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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.

Tommi Cole

I started out singing in the church choir at the age of two. Music was one of my first loves as a child. I would listen to music as an escape from reality as it would take me to another world and I would forget all the problems I had. Who has real problems as a kid right? After auditioning for the performing arts high school, and making it in, my mom made me go to the technical high school better known for its reputation as a high academic achieving school. Read more>>

Joy and Marhna Ferrell

Power Couple Customs was created to establish a foundation in the world of being a young married couple, and starting a business with a passion for creativity. Our motivation is geared by our two beautiful girls (now three) who inspire and encourage us to not just work, but do something that we enjoy, and learn from it. We hope to leave a legacy of always believing in yourself, trusting God, working hard, and in all you do, be genuine in your intentions. Read more>>

Lexi Holifield

Photography has been a passion I’ve had my whole life. That’s what I was known for growing up; just always the kid with the camera. At one point, I wondered if photography loved me back, to be honest. After I graduated high school, I somehow broke my first really good camera I ever had, but I worked three jobs over the summer to get another one. Read more>>

Karen Marie Jenkins

I am an artist, writer, and Personal Brand Photographer who empowers and support women, in particular, female entrepreneurs, in capturing unique ‘stand out’ images that visually communicates their story, and projects their brand message colorfully and boldly without apology. My mission is to visually empower women behind the lens of my camera. Read more>>

Mari Naomi

Growing up, I was always tall and slender and was always told that I should consider fashion modeling. I truly got started modeling in college. I started college at Albany State University in 2005 until I transferred my junior year. In 2006, there was a competition called Albany State’s Next Top Model and I was selected to participate. That competition brought me out of my shell a bit and I started to believe that I could really do this professionally someday. Read more>>

Kayla Daniels

I am a filmmaker born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve always had a thing for artistry and creative spaces for as long as I can remember. In high school, I made the decision to change my lifelong hobby into something I wanted to pursue. I enrolled at Savannah State University as a Theater major. Read more>>

Ishmael Harris McKinstry

Ishmael Harris McKinstry is a small town country boy from Buena Vista, Georgia. From singing and creating his own characters (while performing chores) at the early age of four, becoming a Minister of Music at age 14, winning literary competitions during grade school, joining the One Act Play team in high school, to becoming the first black and male drum major at Marion County High. Read more>>

TaFoya Jones

Everyone calls me Toy for short. The meaning of Tafoya is beloved. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in between Georgia and Virginia. Lucky for me, I’mn the only child to both of my lovely parents, Earl and Carolyn. Throughout my life, I never really had any serious health problems. Read more>>

LaChelle Adkins

I was raised an only child and always longed for brothers and sisters. I was raised to value education and to work hard for what you desire. Followed this mindset throughout my life and pursued college at Indiana University Bloomington after high school. This is where I met my husband Jerome, and we had our first daughter Taylor and decided to get married. Read more>>

Ali Seeya

My life changed the day my parents bought me my first Nikon camera. I was 14 years old, and during that time I knew little about photography so I would normally take self-portraits. I was born and raised in a small city in Georgia called Mcdonough. Most of my friends and their friends around town knew me as the “curly-haired girl who takes cool pictures. Read more>>

Will Simmons

Being military brat, I was exposed and introduced to a vast amount of music genres and cultures. While this was extremely saddening at times with all the moving and constant loss of friends, it plays a HUGE part in who I am today. I sang in choir all the way until college (and I still do now). I didn’t start picking up other instruments until my freshman year of high school. Read more>>

Alon Otis and Amber Abdullah

I’ve been in love with music since the day I was born. All my childhood memories have a song attached. It felt good to know other people were feeling the things that I felt and thought things I thought but couldn’t articulate. I actually wanted to be a singer until I was 9, when I realized I couldn’t sing. At 16, I found out there was still a way I could be apart of music–the business. Read more>>

Slone Williams and Rachel Sanders

Rachel and I met in 2016 as colleagues, employed by Clayton County Government. I was a Communications Specialist with Clayton County Access Television, and Rachel was a Communications Specialist with the Clayton Parks and Recreation Department. In May 2016, Rachel contacted me and invited me to lunch, and I happily accepted. Read more>>

Ebony C Smith

I have always been very creative from painting to abstract pencil drawings but in 2016, after going through a rough patch, I saw a bead store and decided to stop. I feel in love with the way the stones felt in my hands, like home. I designed that first one for myself, in which I still wear every day. Others noticed my wrist and wanted to purchase. Read more>>

Brittany “BJ” Jones

Dance started out as a hobby for me, then immediately became my passion after about a week of summer dance camp. I fell in love with it, and I knew it was what God called me to do. I started doing choreography and graphic design in 2013 during college, two things I never saw myself doing. I didn’t know at the time, but those side hustles became my main hustle, and now they’re my only hustle. Read more>>

