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Inspiring Stories from Downtown

The heart of our mission at VoyageHouston 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 Houston’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 Downtown’s rising stars below.

Justin Williams

I’ve always had a passion for the entertainment industry. Since elementary I was known as a class clown I’d say. Back when Instagram first started with the video recording feature, I definitely jumped on that wave and had a decent fan base behind me. I went off to play college football and within my first semester of college I found out I was having my son (Jayce Williams). Read more>>

Tiara Reed

I struggled with depression, anxiety and suicide at an early age. In my early 20s, I went through a deep depression for about 5 years, and because my mom and other family members had also suffered from depression, it appeared to be “normal”, so nothing was done about. One day I cried out to God for help. Prayer and my faith in God was the only thing that got me through that dark time. Read more>>

Carlesha Sidney and Rasheed Sidney

I, Carlesha, used to work at Spec’s for four years, and wanted to do something more challenging while attending PVAMU, and decided to attend bar tending school. Shortly after attending she worked at numerous bars, and also became a serial bar tender for various staffing agencies around Houston. Rasheed, who was my boyfriend at the time noticed how many gigs I worked. Read more>>

Kirby Williams

My journey with my company started as a young kid. I remember being that kid with a crazy imagination making up things and putting it to life through toys or just a drawing paper. I remember being on the playground and pretending to be like I’m at the scene of a movie. I was that artsy kid who had the imaginations out of nowhere. Read more>>

Ralph Ramon

I started in door 2 door sales for AT&T in 2009. No experience and just graduating high school, I quickly learned that I had a talent for generating sales. I worked my way up the ranks through various companies, I finally acquired my own contracts directly with AT&T in 2015 and started my business. Since then we have grown throughout Texas and started becoming a top dealer in the D2D industry. Read more>>

Alexander Scott

My name is Alexander Scott, I am a jewelry designer in Houston, Texas. I recently started my brand the Alexander Scott Collection in 2016. I began this journey when my family was losing our uncle to a brain tumor and my aunt to lymphoma and Leukemia. As I saw those I love endure such pain and inevitably watch them pass away, it was then I decided to help others going through the same pain. Read more>>

Raniece Dorsey

I think I was destined from the start to make art apart of my life. I have always had a passion for creating. I would draw all the time, making characters and short stories. It wasn’t until one particular day, I made the decision to switch mediums and use polymer clay to create. It was so new, but exciting. I made little figurines and slowly began to experiment with things to wear. I remember the day I created my first ring and showed it to my mother. Read more>>

Soul Creatures

The Soul Creatures came together in 2014 in Houston, TX as a groovy group of individuals, just as diverse in musical backgrounds as we are in cultural backgrounds. The original members include- Sergio Vazquez, who traveled from Argentina with just a guitar on his back and a big dream to make music in the USA and Rochelle Sloan, who graduated with a music degree and a passion to step out of her classically-trained box. Read more>>

DJ Demo

In the 90’s, I’d make my own personal mixtapes by recording music from the radio. Back in the day, there wasn’t much to do after playing outside, eating dinner and watching local TV. Of course, my friends were smoking weed, drinking and getting into trouble but moms was not letting me run the streets. So every night, I would sit in my room and listen to the mixshows on 97.9 The Box and 102 Jamz. Read more>>

Matthew Oberpriller

I’ve been working since I was pretty much 14 one day I got tired of working the jobs I was. I’ve been a waiter, stocker, mover, warehouses, graveyard shifts, all types of odd jobs..laying floors, painting walls, landscaping, you name it and I’ve probably done it. I just thought am I just gonna work this job, then that job and repeat this cycle? I asked myself what did I want to do? I wanted to do something art related. Read more>>

Daniel Anguilu

I’m a painter I reflect on human condition on my relationship with my ancestors my connection to this land and the elements my growth and my search for balance is documented with murals drawings and art installations. Read more>>

Marisa Heymach

Photography, for me, has always been about carving out time to appreciate simple moments that might be overlooked in the rush of everyday life. When I was given my first camera at the age of twelve, I loved exploring a single subject from different perspectives to see how I could alter the look and feel of something that I usually took for granted. Read more>>

BreAnna Wiley

BreAnna known as BreFit Wiley has always been an athlete with an amazing work ethic. I played AAU, women’s league, junior high-D1 college basketball at Southern University New Orleans where I won a college championship for the 2014-2015 season. I got into fitness in the spring of 2013 after fracturing her ankle. After gaining weight due to injuries, I really gained a passion for exercising and healthy eating. Read more>>

Amber R. Rhodes

My love of storytelling started around the age 9 or 10. I remember packing those zebra composition books—you know the black and white ones, with all types of stories. I’d also create cartoon-like films on my computer using Microsoft 3D Movie Maker. I’d prefer that over Xbox or Play Station any day. My interest in filmmaking grew even more when I began taking classes in film and television production at the University of Oklahoma. Read more>>

Rosario Gonzalez

I have always had a passion for interior design. It was about 17 years ago that I took a stab at making custom drapes for my personal home. Shortly after family and friends started asking me to make theirs. It was then that I decided to establish The Curtain Gallery and publish a local ad in Sugar Land. Suddenly I began getting a lot of calls and taking orders. Read more>>

Jonah Batambuze

Our early years in America were typical of many other immigrant families. There was the constant tension of my parents wanting us to assimilate to American culture, while also ensuring we kept in touch with our roots. To make this work, my parents took us to Uganda every summer holiday — from the moment we were all a suitable age. Read more>>

