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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.

Omar Amin

Born overseas in Amman, Jordan, I came to the U.S. when I was six years old. My family planted roots in Houston, Texas – the place I’ve called his home ever since. By the time I reached high school and became a captain of the football team, I was diagnosed with leukemia. Doctors had questions if I could ever play again but after rigorous chemo, I emerged in even better shape than I was before, and went on to play football and study Biology at the University of Houston. I never gave up and always strived for the best, which has trickled into my approaches in life and dentistry. Read more>>

Ariana Stevens

I’ve always like to do hair since I was a little girl but I didn’t actually start adding weave and perfecting my technique until I was 12 years old. That all started by me trying to do my own hair after my mom told me she wasn’t paying for me to get my braids done for the summer after I done lost my basketball uniform for school. So that was a punishment and I needed my braids so I just figured it out one day I tried using YouTube for help but I just wasn’t understanding that way of learning. So I practiced on myself , family & friends until my craft of braids was perfected.  Read more>>

Carlos Suarez

I started to dance after my brother took me to a dance academy at 15. From that day I have spent most of my time in a dance studio. I have danced many different genres, such as jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and other latin rhythms. At the age of 17 I started teaching my own class, and at 18 I became the main dancer of the dance company Imagen Latina in Caracas, Venezuela. I began to travel and I fell more in love with the life style of a dancer. I danced on some of the most important stages for music awards and concerts. In 2013 I landed a dance contract in Morocco for entertainment. Read more>>

Randall Neighbour

In 2007 my wife received a small inheritance. At the time, we were operating a non-profit publishing organization with numerous offices in countries around the world. The inheritance wasn’t a lot of money, but it was more than we’d ever been responsible for and we didn’t want to lose it. We were doing well with our money even though the nonprofit didn’t pay us much. We were saving each year and we paid off our mortgage with some of the inheritance, so we had no debt. But we still didn’t know much about investing for our future to battle taxes, inflation, and the cost of healthcare down the road. Read more>>

AJ Francis

My story starts with me just having this fascination with cars and watching a lot of automotive movies and tv shows such as The Fast and The Furious, Fast and Furious Tokyo drift, IMSA Racing, and a lot of Top Gear. Those same fascinations influenced me to ask more questions about cars and even lead me to going on YouTube one day and seeing all these people work on different cars. Read more>>

Bryesiah Baham

I originally started sewing in high school, my senior year actually. My instructor in the class told me “I can see you being a designer, I just don’t think you have enough patience for sewing. You’ll end up hiring someone for sewing” and so I pursued fashion styling instead. I even have a fashion merchandising associates opposed to a design associates because of what I was told in high school. I didn’t actually begin sewing until I left college, but I learned how to sew on a juki in college. Read more>>

Stedman Edwards

I started out managing restaurants. I also held supervisor rolls in other capacities. Once I grew tired of working for some one I started “ThaFoodPlug” and sold plates. I decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue my cooking aspirations. Once in LA I met an artist signed under Juicy J, by the name of, Henry AZ. We started to “freestyle” and he said I g had potential. That was all it took now(Article from ThisIs50)>>>> Saint Bricc is taking Lufkin Texas over. He continues to strive for greatness. Saint Bricc sacrifices 15+ hours a day working on his music career, from writing, recording, networking and promoting himself as an independent artist and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.  Read more>>

Jasmine Lee

Incorporated in 1875 Olivewood Cemetery is the oldest African American cemetery in Houston. Of the nearly 4,000 burials, roughly quarter of the individuals at rest in Olivewood experienced the horrors of enslavement while many more were born post Emancipation. Olivewood Cemetery is also the final resting place for three of the four founders of Emancipation Park in
Houston, Texas as well as many pillars of the early free Black community of Houston and the surrounding areas. Read more>>

Khilah Boone

In 2017 I knew I wanted to be a business owner and spent the next two years implementing those plans. I was 23 living in Rhode Island working as a Pharmacy Technician when I finally had enough stability to start my brand. Formerly known as Kai’s Lash Lab Co, I had the vision to launch a science-based beauty company, which started off as a lash company. After leaving an abusive and controlling relationship that hindered me from running my business completely, In 2020 I fell in love with wholesale and creating a bridge for my customers between the gaps of high shipping prices from overseas vendors. I am now a US retailer and wholesale vendor for hand-made cosmetics in NJ. Read more>>

Rodri

It’s been a bit of a journey to get me to where I am that has been a bit all over the place, so bare with me. My name is Rodri and I created a project called AREYOUSTILLDEPRESSED. At my core, I am an experimental musician and multidisciplinary artist.
Anything I do is always with the goal of sharing my art. The first phase of starting AREYOUSTILLDEPRESSED was when it began as a passion project where I could showcase and sell my art during the beginning of the pandemic.  Read more>>

Trey Bodwin

Houston-based Luxury Real Estate Agent Trey Bodwin is the Founder/Creator of TreyFindsTx– a media platform that conveniently allows sellers and agents to highlight their homes and listings. With an increased demand of people relocating to both Houston and Dallas, Texas, Trey has focused on the ability to provide gain market exposure for builders, clients and agents through home exploration. “Gaining market exposure involves far more than simply listing a house. It’s where home exploration meets discovery.” Read more>>

Castello Domingo

I started doing freelance Graphic Design in 2014 in Ventura, California, just doing simple logo and brand identity work for other students at my art school. From there, my work expanded throughout Southern California, mainly in the Los Angeles County. The great thing about Graphic Design is it can be applied to any field anywhere. For example, I also do work in performance art, including music, theater, singing, dancing, and acting, and have found ways for my Graphic Design to tie into those things. Read more>>

