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Trailblazers: South Loop

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around South Loop that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Christian Newton

Started making music and distributing around the age of 15, performing at 17, and working on building my core fan-base as much as possible. The people mean the most to me, it’s who I do it for and represent. I understand them and they accept me so I try my hardest to deliver the best music possible. Read more>>

Derrick J Love

I learned how to hustle and I developed an entrepreneurial drive at an early age, but I didn’t have a clue how to make my money work for me. I believed in the American way of using debt to “look” successful and on the surface I was “getting ahead.” I worked diligently to maintain a great credit score, but I didn’t know how to maintain a healthy savings balance. Read more>>

Derek Sasser

My journey into legit entrepreneurship started in the Network Marketing Industry. Building a small team and having a little success really set the foundation for me as far as what kind of kind of mindset it takes to make it and have success in business. I’ll never forget the text that changed my life. It was from my sponsor Jerrold Smith. It read “You’re personal income will never exceed your personal development. Read more>>

Drew Washington

I am the head trainer and owner of Team Body Of Work Fitness, also known as TBOW Fitness. To fully understand the passion and desire I have for personal fitness and the success of my business, I need to take you back to before it all started. I have always been a competitor at heart and a fitness enthusiast because of my love for sports growing up. I received a full-ride scholarship to Louisiana Tech University for basketball my junior year of high school. Read more>>

Elisha Baptiste

I always had a fascination with hair and anything dealing with beauty. I was always combing my dolls hair and playing on my own, so you could say that I got my start at a very early age. When I entered middle school, I started doing my friend’s hair. In high school, everyone was going to the most sought after stylist in Southeast Houston but I was doing my own and one day a classmate asked me if that POPULAR stylist had done my hair, that’s when I knew. Read more>>

LaShica Salter-Velazquez

I have always had a passion for beautiful things, an avid reader and researcher. During the planning of my wedding, I made the decision (wrongly) to plan it myself. I was extremely displeased with the level of customer service that I was receiving in general. While speaking to one of my vendors, he candidly shared that in the wedding industry unless you were spending really big bucks. Read more>>

Sharieka Thompson

To be honest with you, my journey to becoming an esthetician/lash artist was a mix between the feeling of being of tired working in retail and a suggestion by a co-work of mine. (Knowing my love for beauty and fashion.) I just wanted that work-life balance, especially when it came to my two beautiful daughters, Kennedy and Khloe. I wanted to at least be able to take them on little outings on the weekends. Read more>>

Maranda Evans

In a previous Voyage Houston article, I shared the beginning of my story as a troubled teen, introduced my life as an author, and spoke about my youth nonprofit, The Troubled Movement. With this article, I’d like to go into the details of the root of who I have become as a Motivator, Speaker, and Advocate. My suffering began at the young age of 12 going on 13 when my stepfather begins molesting me every night for almost a year until I finally spoke up. Read more>>

Cierra Wright

If you would have asked me five years ago what would I be doing my response wouldn’t have been makeup. I never thought I would be a makeup artist because this profession chose me. I became infatuated with makeup in my sixth-grade ballet class at Johnston Middle School. I fell in love with the motions of beautifying myself for showtime. Read more>>

Marcus Benoit

I started off as a regular old guy who was just looking to join a non-profit organization that was based around giving back to the community. A very close friend of mine then introduced me to a 501c3 performing arts non-profit called Writer’s Block led by CEO Aj McQueen. This organization is full of various types of artists, rappers, singers, poets, musicians, authors, etc. Read more>>

Ceddy Woodard

19 year old with Autism who enjoys making bead bracelets. Having Autism is a challenge, but I have a great support system who is here to help me. Read more>>

Jason Campbell and Jeremy Knight

Jason and his wife Jacqueline began working in the film industry because of healthcare. Their families had worked on the operational side of the healthcare industry for over 40+ years, The two of them spent a lot of time in facilities around the country. They grew attracted to the idea of telling the stories of the patients, caregivers, and administrators at these facilities, and soon began using film to capture these stories. Read more>>

April Ann Kohlmeyer

My creative life has always been evolving. At the age of 19, I started a women’s apparel line of special occasion gowns, club and costume wear. By my 30’s, I decided to focus on wardrobe and fashion styling. I felt free to express myself by no longer limiting my creativity to just only what I designed. I was able to support other artists and designers. Read more>>

Luisana Martinez

Every time she was going to make a recipe, I always showed interest in learning. I am from Venezuela Teacher by profession and in 2012, I started in this world of desserts and cakes, it was named Postres Luisi, I was growing, and learning more every day, I love to continue researching and reading books related to the world of pastry. When I moved to the USA, I started a new challenge named Luluscake. Read more>>

Clifton Morgan Jr

My love for music started as I watched my father (Apostle Clifton Morgan Sr. who was a deacon and musician at the time) play the drums on Sunday mornings at church. I started playing drums when I was four. I fell in love with the rhythm, sounds, and styles of music. Once he started his own church in the mid-90s, I became the church drummer and my mom (Dinah Morgan) played the keyboard. This went on Sunday after Sunday until high school, which I graduated from when I was 16. Read more>>

Daphine Sneed

Fitness Snob was started after going through my own personal fitness journey. I love all things fitness working out and preparing my own weekly meals. A friend asked me to assist her with meal prepping, I did. My friend called me the next day to ask how did I prepare her food without salted seasonings because it was so flavorful. Read more>>

Natasha Martin

Fashion is everything! Before I started the online boutique, I’ve always had family, friends and even people that I didn’t know ask me to put them an outfit together for different occasions, or just valued my opinion on fashion. I started the research on opening an online boutique years ago but never acted on it until I was put on bed rest with my second daughter. Read more>>

CeCe Willis and Ellissa Robinson

We are best friends of 10+ years and we talk about EVERYTHING. Often times, people from the outside would listen to our conversations and laugh or become very interested. We took that concept and decided to share a part of us with the world. Read more>>

Oriana Velasco

I am from Venezuela, everything started back in 2011 when I had to live in Boston for a year, I did not want to leave my country at that time and my anxiety levels raised, to the point that I used food as comfort, the result was more than 30 extra pounds in my 5’2 ‘ body. When I returned to my country, little by little, my weight returned to normal. Read  more>>

Gwendolyn S. Woody

To be honest, it started when I was a child, but it manifested a little over two years ago. I have a strong family history of diabetes (17 of them passed away), and I found a way to help people heal and live better; so their families won’t have to go through what my family has. Read more>>

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