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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.

Taren Symone

Since I can remember, people will always tell me “you sound like you should be on the radio”. So once it was time to go to college, there was no hesitation that Mass Communications will be my major. I’ll be honest when I say I didn’t work as hard as I should have but that didn’t stop me! In 2019, I started podcasting with my very close friend, Tahj, and absolutely fell in love with what we were doing. After awhile, I started to imagine what my own show would be like. Read more>>

Nakeshia Williams

Keke on the Rocks Mobile Bartending Service was founded at the beginning of the covid pandemic initially as an outlet to cope with the stress of my 11 year teaching career. At the time, I felt mentally and physically exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, and disempowered. The pandemic allowed life to slow down and provided an opportunity to reassess my environment. I knew that I had to find a way to take back my power. Pursuing this industry has allowed me to do just that while meeting fun and interesting people along the way. Read more>>

Tasheanna Johnson-Rule

Around 2012 I moved to Atlanta, GA from a suburb in Minnesota called Shakopee. Despite the move, my family and I were essentially homeless. We lived with my Aunt from time to time, or in apartments in Summerhill, before eventually ending up living in a shared 1 bedroom in Decatur. Throughout high school, I was determined to see my way out of a very difficult position: homelessness. Our living situations were not the most stable and I knew I would have to care for myself eventually. Read more>>

Jeffrey Bruckwicki

I started sewing products while attending CMU around 2009. I moved to Atlanta a few years later and started sewing cycling bags out of Loose Nuts Cycles in Grant Park. I developed my methods in the loft of the bike shop. It took 2 years before I met who would be my business partner for the next 8 years running and designing products for the brand Nock Co. At the conclusion of Nock Co. I was looking to work for a larger business, try my hand at the corporate world, and was hired on as an R&D Engineer for a company that makes sewn goods for mass transit, military applications, and tentage.  Read more>>

Princess Moore

It was one of my coworkers birthday, I was looking for a unique birthday gift to give. After searching the internet for days I came across a blinged out cute liquor bottle so I decided to do a DIY project. It came out so well that the birthday girl herself encouraged me to make it into a business. After being convinced, I decided to give it a try. So far it’s been a smooth rode, I think it’s because not many people, in my area, have ever seen this done before.  Read more>>

Tarva McIntosh

Even though I have a marketing and psychology degree, owning a business has always been a dream of mine. I have always been an artsy person who loves art, decorating and traveling. Due to being a military spouse with children and moving frequently, I never felt the time was right to pursue starting my own business. In 2021, I felt the time was right to get started after several dreams with a recuring “Luxurious” something theme urge. Read more>>

GQ Sabi

It started with a thought. Thought turned into dreams. Dreams turn into a mission. The road is whatever I make it. I stay smooth through the any pothole u dig. Im a lyrical artist. I paint pictures with my words. Im most proud of the village I belong to cuz they always have my back. My heart and confidence sets me aside from most. Favorite books: 12 week year FBI: Exposed
The power of a habit. Read more>>

Afiya K. Hooker, MS, LPC

Similar to my story in my first interview with you all a couple of years ago, I always knew that I would be a business owner. However, it was not until around the age of 10 that I knew that I wanted to be a psychotherapist. I started my entrepreneurial pursuits in the 3rd grade, selling McDonald’s toys and bottled water to my classmates, and that desire has stayed with me throughout my entire life.  Read more>>

Sevyn Talbert

Sevyn Talbert Born in NewYork his father Ben “Paris” Lofton was one of the first MC’s of Hip Hop in the early 80’s later incarcerated since 93’ for his involvement with drugs. Single Mother RN Tasha she decided to give her son his own first and last name so he could build his own identity Now a single black father winning custody of his son was a very important part of my story growing up without guidance from my father because of his choices that led to his incarceration I was determined to be a present and active father.  Read more>>

Kamila Benjamin-Smith

Hair braiding was always my first passion. The creativity and uniqueness of each braided style always amazed me. I first started braiding when I was about 10 years old. My sisters were my very first mannequins. As I grew older, my fascination grew as well. I started watching YouTube videos on how to complete braids with extensions. I practiced on anyone who was willing to let me braid their hair. Shortly after I got my first client. Read more>>

Makalee Rae

I’ve always had an immense passion to create. I can still remember the first art workshop that I attended. I went straight to the store afterwards to buy a haul of art supplies and haven’t looked back since. I started by teaching myself how to sketch, then gravitated towards painting with watercolor and acrylics. I eventually expanded into other forms of expressive art – such as poetry and photography. As I got more confident in my work, I started sharing it on social media platforms. Read more>>

Dr. Maisha Jack

For as far back as I can remember, I have always loved to write. More like recreating thoughts in one’s head to construct them into words of expression for clarity, emotional release, growth, clarification, accountability, and integrity. In my youth, I would take pride in writing poems or writing letters to and for others and I told myself that one of my goals in life would be to write a book. I was not sure what it was going to be about, but I knew I was going to write one. Read more>>

David Kemp

So, throughout my life I have always wondered what I should do for my career. Never having the answer was always my problem some things interest me but as a career, most of the things I tried to do was not my passion. As you go through life and experiment, try new thing and meet new people, sometime you just don’t know what can happen. About a year ago I met an artist named Jay Foreixn.  Read more>>

Terita Chavis

I have been a teacher for Henry County School System for fifteen years. I was inspired to start my business by a young entrepreneur who was subbing. She has a business selling and doing hair. Before the pandemic so many people of all ages and diversity had taken advantage of the social media trend to start businesses or expose their talent but I never saw that for myself. I never wanted to be in the spotlight. God is so good to send someone across your path to get you on a new path.  Read more>>

Ray Abram

I lived much of my life feeling disconnected. Like most introverts, I had trouble making the types of connections that would help me in my life and career. I tried my hand at several different careers, but never found the type of success I thought I deserved. During one particular inflection point, I sat down to try to figure out what was holding me back. After some thought I realized my biggest problem was my inability to form good relationships with people who could help me. Read more>>

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