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Inspiring Stories from Fort Worth

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 Fort Worth’s rising stars below.

Kirk Jackson

Born in Fort Worth, raised in Houston, educated in New York City, planted eleven years in Los Angeles, I’m now back in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I’ve been attached at the hip to the disaster response organization Team Rubicon helping to mold the story, message, and brand of the organization since its first year in 2010 while also consulting and collaborating with large & small companies and other nonprofits to expand their digital media and online presence. Read more>>

Beverly Brown

I’ve always been into fitness. Running is my passion and favorite pass time since high-school. After participating in numerous 5k’s and marathons, I decided to run my first triathlon which included a 500m swim, 14 mile bike ride and a 3.1 mile run. Read more>>

Spencer Hoyl

Our Father Basil Hoyl started my brother Shelby and I out as DJ’s for various parties and companies providing sound gear. We began booking our own parties and shows for bands and festivals as well. The company has moved on to further parts of the entertainment business such as music and video production as well as providing sound gear! Read more>>

David Woolsey and Ramon Cazares

David: I have been performing ultrasounds in the DFW area for over 27 years, starting out at Harris Methodist Fort Worth. After spending 10 years there and taking call at numerous other facilities, I approached a colleague of mine to start a company of sonographers (ultrasound techs) to serve the DFW area facilities… Read more>>

John Reynolds

I grew up in the world of insurance. My parents ran a successful insurance company in Little Rock, Arkansas for years. When I was a junior in college, I transferred back to Little Rock to do what any good son should do–start my training to take over the family’s business. Read more>>

Katrina Night

It all started by helping friends and family with their weddings, and I quickly discovered that it was my calling. I love helping people to make such an important day, everything that they dream of. It all started by helping friends and family with their weddings, and I quickly discovered that it was my calling. I love helping people to make such an important day, everything that they dream of. Read more>>

Dr. Cassie Reid

I began my academic journey as an economics major in West Virginia, but after taking a counseling class in college, I realized that I could not only pursue my true passion, helping people discover their true identity, that I could also get paid doing it. Read more>>

Cindy Lucio

While living in Boston for an amazing 8 years, we were able to travel up the coast to Maine and down to the Cape and Martha’s Vineyard. In this part of the country there are so many bed & breakfasts that we always stayed in them for a great experience. Read more>>

Sarah Price

I started playing gigs in college through referrals from friends and colleagues. There was always confusion in trying to find musicians and music and there still is to some degree, but I was able to learn from each client and performance. Read more>>

Alexis Hines

In 2013, my husband and I welcomed a beautiful, bright-eyed, baby boy into the world. From the moment he entered our world I became his biggest fan – and with that I was constantly snapping pics of him with my mediocre iPhone camera. I enjoyed taking his picture so much that I decided to invest into a DSLR that would end up my fulfilling my vision of those warm photographs that would end up filling our home. Read more>>

Noah Whitmore

When I was in high school I was extremely involved in a lot of activities including Band, Soccer, Theater, and Audio Visual classes. My sophomore year of high school I chose to take an AV Production class, the teacher was also the baseball teacher and he didn’t care much for the class but I took an interest almost immediately wanting to make and share videos with people. Read more>>

Dennis Stewart

I have always had a passion for nature, wildlife and the outdoors. I was a very shy kid growing up in the inner city of Cincinnati, Ohio, and for whatever reason, I was much more comfortable in nature than hanging out with the other neighborhood kids doing…well, what “normal” kids supposedly do……whatever that is?? Read more>>

Meagan Brown

I grew up in Kentucky and always had a love of animals. If there was a frog, mouse, or any other creature in need that I came across, I was determined to help it. Occasionally, small animals needed my help as a direct result of encountering my Border Collie, who was the best companion but true to her breed. Read more>>

Kristen Hafner

I always had an interest in the creative arts, ever since high school. I had taken a film photography class in school that intrigued me but it wasn’t until I had my first child I really dove into the art of photography. Read more>>

