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Inspiring Stories from Outside the 610

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 outside the 610 below.

Jammie Ivory, Pearl Ivory, Cheryl Ivory, Ethel Ivory

Growing up in Acres Home, a Historically Black community, our family endured many hardships and hard pressing situations. This area has always been known as an area that was inundated with lots of poverty, crime and drugs. In spite of the situations our family personally faced we still saw the need and worked together to give back to those in need. This was a very hard lesson for us as young children but we continued to help out family and friends alike. Read more>>

Sandra Iniesta

I got into designing t-shirts first because I’ve always been into arts and crafts from a young age. I can remember scrapbooking as a kid to tie-dying shirts and bedazzling anything and everything. A few years ago, I received a cricut cutting machine from my husband for Christmas and immediately started watching how-to videos on YouTube. Read more>>

Faith Pruneda

As a teen, I was fortunate enough to attend The High School for Performing and Visual Arts, where my artistic concepts/skills were heavily honed and developed. From there, I had a healthy idea of what my work encompassed, which is what my work is primarily still focused on today. I later graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown in 2017, where I worked on the painting, graphic design, sculpture, jewelry and graphic novels. Read more>>

Kathy Quemba

It all started since I was just a child. I loved to draw, paint, and scribble. I’ve always been very creative. I like to create things with my hands. I remember that in family gatherings, each event was recorded with a video camera, then we all saw it together as a home theater day. My sister also had a compact camera, and we took pictures of our trips that we then sent to reveal in a store. Read more>>

Saul Mompie

I am a native of Cuba. I was a seamstress and a cobbler in my hometown before becoming an artist. I was making a delivery to a customer, dropping off his shoes when I saw an artist painting. I liked what I saw and said to myself that I was going to paint as a hobby. I went to that shopping center for about a month. I was mesmerized by the whole process of drawing and then applying the color and the final piece of art. Read more>>

Lindsey Michelle

When I think about my story, it’s always been centered around love. I dreamt of having a big wedding, being a wife and a mother. Half of my life, I tried to fill a missing piece in my heart with a man. Even in relationships, I still felt unsatisfied with finding love. I didn’t have a standard of what love is. With me not having a standard of love, I got myself into and stayed in a lot of toxic relationships. Read more>>

Traci Richard

I’ve always had an interest in beauty and fashion since a little girl. At one point in my life I wanted to go to school for a fashion designer but I went down another path in life. I went to school in healthcare but I never had an passion for it I just went because I had it in my mind that I would only be successful in healthcare and that would make my family happy. As I always worked in healthcare for many years. Read more>>

Travis Huffman

Growing up a child of the 1980s, a trip to San Jacinto Mall in Baytown, Texas was a thrilling adventure. My dad and I would go to Sears to look at Craftsman tools while my mom and sister would shop for clothes at Foley’s. We didn’t have cellphones back then to text each other when to meet, so my parents would set a time, and we’d all meet up at Waldenbooks. At the bookstore, there was this spinning rack filled with comic books. Read more>>

Debi Schneider

The very first job I had during high school was at a tiny gift shop on the Strand in Galveston. I stayed there for my entire high school tenure until I graduated. I was able to learn everything about the store from top to bottom. I even helped open a second location. Once I left, I went on to new opportunities to learn true retail at the Mall. I worked at a few different stores and went on to manage those. Read more>>

Danna Casanova

I started designing hats six years ago. The first hat I ever made was for my daughter who won a rodeo beauty pageant, and I took her to take some pictures to keep as a memory of her win, The owner of the photography studio was so excited about my daughter’s hat. She asked me to exchange hats for pictures. She asked me to design six hats for her six granddaughters in exchange for the photos she took of my daughter. Read more>>

Ronny Ricard II

I am originally from New Orleans after the devastation of my hometown by Hurricane Katrina. I relocated to Houston after losing everything, including memories of childhood photos and buildings that played a significant role in my life. Houston most definitely changed my perspective on life. He showed me life is to short to regret not doing anything productive with my time. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and owned many different businesses, but they never stuck because there was no passion behind them. Read more>>

Symone Wade

I grew up watching my grandmother as a Beautician. I was at her salon every Saturday, all day long helping her shampoo clients, and taking rollers out of their heads, putting them under the dryer all while getting my hair done in her free time. So naturally, I fell in love with it. I loved how you could make someone smile by doing their hair and making them feel beautiful. Read more>>

Bethany Alexander

After taking the Corporate America route straight out of college, it didn’t take long to realize my entrepreneurial spirit was not something I could or even wanted to set on the back burner for the “right time.” There is no right time to quit your stable job for what could be, but the right thing for me ended up being that leap of faith. Read more>>

