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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.

Curteshia Doggett

My name is Curteshia Dogget and I am the owner and founder of Lavish Scent Candle Co., located in Memphis TN, in the heart of the Hickory Hill area. First, I would like to tell you what inspired me to start my own candle company. One day, my best friend Erica Cathey and I were having a seafood boil on my patio, and we started talking about a popular social media star that made one million dollars in her first year of business. Her family and friends worked for her for free for one full year and helped her to achieve her one-million-dollar goal. Read more>>

Martine Hobson

My story, of course, began with the birth of my daughter, Laurie 1985, who has Down syndrome. I knew very little about Down syndrome and was unsure and scared. Laurie had to have open-heart surgery when she was 6 months old. That was traumatic as well. At this time, one couldn’t jump on the internet and have endless information on a topic. Professionals often times were misinformed and shared incorrect information. I was connected to an early intervention program by a neighbor. Read more>>

Denzelle Tucker

I started in the workforce knowing I wanted to make a difference and be meaningful, with whatever I did. I’ve always had high ambition. I decided to take a leap of faith to start PCS in 2019, as a side hustle. I started cleaning high-end residential homes. I quickly realized I didn’t have the mental fortitude to handle that type of environment. I decided to take a full-time job, while I readjusted my business plan. During this time, I laid the groundwork to become a full-service commercial cleaning service provider. Read more>>

Rica Williams

Originally from Houston, a Texas girl born and raised I started my lash journey in 2018 with the ambition of wanting to be a successful entrepreneur in late 2020, I became well known in my city and on social media, 2021 my husband a Memphis native wanted to move to Memphis for a job opportunity just as I felt like I was at the peak of my career. I was nervous about moving to Memphis. How was I going to get my clientele back? How long will it take? Will I fall off? Well, I must say all of that fear was for nothing. Hearing from my clients that I brought something “new” to Memphis. Read more>>

Demi Blvck

The base of my origin story is simple. What I ended up becoming from it still surprises me. I started loving fashion in high school. At the time, I still didn’t feel like I’d ever be a fashion designer or work in the fashion industry at all. I honestly didn’t have the desire. It wasn’t until my early 20s as a college student making minimum wage, which was $7.50 at the time, that I would start to like designer fashion. I obviously couldn’t afford it at that pay rate, then the lightbulb went off to try to create it! This led to enrolling at YouTube university! Of course, I mean this sarcastically, but I learned a lot from studying videos. Read more>>

Samantha Alperin

I am an educator for 25+ years. I started as a classroom teacher with legacy Shelby County Schools then moved into higher education where I taught in a department of education at a local university before forming my own educational consulting business. Teaching is my passion and I was fortunate to advise and teach many future educators who are now successfully in their own classrooms. Read more>>

Christopher Newman

I always had a passion for fashion being different in my own way. I have always been a person to speak less but watch more I study the game of fashion for over 5 years watching Kanye change the culture Virgil with Off White Tyler the creator of the skate Community & many more. I grew a passion for fashion because I always wanted to have nice swag with a different taste so I knew to be a 1 of 1 you had to either buy different clothing or make your own clothing. So I found myself designing clothing for my cousin & also had a fashion show designed. Read more>>

Amber Higgenbottom

Bloom with grace. I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. Growing up my creativity showed up in my drawings, poetry, and visual storytelling. I’m a born and raised Memphian but it wasn’t until 2015, a couple of years after moving to Atlanta, GA, that I was exposed to an industry that kindled all my natural talents. The event industry fostered my love for transforming an empty canvas into something captivating. I also picked up a new passion through floral design. Floral Artistry as I like to call it has become a form of artistic expression for me. Read more>>

Tyler Tapley

Meatha and I met in college at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Go Vols… but also big Tiger fans!) and we both were licensed and selling real estate by 2009. My parents have been real estate agents all my life so it was a natural fit. Meatha and I love working together and bouncing ideas off of each other. Tyler was licensed in 2005, worked initially in commercial real estate with a large firm, and then transitioned to residential. Meatha was licensed in 2007. Previous to real estate, Meatha worked for a local advertising agency and the Commercial Appeal. Read more>>

