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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.

Daisy Bouie-Dickerson

My business was started in 2013 when I was pregnant with my second son I started seeing the small treats trend at baby showers and other events out of town and I thought it would go well with incorporating them into my own baby shower.  Needless to say, there weren’t many people who specialized in things I wanted so I was like let me see if I could at least attempt to make some things on my own and I did and was very impressed with how they turned out even my guests were asking who made them and I was excited to say I did which was a shock being 8 months pregnant and doing something I never would imagine doing. Read more>>

Katie Mars, Allie Mounce, and Clare Freeman

Allie: I’d always been a fine artist and a big reader, and in college, I realized that graphic design combined the two things I was most interested in – communicating ideas and making images. From there I got into type, lettering, and branding, and later illustration and web design. I’ve always learned by being thrown into situations I wasn’t prepared for – On my first job out of college I showed up for what I thought was an interview and it turned out it was my first day on the job! Read more>>

Desiree Anderson

Over the last 8 years or so, I became interested in home improvement. It began with watching HGTV. I was amazed at how the beauty of a home could be unmasked by hard work and imagination! I have a full-time career with the government, so I didn’t get serious about real estate right away. Then, we sold our home 5 years ago, and our real estate agent was terrible! We had a very bad experience. Read more>>

Nithya Achanta and Jie Wang

STEM4fem is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Memphis, Tennessee working to help girls pursue interests in STEM-related fields. In a society where innovation and change are becoming increasingly important, we hope to show young girls the potential for STEM to change the world. STEM4fem was founded in the summer of 2017 because we noticed two major issues in the STEM field: there is a major gender gap, and resources and opportunities are not always available to everyone, especially in Memphis. Read more>>

Nick Petty

I play in the band The Happy started in 2012, the band was started after a period I went through of drug abuse, and playing live felt like a great way to escape stress and problems and he has constantly been helping since. We have put out 2 and a half albums since and music videos on YouTube and Spotify. There are many challenges like not getting paid well at first, obviously, a lot of dysfunction in the industry cause it’s always at bars, constantly figuring out dates at the beginning that align with work or family, and being away from loved ones on the road. Putting together all differences to remember you on the same team is absolutely huge. Read more>>

Ariel Reign

I started singing before I could talk. My mom said one day, she walked into my nursery and as young as 8 months I was singing a lullaby to myself. I was born with hearing loss but we didn’t know until I was 5, and that’s when I got my first pair of hearing aids. I felt like I was a superhero because I could hear through the walls. Singing was therapy for me. I wasn’t accepted by my peers — one because I was a big personality and two because I was different. I enjoyed old-school music, deep conversations, and talking about Jesus (LOL). Also, having hearing aids didn’t help, kids can be mean when they don’t understand things. Read more>>

Diamond Gordon

The story started with a homeless move from Atlanta back to Mississippi, I thought being a paralegal was going to be something I enjoyed doing at the time and it just wasn’t. When I moved back home with nothing I kept praying for my calling. All of a sudden, I kept seeing SPA THIS SPA THAT! Beauty this beauty that! Courses here courses there! And I thought why not? What else do I really have to lose? Read more>>

Shunknequia Byerson

I got started in fashion over 20 years ago. I worked in retail and always had a love for fashion, style, and wanting people to look amazing. So about 5 years ago, I was asked to style an NFL player. I became his personal stylist. I was so shocked and excited that my talents were noticed by him. And from there My personal styling career went to the next level. My clients range from single moms looking to regain their identity and realtors, to entrepreneurs who want to rebrand the company and image. Read more>>

Shantell Campbell

I am a recent Breast Cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in January 2018. I completed 4 sets of Chemotherapy and 33 sets of Radiation Therapy. I’ve had a Lumpectomy on my left breast and most recently had a Double Mastectomy. After losing my hair, I was trying to figure out a way to make my hair grow back faster. I tried everything that I could buy from the beauty supply store on my hair. Read more>>

