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Inspiring Stories from North Miami

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 North Miami below.

Anastasia Koutsioukis

Mr. Mandolin was birthed during the pandemic. We had this idea and concept in mind for quite some time, but when we decided to reopen during these unprecedented times, we created this new concept out of necessity, realizing that more people were looking for healthy takeout options. It turned out that a fast and casual style of dining that was takeout friendly worked really well for the community and neighborhoods here in the Upper East Side in Miami, also known as the historical Mimo district. The neighborhood and our established Mandolin patrons were very supportive. We are close to many residential neighborhoods and creative freelancers who can come and enjoy a fast meal, work from our location or have the food delivered to their homes. We use the same purveyors as we do at Mandolin, so we get good quality food in a casual atmosphere at an affordable price point. Read more>>

Tamika Bickham

I began my career in the local TV news business. I was first a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Montgomery, Alabama, covering everything from state politics to tornadoes, and college football. Then, I came back to South Florida (where I attended the University of Miami – Go Canes!) to join WPLG Local 10 News as a reporter and fill-in anchor. But at some point, I knew that local TV news wasn’t my forever. I wanted to have positive community stories and get away from chasing crime and breaking news. I wanted to have more of an impact and tell stories. Fast forward seven years out of the TV news business, a few full-time jobs later, I am running my own video and content marketing agency, where we help health, happiness, and purpose-driven brands tell authentic stories and connect with their audiences through organic content. Read more>>

Imani Gooden

I am a singer-songwriter, recording artist, vocal coach, creative director, and a new author. Overall, I am an artist. Give me a brush and I will paint. Music has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a single-parent household proved to be both dysfunctional, yet resourceful. I channeled much of my emotions via songwriting and had written ten songs by age 15. Heavily influenced by my mother’s love of Motown, Dance, Hip hop, Neo Soul, Reggae, dancehall, Soca and Disney musicals, my musical interests transcended genres. Today, I am proud of my accomplishments, which include placement on the BET movie soundtrack “Lucky Girl”, the release of my solo album “Heart V Mind,” and the recent release of “What About Us,” a collaborative song for Fibroid Awareness month. After losing my mother to uterine Fibroids turned cancerous on Thanksgiving 2020, I also decided to take a deeper look at my physical and mental health. Out of that, I created “My Affirmation Journal”, which is a book to help reaffirm self. I don’t believe I’m special, I’m simply willing to follow my heart and I’m passionate about helping people, whether through music, art, or outreach. Read more>>

Markevia Jefferson

I used to work a 9-5 and got tired of it, especially after having my first child I felt as though I wasn’t getting any time with my baby boy and that is what really fueled the fire, then the pandemic hit and not too long after that I was hospitalized for two weeks and being hospitalized we all know in these trying times there is limited to no visitation and I all I could do was hear my baby through a phone call which drove me nuts. In that instance, it motivated me to start my own business. I had previous experience from taking college courses, and if I needed any real-life experience, I have family members that own their own business. If you are reading this, then that proves to me I am heading somewhat in the right direction. But yes, to get back on point, I resigned from my job. I then applied for my LLC, then my EIN and other important documents needed to begin. That’s when I started my search for vendors and also tried looking for products where I could profit from, being that I wanted my store to be more like a “Red, White & Blue Thrift Store” Read more>>

Duane Phillips

As a Tourism and Hospitality professional living in Kingston, I have a deep-rooted love and appreciation for my island Jamaica. I find that when it comes to tourism and Jamaican culture, I always want to be in the know, and I have always had a passion for sharing these experiences with others. As soon as I got my first car, I made it my new hobby to go exploring throughout the island. Whether it was just going to a new event, visiting a river or beach in the countryside, or simply just discovering a new restaurant, I loved it all. DownDiRoad started when a friend suggested I start a blog showcasing all these places I was visiting, which I had always catalogued via my social media pages. I put some thought into it and spent the first half of 2017 figuring out how exactly I would do it. After a lot of research and development, downdiroad.com was born in July 2017. Read more>>

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