Monique Soungie

I never really thought of myself as a teacher, psychologist, doctor, or mediator, yet somehow here I am. Before teaching, I worked in corporate America as a Procurement Specialist and planned on this being my long-term career. However, God had a different plan. Maybe I saw it long ago, but I kept ignoring it. Before corporate America, I worked in a series of childcare companies, always verbalizing that I did not want to work with children, nor did I want to be a mother. Read more>>

Lisa Hamlyn Field

There’s something about a long day at work, three teenagers, plus two kids under the age of 8, and never-ending piles of dirty laundry that can make that moment when everyone else in the house is sleeping seem that much sweeter. It was the part of the day when I got to just be “me”. No one needed me, the chores were done, and I could idle away into the wee hours of the night in silence, writing in my blog, exploring the internet, and daydreaming about all the possibilities. Read more>>

Whitney Johnson

My name is Whitney, and I have been creating for as long as I have been alive. Painter, scribbler, sewer. Now jewelry-maker. It has forever seemed my reason for inhabitance here, and Art in any form remains my supreme joy in life be it paint on the fingertips, or jewels around the neck. Read more>>

Sydnei Dumas and Antoine King

Antoine is truly the brains of The Prayer Box product. He is a member of a Holy Temple who praises their Father Yahweh. We went through a hardship about 2 1/2 years ago, and he provided us the ability to make our own revenue. So I would go and sell the gift boxes (and) or attend local markets. Eventually, I created a pitch and also a slogan for The Prayer Boxes. Let’s make the best out of all situations given, and it is only inevitable that it is to be successful. Read more>>

Michelle Smith

I started CrossFit 8 years ago! I initially started as a hobby and a way to stay in shape. I was instantly hooked! A few years later, I took my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course and began coaching. I started diving into nutrition around the same time and found a need for people to learn about nutrition and began nutrition coaching also. I had instantly found a passion for making people healthier. Read more>>

Luis E. Alexander

I’m a Media Arts major, and after college, like most people could t find work on my field. So I landed a job in oil and gas. It was suppose to be until I found something art related to pursue, but the money they offer is very enticing to a 20 year old, lol. So I decided to stick with oil and gas. I figured eventually I would go back to art. Well my plans changed when I decided to do something dumb, in the shop and almost ripped my arm off. Read more>>

Monserrat Gomez

My high school art teacher at that time made all of her art students to create a Weebly account to blog, showcase your work, etc. Originally this website started as a school assignment, but as time goes on, I created and improved my art. I started to enter in an art contest and once participated in an art auction. By the way, I sold that piece in that action back 2012. Even though I didn’t major in art during my college years, but I continue to work on the skill. Read more>>

Erin Leatherwood

I worked as an art teacher for various school districts around Houston. I then became a Mom and decided to stay at home with my boys. I’ve always loved teaching art, and once my babies became a little more independent, I knew I wanted to get back into it slowly. So, I decided to start my gig! I am focusing on art parties right now, but I have hopes to venture out and do so much more after school art programs, toddler art sessions. Read more>>

Kendra Williams, Dipl OM

Healing has been something within me since childhood. I was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, by a family that was big into exposing me to many things and just letting me express myself freely. So I traveled a lot with them and was involved in the arts. I was their little Wild Child with the magic hands. I used to beg for books on “magical herbs”, and traditional folk medicine; I was also so intrigued by pregnancy and childbirth. Read more>>

Asiana Arnold

I have always wanted to be in the beauty industry. Growing up, I knew that the money I would make from being an attorney would be used to build my own beauty empire. I originally started out focused on doing lashes, but as time grew, I felt more passionate about doing hair. It has always come naturally, and it allows for a more personal connection with clients. I did not grow up in a time where natural hair was properly cared for and loved. Read more>>

Indira Slade

My journey, my story has been nothing but lessons being learned, finding out who is really in your corner and how being intentional through the process can get you ahead in life. It has been such a humbling process from losing a father in high school, graduating high school, dental school, and now owning my own business. I can honestly say my journey has taken me lengths that can only make me a stronger individual. Read more>>

Kara Erickson

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset, whether I realized it or not. Growing up in Santa Rosa, CA I enjoyed both team sports and independent sports. Swimming was my number one because while working out my body, my mind also got to work through it’s obstacles in a meditative state. I always got along with most people and felt a deep need to serve others and help them, as well as to learn everything I could about the world no matter the topic. Read more>>

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