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Inspiring Stories from Katy

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 rising stars from Katy and surrounding areas below.

Ashanti Lonzo-Minix

I’m originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana. I moved to Houston my 3rd-grade year, so I’m Louisiana-born but Texas raised. I started my love for fashion in Highschool, having to wear uniforms, I couldn’t wait to express myself through my clothing. I started styling in 2016 but took a long break once having my son. Last year right before quarantine, a local vintage brand (Washington Ave) reached out to collaborate and I’ve been going every since, I decided to be a full-time creative and fashion stylist. Read more>>

Amber Odle

Divorce, it’s an ugly word and not usually talked about in a positive way. I am a child of divorce. I have been through it seven times from childhood until young adulthood, been caught in the middle of a nasty child custody, and have had my own personal divorce, which brings me to eight times going through the throws of that ugly word. Growing up, I vowed that should I ever get a divorce I would never do or act the way my parents did. It wasn’t until my own divorce in 2016 that I had to fight the pain from my past as it was showing its ugly head in my own divorce. Since then, I have dedicated my career in real estate to helping those going through the ugly word, DIVORCE. After years of healing, I met a real estate investor that made me rethink the “I never will get married again” thought. He, too is no stranger to divorce, yet his was much more amicable than mine… in the beginning anyway. We both have stories that have given us power, knowledge, growth, and the desire to help and share with others. Read more>>

Bruno Baltazar

I was born and raised in Portugal, moved to the USA when I was 19 years old and been living in the Katy area for the last five years. Prior to that, I resided in Maryland and South Carolina. I graduated with a bachelor in criminal justice from Penn st and minors in sociology and IST, I then attended Arizona state University where I graduated with two masters, in Homeland security and Criminal Justice, I currently teach at Royal High school, both sociology and psychology and reside in the Katy area with my wife Kayla and my two kids, Barry and Michael. I did many jobs before from security to caregiver within the region but wanted something bigger in terms of community involvement so I started a few projects, all for now under the umbrella of Pottstown Firebirds as my business name. Read more>>

Jordan Hannah

I’ve always been able to weave a wacky story ever since I was a kid. Improv came easy since I could just make a bit out of anything that popped into my head. When I was adopted and moved to Texas, I took a couple of kid-friendly improv classes. I also performed in a couple of staged opera productions as a child, both in children’s chorus and on-stage non-singing roles. At 17, I got married, tried community college, dropped out, got separated from my wife, left Texas, and moved across the country. While there, I worked odd survival jobs and eventually came back home and finalized my divorce. A couple of years later, I was going through a real dark time, but luckily a friend threw me a lifeline and got me in touch with a wonderful acting teacher and class, which put me back on the creative path I began as a child. I launched into writing my first screenplay (The Scars We Bare). And with the help of my best friend Joshua Jost and family members, I was able to act in, direct, and produce The Scars We Bare (my first short film) based on my life and one important but failed relationship. Read more>>

Greg Chin

I started the mobile hookah service business, because after researching the market and trying multiple hookahs around the city they were all below subpar in my opinion. There was no one that provided a great hookah experience or good hookah at that. All of the clubs, restaurants and lounges all provide you with the same nasty tasting shisha that would causes headaches the next morning. I stepped in and wanted to change all of that and provide a one of a kind luxury hookah experience that you won’t find anywhere else here in Houston at an affordable cost. With anything I strongly believe you have to differentiate yourself in order to be successful. I took over 90 days to perfect ten custom shisha mixes that are all made with natural real fruit and have the lowest nicotine levels which ensured no headaches the next day and it provided a much more flavorful and enjoyable taste. Read more>>

Brian Washington

Throughout Brian Washington’s 18-year career as a student pastor in Port Arthur, Oklahoma and most recently at Copperfield Church in Cy-Fair, he encountered the often-overlooked issue of teenage homelessness. “I served in the country; I served in the hood; and I’ve served in the suburbs,” he said. “It might not look the same, but poverty and homelessness in all of those places.” Washington launched a nonprofit called The Oneighty Project in 2019 with a goal to end youth homelessness by equipping at-risk teens with tools essential to their success. Around the same time, he decided to start a for-profit coffee-roasting business that would help support this mission. Coffee roasting seemed like a promising route to pursue because most people already drink coffee regularly, and tying the product to a charitable cause would help drive sales, he said. But Washington admits he was not a coffee drinker himself until traveling to countries such as Haiti and El Salvador on mission trips and learning about the nuances in different coffee styles. Read more>>

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