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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.

Melisa Horn

My name is Melisa Horn, and I’m from the beautiful Mississippi Delta. My story begins with 16 and 17-year-old kids learning they would have a baby. I arrived nine months later, and they named me Melisa Hope. From the Mississippi Delta to the big city of Memphis, we moved. My family spans four generations of addiction and alcoholism, so my childhood was a little different. At the age of 7 or 8, I remember visiting family members who were incarcerated.  Read More>>


I’ve always been a fan of true crime, so it made sense to start a podcast on true crime but with a hometown/Southern theme. It’s been a journey trying to keep up with the podcast and all the research that goes into putting on a not only good but interesting show, while teaching part-time and holding a full-time job in the District Attorney’s Office. But I love it. I’ve launched and re-launched, and soon about to re-launch again, so it’s worth the effort. Read More>>

Kyng Julien

My name is “Kyng” Julien Milton. I’m from East Memphis Tennessee. Born and raised. I’ve grown up around the culture of Memphis Tennessee. Grew up very poor and troubled home. Memphis Jookin has changed my life and given me opportunities for just being me. Which in today’s economy is very hard especially from where I come from. This art form has blessed me many times and I thank god for this gift. The culture transformed me into more than just a “jooker”. Read More>>

Chenita Griggs

Initially starting my business in 2022, I was still determining the possibility of success. Of course, most entrepreneurs experience the same feelings, right? My biggest question was, how far do I want to take my knowledge? Did I wish only to target referrals in the surrounding area? I used my career coaching metrics to stay focused and push myself to grow.  Read More>>

Gene Williams

G Wiz And The Solar System is an eclectic soulful rock band that has been igniting stages in Memphis for the last 5 years, including DreamFest and Occupy The Shell. Their musical influences range from the hard rock edge of Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, and Rage Against The Machine to the soulful, funky tones of D’Angelo, Prince, and The Funkadelics to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninov. For this band, music is cathartic and an act of healing and introspection. Read More>>

Katy Weske

I started taking pictures during my freshman year of college. I took pictures of dance showcases to help out with marketing for the dance program at the University of Alabama. Little did I know that I would find myself falling in love with the art of photography. I’ve always appreciated the arts (I was an artist in high school), but once I realized how instantly gratifying taking a picture was, everything changed.  Read More>>

Ariel Cobbert

Ariel J. Cobbert (b. 1995, Hattiesburg, MS) is a Memphis-based photojournalist and interdisciplinary artist. In 2018, Cobbert received her BA in Print Journalism and African American Studies from the University of Mississippi. Her work has since featured in national publications including the New York Times, National Geographic, Bloomberg, CNN, and the Huffington Post, among others. Read More>>

Jae Henderson

Doing comedy was on my bucket list. I knew I was humorous, and I knew I could write jokes. I actually used to write jokes for the award-winning radio show “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” in my 20’s after interning with them in Dallas. I also used to be a radio personality and a talk show host. In both if those roles it’s important that you be able to speak in a way that makes people want to listen. Read More>>

Wanda Taylor

I am a native Memphian. I was raised in a single-parent household with my mother and two siblings. My father’s long-term drug addiction caused him to be absent from my life before he passed away. I lived in two housing projects – Lemoyne Garden and Cleaborn Homes – and was raised around gangsters, pimps, drug dealers, prostitutes, drug addicts and alcoholics. Read More>>

Graham Duval

My Business is Valüd Productions And we provide video marketing strategies to businesses, online entrepreneurs, musicians to help them be more successful. The started creating videos when I was kid using the old big cameras and tapes but then when iMovie came out is when I got bit by the content creation bug. Every chance I got I was creating some sort of video project. When I graduated high school I went into college for a year for film studies.  Read More>>

Austin Mulitalo

As clique as it sounds, my life has been all about overcoming obstacles and adversity. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and moved to the USA when I was young. It was just my beautiful Mum & I with hardly anything to our names and family that resides here in the USA. All while I was trying to adapt and somewhat fit in. Read More>>

Karsyn Laufenberg

In 2021, I graduated from the University of Memphis with a degree in creative mass media, graphic design and marketing. I had to push my love of pottery to the side during those 4 years to focus on my studies and hobbies that would better my career. That’s when KAR. creative was born. It originally started as my personal brand that centered around freelance design, photography and videography. Read More>>

James Hogan

I started out my business as a part time hustle while working full time with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. As time went on the business side grew and we went from ‘Cutting Grass” to creating backyard Staycation Destinations for our Clients as we only specialize in Custom designed and built Wate Features. Read More>>

