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Trailblazers: Downtown

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around Downtown that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Amy McKie

I started in September of 2012. I wanted to do something that I could look at as a positive outlet in my life. There are times when life is really hard, and some people don’t know how to truly handle it. Used to, I would turn to alcohol or something destructive until I found my passion for photography. Read more>>

DaQuashia Strahan

I am 21 years old born in Abilene, Texas-raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I’m a first-generation college student at Clark Atlanta University located in the West End of Atlanta, where I am a rising senior. I’ve been singing and writing music for as long as I can remember. Growing up, music was always apart of my life. I fell in love with it at a young age. Read more>>

Destiny Elliott

The meaning of my first name, Destiny, sets the foundation of my story. It means to have control of what will happen in the future. I began to live by this definition in middle school when I pursued a modeling career in Columbus, Georgia. Yes– I was the student who towered over all of her classmates, strutted through the hallways with thousands of accessories on and enjoyed presenting projects in front of the class so modeling was second-nature to me. Read more>>

Shannell Reynolds

I was destined to find my talent or my skill to start my business. Makeup was not always my first choice starting out I actually wanted to be a doctor and have my own practice, but God always has other plans. It first started with my mom. I would always watch her do other people make up for events or occasions literally studying how she is creating a canvas on someones face. Read  more>>

Jocelyn Robinson

I developed an interest in art at an early age. I remember being drawn to various artists and trying to emulate their work in the pieces I created. This attraction led me to unique opportunities that shaped my passion for art and community. In 1996, the city of Atlanta provided innovative programs that gave young artists, such as myself, a platform to learn and express themselves through various art mediums. Read more>>

Tashena Maxwell

I started this brand when I developed the love to thrift. I’m a mom of three girls and they are growing fast, so my money tends to go to them before I could benefit from it. So, I decided to start thrifting for my work clothes. While in various thrift stores, I would see all kinds of vintage and elegant clothes that were all sizes, So, I decided to try buying a few pieces and reselling them. Read more>>

Emmamuelle Poin Du Jour

I was always fascinated by fashion and luxury living. I even dreamt of becoming either a fashion designer or a fashion merchandiser. At that time, Paris was the capital for fashion and where one needed to be in order to succeed in that industry. Unfortunately, instead of going to Paris, I moved to the United States and due to circumstances beyond my control. Read more>>

Kimberly Raven

For years, I had felt like a butterfly in a jar with only minimal air to breathe and no opportunity to fly. The more I grasp for more air to breathe, the more my wings of determination to fly started to feel heavy and frustrated. To no avail, I submitted to the frustration of waiting on a miracle for change rather than choices to change. Read more>>

Ebony Baker

Ever since I was young, I was sure of two things; the first was that I had a passion for modeling, and the second was I knew that I wanted to be my own boss. Although I have had jobs, I was never content with working for companies that only referred to me as another number in the system. I always knew that I was more than that and deserved more. Read more>>

Rekendra Farmer

I’ve always been into fashion. I used that as away to outwardly express myself growing up and I still do to this day. A pivotal moment was when my 6th-grade teacher Mr. Williams pointed out to my mom during a parent-teacher conference my sense of style and asked where did I get my clothes from and who styled me. My mom told him I would get clothes out of her closet and transform them into something new for myself or incorporate items into my wardrobe. Read more>>

Dedra Allen

I am a NC native and moved to GA after a divorce, so my children (I have three) could be close to their father. I have been in the beauty industry for over 25 years. I didn’t know a couple of people when I moved here. I worked odd retail jobs. I feel like my breakout moment was landing a job at like the River Salon. I learned about doing business in a larger demographic. Read more>>

Anna Lovelly

I have been making crafts since elementary school. I have a huge box that I keep my supplies (beads, feathers, seashells), “just in case” I may use them in a project. A few years ago, I realized a friend’s birthday was the very next day and I had not yet gotten her a gift. Since I was a low on funds grad student, I thought… why not make her something? Read more>>


I’ve been performing for as long as I can remember. Whether it be theatre, gymnastics, dance- you name it, I loved performing. Anything that included movement with music, I was immediately drawn to. I did my first musical at eight and voice/guitar lessons followed shortly after. Read more>>

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