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Community Highlights:

The community highlights series is one that our team is very excited about.  We’ve always wanted to foster certain habits within the community – one of them being the habit of shouting out others within the community that you feel are doing great work.  Building others up is essential to a strong, thriving small business and creative ecosystem and so this series is where we ask members of the community to introduce us to their clients, fans, suppliers and others they’ve worked with and admired and we ask those fans, clients and suppliers to share their own stories as well as their experience working with the folks who introduced them to us.  We hope you’ll enjoy this series and more importantly will be inspired to build others up.

Vivian Hawker

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and had an amazing childhood, with loving parents and two siblings. Life felt good as a kid. I was pretty curious and inquisitive as a child, wondering what was there before us? Before people, animals, the Earth? Was there just sky? Nothingness? Was there darkness? And if so, isn’t darkness still something? How did we get here and why are we here? My sister and I used to try to imagine what there was before all that is our reality now and it would always have us unravel into a spiral of more questions. If I asked an adult, I would receive the response of “This is just the way it is”…. Basically stop questioning. Read more>>

Cassidy Miller

I’d bet my story really isn’t that unique. Like so many others, I experience immense joy when listening to music or watching a theater performance. I like to paint; I like to sing, and I really love being on stage. Though some people will stop at just the enjoyment piece, my immersion in the arts has really shaped who I am and who I will one day become. Read more>>

Siobhan Silva

I have been in the hair industry for 17 years and recently opened my own one-chair non-toxic salon in Seminole Heights. My journey to this point was one I never could have imagined. I graduated college in 2002 from Florida State University and pivoted my career choice sooner after when I decided to go to hair school at the Aveda Institute in St. Petersburg. I knew I wanted to work and learn from the best. The hair industry looked a lot different back then than it does now. I thought I would be content always working for others but after turning 35, I decided I wanted to do things my way. I chose to align myself with hair brands that are unique in vision and created a private one-on-one experience for my clients at The Luna Parlor. Read more>>

Kristty Boyce-Ferrer

My name is Kristty I started one of my businesses 11 years ago, being an entrepreneur was always a passion. When I started this journey it was really a struggle as most people in Panama was not into online shopping, but I never give up, I remember using my mother’s car to deliver the goods to people. Read more>>

Arielle Haughee

I had always dreamed of owning my own business. I enjoy project management, marketing, long-term planning, and networking. But I thought it would always be just a dream. After having my kids, I’d started writing as a way to keep my brain occupied. I sent in short stories to contests and publications and started having luck. I dreamed of traditional publication by a big press. Read more>>

Damian Evans

My journey ultimately started when I moved to Savannah, GA from Atlanta, GA and attended Savannah State University in 2008. While attending Savannah State I developed skills that I apply to this very day. The first two skills came as a bundle, “Commitment” and your “Why.” At this time, I was 19 years old with a 9-month-old baby daughter in a new city as a Freshman in college. To support myself and my daughter, I worked two jobs while being enrolled full time at Savannah State. I literally would leave class in the afternoon then go to work until nighttime. Afterwards, I switched clothes in the bathroom of my first job to work the nightshift at my second job. In the morning after my nightshift ended, I’d change clothes in my dorm with just enough time to attend class. I can still remember the vision of my peers on campus walking to class from a nice night of sleep in their dorms. Meanwhile, I’m just pulling up from working overnight rushing to change clothes for class. Looking back, I realize that vision served a purpose. It showed me how far I was willing to go to provide for my daughter and still complete college to provide a better life for her. Thus, the “Why” was connected to the “Commitment”. When you mix the two, you’ll do things others cannot fathom……. then you will begin to obtain things others cannot. Read more>>

Mariel De Moya

I got to where I am today when two roads converged. My first road started in advertising, as a creative director. I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, where I started my career and worked until I immigrated over a decade ago. The second road is longer, and it started in my childhood. It’s my journey as a psychic medium. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been receiving messages from the “other side.” Although I tried to ignore that part of myself for a long time, I finally (four decades into my life) have come to embrace it. And that’s where the roads converged: I’m a creative director, with a passion for branding and dedicated to working with people and organizations with a social purpose. I am also an entrepreneur with a nascent business as a psychic medium. Read more>>

