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Inspiring Stories from North 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 North Dallas below.

Adam Deeb

My journey began back in 2012 when I was working at a health nutritional store and going to school full time to get my degree in Economics. I always loved numbers and problem solving, but as the years went by my passion for health and nutrition began to grow as well. After I graduated from SMU in 2014, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in finance but was unsure of the exact direction I wanted to go in. I decided to help a friend of mine run a nutrition store that he owned until I found my “dream job.” However, the longer and longer I worked with him, the more I knew my true passion was in health and wellness. Read more>>

Emily Sides

I am an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on self-realization, self-actualization, and self-awareness through the use of non-traditional materials such as noble gases, various acrylics, and mirrors. By focusing on these societal aspects, my work attempts to break the fourth wall between the audience and myself, standing between the knowledge of what my piece is and the conjecture of what it could be. I also have an interest in how contemporary technology can affect the construction of my works, leading to the creation of various projects using CNC routers, laser cutting, and noble gases. Read more>>

Shannon Camacho

I started singing at a very young age. I was involved in voice lessons, choir, musicals, church productions, talent shows, really anything that I could possibly be involved in. In high school a good friend of mine introduced me to two artists that changed my life forever, Frou Frou (Imogen Heap) and Regina Spektor. These incredible female artists are the reason I started songwriting, and are still two of my major influences to this day. When it came time to apply for colleges, I applied to only one school, the University of North Texas, to study music. Read more>>

Brian Schultz

In the early days, I was in politics and convinced I could change the world by heading to Washington. During my tenure as an aide to the late United States Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, I attended a film at the Bethesda Draft House in Maryland and immediately fell in love with the concept of serving food while watching a movie. This experience planted the seed for what would become the Studio Movie Grill (“SMG”). After much research and traveling across the country, the first movie theater I took on was The Granada, in Dallas, TX in 1993. Read more>>

Cristina Ayala

I got my bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2007, then I worked for several advertising agencies. In 2010, my sister and I started our branding studio, that same year, I moved to Dallas. In 2013, while living in the East Coast, I took a workshop in New York City to learn loom weaving; I took a couple more workshops involving fiber art before moving back to Dallas in 2015. Since the first workshop, I was hooked, I loved working with my hands once again. Read more>>

Maricela Carelock

I was born and raised in Costa Rica and learned to play the guitar when I was 14 years old, thanks to my dad who loved music. I began writing songs for my nephews and nieces and loved entertaining. During my high school years I visited Hospitals, Nursing Homes And Orphanages. I went to the University of Costa Rica to become a teacher. Inspired by Sound of Music; I even thought about becoming a Nun so I could go on missions around the world. Read more>>

Teresa Rafidi

My photography addiction began when my parents gave me a Kodak Disc camera as a kid. I would shoot from the car window and was amazed with the images and how “reality” was not as it appeared when I clicked the shutter. I also made things out of anything I could get my hands on laying around. I remember we had a bag of concrete in the back yard for some home repairs. Once the bulk of the work was done, I asked my mom if I could use it to make things. She said, “Yes,” and I created a series of small objects and funky dice. Read more>>

Ella West Jerrier

I am a 12 year old actress. I started off dancing when I was 2 years old and started training for acting and singing when I was about 8 years old. I danced on performing companies for many years and competed all over the country in ballet, pointe, jazz, musical theater, lyrical/contemporary, tap, and hip hop. I also spend about a month every year in New York City training for singing and dancing on Broadway. A good friend of mine was an actor/model and she introduced me to an agent at The Campbell Agency in Dallas. Read more>>

LaKeshia Grant

Growing up the dream was to be a doctor or a nurse, but I did not enjoy any of my science classes in high school or college. I took them and passed them (barely, lol) because I had to. But still I’ve always wanted to help people and I’ve never met a stranger. In high school I took an AP Intro to Psychology class and loved it so much that my teacher and advisor both let me take it twice. I went to college at Texas Tech where I crossed as a member of Delta Sigma Theta and completed my BA of Psychology in 2009 and then my MA in Counseling at DBU in 2012. Read more>>

Laura Alotaibi

I had an idea to start a business about two years ago but I was a teacher and couldn’t think about leaving the profession. Fast forward to August 2018, I made the decision to stay home with my kids and pursue my dream of owning my own business! I have been working on Venues N More for about two months now, and it is a fully functioning website that represents over 30 area small businesses. The website is a party marketplace that allows parents to easily search and book a party or venue space. Read more>>

Cindy & Scott Causey

Cindy and Scott Causey created Dallas Media Center in 1999 working out of their home in Lake Highlands. Scott’s background was as a radio DJ and audio expert, and then he discovered computers, learned how they work and began using revolutionary nonlinear editing for audio and video in the late 90s. Meanwhile Cindy’s background in advertising, photography and writing led her to a long career at JCPenney as a Catalog Copy Chief and Internet Marketing Manager. Read more>>

Jon Brovina

I came to the US when I was three years old as a refugee with my family from Kosovo. I owe a lot of my current successes and motivations to the foundations I grew up on. Ever since I was a kid, my parents taught me to respect where I come from and to never forget my roots. To them, it started out as just a dream to come to America for safety. I cannot be more grateful that they pursued that dream and gave me the opportunity to grow within the states. I had the privilege of having a family that encouraged the idea of pursuing a dream no matter what. Read more>>

