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Community Member Spotlights

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find interviews from our community members and content partners – the folks who’ve been heavily involved with us, collaborating with us on content, sponsoring our mission and spreading the word about the work we do.

Odette Fernandez Lopez | Family+Brand Photographer

My name is Odette Fernandez Lopez and I am a portrait photographer. I specialize in family photography and personal branding for small business owners. Read more>>

Romina Daniele | Free Thinker, Writer, Entrepreneur & more

I like the way a New York journalist once called me: an Italian exponent of the vocal extended technique. That’s for sure the main thing I do and all my records are related to the sound of voice research as well as to composing electronic and experimental music. However since 2013 I started working as blues singer as well. I also wrote and published some books (besides the records), I have been working as photographer, and I degreed Cum Laude in Cinema Studies. Read more>>

A’daja White | Photographer

“Safe place” AWShotme Studios is a space you come to feel comfortable and sexy. It’s a doll house I like to call it, we have pink walls, LV baby blue wall, Grass wall and all types of body empowerment encouragement around the space. Mirrors of all sizes, backdrops, props and the music is between 90s-2000s R&B and summer walker with a mix of the newest hip hop songs. A lot of people say “it’s a vibe”! The MUA in the studio offers amazing services along side a talented lash tech on site. Read more>>

Guillermo Ursini | Sound Designer

I started as a DJ in 1990, then goes to the radio, editing digital audio, studied production and direction for radio and tv. In the year 2000, I started to record sound for films, documentaries, tv series, realities shows and discover my passion for this job. Working hard and growing over the years, improving my goals and being awarded. In 2017, I decided to take the next step, move to Miami to continue growing in my professional career, try new challenges and demonstrate to myself that I can do it best for great companies in the audiovisual industries. Read more>>

Cin Rondon | Writer/Content Creator/Media Manager/ Meditation Facilitator/ Photographer/Model

Hi! I’m Cin, I am a content creative, a writer, a meditation facilitator, sometimes photographer sometimes muse who loves to help others achieve mindfulness. I have been creating a space where others feel comfortable enough to share their stories with me. I simply hold space for souls who need to get come face to face with vulnerability and allow themselves to flourish in a way that is non judgmental. Read more>>

Jessica Torres | Hairstylist

Hi loves, my name is Jessica Delilah, I am a 28 year old Miami native. I take pride in sharing with people I am a South Florida Freelance Hairstylist who is passionate about beauty, fashion, education & philanthropy. In 2017 while attending Barry University as a Dance major with an Education minor, I was hit with a situation that was beyond my control and had to put pursuing my Bachelor’s degree on hold, i was devastated. This is when I wasn’t to sure what to do but always new since I was 12 years old I can do hair and truly enjoyed it and make a living. I took that previous loss and used it to fuel my ambition and determination as well as the support of my family and decided to attend beauty school Read more>>

Randa Quraan | Empowering women, self love advocate and obsessed with everything marketing

My name is Randa Quraan and I LOVE everything marketing, branding, self-love, self-care, storytelling, speaking, being a mommy, and changing the world one mission at a time. Read more>>

Melissa Jean | Cosmetics Brand Owner & Notary Public/ Loan Signing Agent

Hi I’m Melissa Jean, the owner of an Indie Cosmetics Brand that goes by the name of Steppin’ Stone Beauty. Based out of Miami, Fl but offers purchasing and shipping to consumers worldwide. Read more>>

Woodeline St. Louis | Esthetician

I was born in Miami, Fl., and grew up in North Miami, pretty much my whole life. I didn’t always know exactly what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to be successful and love every bit of what I do. Life for me wasn’t always peaches. To be completely transparent my childhood wasn’t like every other childhood. There were many milestones. I lost my mother at thirteen and that was the day everything completely changed for me. I’ve been homeless, I’ve been jobless and was even an entertainer for quite some time. Many times I had to go through these trials alone. Read more>>