Colt Roberts

I’m the son of a retired Senior Chief in the US Navy and a domestic goddess AKA stay at home Mom. They have definitely been my inspiration and raised me to be a responsible individual full of love and dedication. I traveled around quite a bit as a child due to being a military family. My dad retired at NAS Key West so I spent the latter part of my elementary school years in the Florida Keys. We enjoyed a ton of fishing down there living in a tropical paradise. What an amazing part of the country. Read more>>

Fernanda Reaño

My company’s name is FerKnot Event Group, an Event and Wedding Planning Company that produces all kinds of Special Events, Social Events, Corporate Events and Weddings in Florida, the Caribbean and beyond. I started my career in the Wedding Industry in 2010 while working for a Bridal Boutique on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale. The owners of the boutique were very involved in the South Florida Community and I got introduced to a lot of people at different events and started building a strong network in the industry. In 2012 I landed a job at an Event and Wedding Planning Firm in Fort Lauderdale, planning and executing Social Events, Non-Profit Galas, Luxury Weddings, Corporate Events, and so much more. After many years of gaining the experience of becoming a Lead Planner and planning over 200 Events and Weddings in Florida and Bahamas, I decided it was time to branch out and I launched my own company. Read more>>

Julia Samuels

My background in journalism started out in high school. I was on the editorial staff for the school paper and wrote for the Sun-Sentinel’s high school program, Next Generation. I attended the University of Florida for undergrad. Interned for local magazines and Sister 2 Sister magazine. From graduation, I started Worthy Magazine™️ which is a multicultural lifestyle publication. I also handled social media and my column (Style & Substance) for the Miami Times newspaper. Now Worthy Magazine™️ is growing as a lifestyle brand and has led to “Worthy Magazine’s Dining With Friends” and “A Worthy House” a home to in-house lifestyle products such as Worthy Skin, Worthy Physics and Worthy Roots Herbary. Read more>>

Sasha Bellentine

Well…I’m a pop songwriter from Massachusetts. I’ve been writing music my whole life but Freshman year of High School I began sharing snippets of my original songs on Instagram. This evolved to posting music I wrote and produced on Soundcloud. Through social media I met a few other artists and songwriters and began creating a community of musicians which felt crazy given how small the town I grew up in was. I was always really big on learning people’s origin stories/career paths so throughout High School I did a ton of research on other songwriters who I looked up to and how they started out. Read more>>

Mimi Ghandour

I was born in Paris and grew up in Saudi Arabia. I studied interior design in college and worked in that field for a little bit before becoming a mother of two beautiful kids. After the birth of my second child, we realized that she was suffering from a developmental disability and it was my commitment to getting her the best medical care that made me relocate my family from Saudi Arabia to Miami, Florida eight years ago, where I now live. During this difficult transition of moving to the United States and handling my daughter’s medical treatments, I became engrossed in yoga and the peace and clarity it provided me. I then became a certified yoga instructor and started teaching at studios all over Miami and building a community on Instagram. Once the pandemic hit in 2020, I decided to make the leap from teaching in-person to expanding my yoga community by launching my online platform MimiYoga.com that now has members from all over the world. Read more>>

Naomi Mendes-Pouget

For as long as I can remember, I have always deep down been a disruptor. I’ve questioned the way things are ‘always done’, and then proven why and how they can be done differently. I’ve gone against the grain, even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do. Read more>>

Stephanie Tablada

My career in the hospitality industry started purely by chance. My best friend was working as a Front Desk agent at a hotel and told me how much fun it was to work in a hotel, he recommended me for a Front Desk agent opening and I got the job! Within just the first few years in this role my passion for hotels, warm hospitality, and bespoke customer service quickly grew — making it clear that I belonged in this industry, but hadn’t quite found the perfect department fit for me. In just two and a half years as a Front Desk Agent and PBX Operator, I learned everything I could about Front of the House operations. Feeling like my learning had plateaued, I decided to take my talents to the Accounting department, and was quickly challenged and embraced the opportunity to learn more. After one year in the Accounting Department and working closely with the Sales & Events Team, I knew that I needed to crossover to Sales. I got the opportunity to become the Sales Administrative Assistant for the hotel’s top producer and the rest is history! I grew from Sales Administrative Assistant to Conference Services Manager to Group Sales Manager to Associate Director of Sales and then was promoted to Director of Sales in February 2020. Read more>>