Cole Cooney & Devin White

The idea of me starting my clothing line started going into my freshman year of college. I’ve always had a passion for fashion and art, but I wasn’t certain in which direction I wanted to go in with my passion. At such a young age, I always knew that I would fall through with being into the fashion scene, but so many obstacles and tribulations, I faced at such a young age, made me question my reality and what I really wanted to do with my future. Read more>>

Mikaylah McClore

I started Ma’at Bead Co. during quarantine in June 2020. I remember just going through all my craft items and wondering why I had so many beads and what I could possibly do with them. That same night I had a dream about learning more about the African diaspora and my culture and that dream lead me to make waist beads for myself and then start a business! Ma’at is the Egyptian Goddess of harmony, justice, and truth represented as a young woman. I chose the name based on this Goddess because when I started my business it was also a spiritual awakening within myself to live my truth. Read more>>

Britiany Hervey

Britiany Hervey Dawson (HD) is a self-taught makeup artist. In 2015, she created her brand TouchedbyBritianyHD and started her freelance business DivabyDesign Makeup Artistry. She has dedicated herself to cultivating her artistry and skills in makeup application. She has a penchant for style and beauty. Before accepting the call as a makeup artist, she considered herself an aspiring hairstylist. Read more>>

Cherish Green

Ever since I was a little child, I was always into things that involved beauty and fashion. I held an interest in doing and creating many different things such as hair, makeup, jewelry, nails, designing clothes, blinged-out phone cases, hair accessories, etc. Out of all those interests, makeup was the only one that stuck out most to me and it became something I strongly held a passion for. Back in 2017, I was enrolled in a makeup institute. Read more>>

Constance Sullivan

I’ve never really been one that thought I was great at a lot of things, but I always had a lot of hobbies and interests growing up. Whether that was reading and suddenly wanting to become a writer or to become an egyptologist or draw manga professionally in Japan, I’ve always struggled with narrowing down what exactly I wanted to do. Even as an adult and getting my first “big girl” job at ALSAC/ St Jude, it was not of my own initiative but through the recommendation of a family member to apply. Read more>>

Marcus Ross

Catch the Fade studios is a barber studio that I, Marcus Ross, started in 2017 based out of Cordova, TN. Before I enrolled in a barber academy, I had no skills prior to starting. I went into this field as an outlet from the military. I went to school in California and started my business in Tennessee. You may ask, why go to school in California and start a business in Tennessee? Well, It was a transitional phase in my life and it was the most accommodating way to provide for my children. Being a father really pushes me to be the best version of myself. Read more>>

Lauren A. Jackson

In high school, I always would pride myself on exposing my friends to different music and music that we don’t hear on the radio which oftentimes, would reach the radio stations later. I threw a couple of house parties and would have my playlist playing for the whole party and everyone always had a great time. In my later years of high school, my friends and I played around with the thought of me being a DJ because I always had the aux whenever we were in the car. Read more>>

Chastidy Bell

I’ve always watched my mom fo hair. At the age of 9, I would practice, practice, practice but couldn’t grasp the concept of braiding and would cry because my cousin knew how and I just couldn’t get it. At 13 is when I started braiding my friend’s hair and classmates from school. I would braid hair after school, on the weekends, & during the summer from ages 14 to 16. I learned to do basic hairstyles at the age of 17 and then moved on to make wigs by the age of 20. Shortly afterward, I started my hair company and it’s been all about hair ever since! Read more>>

Ashley Stewart

Since a little girl, I’ve always been two things – girlie & “bossy”. I can remember my mom saying to me, “Ashley, do you remember in elementary school when you all had to dress up for Halloween and you went as a businesswoman?” I surely do. With my love for purses, all things girlie, and my passion for leadership, it was only fitting. It was actually several years ago when I had the idea to sell purses. Read more>>