Jessica Castro | Candle Maker & Teacher

We all get caught up in the grind and need to curate those peaceful moments at home where we can re-energize and reset. Paloma Brava Co. candles are meant to help you do just that by enhancing your home ambiance to suit what you need at that moment. Paloma Brava Co. luxury candles are hand-poured, scented with eclectic aromas, and topped off with a crackling wooden wick. Read more>>

Lorena Tomasini | Life and Health Insurance Broker

Hello, I’m Lorena Tomasini owner of MALM Life and Health Insurance Agency. I’m part of a mother-daughter team where we help individuals, families and businesses with their financial protection needs through products in the life insurance and health insurance industries. We help people be protected no matter what life throws at them. Read more>>

Emily Taffel | Author & Owner of Mugsy PR

Emily is a social media strategist, digital marketing and publicity consultant, and best known as the founder of Mugsy PR, but she is also a children’s book author, an experiential event planner, wedding officiant, feminist t-shirt maker, performer, road trip enthusiast, and avid car singer. She is the Communications Director for the Association for Women in Communications South Florida chapter and a volunteer with several local organization. She even manages to sleep sometimes! Emily lives in South Florida with her husband, thanks to whom she is also a stepmom to 4 of the most incredible humans on the planet who inspire her every day. Read more>>

Kaela Genovese | Jewelry Designer

Kaela Genovese began her life-long passion as a jewelry designer when she was just 3 years old and would make beaded bracelets and necklaces for her friends and family. She’s come a long way since little plastic beads on a string but has not lost the love and talent for making something beautiful with her creative mind and her own two hands. Read more>>

Zephyrin Victor | Blind comedian

Hello! My name is Comedian See No Evil and I am a totally blind Comedian and Actor. I am delighted to be a part of your project. I’ve been totally blind for 11 years now, but I’ve had a visual impairment for most of my life so I’m used to it. I love to entertain and make people laugh at the things that happen to me so don’t be afraid to ask me any questions. Thank you Read more>>

Rebecca Pasko | Dog Training, Boarding, Daycare, Dog Sports & More

Howdy! I’m Rebecca Pasko, an avid dog lover, who has taken that passion and created a safe and healthy place for dogs to get training, lodging, and daycare. Having started training professionally over ten years ago, I moved to Miami in 2016 to start sharing my expertise and now our company has grown to over 10 employees. Read more>>

Claudia Duran | VIP Matchmaker | Coach

I’ve been profiled in Business Insider for my matchmaking and relationship coaching expertise on behalf of my clients, as well as Elite Daily, NBC, Telemundo, and The New Tropic’s Most Inspiring Professionals! After 20 years marketing global brands including PLAYBOY TV INTERNATIONAL and HALLMARK CHANNEL as well as launching start-ups in private aviation like JET EDGE, I’ve had a major shift focusing more on individually based one-on-one marketing. Helping people best market themselves as individuals, not in a #brand way, but in a more authentic way, who they really are, and what makes them unique through a passion for matchmaking and private coaching. Read more>>

Kassie Meiler | Founder and Director of Social Media Communications for Goat Social Media, LLC

I’m the founder and director of social media communications for Goat Social Media, LLC. I work directly with companies and white label my company with agencies to provide social media management, content creation, and advertising services. I established my own company after freelancing social media management. I’ve always had a passion for communications and earned my Master of Arts in Mass Communications with a focus in social media from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Read more>>

Jonathan Gustave | Therapist & Relationship Coach

My name is Jonathan Gustave and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist|Relationship Coach and I help those who are going through a breakup/divorce building their lives back up so they can love they can unquestionably love who they are again. Read more>>

Diana Perez | Artist and Energy Healer

My name is Diana, I am an artist, content creator, and mom of three beautiful kids. I am passionate about helping, creating and inspiring and I love sharing my work with the world. Most of my original work is inspired by energy healing and chakras, although you will also find manga-inspired pieces from which I am a fan. Read more>>

Charlie T | Artist/Singer-Songwriter/Producer/Music Publishing Consultant/Session Engineer/Entreprenuer