Bethanie Brewer

I have been in the beauty industry for thirty years. It is my happy place, being able to bring out each guest’s individual beauty and seeing their smile makes my heart sing. The rewards of a smiling guest, can’t be properly expressed in words alone. Read more>>

Derek and Teea Nelson

As healthcare providers we both see people daily who are unhealthy from lifestyle habits. These disease or conditions that they have can be avoided by diet and exercise. We wanted an avenue where we could affect their health positively before they had to see us a patient and already affected by poor lifestyle habits. Read more>>

Stephanie Adams

My counseling private practice today started long before the business actually opened. I was living in College Station, TX, right after my counseling internship was completed and I was licensed to work independently. My husband had gone back to school for an advanced degree at Texas A & M, and I was working part-time seeing clients on my own, and part-time at a local nonprofit. Read more>>

Toan Luong

If you were to tell me a couple years ago that I would have such a wonderful opportunity to do what I do today, I would have never believed you whatsoever. I still see myself in the perspective of a young entrepreneur and definitely still in the early stages of my career. Read more>>

Amy McCarter

It all started in the stable. I realized that I wanted a more user friendly bit hanger, a piece of tack that converts a halter into a bridle, to use on the trails. A bit hanger is a safer option than having a separate bridle and halter, as it removes the need to completely remove any tack items, so your horse is always secure. Read more>>

Luisa Potenza

My story begins in Venezuela. It is the country of my birth, but the United States quickly captured my heart and became my home. As a child, I dreamed of creating something that brought more beauty into this world. Velvet grew from a small garage in Venezuela and has since expanded into the United States. Read more>>

Thomas McEnroe

Growing up, I was always a firearms enthusiast and even shot competitively in high school. After graduation from UTA, I dabbled a bit working in the firearms industry. I worked in a variety of roles ranging from instructor to sales and finally gunsmithing. Read more>>

Chef Karriem

After Working for prominent Restaurants and Chefs such as Wolfgang Puck 560, The Joule Hotel Charlie Palmer, G Texas Catering, & City Kitchen, Chef Karriem realized that if he was good enough to work for some of the best in the World, then it would only be right to branch out on his own.. Read more>>

Dr. Anthony Bean

I started both companies off from the ground up. They took a bit of time, but they have been worth it from the beginning. Both have been a passion of commitment which doesn’t always keep in focus at times due to the difficulty of the profession. Read more>>

Kaylee Landon

Everlasting Joy started on the floor of my college apartment the summer before my senior year. I had $300 in my bank account and a desire to make a tassel bracelet that I had seen on the runway in one of my fashion forecasting classes. After digging through my childhood closet I found my old beading supply box. Read more>>

Marco Rivera

I always wanted to own my own company. Going through many jobs and finding my niche was the hardest thing to do but once I realized that listening and using critical thinking in any situation was my calling I became a recruiter in the education field wasn’t too bad at it. Read more>>

Scott Slagle

My grandfather owned a plumbing and air-conditioning shop in the Texas Panhandle, and I spent most of my summers as a kid there working alongside my dad and family. It gave me a passion for the built environment and also taught me about helping others through a service industry. Read more>>

Nathan Madrid

Art Room started with an idea between Katie Murray and I while we were in graduate school together. Shortly after graduate school Deedra Baker joined our endeavor and shared the same passion for showing meaningful work as we did. Read more>>

Michelle Dollar

I have been a licensed cosmetologist for ten years now. I have always had a passion for formal styling. I fell into the wedding industry about three years ago when all my friends started to get married and used me for their hair and make-up services. I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed being on-site doing weddings. Read more>>

Rachel Rosenbaum

The florist idea originated while I was still in college. I received my BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M, with a minor in Horticulture. For one of my floral design classes, I had to create a store front.  I borrowed my then-boyfriend (now husband)’s nickname, Rosie, as the flower shop name, and thus, Rosie’s was born (and more importantly, it didn’t send him running away!). Read more>>