Roman “A.R.” Kirby

It seems like every day that I’m juggling with the thoughts of, “Am I a rapper that directs music videos”, or “Am I a video director that raps”. I started making music in 2002. It has always been a passion for me. It was a whole different era in the rap game. If you wanted to make music you had to find someone who makes beats and find a studio to record in. Being so young, I couldn’t afford to purchase beats or studio time, so I did the next best thing, which was to learn all the skills myself. I first started off making beats and then gradually drifted more towards the engineering side of production. Read more>>

Kimberly Adams

I originally started out in 2020 with a business called Three Girls in a Tu2. My passion behind this business was for myself and my two sisters. The business was established as a boutique with women’s, men’s, and kids’ clothing. As I progressed in life and started thinking harder, I decided that if I can sell someone else brand I can sell my own. After long talks with my graphic designer Aaliyah based in Houston, TX we came up with the name Rich Gurl Attitude. Read more>>

Tshara Ball

At the age of 15, I started braiding hair. Cause my sister used to do my hair all the time and she was heavy-handed. I graduated high school and went to Laney College and then from there, I went to beauty school. I traveled for 10 years all over the bay area doing hair, until one day, I was given an opportunity to have my own salon suite. Then I knew it was only up from there. I always wanted to open a beauty supply store. I did the research and now I’m here. Read more>>

Jacqueline Bougard

Well, I have always loved all things nails, but I was never able to devote any time to pursue a nail career due to the demands of my 9-5 job. But that all changed during the pandemic when I and most of the world were at home. I began to research and look into different nail programs, I started you-tubing videos and practicing different techniques, and then, I started doing my own nails, for my daughter, my mom & nieces. Read more>>

Erica Bradley

I could include so many past stories, walking you through how I’ve gotten to the point I am now, but I don’t have a big, magnificent story from rags to riches, nothing like that. I’m pretty normal I’d like to think. I’ve experienced the same amount of achievements and traumas as the next person. It’s been a hell of a journey I can say that, but we’d all agree it’s well worth it. I’ve experienced growth mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, believe it or not. My babies, which I consider my greatest gift of all, have played their own unique roles in each one of those aspects. Tavah Management is a project management firm I started after having my youngest son, Chase Jeremiah; Tavah is a Hebrew word meaning “to set a mark”. Read more>>

Zannalee Cortinez

My name is Zannalee Cortinez, I am 21 years old, and am originally from Rockford, IL (about an hour from Chicago). I moved to Memphis two years ago to attend the University of Memphis and will be graduating with my B.A. in Political Science this fall. All of that aside, ZJC Petals has never been a lifelong dream, but I have always loved flowers since I was little. My mom was the one who influenced my love of flowers and taught me how much they can change a person’s day, but my aunt, Nancy Zimmerman, was the one who influenced my love of floral design. Read more>>

Ana Marie Mann

I’m originally from North Little Rock, Arkansas. I grew up taking trips to Memphis with my family. We’d often go to the art museums and zoo. I was always crafty but never really considered myself an artist. My dad is an art teacher and professional artist, he makes stained glass and glass jewelry. He’s also a very skilled painter. My sister is an artist as well. She does mainly illustrating and painting. My little brother does some art he’s a musician and has a little band going with some of his high school friends. Read more>>

Ricardo Tippitt

I purchased my first home back in 2015. The experience was great. My Realtor at that time gave me such a great experience it made me want to join the business. I got into the business my first year with a very slow start. My career started to take off in the second year. I managed to close enough deals in my second year to become eligible to get my Broker license. I am currently an Executive Broker at Vylla Home in Bryant, AR. Read more>>