I am known as Charlie, though parents named me Charles! lol. Born and raised on the sunny side of Florida, in the heart of Miami, FL. 1 of 5, with dreams and aspirations of being someone known for my talents…..one in particular, the gift to write and sing. Projects include, Chemistry (Mixtape – 2013) , The Chemist ( 2019EP) and a few collaborations with some of Miami’s hottest indie residential names. Read more>>

Rebecca Lago & Miriam Tischler | Co-Founder & Co-Owner

We are a juice and smoothie bar that offers a healthy alternative to fast food. We have that “bar” feel but are 0% ABV and 100% Healthy. We have something for everyone from a mocktails menu to a kids menu to a menu just for your pup. Read more>>

Sara Gusky | Ph.D. & Founder | Creative Director of Phd Athletica

As a Miami native, I am a solar-powered globetrotter that thrives on adventure and physical activity. I started traveling extensively as a child, thanks to my parents who believe in educating yourself through experience. After graduating high school, I took a gap year and lived in Granada, Spain, where I studied the confluence of Andalusian and North African cultures. Then, I attended Bates College, where I majored in African American Studies and lived/studied abroad in Cuba, Brazil, and Ghana. Read more>>

Majie Lavergne | Abstract Artist

My father was a well-known French Post-Impressionist painter, so painting has always been part of my life. I turned to Abstract painting twenty years ago and moved to Canada. I have been awarded five awards from the Federation of Canadian Artists. My work appeared in more than 20 group and solo shows in Canada, France and US. To me, the slow, tumultuous and magical process of giving birth to a painting, this embrace with life and its mysteries always connects me to Henry Miller’s words….“To paint is to love again”. Read more>>

Fabion 305 | Artist & Humanitarian

I go by the name of “Fabion 305” I’m an artist, entrepreneur, and humanitarian. I’m all about creating change through music and through helping people and nature. Read more>>

Sumer Shaw | Curly lox Box, Monthly Subscription for Curly hair

My name is Sumer, I’m a 30-something female entrepreneur in South Florida. I started my first business making jewelry at 15 years old and that’s when I knew deep down that the entrepreneurial life was my life! I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt to a middle-class family with 3 sisters. My parents pressed hard for getting good education and learning a second language, which little did I know would help me after moving to the United States. Fast forward, after starting a family and trying to make it in the corporate world, I reunited with my love for business and started Curly lox Box. Read more>>

Marta Blanco | President & Founder Sofia’s Hope

Hi! My name is Marta Blanco and I was born in New Orleans, LA to Colombian parents so I am fully bilingual and bi cultural. I consider my most important role to be that of mother to both my girls: Sofia and Gabriela. I moved to So Fl 26 years ago and have been married to my husband, Carlos for over 23 years. Besides supporting my family, my life’s mission is to make a positive impact in the world of childhood cancer. Read more>>

Dr. Luciana Ravazzi | Dentist

My name is Luciana Ravazzi. I am a dentist and have been working in a state-of-the-art dental office in the beautiful neighborhood of Coconut Grove for the past fourteen years performing general, cosmetic and aesthetic Dentistry. Read more>>

Joel Insilo | Educator, Motivational Speaker, Athlete

Currently an educator, motivational speaker and athlete. I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and my family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I currently reside in Miami, Florida and been living here for 3 years. From 1997-1999 I lived in one of the deadliest Civil War in Congo where 5 million folks died and I survived. Read more>>

Seif Sidky | Scalp Micropigmentation Artist

I am Seif Sidky, founder and owner of International Hairlines SMP. We provide scalp micropigmentation services to men and women who are suffering from hair loss, whether it is due to genetics, alopecia or hormone imbalances or any other reason. Scalp micropigmentation is a specialized form of cosmetic tattooing that mimics the look of hair follicles which provides the appearance of fuller hair or a buzzed look. Read more>>