Elisha Roberts-Turner

Literally started with a dream in 2016 that terrified me! I remember calling my best friend and telling him about it. I never had intentions of opening a store but the dream was so real and although terrified, it was amazing. I guess I didn’t see God using me the way He’s using me now. Launched to the public in November 2020 and open our storefront on April 5, 2o22. It’s been a learning process! I won’t say it’s been rough because I’m sure I haven’t seen rough yet. God and my supporters have made this journey worth every second. Read more>>

Aneel Hernandez

In 2016, I was living in California attending CSUN. During this time, I was questioning my future career. I wasn’t sure of my goals at the time. Unfortunately, my life took a turn during this time when my mom suddenly passed away. She was a single mother, and I was her only child. I felt the weight of all responsibilities on my shoulders. Especially, financial ones. See, my mother being an Immigrant from Mexico, came to the USA for a better future. She worked extremely hard and always provided for me; however, my mother, like many immigrant families out there, never prepared for the worst. Read more>>

Molly Murphy

Lucas Dearborn and I, Molly Murphy, are brother and sister. We’ve always known we wanted to work together and finally found something we were both passionate about – drone/sUASs (small unmanned aircraft systems). Lucas was first introduced to drones in 2016 when he started his racing career, and I’ve taken the past few years to get exposure to the industry and flying. We launched Dearborn Drone Co this January and had a variety of services ranging from video/photos, repair, training, and consulting drone/UAV jobs. Read more>>

LeVeda McCou

I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee on August 14, 1979. Since I was a child, music was in my bloodline from the rearing of my parents. I came from a family of educators and law enforcement and my passion for people was indoctrinated in my soul. I am a product of now Memphis Shelby County Schools. Ministry became a journey for me, through Dr. Cindy Trimm’s ministry school Kingdom University with other renowned world leaders. Dr. Trimm gave me the moniker of “WorldFamous” and it has been with me to this date. Read more>>

Tarik Pryor

Well, I first thought to start a brand in 2016 but a serious case of imposter syndrome kept me from ever actually getting started. I revisited the idea again in late 2019 after a successful day at the Beale Street art crawl. I wanted to launch in early 2020 but the pandemic completely derailed my plans. 2021 I was just working and put my business on the back burner for a while but I felt invigorated this year and decided to get the ball rolling officially. Read more>>

Muck Sticky

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, music has always been part of my life. My grandfather was a Sun Studio musician who recorded with the likes of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Unfortunately, he passed before I was born, but the music and stories were always part of my world growing up. After playing in local bands while I attended college, in 1999, I started recording my own songs using a karaoke machine with dual tape decks in my bedroom. Read more>>

Tonia Mays

As an entrepreneur, I’ve sold many things–clothing, shoes, jewelry, Avon, and valentine baskets–just to name a few. One of the 1st things I can remember selling was kool-aid and candy in middle school. I got in so much trouble for that. Nowadays, I still sell sweets, but I no longer worry about the trouble part. Cookies are my official business and I absolutely love them. I didn’t plan on being the cookie lady; however, it’s been one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. You know how it’s said, “What’s for you is for you?” Read more>>

Cristabel Clack

I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. My family has always been musical and my siblings and I were a family group that sang at every local event in our city. As the years went by, I grew leery of the “performance” of it all and wanted something deeper. I would find myself crying out to God in my private time and creating a space for him to reveal himself to me. His presence invaded my life one day and I never looked back. Read more>>

Gus Carrington

The Stupid Reasons started as a stage name and vehicle for the songs I wrote outside of different bands I played in over the years. It took me a while to find the right name—I got serious about writing songs on guitar in 2014 while technically being the drummer of a group called The Jetpack Crew. We went through a phase where we strictly played acoustic open mic nights, and that’s really what did it. For these, I played guitar or ukulele instead of loading in a drum set (these were good times). Read more>>

Ulises “Lamixsi” Cornejo

Hello! My name is Lamixsi born and raised in Memphis. Being a queer child in a strict household, getting into makeup and costumes is something I would do late at night once my entire family was sleeping, there I would perform for an audience of none but with the satisfaction of knowing I had found huge joy. I had found the other half of myself that was buried deep in my own insecurities. It wasn’t until the ICON, Bella Duballe, believed in me enough to cast me in their very own competition “War of the Roses”. Each week we competed for the title of the brightest rose in the garden. Read more>>

