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Southern Atlanta’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 Southern Atlanta’s gems below.

Page Hall

I really started exploring photography in high school with friends. A few of us learned to use a camera together and then we continued on in art school together during college. I split my college between a few years at Savannah College of Art and Design and then graduated from Lamar Dodd School of Art at UGA. Post-graduation, I started learning wedding photography by working with several other photographers and continued to work on personal projects, usually with film, in my free time. I’ve loved getting to learn from my peers and connect with other photographers. Read more>>

Eric Neal

After graduating from Georgia Southern University with a Degree in Business Management, I immediately went into the Corporate American Workforce for ten years. I left corporate America in January of 2014 to pursue my dream of working for me. After stumbling through a few businesses, I discovered selling on Amazon in 2016. It took me a few years to figure out the intricate details of how Amazon works along with how to source products and to give myself an edge over other sellers. As a Six-Figure earner on Amazon, I have created a system that can be duplicated and has equipped my students to also earn six figures. With my PROVEN SYSTEM, my students are taught maneuvers and strategies that empower them to consistently dominate on Amazon aggressively taking the ecommerce world by storm!. Read more>>

Donisha Gray

I am a 25 years old full-time entrepreneur offering four different services from a small town with big hearts, Thomaston, GA. I graduated from Thee Unsinkable Albany State University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. I love being a part of people’s special day and enhancing their natural beauty, this is why I started doing makeup eight years ago. DazzledByDon is my business hashtag and within the past year, I’ve started offering mink eyelash extensions and it is truly a newfound love.D.B.D. Closet, LLC was founded in November of 2018 and established May of 2020. This business focuses on building the confidence of plus-size women through affordable and fashionable apparel. We aim to bring confidence and fashion into the same room for our voluptuous queens to truly feel superb in the skin they are in. When it comes to traveling, a vacation is good for the soul and everyone should take one often. The world has so much to offer and you’ll never experience it staying in the comfort of your own area. I became a travel agent in January of 2021, D.B.D. Travel Agency, and I love planning the perfect getaway for couples, families, and/or friends. Read more>>

Corey Dunson

I was active in sports from middle school through college. While playing at the collegiate level, I experienced concussions and a lot of physical trauma from football, a high-impact, high-contact sport. At the time, Cannabis was the outlet that helped me with the trauma that I experienced. I started to think about whether there was a bigger need for this. Interest in the potential medicinal benefits of Cannabis was so new at the time, but I believed that it would evolve. I created Bouqé because I had a deep passion for the healing capacity of the cannabis plant and saw a blank space in the market to cater towards people who love high-quality products but have yet to associate luxury with cannabis. Although I have a business degree, I found it quite challenging to find an entry point in the industry. In fact, I discovered that a sector that was once frowned upon by the corporate elites was now being seen as the new gold rush. Read more>>

Desmond Hill

My interest in music was initially sparked at an early age. My parents are from the old school so I actually grew up listening to music on records and cassette tapes. My mom introduced me to the more traditional genres like gospel and R&B. So Keith Sweat and Toni Braxton would be heard when I was with her. My dad would play a much wider range of music from Sade to Carlos Santana to Phil Collins to Prince. He literally made mixtapes the old-fashioned way and taught me and my older brother how to make them as well. The music between the two of them stuck with me and I looked forward to riding in the car to hear music. Once the movie drumline came out, I decided I would join the band. My parents would always get frustrated by me tapping on things so they agreed with my decision. The band director had his own plans for me so he didn’t even allow me to try the drums. He gave me a sax and I stuck with it for about three years reluctantly. Well, at some point my sister started playing more current artists to me like 112 and Destiny’s Child so I learned to sing and really exercised my voice in secret. Read more>>

Elizabeth Jaggers

One morning in the Fall of 2008, I woke up in a strange apartment in a foreign land realizing that I had committed my life to years of rigorous study, confusing tasks, and occasional humiliation. I hadn’t joined a cult. I had enrolled in medical school at Tel Aviv University. A year and a half prior to this moment, I had been a hard-working, well-meaning (re: sassy) ER nurse back in Atlanta. I loved being a nurse – it was honorable, it allowed me to be a ‘helper’, and the fodder was priceless, but I knew early on that it was not going to be my ‘forever profession’. And so somehow, even though I never planned on this life course, I prepared to apply for med school. And I had my heart on making an adventure out of it. At the time, I referred to this as my quarter life crisis (I was 26 years old), but in retrospect, it was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. Going to school in Israel made my world bigger (and sunnier). And not just because of the physical distance, but because it forced me to experience the importance of tone and body language in communication (because I never honestly got the hang of Hebrew), to not take myself so damn seriously, and to really appreciate that many people in the world do not view things the same way that I do (and maybe they have a point). I also learned some medicine along the way, which was handy. Read more>>

Semetress Simmons-Paul

I am a Licensed Cosmetologist and Professional Makeup Artist. I am the Owner and Lead Makeup Artist/Stylist of Pink Lace Artistry. I started doing hair out of high school because it was something I was naturally good at. I remember how confident women and men were after leaving the salons and barbershops. Growing up, stylists were more than stylists. They were therapists, the salon was an outlet and everyone left feeling better than they came. I have always been a person that wanted to make people feel better about themselves, so I felt it was only right to pursue a career in cosmetology. After doing hair for years, I dabbled in makeup with my younger cousin Rudee. She was literally my human doll. I would style her hair and do her makeup for fun. Read more>>