Ryan Rainey

My journey to being an entrepreneur began in 5th grade. It was field day at my school and my mom had forgotten to give me money for snacks. So, I started picking up empty water bottles people were dropping on the ground. Read more>>

Steve White

In some ways our story really begins back in the late 1990s when I first started my own I.T. company. Though the years I became more and more dependent on remote access applications to do my job. For an IT person, the ability to access a customer’s computer remotely without getting in the car and driving across town just to do something that might take 5 to 10 minutes online. Read more>>

Carlos Aguilar and Adonis Rose

I’ve been a musician since I was about 12 years old and always aspired to be a filmmaker (stop motion cinema and live action. All throughout high school I played the electric guitar (rock and blues) but when I graduated from high school, I found myself immersed in jazz and composition. Read more>>

Platt Allen III and Kevin Higgins

Platt Allen, III, has served as President/CEO for the Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth since October of 2008. Previously, he served as Director of Operations for a private, preparatory school in the Mid-Cities; as President of Stone Innovations, a manufactured stone company in Fort Worth; as Senior Vice President of Dealer Operations after 7 years with AmeriCredit Corp in Fort Worth; and a Senior Business Analyst after 8 years with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Dallas. Read more>>

Ashley Stafford

As a child my heroes were Jean Grey, an X-Men mutant and Dianna Troy, a Stark Trek crew member. I was awestruck that these women could use the power of their brain to save humankind! Their empathetic and nurturing interactions are superpowers, not a weakness. Read more>>

Ralph Lahoud

I started my business 25 years ago. I had knowledge of design and construction and a business management degree from Texas Christian University. I invested in quality materials and tools and began working. My business grew through referrals and social media. Read more>>

Kelly Stark

I have been interested in Photography since I was 10 years old. I would take my desk chairs, throw a comforter over the back and force my sister to pose for my “portraits!” When I was able to buy a Nikon camera around 21, I took pictures of everything! Read more>>

Shelley Hunter

My story starts at about age 10 when I started getting my certifications in editing, lighting, and technical director video production at a public broadcasting network in our area. Then it became a part-time job doing videos. then when I graduated high school at age 16 I was just doing a quick little promo video for a wedding Guild, I had this little point-and-shoot camera when this lady walks up and says “hun” what are you doing? Read more>>

Zulema Verduzco

During my time at Iowa State University (ISU), I discovered that I really enjoyed every aspect of the event planning process. I originally started in Apparel Design because ISU didn’t offer Event Management as a major but I figured I could somehow use that degree to find the right career path. Read more>>

Mariah Powell

I started my business five years ago after I had my child. I realized how precious each moment in life was because she was growing every second. At that time I was a college newspaper editor and worked part time at a portrait studio in San Angelo. Read more>>

Leora Cowart

My journey started over ten years ago as a substitute teacher at Christian C. Moss Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. This is where I found that I was born to teach! I was challenged like never before in my life, but I loved it. I loved the fast pace, being creative, the staff, and most of all teaching the students. Read more>>

Rane Wallace

While in college at Texas Tech a good buddy of mine asked me how I define success. While the answer was relatively short, the journey was far from that. I knew then and there that the way I define success is by being happy and helping other people. Read more>>

Christopher Bates

Well, I have been in construction off and on since I was a teenager. Working outside and with my hands were always a favorite of mine and shortly after the passing of my stepfather I decided to go back to what made me the most happy. Read more>>

Nicole Barrett

I always knew that I wanted to work with children. Passionate and curious about life, I would dream of the day I’d have my own class, full of students to teach instead of dolls, friends and little brothers. In all I did, I longed to make an impact on the lives of others, especially children. Read more>>

Stephanie Murphree

I started with photography professionally about three years ago, I had always loved cameras and taking pictures but never really took the time to learn how to do it properly until then. I wish I could say that I had a degree in photography but I went to the university of YouTube and blog posts for the most part to learn how to take a good picture. Read more>>

Angelica Zelenov

I am originally from Russia, where the winters are long and the summer days are short. Since I was a young girl, even four years old, I remember those cherished summer days and going through the spacious fields full of wildflowers. Read more>>