Sharmaine Tate-Ross

My style is a fusion of modern, contemporary-jazz meets hip-hop. I am just a vessel; dance is my blood, and acting is my lens. I truly have an eye for art in all capacities, which makes acting a thrill to embody different walks of life. I have always been a person that believed in the power of purpose. Trusting in what God has gifted you with will carry you much further than any copy-cat career. Whether it be art, caregiving. Read more>>

Branden “DJ Bizarre”

I got accepted into Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina to major in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. That’s right. I wanted to cook and own my own restaurant someday. Needless to say, that dream didn’t last long, and I found myself at a crossroads come college graduation. Here I was with a Bachelors Degree in something I didn’t really have an interest in professionally, but yet my passion for music kept growing stronger. Read more>>

John Richards

I started making these coin rings on my back porch for people – and it started to take up most of my working days. I went on and did this for a couple of months, and decided to give it a name. And then IGWM was born. We started making coin rings, and eventually, I used my knowledge in screen printing apparel into the business and started printing shirts that spoke to people in a way that reflected my story to motivate people and inspire people to do their own thing. Read more>>

BleuGangsta

My mission is to leave a legacy worth following. Motivate, Encourage, and speak life to those who listen. I tell people who ask me, “what are your plans with your music?” I respond, “I just want to speak my truth and hopefully reach a few. It’s not about the fame. It’s more of what can I do to help benefit my family so we can be wealthy in mind, body, and spirit. It took a lot of tears and failed attempts to get to where I am today. Read more>>

Dwon Johnson

I started experimenting with essential and fragrance oils and creating personalized scents. My skin had a glow. I was super soft and smelled unique, sexy, and great. Compliments came from everybody and everywhere. Since I was making my own products, I could cater my skin ingredients to cater to other people’s skin type, when asked. SassiSoul Soy was created. Read more>>

Shaquana Miller

Nowadays, women want things simpler, faster, better. They want a younger appearance, shortening of their daily beauty and skincare routine, and a confidence booster. You can come in for a consultation to discuss your concerns or issues, and we will provide a customized plan and look just for you; giving each client a 1:1 intimate and luxurious experience. Read more>>

Spike Lou

Most people in our position have to protect the political connections they have in the music business we get to speak more freely and let people in on what the fan is thinking. We also cover Sports and Fashion in the same manner on the other podcast Full Sport Press and Fresh for Dummies with Animal Brown and Jai Hov. We are different cause we look at media from the cultural perspective, having the conversation that needs to be had to keep pushing the culture forward. Read more>>

Carl Levonzell

I moved to Atlanta about ten years ago, just to get away from the recession in Michigan. I moved here with a few friends and my mentally ill mom. After getting my mom the help, she needed and getting my self-stable i tapped into my passion of acting by 2018. Read more>>

Tirzah White

I’ve always considered myself a creatively stubborn person and if I say I can do something, then I will. I began researching the benefits of using certain carrier oils, essential oils, botanicals, and herbs on the body. I slowly began making a few products here and there. I would share them with friends and receive feedback/reviews. That made me feel like I was onto something. Read more>>

Jasper Worth

I was a visual learner. If I have seen it, I could do it. By the age of 13, I fell in love with creating hairstyles for myself and others. Through high school, I did hair to have money for food, clothes, school dues, prom, etc. I learned to use my craft to survive, to help take care of my siblings. After graduation, I worked in a hair salon for nine years before I decided it was time to invest in myself. Here I am now 19 years later, a salon owner. Read more>>

Henry Mason Jr.

I’ve had the entrepreneurial bug my entire life. I can vividly remember cutting the neighbors yards around 15 years old and eventually getting a few of my younger buddies to help once I built up some clientele. Immediately leaving Morehouse, I started Mader Tech Solutions, which is a staffing and recruitment firm the deals mostly with DOD. That office is in Washington, DC. Read more>>

Ashley Gay-Johnson

RPEP’s prime focus is helping young people achieve academic success, develop their character, and promote healthy lifestyles. Our Programs empower high-risk youth and young adults to achieve their full potential by providing quality educational programming in a safe environment. Read more>>

Lakenya Whatley

My story starts with a 23-year-old young girl looking to find herself in this big beautiful world. I was working multiple jobs at the time serving at bars and restaurants in Atlanta and also doing retail at Lenox Mall. I had just moved back home with my mom and felt like everything was going downhill at that moment in my life. Read more>>

Josh Waters

I’m a singer/songwriter from Hattiesburg, MS currently living here in Atlanta, GA moved here to further my music career and to fulfill my purpose. I left Mississippi with $300 and a dream… came and made a way for myself. I started making music when I was fourteen and I’ve been in love with it since then. Read more>>

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