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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.

Ebonie Barton

I’m from Chandler, Az born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days, lol, but seriously, I’m from Chandler, Az, I was such an athlete growing up because I had all brothers to compete against. I didn’t really tap into my artist side until after college then moving to Atlanta. When I 1st moved to Atlanta, I got into a terrible car accident which left me handicap for a lil under a year during that time.  Read more>>

Delante Murphy

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a strong affinity for music. I was born and raised in the DMV area and attended Suitland High School for the Performing Arts majoring in voice. During my time there, I studied all forms of music from Opera to R&B. After graduation, I attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Read more>>

Bobi’

Bobί is an American singer, songwriter, and dancer born & raised in Atlanta, Ga. She sang her first words, to “I Got 5 On It” by LUNIZ, at 2 years old. Always expressing interest for music growing up, Bobί pursued both singing & dancing by receiving classical training in dance, performing with The Atlanta Jazz theatre for four years, and vocal training at Jan Smith Studios with Ebony Childs. Read more>>

Kevin Davidson

My love for the arts and creating was evident since I was a child. I’ll even go so far as giving credit to my mother for praying over my hands when I was born. Her prayer was that I would use my hands to be creative and in turn, that I would impact the world. She told me that story when I was probably about 16 years old and it never left me. Read more>>

Danae Edmonds

As long as I can remember, I was always interested in having my own magazine. I was fascinated with layouts and design and wanted to create original content. I started my first blog in 2008 and I loved it and the power it gave me to write about things that mattered to me. I never really saw it as a way to make money, though. Read more>>

Kescheler Nix Powell

My career started shortly after graduating from Georgia Southern University. Although I had a degree in Sociology, I found myself pivoting towards marketing and social media. I took two internships to get my foot in the door in the industry, however, my real opportunity came with the florist for whom I was working full time (in addition to interning), needed someone to spearhead communication with their web developer. Read more>>

8LU

Making music is therapy for me, there is no better feeling than getting lost in the music you are creating. At the age of two, I started playing the drums, by age four, I picked up the piano and have been in love ever since. I grew up around the studio life, my pops is a Grammy Nominated, Multi-Platinum producer @aerickmccaine. Read more>>

Sidney Giormani

I started off with a passion for drawing. As a child, I would take great inspiration from seeing my older cousin make beautifully rendered drawings of some of my favorite basketball superstars i.e. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose. With my drawing skill developing at an early age, I found myself at Savannah College of Art and Design for illustration. Read more>>

Trae Morris

I’ve been musically interested and inclined for as long as I can remember. I started singing as a child in the church choir. However, in 2014, is when things became a bit more serious. While I was living in Charleston, SC, I began working with Hizion’s Management Entertainment, LLC for Artist Development under the guidance of Michelle Warren. Read more>>

India Hayes

I am the co-founder of Mini City Atlanta and an all-around tech innovator for social good. I started my journey as a problem solver early on, I have been volunteering domestically and internationally for over a decade. Most of my efforts in volunteerism, whether it’s from the role of an artist, designer, advocate or tech innovator. Read more>>

Kaleb Jordan

My interest in music started when I was 16 in Savannah Georgia and went to best buy and bought some CDs. After I bought these CDs, I went home and started listening to them and I felt inspired. It inspired me to pick up a guitar I had laying in the corner and learn how to play what they were playing. Immediately, I realized that I had a natural talent at doing this and continued to grow as a musician. Read more>>

Allyson Reaves

Last summer, some fellow Clemson black alumni ventured to make the most of football season by co-hosting game watch parties with the black alumni associations of the other schools. We connected with the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization and the Florida State University Black Alumni to see how we could get-together, and it’s been a strong collective of black alumni from 10+ schools ever since. Read more>>

Elise Roberts

I always knew I wanted to work in TV news. After watching Monica Kaufman (Pearson) on WSB every night with my parents, I knew TV was the arena for me. I’m an Atlanta native and didn’t want to move too far from home, so I only applied for jobs within a two to four-hour driving distance. After months of applying, I got my start in Macon, GA at WMAZ. Read more>>

Patrice a.k.a. “Sway” McKinney

My story starts in Michigan back in 2008. I packed up my entire family of 7 and moved to Atlanta, GA for better opportunities. I saved up for about one year and I planned, coordinated and funded the entire move. My family consists of my identical twin sister, my mother, my brother, my younger twin sisters (yes, 2 sets) and my nephew. Read more>>

