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.
Michael Billingslea founded Charlie x Wood initially after destroying a new pair of designer sunglasses while mountain biking. He flipped off the bike on a trail and destroyed the 2-day old prescription shades. In an attempt to salvage the lens, he placed them in frames made from an Amazon box. Although the box didn’t work well, it spurred his interest in creating products with quality that matched the premium price point, ecologically friendly, and socially conscious. Our Founder, Michael Billingslea picked Charlie x Wood as a reminder that we all represent more than ourselves, and we have a duty to do it well. The name Charlie is an epicene name intended to be inclusive across genders. Read more>>
Sometimes it’s so difficult to say where I started because nothing about my trajectory has been linear. I was a “late-bloomer” to dance as a BFA Musical Theatre major at the University of Mississippi (2015). My first official dance class was Tap 1, and although I struggled a bit, I found so much joy in picking up new rhythms. Whenever my instructor decided to switch up class and bring in a new dance style, there was something so comforting about the contemporary movements. I decided to continue nurturing my love for dance by attending multiple American Collegiate Dance Festivals, workshops, and dance classes when and wherever I could. After graduating, I moved to Atlanta to continue my career in musicals. I’ve been blessed to have been able to do some amazing productions in the area. however, in 2019 I decided to make a pivot in my career and decided to focus my efforts on web development and analytics. Read more>>
I started this business in 2014. I have been working in the healthcare field over 20 years. I wanted to go out and help people that wanted to learn the fundamentals of CPR. In this day and age, CPR is needed every second every minute of the day. I, also mentor students and adults to guide and help them achieve their goals and make sure they are on the right path of life. I am also a business consultant. I, help individuals start up their business, reform, and improve their business by providing different business solutions. I also manage my potential client’s business(es) when it is low on resources, ideas to perform adequately in-house. I also communicate with the potential clients, when it is needed and understand their needs and wants for their business. Read more>>
After learning of my daughter’s terminal illness, a friend gave our family a portrait session. It was a beautiful gift in the moment, but after Skylar died at 21 months old, the photos provided a place to grieve. They gave me something tangible to hold long after Skylar was gone. They offered freedom in my feelings. That gift provided so much healing in grief that I began to pay it forward by offering to do portrait sessions for any family I met facing a terminal diagnosis at no cost to them. As I gave more and more sessions, I realized something greater was taking shape – a way to capture love not lost. Our 501c3 organization started serving people officially as Love Not Lost in 2016. Our vision is to scale to a national level – having companies come together to sponsor cities so that we can have photographers preserving memories of people facing a terminal diagnosis across the country. We are launching a grief and empathy training this year to help leaders in the workplace, which will provide a percentage of the funds necessary for expansion. Read more>>
I’ve always been into music. I started playing piano in the 8th grade and was introduced to music production in high school. From there, I treated it as a hobby at first, but began taking it seriously in 2016. I completed a music production program with The Recording Connection and began working out of my first studio in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. After that, I moved to Atlanta to be a part of the music scene here. In 2019, I quit my job to be a full-time music producer and I’ve been my own boss ever since! I wrote a book about it called “PTO: Prayed Time Off” to help inspire others to live in their true purpose as well. Read more>>
I grew up in some of the roughest neighborhoods in Jacksonville, Florida. I hid myself away when bullets were flying and went to bed early when the pantry and fridge were empty. That, in addition to experiencing abuse, I needed to find a place of peace, so writing became my outlet at 11 years old. I studied my craft at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Business at Florida State University. I was a published author at 25 years old and have since published seven works. I began writing screenplays in 2012, filmed my first documentary in 2017, and relocated to Atlanta, where I would join a community of like-minded, ambitious creatives. We formed Opal Ally Productions, where we have produced “unplugged” music videos and short films. Read more>>