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Midtown’s Rising Stars

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 Midtowns’s rising stars below.

Alexandra Ann

While I’m tempted to dive into the details of my childhood, I can summarize myself as a precocious and driven student. From a young age, I wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Ask my mother, who had to buy me something from every store we went to together. This led all the way through my high school career, where I petitioned the school board to take online classes during my junior year so I could graduate a year early, as I believed my high school had offered everything it could to my education. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a Doctor or a Lawyer, but I did want to be “successful,” whatever I thought that meant. I was driven by the American Dream to have a nice house, fancy clothes, travel the world and a husband that would be trustworthy. Read more>>

Sulonda Smith

“Men are trash!” This is what I used to think as a teenager and into my mid-twenties because I was confused, disconnected, and didn’t value men. I wanted a happy, loving relationship. But what I got was frustration, hurt/pain, loneliness, and not being accepted. I wanted all this to stop. By the time I was in my late twenties, I was tired and worn out. “There has to be more to this. There is something I don’t know!” I thought this often. In my early thirties, I took responsibility for my behaviors to make changes. My aha moment was realizing the pain and struggle of relationships does not have to be my story. I could recreate it. Read more>>

Steve Raze

It all started as a leap of faith in moving NYC from Delaware and I ended being instrumental in building the hottest Hip-Hop blog of its time, I built every connection I could and just figured out what I was best at and applied it to the talent and resources available to me. At I was President (for a brief time), Director of Technology, Breeding Ground Editor, Executive VP Of Digital Content and Executive Producer of the site in some level or combination. I juggled those positions and helped architect offline events like AllHipHop Week and produced stages at SXSW, A3C, CMJ, Revolt Conference and many other concerts and events. Read more>>

Tiara Robinson

Since my high school days, I’ve always had an interest in bartending. I used to watch a lot of music videos and they made bartending seem so glamorous and so much fun. My first job was working in the restaurant industry, and as a result, that added an even greater interest in working and connecting with people. My desire to learn more about the bartending industry prompted me to attend bartending school in 2017, where I learned so much about crafting cocktails, observing people’s behavior changes, obtaining liquor permits and licenses and so much more. I received my mixology certification and started working at a variety of bars including, at a bowling alley, restaurants and concert venues. Read more>>

Mike Kelly Jr.

I’ve always enjoyed leading projects and working with others. During my time in undergrad, I initially thought I’d want to work in Finance. After several Accounting classes, I realized that although I had family members and friends who excelled in that area, that field was not for me. After a bit of soul searching, I earned a degree in communications with minors in Marketing and Philosophy. I didn’t know what my career path would look like but I was prepared for the journey. Read more>>

Chasitie Bradford

My journey as an artist started from a simple hustle to falling into the right atmosphere to seeing a future in design and then bringing that into reality. I have raised as an artist in Little Five Points if that wasn’t obvious lol. I go by Jimnii (pronounced – Gemini). I am from Newport News, Virginia, shoutout “BAd NeWs.” I moved to Georgia for school, where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Spent one year there as I was a transfer student from The Art Institute of Philadelphia (which no longer exists, lol). I am glad I decided to transfer schools. But during these times, I was always involved in the creative arts during the school year and of the school year. I became a photographer, a graphic designer, and a video editor immediately. I fell into this path with the help of some amazing friends. Read more>>

Reshard Snellings

Growing up, our parents tell us go to school, graduate and get a good-paying job. What they do not always tell us is that it is not going to be that easy, there will be bumps in the road along the way, and more than likely, you will change your mind and want to give up and quit many times over. In 2006, I was working for Bank of America and suffered a lower back injury and was transported from the job to the hospital via ambulance. While in the hospital, I thought about going back to school and finishing my degree. When I returned back to work, I was reprimanded and written up for missing a week of work without approval. I attempted to reason with my manager but she said it was not planned and it is company policy. That day, I applied for admission to Georgia State University and eventually resigned from the bank. Read more>>

Jasmine Settles

For years I’ve done creative works throughout Memphis. I started off as a writer performing spoken word around the age of 14. After graduating from undergrad, I started acting and trying to learn the craft of theatre. While acting, I also got into film and photography. Over the years, I found my own way to mesh those worlds together. In 2018 my homegirls and I put on a production that was the catalyst for creating our own production company. HomeGrown was formed by Akina Morrow, Bria Brown, and myself. Read more>>

D’varia Hurst

Throughout my life, I have always been told that I was a creative being. Whether it was painting, drawing, or sculpting, if it involved me using my hands, I was all in. In high school, my Spanish teacher gave us the assignment to research Spanish painters. Ironically I was given Picasso and I have not stopped painting since then. At first, it was just a new past time, but at time progressed, I grew to love painting even more. Read more>>

Morgan Howard

In 2015 I handled the billing of clients I was assigned to. One day I got annoyed at what I was being paid vs. what we were charging the clients. I get that its business, but I just kept thinking I can literally do the same thing and make more than I make at this job. That day I registered my business and started finding ways to get clients. I knew I wanted to quit my job one day, but I wasn’t ready so I made it a side hustle. Soon after that, I got a new job making more money and I was happy, but for the first time in my life, I was let go. I was hurt and angry, but I still wasn’t ready to do this on my own because I was scared. I found another job and I loved it there. I learned a lot, the people were great, but then Covid hit and I was laid off. I tried to find another job and couldn’t. Read more>>

Langston Jones

EYEdentiteesT was started back in my college days as a ‘classic’ collection sought to influence people of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and creeds. While NIKE, Addias, or Jordan are out there to promote themselves and their brand, EYEdentiteesT was created by its originator, Langston Jones, in appealing to all audiences with the hope of bridging the gaps between generations and distinctive arrays of people. Birthed in 2009, EYEdentiteesT is a ‘classic collection’ sought to positively influence people of different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and creeds. Furthermore, the vision is having an All- American line who’s audience allows for freedom and pursuit of conscious thinking. Read more>>

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