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Hidden Gems: Central Dallas

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 Central Dallas’ gems below.

Thomas Renner

After experiencing my own weight-loss journey, I knew my passion in life was helping people achieve goals they never thought possible. Upon completion of my BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory I returned to Dallas and pursued theatre and dance. In 2011, I felt an emotional shift after completing my NASM Personal Training certification to truly create a life of helping others. This launched my fitness career in the Fall of 2012 teaching indoor cycling with Flywheel Sports. Read more>>

Barbara Matsuura

At 19 years old, I self-studied Zen Shiatsu in order to treat my dad who was a firefighter. I was so natural at it. I began practicing Japanese Buddhism and then I moved from NYC where I was a ballerina to Tokyo in 1981 to study Japanese Classical Dance. My husband’s company moved us to Hong Kong in 1986 where I was with the Hong Kong Ballet, teaching ballet at a Chinese ballet school and then beginning to learn Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan). Read more>>

Gregory West

I’m born and raised Atlanta, GA. Moved to Dallas, Texas in 2015. My journey started in banking back in 2012 and it’s been uphill from there. I know one of my strengths was finance but I had no idea what direction or path I should take. I also knew I wanted to buy homes but simply didn’t have the ‘“know-how”. Once I moved to Dallas, I got into mortgages (2016). I love the industry and opportunities it has provided to me. I also love the relationships I’ve established. Read more>>

Carly Allen-Martin

I was born an artist and traveling has been an important part of my process. In 2002, I graduated high school early and moved to Florence, Italy to attend Santa Reperata International School of Art. Once I got a taste of the art world and its’ history, there was no turning back. I went on to study at The European Academy of Art in Germany and Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. In 2007, I graduated from Texas Christian University with a BFA in painting and a minor in Art History. Read more>>

Pamela Bailey

I firmly believe that our greatest successes in life are achieved when we work with a passion and a purpose. Looking as far back as my childhood in South Carolina, I realize that I have always been preparing to do what I am doing now in Dallas, storytelling across media. I created Blue Rose Media Group to tell the important stories of people of color who have contributed greatly to our country and to the world, like many of the people in my own ancestral family, whose narratives were negated and ignored for centuries. Read more>>

Joann Mamuyac

I’ve always been into the beauty industry. I’ve always wanted to help other women feel confident and beautiful. I’ve done hair, makeup, photography, lashes and brows. But my main concept was to empower women. To especially uplift those who have struggled with their self-esteem. I wanted to create a movement within the beauty industry and that beauty is not only on the outside but it should reflect what you have within as well. Read more>>

Ressie G

Moving to Dallas in September 2016 has truly been a journey. From doors being slammed in my face to windows being closed, I had to build my own foundation and house. With new doors I kicked open, and lifting windows I have to say Chasing: Dallas truly has become a movement like no other. More than just a reality-based webseries, Chasing: Dallas has become a true help to advance the LGBT folk of color in the Dallas community. Read more>>

Jemila Medley

I began singing, dancing, and performing at a very young age but was hesitant to perform and sing my own original music. In January of 2016, I took a leap in my faith and decided to start writing contemporary Christian music. As I had begun writing my music, I realized how natural it felt and how much I enjoyed writing worship music. Worship has always been a huge part of my life and who I am. Anyone who knows me knows how sacred and special worship is to me. Read more>>

Eric Hendrix

I was born in Michigan but moved to Dallas in the first grade. I started writing music when I was 12 years old. I stayed persistent and believed in Myself, plus I have a great support system. I signed with the label, Versastyle LouvaStyle Entertainment in 2019. I have kids and that’s what keeps me motivated. Read more>>

Maurice Johnson

Nashville, Tennessee, was a place where my love and passion for the media entertainment industry started. First, I majored in Broadcast, Communications where I hosted live radio shows for my college campus. It was then in 2015 where I started working my very first red carpet event in Nashville at the GMA Dove Awards. In liberty of that, I was guest on WeTV successful reality show, Mary Mary, Season 5 and I got a chance to interview some of the most top-rated artists in the industry. Read more>>

Jacob Phillips

My passion has always been creating. My journey started back in 2010, when I started thinking about what path I wanted to take for my career. I knew that I didn’t want to sit behind a desk and punch numbers all day. I also knew I didn’t want to be confined to a cubicle for the rest of my life. It’s just not me. My childhood was filled with moments where I could be super creative through legos and woodworking. Read more>>

Playboy Chubs

My musical journey started when I was younger. I have always been surrounded by music I remember growing up around my teenage years my older brother had an in house studio. And he always encouraged me to write down my feelings and real-life situations and apply that to my music before I was able to record, and that helped me out a lot especially at the point of my life now because that is what molded me to be the artist I am now. Read more>>

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