Mikkita Moore

I am Mikkita L. Moore. I am a woman of God first. Mother, daughter, friend. I am also an international transparency motivator, and author, and now add Real Estate Broker/REALTOR ®️. I live, walk, and breathe transparency. I remember being so very afraid to open up because of other people’s thoughts about me. I was always mean, defensive, and ignorant of my feelings. Then one day, I looked up and didn’t know who that person was standing in the mirror. I saw her but not me. That’s the very moment I had to make a choice. It’s either me or the stranger in the mirror!!!!! Read more>>

Jonathan Ivory

Jon Jefe born Jonathan Ivory II is a Memphis artist with a rap style that’s distinctively unique. Born in Greenwood, MS, and later moving to Memphis in the summer of 2005, Jefe is not a stranger to the struggles and street life from growing up in those areas. Jefe first started music in 2015 and later became serious and consistent when he started back recording in 2018. On February 24th, his father’s death day, he released his first mixtape “MVP” in 2020, and later that year in November released an EP called “No Regrets”. Read more>>

Trip Fountain

I am a lifelong Memphian born and raised in Bluff City. I own and run Yippie Trippie & The Porkstars Foodtruck. We serve craft BBQ & a Creole-style menu with a smokey twist. When I told friends and family that I was going to open a BBQ food truck in Memphis (the BBQ capital of the world) people thought I was crazy. I was told the market was over-saturated with BBQ restaurants and there was no way I could make a living selling BBQ in Memphis. Read more>>

Frank & Desiree Middleton

We started almost a year ago making shirts and tumblers for family. In October of 2021, we got the incredible opportunity to make shirts and tumblers in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in which most of the proceeds went to a scholarship fund titled The Andre’ Hayes Memorial Fund. That was the first big project for us that essentially gave us more opportunities. Our family and friends have been very supportive in mentioning our work any chance they get. Read more>>

Kajuan Garnett

I was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where most of my family resides. I moved around a bit and lived in many different places but nothing compared to Memphis and the cultural influences it had on me. I quickly fell in love with the food, the music, and my close friends and family that were from there. I went to Cordova high school in 2016 and was living a regular life, freestyling with friends, and trying to find my way in Memphis. Read more>>

Jasmine Gannaway

My name is Jasmine Gannaway and I have been selected to represent TN in the 2022 Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant! I am 33 years young, born and raised here in Memphis, TN. I am in a wheelchair due to the fact I was struck by a vehicle from behind in April of 2019 causing me to have both legs amputated right above the knee. This new life has been challenging, but I refuse to give up. I am excited to represent TN (especially Memphis) in the pageant. I am using my platform to encourage differently-abled women (I don’t like the word disabled) to continue pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Tere Gusmus

After my career in the corporate/legal environment, I took time to regroup and make some changes in my life and my lifestyle. I have always needed a creative outlet that, over time, has taken several directions – photography; videography; dabbling in music,  and in visual art. After some time away from an office environment, I was able to pursue my creative outlets full time. By combining videography with my additional interests in-home entertainment; travel; interior decorating and fashion, it only seemed natural to develop YouTube’s “The Style Chase” channel in order to share ideas with my subscribers. Read more>>

Gabriele Cozzi

Since I was a child, I’m into reading comics, cause my uncle transmitted me this passion. In particular, my interest was taken by a specific character, Tex Willer, the older Italian comic: it’s been published since 1948. This brought me, during the first lockdown in 2020, to share this passion with other readers. The most useful channel was Instagram. In the beginning, I just published illustrations with Tex’s quotes, but soon I realized that this page wasn’t only a sort of blog, but it was turning out into a community with lots of interactions. Read more>>

Kelsi’ Harth

I was born with songs and grooves in my heart. I started my dance and gymnastics career on Memphis AllStars Dance Team at 4 years old where I grew to love performing. We were one of the top competitive squads in the United States. We traveled to a different city and state competitions, gaining first place in cheer, pom, and hip hop dance. I also cheered for Whitehaven High School, as well as, the cheer captain for Victory University where I studied Criminal Justice & minored in Biology. Read more>>