Liraz Stilman

As a little girl, I was always very curious and used my eyes as a tool to explore the world around me. I would stare out of the car window for hours, asking my mom about every little sight that we passed. As I grew older, these curiosities translated to a more academic setting – I wanted to learn and gain as much knowledge as I possibly could. In first grade, I begged my mom to get me “gifted” tested so that I could learn more in elementary school, in middle school I took a math classes that were two grades ahead, and in high school I piled on AP courses. Read more>>

Teresa Perez

As a young child I always looked for creative outlets to immerse myself into. I was either putting together a craft, decorating something, planning my next coordinated “fashion” outfit or my all Time favorite writing and being able to express my thoughts and feelings freely. Read more>>

Gabriela Akel

On October 8th, 2000, I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when time leaped forward one hour at midnight. As the seed of two parents who worked commerce and business jobs, I hopped around South America and the Caribbean with them. We went from São Paulo to Uruguay, to the Dominican Republic, and back to São Paulo. Although each place brushed off its familiar spirit on me, I spent a significant portion of my life in Brazil, where my entire family still lives. From a very young age, I was obsessed with keeping my hands busy. My mother received a curious phone call from the daycare when I was about a year and a half old explaining that I wasn’t allowing other children to play with me in the small, plastic, pretend kitchen they had. That I would hog the sand molds in that small corner and play by myself all day long- shaping sand into different objects, decorating them with leaves and rocks, enchanted by my little world. Read more>>

Woolpunk

Currently, I am the Director of Cultural Affairs and of the Benjamin J. Dineen, III & Dennis C. Hull Gallery at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, New Jersey. The College’s gallery is located in the Gabert Library across from the Journal Square transportation hub, with gallery views of Manhattan. I double as the artist Woolpunk. Currently, have work featured in an outdoor exhibition, ReGrowth, curated by Karin Bravin in Riverside Park in NYC. My work was also recently inducted into the permanent collection of the Montclair Art Museum and is on view in a recent acquisitions exhibition. Read more>>

Sara Ortiz

Skincare has helped me find my life’s purpose. I come from the Dominican Republic, a country where women get weekly blow-outs and never miss their night cream. I remember I would play so much with my mom’s makeup that my parents had to get me my own set at age 5. My dream was to be a plastic surgeon and a model, I also loved learning about science. Read more>>

Leah Poller

As I end my 4th decade as a sculptor, a synergistic coming together of the past, present and future now seems to be holding more promise than I ever expected in a creative lifetime. I love the quote: “I came to a fork in the road, and I took it.” . Nothing could better describe this moment. Forty years ago, with divorce pending, I took my 3 children (10,7,4) to France for a summer of study. Almost accidentally, just putting one foot in front of the other, the 3 months turned into 22 years during which time I was able to pursue my dream of a fine arts education at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Beaux Arts of Paris, a financially rewarding career in the arts (art book publishing, cinema, exhibition curation, art criticism, as well as trade fair organization and marketing). Read more>>

Matt Shaw

I’d describe myself as a late bloomer. Growing up, I never met a writer, journalist or an editor. I didn’t know any working artists. I might have met folks who played music, but certainly no musicians. I went to college. Got a degree (in economics). I always had teachers, and later professors, who said I should be a writer. But I had absolutely no clue what that meant. I graduated college in 2008, in the midst of the Great Recession. There were no jobs. Things were bleak. I ducked back into academia. Got a Masters in education and history. Again, I had mentors who encouraged me to pursue writing and/or even higher education.  Read more>>

Nicole Galle

Hello thank you for inquiring about me. Well I was born & raised in an under privileged neighborhood in the bronx New York but I’ve been living in Miami Beach for the last 6 years. I’m a mom/entrepreneur. I run a small vintage/vintage inspired shop online. I also rollerskate but not professionally . I’m also an artist specializing in acrylics & I’ve recently decided to focus on building a social media presence on YouTube/tiktok. Im really happy to have someone like Cilverbow in my community. As an artist & an athlete these things take a huge toll on my finger nails so having a nail tech as reliable & specialized like my mom friend is a big deal to me. I grew up in an area where opportunities could be limited to you depending on your class or race. I’m really grateful for the life I have now. Read more>>

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