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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.

Matthew Gissentanna

I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for years. Whatever moment I could capture, I was trying to do it with whatever camera I had. I’ve always had some sort of camera because I’ve been a YouTuber since 2010. I was active but slowed down when I started a family and my career took off in IT. I’ve been active in photography/videography work and YouTube for the last 2 years. I started Liquid Sun Creative because I wanted to work with clients and collaborate on what they wanted to express. In my IT professional role, I’m responsible for translating customer needs and complaints into technical solutions. So, customer service and listening is something that I love to do. Each client that I work with is a collaboration of their vision and my talent. Read more>>

Ashede Brewer

This has truly been a journey and I’m grateful for every up and down that I’ve encountered. Element 210 started out as a Facebook status before it was officially a company. I remember in October 2017 posting a status saying “I’m going to start my own t-shirt company.” not knowing what I had gotten myself into. At the time I was working a part time job at the YMCA trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my life. I was never really skilled in graphic designing and designing in general it was just always something that I had an eye for. So fast forward 2 months I was attending a conference at my church (Shoutout to Xchange Ministries) called Catalyst. We were simply standing in the hallway waiting for the next session to start when one of my sisters started singing and worshiping the Lord. Read more>>

Jamice Bentley-Terry

Fashion has always been my passion. I relocated from Palm Beach, Florida to Macon, Georgia about 11 years ago. Upon my move I began my career at Geico Insurance Company, however I was not feeling fulfilled, something was missing. Fashion and the arts were calling me. I left Geico and stepped out on faith to pursue fashion styling, which progressed into events, which in turn progressed into owning my own boutique. Read more>>

Ashley Glisson

My passion for pictures can be dated back to Fujifilm disposable cameras. I remember as a child, the interaction of waiting for the film to be developed, only to realize I hadn’t captured many photos worth saving. In high school, I received my first camera phone and I was ECSTATIC. I was always the friend that insisted on pictures, despite the protests of my peers. After graduation, I purchased my first digital camera. Throughout college, I occasionally thought about pursuing photography, but never decided to take action. Fast forward to 2019, when my husband purchased a Nikon camera for me. He knew that I needed a push to pursue my passion and he gave it to me. I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I’m absolutely loving the ride. Read more>>

Beats By Hod

I am a Music Producer & Audio Engineer, making a name for myself. Linking up with some of Hip-Hop’s known talents producing songs for artist like Killer Mike, Pastor Troy, DG Yola, and T-Rock.
At the age of 13, I was introduced to a program called FL Studio by a neighborhood friend in Morrow, GA, at the time I wasn’t taking Music Production seriously, really just playing around with it from time to time. When I turned 16, I really started getting more engaged into the program, but still was treating it as a hobby. I thought it was fun coming up with drum patterns, cause of the fact when I was in elementary school, I would often make beats on my desk with using a pencil tip as a hi-hat. Read more>>

Alicia Coley

For starters, my name is Alicia Coley and I am a registered nurse but more specifically a travel nurse. To tie in where I am today and how I got started would be greatly attributed to my first travel assignment in Los Angeles, California back in 2013. I’m originally from South Florida but it was in LA that I took notice of the widespread culture on conscious nutrition and awareness of natural remedies. I became fascinated and drawn to seeking out natural alternatives in regards to food choices, supplements and/or products. I watched countless documentaries, learned about superfoods and then began to adopt positive lifestyle changes. Read more>>

Phaedra Janaye

Where do I start? Somewhere in my childhood I wasn’t always comfortable with my height. Often times I was the tallest black girl in the class. My parents, especially my father being 6’1 1/2, encouraging me to stand up straight with my shoulders back. After school I’d come home and watch “The Tyra Show” and “America’s Next Top Model”. Contrary to thought, Tyra Banks’ narrative about gaining her self-confidence, not stepping on a scale or at least alone, etc. amazed me. Sometimes I’d find myself in my mother’s mirror, in my own little world, trying on her assortment of lipsticks and smiling, playing ‘dress up’ LOL. I discovered that one of many things I really wanted to do with my life was modeling. Read more>>

