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West 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 West Loop’s rising stars below.

Andrea Payne

Telling stories has always been a passion of mine whether through words, photographs, or video. I love to think of it as everything in life has a unique backstory to be told in a compelling way. I remember I began writing short stories as a young girl on my own time and would even spend extra time in school for various writing assignments, exams, projects, and the like. During state testing days, the English and writing portion of the exam was always my favorite and I always scored the highest on each section. One of my elementary school teachers recommended journalism as a career path for my future during career day and I was eager to discover what the field was all about. Read more>>

Lealem Mulugeta

Like all good stories, I suppose, this one begins with some hope and some dreams. The dreams of a young boy growing up in Ethiopia in the midst of poverty and illness. As far back as I can remember, I was consumed by visions of moving to North America where I imagined my family and I could enjoy the peace and live our dreams, and let me tell you, I had many dreams. I was filled with visions of exploring the cosmos. I wanted to become a gymnast. I also had all kinds of ideas of someday curing diseases like those I was surrounded by. For many reasons, me achieving any one of them was against all the odds. Read more>>

Diamond Ashman

From my youth, I have live music, art and writing. I went through school participating in all areas, including playing the French Horn for six years, AP Art for two years and creating productions as a writer for my Sisterhood organization. As an adult, I left college and began to work full time. Eventually, I quit the workforce and pursued Art full time. I began as a Freelance Artist with a few Side jobs plus the Face Painting business I’ve been doing for ten years now, and then I crossed over to Body Art. Body Painting was an outlet for healing, connection and freedom. By bringing Art to life, we were able to reach people in a special and unique way. The art has a heart. From body painting with a team that began to grow, we transitioned to event hosting. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Allen and Amanda Hsieh

Global Affairs Associates was founded in 2013 to provide sustainability and corporate responsibility consulting. It is now co-owned by Kaitlyn Allen and Amanda Hsieh, both native Houstonians. We have spent 2019 and 2020 transforming the business from an individual practice into a boutique consulting firm with a growth plan. Read more>>

Joe Culpepper

I started working at Foley’s repairing furniture. The schedule wasn’t what I wanted, so I started my own company in 1982 doing odd repair jobs. Then I taught myself how to make cabinets and I’ve been doing that ever since. I have worked all over Houston and beyond. One customer even flew me and my tools up to the east coast to work on their family home. I really love building fine cabinets that will last a lifetime. Read more>>

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