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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.

Ashley Durden

I have been in education for over ten years both formally – in schools – and informally – through tutoring and working in orphanages and non-profit organizations. After graduating with my degree in Elementary Education in 2012, I took a big leap and moved to Juarez, Mexico to live and serve in an orphanage. During my time in Mexico, I realized that teaching in the traditional classroom was not for me. I was more drawn to supporting my students in making social, emotional, and intellectual growth. In 2017, I decided to jump into my passion with full force and start serving pre-teen and teen girls in the community. Before I knew it, I was leading anywhere from 9-20 girls. Soon I founded El Bosque (The Forest) ministry in Juarez. I planned events, hosted study sessions for school, and coordinated community service, just to name a few things. Read more>>

Lisa Gonzalez

I have had an interest in fashion since I was in high school. A college from Miami, Florida came to our class to talk to us about the programs they had and fashion merchandising was one of them. I thought to myself “Miami and fashion-let’s do it!” I went there for two years and in that time, I learned about marketing, went to New York and sat down with some of the buyers for H&M and many other well-known companies, and was able to browse around a wholesale market with many vendors as an educational experience. I loved it all. The time came where we had to do an internship (not paid) with a retail store. I did about ten interviews and could not find a store that would work with me. They didn’t want the hassle that came with it. That discouraged me and I could not move on to the next semester without that internship. I gave up. I quit school and decided to just live in Miami and work. A few years passed. I started beauty school but didn’t complete that either. I ended up starting a family at 21 years old and moved back to Dallas, TX. There was no time or energy to think about myself and what I liked anymore (or so I thought). Life was all about the children. Read more>>

Jacoiya Brown

I am originally from Denton, Texas. Moved to Garland in 2016 and since I’ve been back and forth in the Garland/Mesquite Area. In 2019, I became so unhappy with my career path… something had to change! Then, I was working at State Farm as a Claims Adjuster. One of the best jobs I had, just wasn’t something I wanted to do career-wise. I decided that I was ready to end my career with SF and dive headfirst into the hair industry. I called my mom up and said “I have X amount saved up, I’m putting my two weeks notice in and enrolling myself in cosmetology school”. Her response was “if that’s what you want to do, DO IT!” From that point forward, I have not looked back since. I became a Licensed Cosmetologist beginning of this year 2021, right out of school I opened up a salon suite in Mesquite, TX. I’m now a full-time Braider/Stylist. Read more>>

Tasha Kadira

My first ever balloon-related project was back in quarantine 2020. If it was not for my sister graduating senior year 2020, I don’t think I would be here today. I was very proud of my sister for finishing senior year through a pandemic, and I knew I had to make her graduation special! That’s when I began looking on balloon’s websites and discovered mosaics. I wanted to get “2020” in the 5 foot tall mosaics for my sister, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to purchase them for $400. Later I started researching videos and pictures learning how to make a mosaics. After one day of researching, I ran to Home Depot and purchased my materials! I made my sister’s name in mosaic letters for way less than $400. When family and friends saw my creation, they encouraged me to start a business. Months later, I got the courage and started the KBalloonistas business! As the road went on, I learned new things such as balloon garlands, balloon columns, and backdrops. Read more>>

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