Bengi Fendi

I’m from the South Atlanta area, growing up my mom had four boys, to save money she made a lot of our clothes, but I was into music so I started as a manager for a couple of local artist in College Park, not having the budget or the funds to promote them like I would have liked. To save money I picked up a camera & started doing their photo shoots & video shoots, to make extra money I continued to do weddings, birthday shoots, etc on the side. A friend of mine who is a popular journalist for Sheen magazine invited me to do her celebrity interviews. From there I grab the attention of 107.9’s Mz Shyneka & began doing jobs for her and the radio station, like Bet’s Hip Hop Awards and other events. Read more>>

Caitlyn Davis

My journey started as a junior in college during my campaign for Miss FAMU. The person making my campaign shirts suggested that I should start making my own. I always wanted to create my own shirts but never had the resources to do so. So, with the push of support from friends and family, I made an investment and finally got the resources and started to get my creative juices flowing. This was close to spring break and I was expecting for some of my spring break pictures to go viral, so I decided to create a swimsuit with FAMU 1887 on it and hoped people would like my work. Read more>>

Sameerah and Dino Moore

The catalyst for change was after I suffered a stroke in November 2018. This health crisis was the first step towards our dream of starting a business. During that time, we were going back and forth with ideas of building generational wealth, but no real push to start working towards our goal. The idea of our business was born when we attended our first Black Business Expo at Rowan University in 2019, we were impressed by the vendors. We knew we could do exactly what they were doing. We decided to focus on natural products since that has always been our passion. We both were into creating products, scents and researching product ingredients. Read more>>

Karia Hudson-Lane

I’ve been Bartending since I was like, 19 or 20 years old. I started out as a shooter girl-server before and I used to watch all the bartenders make drinks because I wanted to learn how. So, I started looking up recipes and practicing at parties and family gatherings. After that Bartending became my life! When the pandemic hit in 2020, my Bartending days ended at the establishment I had been working at for almost 3 years. I had just had my second son and got married. I had been so used to working behind the bar that I didn’t want to go back to corporate. At. ALL! Read more>>

Shondria Shontae

I started The Fierce Mode Image Consulting Firm out of my love for style, helping women and my own struggles with my image, insecurities and frustrations not knowing my purpose for a very long time. I always love fashion/style and knew I wanted to do something in the industry but I just didn’t know how to. I had worked in retail, did some local fashion shows, worked for Dress for Success as an Image Consultant and a host of other jobs that just were not fulfilling. The journey to find my purpose has taken me to London, New York for 3 years and finally back home to Atlanta. I finally realized that it just did not have to be that complicated so I just started. Read more>>

ArrKeicha Danzie

My fur baby whose name is Chubb (we’re HUGE UGA fans) does not have a sophisticated palate and therefore will eat ANYTHING! As a parent I want only the best for my kids and it’s no different when it comes to my fur baby, hence Good Boy Goodies! Read more>>

Ashante Henry

For years I’ve been trying to find my “niche.” LOL! I dabble in a little bit of everything from modeling and photography, sewing and crocheting, to creative directing and acting, leading all the way up to my business today. Earlier this year, I started acrylic paint pouring. I had been keeping up with the trend on YouTube for about a year. One of the first pieces I ever created is dedicated to Kobe. #RIP. About a month or so down the line, I started messing around with resin. I got super excited and eager while doing research because I had no clue about all the things you could create with it! Fast forward to October 2020, and I’m proud to announce my business, The Chocolate Shop ATL. Read more>>

DeMariah Newsome

I have always been creative and a lover of the arts. However, before photography, my first love was graphic design. I loved creating ideas and bringing them to life on my computer. I designed everything from logos, invitations, t-shirts and more. Once I began to accept clients for graphic design, many times, the images they submitted to be used in their artwork were extremely low quality. That is when I got the idea to pursue photography. I thought I could somehow incorporate it with my graphic design business. Because I enjoyed taking pictures of family and friends, I already owned two Nikon CoolPix point and shoot cameras, but I knew I needed a better camera. Read more>>

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