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Inspiring Stories from Miami Beach

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 Miami Beach below.

Bernique Pople

Taste Da Flava is a local authentic Bahamian homemade ice cream business that focuses on creating memorable experiences through our delicious and unique products. It is where flavor meets expectations, and storytelling reignites memories! Taste Da Flava has some humble beginnings. My grandmother is my greatest inspiration behind the business as we always made ice cream together while I was growing up for our family and friends. Also, I would assist her at her annual church fairs as well every summer. In June 2020 of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to start the business that would not only capture tastebuds of consumers but also bring them a sense of nostalgia. Read more>>

Jamiyah Black

I honestly don’t know where to begin. I always had an entrepreneur mindset from a young age. I started my first platform when I was 15 which was YouTube. I use to be in school just finding new creative ideas to upload to my channel. I grew a high platform with YouTube and began selling hair which was “Miyahextensions“ that didn’t last long with me, but I didn’t give up. Not too long after that “MiyahMerch” came about. “Miyah merch“ is my clothing brand. A clothing line that’s based off things I like to wear. After doing great off of my clothing business selling out each drop, I began to do individual lashes “Minkmepink”. Read more>>

Jeremy Palko

I came down to Florida back in 2005 from Seattle Washington to work with the Walt Disney Company aboard the Disney Cruise Line. After a few years sailing the high seas, dancing like a pirate, and performing, I decided to stay in Orlando and pursue acting. I also worked with Universal Studios for nearly a decade performing in various shows such as the Bill and Ted show at Halloween horror nights and Dr. Suess’ Grinchmas. Read more>>

Catherine Dennig

It started with my cat named Simba, who was my pride and joy. I call my loved ones (parents, sister, best friends) Simba, Yimba, Yimbi as my term of endearment because of him. I had grown up with pets, but Simba was the first I was financially responsible for. It hit me hard when he was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma, cancer, and treatment cost $12,000. As a college student, I had to decide whether to go into debt to save his life. He passed away a week later and I carried that with me as I finished college and started working at Facebook and living in the Bay Area. Read more>>

Frank Vomero

Fitness and wellness had always been quite separate to me. Let’s face it, many fitness regimens do not focus on the importance of rest and relaxation. I experienced the need to blend the two as I moved through my career as a professional dancer and actor. The need to balance the body (fitness) and the mind (wellness) became imperative for longevity. The theatre became a haven for me during my high school years as I was navigating difficult family dynamics at home. It was a place where I could freely create and be supported. My high school musical days lead me to moving to New York City in 2012 where I continued my training and the pursuit of the New York dream. Read more>>

Larissa Thompson

I grew up moving all over the world, as an Army brat, while my parents served the US Military from places like Frankfurt Germany to Washington DC. During my childhood, we traveled extensively and were always finding new and exciting places to explore. My parents really instilled a love of adventure in us (my 3 little brothers & I), and it stuck with us! Early on, as we toured cities old and new, I realized how inspired I was with the beauty of the built world and my dream of becoming an architect was born. So naturally, in our family, going to college meant I would be free of my current homestead and encouraged to fly as far as needed to stoke my wanderlust flame deep within. Read more>>

Naomi Garrick

My journey actually started working in the hospitality industry in Jamaica, working as a Sales Manager at one of the top luxury hotels on the island. However, after almost 2 years in this role, I realized that being away from my friends and family as well as the long hours were not ideal for the lifestyle that I had envisioned for myself. I made a decision to move back to my home in Kingston, uncertain of what my next step would be. An opportunity presented itself to me to work with a new media company that specialized in reggae and dancehall music in the role of Sales & Marketing Coordinator – I worked at that company for almost 5 years in the capacity of Sales & Marketing Manager and while in that role, I also started doing some publicity work for some of our notable reggae and dancehall artistes. Read more>>

Sam Saenz

I own two businesses that may seem very different, however, they both deal with language, human behavior, and mindset. My first business is Dollar Saenz Media, a digital agency where I use my 10+ years of professional experience as a UX Content Strategist to help companies create websites, social media, and blog content that clearly articulates their mission, brand, and services, to help increase sales. Read more>>

Elisabel Rosas

Art has always been a huge part of my life, I have been drawing since I was in middle school, took classes in high school and college. I began lettering in 2019 trying to make something for my little brother. While doing so I didn’t like the outcome of what I had made so I decided to start practicing. That’s how my journey with lettering began. I loved lettering and it was a way to do something that gave me peace and that I loved. started posting what I was practicing, and people showed an interest, which ultimately let me to opening my own business. I incorporate my lettering with my drawing skills and make custom wood signs. Read more>>

Jackie E.

