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Fort Lauderdale’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageMIA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the South Florida’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out inspiring stories from Fort Lauderdale below.

Chadwick Pendley and Igor Araujo

When I was 8 years old I had found an image of a haircut that I thought was awesome. I went to my guy and showed him the torn magazine page and asked to have my haircut like the model in the picture. He nailed it. I felt like I could do anything in that moment and I felt like I was the most important boy around. I was confident and I was happy wearing a smile that must have lasted as long as the haircut. It was later that day I knew that I wanted to help others feel the same way about themselves that I felt that day. I decided then and there in a small town in KY that I would cut hair. I started immediately after high school with my training and I trained every opportunity I could and I trained everywhere I could. I remember once driving 7 hours just to see someone cut hair and learn his techniques. When his class was finished I drove the same 7 hours in order to be back at the salon the following day and share these techniques with my clients. Read More>>

Dr. April Patterson

April “Dr. Patty” Patterson started her very own dental boutique in the hopes of creating something special for her clients. Dr. Patty has heard countless horror stories from friends and clients alike about going to the dentist, and was more than a little disappointed to see the dental industry viewed in such a negative light. Since completing her residency at the University of Michigan, she has made it her goal to turn these stereotypes on their head and pave the way for a better dental experience. Read More>>

Alfredo Valentine

I was introduced to the world of photography at the age of 16. My father brought home a Canon Rebel G film camera and my fascination took off. I was a hardcore enthusiast and spent every penny on photography gear. I bought the best lenses, books, flash units and this continued through high school and college where I would minor in photography. Read More>>

Andrea Harborne

UK born, my background lay in marketing management for non-profit organizations and education. I’m also a qualified interior designer and have a diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I’m always hungry to learn and be creative. But something was still missing… Read More>>

Melinda Bernstein

Being raised in the Reform tradition left me yearning for a deeper connection to God. After marrying and having two children and still yearning, Hurricane Andrew destroyed our family home in 1992. I took it as a sign from God and raised two children in marriage in the Orthodox tradition. The experience gave me a deeper connection to God, as I learned Hebrew by attending an Orthodox Synagogue. It was a sanctuary that provided comfort until difficult marriage eventually fell apart in 2005 and so did my devotion to Orthodox Judaism as well. Read More>>

Darlan Lopes

My story started way after my boss Christian Wolthers. I started with Viking Surfboards as a team rider about 10 years ago, when he asked me to manager Viking Surfboards, here in Fort Lauderdale, after a few years. We Started Viking Surf Camp taking the roots of surfing and all the expertise to teach kids and also adults to surf and what our lifestyle stands for. As Camp Founder and operator, my vision along with Christian Wolthers is to work with the community and have more and more people practicing our sport and enjoying the healthy lifestyle. Read More>>

Tony Ozegovich

I always grew up around cameras, but didn’t really take notice until my freshmen year of college, had done some film stuff messing around but nothing to serious. At the time I was into graffiti and photojournalism a lot… So naturally, with my book money from financial aid I bought myself a nice new camera and started making relationships with the entire street art community throughout Miami. As I started to do more, I started taking on different challenges. I worked for a bunch of different studios, which in turn helped me be more technical and really work out the kinks in the digital world.  Read More>>

Larisa Doherty

When I was around 20 I started studying martial arts in NY. This eventually led to me becoming a kick-boxing instructor in my dojo. I decided to expand and add more skills and became a personal trainer. Then a few years’ later anxiety and panic attacks led me to a Yoga certification. And finally, a few years later I obtained a Pilates certification. In 2003 I moved to Ft. Lauderdale where I started teaching private Pilates in a very small space inside a private gym. This 100 square foot place eventually turned into the 2000 square foot Pilates and Yoga studio where I am now located. In addition to personal and small group training in Pilates and Yoga, I have also obtained an alternative medicine bachelor degree and practice private wellness coaching. Finally, private meditation sessions are now my favorite program offered at the studio as I feel this leads to deepest levels of well-being. Read More>>

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