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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.

Jordan “X”

Started tattooing in 07 in New Jersey. Moved to Miami to pursue a professional tattoo career. Worked in a number of shops starting off building my portfolio and honing my skills. Had the dream of opening a tattoo shop and making a name for myself. In 2011 opened Exclusive Ink, few years later was changed to X ink, and now operating under Oxygen Ink. Read more>>

Jeremy Shmalo, Justin Adderly, and Mark Veszi

The company was founded by Michael Robbins and Jeremy Shmalo in 2010. We started by doing deals just among friends and family. Our 1st year in business we helped consult on 80 deals. This year we will consult about 2000. Our mission is to car consult and not car sell our customers. The road is always bumpy but we just keep our heads down and keep doing the right thing by our customers. Read more>>

Nicole Pritchett

It’s quite a funny story, and the more you know about my story, the more it seems apparent that there is some type of “energy” guiding us along! I was visiting my parents from London and they had invited an old friend over, Sally, someone I hadn’t seen since I was in my teens. Sally was talking about a documentary she had seen that changed her life. It just so happens that I had produced the documentary she was talking about and she had absolutely no idea. Read more>>

Federico A. Cassino and Sofia Rodriguez Kandeler

We had a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But every time we came to Miami (on vacation), we loved everything here. The lifestyle, the peace, the people, the weather, everything. So each time we came we were more sure we wanted to live here. Also, Miami is growing at a gastronomic level so fast, that we wanted to be a part of it. So we decided to come to live here after we got married! And so we did, two weeks after we got married here we were! Federico is the Chef he studied culinary School in Buenos Aires and worked at Hisop, a restaurant in Barcelona with Michelin Star. Read more>>

Roxane Villar

In the early 1990’s Dr. Ronald W. Shane saw the potential for a watersports facility on the Indian Creek Waterway and asked the City of Miami Beach for a long term lease on a piece of land. The City leased the land and made a contribution of seed money, together with Dr. Shane and the University of Miami. In July 1995 the Miami Beach Watersports Center, Inc. received charitable recognition from the IRS and the Miami Beach Rowing Club was born. Read more>>


I got started in to DJing on a radio station as a personality, but I started to have really good House parties with really good music that nobody had and people were asking me for my music. I didn’t give it to him and I started selling CDs and became very successful. Following the parties and CDs, my sorority started throwing parties which requires a ride variety of music and they knew that I had that and they kind of pushed me to do live DJ set. Read more>>

Gloribel Gonzalez

I grew up with 12 sisters and being one of the youngest I was always fascinated watching them do their makeup and hair. At the age of 14, I went to a sweet 16 party and I was demanded to do the birthday girls eyebrows and makeup. I felt overwhelmed because I knew she was expecting a professional look. I was very surprised at the results and I never forgot that rewarding moment of being able to make someone look and feel more beautiful. Read more>>

Billy Ruiz

Billy became an assistant to Cami, the owner of Cami Salon in the Bal Harbor Shops at the age of 18. He learned everything from his mentor Cami and at the age of 25 he went on to work in Stella Salon on South Beach. He became the Master Colorist, and perfected his trade. In 2008, Billy proudly opened up his own salon, Cami Salon & Spa in honor of his late mentor. Read more>>

April Tambor

As a very busy medical practitioner, I did not have unlimited hours to spend at a spa and have facials done, but I suffered from adult acne so I needed a facial treatment to deep clean my skin and clear the acne. So, the laser facial concept and business idea started. During the business development stages, my cousin Michelle graduated from dental school and we felt that skin and smile were equally important, and that is how Clean Lines was born. Read more>>

Luis Cardenas

Ours is a story of the right speed and pace. The story of how an idea can help others, through quality, perception and details. We noticed how little options you had. Either: enormous faceless big brands, that didn’t pay enough attention to that particular requirement you have, or corporations with cheap prices for anything, but low quality and no way to support you in the long term. Read more>>

