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Hidden Gems: Plano

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 Plano’s gems below.

Judi Kim

Real estate was never my number one choice. When I was younger, I had aspirations of becoming a nurse or artist but I’ve always been drawn to helping and serving others, especially kids. Early on, I worked as an art teacher and in the art industry. Read more>>

Brittany Ryan

I’m a native Dallas-ite and a proud Texan, but from a young age I knew I wanted to see the world. I grew up going over to my grandmother’s house to learn French. She was a French teacher and used to spend every summer in France with her family. I could listen to her speak French for hours. Read more>>

Sarah Shiplett

My yoga journey began where it originated…I was in India studying advertising, completely unrelated to yoga yet yoga still found me. I had this beautiful opportunity to tour India with a small cohort from SMU. Looking back and I had no way of knowing it then, but that trip was a gift that shifted the trajectory of my life. Read more>>

Katy Garcia

I started in this business as a hobby, I always had a passion for photography. When my first daughter was born is when I actually started to really get in-depth in this art. I started taking classes and creating my business. I truly love capturing a smile and looking for the light. Read more>>

Gary St. John

In 2004, I started making warranty repairs for local home builders. As the work with home builders grew, I knew this could become a growing company so I partnered with a good friend, Ron Price, to form DFW Improved. At that time, it was Ron and I doing the repairs, and my soon to be wife, Sherri, keeping the books. Read more>>

Allyson Johnson and Leisa Barger

For seven years, I lived in Colorado and away from my sister (Leisa Barger). Life was pretty busy for us both and we didn’t get to see each other as much as we would have liked and we really missed being able to get together over a meal or coffee or wine whenever we liked. Not long into our living states apart. Read more>>

Courtney French

I’m a 29 years old stay-at-home-mom of two kiddos, a four years old and a 22 months old. I’ve been married to my husband, Zach, for seven years now, and we’re originally from Oklahoma. I worked for the largest glass company in North America, and quit that job to stay home with my kids. Read more>>

Paulina Reyes

I own Fairview Design, which is a bespoke calligraphy and signage company that creates beautiful pieces to fulfill all the decor needs of your life and any event like weddings, birthdays, graduations, and all the showers! I’ve always been incredibly creative, artistic, and right-brained. I LOVE to doodle and draw. Read more>>

Steve Longo

Our idea started five years ago, after several recruiting trips to top colleges and universities. After interviewing hundreds of students looking for their 1st “career job”, I was shocked to see the lack of preparation in terms of resume, interview skills and communication skills. Read more>>

Mariposa Haynes

I first recall falling in love with makeup and fashion at around 9-10 years old. I remember my aunt being a fashion star in my eyes. I admire her beautiful face freshly made with makeup and her fashion sense. I was just so fascinated by it, she always looked like a movie star and I wanted to be just like her. Read more>>

Leah LaRue

My young adult life so far has been a journey of combining my talent for hair and my passion for business development. I graduated from The Salon Professional Academy in Dallas after previously attending Brookhaven Community College. From day one in that small foundation’s class. Read more>>

Daniel Stein

Since the age of four, I was diagnosed with ADHD. My parents enrolled me in sports as a child, and I quickly learned that physical activity helped me gain a sense of confidence and self-control over my challenges with ADHD. I ended up falling in love with fitness and pursuing it has a hobby. Read more>>

Lauren Gachkar and Ashleigh Pogue

Ashleigh and I have been friends for a while now, and we have always had a passion for beauty, fashion, etc. Our husbands have had success in life, Ashleigh’s being a very successful construction business owner and Lauren’s being a former NFL and Dallas Cowboy player. Read more>>

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