Brookes Ebetsch

We were founded as a single, Hot Yoga studio in Uptown back in 2002. We are Texas, born and raised! Over time we added locations at Preston Forest and in Plano, eventually growing across the metroplex. In 2012 we added Pilates. 2013 we added some mat-based fitness classes. Barre was debuted in 2014 and in 2015 we added High Intensity Interval Training. Today we also offer coaching to our members. Read more>>

Keokuk Domingo

My name is Keokuk Domingo, owner of “Get Organized by Key, LLC.” I’m a New Orleans Native that reside in Celina, Texas. I moved to Dallas, nearly 14 years ago to work in a supervisory position with the University of Phoenix. I am a homeschool mother, a leader in my church, and business owner. I am the event chair for University If Phoenix, and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority who received my undergraduate degree from a Xavier University in New Orleans. Read more>>

Zondra Evans

I spent 40 years on the corporate leadership track, always the only African-American woman in top leadership roles. In my early years, I became a mentor because 40 years ago, there were no business coaches. I realized that I was good at it. It wasn’t just happening in the corporate environment. Everywhere I went, I was having the same conversations with people. I kept encouraging people to “be themselves.” I was constantly being sought out to coach and mentor. I never realized that I could turn it into a paying career. Read more>>

Brittnee Khalid

I started working out, mostly weight training after I had my daughter in 2011. Initially, I just wanted to lose the baby weight and get in shape, then it formulated into a hobby. I’ve noticed over the years that it’s always been something that I stuck with through good times and bad. I’ve used it as a stress reliever and a way to boost my self confidence — who doesn’t want to like what they see in the mirror? Read more>>

Juan Perez

I started painting out of a need for having unique shoes that couldn’t be found anywhere else. It started off as something to do but when I ruptured my Achilles, I had more time on my hands since I was on bedrest. As a result of that, I got serious about it when I received requests from others to paint on their shoes. Once I saw that other people wanted custom shoes, I realized that not only was there a market for it but it was also something I really loved to do. Read more>>

Jamie Gerard

I started The Write Invite in Los Angeles as a creative outlet and a way to earn some extra mad money. Two years after, I started we moved to Dallas. That was more than 25 years ago… amazing how time flies when you are having fun! I began with one line of stationery and have since grown to carry nearly fifty paper lines showcasing the best brands in the industry, as well as our own in-house custom creations. Read more>>

Monica Tetteh

Coming up on the ten year anniversary of the passing of my mom, on Mother’s Day, I decided to take up sewing in her honor. I thought it would be a great way to keep her memory alive and to bring me closer to her. Read more>>

Amy Faith Ho, MD

Like every Millennial, I grew up thinking I’d save the world. In high school as a policy debater, I was researching healthcare insurance companies for a topic and found myself both impressed by the brilliant financial model of the industry but repulsed by the ethics of it. Read more>>

Lisa Cardenas

I’m found daily, painting and creating works of art in my studio. I continue to participate in gallery competitions and shows (both group and solo) throughout the US. Read more>>

Ty Divers

My career ventures lead me down different paths, but one thing that ultimately remained true is my passion for creative marketing, branding, and digital media. After being laid off twice, I decided to become a Corporate Dropout, and with that Ty Divers Marketing was formed. Read more>>

Michael Wilson

So one thing I liked to do while riding around in the back of the engine is when I saw a ‘for sale’ sign I would go to zillow and look at the prices of the homes. I was so interested in the variation of prices depending on if you took a right or a left on certain streets. When I started my firefighting career I did what most do; I volunteered for a small department. I remember one of the men I met there was doing Real Estate so of course, we started talking about it. Read more>>

Keiyana Wicker, Shakkira Giddings

We are sisters and have always wanted to go into business together doing something that we both love and believe in. We have always been lovers of all things beauty. Whether its makeup, hair, or fashion, we love it all! Read more>>

Melissa Mancini

I think I was always destined to be a photographer; I love the studio. My 1st photography class in High School is where I began to learn how to use a manual film camera and explore what would become my life. Read more>>

Jerry Matthews, Francesca Viamonte

e eventually decided that we needed to start a label together. It was such a natural decision to do this together and there was really no debate on whether or not this was the direction we wanted to go in. It was as if we knew right away that this was what was meant to happen. We both strongly believe it was destiny. Read more>>

David Alley

David became involved in the arts at a very young age. Starting with the trumpet in the fifth grade, he would compete and be awarded, first chair in the Texas All State Band his junior year in high school, followed by a six-year stint as featured soloist with the SMU Mustang Band, a recording contract with Capitol Records as a vocalist, and a forty plus year career in the entertainment business. Read more>>

Stefanie Morrow, Ben Morrow

Ben and I were newly married, and he was the most supportive in helping to grow this business that I so deeply wanted. So much, that he began picking up the camera and helping me at weddings. My solo adventure quickly launched us as a husband and wife team by 2009! Read more>>