Curtis Bryant

After a challenging and transformative 2017, God encouraged me to move Atlanta. I moved here on October 13th, 2017, with no job or living arrangement. The past year and a half has been extremely humbling, surprising, spiritually awakening, and fulfilling. Read more>>

Isac Manns

My family has always been super supportive of me  and my dreams. They allowed me to be creative and work on my passion daily. After graduating from Winston-Salem State University with a bachelors in Communications, the real world hit me hard. I knew I wanted to get out of North Carolina to work in media, and I came to Atlanta. It was frustrating finding a career in the field. Read more>>

Lindsey Luna

My story with art began in a drawing and painting class I took as a sophomore in high school. It was during that class that I began to discover what it is to truly see something. Granted, this seeing isn’t something you can learn all at once; it is a process of discovery that will continue throughout my lifetime. Read more>>

Vernette Hudson-McKnight

When I began to have quiet time with my ‘self,’ I quickly learned that I failed to surrender to the process of healing. I was still living in hurt from my past; I was still living in hurt from a toxic and abusive marriage that almost killed me; I was still existing and not living. I failed to surrender to myself’. Read more>>

StingLikeABee

My journey all started when I was a little boy living with my great grandmother and great grandfather. They raised me by themselves in New Orleans. I always knew I would become something because I had too much ambition. My dad spent 16 years of his life in prison, and my mom had me while she was 15 so she couldn’t take care of me at the time. Read more>>

Shaddon Balknight

I am a rap artist. I record with my same engineer for the last couple years, Bossman, he’s Marietta based and extremely talented and doesn’t charge much I’d recommend him to anybody that wants quality music. I’ve always had a love for music or really just sounds since I been young. It interests me how just a sound can change the emotions you feel or make you think of certain situations in your life. Read more>>

Thomas Roberts

I’ve worked in this industry for the past 25 years. My career has spanned jobs in local, cable, syndicated, and network news. I am 46 years old and married to my Husband, Patrick Abner, We will celebrate 19 years together this fall, and it will be our seventh wedding anniversary in September. We have two dogs, Roxy and Charlie. Read more>>

Danasha Simmons

I want everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin. When you look good, you feel good, and for an affordable price, you damn sure are going to be feeling yourself and your pockets. Plus I know how it is to have low confidence and not feel good enough. So I created my own platform know as LoreneSzn to provide a service for anyone and everyone to not only shop and add a little dab and glam into their life but feel empowered while doing so. Read more>>

Joshua “ESP” Cottle

Music has always been a part of his life. Growing up, he would study the late Michael Jackson; emulating all his moves and musical talent. During his parent’s wedding, they encouraged him to perform ‘Billie Jean.’ It was this moment he fell in love with performing. From stage plays to singing groups, he has exercised his artistry as a singer, writer, actor, and visionary. Read more>>

Crystal Mulgrave

The crazy thing is I never wanted to be a model like I said my main dream was to dance. But I never realized how talented I was at modeling and acting it was something that came easy for me, so I just went with it full time. Here in Atlanta, nowadays, modeling is one of those things you really have to stick out in order to be taken seriously. It is super cutthroat and takes a lot more work than just posting a pretty picture on Instagram or any other social site. Read more>>

Jauntel Taffe

She studied at Georgia Southern University and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Fashion Merchandise. Upon graduating, Jauntel created a lifestyle site, Sweetyville. It serves as a platform that showcases successful women who are actively pursuing success and encourages woman to woman networking. Read more>>

Deanna Choo

God doesn’t give you more than you can chew. I asked for God to Bless me, and I can’t complain. Life may not have happened how I expected, but it’s life, right. Being a mom, working a full-time job, going to school to get my MBA while running a business can be a BIG circus. I try to stay organize and balance things. I put aside time for my family. My daughter, “Dakota” loves to eat, and she loves the outdoors. Read more>>

Michael Bostick

Everything about NY was super eye-opening to me. I realized there were creative elements I wasn’t even tapping into yet. I met a lot of dope people and learned a lot about myself and how my mind works. After leaving NY in 2017, I enrolled at SAE ATL, made the deans list, and I’m graduating this August. I’m a lover first, creator second, and a producer third. Read more>>

Railslide

There has always been art that reflects on the realities of life, both the good and the bad. There’s also always been art that serves as more of an escape from the realities of life. There’s room for both. We’re inspired by the good and the bad in the world. The bad inspire critique and the good inspires celebration. Read more>>

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