Garth Ward

I started as a Realtor in 2013 for a regional firm in Washington near Seattle and quickly become one of the top agents in the country under 30 years old. Afterwards, I was headhunted to a luxury firm in Seattle where I sold some of the most expensive properties in Washington’s history. In 2018 I made the move to create my own brokerage and subsequently grew it to 4 firms across the state with 137 agents working at my company. Read More>>

Isaiah Hatley

t all started when my dad bought our first family camera I was 14 at the time. Like I said in the beginning he bought it for the family but I picked it up so much and used it so much that eventually it became mine. I started taking pictures at family gatherings and of different people and friends a lot.  Read More>>

LaNeysha Miller

My tea journey began back in 2019 with a focus on staying hydrated, boosting my immune system, and alleviating my persistent migraines. As time went on, in 2021, I started sharing my passion with friends, inviting them over to taste the different tea blends I had crafted and gather their feedback on flavors and effects. By 2022, I transitioned from store-bought tea blends to purchasing my own herbs wholesale, not just for myself but for my friends as well. Read More>>

Osean Bailey-Cole

Our organization was curated with mental health and wellbeing in mind. We want to challenge the stigmas behind trauma by providing resources, tips, and tools to support the development and betterment of a healthier lifestyle. I proudly hold certifications as a professional certified life coach, a certified meditation coach & facilitator, and is currently enrolled in a university to pursue a degree in Human Services.  Read More>>

Gabby Porter

My name is Christen Gabriel Porter, but everyone knows me as Gabby. I am 24 years old. I grew up in a small city, Savannah, Tennessee. I was raised in Hardin County all my life with my three older sisters and two older brothers. My childhood was a rough one, I grew up in a one parent household however I always felt loved and very well taken care of. Read More>>

Alex Gnecco

Back in 2016 while I was in college studying cinematography in Colombia, on my free time I liked making videos for social media about my dad’s real state business. A couple of years after I had the opportunity to move to the US to continue with my dreams and desire to maximize my knowledge. Read More>>

Lauren Baetz

My younger brother, John, was diagnosed with cancer and after a 13 month battle he succumbed to his illness and passed away at the age of 10, I was 12. I remember feeling like I didn’t tell him “I love you” enough, so ever since I tell anyone and everyone I love them and that strong sense of responsibility I felt for others went into overdrive and I promised myself to only ever do what I loved and live for today. A motto I can often fail at but for the most part try to adhere to. Read More>>

Jeff Riddle

Growing up in East Tennessee, I naturally was a Tennessee Vols fan and always felt destined to attend UT Knoxville. I completed an associates degree at Walters State Community College in my hometown before going on to UTK to finish a degree in communication studies. I wrapped up college without a real sense of what I wanted to do vocationally but also very little debt. I stayed in Knoxville and got a ‘big boy job’ in collections at a mortgage company and boy was it the wrong fit for me. I’m a quintessential millennial and began to learn that I wanted my 9-5 to be connected to some kind of cause or mission. Read More>>


Sarah Rohde

My archery career started roughly 16 years ago, in 2008, around age 13, participating in the Memphis Home Education Association Archery Program. As the oldest daughter of six kids, with two older brothers, anything that the boys could do, I could do better. When they joined the Homeschool Archery Program, it was only a matter of time before I was begging to join them and so began my love affair with a unique sport. In late 2008, I expressed an interest in training to become an Olympic Athlete. Read More>>

Sheri McGee

My journey started back in 2019 about a year after my family and I moved from San Diego to Memphis. I had been a nursing assistant for 3 years prior to our move, but I always felt like I hadn’t truly found my purpose. I was on a spiritual journey and in deep prayer asking God to gracefully guide me into my purpose. Around that time, I started my fitness journey and began posting pictures of the meals I was preparing for myself/family on Facebook. I began to develop a love for cooking, but mostly a passion for plating and making my food look magazine worthy!  Read More>>

Osaze Niamke

I noticed that importance of this when I realized major companies (instagram, Nike, redbull, world of dance) us our best cultural dancers(jookers) to sell their product , while having no way to enrich the product of Memphis Jookin itself Read More>>

Yusto J. Yona

I was born 28 years ago, In the United Republic of Tanzania, and emerged into a world that held both promise and challenge a canvas waiting for my brushstrokes. Primary School became the foundation of my knowledge upon which my dreams were built, under the watchful eyes of patient teachers, I traced my first letters, stumbled through multiplication tables, and laughed with friends during recess. Read More>>

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