Claudia Lopez

Everything began in Colombia. When I was a teenager, my mother would decorate her courtyard with a vast collection of clay pots and ferns in weaved baskets. I would place them at the entrance of the living room, dining room and in the hallways and form small landscape corners. I would play with the height, color and texture of the plants and place big empty bottles of wine next to them to add another dimension, it would look beautiful and all her friends would admire my play time decorations. Read more>>

Mark Pugachev

I made a decision to create this company very spontaneously; however, I had experience and knowledge to make it successful. We have been on the market for almost 3 years and definitely are not planning to stop. Our key to success is that we are carefully and painstakingly choosing all our partners and working on improving the quality of service. Furthermore, we are establishing new connections and expending the list of our services. Read more>>

Kimberly Falconer

With a background as a senior executive in Public Relations for a large publicly held firm, I was looking to break out on my own and for something that would be a true joy to wake up to everyday. Being a South Florida native, I grew up on the water with family fishing, diving and boating trips every weekend and summers spent doing the same in the Florida Keys. Read more>>

Danny Jelaca

I came to Miami from Chicago and Minneapolis in the early nineties to work for a celebrity colorist Johanna Stella. I worked my way to becoming styling director. Working on editorials, fashion shows, red carpet, and Miami’s elite. After the salon closed I decided to go on my own. Opening my first departmentalized high-end boutique in the prestigious south of fifth neighborhood. Read more>>

Anthony F Magaldi

Born and raised in NYC. Came down for Spring Break one year and moved here the following summer. Had no real intention of being in the restaurant biz, but needed a job badly. Met someone that had a friend that worked at the Forge. I was 19. NO experience. The maitre’d who did the hiring asked me the ingredients of 3 drinks. I messed them all up. Read more>>

Alberto Cancio

Good quality services, high customer services, and positive mind. Very smooth, we attract what we more thinking about. We specialize in any kind of railings from luxury to regular design, we all are the same the difference is in our mind, before we think in how much we’ll charge we first think in how much our customer will be satisfied. Bob Proctor. Read more>>

Jake Shekels

I didn’t have much of a choice to start working in the scuba industry. My grandfather open Tarpoon Skin Dive Center located in Hialeah in 1956. He passed away in 1988 and all 4 of his daughters jumped right in and started running the business. In 1997 my mother Valerie kevorkian open up Tarpoon Lagoon on Miami Beach. While I was growing up I spent a lot of time in the dive shop. Read more>>

Joseph Morrone

I’m a creative person and at a certain age want to renew themselves, well I’m one of those people. I left Chicago 7 years ago and came to Miami for a new start. Which is what many people do and that’s just one of the things I love about Miami Beach, it stokes one’s dreams and passions. How I got to where I am today? Via hard work, persistence and consistency of drive. If would have been a smooth ride, I would be suspicious. Read more>>

Lori Zito

Choices was birthed as a labor of love and passion by founder Alex Cuevas and his brother Jorge. Both had been vegan for over 20 years, and they had a dream of one day opening a vegan cafe that would allow even the most skeptical foodies to try and fall in love with plant-based foods. They chose Miami to plant their roots because plant-based awareness was sorely lacking here, and they wanted to open their business in a city where they could make the greatest impact. At the core of their mission was – and remains- the reduction of animal suffering. Read more>>

Dana Lynn Smith and Marcelo Baird

It maybe hard to believe, but Dana Lynn actually started her career as a wedding photographer and videographer as a senior in high school, back in Pittsburgh. With this experience under her belt she went straight to college in 2004 on scholarship to the Miami International University of Art and Design. She attended the university as a film major, but later realized her passion was in photography. As a self-taught photographer, she has since been powering through life not only creating beautiful photos but simultaneously building a brand which currently employs over 40 people. Read more>>

Maria Izaurralde

When I first picked up a camera I would take it everywhere and photograph people around me. My friends would end up with these great photos that they’d use on their social media. They would tell me about people’s reactions to their photos which made me realize the value of the images. So now on my shoots I replicate that playfulness and spontaneity. We plan some things in advance but leave a lot of it up to chance, like we’ll just plan on a meeting place and we walk around while I look for good lighting and backdrops. Read more>>

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