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The Change-Makers: stories that inspire

The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some incredible artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the incredible group below. Check out our favorite stories from across the Voyage family.

Rachel Anthony

I moved to Austin after graduating college with my degree in Marketing and accepted a sales assistant job at iHeart Media. Throughout my time at iHeart Media, my goal was to be promoted to an account executive. I didn’t understand why at the time, but it seemed like that opportunity was never going to happen for me! I began exploring other career options but I was stumped on what I wanted to do…I had no idea! One day, I was looking through the Austin Women’s magazine and read about a woman named Tiffani Marroquin and how she had a successful local and global real estate career. I went out on a limb and messaged her on Instagram to see if she would be interested in being a mentor, not ever expecting to get a response, nonetheless, what happened next. Over the next couple of months, Tiffani and I stayed in close contact, went to lunch, and a few different events together. Then the unexpected happened, COVID-19, and my world got turned upside down, just like many others. Read more>>

Lauren McKeough

After working in NYC for 7 years, I ditched corporate America for something that gave me purpose — here’s my story! I was working in marketing and PR for a high-end fashion company in New York City. It was an amazing opportunity for my first job after graduating College with a Fashion Merchandising and Business Communications degree. After climbing the corporate ladder, I began to feel like the daily grind of being in New York (and sitting behind a computer for most of day) wasn’t for me. Something was missing from my career, and I knew I wanted to get into a line of work that was more hands on and rewarding. During this time I was introduced to a now close friend of mine and asked her what she did for a living. She told me she was an Esthetician. After 5 minutes of chatting with her about her career, a lightbulb went off. I knew this was a career that would be perfect for me!. Read more>>

Patrick Mauldin

I started Volare Aerial Videography in Austin back in September 2016. We scheduled a trip to Tuscany, Italy for our 1 year anniversary and had planned out several stops along the way at some incredible places. I decided to bite the bullet and buy a high-end drone which I had always wanted. The trip went great and the videos looked amazing. That inspired us to start Volare (the name is Italian for “to fly”) and share our passion with our own local central Texas community in the Austin area. I got my FAA Part 107 drone license and we opened up our business. We still bring the drone on every vacation we go and try to capture the beauty and essence of each country in our videos. We’ve been so honored by the response to our work and have loved working with clients in all types of industries. Read more>>

Taylor Bailey

Contracommon was founded in August 2018 by a multidisciplinary group of artists who believed in the power of collaboration and community, and who wished to create a new type of relationship between studio artists and gallery representation. It’s incredibly difficult to find a way into the Austin arts scene as an emerging artist; sometimes it feels like a game of who-you-know, so for many recent graduates or self-taught artists, it can be very daunting. The mission was simple: to build a space to empower emerging artists like ourselves. Our facility began as a large hair and nail salon, featuring individual suites for stylists to work from. While there was a lot of cleaning and renovation work to do, there really couldn’t have been a better space for us to transform. Salon suites were converted into larger artist studios, and some were removed entirely to create a large storefront gallery to showcase artwork. Read more>>

Sofia and Victoria Avila

We started our company when we were so young! We were in college and in high school, respectively. We are proud to be a woman-owned, Hispanic, family-owned and operated company. Our mother and our uncle Tiburzcio are also part of the executive team. They are both extremely talented artists, and we are beyond blessed to get to learn from them and work alongside them every day. Our business has evolved greatly over these last 15 years. We started as a floral design company, and for many years we specialized in wedding and event design. Then we began taking on corporate clients, mostly hotels. After a few years, our corporate clients started asking for plants and holiday decor. Before we knew it, plant design and holiday décor had become the main part of our business, so we began to phase out the floral design portion of our services. Read more>>

Chase Long

I was raised by a single mother in north-central West Virginia, a small town called Buckhannon. Coming up without a father can be difficult, my mother put me in sports year-round to keep me out of trouble and provide structure. Through athletics, I found confidence, community, and mentors. My mother instilled in me a strong work ethic, if you take on a job always see it through and do your best work. Coaches and mentors along the way taught me the importance of discipline. Both my work ethic and discipline paved the way for me to be successful in college, not only athletically but academically. I graduated from Ohio Valley University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Marketing, a 3.9 GPA, and credits as a 2 time National Qualifier for the NCAA Division College Wrestling Championship. Read more>>

