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Garland’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageDallas is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out rising stars from Garland and surrounding areas below.

Monetta Smith

I am originally from Los Angeles, California. At the age of 12, I moved to Texarkana, Texas, where my mom’s family lived. I resided in Texarkana until 2017. I took a leap of faith after losing my husband of 13 years. He passed away of illness. Upon taking this leap of faith, I had absolutely no idea what the future looked like for my then 13-year-old special needs daughter and me. All I knew was, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said my future was attached to my willingness to take the leap. Upon pursuing the Dallas, Metroplex, I was not sure where exactly I wanted to live because the area is huge. Being directed by God, I landed in Garland, Texas. I have no blood family in the Metroplex but have gained so many friends and people I now consider family. My journey to fully fulfilling purpose has not been easy, but because I walk by faith and believe in the power of prayer, I was determined to rediscover myself and fully walk in my purpose. Read more>>

David Ramirez Cardoso

I would often see such bad photos posted everywhere. I would think like any other person, why would that matter? It was not until I learned that first impressions are everything. I remember selling imported products on Facebook and running tests on what would convert better. One of the key things that I would see that affected my sales was the photography. With time I developed a love for photography, with marketing becoming my passion later on. I’m currently majoring in marketing. I’ll graduate with that bachelor’s in about a year after this term. I’ve recently have started to think about pivoting my business in more of a marketing-centric direction, even starting to work on a new business called marketing valor. The new website is still a work in progress, but eventually, I hope to dedicate most of my effort into that and do davact as more of a hobby. Read more>>

Armani Butler-Long

I found my passion for creating behind the camera lens perspective approximately four years ago. I remember getting started by reaching out to a close friend, who is a music artist and offered to shoot his video for free. The thought of spending around $600 in a local Target on a DSLR camera (Nikon D3200) was cringe at that moment in my journey lol. As the years progressed, I’ve found myself capturing moments of joy via weddings, quinceanera’s, baby showers and more. My desire behind the glass is to assist in creating a positive experience for my clients with every opportunity provided! I currently work with the classic mirrorless Sony a6300, which has achieved great success in tackling several projects. My motto is “visualize it and go create it!”. Read more>>

Kelly Joy Freeman

I retired from Avaya in 2012 as a Global Program Manager in the telecommunications field. After a few years, I offered to help a family friend who import/export goods, to sell their overstock of disposable bamboo plates. What I fell into was a movement of people, behavior changes, information and laws to reduce single-use plastic in the food industry. As I talked with potential clients, they had questions. They had sustainable needs. They had sustainable goals for their business but they didn’t have what they needed. So I began researching what was going on in our city and country regarding why there is such a need to reduce single-use plastic and start replacing with those items which are reusable, biodegradable or compostable. I learned the demand is out there, in both the commercial and consumer industries. Read more>>

Jada Bates

At a young age, I knew I loved fashion. I aspired to be a fashion designer. I took sewing and fashion classes. At 19, I got pregnant with my first child A’Miliyah. I gave birth to her in 2018. After having my daughter, I fell in love with dressing her up and bringing my ideas to life. That’s when I made the decision to pursue my first kid’s clothing line, “JArray Collection.” My goal is to one day have my brand international. I also want to inspire my minis that all things are possible through Christ. Read more>>

Lyn and Quan Spears

I credit my mother for the creative side of me. Growing up, our home was always a creative masterpiece designed by my mother. I developed a strong passion for the arts, namely, any form of design. Rather it was fashion, hair, food, graphic design or party planning. I loved the creative part of it all. I took a Fashion Design/Marketing course all four years of high school, which further sparked this passion. Later in life, after having a daughter, I would put together cute little fashion ensembles for her to wear. (She always complained that she was going to school too fancy-LOL). In 2015, I decided to do a “full-fledged” kids and teen benefit fashion show for Children’s Health Hospital in Dallas, TX. After the fashion show, I was always in search of opportunities to create, which lead me to graphic design. Read more>>

Keisha Casiano

At birth, I was diagnosed with a neonatal stroke, which caused me to have permanent brain damage. As a child, I had a hard time communicating with my family. I have expressed my life, feelings, and emotions through art since I was a young child. I found a way to get my thoughts across by drawing pictures and making little sculptures out of trash. I used finger paintings to communicate with my parents when the words would not come out of my mouth. Art was, for the beginning of my life, the only form of communication I had with the world around me. After a lifetime of mastering this form of communication, I now hope to bring that appreciation and perspective to the world around me through my art and teaching. Read more>>

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