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Inspiring Stories from North West 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 West Dallas below.

Cody Norton

My story began in the small town of Elgin, Texas, a suburb of Austin, Texas. As a kid, I knew that being an artist is what I was destined to be. From a young age, I always wanted to draw, whether it be with crayons or pencils. Whatever I got my hands on I would use to create art. With the influences of growing up around livestock, and raising livestock, all of my artwork was in relation to my environment around me. I submerged myself in the world of farming and 4-H growing up, and even when I thought it hated it so much, it helped me grow as a person and artist. Once I got to high school, my passion for art grew even more. Competing in Visual Art Scholastic Events or VASE from freshman to senior year it made my art practice grow. And then I realized I really wanted to teach art to others. With the help of my high school art teacher Katie Spurrier Hoover and my family, I was able to go and pursue my dreams at the University of North Texas. Read more>>

Meghan Kraemer

I was nineteen years old when I began cosmetology school. I had finished high school and began taking classes at TCC, while working part-time as a hostess at a local restaurant in Grapevine. I realized that taking classes at TCC and working as a hostess was not what I wanted to do with my life, so I quit both. The one thing that I knew that I was interested in was hair and makeup. I lived nearby a local cosmetology school and while driving by one day with my mom. I convinced her to stop in and just check it out. The minute we walked in I knew this was where I belonged. A place to begin the training and to receive the knowledge in order to take me to where not only could I make a living, but actually enjoy it at the same time. I immediately enrolled and began classes. The program was a year-long process and all was going well until a few months before graduation, I discovered I was three months pregnant. Read more>>

Adam Hammett

I began training others almost 20 years ago when working at GNC and noticing that people would spend a ton of money on supplements but never make any progress toward their goals. I’d recommend supplements and write workout programs for them. Eventually, this led to training full time. I have trained people as an employee of box gyms, had several iterations of my own training studio over the years, and have even partnered with other trainers to share training space. My wife, Debra, is also a coach and joined forces with me almost ten years ago. When the last place we were working out of decided to close their doors three years ago, we knew we had to open our space again. Read more>>

Stephen Roese

Steve Roese is an out of the box thinker who wants to change the world by connecting dots and people to make things happen that others do not expect to succeed. He has traveled much of the developing world and is burdened for and amazed by the people he knows there. Steve has been married 32 years to a highly gifted and talented wife and has three kids who he happens to really like. Whatever It Takes for him is more than a tagline, it’s how things change. Impatient with the status quo, his focus is on both the haves and have-nots of society and whose cultural ethos is to do whatever it takes to collide the lives of both. Steve received a BS in economics and business from NYU Stern School of Business and an MS from Dallas Theological Seminary. Read more>>

Afsha’n and Mahreen Lakhani

We both have had a deep-rooted appreciation for photography for as long as we can imagine. Individually, we both would always take photographs of our family and friends, of school events, and of life’s biggest moments. We bought our first DSLR camera around ten years ago, and you’d be hard-pressed to find us without it. Somewhere along the way, life took over and our love for photography took a backseat. We both became busy in our own lives, from attending college to building our individual careers, and while we still loved photography from the sidelines, we spent years without getting behind the lens. Read more>>

Adeola and Shabreka Ogundipe

In 2012 I found out that I had high blood pressure and needed to reduce my salt intake. I started trying out different seasonings for my meals but couldn’t find anything with low sodium and enough flavor. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2016, when I decided to experiment and create a unique blend to use for my smoked Turkey and side dishes. My family loved the entire meal! At that moment, I knew I had to share my creation with others. I went to work perfecting that seasoning (now known as our Cajun Soul) and started mixing new combinations for my recipes. My love for cooking and flavorful food led me to perfect our multi seasoning blends and hot sauce that never compromises flavor or quality. Read more>>

Maggie Wells

My Doula Journey started after art school when I got into nursing school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with that career path, what field to be in. I thought, “If I could be anything in the world, I would want to be a Midwife.” While I was doing some googling on how to become a Midwife, I found the word “Doula” and dove in headfirst. THIS is what I was made for. I dropped out of nursing school in 2016, took a Birth Doula training, read book after book, found a local Doula who let me shadow her (Sarah DiMarco, thank you!) and I have been a Doula ever since and Bluebonnet Birth Services was born! Read more>>

Randy Webb

I feel as if I was destined to be a part of the creative community. As a kid growing up in New York, you could always find me sketching and drawing. I continued to evolve my passion for art and developed a real pension for creating illustrations that were realistic, scrutinizing the detail of my subject matter, trying to capture all the nuances that would bring it to life. One of my idols growing up was Norman Rockwell and I loved how his work captured “a moment in time.” As a young adult, I joined the Hudson Valley Art Association and entered my work in judged art shows. I was honored to win Best in Category (drawing) in one of the shows and to do this day, that piece hangs in a collection at Mount Saint Mary’s College on the Hudson River. Read more>>

Precious Williams

My company, Perfect Pitches by Precious, started two years after I launched my lingerie line for full-figured divas and plus size fashionistas, Curvy Girlz Lingerie. I had no money to start it and entered pitch competitions to win money and get introduced to investors. In fact, I started my company with -$400 in my bank account. My first elevator pitch got me on the popular MSNBC show, “Your Business with JJ Ramberg,” in 2012. On the show, I asked for $500k and received it! I was then told to enter pitch competitions and won 13 out of 14 in less than two years and added an additional $150k. Read more>>

Christopher Tock

I started sewing as a joke! Six years ago, and friend and I wanted to go to a comic convention in Milwaukee. I was determined to make our costumes for the event with absolutely zero creative experience, but I went out… bought a basic sewing machine and a handful of fabric, and got to work. People laughed at me at the fabric store and some of my friends but the desire to create some custom costumes was way more powerful than my fear of being different. After about a month, I’d taught myself some sewing basics and created some very poorly made but surprisingly good looking costumes! People at the event loved them, and we had a fantastic time! Read more>>

Morgan Fitzgerald

I have wanted to be a counselor since I was young. I was first introduced to the field of psychology early on by my grandfather, who is a licensed clinical psychologist. Some kids played with toys at that age, but growing up in a psychologist’s office meant I played with testing materials. Throughout my time in his office, I got to see first hand what he did for people and how helpful they found his work. I always was drawn to finding a career equally as fulfilling. After getting to college, I found a passion for psychology, as well, which lead me to complete a bachelor’s then a master’s. All the while having a clear path of wanting to help people through therapy. I specialized early on in addictions counseling. This was a population of people that I found to feel connected too. Read more>>

Eddie Lott

I started Recycle Revolution in 2008, while I was finishing my undergraduate degree in Political Science at UTD, interning as Assistant Campaign Director at the Texas Campaign for the Environment, selling camping equipment at REI, and tending bar (and washing dishes!) at bars in Lower Greenville and Exposition Park. It was a busy time! But I was passionate about our Mission and super motivated to create something that I could put my whole head & heart into. I’d spent four years in my late teens and early 20’s backpacking, working, and living in Central & South America, and the way people valued resources in those parts of the world was something that really stayed with me and is still with me to this day (I spend about half of my year each year guiding trips in Brazil, where I am currently). Read more>>

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