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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.

Alexandra Pernice

After over a decade of a professional career, I was looking for a different path. I had been doing some marketing and fundraising work on the side for years and developed a liking to it. I have always had a great relationship with METdance and when I found out they were looking for someone to help with development, I immediately reached out. Read more>>

Elizabeth and Michael Swail

We both have a background in the investment banking world but have always loved food, coffee, wine, and spirits. When we moved from Houston to Austin, we found there was a gap in the Austin food scene; you could have a fabulous fine dining experience, eat incredible food from a food truck, and find some of the best BBQ and tacos around, but there were few places with straightforward offerings in an elevated setting. Read more>>

Kiona

Navigating social media is always a struggle, especially pertaining to mental health. When you have a public page that challenges widespread beliefs about countries and denounces stereotypes that challenge the status quo, people get triggered. Topics such as sexual assault, racism, and travel safety come up often. Read more>>

Jordan Franklin

Between undergrad and law school, I took two years off and worked at a law firm to make sure law was something I wanted to pursue. When I originally went to undergrad, I thought I was going to be a doctor…I hated chemistry, genetics, etc. lol. I was like, “God, this can’t be what you have for me.” I made the shift in school when I took a philosophy and political science class in the same semester. Read more>>

Joseph Berck and Jaime Gonzalez

Bloom Handcrafted Beauty Products is a retailer in Houston, TX. Everything in store is handmade and sourced by local businesses and artisans who specialize in natural, handcrafted beauty. We also open the store to carry brands from other parts of the country that share the same passion in creating quality handcrafted beauty products. Read more>>

Carina Lopez

Working in this industry, I have also learned the value of diversity and that as a Latina, we don’t have to mimic someone else but powerfully embrace our uniqueness and fully bring it to the table. I then created the second type of skirts which are knee length and are perfect for work as we own our diversity through a physical statement. Read more>>

TJ Tijani

My story began when I was eight years old. That was when my mom and four siblings moved to Houston from Nigeria. We lived in a two bedroom apartment. As a first generation immigrant, I watched my mother work very hard to provide for us throughout childhood. I got excepted into the University of Houston which was one of my top choices. Read more>>

Valerie Madison

From working with huge companies and on major events like Waste Management’s Corporate Office, NCAA, Ciroc, Grammy Weekend, two Superbowls, Tv One, Essence Festival and more, networking has been the reason for it all and that is something I learned and perfected at TS. Most times that is our only way in! Read more>>

Vanessa Flores Newton

I love the business side of things and I had no idea what being a business owner meant. That’s my favorite part about what I do now. I am incredibly passionate about teaching others how to do the same. As a woman of color, it can be incredibly defeating to feel like you are constantly working against a system that was not created for us. Read more>>

Keith Pierce II

Constantly practicing and taking advantage of networking opportunities have been vital to my success. Every time I go out, even if it’s just hanging with friends, I make sure to get connected on social media and hand out business cards to people I meet. I also keep an eye out for opportunities to talk with promoters, managers and other entrepreneurs who may need my services. Read more>>

Kashmire Terry

Keeping my lack of artistic talent in mind, I just continued with my original plan. Law School! I majored in political science and took every internship I could get my hands on. I worked in criminal law, family law, and personal injury. It wasn’t until my Junior year of college where I met my first entertainment lawyer. Read more>>

Sofia Tilton

I’m proud to say that this past year I was elected as President of RSVP. We have a monthly clinic that provides free durable medical equipment (DME) to individuals with physical disabilities that do not have any funding. We also have a bi-weekly rehabilitation clinic that provides free therapy for individuals with brain injury, spinal cord injury, and amputees. Read more>>

Thea Chavez

I used to be a television host and professional dancer in my country, the Philippines. I modeled on the side as well. After college, I migrated to Los Angeles, CA, where I became a hotelier at the Courtyard By Marriott in Sherman Oaks and also a flight attendant for Allegiant Airlines then Virgin America. Read more>>

Jacob Calle

“Bird” being my first word I had no idea that the world in front of me would be filled with more wonder than a child could bare. Everyday learning about new specimens, I knew that it would be my duty at a young age to protect and save these animals. Sadly we are living through the 6th extinction. Read more>>

Dylan Bennett

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a focus in Public Relations from Lamar University. I have always had a take charge demeanor and leadership personality, which my friends would just call bossy, lol. My love for public speaking and gaining completions from helping others only made it right that I fell in love with Public Relations. Read more>>

Amanda Shaw

The Barkday Planner was a dream come true! Four years ago, I married my wonderful husband, Trey, who thankfully embraced all of my dog-obsessed self!!! Quickly, our furry family grew from 2 to 3 to 6 amazing fur-babies! Somewhere in the mix of our family growing, my passion for planning and love for dogs magically came together. Read more>>

Ransom Ashley

I got into photography when I was about 14 years old. I remember finally getting a camera for Christmas after growing fascinated with the idea of being able to tell stories without having a 20 person crew. I suppose I always evaluated things from a production standpoint, having dreamed of being an actor and filmmaker for much of my childhood. Read more>>

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