Zakiya Percy

I am a San Francisco native, committed to serving and working in my community starting at age 16. Inspired by my oldest sister, Salinda Banks, who lost her battle with Leukemia in 2005 at 16 years old, I knew to pursue dreams big enough for two. Although I was living separately from her family at 16, I began working initially to take care of myself and found joy in being of assistance to others during horrendous times. Read more>>

Vanessa Maxwell

I have been a Registered Nurse (RN) for 19 years. It was twelve years ago, that I found my passion in the Nursing field and I became a Wound Ostomy Nurse. My previous nursing experience consisted of Cardiac-Telemetry Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Oncology Nursing. Because inquiring minds always want to know, “What made you want to become a Wound Care Nurse?” The area in which I was working at the time was coming to an end; the unit would soon be closing for good. Read more>>

HARZEE

Since about the age of 10, I have always strived to be a successful artist and have been willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Taking inspiration from artists like Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, and even Tame Impala, I’ve been developing my own sound and making huge progress towards being the person I want to become. I started out under the stage name ALYX, making and releasing my first song on nothing but my phone until I searched for the means to make music with better quality, better reach, and better potential to tell the stories that I wanted to tell. Read more>>

Najee Bush

I worked as an independent bartender for many years before serving size was started. After a while, my cousin, who is like a brother joined in and we started to duo bartend. While at a party hosted downtown we were asked if we had a business or if we were just bartenders for hire. Us being ambitious, we enthusiastically said yes, “we have a business!” Later in the night, we brainstormed ideas for a business name until my cousin looked at the back of a tonic water bottle and said “Serving Size.” Read more>>

Keisha Walker

Inspiration can come in the darkest hour; a spark of joy can rise out of the night. Glitzy Yard Greetings LLC, based in Memphis, Tennessee, is a family-owned and operated custom yard greeting business, a ray of hope born during a time when my family least expected it. As our world grappled with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, the world’s stage demanding racial justice as its people declare, “Black Lives Matter”, and the sudden diagnosis of our oldest daughter, put the Walker family in an instant fight of faith against leukemia. Read more>>

Raini Smith

It all started with an engagement session back in September of 2021 we had and almost immediately after I was just like “Yes this is exactly what I need to be doing.” Everything just came so naturally and I knew modeling was something I definitely wanted to look into and find out more about. Growing up I never looked in the mirror at myself and thought “Oh she’s beautiful” or “I like myself.” All I would see is a young girl with lots of flaws and just broken and no love for herself.  Read more>>

Young Chris The Artist

I’m an on-the-rise artist (YoungChrisTheArtist) from Northeast D.C., I got into music around the age of 8, and my uncle Troy Williams was a huge inspiration to my musical journey being as though he was an engineer & producer he produced for artists like Biggie Smalls, Heavy D, LL Cool J & many more. Growing up in the northeast wasn’t the hardest but it wasn’t the easiest either. He passed in 2015 but that was also my drive to keep going in music as well. Read more>>

Delandus White

My Name Is Delandus White Actor & Founder Of DWhite Solutions . I Started Out As A Actor & I Always Had A Eye For Taking Pictures So In 2020 I Finally Purchased My First Camera . I’m A Very Quick Learner So In A Matter Of 2 Months I Was Starting To again Great Clientele & Thought To Myself I Can Probably Take This Thing As Far As I Want It To Long As Stay Consistent. Fast Forward 2022 ,My Business Is Successful & It’s Only Going To Get Better With Time . Read more>>

Savannah Brister

Growing up in Memphis, I was always surrounded by music. Between Beale Street, church, my uncle’s piano shop, and my Spinet piano at home, there was rarely a moment of silence, but I loved it! I’ve been trained in piano and vocal for most of my life, but it always felt like something was missing until I learned about songwriting. That was it! I figured out how to turn pain into music, and I was HOOKED! At 15, I was already gigging and competing in every competition my parents and I could find. Church also became a playground for me musically (shoutout to Hope Church).  Read more>>

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