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Inspiring Stories from Central Dallas

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 the rising stars of Central Dallas below.

Salvador (Chip) Imapastato

In 2010, during the recession, I co-founded Studio Outside with three partners. We had previously all worked together at another firm that had undergone an ownership transition a few years earlier. We realized we were in a unique situation; the economy was rebounding, and we wanted to build something significant together. We knew we were stronger as a group than individuals. We began with a focus on our design work and company values. We continued to invest in the company with top caliper staff, continuing education, and marketplace exposure. Read more>>

Iris Midler McCallister

It all started on a farm in 2010. We had a long table dinner with about 125 people. There were five chefs and five farmers working together for the purpose of engaging and doing future business with each other. It was a sold out event and we were asked by a media writer to put on another dinner in Fort Worth three months later. It was never intended to be a repeated event, but it grew out of interest! We are now the fastest growing Food & Wine Festival in Dallas! Read more>>

Ashley Denson

While I was employed as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ralph Hall for almost six years on Capitol Hill, I have always possessed a secret passion for event planning. I began my career in events by working in the Promotions Department for WPGC 95.5 (CBS Radio – Washington, DC) and 97.9 The Beat (Radio One – Dallas) from 2011-2013. In these roles, I attained the bulk of my event planning experience. Though I was fortunate enough to work for several different entities, I always desired to be able to provide my own clients with flawlessly executed, unforgettable experiences, no matter what city, state or country they are in. Thus, Paint The Town Red Productions was birthed. Read more>>

Dahlia Knowles

Throughout my childhood I knew I had a deep love for music. My parents let me take piano lessons starting when I was 8 years old, I participated in choir and band, and also attended classes for guitar and voice. I began to write my own songs when I was about 13 years old. At 16, I started my gender transition from male to female, which was and continues to be a very emotional journey. In high school I experienced a great deal of depression, and I turned to songwriting to make sense of the pain I was going through with dysphoria and bullying. Read more>>

Savannah Biles

At a young age, my grandmother (and my middle namesake) instilled a love of the arts within me. Watercolor is her medium of choice, and I followed in her footsteps and tried to soak up as much of her skill as I possibly could. During my early college years, I was faced with trials that kept me from feeling a sense of value or worth–I was taken advantage of, I punished myself through starvation, and I was kicked out of college for having an eating disorder. Read more>>

Kristina Williams

I am originally from Grand Rapids Michigan; however, I moved to Dallas, Texas when I was about 9 years-old. My mother, two other older teen sisters and I moved here and were staying in a Family Shelter for abused woman and families in Dallas, TX. Due to my mother slapping my oldest sister, CPS got involved and took us from our mother. My mother was hospitalized almost immediately after for having a nervous breakdown. I remained in Foster Care from age 9 years old until I was 17. Read more>>

Lisa Endicott

I was raised by and around amazing entrepreneurial women who were very inspiring. My aunt worked for Bette Nesmith Graham who invented Liquid Paper. Bette created a foundation and the first afterhours care private day school so that working single parents had a place for childcare. My mother worked for Curtis Mathes founder of the television company, and real estate legends Henry S. Miller, Ebby Halliday and Paula Stringer and started her own real estate agency. Read more>>

Amy Levenson Krumholz

Amy Levenson has worked in the fashion industry as a designer, retail buyer, and wholesale representative and currently as a wardrobe stylist and personal shopper for over 29 years. Amy graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and following graduation, moved to the West Coast to jumpstart her career in fashion. Her professional journey began at The California Mart in Los Angeles as a wholesale showroom manager. Read more>>

Kendra Rainey-King, Jamarion Rainey

I started writing when I was in the eighth grade and then I took a passion for R.L. Stine and Stephen King. But, when I started my ninth grade year, I fell in love with the urban genre as well with authors like: Omar Tyree, Zane and Eric Jerome Dickey. So, I stared writing my first urban book in 2005, which was my senior year, I published this book in 2007 but this agent moved far away and I never heard from her again, neither did I receive any royalties from it. Read more>>

Tyler Walker-Wilson

While this was fun and we made a little bread I wanted to be more involved with the event instead of just promoting and I wanted to make more money consistently. Elz was the guy throwing the party and one of the DJs and I thought it was dope and I enjoyed witnessing the art of DJ’ing and I could tell they got a rush from making a room of 800-1200 people jump dance or rap a song based off their skills. Me being the hard working and determined person my mom raised me I knew it was something I had to learn and I knew over time I could master. Read more>>

