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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.

Tanya Gee

Many years ago I began my first career as a pediatric critical care nurse working in various teaching hospitals in Texas and Louisiana. During that career I developed skills as a transport nurse of the critically ill child, a clinical researcher, an educator of my fellow PICU nurses, and advanced therapeutics provider including ECMO (cardiac bypass) and liquid ventilation. Read more>>

Valeri Valeriano, Christina Ong

It was by a “sweet accident” that Valeri Valeriano and Christina Ong discovered their passion and talent. On Mother’s Day April 2011, they wanted to give their two friends (also their employers) whom they consider their “second-moms” something special but not expensive and so they decided to try and bake for them. Read more>>

David Paul

It started with the munchies. At 3:00 am after a long night on 6th Street in Austin,, we were hungry for chicken wings. Although wing joints were abundant in the South, we were shocked to find none in Austin. Read more>>

Michael Withouse

I’m a Houston based Artist originally from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. I pursued art through school and it led me into my young adult life. I graduated from UWYO with an Art education degree but pursued another career. Read more>>

Sean Vo, Patrick Vo

Sean and Patrick vo was born and raised in Houston, Tx. Sean is 21 and Patrick is 22. We spent a couple years studying fashion design at high school then at the college level. The first thing that caught our attention was designer clothing because the level of detailing and production for such garments were much higher. Read more>>

Anna Kalita

I began my profession as an independent makeup artist in 2010, in the wake of finishing a recognition course at a Makeup and Hair School in Moscow, Russia. Be that as it may, my fixation on makeup goes back to when I was very young. Read more>>

Joann Alvarez, Karla Dominguez

About two years ago, we began helping Joann’s fiancé sell Merch for their synth pop band, Camera Cult. We slowly took an interest to the idea of actually starting a brand together. Late December 2016, Karla’s brother who’s our graphic designer, 4TH LRGST, sat us down and we began to actually draw up some designs. Read more>>

Alonzo Williams Jr.

So I’ve been photographing since 2008. The first few years as a photographer was just me trying figure out what I enjoyed doing the most (Fashion, Headshots, Weddings, Family, Street, etc.). In 2010, I launched “A Will JR” which is where I provide photography services (anything portrait related). Read more>>

Manuela Gomez-Rhodes

Id like to say my professional story started out in 2011, my dad had just passed away and I felt immense pressure to do something with my life. I was in college on a tennis scholarship but always felt like I really didn’t belong. When this happened it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of life. Read more>>

Myunique Green

The beginning of my journey was rough, to say the least. I grew up in poverty, never had the best of anything and I’d witnessed some things in my childhood that I repressed for many years.  I don’t think I ever set out to end up here in the first place, but I always prayed that things would get better. Read more>>

Cwanza Pinckney

I grew up in Dallas Texas. I was always expected to go to college and make a and do “make something of myself” like most other kids. I attended Xavier University of New Orleans where I studied and enjoyed college life. Read more>>

Olivia Djibo

I started off by helping friends and family create concepts for their parties. I always enjoyed coming up with fun ideas that would be their guests feel special . Then I had the chance to design our own wedding by make trips from Houston to Cape Town South Africa. Read more>>

Albert Vasquez

I was born to the South Texas Coast— Corpus Christi to be exact. At the age of fifteen I took my first kitchen job in Port Aransas, shucking oysters and washing dishes. Between school and my hobbies in art and music, kitchen work was always the easiest to find when moving to a new city. Read more>>

Karen Navarro

Well, I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I came to Houston in 2015. In Argentina I used to work as a photographer for an online music electronic radio, but nothing seriously. I also studied fashion design at The University of Buenos Aires. Read more>>

Rocquelle Porch

Houston Bridal Flea was born from my attempts and failures to sell my friend’s beautiful wedding dress. Many wedding consignment shops wouldn’t buy it because it is more than 3 years old (it was 5 years old when I started trying to sell it), and selling a wedding dress online is a different kind of challenge. Read more>>

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company (aka METdance) has more than 24 years of ballet training including training with the New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Read more>>

Candice Wheat

At the age of 16 I started my first job and knew right away I would own a business one day. While my fellow classmates dreamed about being doctors and lawyers, I was dreaming about owning my own business in the hospitality industry. Growing up in a small town close to Destin Florida, I was surrounded by the hospitality industry. Read more>>

Anthony Rose

As a child, I would draw my own comic books for my friends in school and myself. Into my teenage years, my interest in drawing grew into a passion for creating street art and later, graphic design. I inadvertently drew some attention from a couple of international brands like Montana Cans, MTN Colors, and Ironlak and became a sponsored artist. Read more>>

Josely Yuko

I grew up one of four daughters to Diego Chavarria, a coffee farmer in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua. His dad was the coffee farmer on El Dorado (the name of our family farm) as was his dad and the father before him. My father grew up poor by world standards – living off the fruit grown on the trees providing shade for the coffee plants, rice and beans grown on the lower altitude portions of the farm. Read more>>

Rebecca Landes

I have considered myself a “helping” professional for the past thirty years. After securing a bachelor’s degree in political science, I worked in Central American in the Peace Corps. That opportunity inspired me to continue working with people to support each individual to reach their goals and potential. Read more>>

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