Naomi Hundley

I’ve always loved baking, but maybe a decade ago my mom started getting sick. It turned out she was gluten sensitive with lots of other food allergies. I started having similar symptoms and it turns out that I have celiac disease. I got tired of us having to say no to EVERYTHING. The replacements we found for all the foods we loved were so bland and gross, so I decided to explore gluten free flours and one by one (and hundreds of dollars later) I converted all of my favorite recipes into gluten free recipes. Before I knew it I had a kitchen aid. And because transforming all of my recipes into gluten free recipes wasn’t enough of a challenge, I decided to learn to make macarons (a naturally gluten free dessert). Hundreds of macarons later, I finally got it right. It was then that Glittery Nibbles was born. I didn’t want people to have to choose between something delicious and something allergen friendly. Now, I have a fully dedicated gluten free kitchen and I’m working on making all of my recipes dairy free and soy free as well. Read more>>

Maricruz Acuna

I was born and raised in Mexico, in a very traditional catholic family. Got married to my college sweetheart at a very young age and had 3 kids. Life was like a fairy tale, until I found myself divorced at 40 years old, and had to leave my country in 2010 because of the violence caused by cartel wars. Moving to the USA sounded like a great adventure, but it was definitely harder than I imagined. As an immigrant single mother, I remember being scared too many times. One day, I was running in Town Lake asking God for a sign to decide if we should stay or go back to Mexico. Then, I climbed the stairs at the Lamar bridge and saw graffiti on the train track that read: “Life is change, be flexible”. That was a quick answer! Staying was definitely the right choice. Austin has been amazing to me and my family, people are friendly and always willing to help. I have been blessed with many new friends and accomplishments, such as finishing a master degree, publishing a book, and finding a new partner in life. Read more>>

Candace Perez

I’m Candace Perez, certified event planner and picnic stylist! I plan, coordinate, and style events in Austin and the surrounding area. I own Parties by Perez and The Posh Picnic. The Posh Picnic was born out of the pandemic! Prior to Covid, my event company Parties by Perez coordinated numerous social events, weddings, and corporate events. When the pandemic hit, all of my events came to a screeching halt. I felt the need to come up with a solution for cabin fever but still in a safe, socially distant, and memorable way. In May of 2020, I created The Posh Picnic, becoming Austin’s first upscale picnic service! The Posh Picnic is a luxury picnic experience perfect for couples that are desperate for a date night, besties that are missing their brunch fix, romantic proposals, and more. Our picnic setups are bold, exciting, and totally Instagram worthy! Each of our picnics are two hours long and include a low table, rugs and pillows for lounge seating, full table setting, silk florals, and candles. The only thing our clients need to do is show up!. Read more>>

Brianna Nelson

My story begins in my hometown; Brownsville, Texas. My parents gifted me a nice little point and shoot camera. I started taking photos of flowers with blurry backgrounds, then I’d saturate and vignette to 100- (all the usual things that 13-year-old “photographers” do). At some point during high school, I decided I wanted to challenge myself, so I picked up an old Canon DSLR from the pawn shop and started making some sense of my photos. I graduated high school in 2014 and moved to NYC that fall. I studied theatre and acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. During my third semester, my film teacher, Jim, taught my class the basic in-and-outs of a film crew so that we could work as a “skeleton crew” for our classmates’ film scenes. It was at that point that I realized my heart was behind the camera. After graduating in the fall of 2016, I worked in the city, where I practiced taking portraits of my friends as a hobby when I had the time. Read more>>

Danielle Fuller

I’ve always had a passion for the lash and beauty industry. Growing up I was the go-to girl for makeup and all things beauty for my family. After working a 9-5 for what feels like forever, I decided that I wanted to build a brand of my own. It was when I took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia and booked my first appointment to have eyelash extensions applied on myself that I realized that the lash industry was where I was destined to be. Everything about the process amazed me! Immediately following my eyelash appointment I purchased lash supplies from my artist Mel and went back to the hotel to practice making fans. Once I arrived back in Austin I took my first client and surprisingly I did a great job. I used YouTube as much as possible to learn different fanning and placement techniques. I also used social media to spread the word about my brand which helped me expand. Read more>>