Rosemarie

Pandemic 2020 had many people home, isolated, depressed and missing family. Following the guidelines at the time we KNEW we could make at home Hibachi happen! We started in Houston, TX on February 1st 2021. The idea was so amazing and people really enjoyed it that we grew and grew fast. We decided, why stop in Houston? People were reaching out from all over TX especially Dallas- that was our next spot. It grew almost overnight! The rest is history, we are now in California, Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Oklahoma and of course our HUB Texas with locations in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Lubbock and Victoria. Read more>>

Sandi Simmons

I’m originally from Salt Lake City Utah. I spent 28 years in the medical industry. 15 of those years were spent in hospice. I was a master distributor for two teeth whitening companies for five years until I realized in 2020 I can build my own business. I have been selling and training all across the country for nearly seven years. I work with Salon Spas Med spas and schools to add this amazing service to their businesses.increase their revenue. Read more>>

Chelsee Parker

Centrl Sply is a centrl location that provides a modern streetwear culture shopping experience. Specializing in sneakers, hype, culture, shoe cleaning, restorations and premium vintage apparel. The proccess of opening this store has been fairly as we consist of a group of people that have really come together with one goal in mind, to create a luxury streetwear and sneaker shopping experience. Read more>>

Myron Stone

My Art Journey started when I noticed that my Mother & Grandparents were big collectors of Black Art. We had Art on every wall in the house and I would often try to recreate what I would see. From Johnathan Green, Annie Lee to Charles Bibbs. If I had a style it would be considered “Modern Gullah” as I was heavily influenced by Green & Lee growing up. As an athlete in high school, I only did art on my spare time while most people never knew I had a talent. Read more>>

Laura Marino

Five years ago we moved from Italy to Houston for my husband’s job. I was an art history teacher in high school, when we moved to the US, my English was poor so I signed up for an English course and thought that working as a waitress could help me learn the language. I worked in an Italian restaurant and then in a coffee shop, where my passion for coffee developed. As an Italian I knew how to prepare espresso, cappuccino, macchiato but I discovered that the world of American coffee is much more complex and varied than the Italian one. Read more>>

Stephanie Comfort

I was an educator (secondary grades 6-8) for ten years (really fifteen if you count working in daycares, summer camps, tutoring centers etc) and when the pandemic hit, I had to make the decision to leave my job (it was a remote position located out of state) and do something else. The “something else” ended up happening over night as I had started uploading videos to youtube and within one week of leaving my teaching position, one of them went viral, and I was able to begin doing content creation full time. Read more>>

Daniel Benavides

HNS Training Facility was a vision, a dream of if I had my own gym this is what it would be like. Preparation met opportunity and I took the chance and never looked back and here we are 5 years later. I was born and raised here in Houston on the East Side of town. Growing up I was not athletic; I was more of a chill and play video games kind of guy. I started working out at the age of 29 when I was at my heaviest. I was at a point when enough was enough and I had to make a change. Read more>>

Ally Hardgrave

In 2020 my family and I purchased a TAXA Outdoors Mantis with the intention of spending all our weekends outside. However, that plan quickly morphed into selling our house, hitting the road full-time, and living in our Mantis exclusively. From there our family was featured in TAXA’s 2021 model shoot and the rest is history. I worked with TAXA as a freelance creator for about a year and a half before talks opened up about me joining the company full-time. I officially started as Creative Director in November of 2021. Read more>>

LaTerika “Teri” Wilson

In both fields, I started at a young age. For my career in education, I used my dolls and teddy bears to set up a classroom in my room. I had the whole setup including books, chalkboards, and desks. I wasn’t familiar with afterschool programs being a career because my school day teachers were also my afterschool teachers but I loved staying afterschool and participating in extracurricular activities. I didn’t experience afterschool programs as a career until I was in college (The University of Texas at Austin). I was looking for a job and a friend of mine told me about his job as a youth worker for afterschool program. Read more>>

Austin Windom

Austin Windom, (born September 24,1997) Also known As “AUS10” is a lyrical Hip-Hop artist originally from Los Angeles, California. His style is unique and raw and his message and sound has become clearer and clear over the years. Starting in his journey around 2016 with his first mixtape O.A.B (Ova Any Beat) He immediately showed his diversity with different instrumentals. This led to a vast beginning of a new journey into the realm of creating music. Since then he has released multiple bodies of work and has remained independent while traveling to expand as a well-known Hip-Hop artist. Now, in year 2022 the goal is to work towards receive worldwide recognition since my new music to come is that much better. Read more>>

Karis Judith Onuwa

I’m a 19 year old hair stylist from Houston. I’ve been doing hair my whole life because I have 4 sisters, but during covid I had so much free time I was able to renew my love of doing hair and improve my skills and was able to officially turned it into a business my freshman year of college. Business wasn’t always good, but with hard work, dedication, and believing in myself I’m able to do what I love for a living. Read more>>

Marisol Herrera

I began my journey in 2015 as a clothing brand and later expanded into a podcast (Herr Lounge Podcast), a Youtube channel (All about HERR), and a management company. The purpose of my brand is to empower, encourage and connect women from all walks of life but most importantly, my brand is in the business of selling CONFIDENCE. Read more>>

Orlando Hernandez

I was working in HVAC for several years prior to starting TACORLANDO. I even talked about starting my own business for years before leaving HVAC. But it wasn’t until the pandemic hit hard that we formed the business and were selling tacos for groups of bike riders. Restaurants were shut down and Houston’s bike scene was growing rapidly too with more people working from home. Most bike crews would find a place to stop during the ride so they can socialize and grab a bite to eat. Before we knew it, there was a ride almost every week bringing 50+ riders to the front of my house to buy and eat my tacos. Read more>>

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