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Hidden Gems: Fort Worth

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 Fort Worth’s gems below.

Grace and Todd Vranac

Our story began with both my husband, Todd and I working full time in the corporate world. Thankful for successful careers filled with travel, promotions and a rewarding balance of work-hard-play-hard mentality, my career in commercial real estate hit a bump in the road. Read more>>

Danii Oliver

I became interested in fermentation when I had nothing but “time” to patiently wait on things that took “time” to develop. I became fascinated by what happened to fresh natural pressed or steeped juices beyond the taboo phase of expiration. Read more>>

Ryan and Vanessa Clayton

I am a graphic designer by trade and have been making digital art most of my life. I started making music visuals about five years ago in Fort Worth for local bands. We found a good audience when I met an event promoter at The Womb gallery in Oklahoma City. Read more>>

Austin Patry

In Fall of 2016, I met my business partner, Sophia Karbowski, in an Entrepreneurial Management class at Texas Christian University. Ironically, we were paired up on a group project that involved health, wellness, and food. Over time, we realized that Fort Worth. Read more>>

Barbara Buchanan

My story starts as a young toddler who began losing hair around the age of 3. Hair loss has been a difficult journey for me. I’ve encountered every stage of my life as a bald person. Now, as a bald woman. The journey as a bald person had been quite challenging. Read more>>

Roxanne Woodcock and Ashley Glanton

Ashley and I established a friendship back in 2012 and during this time we found that we both had a passion for all things food, beverage and cooking. We wouldn’t call ourselves professionals but taught by our mothers in the kitchen. Every celebration would revolve around big feasts. Read more>>

Amanda Olson and Kristy Hollis

We became fast friends a little of twenty years ago, when we were both the new kids at Aledo Middle School in Aledo, TX. A lot of people can say that they’ve had lifelong friends, but ours is more than that. Our friendship was formed on a foundation of Christ and quickly turned into a sisterhood that has lasted a lifetime. Read more>>

Karina Benavides

I owned a small front store named Zafiro Joyeria back in Esteli, Nicaragua since we are a family-owned business with more than 20 years’ experience. Despite the success I was having in my country, I felt something was missing and wanted to travel the world. Read more>>

Chanda Taylor

Outside The box was initially established to provide birthday snack gift boxes, and college care packages to incoming Freshmen… Hence the name “Outside The Box”, but apparently, GOD had other plans! I’ve always enjoyed baking and creating delicious treats for friends and family. Read more>>

Claire Vess

I’ve always been interested in clothing! At a very young age, I learned how to sew in a 4H program in the small town where I grew up. It consisted of picking out patterns and material, putting the piece of clothing together and then finally a fashion show at the county fair. Read more>>

Daniel Wood

I spent over a decade managing facilities for major foodservice companies. After leaving my previous company, I recognized a need for commercial kitchen and food truck commissary in the DFW area, which has a lack of resources for caterers and food truck operators. Read more>>

Lauren Bridge

I’m the owner, baker, and artist of Southern Solaces. Baking and painting have long been passions of mine. My love for baking and art began in toddlerhood. Whether it was making homemade bread and pies with my mom and grandmother or making my own paper dolls. Read more>>

Jessica Hester

I’m just a country girl from Valdosta, GA living in the big city daring to dream lol. My husband is in the military and we moved to Texas in 2011. I started a career in healthcare marketing and sales and have been in that field almost nine years now. Part of my career that I love is that I get to be creative. Read more>>

Rochelle Byrd

This started one night in 2008 with me and two of my friends out eating dinner. Not sure how we got on the subject, but we started talking about cupcakes. I have baked since I was a little girl and told them that my dream was to one day own my out Cupcake shop. Read more>>

Michael Wilson

My journey started back in 2004, at the age of 18 years old. I started out operating my family’s tax practice in South California. They were working in their business not on it and I could see, even at that young age, how they could do things better to be more efficient and more profitable. Read more>>

Jennifer Casseday

Believing that a clear and differentiating message can be the best weapon in business, Jennifer Casseday garnered the agency title of munitions expert. Before founding SmartBomb Creative, Jennifer cut her teeth in the advertising world as a senior copywriter at a leading North Texas advertising agency. Shortly thereafter. Read more>>

Aaron Latchaw

The newest member of the Oak Cliff Coffee family, Race Street Coffee was born from a neighborhood partnership in Fort Worth. A collaboration with local Aaron Latchaw, Race Street strives to bring great coffee and fellowship to the historic Riverside community. Built-in 1950. Read more>>

Ja’Michael Breckenridge

I’ve been into urban/street fashion my whole life. Grew up wearing different brands like FUBU, Sean John, Diamond Supply, KREW, Vans, I could go all day. But the how I got into streetwear was just I was so tired of going shopping and seeing stuff I didn’t really like. Read more>>