Bridney Jones

Shevone J Collection was started in 2017, when I was looking for hair care accessories for my daughter, Jaliyah. She hated bonnets at the time and would often go to bed without anything on her hair to protect her hairstyle. Needless to say, a day at the salon was money going down the drain. I am a Research Policy Specialist by day and I began to research different fabrics that will help maintain the moisture in her hair. This is when I came across silk and its benefits. I figured silk pillowcases would be the go to since my daughter didn’t care for a bonnet at the time. Meanwhile, during this time, I began to experience some life changing health issues. I was losing my hair and it was thinning in some areas, I was experiencing sweats at night, itchy/shaky hands and weight issues. I went to the doctor and found out that I was suffering from hyperthyroidism. I lost some weight and began medication that made me gain weight that caused me to go into hypothyroidism. Yeah, it was a crazy time!. Read more>>

Damian Ambriz

I was only 25 when I started to notice. I began looking for a way out for a service that could help other than hair plugs or hair transplants which at the time I could not afford. By luck I happened to come across a single YouTube video about scalp micro pigmentation which at the time was not a thing in the states only over in the UK I thought wow that’s different and intriguing. Although only cosmetic and didn’t promote hair growth I understood the idea and my curiosity keep me glued to my screen. At the time I couldn’t find much info there wasn’t many videos or treatments to go off of but I knew there was tons of potential growth to this service. As years started going by my hair receding more and more scalp micro pigmentation started to grow I followed it as it finally reached the states. Read more>>

Adrianna Feery

My journey started back in high school, I would often take my camera with me to school, friends’ houses, vacations, and even the mall. At the time my LG Rumor didn’t take the best quality images, and iPhones were too expensive. Like any teenager in the early 2000’s, I would upload my photos to Myspace and Facebook. My passion ignited after having my oldest in 2012, I remember wanting to photograph every detail of him. I wanted to cherish the little moments and reflect on them in the future. Like any new mom, my photos were uploaded to the computer or my phone. Never thinking about what can happen to technology, I lost some important photos of him and it broke my heart. Learning this early on I knew I needed to back up everything. In 2013, I had taken a photography class as one of the electives towards my Communication & Media Arts Degree. Feeling fulfilled after taking the course, I decided to take three documentary classes. One of them was an overseas documentary course in Paris for a week. Seeing the beauty of one of the most romantic places in the world was life-changing. The architecture, culture, and cuisine were just beautiful. Read more>>

Heather barnes

I’m Heather Barnes and I run a commercial food and product photography business in Austin in my cozy home studio downtown. It all started when I moved away from home to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting and dancing. I studied theater at USC, and immediately after started auditioning for commercials. Somehow, every commercial I booked was for food. First it was IHOP, where I got to eat pancakes all day and talk about how much I loved how fluffy they were, then I booked a Pizza Hut commercial where I was the employee dancing in the kitchen making pizza after pizza. However, if you know the entertainment industry, then you know there is a lot of hurrying up and waiting or just…. waiting. While I waited on set for my take, I intently watched the food stylists at work perfecting the pizzas literally every five minutes. I found it mesmerizing and loved their attention to detail using tweezers and colorful garnishes. Read more>>

CJ West

My family moved here in the early 90s, I had a very unique opportunity to experience Austin for what it was back then, when the tallest building in the city was the One American Center. Riding my bike in the Austin fresh air is a memory that I hold very dear. My family briefly moved to Blanco, TX while I was in high school. There, I worked in a few different kitchens, washing dishes, and doing odd jobs in the back of house. In my free time, I used to attempt a bunch of BMX tricks on my bike in front of the old Real Ale Brewery on the square…sorry, not sorry, guys! I moved back to Austin in 2003 where I worked briefly in health services, answering phones and whatnot, which helped with a lot of my anxiety with verbal communication and organization. With those skills in hand, I was able to get back in the service industry, leaving the back of house and moving into the front of house. Read more>>

Vasavi Kumar

Ever since I can remember, I have been relentless to find my own voice and access the freedom of my creative spirit. I’m a first-generation Indian immigrant and grew up in a traditional Hindu household on Long Island, New York. Living and going to school in a predominantly all-White town, wasn’t easy. I struggled with figuring out my own unique identity and was in constant fear because I was bullied and often felt shame from outshining the other students in my class. My parents valued hard work, and a focus on education and academics. And while now I appreciate how much of their work ethic and values they instilled in me, back then all I longed for was acceptance. As a result, I believed that I had to dumb myself down to fit in and be welcomed into social circles. I hold dual master’s degrees in Special Education from Hofstra University and Social Work from Columbia University. I’, the Former Co-Host of Studio 512, a lifestyle and entertainment morning show in Austin, TX and was featured in The Wall Street Journal, FOX, VH1, and was a regular on NBC’s Kansas City Live as the “Keepin’ It Real Guru.” Read more>>

