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The Most Inspiring Stories in Memphis

The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some incredible artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the incredible group below.

Kuvo Beatz

I’m a music producer/artist from Memphis, TN. I’m a part of 327TheLabel and I’m 23 years old. I come from a family full of music and talent. My mom was a dancer in high school, my grandmother played the clarinet in high school, my grandad was a singer, my uncle played cymbals, my oldest brother played trumpet and my sister was a majorette in elementary. Before I started making music, I used to dance. I danced for groups called “Sub-Roy”, “Mtown Image”, and TakeOver Dance Krew. It kept me out of trouble for a while. Something I wanted to do on my off time. Read more>>

Natalie Siedschlag

I am Natalie Siedschlag, born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia. After completing college in Minnesota, I joined the military as an officer, and ultimately became a helicopter pilot, which taught me many critical skills in management, and operational leadership, and the experience truly shaped my personal values. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and have operated multiple side hustles, being driven by the desire to actively challenge myself. After 10 years in the military, my husband Tyler and I decided to invest in a franchise business, and we came upon Kidokinetics. Read more>>

Denise Nicole

I first got introduced to doing hair at the age of 14. I started off doing my own hair because my grandmother didn’t know anything about it or how to do it. As time went by, when I made it into high school, I took Cosmetology class and fell in love with doing hair. The thought of being able to make someone look AND feel beautiful made me fall in love with it even more! As the school year went on, I started noticing a lot of people asking me who did my hair and that was when I thought about taking it seriously. I was wearing quick weaves, sew-ins, faux buns, etc. I was the girl who had a different hairstyle every week or two weeks because I was the only one doing my hair. It was also a way of expressing myself and my creativeness. Read more>>

Cammeron J. Ficklin

It’s a bit of a cliche, but I started as just a young boy with dreams and visions bigger than the environment I was around. I didn’t always fit in because of that, my interests and hobbies were not the typical things a young black boy was into. However, I had to stay true to who I was. I had to persevere because I wanted more for myself. I knew there was more for me than what I was experiencing at that time. Read more>>

Harriet Turk

I’ve lived in Memphis for most of my life, and the culture, the music, and the soul of the city are definitely within me. I’ve taken many different career paths that all have one underlying thread–social service and connecting with people. I love learning about different people, their views on different topics, and trying to understand why they think, feel, and believe as they do. To be known as a professional speaker and coach is so funny to me because, in school, I absolutely could not stand to give a speech or any kind of presentation–I was so, so bad at it! Read more>>

Ranasha Chapman

During the pandemic, my daughter wanted to start a business. I brainstormed some ideas and decided on Shea butter for the treatment of Eczema that we both have. As a Certified Pharmacy Technician of 21 years, I used my knowledge of natural remedies and herbs to mix up shea butter for our skin. We opened on 12/9/21 naming the business Mommy and Miya Essentials. and have been going strong ever since. Our products have amazing reviews and repeat customers. Read more>>

Adrienne Walton

Photography has always been something I adored since I was a kid. My father has old videotapes of me taking pictures with the old Kodiak camera that Walgreens would have to develop. Anytime my parents and I went on vacation I had a camera in my hand. I always had dreams of attending medical school so I never took photography seriously or thought to pursue it as a profession until my junior year of college. Read more>>

Kimberley Taylor

Hi, I’m Kimberley Taylor founder & creator of The Picnic Chic. It all started with just a few thoughts & ideas written in my journal. I officially launched and stepped out on faith with my business during Covid-19, July 15th, 2021. I was terrified but I did it. I didn’t know what to expect but I did it! I receive so many inquiries and I was booked for the month of August & September. I’m really doing this! I literally cried to my husband and told him I should’ve been doing this all along. Read more>>

Shioban Ashford

I am born and raised in Memphis TN. A graduate of Booker T. Washington H.S. I have a loving fiancé and 2 lovely daughters. I started loving music at an early age. My family listened to all kinds of music. While in High School my friends knew that I could sing but the choir director didn’t. In my 12th-grade year, someone got sick and they needed a singer. Read more>>

Chloe Walters

I have always loved traveling since I was a toddler! My mother worked to put in years of work in customer service with a major airline company, so my 2 siblings and I got accustomed to life on the wings pretty early on. In my undergrad college years, I started seeing how so many others my age and older had never been out of Arkansas. My passion was to always figure out ways to help others, so I wanted people from all walks of life to be able to experience life outside of their normal environment by travel. Read more>>

Eduardo Talbert

I am a data engineer by day, that’s my daytime job. However, in that structured corporate world it’s very hard for creative people to express themselves and thrive. I needed a creative outlet, something where I could make art… and I love Halloween. I started making Halloween decorations, masks, and props for fun as a hobby, but I documented the process on my YouTube channel, Monster Tutorials. The purpose of documenting my craft was to be accountable to someone other than my kids and wife (they like everything I make). Read more>>

