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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.

Yessenia Perez

It all started after I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. I was freshly new to this mom’s life and like many, I was beyond scared. But I refused to lose faith. I was taught that the average millionaire has seven sources of income and I wanted to invest into something I was going to genuinely love doing. Something that later on would hopefully bring a residual income to fund my kid’s future… Yayo’s Treats (originally Yayo’s Treat Towers) was later founded May 2020. It unexpectedly took off the same week and I spent Mother’s Day making and learning how to put together floral/edible arrangement towers, which I later delivered all around Dallas. It was just up from there. Read more>>

Jasmine Thurston

In 2014, I found myself sitting on Santa Monica Beach after having suffered six months of chronic depression. My life, as I knew at the time, had been upended by personal tragedy. It was there, on the beach in silence and tears, that I began searching my faith for what was next. Two weeks later, I was off to Europe and Asia in search of peace… and ended up finding purpose. Over the next five years, I would travel-serially-to more than 30 of Earth’s nations. I am now the owner and CEO of Reflections Candle Co., a candle company inspired by my experiences and travels around the world. Each scent takes inspiration from a particular place or experienced moment in my travels. I’ve always been pleasantly plagued with an insatiable curiosity about the world, its workings, its people and their stories. My parents often recount stories of me as early as 14 months of age, asking the question “Why?” and always, quietly, getting into things that would satisfy my curiosities. “Reflections”- as I call it in short – was not created on a whim. Read more>>

Chalae Lindsey Perry

I have always been into accessories so I knew I wanted to do a jewelry brand that represented me. I’ve always been drawn to unique earrings and necklaces but whenever I went into a mall, they never had what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own. When I was younger, I also noticed that the pieces that I bought would always be so heavy on the ears so I made sure my earring designs were always lightweight but still had that boldness to make you stand out. Read more>>

Tom Bridwell

I grew up in Abilene, TX and taught myself to play drums in high school. After college at the University of Kansas, I moved to Dallas for a job at the Studios Of Las Colinas, where I spent a year converting 500 analog 2-inch tape reels full of worship music to digital format for the owner. The process included having to design and build an oven, made from plywood and salon-quality blow dryers, used to literally “bake” each aging and brittle tape reel at 150 degrees for 12 hours – enabling one last quality playback for transfer. While sitting at the mixing console, listening in real time to thousands of multi-tracked songs being transferred, out of boredom, I would solo the instruments, listen to the sounds and try and improve them – thereby cutting my teeth on the complex studio equipment. In 1999, I started a band with best friend and guitarist Chris Holt and toured nationally until 2004. Our band, Olospo, recorded three albums during that time and my passion for the recording arts was forged. So I enrolled at Dallas Sound Lab and subsequently got an internship at Last Beat Studio in Deep Ellum circa 2005. Read more>>

Brandon Hambrick

Zeus Instructional was created in the pandemic of 2020. I was just certified in the early part of 2020 before the pandemic started. Once a boom in gun sales started, I felt the need to educate my community on the fundamentals of firearms and safety. May 28, Zeus Instructional was licensed Business and I began teaching classes. I had a number of people contacting me for my services and met so many new people. Read more>>

Alex Lopez

I’m a wedding planner/coordinator based out of Dallas, TX. I started my wedding planning business in the same year that covid-19 decided to wreak havoc on the world! How’s that for perfect timing?! I’ve had an interest for party planning that dates back to my teens. I come from a family of creative ladies, from mom to aunts, sister, and cousins. I like to think I take after them, especially my mom when it comes to my love for party coordination. I remember applying for a “junior wedding planner” position when I was around 20. When I realized I would have to work weekends, I quickly decided that it wasn’t going to fly with my social life. At the time (lol but also, smh), I was young and it clearly wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t until my late 30’s and a whole lot of courage and encouragement that I finally took a big leap of faith and launched MI BODA with Alex. I made the decision sometime in January of 2020. I had zero clues where to start, how I was going to land my first client, how to get my name out there, nothing! I went into this with nothing but faith and goals and ambition. Read more>>

Ashley Marshall

I purchased a homemade candle from an expo and wasn’t satisfied with my purchase. Being a lover of candles, it was then that I made the bold decision to make the ideal candle that I and so many other candle lovers desired. After many failed attempts, I finally have the perfect formula. Read more>>

Brandon Oldenburg

In 1977, I saw Star Wars at the age of five. The film inspired me to want to draw. If you were going to attempt to draw a Star Destroyer or Darth Vader, all you had was your memory of the film to go by. Then, the toys came out. The packaging was just as valuable, if not more than the toy because you needed good reference for what you wanted to draw. A few years later, a family friend got a Betamax player. It came with a demo tape, The behind-the-scenes of The Empire Strikes Back. It blew my mind to see people making the film. ILM became this mystical place that spoke to me, saying if you can make it with your hands or shoot it with a camera, you can bring your dreams to life. So, from a very young age, with a Super 8 camera and some art supplies me and my buddies would make 3-minute long epic backyard versions of Godzilla, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tron and G.I.-Joe. We loved the entire process of dreaming, making, editing, and showing our films to our fourth-grade classes. Thank God we had teachers who encouraged this extracurricular activity for bonus points. This was the only way I could pass most courses, except for art which was the only subject I excelled at. Read more>>

Adam Weil

I started my first internet marketing business in 1994 in a garage and built that into a company with over 30 employees in three states. In 2003, I started another online marketing company, which quickly grew into over 70 employees in two states. In 2014, I decided to focus my efforts on the addiction space, helping those with substance abuse issues get the help they need. Dallas Drug Treatment Centers was launched to help those in the local community find resources for themselves or their loved ones seeking treatment for addiction. Read more>>

Bryia Lewis

Everything that I know how to do I taught myself. For drawing it always felt right for me. Ever since I was little, I have been artistic. Creating artwork or building something. I stopped drawing once I got into high school and didn’t pick it back up until recently. I was going through a lot mentally and I wanted something that could excite me and keep my attention. So I just decided to jump back into my art. I purchased an iPad and taught myself how to do digital graphics, build flyers and other digital items. My minor was mass communications so I felt like it was only right to utilize what I learned with my love of art. Now I’m working on getting enough pieces to start my online art shop. With modeling, when I was younger, my mom used to put me in pageants. I loved being on stage and being in front of the camera. I also loved it because it was a way to prove to not only myself but others that if you want to do something, then all you have to do is do it. Read more>>

Stewart Cohen

I grew up in Montreal, Canada. We moved to the states in time for me to go to UT in Austin. Once I realized that I didn’t really want to go to medical school, my world changed. I was exposed to a few great photographers who changed my outlook on life. A path emerged, and I became a still photographer who wanted to travel the world while shooting amazing images and meeting different, interesting people. I was lucky enough to be told that I should start as an apprentice. That was the best advice I was ever given. I ended up working as a photo assistant to a few world-renowned photographers, traveled the world and was taught how the industry works and just how cool it can be. Having never traveled early in life, I was immersed and became a road warrior long before it was a thing. After a few years of assisting, I went back to school to study film. Coming out of school, I signed with a commercial production company to shoot commercials. My goal was to offer clients the ability to shoot their commercials and still campaigns with just one resource, me. Read more>>

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