Tish Phillips

When I started NewBlue in 2020, friends thought I was crazy to give up a successful and safe career as a home designer and builder in one of the most thriving housing markets in the country. At that point, there were hundreds of reusable bags on the market; canvas bags, nylon bags, and lots of reusable plastic bags. However, none of these bags were designed with both style and functionality in mind. I knew I could design a seriously better reusable bag that would look and feel great and inspire people to ditch single-use bags. What’s the number one reason eco-conscious people don’t carry their reusable bags? They forget them at home or in the car. I think people will remember their bags when they feel proud and excited to carry them. I wanted to turn the humble reusable bag into a sleek stylish bag that you would also want to put on your Instagram. Read more>>

John Howell

At age five, I knew I wanted to be an artist. By the time I was in 10th grade I had won every local and regional art competition that I entered, including an art competition hosted by Disneyland. In college I studied illustration, and won a national art contest with the Society of Illustrators, in NYC at the Illustrator Hall of Fame. My goal was to someday be an artist doing artwork for book covers, magazine articles, etc. As college was coming to an end, I got a job offer to work for a video game company, which I turned down, because I didn’t play a lot of video games growing up. Instead I moved to Southern California to pursue my dream of being an illustrator, close to where I grew up. I got a few art commissions early on to do paintings for Capital One Visa, Book illustrations and other jobs. However, I learned quickly that illustration was a very lonely career. Having little interaction with the outside world, I would paint and paint and paint all day long. Somedays I wouldn’t even talk to anyone. Read more>>

Hailey Gonsoulin

Fashion has always been a huge part of my life. Going back to when I was very young, shopping estate sales and clothing boutiques with my mother and grandmother, who are a huge inspiration to me and my career. Dressing up in the most interesting pieces was always my thing which made me quite unique in a small town of less than 30,000 people. Growing up in New Iberia, Louisiana I yearned to live in the big city and pursue my love for fashion. My dream came true at the age of 20 when I was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and studied Fashion Merchandising & Management. During my four years in college I learned from so many knowledgeable professors who worked in the industry which prepared me for my journey. I also had the opportunity to study in Italy for a semester which really opened my eyes to a broader spectrum of the fashion industry and the world. Read more>>

Frank Moses

I started producing music in high school, a lot of my friends were aspiring to become rappers or singers (myself included). Back then there weren’t many options for instrumentals to write to, sometimes you’d get lucky and find something online or on a single that included the instrumental version of the record and even if you found something there was always the issue of rights and ownership. I also think to myself no matter how good we got at writing songs we’d never have anything to record them to that we could actually publish. I decided I was going to become a producer just so that I’d have music I owned to compose to. After linking up with local Austin rapper Phranchyze it became more about producing and less about rapping for me. Slowly but surely my production improved and before I knew it I was “a producer” just like that. After a few years of working with artist and perfecting the craft I started pushing my work to industry professionals from A&Rs to program directors and even some major label executives. Read more>>

Kelly Buller

When my son was born 5.5 weeks early, my entire world shifted, and suddenly my focus was around him and having the very best for him in every way. I knew I wanted to leave my 9-5 career life and have more flexibility to be with him on my own schedule. I also knew I wanted the very best and safe from harmful material products for him. He inspired me to start Austin Baby Collection, on nights, weekends, and in the pump room at my office job. Soon after I decided to start the brand, we had our first meeting with Target corporate, and eight months later in the midst of the pandemic we launched in 1,000 Target stores nationwide (August 2020). From there we launched our E-Commerce in December of 2020 and have been grinding since!. Read more>>

Christopher Howard

I have been cooking for over 20 years and love what I do. It’s the love I get when people really appreciate the food, flavor, and style of dish I give them. My story started when I was 7 years old. My mom allowed me to cook for her and a few friends, she set my curiosity free at the same time watching over me to make sure I didn’t get hurt… My first dish was fried pork chops and green beans…. Her company seemed to enjoy it so much that they actually paid me. (lol). I then fell in love with cooking and then I furthered my love of cooking through the military, traveling across the world tasting and experiencing different cultures of food. I also got into culinary arts and did some competitions as well. Due to combat and deployment in the military I had to put my dream on hold for my country. Read more>>