Natasha Nicholson

I was always into doing my makeup and hair growing up even though looking back I wasnt as good as I thought lol. I never thought I would end up doing it professionally. I always wanted to be a model and in the fashion industry. My mom wouldn’t let me wear makeup so I decided to get in drill team so she didn’t have a choice but to let me wear it because it was required. So I won! When I got pregnant with my first kid I decided to go to beauty school and figured since I was pregnant for 9 months I could go to beauty school and get my license and start working after I had my baby which is exactly what I did. Read more>>

Courtenay DeHoff

Becoming a nationally syndicated television host wasn’t always on my radar. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Kansas. My childhood was spent competing in rodeos and showing cattle across the country. I am a cowgirl first and foremost, but television is my calling. In college I toured a TV station and was intrigued so I mustered up the courage to ask for an internship. That internship turned into a lifelong career in front of the camera. Read more>>

Joye Strickland

Looking back it’s funny how things fall into place. Ten years ago, I was in a totally different career path, dealing with Product Development and trend forecasting but also going through the changes we all experience in life, marriage, babies, etc… I had hit that point when you realize the dream you’ve been sold as your reality really isn’t where you are fulfilled. At the time, I had been under a lot of emotional stress which led to physical stresses ultimately affecting my health and well-being. Read more>>

Hana Worede

I started this company a little over 5 years ago where my inspiration stemmed from a missionary trip I had taken upon graduation from dental school, where as a practicing dentist I worked in several clinics and was exposed to what was truly lacking back home. Upon my return I decided to start this company with hopes of having the means to give back. I taught a winery out in west Texas how to make and perfect the wine and it’s quite exquisite! Read more>>

Amanda Johnson

Moms Demand Action was started by a mother of 5 in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. In 5 1/2 years, we have grown to have 75,000 members with chapters in every state. We fight for common sense gun laws, support survivors, and teach families about safely storing guns. This has been a learning and growing experience every step of the way! Even when we fail (can’t block a bill loosening gun laws), we have learned to “fail forward” (we might get some safety measures built into that bill). We are constantly learning, growing and improving. Read more>>

Nancy Addison

Before becoming a professional speaker, health and nutrition counselor, and chef, I experienced some serious health problems. At the age of two, I was given an overdose of penicillin that demanded numerous blood transfusions and bone marrow tests, leaving me with acute anemia. Craving sugar for the energy it provided, I became pre-diabetic by high school and developed macular degeneration so serious, that the eye doctor told my mother that I was going blind. By my late twenties, I was still struggling with acute anemia, pre-diabetes, and macular degeneration. In addition to this, I had painful acid reflux and carpal tunnel syndrome. Read more>>

Stacie Hernandez

I grew up in Oklahoma and obtained my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Oklahoma. I then moved to NYC to attend Pratt Art Institute, receiving my Master of Fine Arts degree. Read more>>

 Setara Monzon, Kat Diesel

We discovered the fellow creative entrepreneur in each other and it really motivated us in our other businesses. Read more>>

Buck Sanchez

I was raised as a military brat on a Marine base located in Honolulu, Hawaii and from there, I have traveled the states of America to gain knowledge of myself and my cultural history. Read more>>

Will Zee’ Tidwell

Long before I was SpeakUPZee, I was a 17-year-old kid whose real first love was basketball and I truly believed that my life would be surrounded with that. But, then LIFE happened. I actually found my purpose after going through one of the hardest times of my life. Read more>>

Jesse Landry

I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My uncle owns and operates a pub in England, my brother just recently started a real estate investment company, and the two men I admire most, my dad and my grandfather founded a very successful industrial service company. Read more>>

Melvin Sanders

Once I retired, I started training a few clients in a small apartment gym to keep myself busy and not be bored afterlife without basketball. Pretty soon I found myself training clients 16 hours a day. After four years in the small apartment gym. I decided to create, design and build SandersFit Performance Center. Read more>>

Krista Sarpalius

My first ever batch of sugar cookies ended up looking like a weird palm tree falling off of a brown blob. They were absolutely terrible, and I ended up throwing them in the trash through my defeated decorator tears. It was so depressing! After that failure, I was determined to get better. Read more>>

Jewels Clark

It’s been a year now. A year since my How To Be Social story began. It started as a little personal blog in 2017 (worst year ever) when I decided I wanted to start writing more and was interested in the influencer craze. I figured why not? Read more>>

Victoria Bell

I started singing in church at a very early age, singing commercials, theme songs and mimicking some of my favorite artists and down-home singers. One especially being my grandmother. My mom never stopped me; I noticed there was never a time she’d tell me to “quiet down” or “stop.” For that reason, I think I developed the confidence in my gift. Read more>>

