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South 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 South Loop’s rising stars below.

Christina Hicks

I am a Houston native, having spent my childhood and formative years in this vibrant city. I discovered the art of soapmaking while browsing YouTube, and it has been a game-changer for me. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety, and the process of making soap has been incredibly calming and therapeutic. It’s given me some much-needed focus and something beautiful and useful to create. I started making soap for myself and my family, and before I knew it, I had more than we could use. So, I decided to turn my hobby into a business and started selling my creations online in 2020. It was a tremendous success, and I was able to expand my business to farmer’s markets and pop-ups in early 2022 to get more exposure in the Houston area. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for soapmaking with others. Read more>>


Deana Ismajli

My dad came here from Albania with just a suitcase and a dream. Growing up, I watched him and my mother work hard towards their dreams. When I think of childhood stories, I am most proud of their generous hearts. Read more>>

Kelly Dobroski

I’ve been in love with the coast since I was a kid – I was the one going to swim lessons younger than everyone else because I had walked off the dock or into the neighbor’s pool one too many times before I knew how to swim. This love for the water led me to Washington College and Duke University to study how we manage our ocean’s resources. What I learned is that we have enough science to know what to do, but we need to work on how we communicate the need to protect these places to the public and businesses. Because the ocean is SO big, many of us think there’s no way we could really make an impact on it – but the science shows us this is not the case, and we DO have an impact on the ocean and our coasts every day. Read more>>

Mariam Ba

I started Bâdi Naturals in 2017 in my mother’s kitchen. I always took an interest in holistic health but I became super conscious of the food I was consuming after going through personal health scares. I wanted to take it up a notch and also focus on what I was putting on my body. After doing a lot of research and playing with some ingredients, I decided to give jars of butter to my family and friends. My dad is a nurse, and one day, I asked him to take a few jars to his hospital, and that’s REALLY where it started. As time went on, a few jars turned into boxes because his colleagues loved my product and saw the benefit of using Bâdi Butter. Read more>>

Alex Deng, Robert Rojas, Brandon Lau

All 3 of us have work experience at large corporate health organizations, providing physical therapy under a traditional insurance-based model. We soon realized that there are major flaws within this traditional model that need to be improved & there are holes within the profession that need to be filled. In addition to the profession itself, we wanted more for our own lives. What people might not realize is that there is a low ceiling, in terms of growth, in healthcare as a physical therapist. We came together with common life goals, to create Moveology in order to allow much easier access to a physical therapist & to create price transparency, without insurance companies dictating what is or is not covered. Subsequently, this also allows us the opportunity to get rid of the low ceiling as eluded to earlier. Read more>>

Ivan Carter

I started out just cooking for family and friend gatherings. People would always recommend going into business to sell my food, but I never took it seriously. Cooking on weekends was just what I did, and anyone was welcomed to enjoy it. I came up with the name Carter’s Trinity, which is named after the Creole trinity (onions, Bell pepper, and celery), which is the base to Creole cuisine. Around 2019 I decided to look into catering due to the stagnant employment I had as a State of Texas Parole Officer. The work and money were just not adding up, and I was looking for something that I would like to do as well as take care of my family. I only looked at catering as more of a side hustle. I found that the money wasn’t worth the time and decided that if I was going to be profitable, I would need to sell individual plates. Covid hit and I just let the thought of a business go and just was happy I had a job to go to. Towards the end of 2021, I was done with my job. I still was employed, but my mine was in other places. Scared to jump out on my own due to family dynamics, I started making the steps and mentally preparing to do my own thing. I knew that it was a big risk to take being that my wife is on Disability and doesn’t work due to complications with Multiple Sclerosis. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Talia

    May 10, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Lady B.G. is the hottest karaoke dj in the city!!! Book her for the greatest karaoke experience!!!

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