Erica Collins Johnson Brittni Johnson

I’m originally from Dallas, and I’ve moved around quite a bit alongside my Husband as he coached collegiate football. After moving back to Austin, we decided to make this the city home. We have two children, and we knew this is where we wanted to watch them grow up. Like most people during the pandemic, I started to question whether or not I was truly fulfilled in my role as a stay-at-home mother. The answer is yes, absolutely! Watching my children grow and being a part of their everyday lives is a blessing. My daughter is ten years old, and as we encourage her to excel in school, we’ve also made it a point to foster her entrepreneurial spirit. And that made me think; Maybe I should take my own advice. As not only a woman, but a woman of color, I want to role model that same spirit for both my daughter and my son. Building a brand new business has allowed my husband and me to step into nontraditional roles with our everyday responsibilities. I am so thankful that my husband has wholeheartedly embraced and championed the opportunity to support me in a complete shift of my career focus. Read more>>

Joseph Humel

Back in 2008 I was a working musician that took time off to pick up a seasonal job in marketing to make some more money. When the job was done, I had no gigs lined up, nor had I had much money left to my name. I was living in a big house with 5 other roommates. I decided I wanted to try making bagels, just for fun. I missed NY bagels, it’s what I grew up with my entire life and couldn’t get anything close to that here in Austin. I had a lot of time on my hands and no jobs lined up. So on New Year’s Eve, I decided to stay home while everyone went out. I went to bed early that night and got up early the next morning and went to work on my 1st bagel. They came out ok. I had no idea what I was doing, only what they should taste like. Even though they weren’t NY bagels, they weren’t bad and I felt that they were already a better product then what I was buying around Austin. I became obsessed and worked every day at making them, researching like crazy! My roommates loved my new obsession as they ate everything I made. Read more>>

Steven Harris

Growing up, I lived with a single mother in a small town in Ohio. My father was absent and I never established a meaningful relationship with him until I was an adult. Both struggled with drug and alcohol addiction that ruined their marriage twice. Yes, they were married twice. For me, this created instability throughout my life. My mom would move on from one abusive relationship to the next, and I would be dragged along into it as well. Most of my childhood and adolescence was spent trying to survive day to day not being physically attacked or protecting my mom from being hurt as well. Which, most times I failed because I was not able to physically stand up to a grown man. I started isolating myself more daily into my room, rejoicing going to school and dreading coming home. After many years of crazy incidents and bouncing around from new home to new school, we finally settled into a home when I was 16 where it was just my mom and I. This saved me from the bad relationships she found herself in, but as I grew more able to take care of myself solo, my mother started to drink and drug more so. Read more>>

Ana Claudia Lefranc

My mom was a baker as well so growing up it was always helping her out in whatever she needed. It would be from me washing all the dishes or me helping stack a cake. We traveled a lot for Quinces, sweet 16’s, weddings, etc and while I had to stay in the van and wait, I couldn’t help but dream that that would one day be me. Fast forward, once covid and lockdown hit my mom started showing me in detail her techniques since we had so much free time. I caught on pretty quick and started baking for my friends and posting it on my instagram. One of those days, a girl from my school asked me if I could replicate a cake for her mom’s birthday. I slapped a price on it and did it for her. The satisfaction and hype I received was amazing. I created my own instagram for the business and it’s only gone up from there!. Read more>>

Kat Sparks

I was born in Alabama, and later moved to California where I was an actor for ten years. To pay the bills I became a commercial real estate agent and did script coverage for a couple of film companies on the side. I eventually moved to New Jersey, but after the financial freefall of 2009 I made the decision to move to Austin to be near my sisters. Once here, I began acting in local theatre. Although I started out as an actor I soon discovered my strength was in writing and directing. I eventually co-founded a theatre company, Southwest Theatre Productions, and wrote a comedy to produce as our first play. A couple of weeks before opening night I got a call from the producers of the Jimmy Kimmel Show, asking if they could relocate our production because they needed the stage we had rented to film a portion of their show during SXSW. Because they took very good care of us, securing a much better venue with more seats to fill, we actually made money on our very first show. I was able to learn a lot about budgeting and marketing a production without experiencing a financial setback. Read more>>