We Yogis

I have a background in health, including a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology and a previous career in the pharmaceuticals industry. As such, I have always been focused on wellness, especially for the entire family. Read more>>

Sherrie Zantea (Candy) Coleman

At the age of 12 years old I began writing poetry. I would perform in church and then when I graduated high school I started performing my poems in Dallas. In 2001 while I was in college, a poet named Rock Baby introduced to slam poetry. I was putting on poetry events at my university; they were becoming popular. Read more>>

Kevin Rainey

On the weekends, I moonlighted as a chauffeur to earn extra money, so I could help put my son through college. I loved the job and quickly realized that starting a private car service was going to be my ticket to legit entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Claudia Zelazny

In the early ’80s, I was the co-owner of The Workout on Lovers Lane, one of the premier aerobic studios in Dallas. Long after that business was sold, my pilates instructor told me about Scott Herrera and I became his client. Read more>>

Shannon Lucas

It all started back in high school when I took my first psychology class and fell in love. During those years in high school, I was also involved in a traumatic car accident that opened my eyes to the world of counseling. Read more>>

Katelyn Fletcher, Kat Allen

Kat and I started as strangers, then we became best friends, and now we are business partners. We never expected to be where we are. Creating started as a hobby for us and grew into a major passion. Read more>>

Reuben Lael

Music runs in my blood. My mom played the piano for my dad’s church while pregnant with me. Many people say that’s where it started. Read more>>

Justin Seitz

Baylor interior design graduate. Moved to DFW in 1999. Started my firm in 2001. We are a full-service interior design firm. My business has grown organically from client referrals and word of mouth. Read more>>

Andrew Slaton

After graduating from UT Austin, I began assisting some of the best photographers in Texas. Because of this, I eventually was brought back to Dallas, where I grew up, to start my own commercial/ editorial photography business. Read more>>

Niecee X

I am 28, an organizer, a domestic violence survivor, poet, artist, and a queer Black person. I founded a poc women’s advocacy organization called Black Women’s Defense League in 2015 after having been impacted by both the Black Lives Matter Movement and experiencing domestic violence; I knew that there was an intersection of trauma being overlooked. Read more>>

De’Ashanea Minor

Imagine being in a standpoint with the world moving rapidly right in front of your eyes? That was me at the age of 19 years old. All my life, I did JUST ENOUGH to get by and keep my parents satisfied. For the first time, after getting a good glimpse of the “real world,” I was ready to do something and succeed gracefully at it. Read more>>

Barron Johnson

I began my graphic design career in 2007 when I was making personalized Myspace Layouts for myself. A few friends saw how cool my page looked and asked for me to make them a personalized layout as well. I would charge them a small fee and make them look like someone important, as far as customized myspace pages went. Read more>>

Hernan Giraldo

Tennis became my escape from the brutal reality around me. Tennis gave me the opportunity to dream and aspire amidst so much uncertainty and chaos around me. Read more>>

Briana Gardner

I started out working retail in college and completed various internships which gave me lots of knowledge about the industry and helped hone in my skills as a designer and stylist. Read more>>

Mario Mendez

At 24 years of age, I started following my interest with a mere 2MP phone camera because I couldn’t afford a compact camera. By 2012, I was able to purchase my first DSLR, a Canon 5D mark ll. Read more>>

Angela Webb

I majored and later received my BFA in Digital Photography. There, I was exposed to many different styles of photography, Architecture, Food, Table Top, but the one that stuck with me the most was Fashion. Read more>>

Kylie McLaughlin

I started college as a Marine Biology major. It didn’t take me long to realize that math and sciences were not in my stars, so after my first year of college I took some time off from school to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My interest in photography began in middle school when my mom gifted me my first camera – a Sony Super Shot. Read more>>

Carmen Gray and Christal Bables

I (Carmen) was a recent transplant to the Dallas Metroplex. I met Christal at work and our friendship evolved from there. After I left that position, we continued to communicate and she introduced me to the world of podcasting by asking me to co-host The Reigning Opinions Podcast. Read more>>

Tia Davidson

I actually prayed that God would bless me with a man who could show me true love and loved me no matter what. I vowed to stop looking and just live my life in hopes that whoever he had for me found me and never let me go. My husband, Travis, and I met on Twitter, and for the longest time we were embarrassed to tell people that, but hey…the cat is out of the bag now! Read more>>

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