Sadie Keeton

I snapped this photo on a Sunday morning, already post-photoshoot, which is rare these days; a completely unedited, slightly out-of-focus tripod shot, I’m sitting in my unmade bed, gratefully clutching a cup of coffee to stave off the inevitable headache that an unfortunate level of caffeine dependency produces. Read more>>

Preston Ward

One of the owners is a practicing licensed attorney who has a love for fireworks and providing that “wow” moment at weddings, special events, and city displays. When he was getting married, he wanted a display at his wedding, but being fresh out of law school and paying for the wedding himself. Read more>>

Ashley Burr

I have always had the desire to serve and help people. I graduated nursing school and worked as an operating room nurse for nine years. During that time, I went on a few short-term trips serving women of west Africa through surgical procedures with several organizations. Read more>>

Marco Johnson

Fort Worth recently became the 13th largest city (by population) in the US. However, our entrepreneurial ecosystem is highly underdeveloped considering how large our city is. We don’t see the level of entrepreneurial activity that should be represented for a city of our size. Read more>>

DJ Soft Cherry

Around five years ago, I learned how to DJ just for fun. I lived in Los Angeles for most of my teens and early twenties and always had a fascination with the lobby DJ at The Standard Hotel where I would hang out. I was always going up to them asking what they were playing and discovered many of my favorite artists this way. Read more>>

Summer Robinson

I am 21 years old, and I’ve been creating art as long as I can remember. My Nana is the one who fostered a real love of art in me from a super young age. When I was a kid I would go stay at her house for at least a week and we would paint, go to art shops, and she would tell me about all the new things she had created lately. Read more>>

Frances Juru

For many years I simply made Mac & Cheese for family gatherings like Thanksgiving. Many of my family members said it was the best Mac & Cheese they’ve ever tasted and they’d try to convince me to sell it. I thought to myself who would buy Mac & Cheese and often brushed it off. Read more>>

Jacob Hannasch

Growing up, I was never sure what I wanted to be, other than a professional athlete. In my adolescence, all I knew for sure is that I wanted to make a positive impact on the planet and on people. This is what mattered to me most. I fell into the natural pitfall of focusing on money when I started college. Read more>>

Dominique Van Ausdall

I became a teacher right out of college in 2013 and instantly knew it wasn’t the wrong career for me. I began searching and landed on craft beer, it was blowing up in Dallas-Fort Worth and I wanted to be apart of it. I reached out to every open brewery in the market. Read more>>

Chef Julia Dunaway

I haven’t always been a chef. I was in the military and the uniformed services for a total of 30 years. I was one of the first women to serve as a police officer (law enforcement specialist) in the United States Air Force. I went on to earn a master’s degree. Read more>>

Krystal and Michael Burhenne

We got into home design and décor when we bought our first home in northeast Ohio close to Cleveland. It became our first “fixer upper” and we learned a lot about the reality of how much construction costs and the amount of work it takes to redesign multiple rooms in a house. Read more>>

Fabiola Melendez Velez

I am born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico (where the sun is your OOTD everyday) haha. I moved to Texas about three years ago, it was a decision made so I could have a better future, without no one or nothing holding me back I said goodbye to my lovely family, precious beaches and warm weather all year long. Read more>>

Shawn Howell

Nearly 20 years ago, I applied to beertend at the Flying Saucer in Arlington as an avid beer drinker always looking to expand my horizons. Little did I know that would lead to a career in Craft Beer in DFW. I’m sure I could be doing other things but I was drawn to the culture and the good people, never looked back. Read more>>

Jill Alexander

My photography journey really began about seven years ago. You see, I am a former 2nd-grade elementary school teacher and resigned after having my second child. I had always loved taking photographs even from a very young age. After my kids were born, I became that mom that took a photo. Read more>>

Sandra Salinas

My story begins with adversity from birth. Born to teenage parents who divorced when I was three, I spend most of my childhood with my grandparents. My grandma, Pauletta became closer to me than my own mother. She was a strong, intelligent woman from humble beginnings who always encouraged and believed in me. Read more>>

Donovan Wells

I started my photography business by my noticeable interest editing photos of myself when I was younger. I went from adding simply adding filters to exploring and creating more personalized images. After discovering some cool styles, I began taking photos of nature and looking to tell stories through what I see and how I edit. Read more>>

Tammie Warner

19 years old. Working in Chicken Express. A man walks in that just purchased the small flower shop in my hometown, Joshua Texas. He had been in many times before and enjoyed me waiting on him. He asked me to come work for him. I agreed, and so began the adventure. Read more>>

Abigail McIntosh

Life In focus started as a way to share my life and style finds with my family back home while living in Des Moines Iowa. It quickly became a space to share my bucket list travels and everyday hobbies. Growing up Entrepreneurship has always been apart of me. Read more>>

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