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Inspiring Stories from Kendall

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 Miami’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 Kendall below.

Cristina Gagliano

When I was little I was always obsessed with pictures my grandmother kept in a box she brought from Cuba. As I grew older, she mentioned that she had to sneak them out of the country because she was not allowed to take them with her. That information made all those family pictures all the more special. In essence pictures mark endless milestones and becoming a mother catapulted me to want to document the little things that I couldn’t pay another photographer to capture. Read more>>

Franco Lopez

I was born in Chile in the early 70’s, raised in Catholic School until age 16 when I moved to the US. I studied Theatre in High School and College, and performed in a number of productions for 6 years or so, it was an amazing time in my life and enjoyed it very much. Now in my mid 40’s I practice photography and have found a way to continue to express myself artistically. Read more>>

Christine Russo

After practicing law for nearly three years, I came to the realization that I was never going to love it and that if I didn’t make some changes, I would always be unhappy. So in 2015, I abruptly quit my career as a lawyer to pursue the art of photography. I didn’t know where it would lead, or whether I would succeed at making a business out of it. But I knew I loved it, and that was enough for me. Read more>>

Andrew Marrero

When I was younger, I never really knew what I was going to pursue later in life. I didn’t have any set plans. All I knew was that I loved life and living in the moment. To me photography was a hobby; just a camera your father or mother would pull out during special occasions, like birthdays, graduations, vacations and so on. I looked at the photo albums of my past generations filled with images taken from an old Polaroid and your basic Kodak point-and-shoot film cameras that were around at the time. Read more>>

Javier Forbes and Raul Maquiera

Raul has been my barber since 2007. In mid-2012, Raul mentioned and opportunity to open in a great location. We wasted no time and signed a lease immediately. And after 1.5 years of permits and construction, we opened Cutsfactory Dec. 23, 2014. Hell no. We had a dream to create a regular shop and 50k budget to build the shop. After seeing what other shop were doing, we decided to go all out and spent 250k to create CutsFactory. Modern barber shop. Read more>>

Derek Casas

I’m a portrait photographer based and raised in Miami. I didn’t grow up with too many artistic opportunities so once I got old enough to make my own money, I always spent it on learning, enjoying, and creating visual media. I started out making short sketch videos on YouTube and that turned into a passion for capturing people on camera. Relatively speaking, yea it’s been a smooth road. Read more>>

Miren Oca

Ocaquatics Swim School started in February of 1994 with swimming instruction in our client’s homes. In September of 1994 we moved into our first location, the Hotel Vila of South Miami where programs ran until November 1997. From 1996 to 2012, Ocaquatics taught lessons each summer at the Wellness Center of the University of Miami to various summer camps and the MiniCanes Sports Camp. In March of 1998, we moved into the Country Club of Coral Gables where we operated our program seasonally from May to October each year until 2008. We also started a year round program at Gulliver Academy in June 2001 until May 2013. Read more>>

Melissa Quintana

I was born and raised in Miami from Cuban immigrant parents. I attended high school and college in Miami. I realized I wanted to become a dentist around the age of 18. I ended up getting my Masters Degree in Biomedical Science and then started Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine here in South Florida. After 9 years of school, I knew I wanted to open my own practice as soon as possible. I worked for several dental offices as an associate dentist until I found an office for sale in the same area I grew up in. Read more>>

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