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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.

Christie Grell

I felt very lucky when I graduated in 2009 with a job, paying $50K no less, right out of college. I worked as a full-time traveling sales rep for an apparel brand with a 5-state Southern territory. Although I hit my sales target in a challenging economic climate. Read more>>

Dr. Erika Gibson

This is such a cliché answer for a veterinarian, but I’ve been interested in animals since I was a kid. I used to bring home as many animals as my mother would allow, from the typical cats and dogs to fish, newts, chinchillas, and everything in between. Read more>>

Aldo Salazar and Raymond Peña

Raymond Peña got started in the donut business as teenager in 1978 when he worked for his mother at her local donut shop. During those years, Ray knew he wanted to start his own restaurant one day.
​ While he was a Houston firefighter, Ray opened his first restaurant in 1996 in southeast Houston. Read more>>

Brittany Mejia

I was 19 in college, had a part time job, and as lost as I was, I always had an interest in retail. I originally applied for a retail position at SF2 because I was already familiar with the store, liked the different streetwear brands/items they carried and I thought they could use my help. Read more>>

Kim Cao

I started out in real estate at the age of 18 as a broker assistant and Listing Coordinator. After finishing with Bachelors’s Degree in Advertising and minor in global business and Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston Main Campus, I went on to try out different roles in corporate world. Read more>>

Giovanna Pineda

My story, just like most people’s, is a little wild. When I left my hometown of Alief and started college, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. Subsequently, any class that wasn’t going towards my major was always going to be calculus, chemistry, physics…the works. Although these classes were taking up most of my time. Read more>>

Camerin Rogers

I was born in Killeen, TX. My dad was in the military so we moved around a lot when I was younger until we found our permanent home here in Houston when I was about four years of age. My mom and dad split when I was about nine, thus leaving me and my three siblings to be raised by my seemingly “Indestructible” mother. Read more>>

Dana Hammond

My passion was ignited in 2016 with a challenge to produce a pageant when I would go on and on about my niece being in a pageant. My sister Jennifer said, “Do a Pageant and she’ll be in one” so I did. I wanted the pageant to not only encourage the girls live for their physical. Read more>>

Brittney Jones

Although I didn’t think I would choose this for a career, I have always had a love for the beauty industry. I started doing my hair in elementary and went on to doing friend’s hair in middle school. I was always the one not prepared for the first day of school because I was so busy beautifying others. Read more>>

Don Kennedy

My story stretches back to my mid adolescent years (9-10 years old.) My mother Vanessa Kennedy was a Drama teacher and raised me and my younger brother Marquette and I in the church. In church each quarter we’d have youth days in which we’d have to memorize 14-15 page sermons to preach in front. Read more>>

LaTonya Johnson

Be-Jeweled Vessels story begins in 2013. James & LaTonya applied their vision of encouraging God’s creation by providing customers with quality retail merchandise and with other inspiring services at a reasonable cost. The name Be-Jeweled Vessels came about out of a casual conversation. Read more>>

Tempestt Luckett

In 2016, I was unable to obtain my own living space and car due to my bad credit. Everywhere I turned to try to seek credit I either needed a co-signer or my applications were flat out denied. It was in Spring of 2016 that I decided that I needed to take steps for a lifestyle change for not only my future but for my daughter’s future as well. Read more>>

Ronnell Jones

Royal Ronn, a musician, businessman, and an athlete was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He now resides and works in the communities of the southwestern region of Houston, Texas. As a young man, He had the opportunity to witness his Grandfather Clifford E. Pouncil being successful in multiple businesses; Music, Automotive. Read more>>

FNM $hoota

I grew up in New Orleans, LA where our city is rich in culture but we are actually poor. I relocated to Houston due to Hurricane Katrina where I graduated and received my associate’s degree in Architectural Design. I always was inspired by our struggles and the people who overcame those struggles to change my circumstances. Read more>>

Evie Dross

In 2009, after being laid off from my corporate job and working a few temp positions, I realized that my heart was no longer in working in Corporate America. I then decided to use the layoff as an opportunity to venture into entrepreneurship and as a result Evielutions Design was born that same year. Read more>>

Judy Lichtenberger

I started my career with Travelers Insurance in 1999 as a Property and Casualty Adjuster for Personal Lines. This role provided the opportunity to work front line as a catastrophe adjuster to helping people put their lives back together. Read more>>

Kerristen Brooks

I am a long-time cannabis user. Ten years to be exact. I simply used it to enhance sociability and to get high. It was not until 2016 that my views on cannabis transformed. This was the year my uncle got extremely sick from nearly a decade-long battle with prostate cancer. Read more>>

Audreyanna Garrett

I am an author and poet, was born September 7, 1984 in Houston, Texas, began writing as a young girl and has always had a spirit for self-expression through writing. Never without a pen and pad, I kept a journal of every thought, misunderstanding, challenge and success in my life. Read more>>

Johnathan Phan

I would say that my story begins by being born in an entrepreneur family. My mother is Black and she’s from a small town in southern Louisiana while my father is from Vietnam. Ever since I was a child, I remember my mother and father operating the family business, which was a washateria and convenience store. Read more>>

Jazzmond Robinson

I started my mortuary career in 2006 with the E. Viola and Sons Funeral Home in West Columbia, TX under the late Traversia Viola Sr., Traversia Viola Jr., and Kim Viola. I served there until 2011 after the death of the last original owner Kim Viola. I later moved to Houston, TX where I attended and graduated. Read more>>

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