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Inspiring Stories from Richmond

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 Richmond and surrounding areas below.

John Davis

At 15 juvi At 16 Foster Care
At 17 county jail
At 18 College, Jarvis Christian College HBCU
At 19 Sophomore Class President
20- Andrew Young Emerging Summer Institute
21- State President of the Texas Youth and College Division of the NAACP
22- Ran for a Seat in the Texas House of Rep. along with 3 other TSU Students
23 Became the first person in my family to graduate college
24 Worked as an educator
25Quit My Job to State my own business. Read more>>

Mani Olaniyan

I got my first camera in 2017 & started taking photos as a hobby. I’d always wanted to get into photography since I was a teenager but couldn’t afford a camera. I ended up taking photos for people as a side-hustle in college till I realized I could take it further. It wasn’t until 2020 that I began to get into a more creative style of photography, thanks to the global lockdown — I had LOADS of time to kill so I took photos often in my apartment. I’ve genuinely never thought of how I got to where I am today because I think I’m still going.. But since 2020 I’ve continued to challenge myself creatively & push my own boundaries. I’ve also met a lot of amazing creatives who are confident in my ability to execute their ideas (as crazy as they may be sometimes) & so far so good! Glory to the Most High for that honestly. I don’t feel like I’ve ever not executed a vision, including my own ideas, once I set out to do it it always works out. Read more>>

Big Homie Money

Born in 2001, I was raised in Third Ward Houston, TX. I started making music at the age of 14. I moved on to doing little performances around Houston. I performed at the reopening of emancipation park when I was 16. The released my first mixtape in 2019 and can say from experience. One of the most versatile and dominant artists in Houston since my release in 2019, “ENOUGH TIME WASTED”. After finding a good amount of success in my song “Unfavored Queen” off my 2019 mixtape “ENOUGH TIME WASTED”, I decided to take it to the next step. Read more>>

Avesta Talatum

I have always wanted to be a makeup artist. I remember as a child when I used to steal my mom’s makeup or sometimes my dad’s water paint to do my sister’s makeup and I’ve always gotten in trouble because of that, but nothing stopped me to achieve my goal. When I came to the United State in 2001, I went to cosmetology school after I finished my ESL classes and started working with two different beauty salons and finally I started working with Aisha’s beauty salon in 2004, I worked there till 2011. Read more>>

Tiffany Brown

ooking and baking have always been a part of me since I could remember. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking. As a child, I had many dreams of becoming a chef. I trained under a world-renowned chef while I completed a summer internship when I was a sophomore in college. I would take cake decorating classes here and there and I was always in the kitchen cooking. I never became a chef, but the dream still stayed with me. I had my daughter in March 2015. I made everything for her first birthday, including a 3 tier Minne Mouse cake. Every year her cakes would get a little more extravagant. I would stress my sisters out with all of the planning and execution for the perfect party for my daughter. Although those times would be stressful I would always reflect and say to myself that I could potentially do this for a living. I would tuck those thoughts away and go back to my regular 9 to 5 and continue to think “what if?’ Read more>>

Mahalia Jae Onyemem

Ever since I was very young, I have always been extremely creative. I used to paint around the age of 15 & 16- which later grew into a love of makeup. I was always told by loved ones and close friends that I was talented, which gave me the push that I needed to continue my growth. With tons of practice throughout the years, I started to take pictures and post selfies on Twitter. As time went by, I managed to grow my Twitter account and go viral a couple of times by posting pictures occasionally and tweeting inspirational life quotes. I decided to take things further and grow my Instagram as well. Read more>>

Laura Merritt

Being in this industry in one capacity or another since the age of 14 (I just turned 40), there’s a lot to unpack there lol, so I’ll keep it as condensed as possible. I’ve always been inspired by art, fashion, the rebellious nature of music, and the bright light it allowed me to view the world under, and that freedom of expression via an art form was exactly what I was looking for in a community of people. That’s how makeup artistry came into my life. Before we moved to the US from the UK at 17, I had already been working full time in a hair salon on TW Ickenham Highstreet, but being a minor, I still had to go to high school for 2 years, here in Richmond, TX. During that time, I started just doing friends’ hair and makeup for prom and other occasions, and it just stuck. Something I always went back to, something that always felt like home. So, I took the leap and headed out to master my skills under some of New York and L.A’s best. I was one of the “lucky” ones. Honestly, a lot of my success in makeup artistry was luck, timing, and my inability to take no for an answer. Grit will take you a long way if you’re brave enough to let it. Read more>>

Tony Dark

I’ve always had a love for music. It started with my dad singing and playing guitar around the house when I was younger. I got into guitar lessons at 13, as I got older I got more into hip-hop. Started a group with some friends of mine and I got tired of rapping on “mixtape” beats, so I decided I would start making them. Now, I’ve been producing hip-hop for 10+ years now and recently released my latest project on vinyl independently called ‘The Legend of DB Looper’. Read more>>

Nikki Joseph

I was born in Orlando, FL and am a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University with a major in accounting and have been involved in music since a young age. I am also married and have been with my soulmate for 11 years.. On February 18, 2009, I moved to Houston with only my faith. I decided to give a month’s notice to my current job, and after careful research moved to Houston on a 90-day lease and rented only necessary furniture. While searching for a job, I implemented the 3P’s (Prayer, Patience, Persistence) and found a job within 67 days. When telling the story of my job search, I would always mention the 3P’s because I felt that all were equally important. Several years later, 2018 to be specific, God put on my heart something that I never wanted to do which was start a business. I started an online retail company called NiJaes (Naturally Including Jesus Always Elevates Spirituality) with a special logo of 3P representing my transition to Houston. NiJaes came about by using a portion of my name, last name initial, along with a representation of my spiritual beliefs. Read more>>

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