Clinton Maychi

My passion for education and business led me to joining INC in 2016. While I had a steady career in the biotech field, I missed the thrill of helping students achieve their educational goals and challenge themselves to dream and think big. At the end of my educational journey, I had about six years of teaching and tutoring experience. Read more>>

Lisa Randolph

Growing up I was always intrigued with business, what made a business tick. I was also fascinated that people would pay you to provide things or a service for them. I actually grew up in a family of female entrepreneurs; I guess you could say entrepreneurship is in my DNA. Read more>>

Kameisha Getum

My husband was always very supportive and would encourage me to quit my job and pursue entrepreneurship. I finally gained the courage to do so in 2011. Read more>>

Kara Nelsen

I had never made anything more than boxed cake before, but we were both impressed at how it turned out. After that initial pie, I quickly began experimenting with any new pie, cake, and cookie recipes I could get my hands on. Read more>>

Kristoddie Woods

While I was in solitude I wrote a four-page letter to my folks voicing my dismay, this letter just happened to rhyme and have some major substance. I continued writing everyday until I became “free” again, after that time I set my sights back on football and laid the pen down. Read more>>

Brush’d Makeup Artistry

Growing up and seeing my mother apply her makeup for work and church and attending several Mary Kay Parties in my hometown as an adolescent strengthened my love and adoration for not only makeup but self-care in general. Read more>>

Chad Montgomery, Nellie Montgomery

Within a few months, we started organizing local beer meetups and traveling out of state to various beer destinations. Within a couple of years, we had decided to visit the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. Realizing nothing similar existed in Dallas, we set out to organize the Big Texas Beer Fest! Read more>>

carrie song

Art is something that has followed me my entire life, I actually still have sketchbooks from grade school. As a mother of three young children, it has resonated to me that something they learn now, can shape the rest of their lives. Read more>>

Guthrie Kennard

I started playing about 1963 after watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and how I got here today is the same reason why I started playing music in the first place. I’m not a civilian I’m a lifer. It’s just in the blood. Read more>>

Vemula Gauthami

And then one day, it occurred to me that I could actually do it. I really wanted to be a voice for those who were underrepresented, specifically families who may be misunderstood or discriminated against and may not know or understand how to navigate through the child welfare system, didn’t speak English or just didn’t understand the child welfare laws of this state our country. Read more>>

David Kaelin

After leaving a position as a store manager at EB Games, and after accumulating an enormous personal collection of vintage gaming consoles, games, and accessories – I decided to open my own retro gaming store. Read more>>

Michelle Nazari

We’re a local and family-owned business created with the goal of not only supporting our family but many more…Our vision is to grow the business so we can provide well-paying jobs, along with a professional trade for other refugee families. Read more>>

Alice Wilhoit

I was on the lookout for the perfect quilt for our bedroom. In front of me was a beautiful blue and white Double Irish Chain quilt. I knew it was the one to go home with us. My husband was excited about it too until he looked at the price tag. He was NOT going to pay $800 for a quilt! He proudly said that I could make one just like it. Read more>>

 Brian Mann

I went on to play college golf at a small school and was actively seeking out mentors along the way. After meeting a successful chiropractor, I decided I would buckle down and do whatever it took to get through chiropractic college. Read more>>

Brooke Henwood

I have always been a little bit of a self-proclaimed “organization freak.” After graduating from Texas A&M, I moved back to Dallas to pursue a career in interior design. This is when I fell in love with the industry. Read more>>

Ann Badmus

Before joining my firm, I owned and operated a boutique immigration law firm for 20 years. I started my firm in Delaware and moved it to Dallas in 1998. Because immigration is governed by federal law, I am able to help clients nationwide. Read more>>

Jessie Washington

Brunchaholics started in 2015. I had fallen in love with brunching a few years before that and would post different posts on social media about my brunch adventures. Read more>>

Jose A. Padilla

Right in that moment when I was explaining about the broth and the jumbo shrimps (in Venezuela where I spent most of my adolescence and adulthood there are no bogavantes), this nice guy asked me to cater for him next weekend. I didn’t even know how much to charge for the paella, but I said yes. And the rest is history. Read more>>

Ronsanto Cole

Over the next few years, I began taking odd jobs here and there, sparking my interest in the culinary arts field, leading to my position as sous-chef. Meanwhile, I continued taking college courses, but overall I always felt the urge to take control of the situations and boss up my life. To expand my opportunities, I decided to move to Dallas in 2014. Read more>>

Chris Kelley

As a freshly minted graduate of TCU, I started at The Dallas Morning News when I was 21 years old, ready to take on the world. I spent the next 27 years of my life working for Dallas-based A.H. Belo Corp., first as a reporter, then city editor, and, finally, as the founding Editor of—the website of The Dallas Morning News. Read more>>

Shadan Kishi Price

Leila’s Food Truck is owned and operated by Shadan Kishi Price. Shadan has been a resident of Denton, Texas since 2004 where she lives with her husband, two cats, and two dogs. She graduated from the University of North Texas in 2008 with a degree in Visual Arts Studies. She taught art for a short time but realized that food was her passion. She went back to school and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Texas again in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Management. Read more>>

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