Blessed with an exceptional voice and a unique artistic spirit, Ariee has captivated many from an early age. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ariee began singing in her church at the age of eight. As her passion for music grew, she knew it was essential to master her craft. Ariee developed her voice and expanded her vocal range by backing other accomplished musicians. She set fire to the stage performing as a background singer for Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Mystikal, Glen David Andrews, & Kermit Ruffins. She has performed at Essence Fest Center Stage as a New & Next Artist, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center in NYC, & a host of other events and arenas establishing herself as a gifted entertainer. She then went on tour with High School Nation in 2018, where she performed for schools in the DMV Metro Area & Chicago where the proceeds went to build music studios inside each school she visited. Her debut EPs 8 & The Sequel showcased all the magic that she has curated in the studio over the years, showing her musical diversity. Read more>>

Reamon Bailey

I’ve enjoyed making things since I was a little girl. As I grow older, I often made gifts opposed to buying them because it was my belief that these gifts were more personable yet one of a kind. An in addition to that personable gifts have sentimental value. I left a career in law enforcement after 9 1/2 years during the pandemic. I decided I was going to finish my PH.D. and be mom without any interruption, after all I had had a job since I was sixteen. Well that did t last because I finished my doctorate like two months later and had nothing to do. Soon after that, I decided to start my own candle company. Well, it was after a conversation with a friend that I decided to step out on faith and go for it. I had to be talked I to it because I was like no one is going to support me seeing that there are a million and one candle makers out here. So I decided if I’m going to be 1,000,002 then I need to tap into a market that other Candlers haven’t tapped into. Read more>>

Dae’Anna Renfroe

I am a nine years old entrepreneur using my creative mind to create thoughtful products for all ages! I told my mom that I had an idea to make bath & body products for kids and adults that were fun. I love watching five minutes crafts and making stuff. She said if I could prove to her that I really wanted it that she would help me. So I started doing research and getting ideas together. She was impressed with my idea book so we went to the internet and did some research & then to hobby lobby & Amazon & got some supplies to get started. Read more>>

Tyra Adams

I currently operate two business. BeadsbyT and Onyx Butta. I have always envisioned myself as a businesswoman wearing suits. In this instance, my suits are my businesses. I wear them with pride. I enjoy creating things with my hands and feeling the accomplishments or job well done after hearing gratitude from customers. During the quarantine, I was working from home and was beginning to get in a funk. I felt like how can I optimize this time doing something that I would enjoy. Typical story, lol. I was in a dark place because I had just gotten my master’s and felt like I was stuck. Creating things brought me out of my darkness. BeadsbyT allowed me to create jewelry with my touch but also allowing customers to tell me what they want. I make waistbeads, anklets and necklaces for all ages. Onyx Butta came along after I decided that I couldn’t stop at one thing. Skincare is important to me, I have always created organic skincare treatments after having chemical burn in 10th grade after a botched skin bleaching incident… Ever since then, I have always turned to natural products. Right now, I have whipped body butters and lip and body scrubs. I plan to include shimmer butters and possibly body soap. I have so much in store!. Read more>>

Courtney Gray

My journey started in Atlanta at R.N. Fickett Elementary school where I would have prolly not graduated if it wasn’t for my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Wilbourn. Major love for that lady. She turned my thinking around and told me to stay the course and find something you love doing. But the next step in my journey, my mom and dad moved out to the suburbs in Stockbridge, GA where then I attended Eagles Landing Middle School. Then I met Mrs. Tyson in 7th grade my drama teacher and that’s when I fell in love with acting! I did a puppet show and had the class rolling. That’s when I knew acting was my passion. Started with stage plays which will always be my first love. I would pick doing stage plays over film any day. Reason being once the curtain opens and those lights hit you. It’s go time ain’t no cut let’s do that again. You really get to live in the moment and feed off of the crowds reactions. But long story short. I auditioned for Hot Shot Kids which is now J Pervis. J Pervis really looked out for me and knew I had talent. Read more>>

Chelsi Grier

I started taking film and photography courses in ninth grade as an elective and fell in love with the whole production process from beginning to end. I love brainstorming and planning shoots. I enjoy making magic with my camera and I have a passion for putting it all together. I extended my learning journey by attending Clayton State and joining their film program. I am now set to start Georgia Film Academy in January. Read more>>

Zion Thomas

I am an r&b hip hop artist, engineer, and videographer/editor and the CEO of my brand/ company Young & Winning … I graduated from a music school called SAE Institute (sound of audio engineering) in 2018, I received an associate of science in audio engineering. My earliest memory of music is as early as I can remember I always knew I would be somewhere in the entertainment industry. My father has been around music before I was born so I’ve actually grew up around music and in and out studios all of my life. My first song I ever recorded was at the age of 12 years. Songs I remember from my childhood are mostly hip hop and r&b songs for the most part, I listen to artists that really speak in their music. During these years before I graduated high school, I took piano classes also which I learned how to play and read notes. In high school, I played in a few concerts for the school. Also, I performed plenty of other places due to me being an artist. I remember I performed in middle school talent show one of my personal songs when I was in a music group and we won first place. Read more>>

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