Shantel Davis | Fashion Design

My name is Shantel Davis I am from Miami Florida. I started sewing ever since I was 13 in Home Economics. Then in my high school years it became an addiction, I have a lot of portfolios of sketches that I have done over the years. I started the Colors Are Beautiful back in October 2, 2012 the meaning behind my clothing line is to wear with confidence and class. My designs are unique, ones that you don’t normally find in retail stores. When I create a garment it’s like putting a puzzle together. Read more>>

Leticia Gimeno | Health Coach & Lifestyle Influencer

I’m a food enthusiast and a devoted health coach!! I love to help my clients and get them to really know and love themselves! I provide them with the appropriate tools to finally discover their potential and live a healthy lifestyle Read more>>

Ron B. Wilson | Photographer and Author

My name is Ron B. Wilson, a professional photographer based here in South Florida. My background is in photojournalism and I shoot mostly portraits and weddings for my primary business. After spending the past 25 years starting and working with some of the best and busiest wedding studios in the the country, I started doing projects with Photographers Without Borders about 6 years ago, which has been an amazing experience. I’ve been able to reconnect to my true passion. At PWB, we travel to less fortunate places in the work documenting Resilient people doing amazing work in difficult circumstances. I’ve recently travel to places such as India, Chernobyl Ukraine, Guatemala, Botswana and Guyana. My next project later this year is in Bangladesh. I have a travel photography blog called Art, Style, Flow and my wedding studio name is Ron B. Wilson Photography, Inc. Read more>>

Julie Jeffries | Plant-based health coach, corporate programs and lifestyle expert

Founder and Chief Onion, Julie Jeffries, is a survivor. The story of this awesome organization began with a terrifying diagnosis, only to be followed by an equally grim revelation just a few months later. But the Onion stayed strong, found the right path and believed in herself. As a result, she shocked the medical world by overcoming something “incurable” … all with diet and lifestyle changes that anyone can achieve. Do you love to eat? Do you love to feel incredible? Do you want to eat and feel incredible? We do, too!! Better sleep, more energy, and great health all start with what you put in your mouth. At Not Your Momma’s Vegetables, we teach you how to eat properly, cook amazing food and find a new love for life! You might even cure your “chronic” disease! Join us at the table and remember… these are Not Your Momma’s Vegetables! Read more>>

Rasheeal Dixon | Metaphysics, business and spirituality

Hi my name is Rasheeal Dixon, and I grew up in New York, but from young South Florida has been my second home. I started out as a digital marketer with a love for helping others and connecting with people. While on this journey I met some wonderful people, but I also wound up going through my own personal awakening one that became spiritual. Although I loved the digital marketing world, and loved all that it gave me I felt like my new love for all things spiritual started to consume me. Read more>>

Channin Johnson | Graphic designer, Custom Tees and Content Creator

My name is Channin Johnson and I go by CJ mostly. I am a graphic designer and content creator who loves to create and love the idea that creating can take you so many places. I love to learn and is quite ambitious and goal oriented. Becoming an entrepreneur has been one of the best things I could have done and has been challenging but very rewarding. Read more>>

Meikhel | Founder & CEO, M.E.I. Recordings

I am Meikhel, founder and CEO of M.E.I. Recordings. M.E.I. Recordings is an artist management and public relations company dedicated to discovering artists and elevating their careers from local fame to worldwide stardom. We are based in Miami, FL, but we work with artists from all over. We pride ourselves on aiding artists reach their full potential, particularly focusing on career longevity and legacy. Music from MEI to YOU that WE can enjoy. Read more>>

Zamanta Archibold | Meditation/Yoga Instructor

Like many, I searched for my purpose. I struggled with proving myself and finding what made me happy. Eventually, I saw a glim of light when I began to practice yoga. Now, 20 years later, I have dedicated my life to demonstrate the tools needed to discover, create, and live a life of Joy, Peace, and Balance. That’s how Za Yoga Life came to be (Zamanta Archibold) Yoga Life. So, people ask, how do you stay so calm and positive all the time. The secret is… I am Not! I go through ups and downs just like everyone else, but I use the tools I’ve learned to bring me back to balance. That ability within is Happiness for me, and it makes me happy to share this joy! Read more>>

