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Hidden Gems: East 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 East Dallas’ gems below.

Casey Withers

I started taking photos as a means of occupation therapy and rehabilitation after suffering injuries in the military that would eventually land me back in the civilian sector. I enjoyed the process and began practicing and developing my skill set by photographing cars, something I was around quite a bit. In doing that, I occasionally worked with a model that would be with the car and I found that I really enjoyed working with clients but needed to improve my skill to work with people instead of vehicles. Read more>>

Elizabeth Walker

My path to cake baking and decorating was a mix of growing up around some badass bakers (my grandmothers), self-education and practice. Growing up, my maternal grandmother was known for her baking and, since we both lived in Austin, TX I was able to spend a lot of my time with her making cookies, cinnamon rolls, candies and all sorts of sweets. That’s really where my love for baking began. Read more>>

Tony Garcia

I was born and raised in Dallas and went to school at Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts aka Arts Magnet Dallas. During my time there, I majored in music and was exposed to many forms of art through Dance, Music, Theatre and of course Visual Arts. Read more>>

Emily Nemeth

Bathroom Saga started in the bathroom of a hotel lobby in downtown Dallas when my two best girlfriends walked in and we took a mirror selfie. From that night on Bathroom Saga began from a string of random coincidences of being in cool places with cool bathrooms. Read more>>

Justin Romeyn

Well honestly, I never thought I’d be doing this – video production that is. I mean I’ve always been creative. For instance in 3rd grade, I created my own comic book series to distribute in school. Then in 4th grade, I drew anything my peers wanted me to for money. That went well until my mom found out about my profits and I had to give it all back. Read more>>

Johnny-Ray Hubbard

I started playing guitar in my bedroom at about 12 years old and stuck with it all through high school and most of my life. I played in bands but was always half-focused on other things like school, working to pay bills, etc. I was even homeless for a little while after high school, mostly couch-surfing but not always able to find a place. Read more>>

Andrea Pujol

When I was in college, I was frequently called upon to make banners and posters for events because I’ve always had nice penmanship. When I graduated, one of my friends gave me my first well of ink and dip pens. I picked up a pen, wrote something very ugly, and decided it wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Celisa Meals

I knew at a very early age that I wanted to be a visual storyteller. It feels very natural for me to be behind a camera, seeing all of the tangible elements that can be manipulated and captured. I accidentally stumbled into photography as I was pursuing a career in film. My original objective was to be a Director of Photography or a Cinematographer, but once I started an apprenticeship with an actual film and live broadcast studio. Read more>>

Orlando Hopson

In Cleveland where I am originally from I lived in an underprivileged and underserved community. One of the needs I seen was tutoring and mentoring for kids so at 15 years old, I started M.A.G.I.C (Making.A.Generation.Improve.& Change) which was a tutoring and mentoring service. After that at 19 when I moved to Dallas, TX I started Hopson Helps which is Business Consulting and Public Speaking. Read more>>

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