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Inspiring Stories from East 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 East Dallas below.

Stephanie Saunders

My journey into real estate was serendipitous. My early education and career was in the performing arts and I always worked in luxury beauty sales in college and in Los Angeles on the side of my professional pursuits. When I returned back to my home state of New Hampshire in my mid 30’s, I became a full-time beauty stylist for Nordstrom and built an excellent book of business by utilizing the power of social media and video to reach consumers. I was in love with the architecture and the home styles in New England, and a family member thought I would be an excellent fit with my media training and sales acumen for the real estate industry. I was intrigued, took the exam, and never looked back! Read more>>

SarAika Movement Collective

sarAika movement collective is a conceptual/contemporary dance company based in New York since 2021, funded by Aika Takeshima (Japan) and Sara Pizzi (Italy) both immigrants, queer, women, POC representative & supporter, multidisciplinary artists, dancer-choreographers. sarAika creates movement-based works, perform the works at theaters/both out&inside stages/private events/festivals/marches, create other companies’ works, do modeling for other artists, and teach our own dance classes. As we mentioned, we create/share art as a form of activism, documenting key issues and topics & self-awareness highlighting how we may change, creating space for reflection, most of all on topical subjects that include, empower and underline our community. Read more>>

Shelly Rosenberg

Hello! I am so happy to be here on Voyage Dallas. I am an interior designer raising 3 children- all with cognitive disabilities like ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, and Down syndrome. Each child required special accommodations within our home for them to develop, progress, and succeed in school. I founded my company to share all of the knowledge I’ve gained over the past 25 years and help families thrive, regardless of age or stage. The mission of Acorn & Oak is to demystify interior design and help make it easier for all families to make their homes safe and chic. I believe that interior design, truly supporting our unique needs, should be available to everyone, regardless of income. Read more>>

Katie Green

I started working @ RSI at the age of 16 as part of the work release program through my high school. We install and repair commercial foodservice equipment all over the Metroplex. My father was a service technician at the time and that is how I knew about that industry. I remained at RSI through high school and even while I started college. I worked my way up from filing, to receptionist, to assisting warranty, to dispatcher, and finally to what I do now, which is Director of Operations. I also serve on the National Board of Directors for CFESA, which is our industry trade organization. Historically, this is a predominantly male industry, so I am proud of how far I have come.  Read more>>

Tamara Johnson

I started after graduating from school at the United Way, working in the communication department. This department was responsible for organizing volunteers to speak at various businesses throughout Michigan to encourage employees to donate and give to United Way for the support of non-profit organizations throughout Michigan. We also provided packets for volunteers that included presentation materials and donation forms. This began my passion for the nonprofit world. I later moved on to the Michigan Cancer Foundation – again another nonprofit and then the Detroit Urban League. Read more>>

Arianna Wellmoney

I moved to New York City when I was 19 years old – I am originally from Milan, Italy. Growing up, I would watch US films and tv shows and I was mesmerized by the talent and quality of media coming from Hollywood. I knew I wanted to pursue acting and I knew I wanted to move to the US. During my senior year in high school, I auditioned for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan and got in! Attending such a prestigious conservatory was just the beginning of my journey as a working actor in the US.  Read more>>

Lori Stevens

Patriot PAWS Service Dogs was founded as a Non-Profit Organization in 2006. In reality, it started a year before in 2005, when I was at the Dallas VA and saw a few Veterans trying to train their personal dogs to be Service Dogs for spinal cord injuries. At the time, I had already been working with other Service Dog organizations and knew that I had to help. For me, it seemed like the perfect time to branch out and start this program, because my son had just gotten into the military, I was missing him as he was away, and here were these Veterans coming to me and asking for help, so it just hit home for me.  Read more>>

Taylor LèRon

My origin story isn’t that far-fetched from that of others. It has all the good ingredients that make a good story. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the arts. I started singing at age 4 and I started acting at 6. The minute I found out there was such thing as a child entertainer, I wanted to be one. Having a strong support system helped a lot too. I have an extraordinarily supportive mother and grandmother, Cathy Conway-Paulk & Catherine Crutchfield-Conway will always get their flowers from me. The minute my grandmother found out I could sing she put me in church choir. Her exact words were “All the greats started out in the church. Just look at Aretha.” Read more>>

Greg Garcia

Hi there! I started making protein ice cream about six years ago when I realized that I wanted a better-tasting post-workout snack. I went home, started experimenting, and used my kids as the measure on taste. Once they told me that it tasted good and asked for another, I knew we were on to something. So, we went (and are still on) a CPG journey! We found a local co-manufacturer, figured out the basics of the business stuff, and introduced our Proletas – high-protein ice cream bars to the world!  Read more>>

Bruce Rubio

Every weekend around 2015-16 I would be posted up late with the homies drinking and smoking, and eventually, without fail, someone would start freestyling to one of the songs playing and it would snowball into a full-blown freestyling session with everybody taking turns spitting shit. Before that, I never even thought about rapping. I’m a metalhead at heart. But it kind of came effortless for me… so after a few of those weekends, having a roomful of peers legitimately impressed with my flows I decided to write something down and take it to my buddy Franko who had engineered songs for popular Dallas artist Lil 2z and my first ever song on SoundCloud got like 2000 plays in one day and I was like damn this is fun. Not only for me but the people who actually listened to the song, since they were running it back so much.  Read more>>

Rafael Espinoza

Something hot and fresh out of the kitchen, Rafael Espinoza is taking the music world by storm performing original music that is deeply rooted in the Blues. He is making a path for himself with a sound all his own that can’t be pigeon-holed.  Graduating with Academic Honors “Magna Cum Laude” at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA in August 2013, Rafael studied with the top professionals in the music industry and performed at some of Boston’s finest venues.  Read more>>


In 2019, the year before the world changed, four Shreveport natives came together to fill a void felt deep within our city. We created an event, Shreveport Q-Prom: Glitz & Grunge, which was started as a safe place for people around us to interact, entertain, and have genuine fun. Even in 2019, few spaces existed where everyone regardless of sex, gender, race, or ability can come together and celebrate uniqueness. We all need a place to belong, and your Q-Prom creators are here to do that!  Read more>>

Moojan Hakim

I’m a proud Iranian immigrant who moved to the United States in 2012 to pursue her dream of becoming an animator for Disney. Back in Iran, I focused on studying Math and Physics majority of my high school years. However, I always wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to be surrounded by art and creativity. I admired Disney animations and was fascinated by the storytelling. So, when it came to choosing a future, I decided to study Digital Media at the University of Houston and specialize in Video Production. Read more>>

Vanessa Kenney

I have over 10 years of experience within performing arts, including classical music, opera, theatre, improv, comedy, and storytelling. I studied classical music in college. and within the past few years, shifted my focus to storytelling & collaborative performance art. My understanding of stage presence, narrative, and acting bolster my approach to Performative Storytelling. The style of Storytelling I teach is similar to that of The Moth, Mike Birbiglia, Brene Brown, and RISK! Podcast to name a few examples. Read more>>

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