Collette Dunhill | PRO Makeup Artist & Fashion director

I am Collette Dunhill, Professional Makeup Artist, and Fashion Stylist. I have an extensive career and experience all over the world: New York Fashion Week, working in films, with designers, models, and celebrities. It’s been a huge and long journey to be where I am now but thanks to my hard work and the company and support of my loved ones I’ve been able to overcome every challenge. I’m also really grateful to my parents because they allow me to explore all this creativity I have inside since I was a little kid, letting me paint and draw everywhere, EVEN THE WALLS! Read more>>

Kenny Calderon | Comic Artist, Illustrator, Designer

My name is Kenny Calderon. I am a professional illustrator, sequential artist and designer. I am the owner of “Wild Inx Studioz” and I am an instructor for comic & cartoon art at the Art Shack Miami in Doral , Fl. Read more>>

Teeona | Makeup Artist, Entrepreneur

Hii I’m Teeona, Full Time Makeup Artist, Mom and Creator of Sweet T Kisses. Read more>>

Cemone Glinton | CEO, Owner, Operator

I’m Cemone, CEO of Out of Box Weddings, We’ve been in business since 2012. I wear many hats as most of us do, I’m and entrepreneur, mom, educator, and everything else in-between. My primary business is Out of Box Weddings and I recently opened an on-line boutique call My Everyday Chic Boutique. Out of Box Weddings is the premier luxury event and wedding design and coordinating firm in the South Florida area. We cater to the individuals who are too busy to handle the details of planning/coordinating an event specifically weddings . Read more>>

Nancy Verdule | Business Owner & CEO of Noiré Lux Beauty Bar

My name is Nancy and I am the CEO of Noire Lux Beauty Bar an up and coming beauty brand that caters to both men and women. I spend most of my days and nights in the lab aka my kitchen where I cultivate and formulate products that are made not only ethically but also organically. I proud myself on only using ingredients that grow from Mother Earth herself in my products. I am very much an around the way girl that is passionate about educating , motivating and encouraging those who are around me. I dedicate my time to educating black women and men that our hair is very much desirable , beautiful and manageable. All while trailblazing my own path while changing the narrative about black hair. Read more>>

De’Laija Napier | Marketing Pro & Brand Storyteller

Hi everyone! My name is De’Laija and I’m a brand storyteller at heart. I am the Founder and Chief Strategist at Sunflower Media LLC, a full service marketing agency that caters to small and medium sized businesses. I have worked with clients in food and hospitality, sports entertainment, performing/visual arts, beauty, and other lifestyle brands. I love creating stories that help brands appeal to their audience in the most genuine way possible while creating unique brand experiences. Read more>>

Fritz Sterling | Music Artist

I’m COU, a recording artist from Broward County, FL. I make a wide range of music from hip hop/rap to pop to alternative. I bring the vibes. Read more>>

Sandra Encaoua | Artist & Painter

Of course. I am a French Artist. I have received several awards, including a Miami Art Grant in 2020 from the Andy Warhol Foundation (NY) and the medal from the Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters of Paris (France). I am also a member of the Jewish Art Salon in New York and the Taylor Foundation in Paris. I like to work on large oil and spray canvases. The material is very important to me. I superimpose many layers of paint, spray paint, possibly gold or silver leaf. The surface of the canvas can be scratched or very smooth in different places. This allows me to convey a message that has several levels of interpretation and understanding. I like to leave the viewer the possibility to imagine, to feel what he wants in relation to what he sees. The idea being that there is a resonance between the ‘looking’ and the object looked at and therefore an artistic journey. Read more>>

Donna Muccio | Travel Photographer & Environmentalist

I’m Donna, a travel photographer based in Miami, FL. I’ve spent the past 10 years as a commercial photographer and my work has taken me around the world to so many incredible places. Now I am taking what I’ve learned along the way and turning it into photography education to help others do the same. Read more>>

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