Jana Wilson

I have always been creative, even as a child, with a fascination for gathering and collecting things that sparked my imagination. I put things together in unusual ways, whether it was jewelry, clothes, matchbox art, Barbie houses, etc. My mother used to say, “Jana loves jewelry, and she wears it all at once… every day!” I have always had the soul of a junk gypsy. Read more>>

Lisa Duren

I started to really share my photography and taking photos with people about 9 years, but I was bitten by the photo bug when I was about 15 years old and bought my first “real” camera, a Canon Rebel 35mm. I have loved taking photos of anything and everything that I could ever since. For several years, I would share my photos (mostly of nature and the zoo) on social media, and with friends. After much convincing from many of them, I decided to create social media pages specifically for my photography and it has grown from there. I started to share my zoo photos with them on their social media pages, and have had several images used by them for birth announcements and the zoo magazine. Read more>>

Kamille Harris

Interestingly, Black Girls and Oysters is something I came up with on the fly at the end of August 2021. I remember my girlfriend Jasmine and I going out for date night in downtown Memphis (shoutout to 117 Prime), and when the oysters came out I wanted to share them on Instagram, but then I realized that there was no online space for that. I thought, “where is my community? Where is my tribe?!” Read more>>

Sara Freites

I feel like art has always been a part of my life. As a little girl, I was always drawing, writing short stories and poems, playing the violin, acting out scenes from my favorite Disney movies in costume, and so on. I always had to have some way of expressing myself through art, and I liked to have more than one way of doing it. I wanted to try everything, even if I didn’t think I’d be any good at it. Read more>>

Tiffany Burton

WBFC is a firm founded on working closely with business owners serving as a thought partner by helping them start a business and stay successful in entrepreneurship. As the owner, I noticed businesses typically close within 2 years. I wanted to change these statistics. Over the course of working with business owners for 15 years, it became quite normal seeing businesses close quickly. Read more>>

Simone The Mastermind

By now, I have gotten over that “corporate hurt” of being overworked, underpaid, and most importantly–undermined. I jumped ship and became an entrepreneur in 2014. For years, I thought that was the beginning of it all. You see, time-lapsed in entrepreneurship means absolutely nothing if you lack a vision. Your product or service may be the best thing for a client but that means nothing if you don’t have a strategy to push it and make it happen. Read more>>

Tearrica Martin

My name is Tearrica Martin. I am a travel nurse who has a passion for people. I am originally from Holly Springs, MS, a small town right outside of Memphis, TN. I feel as if I am a part of the Memphis community by nature. Memphis facilities are where I completed my clinical in nursing school. It’s where I accepted my first job as a registered nurse. Matter of fact, I am 99% sure I will reside in the Memphis community once I am done traveling. Read more>>

Tierra Youmous

For as long as I can remember, I was always a creative child and was highly encouraged by my family. Growing up I wanted to become a fashion designer so I would make clothes for my dolls out of paper towels and rubber bands. As I got older that desire to become a fashion designer kind of took a backseat so that I could see how creative I could get. If I saw something cool or different, I’d think ‘oh I can probably make that’ and I would shop at Walmart and Joann Fabrics for craft supplies. Read more>>

Melvin Cole

I grew up in the projects of South Memphis, surrounded by gangs, murderers, and drug dealers. I was oftentimes left unsupervised and really had no positive male role model in my life. As a result, I joined a gang and became a father at the young age of 14. My life reflects the lives of many young males in our community, even still today, living in situations that are ultimately out of their control. Read more>>

Marlisha Applewhite

Hello, my name is Marlisha Applewhite, I am 25 years old from Memphis, TN. I would love to share my story on how it is Surviving HER aka me. A young lady, who not only had to overcome dealing with childhood trauma and depression but how it was changing the outcome for herself even when all the odds were against her. Again, as I have mentioned I am only 25 years old and have experienced a lot at an early age but I did not let that DEFINE me. Read more>>

Kenya Dalton

The skin is the first thing someone notices about you, it’s the first thing you notice about yourself. Two years ago, before I started my skincare company, I was battling with my confidence due to my skin. I never dealt with acne in the past, and I definitely didn’t know outside factors and stress could trigger issues within your skin. Eventually, I did what every eighteen-year-old would do at the time, looked online for a solution. Read more>>

Adrienne Marshall

My name is Adrienne Marshall and I am the owner of Blink & Browz located on East Shelby Dr in Memphis, TN. I am 42 years old and a mother of three. I came into the beauty industry about five years ago when I developed an interest in doing eyelash extensions. The interest came because I wanted to do something different outside of my current occupation which was bail bonding. My lash artist turned friend, suggested that I try doing lash extensions and explained all the benefits that came with being a lash artist. Read more>>

