Connect
To Top

Inspiring Stories from Stafford

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 Stafford and surrounding areas below.

Jackie Stouffer

I grew up in a single parent family. My mom made many sacrifices so that I could take dancing lessons. My mom passed away when I was fourteen and I continued her work of cleaning studios so I could continue pursuing dancing lessons. After college, I became the wife of an oil company professional and followed him around the world. Since I couldn’t guarantee the length of time we would be in any location, teaching aerobics became my substitute for dancing for 25 years. When we became empty nesters, my husband’s job took us to Moscow, Russia where I volunteered with an amazing organization called Maria’s children. Maria invited children from the over 100 orphanages in the city of Moscow to come to her organization for a variety of lessons. After two years of volunteering with her, we were transferred back to Houston. On the evening my husband told me about the impending move, I dreamt I opened Creative Dreams complete with the floor plan we started with. Read more>>

Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri Espeut

I am the oldest child of two parents in the army (and as a result, I moved around a bit). I was born in Wurtzburg, Germany, and have lived in Newport News, VA, and St. Louis, MO, although I consider Los Angeles, CA my home. My background is in fashion. It was in L.A. that I received my degree in fashion design, and I worked for big brands such as Baby Phat and American Apparel. While working within these apparel companies, most times at a management or senior level, I quickly saw the lack of diversity. I was often the only black woman, especially black woman of trans experience at the level. After consistently hitting a glass ceiling, I decided to leave the apparel industry full-time to pursue a career that was affirming, liberating, and gave opportunities to express myself both professionally, personally, and creatively. This led me ultimately to community-based, non-profit work. Read more>>

Naika Malveaux

I started at the Art Institute of Houston. Graduated with a degree in Visual Communications. I started as a painter/Illustrator but became a graphic designer. We moved to Houston in 1995 after my dad had retired from the Army after 21 years, I got the opportunity to live in Germany and 5 various states around the US. After college, I quickly got hired to design and layout college textbook covers. After a year of doing that I was chosen to be the Art Director for Farouk Systems in the Woodlands. I learned a lot about international hair care and competitive marketing in that field. Afterwards, I begin to work for a couple of Houston’s larger recruitment advertising agencies at the time. BSA Advertising out of New York and then I was hired to help open the brand new recruitment company out of Dallas AdMasters as their Marketing Director. AdMasters made several million in their first year. Read more>>

Shenise Gatson

I’m a Houston-born and raised black author. I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was the reserved teacher’s pet that found comfort through written pages. As an adult, writing has been both a passion and a coping mechanism. At times, I’ve even used it as a security blanket to guide me through life’s struggles. I went from excelling in academic writing, theatre, and poetry to self-publishing four books as an adult. At one point, three of my books reached the Amazon bestseller lists. Better to Have Loved reached #10 on the Amazon bestseller list in Black and African American Romance. Understanding a Grieving Soul reached #4 in Death and Grief. Lastly, Moments & Mazes: Life is A-maze-ing reached #27 in Self-Help. I feel blessed to be able to do what I love on a regular and explore various genres. I have found pleasure in creating stories and characters with which people can connect. At the same time, I have found healing through my stories as well. Read more>>

Miguel Hernandez

I started to dj in 1995 but didn’t start djing professionally till 2001. Djing opened up many doors and meetin’ alot of unique people. Each event I dj is different. Like alot of DJs, I started playing at backyard parties. In 2011 I received The Peoples Choice Award via The Houston Press. Now being a parent I started to volunteer dj for my daughter’s school in Alief ISD. My dj volunteering didn’t go unnoticed and has recently landed me the 2021 Lynn Marie Johnson Media Arts Award via Art Spark Texas. Read more>>

Money Making Sace

I first started rapping my senior year of High School. I was no longer playing sports so I needed something that could keep me occupied. At first, it was just a thought, but I eventually realized I might have a talent in writing. It seems like it was such a long time ago, but it has only been five years. I still remember Mrs. Crockett telling me that I had a gift in writing, and I remember telling Marcus Sims and Tyriq Reddix that I was going to be a rapper; we were in forensic science class. I now own Loose Screw Mafia Records, and I haven’t looked back since. It’s crazy what can happen when you just take a risk. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Timothy Cour-Palais

    February 23, 2018 at 1:58 am

    You should definitely check out Twisted Catfish. They are a food truck that has succeeded and expanding. Best Catfish in Houston

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Houston’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in Houston has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    Local StoriesOctober 12, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesOctober 11, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 4

    Voyage is excited to present episode 4 of The Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories show with our wonderful host and sales expert...

    Local StoriesOctober 3, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 4

    You are going to love our next episode where Whitley interviews the incredibly successful, articulate and inspiring Monica Stockhausen. If you...

    Whitley PorterSeptember 1, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 3

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesAugust 25, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesAugust 19, 2021
  • Community Member Spotlights

    It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them...

    Local StoriesJuly 22, 2021
  • Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories: Episode 2

    We are thrilled to present Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories, a show we’ve launched with sales and marketing expert Aleasha Bahr. Aleasha...

    Local StoriesJuly 21, 2021
  • Heart to Heart with Whitley: Episode 3

    During Women’s Month I had the honor of having a heart to heart with two powerful women in the creative space....

    Whitley PorterJune 26, 2021