Sariel Brummer

I was born and raised in Israel. Six years ago I moved to the U.S for my husband’s MBA. Back in Israel I was a litigator, working at the DA’s office. Being a lawyer meant that I was prepared for this move with a plan, I had a clear vision for what this relocation was going to look like. But you know what they say, “Woman Plans, God Laughs”, life was about to serve me a lesson. Since we moved to the U.S. we had to relocate multiple times, every couple of months, until we finally moved to Austin 2.5 years ago. As an Israeli, I was used to having babka next to my coffee, for breakfast, as a dessert, an afternoon snack or a late night munch. Babka was on the table in every gathering and celebration. Moving through so many new places in the U.S, I was always on the lookout for babka. I felt that I needed a connection to home, something familiar. I slowly learned that people never heard of babka. So I baked my own babka, based on my grandmother’s recipe. My grandmother Ester, is the woman who I’m told to have taken after with my love for baking. Read more>>

Jai Nokes

My story started with daily affirmations and prophecies from my parents. Since I can remember my parents would say I was meant to do something great in the sports world. They weren’t specific with what they thought my involvement would be in sports but they knew I would do something impactful whether it was playing or doing what I do now which is working in sports media. Their belief in me led to me taking a leap of faith in 2014 when I got my first opportunity to appear on radio with the BGC Sports Network out of Dallas TX and that led to my first journalist assignment covering the Men’s basketball program at SMU. At the time I was just wanted to focus my time on radio and getting better at that, but that changed when the owner of the BGC Sports Network noticed one of my articles, so at that time I decided to cultivate both of my talents and build my own radio show and also find a way to improve my portfolio in writing. Read more>>

Jehryca Rayford

I am originally from Illinois. I moved to Texas when I was in the 6th grade. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Prairie View A&M University. I have always had a passion for fashion.. I have always been complimented on my sense of style. I quickly became the go-to-girl to my friends and family when it came to fashion and style trends.. I also understood the struggle of finding fashionable plus size clothes. There wasn’t many places you could go to find cute fashionable, affordable clothes for plus size women. For years, I dreamed of being a business owner and being my own boss. My friends have always expressed to me that I should start a plus size clothing line. I finally took a leap of faith and put my fears and doubts to the side and created Bella By Ray Boutique in November 2020. My ultimate goal is to create a plus size clothing that would be a one stop shop for plus size women. I wanted plus size women to feel beautiful and confident inn their clothes. Read more>>

Todd Sanders

Ever since I was a little kid I always wanted to be an artist so I studied Advertising / Graphic design at Sam Houston State University. While I fell in love with typography and designing in school, I quickly realized in school I was not going to be able to sit in an office someday and work as a traditional graphic designer. To help pay my way through college, I started painting signs for local ranches and coffee shops in downtown in Huntsville where I was studying. I really fell in love with sign painting and creating type styles but I was still kind of looking for the missing ingredient of what my future career would be. During spring break while still in college, my buddy and I took a road trip to New Braunfels from Huntsville and we were supposed to turn just outside of Bastrop. We weren’t paying attention and we came over the hill and we saw the Austin skyline. We agreed to drive into Austin and go to New Braunfels afterward. After 10 minutes of driving around Austin, I told my buddy I was moving. I’ll never live anywhere else. I just fell in love with the vibe of the city. Read more>>

Jennifer Gareau-Terrell

My story started as a troubled child with a lot of emotional trauma and I am so proud to be where I am today. I graduated from the University of Texas, Austin with an Anthropology degree. I decided that I would need to do more with my life then and decided that I would go to nursing school. I completed my nursing degree and took a job at Seton Main in Austin, Texas in the neonatal intensive care. It was an excellent career move and I loved it there but decided that I wanted more. I completed a Master’s degree for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. I continued to work for the Seton hospitals but in my new role. I still work in the hospital as a nurse practitioner and it is truly a very difficult job to give up. In the Summer of 2020, I decided to pursue my true passion and open up a Medspa in Dripping Springs, called GLOW Medspa. It has been so much more fulfilling than I would have ever imagine and I have so much pride that I was able to get over my greatest fears and just open GLOW. Read more>>

