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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.

Melisa Eckelbarger

I have always loved science and art. I actually went to college to become a middle school science teacher and started my teaching career during 2o2o. I loved teaching and enjoyed seeing daily growth in my students. It was very rewarding to watch them grow not only in their academics but also on a personal level. I also had some amazing co-workers; I could not have asked for a better team. Read more>>

Dave & Jenn Pfahlert

For the last 20 years, I have been in commercial video production, and for 10 of those years, I’ve seen the market shifting into independent content creators maker’s small retail e-commerce shops and people really wanting to learn and hone in on content creation skills on their own time in their own spaces so I came up with an idea to blend all of the different creative entrepreneurial markets under one roof and at that point, LaunchBox Collective was born. It’s taken us 7 years of planning and 1.5 years of building in downtown Fort Worth but we are finally going to be opening the doors to this new entrepreneurial community center in Spring of 2023. We’re extremely excited to see how it grows and develops and helps stimulate local small businesses and the local Fort Worth community and also, it’ll be a place where people can come to work, connect, create, learn, collab, and really help each other launch their ideas and concepts. Read More>>

Ethan Massey

I started playing music at 15 and started playing live shows at 18. After the first band, I joined (Subvert) called it quits, I built my first band. (Rise of the Buried) Did that one for about a year before it disintegrated and formed another band called Soundings. This is the band I really cut my teeth with. Playing festivals, recorded an EP, couple music videos, etc. That’s the band that Clay Aeschliman joined before he went on to play drums for Polyphia. (Humble brag😅) Read more>>

Kailey Yañez

Well, at 16, I began looking at my options for college, knowing I wanted to end up in a social media-oriented field. Being homeschooled growing up, I was able to accept a few internship opportunities while still in high school. During one of these internships, as I entered my junior and senior years, I was tasked with curating social media content and managing a few social media campaigns… needless to say, I LOVED IT! Read more>>

Austin Young

As a kid, I always loved watching movies with my brother and my dad. One day we had the idea to make our own short film starring me and my brother. I remember having so much fun with the process. I was 11 when we finished that first short film. Since then, I have watched every movie with a different perspective. I enjoyed trying to recreate scenes that I liked from my favorite movies. When I got into High school, I joined the AV class and started learning the basics of how to edit. Each week making new content for the entire school to see was awesome. Read more>>

Blake Pyatt

I started fabricating outside of school for my own college furniture. People eventually began to ask about my unique pieces and wanted to purchase them once they realized I had made it myself! From there I knew I had a hobby I truly enjoyed that could potentially be lucrative but more so rewarding in the pieces I make for friends and loved ones that I get to cherish when I see them and they are being used. Read more>>

Lauren Crowley Taylor

Even though my desire to become a therapist began in middle school, I took a circuitous route. I studied Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where I loved learning about how social institutions shape the individual and vice versa. Upon graduation, I attended Teachers College, Columbia University, to get my Master’s in Psychology at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute. Our focus there was on the spiritual and soulful dimensions of mental health, spiritually transformative experiences, archetypal symbolism, and what some would call ‘parapsychology.’ I interned for a wonderful past life regressionist, Michelle Brock while living in New York City. Read more>>

Belle Grubb

At the age of 16, I graduated high school with an associate’s degree, followed by a bachelor’s degree in theology at the age of 19. Now, I am finalizing a master’s degree in leadership at the age of 21. Throughout this entire process, social media was always a place of inspiration in my life and started to become a source of income as a side hustle. After getting married in 2021, I moved to Texas and started a career with Project Rescue, a non-profit ministry that supports survivors of modern slavery. Read more>>

Brooke Mathis

I believe that some people truly know what they are called to do in life and then you have people like me. I think my vision for my purpose has changed so many times you might get dizzy. 11 years ago, I was working a corporate job and building my photography business on the side. Today – that looks vastly different. I realized along the way – I am here to empower and inspire others. I want people to dream and believe in those dreams. I am in my 4th year of having my own photography studio that I am madly in love with. Read more>>

Elyse Stoltz Dickerson

After my MBA, I got my start in big pharma in eye care. I worked in the industry for 13 years and rose through the ranks to global director before being let go in 2015. Not knowing where to turn next, I decided to start my own biotech business, Eosera, with my business partner, Joe Griffin. Joe and I had worked together for over a decade before venturing out on our own. We started concepting by talking to as many doctors as possible to see what unmet need was present in the market. Read more>>

Justin Loretangeli

I’ve always had more than just a casual interest in music; probably before I even realized it. I was the kid that would buy CDs and read through the entire booklet to glean as much information as I could about the music I loved. But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t sing AT ALL, and I couldn’t play guitar too well either. I knew I loved music and wanted to be involved with it somehow some way, but I didn’t know how I would manage to do that. Read more>>

Frankie Maruzzi

I have been doing graphic design/ Social Media work for 8+ years. Started by assisting my church in helping them grow digitally and upgrading their series graphics. I decided in February 2022 that I wanted to take this skillset that I have acquired and go into business for myself. I started by just doing graphic design work for local businesses, creating new logos, and doing wedding invites, and by the end of the year, we transformed into what is now known as Vintage Creative + Co. Read more>>

Cole Roberson

Growing up everyone in my family were entrepreneurs, parents had an interior design business, sister was modeling, and my brother and I were making corny YouTube videos. Years later we would grow up to do different fields of work, my brother turned to artist, and I was a self-taught chef. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and when the pandemic happened in 2020, I knew it was my time to show the world my talent. Every Success story has some sort of struggle that the creator endured, and I was no exception. I would film multiple videos a day and edit them on my slow MacBook, post them to Instagram and TikTok for no one to ever notice. This would go on for 5 Months, but I would slowly start gaining small support and views. Read more>>

Jeremiah Woodard

I started to get into photography in high school. My brother, Tommy, is the reason why I wanted to get into it. I remember when he bought his first camera. It was a DSLR, in which he still has today. That man used it constantly and took it everywhere with him. I vividly remember one day I was curious on how to how to use it. He didn’t really teach me, but he let me figure it out for myself. He set his camera on the manual setting and messed around with it. It was my first time actually holding a camera and it made me want a camera myself. My parents bought me my first camera, it was a point-and-shoot. I got it on Christmas, and that same day, I took it all around my neighborhood and just started shooting instantly. Read more>>

Victoria Jaeger

I grew up in Grapevine, TX – a suburb smack dab in between Dallas and Fort Worth. Most say I’m a little bit Dallas, a little bit Fort Worth. If you know Texas, you know what that means. If you aren’t as familiar with Texas, it means that I could put on a pair of high heels one weekend and cowboy boots the next. I could order the finest Wagyu steak this side of town had to offer but could also be perfectly (if not more) happy with Mom’s home-cooked meal. I could enjoy a glass of red but turn around and shoot a whiskey with the best of them. This middle-of-the-road mentality led me to one of our main foundations at J. House & Co. – being rooted by traditional concepts that aim to capture the spirit of time-honored living by instilling refined elegance, hospitality, composed charm, and a deep sense of place. Read more>>

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