Howard Eddings

Born and raised in Orange Mound, Memphis, TN, as a teenager, the summer of my 10th-grade year, in fact, I got connected with Urban YoungLife, an outreach ministry to high schoolers. More specifically, through that ministry, I met a couple who came alongside me and poured their lives into mine, encouraging me to consider what it meant to know and understand who Jesus was and how much He loved me. Read more>>

Jeremiah Matthews

I grew up in Texas (Houston ’89-’96, San Angelo ’96-’06). My dad was an avid musician. He would play lots of private parties, events, bar gigs, pretty much anything he could get on (plus, my mom was a pharmacist so we didn’t have to worry about money too much). It was a lot of fun because he was like a local celebrity to a lot of people. Everyone loved him and seeing that I think gave me a really interesting perspective on the whole music-as-a-career thing. I picked up drums really early (I think I was seven when I got my first little kit) and then eventually piano before picking up bass and guitar in my teens. I learned how gig life worked really early on. Read more>>

Oluwadamilola Salu

My name is Damilola Salu, I am the founder and creative fashion designer of the Osalu Couture brand. My career in fashion started about five years ago with an understanding that some of the most important things in life are faith, passion, and purpose combined with a deeper need to impact my generation beyond myself. Read more>>

Keneshia Gibson

It all started as a dream literally. I vowed to tell no one until I made it bug time so I could have a great testimony. Well, I’ve always loved fashion yes, I should start there. Being young, I loved to dress up making stuff go with stuff, matching things up, and knowing certain hairstyles. I’ve always had a thing for looks. I loved giving them, sometimes as a child I didn’t quite hit the looks on the nose as I thought I was doing but once I became a teenager I was on it. Middle school was a big start for me. Read more>>

Shameka Street

The creation of Poca Rose’ began when my daughter acquired eczema in her scalp at age 2. She already has chronic eczema but it started to form in her hair. I started to use different products and they weren’t working. I took her to her doctor and he prescribed a shampoo that got rid of eczema along with a section of her hair. I had to buy headbands to cover up the back of her head because she had no hair. That’s when I said enough is enough, I can’t allow my little girl to walk around this way. So I began brainstorming and came up with this growth creme that I am presenting to you. Read more>>

Alicia Roberts & Sharon Beard

It all started in second grade when two weird chicks from different worlds became best friends. Fast forward 28 years later and we are still two weird, best birds trying to ease the stress and anxiety of everyday life in this crazy nest of a world. Having anxiety and depression and both on medications for each, we really wanted to find something natural that truly worked with anything but without negative effects (like pills or certain diets) that we didn’t have to remember to take every day. Read more>>

Matthew Bowlin

The evolution of Pattie O’Furniture started when a dear friend invited me to be a part of a drag show in 2006. This birthed my original persona. After a few months on the drag scene, this same friend wrote a musical where my drag persona was portraying a fictional drag queen by the name of Patty O’Furniture. Fast forward to March 2017, Memphis had a massive snowstorm and as inspiration struck, I rummaged in my closet and snagged my old Patty O’Furniture wig (yes, this was still in my closet!). Read more>>

Keleshia Denman

From a small town outside of a somewhat big city is where I started. I am a middle child of a single mom and I’ve worked hard to get where I am now. Growing up, I didn’t always have what I wanted but I always got what I needed. I knew I wanted to have more than just that when I got older. After I graduated high school, I went on to get my Associate in Psychology and bachelor’s in Social Work. Read more>>

Yasmine Mitchell

My writing journey started when I was in middle school. I’ve always shared a passion for writing. I started out writing poems; then, short stories. I would read what I have written to my peers and they would always recommend that I write more. In 2017, I wrote my first book. After a lot of procrastinating, I finally began to pen my ideas down. It took about six to eight months to finish my first book because I wanted everything to be perfect. Read more>>

Queen Zulu

We launched Women Affirming Our Power Brunch on 26th September 21. Going through a difficult time, I felt myself yearning for a sisterhood community. As well as guidance from seasoned & mature women who walked this path before, who would have gained experience & advice to pass on. I was in need of a Cicely Tyson & Maya Angelou tag team moment like the scene from Madea’s family reunion. But not having access to Queens with that knowledge & wisdom made it super difficult for that moment to become a reality. Read more>>

Everdeens

Molly Rice (Vocals): My parents passed their love for music down to me. As a kid, we often had the stereo blasting throughout the house; my dad would play guitar or have friends over to jam; every once in a while I could convince my mom to play piano for me. Over the years, I cultivated my own tastes, gravitating towards female singer-songwriters and piano-driven pop and rock. The streaming era has exploded across all sorts of genres. Read more>>

Jasmine Settles

Cafe Noir started with a passion for reading and a love for books. I grew up being read to and taught the importance of reading. Combine that with a thirst for knowledge and the next thing you know, you are sitting in your graduate literature class at the University of Memphis falling in love with Octavia Butler and coming to the conclusion everyone should be able to experience this feeling. Read more>>

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