Denice Senter-Brown

We got started almost three years ago. Our station is designed to play various music for everyone. While listening to this station, you’ll enjoy the fact that you don’t have to change the station. We play county, Gospel, R&B, pop rock, and clean rap, just to name a few. The DJ randomly selects the music so that it’s playing songs for all listeners at all hours. The beginning stage was rough. Getting the software, professional equipment, and studio required lots of research and money. Once we got the ball rolling it was pretty smooth from there. Read more>>

Sande Neske

Hello, my name is Sande Neske of Cruise Planners Out and About Luxury Travel from Hunterdon county NJ. I am excited that I was asked to be interviewed for this publication. 1st I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the travel franchise I bought. I’m sure you have heard of “Cruiseplanners” an American Express Travel representative with a tremendous reputation for quality & service. Even though the name says Cruise Planners we arrange more land tours. Read more>>

Arianna Everhart

Hey, my name is Arianna Everhart. I am born and raised in Memphis TN. I started my nail journey in January 2020 while in cosmetology school. Nails were always something I wanted to do, but I never really put thought into it. I remember ordering my first nail kit and thinking okay I’m going to start off amazing and everything is going to fall into place. Well of course that’s always what everyone thinks but little did I know the work that had to be dispersed. Read more>>

Rakesia Weaver

My journey with hair started at the age of 6. I first taught myself how to plait then cornrow. I learned how to add hair to braids just by watching the lady who braided my box braids. At age 10, I braided my sister’s and cousins’ hair. It quickly spread to my neighbors, friends, classmates, family members, and church members. By age 14, I had over 50 clients and Braidsbykeshia was born. I was making so much money I was able to buy 2 cars in cash and purchase my first house all before the age of 20. I always worked and did hair. In January 2015, I decided to quit my job and do my hair full-time. I went from the house, a booth, and a salon suite then my own shop in less than a year. I started posting heavily on Instagram and Facebook. Read more>>

Samara Byrd

First and foremost my story begins with God all things have been made possible for me in my career and life through him. He gave me the gift to dance. So with that being said, I’ve been dancing all my life literally. But, dance chose me, and from that our love story is officially 17 years old. My mother and father enrolled me in dance school when I was 7 years old. My humble beginnings started at D’SHAYS School of dance. Then followed me through high school and continued through college where I received my BFA in dance. Read more>>

Wendell Coleman

What was once only a figment of our imagination 6 years ago my business partner and I created Wisdom Apparel. As an adolescent, I was always fascinated with fashion. Once the opportunity presented itself I invested in it. It has been a long and rough road with many speed bumps along the way but overall I enjoy designing and seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they see our products. We got to the point we are today from being consistent and dedicated. Fashion is a form of art. It’s more to it than just placing a design on a shirt. You have access to your creativity portal to think outside of the norm and dare to be different. This is why we named our brand Wisdom Apparel. Read more>>

Nadia Treadwell

All throughout school, I struggled with public speaking; I feared it. It was my biggest weakness. I felt like whatever came out of my mouth had to be perfect. My heart raced and my palms sweated anytime I had to give a presentation. It wasn’t until I began pageants that my perspective on speaking changed. Pageants have private interviews with a panel of typically 6 random judges. They are allowed to ask you about ANYTHING, whether it be politics or your personal life, nothing is off limits; you never know what they will say in the 9-minute interview. Read more>>

A’Dria Glenn

In the fall of 2015 working toward my passion. I was a sophomore at The University of Southern Mississippi located in Hattiesburg, MS majoring in Nursing. My ambition in life was to become a nurse, but something happened during my sophomore year, and the passion left. I felt out of place, lost, and depressed. After consulting with family and friends I decided to drop out of school and move back home. I found a full-time job, but there was still something missing. I prayed to God to help me find my purpose. Read more>>