As a former Division 1 Basketball player turned media personality and content creator, my story is unique, layered, and still being written. I started playing basketball at the age of 3 and I owe that to the basketball family I grew up in. With my father and grandfather being so heavily involved in the world of basketball, my brothers and I instantly fell in love with the game and never looked back. Being a basketball player played a major role in my love for sneakers and styling sneakers. I had a very decorated high school basketball career. I was a 1,000-point scorer, MSG tri-state player of the week, #1 3-point shooter in North Jersey, and the accolades continued. Read more>>

Sylvie Coulange

I started off as a small catering business 5 years ago, born out of passion for cooking, sharing, socializing. My purpose at the time was to make simply good-tasting, healthy, and visually beautiful food available. Cooking inspires creativity, enhances mindfulness, and stirs up happiness. It’s table therapeutics and floured meditation… While it was all about food in the first place, I quickly realized through important feedback that there was so much more I could give and share. Read more>>

Gabby Lubin

In my second year as a teacher, I worked 12-hour days 6 days a week. My mentors modeled this unrealistic behavior, so I thought it was the expectation even if not written. This all-or-nothing mindset resulted in my first burnout. Blaming my profession, I tried another. Does this sound familiar? It’s possible you’ve been in my shoes, too. Changing professions didn’t solve my problem. Before I was 30 years old, I had experienced burnout nearly 3 times. But the problem I realized was not me; it is a cultural-systemic problem. Read more>>

Tracy Memoli

I was working as a publicist in the corporate PR world and left my job to pursue my passion in the food and beverage industry. I always loved frozen cocktails, but they were always filled with a lot of sugar and bad ingredients. I was shocked that a healthier option didn’t exist, and I wanted to change that. Together, with my life-long love for ice pops, I set out to create gourmet, low alcohol-infused ice pops without any added sugars, syrups, or dyes. Read more>>

Danny Jelaca

I moved here from Minneapolis 30 years ago and worked for Stella salon as a stylist until it became defunct in 2007. I worked for a couple salons after that really motivated me to open my own Salon. There is no beautiful boutique high-end salon that is departmentalized on Miami Beach. So, I created the space. First a small 900 sq ft salon for 5 years and now a 2200 sq for salon that is a one-stop shop including med spa component. With services not only for haircut, styling, and color but for skin care services, Botox, filler, collagen threads, iv drips. Emsculpt, emtone, emsella. Read more>>

Darrick Foster

It all started out in 5th form (grade 11) high school at the age of 15, simply after picking up my mums DSLR which was hanging around. My mum was a communications consultant and would have to take pictures for her job to make captions for press releases however she hardly used it. I had lived in a community that had a lot of friends my age who I would later use as practice to shoot. I also found a lot of joy in taking pictures of random things like grass, flowers, textures, and generally anything I could capture. What made the process fun though was using those images and further enhancing them on the computer (something at the time that no one would really do. Read more>>

Ashlei Lewis

I am ASHLEI LEWIS, M.A. CRIMINOLOGIST, NEUROTECH ENGINEER, CERTIFIED INTEGRATIVE WELLNESS COACH in NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING, EMOTION-FOCUSED THERAPIES, HYPNOTHERAPY. I am a researcher who is enthusiastic about learning more about balance and alignment. I’m determined to go the route of excellence and service. By providing life experiences, useful resources, and spiritual guidance to align one’s divine existence, authentic meaning of their life’s purpose through the power of awareness, intimacy, and trust, I assist those whose calling is to be transformers and change-makers in our world in achieving a clear vision for their lives. Read more>>

Jilo Belhadef

Beliard – L’art du chapeau Beliard is a Maison where hats are handmade in Ecuador and designed in France symbolizing the union of two passionate souls. Jilo Belhadef, Founder, was steward in a luxury airline. After traveling the world, it is in Latin America and more precisely in Ecuador that he decides to change his life and devote himself to his passion for fashion and design. For Jilo, accessories are not the finale touch but the main on that comes dress a look. He likes pieces having the privilege to bring a chic, but also casual note and his favorite has always been hats! Let’s start the adventure! Read more>>

Christina Castine

I’ve always had a touch of crafty magic. It was definitely gifted to me by my mother, who is the Queen of Craft. I had taken interest in making bath & body products years ago but never really followed that spark of interest. Fast forward to today and I thought why not! There is no time better than now…and then I was hooked. It took me by complete surprise how well-received my soap creations were by my friends and family. Overall, it’s been a really fun learning experience.  Read more>>

Alina Villasante

In 1999, I began an annual tradition of gathering all the women I love in my life for what I called the Love Party. I designed and gifted T-shirts, jewelry, and pajamas incorporating symbols of peace, love, and happiness. The positive response I got from my friends and family inspired me to take my love for fashion to the next level. After 17 years in the Aviation industry, in 2009, I bought an excessive amount of inventory with no industry knowledge but a lot of passion and began Peace Love World. Read more>>

Alina Poloboc

I was a little girl in Moldova that loved painting in school. I never imagined that one day it would become both my passion and profession. In Moldova, I studied International Relations and Political Science. After graduating I worked as a TV presenter. In 2013 I moved to Italy where I started a new life. There I began to dedicate more and more time to painting. In 2015 I moved to Palma de Mallorca. This is where I transformed my passion into my profession. Here my life as an artist became very intense with my first of many exhibitions and further immersion into the world of art. In 2022 my life changed again and I moved to Miami-a dream for many artists all over the world. Read more>>

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