Eric Wilkins

I had every reason not to succeed. Due to the ramification of my parent’s divorce, I grew up in a one bedroom apartment in a low-income part of Dallas. In school, my grades weren’t great. In fact, my favorite class was lunch, which is probably why I weighed well over 300 pounds during my teenage years. (Now 230lbs) Read more>>

Corey Zackery

Saginaw Surplus has been in business for about 5 years. We only sell one thing, residential doors. Our mission is pretty simple: We want to improve every project we’re a part of and, by extension, improve our community.And that’s really how we see it. Read more>>

Mateeka Quinn

In 2011, I was a part-time Journalist interviewing restaurant owners, entrepreneurs and creatives for small newspapers and blogs. I loved telling stories, especially those of people who multi-tasked their way to success. Read more>>

Andre Campbell

DJ Andre Campbell’s Entertainment career began in Miami, Florida where he and a group of friends “Metrix Sound All Stars” began playing music at underground warehouse parties, radio stations, and clubs. These opportunities allowed this young creative team of entertainers to become widely recognized in their South Florida Market. Read more>>

Juan Lopez

I am new to the bar business, and got started in August of 2017. I have always had a vision for a Tejano bar where people could relax, have some good drinks and listen to great music. My business partners and I are focused on serving our customers and making them want to come back. Read more>>

Steve Scott

My love for working Dogs began during my time in the US Army, while I was stationed in Italy. I met some military dog handlers that introduced me to some Germans and I began attending their training. Shortly after, I purchased a German shepherd puppy and started learning as much as possible, and I was hooked. Read more>>

Will and Leslie Bannister

Founded in 1998, Clarity Homes began with a vision of providing homes with high end boutique designs at affordable prices for those in Fort Worth and surrounding areas. The company is piloted by entrepreneurs who do things against the grain, Will and Leslie Bannister. Read more>>

Darlene Roth

I installed my first dimmer switch as a 16 year old girl in my bedroom, and before that I wanted to change smaller windows to bring the outdoors in. Light and interior arranging were just a small part of interior design that seemed endlessly fascinating to me. I knew exactly what I wanted to study. Read more>>

Thanh-Xuan Nguyen

n high school, I was very shy and never smiled much until braces changed my life. After braces, I couldn’t stop showing off my smile and everyone noticed. From that moment, I knew my passion was to help others bring out their best smile. I had a memorable time attending LSU both for undergrad and Dental School. Read more>>

Alexander von Illyes

Armed with her extensive and priceless knowledge of European skin care, Hungarian-born Sylvia von Illyes first opened her modest business in the fall of 1980 and initially named her business European Skincare Institute, later renaming it European Skincare & Med Spa. Read more>>

Kristen Williams

I believe that everyone’s path is laid out for them. Sometimes it does not make sense at the time, but in the end it is right where you are supposed to be. When I was little I loved kids, babysitting and crafting. In fact, I spent a good chunk of my time in high school scrapbooking my memories and babysitting for families. Read more>>

Jake Duncan

Though trained in purely allopathic pharmaceutical-based medicine, I always felt like there was a more holistic approach that didn’t through the baby out with the bath water. I knew many medicines had their place and saved lived, but so many of the common medicines used in family medicine and acute care were overboard or premature. Read more>>

Jared Sloane

Shoot Smart got its start from a simple idea – a nice, comfortable, and safe place to target shoot. The owners wanted a modern business that was welcoming to everyone, not just traditional old school shooters.  Read more>>

Byron Green

We are all influenced by our childhood experiences. For most of us, our families are highly instrumental in shaping our early lives. They pass on their life lessons to us largely by example, and we learn from them regardless of how gratifying or difficult those lessons might be. Read more>>

Sara Mahmood

Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve been mesmerized with healthcare and helping others through the study of medicine. Watching my dad treat his patients and following him like a shadow through the hallways in the hospitals he did rounds in instilled in me an innate desire to be an integral part of others’ healing. Read more>>

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