Ana Margarita Marmolejo

I started as a client of a friend in Mexico and I was interested to know how she was doing it, I learned to make my own accessories and then my friends became my clients. I moved to Houston 4 years ago and married a wonderful man, but make hand made jewelry was my passion and I did it to work from home and spend time with my family. Read more>>

Raj Salhotra

I grew up here in Houston with parents who migrated from India. My dad came to the US for graduate school with very little money and my mom came when she was 11 years old. They worked hard and built a life in Houston and lived the American Dream. My dad started a small engineering business here in Houston and my mom became a professor at the University of Houston Downtown. Read more>>

Feel Good Naked

Growing up I attached to 3 things to identify myself: overachiever, dancer, and catholic. The Overachiever went on to study pre-medicine and Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame and then receive a Master’s of Public Health degree at Boston University. The Dancer is still fully alive today. I perform and compete regularly in Salsa dancing. Read more>>

Jillian “Jill” Jackson

I have always been into any physical activities. While working as an analyst, I would train on my lunch breaks and encourage colleagues to join me. I decided to get certified and explore my passion for fitness. I not only focus on the outer appearance but most importantly, the mental aspect of it all as well. As a person who struggled with seasonal depression, this has been the most effective cure and outlet. Read more>>

Abraham Pena

Before I start I wanna give a huge shout out to God for sending me through this crazy path and my family my two brothers my girlfriend and her family for constantly supporting my dream! Weirdly this whole journey started at the time my parents divorced. I got closer to my mom and we would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner it was a whole new learning experience for since i was rarely home and never cooked a day in my life besides hot pockets. Read more>>

Joanna McFarland

HopSkipDrive is the innovator in youth transportation. We help schools and families get kids where they need to go safely and dependably. I started the business five years ago with two other working moms. We were desperate for a solution that enabled us to make sure everyone could get where they needed to go without compromising our careers or sacrificing our kids needs due to busy schedules. Read more>>

Breona Blakemore

I was one who communicated with various groups of people throughout high school, and I wanted to leave a statement for the women in my graduating class. Thus, I designed a shirt for all of the senior girls. It received more recognition than I had presumed, and that’s when I realized my creativity reached beyond my expectations. Read more>>

Mikayla Morrison

Music has always been a part of my life. Out of all the different things I’ve tried over the years, music is the one talent I managed to master. It took a lot of patience. My musical journey started all the way back in the first grade. I was an exemplary student in the Lovett Elementary Band. The years I spent playing for them sparked the musical interest. It was a life changing discovery. Read more>>

Corey Williams and Muhammad

A friend of mine wanted to do a clothing and food drive for the winter of 2012. He would always push it off. One day i just took over planning the event and sent out the time, date and location. During the time of the event it opened my eyes to a lot of the things in my past that i wanted to help others with. We then created Hope4Houston. We used it briefly then changed the name. Read more>>

Jayla Durio

I would ask my mom for lunch money but instead after school I would sneak and buy makeup. I would practice everyday and hurry to take it off before my mom got home. As years went on I gained an excessive love for makeup that my family had finally realized it was something I loved. The Christmas of 2016 my family got me loads of makeup which I was in total wow about. Read more>>

Martin Balsam

I began my career in art about 3 years ago, but a year ago, I was drawn to becoming something bigger than myself. I don’t have anyone helping me, but I’ve always been skilled at bringing people together. I have a keen eye on what looks good to people. My experience with being homeless really opened my eyes when it came to finding my style for creating and expressing that emotion to relate to others. Read more>>

Allah Davis

Wear Models was created in the Mindset of Creating a platform that would ignite the Team work mentality in Houston. Give creatives a Narrative to use their resources. 2017 I myself brought togather a team of about 5 creatives and decide to do a photoshoot. This photoshoot would be like no other. We Created a A Networking event that Changed the Culture in Houston. We Called the shoot a SOCIAL SHOOT. Read more>>

Chasity Celestine

As I grew up in the adult world I use to pair this and that up togather and to top it off was a HAT!!!. Hats to me are that extra boost that will finish your outfit I wore hats for everything if it wasn’t a basketball game to a day in the park I had a hat on. Everyone always said only you.. .Chasity can pull this off, and the rest is history. Read more>>

Lars Matilda

Lars Matilda is a director from Austin Texas, they got their start working as a videographer with Wild Ride Productions. Wild Ride Productions is a rodeo Production team that travels actress the country filming sports rodeo. “As soon as I was old enough to work, I was in the arena camera to snout with 2,000 pound bucking bulls.” However Lars always has Always danced to the beat. Read more>>

Raquel Hernandez Martinez

Start writing poems since I was 15 years old. looking for my own style I do practice give the chance to come days come to months ,months come to years ….start publishing in magazines ,newspapers .
Then life give me the chance to come to USA , I was lucky to Find a Adelina Venegas who help me to start doing recitals and presentations with several institutions. Read more>>

Tess Erlenborn

I am a visual artist from Nashville, TN. I specialize in abstract and nature inspired paintings and murals. I received my BFA from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2014 and have since been working in Nashville, officially becoming a full time artist this year. Read more>>

Shae Simmons

I started my makeup journey at Sephora in 2013. I was recruited by a manager, Mrs. Kathy, at my previous job and she needed a manager at Sephora. I had no experience doing makeup on anyone else but I had a passion and excitement for makeup. She hired me and taught me the basics and it was up from there. Everything about the application, the excitement, the connection with my clients just drew me in. Read more>>

Sarah Yancy

The story of how I got started decorating cookies is very unexpected! I was scrolling through Instagram and started down a rabbit hole of cookie decorating videos. After watching videos for a few hours, I knew this was something I wanted to try! I told my friend about my video streak and she found a local cookie decorating class taught by a local cookier. Read more>>

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