Alexis Marie

Yes, of course! I was raised in Memphis, TN by a God-fearing single mother of two, who instilled in us that “education comes first”. My mother did her best to give my sister and I the best opportunities possible. Unfortunately, we fell on hard times after my mother lost her job during the recession. From the age of 15 until leaving for college, I worked FULL TIME to help provide some support for my family. I left home after graduation to attend Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN, where I was very involved on campus. Read more>>

Caroline Rose Graves

Thank you for providing me with the opportunity. First off, I am a native Memphian, part-time artist. I opened my art ‘business’ the summer before going to the University of Mississippi in 2012. I put the business in quotations because it was truly accepting ad hoc commission requests via text. This was before I had a website or an Instagram account tied to my work. Now in 2022, there’s much more upkeep such as social media, websites, emails, payment platforms, etc. Social media is a job in itself. Read more>>

Jani Rad

Thank you for having me! My name is Jani, and I currently live in Memphis, TN. I’ve called a lot of places home, but the highlights have been Knoxville, Chapel Hill, and Washington DC. I have never been one to sit still! I’ve had a lot of jobs and have travelled all over the world. Ever since I was a child, I was always running around my school from after-school activities to volunteering for jobs. I am still very much the same way! I currently have 3 main “jobs.” My traditional “9 to 5” is working as a Director in the Executive Operations Division at Regional One Health where I lead our Center for Department of Analytics. Outside of that, I record and produce my own podcast show called “What’s On Your Mind?” and I am also a professional speaker/trainer/facilitator. Read more>>

Deonna Dodson

Well first and foremost, my name is Deonna Dodson. I am 25 years of age. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. I went to Kate Bond Elementary, Cordova Middle & also Cordova High School. I graduated high school in 2015. Shortly after completing K-12, I furthered my education and went to college. The college I chose to attend is a well known HISTORIC black college, located in the heart of South Memphis “The LeMoyne-Owen College”. I started attending in 2015. In 2020 I graduated college with a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) Degree, during a PANDEMIC. Since we were quarantined, my class did not have a normal graduating ceremony. Therefore my diploma was “mailed”. Read more>>

Shaunice Maddox

Hello, my name is Shaunice Rene a.k.a. Misty Blue life took a turn for me when I became a teen mother pregnant at 14. I was 15 years old with a baby. Music and performing arts were always my first love; it was something that just came naturally to me.  Especially singing. After becoming pregnant pursuing a music career just didn’t seem to fit the life I envisioned for myself and my son. Read more>>

JaSharra Alshernaé

Thank you for having me! While going to school my job at the time was doing a photo shoot/short film for promotional reasons. When it was my turn to come up to the camera, I posed and the coordinator of the shoot asked me if I was a model. I laughed saying no, but she continued to say she wanted me for a future project. Being a part of that shoot sparked something in me I forgot was there. I did fashion shows as a child, but I guess I forgot how fulfilling it was to be in front of the camera or on stage strutting; making a statement. I made up my mind that I am going to be a model so I’ve been working for it, being one ever since. Read more>>

 

Faye Duran

For most of my life, I’ve loved nostalgia. It all started with my parents and me being a small child in the car listening to my parents’ “oldies” on the radio. Other kids might scoff at their parent’s music but I absolutely loved it! Later on, I watched Back to the Future and other 80s movies, got into Michael Jackson’s music, and also listened to other 70s and 80s music, and the whole nostalgia thing kind of blossomed even further from there. When I was in high school, I started adopting some retro looks to my style. Read more>>

Amber Rae Dunn

Definitely, thank you for the opportunity. Well basically while in attendance at Memphis College of Art here in Memphis one of my friends from Kenya, Yubu Kazungu who was a Reggae songwriter asked me to join his band under the direction of another friend of ours, Kennard Farmer. I grew up in a large family, one of seven kids, but nobody was very musical so I wasn’t ever exposed to much music and although I liked to sing along with the radio, honestly didn’t quite know I had the talent I have. Read more>>

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