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North Loop’s Rising Stars

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 North Loop’s rising stars below.

Anabel Barron and Jordan Strouse

My husband and I lived in Cape Town, South Africa as part of his international assignment. While there, we discovered a life-changing fitness concept. Six months after we discovered SWEAT 1000, my husband received a call that he was being moved back to Houston. Read more>>

Ryan Zboril

Originally from Bellville, Texas, I graduated from the University of Texas – Austin with a degree in Finance in 2008. My career in finance brought me to Houston in 2010 where I worked in banking and private equity. In 2014, I purchased Pitts & Spitts in an effort to bring it back to prominence in not only the custom smoker market but also in the wholesale/retail smoker and grill markets. Read more>>

Alexandra (Alex) Nance

I found CrossFit in 2010 but once I moved to Houston I could not afford the membership, while working out on my own I discovered that I enjoyed putting together different movements to create new workouts and using various equipment at the gym to create fun new workouts, so much so that strangers at the gym would come up to me and ask if I was a trainer or if I could help them with their workouts. Read more>>

Laura Vargas

I worked in the corporate world up until 2013 when I was laid off. I decided to enjoy some time off and think about my next move when my husband advised me that everything would work out in the end. In 2011 my sister in law and I decided to bake and decorate my nieces birthday cake and it turned out great. Read more>>

Robert VanNieuwenhuyzen

The Express House of Victory was opened as a part of Westchase Express Inc, a Texas non-profit organization dedicated to helping young aspiring collegiate student-athletes to locate, apply and get into college. Our program has helped over 500 current and past college athletes use baseball to help afford college. Read more>>

Colby Flack

I went to Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, TX. I started working when I was about fifteen over the summers doing manual labor; this taught me a bit. After graduating high school and working odd jobs here and there, I studied to be a commercial diver at The Ocean Corporation in Houston, TX. Read more>>

Philippe Heusdain

I always had a passion for weight training. Additionally, I love maintaining a strong and healthy body. I am still enjoying my weight loss journey and I can’t wait to help others start theirs. I got my first real taste of exercise and training from high school football. I was always the big kid on the heavier side of the scale. Read more>>

Ian Tucker

I am from Ireland, I moved to Houston in 2015 as my wife is a Houstonian. I own three businesses in the bar & restaurant industry in Ireland, under the umbrella of The Exchequer Group ( Since arriving in Houston, I have recently opened Balls Out Burger in the Heights in June of this year, and I am opening a full-service restaurant & cocktail bar named Poitin in Sawyer yards in May 2018. Read more>>

Elena Farias

I started in childcare 13 years ago in the Spring Branch area of Houston. I worked in all areas and classrooms of the school. I worked in the infant’s room and all classrooms in between up to the preschool-aged class. I took a childcare directors course and then took the Child Development Association class (CDA). Read more>>

Virginia Wall

Our church began in 1943 as Garden Oaks Methodist Church. The first services were held in the Garden Oaks Civic Club Building, about two blocks west of North Shepherd Drive on 34th Street. By January 1944 the membership had grown to 135 members. Read more>>

Michele Walker

Former educator and school administrator, I’ve always had a passion for fashion and dressing up. Although I enjoyed my work in education in the back of my mind I always wanted more. One day I took a leap of faith and invested everything I had on myself and on June 9, 2015, little black dress boutique. Read more>>

J. Alejandra Sandoval and Emmanuel Pacheco

Is incredible but a bad situation in my country lead me to migrate to a new beginning. Violence in my country forced me to leave the patrimony that I had at that moment, but there was always a feeling of becoming better every day deep inside me. The illusion of being able to give a greater education to my children inspired me. Read more>>

Richard Lullo

I arrived in Houston from Batavia, New York in 1979 at 22 years old. First job was a bartender at the Hyatt Regency Houston and opened a limousine company in 1980. Kept my bartending job to support the new company (drove my limousine to work as I had no other vehicle). Read more>>

Brian Fielkow

Growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin, in a family-owned business, I earned my law degree from Northwestern University in 1989 and focused my corporate law practice on emerging companies. I learned from the successes and failures of a myriad of entrepreneurial clients. Read more>>

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