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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.

Jessica Salas

I started photography when I bought a “nice” camera to photograph my first born. This hobby later became what is now my 3rd year in business. Now a mother of 4 kids, and a lover of babies, I have focused on maternity and newborns. This allows me to have my evenings and weekends free for my family which is still my number 1 priority. Read more>>

Gigi Rill

Rice Electric Vehicle Team (REV) is a student-run organization that designs and constructs electric powered vehicles and enters national efficiency car competitions. This interdisciplinary group of students represents all academic years and over ten different majors at Rice University. Read more>>

Billy Baccam, Alex Ramos

The beginnings of Input Output is a little unconventional which really laid the foundation for the work we do now. Our first project was at The Graffiti and Street Art Museum for the B12 Collective Gallery Opening. Given the open format of the show and with no previous history of working together, we were able to create a very unique, immersive light and sound experience. Read more>>

Richard Saad

It was by chance that I got involved at Nick’s Plumbing. My career started in the financial/technical arena. Long story short at 29 years old, I decided to go the unemployed route. I was tired of the corporate world but at the same time was looking to go a different direction within corporate. Read more>>

Mary Jo Naschke

Sea Star Base Galveston was founded by Charles and Rosemary Doolin to provide a maritime location and experience for youth to learn about their environment. Charles’ father founded the Frito company, now Frito Lay; PepsiCo. Read more>>

Margo Baines

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. I joined the Army at the age of 18, attended Texas Southern University and graduated with a degree in Finance. I decided to start my own company at the age of 26. One would say I am a pretty fearless individual but that hasn’t always been the case for me. Read more>>

Diego Nuila

My story began a little over 2 years ago (end of 2015) when my parents decided to move an hour north from little town Lake Jackson into big city Houston. While they were preparing to move they needed to sell some furniture online and didn’t know how to do so. Read more>>

Brianna Drisdale

I’ve always been a news buff and in high school, I studied journalism at the Jack Yates School of Communications in Third Ward. From there I went to Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and finished with a bachelors in multi-media journalism, minoring in marketing. Read more>>

Ashley Rapalo

My mother has actually been doing cakes for 25+ years. I have always been into art. My mother noticed that i had and artistic ability at a young age. She would always encourage me to get into the business with her. However at the time I was not interested. Read more>>

Narine Bhola

My love for music began when I was just 8 years old. At that young age, my father taught me how to sing and play the piano. After a few years of learning, I started singing in our family band, D New Dimensions. We performed a combination of Reggae, Soca, Chutney and Bollywood songs. Read more>>

Hector Garcia

Art and Design has always been a part of my life, as far back as I can remember, but it was the mid to late 90s that I can say was the beginning of where I’m at today. Around 1995, I was handed a copy of a design program called Freehand4 and i was blown away by what that one program was capable of. Read more>>

Dustin Windham, Michael Powell, Jamal Ansari

I’m mad. Mad that Big Food is literally killing us. I’m not a foodie. I don’t take pictures of my plate. But my time abroad in the US Peace Corps gave me an opportunity to experience food in a new way. I ate unprocessed and cooked from scratch, which completely changed the way my body functioned and felt. Read more>>

Jay Sheth M.D., Darshana Sheth M.D.

In the Spring of 2015, we were presented with the opportunity to expand our knowledge and expertise into the field of medical aesthetics. As practicing physicians for over 22 years, my wife Darshana and I dedicated our lives to the betterment of human life. Read more>>

Gina Marrinucci

With a diversified retail and customer service background, I was hired by Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in February 2012. The Pavilion opened in March of the same year, with the hospital owned gift shop, Bella Luna, opening in August 2012. Read more>>

Renee Edd

Personally, I sang before I spoke. I was belting Annie at a very young age making the glass in the China cabinet shake in the living room. Unfortunately, my parents were not very knowledgeable about the business so they didn’t really know what to do for me and my dad’s instinct was to keep me from it as long as he could. Read more>>

Ellyse Espinoza

Hello, my name is Ellyse Espinoza, owner and designer for State Line Designs and State Line mobile boutique. I started State Line, a local apparel company in 2014. My inspiration behind State Line was to create comfortable Houston inspired tees for both men and women. I am a huge Houston sports fan but wasn’t ever able to find any comfortable fitting tees that I could rock all year round. Read more>>

Evelyn Garcia

Evelyn Garcia was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Her interest in the culinary field began at a young age. As the eldest of three siblings, she would cook for her younger brother and sister while her parents worked. During her senior year in high school, she joined the school district Culinary Academy, where she excelled. Read more>>

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