going to make to my community. Read more>>

Assata Mayo

My passion for hair started as a child. My aunt taught me how to braid at the age of 15 years old. While attending college at Southern University, I began to do more Locs ‘Dreadlocks,’ than braids. I decided to turn my passion into my career. In 2014, I created my business Irie Minds in Louisiana. I was Thee Loctician in Jeanerette. I built a clientele and rented a booth in MacNificent Cuts. In 2015, I relocated my business to Atlanta. Read more>>

Erin Beacham

When I look back on my various jobs, I usually say my path has been a little eclectic in getting to where I am today as a founder of an equity, diversity and inclusion consulting firm. I also know there have been so many people and mentors in my life that have guided me and supported this journey. I consider my 12th grade English teacher as one of the catalysts for this path. We read only marginalized and authors of color during that semester. Read more>>

Willie pointer

First off I’m from the Bay Area California Vallejo to be exact !! started to do music at an early age because i saw kris kross and snoop dogg those 2 made me wanna be invloved in music from when i 1st seen them on tv and heard on radio ! So from there my music journey started that was fifth grade i had my first show at that time at the assembly rapping about math and history and from there it became all i cared about over the years i would sharpen my skills once i got to high school is when it really wantd it !!!  Read more>>

Kye Young

Growing up my mother was the true definition of a hustler. She as an A & R for a local record label and worked to build platforms for her artists, produced concerts, coordinated and designed events , and festivals. This sparked my initial interest as I was always by her side at a very young age ; observing her hard work and learning the freedom and art of creating and coordinating events. For as long as I can remember I’ve always had very detailed and themed birthday parties and events courtesy of my mother’s vision.  Read more>>

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