Kaleb Davis

I am the owner of Lemonack Lemonade Shack. I was born in raised in Southern California but, my family recently moved to Texas and here I am. The reason I started my lemonade business is because I wanted to be able to share two of my favorite things with the world and that is Lemonade & Popcorn. I’d say what makes my product stand out from the rest is most people sell just fresh squeeze lemonade by itself or they use powdered lemonade or it’s processed lemonade whatever you’d like to call it but I freshly squeezed all of my lemonade all of my lemons along with freshly praying all of my fruit so everything that goes into my lemonade it’s fresh with a consumer mine and I’ll make it fresh every time and serve fresh every week people want to buy what I’m selling because my lemonade is awesome it taste so good and I’ve paired it with Garretts popcorn which is a major staple and is well known in Chicago but a lot of people live in Texas that are also from Chicago and know about it and man I tell you that Garretts mix is the best it’s simply the best caramel and Carmel popcorn mixed altogether in one bite. Read more>>

Xandria Short

I would’ve never imagined that I’d be doing what I am doing today. I wasn’t necessarily a “Girly Girl” growing up. I didn’t wear dresses, skirts, makeup, or jewelry. I liked to play a little rough and it definitely showed. Makeup or skincare wasn’t even on my radar then. I was a cheerleader throughout middle and high school so I would have to wear makeup to my performances. Reflecting back on those times, I remember applying the eye shadow looks to the majority of my teammates on our game days. Little did I know I was preparing myself to be a Make up Artist (MUA). My love for makeup peaked when I was a freshman in college. Freshman year was a really tough year for me, and makeup became my way of expression. I had make up left from a prior photo shoot I had done, so one day I just decided to test my skills and go for it. I practically sat in my room everyday just creating different looks. Overtime, I started to notice my progress, and thinking “You know, I like this!” As I continued to experiment on myself, not once did I think to try doing it on someone else. Read more>>

Yaron Silberman

Macroband came to be through my experience in the Fitness Industry working as a personal trainer and group coach, along with my own personal experience. Over the years I noticed there was a disconnect between nutrition planning and fulfillment, especially when trying to make it happen in a convenient way. Working as a trainer along with managing and developing other trainers, many faced the issues of finding a nutrition plan that. Read more>>

Sakeenah Aleem

My journey as a content creator began in 2012 when I started my blog Mybrownsparklez.com. I was focused on creating my own personal magazine because I was obsessed with magazines at the time. Eventually, my blog evolved once social media became more popular. I was able to grow my following and began to be contacted by brands for collaborations. In 2015, I was featured in a spread by Marie Claire magazine along with other popular Austin bloggers such as Camille Styles and Jessie Afshin. I’ve loved being an influencer and watching the industry evolve and change. These days, I’m focusing on more intentional content and staying away from mindless scrolling. I recently launched a 21 Day Womb Detox that is a complete meal planning kit with vegan recipes. My degree is in nutrition so I have a major love for health and wellness. I try to incorporate this into my projects more. I’m also creating social media branding kits for entrepreneurs who don’t have time to curate their feed and need a little boost to their accounts. I’m enjoying being on the back end of the creative world and helping others achieve their business and life goals. Read more>>

Demetrius Baker

I’ve had a strong drive for fitness ever since I was a young kid watching my dad consistently stay dedicated to his craft in the gym, his career and with his family. I grew up wanting a career in law enforcement. Realizing that was not my calling… I ask God for my calling. And group fitness for women was the first thing to come to mind. I also have a photography business as well. Read more>>

Jiminai

From humble origins in a small West Texas town, my passion for art started at an early age. There are photos of me asleep at the table with a marker in hand. I really liked comic books back then and would draw the characters out of them and then sell them to my classmates in elementary school. While the rest of primary education was focused on sports, I picked art back up heavily in College, minoring in Printmaking. The techniques and workflow of printmaking were beneficial when I joined the post-college workforce world of Graphic Design. While I worked for various companies, I became more valuable as a freelancer who was picked up for speedy execution and creative twists. Clients like Red Bull began hiring me to illustrate event posters for them which steadily grew my digital skills and portfolio, all the while I began playing with spray paint. Learning how to control a media to turn digital graphics into massive artistic pieces quickly became my passion. Since then, I’ve been able to produce any scale of static art for any media and size. Read more>>

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