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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.

Monet Hambrick

In 2016 at the suggestion of my friend Paula I started our Instagram account, The Traveling Child, which would later turn into my full-time business and a dream career. Paula had come to visit a few days before me traveling to Cartagena, Colombia, with my ten-week newborn and a 22-month-old. She thought I should share my experiences traveling with my kids. Funny enough, I didn’t want to; I told her it was a dumb idea and it would be seen as vain posting about our travels. That people would assume we were just trying to show off; however, she pushed me to see that it wasn’t vain and that it would be empowering. Read more>>

Claudhine Louis-Jean

I have always had an interest in the arts and in creating art. Aside from the art classes I used to take in school, I would always get excited when it was time to do projects for certain classes because it was an opportunity to let my imagination take over and fully dive into my creativity. My family has always been supportive of this side of me by ensuring that I had the supplies and materials I needed to create my best work. Even if I wasn’t able to find precisely what I needed, I would re-purpose what I had. Throughout my life, I have explored different media, including watercolor and acrylic paints, charcoal, pastels, and even clay. Read more>>

Alvin Herring III

Whew! I don’t know where to begin. Growing up, I’ve always been told I have a light around me but I have never seen it in myself until now. I’ve always known I was going to do something in fashion but I never knew when the time was going to be right for me. Listening to everyone’s opinion always detoured me into what’s consider “SAFE” or “Best for me.” So after a while, I had to stop listening to everyone around me and put my trust into the man above us all. He heard my cry and humbled me until I heard his answers. So, after being fired from the 9-5 job, I decided to take the leap of faith and start something I wanted to do for so long! Read more>>

Jane-Lynn Desrosiers

My inspiration as a stylist began when I was young and I would hear close friends of my parents complimenting them on their sense of style. Everywhere my parents went, the compliments poured in and I wanted to dress like them. I started dressing up my barbies and my younger sister. In High school is when I started to shine, helping my friends put together outfits for parties, photoshoots and also participating in school events where I would be in charge of wardrobes for plays. Read more>>

Alexandra Preston

How I started? Well, umm, many people don’t know that I started doing flowers back in 2013. I was 25 at the time. This gift didn’t just come to me overnight. It came from me watching the most creative florist I knew at the time, my son great grandmother, speak of when she owned her own floral shop in Miami. Her work was simply amazing to me. The family that worked under her at the time then grew up and opened their own shop and they used to fly her out to ATL from FL every Valentines and Mothers Day for years just because her arrangements were that special to them and you know people what her they requested her work. Hearing her story inspired me and put me in a place where I wanted to create. So she taught me what she could and I watched her create every chance I could get. I asked questions and lots of them too. She even let me help her on a few creations. Read more>>

Shekelton Jean

My journey into art and music primarily came through my time in high school. I was a part of a spoken word collective and club called Unbroken Pieces {UBP}. In our collective, we had producers, writers and other artists that would help in my journey of where I am today. After school, I continued to produce and take it more seriously. Then, an artist named Slicknastyslick, as well as friends that I met through high school, help to form the collective known as Skybox Records. Currently functioning and based out of North Miami. During this time, I enrolled in SAE Institute of Miami for Audio Production/Engineer and during my time there, I had come to meet more people that would help me in aide of my journey. Read more>>

Mike Noel, Michael John and Bernsghy Noel

Practice Starts Monday is a podcast that we started in 2018. We’re all cousins and have been together since we can remember. The idea to start a podcast came from us always being told that we’re funny and should have our own show. We wanted to share the laughter with the world and figured YouTube would be the best route. We started from the ground up, buying cameras, lights, microphones, and a soundboard. We taught ourselves the in’s and out’s of how to use the equipment and edit our own videos. We have recorded two seasons, and we’re currently starting to get prepared for season 3. We’ve grown our fanbase on YouTube and Instagram from a few friends and family to over 2.2k fans. Read more>>

Andgelita Laguerre

I’ve spent almost my entire life being drawn to creativity and craft. From an early age, I discovered that I was creative. My constant participation in arts and crafts made me realize that I had a passion for them. After graduating from high school, I wanted to showcase my accomplishments, but I did not know the best way to go about it. Fortunately, as I was explaining the situation to my aunt, she gave me an idea, she said: “Why don’t you buy a shadow box and display them in there.” My first project turned out to be a masterpiece, and all my friends and family loved it. Whenever someone came over my house, they will stare at it in amazement. It took me approximately two years and a half to be bold enough to share my talents and creativity with the world. Read more>>

Benjamin Holland

My story starts when I was in middle school, 7th grade to be specific. I was 12 years old, and I had a fascination with gore in movies. I wanted to do something different than the rest of the kids in my class. So, while everyone else wore superhero and other pop culture costumes… I ripped half my face off. Then when I was 15, I started school at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts as a Cinematic Arts major. Almost instantly, I was working as a makeup artist on many amazing projects that helped me hone my skills. Now, as a freshly turned 18-year old I’m in cosmetology school and just wrapped two feature-length projects as the key makeup artist! Read more>>

Kal Gajraj

I joined Peter London Global Dance Company in June 2020 as its first executive director. Previously, I was the chief marketing officer for Florida Grand Opera since 2016. Prior to joining the arts, I’ve held several marketing and public relations leadership positions in Florida and across the United States in for-profit and non-profit organizations. My passion for the arts is what lead me to where I currently am. From a young age, I’ve always loved attending broadway shows, musical theatre, the ballet and symphony. I’ve always immersed myself into culture, whether it is going to a museum exhibit or participating in festivities. Read more>>

Maria Alejandra Zambrano

I graduated from Dental School in 2012 in Venezuela. I moved to the US in 2016 and couldn’t see myself doing something different than dentistry. So I started the journey of revalidating my foreign dentist title and after four long years of studying and preparing myself I received my Florida Dental License. Today I am proud to say, “I am a Venezuelan dentist with a license to practice in this beautiful country.” Read more>>

Latonya Benford

I wanted to create my own business, where I can be creative and express myself. I also wanted to have something of my own that I am able to pass down to my sister’s children one day. My business is named after my sister, who passed away ten years ago; I wanted to honor her name and also help provide for her children. With the support of my family and close friends, I was able to start my business within a year and still Thriving. Read more>>

Marie Ann Altuve

Selfmade Babe started strictly as a quoted account on Instagram back in 2018 when I was a student in FIU. I was still figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I changed my major three times up until graduation day. Throughout 2019 I was applying to corporate jobs and all I heard was the sound of crickets. January first rolls around and I’m still a girl with no job so I decided to turn this simple quote account into something larger because I was done being complacent. I figured instead of investing my time and energy into someone else’s million-dollar company; I could just put all my time and energy into Selfmade Babe. I wanted to build a community empowering women to achieve their version of success while also giving them the resources they need to stay motivated or start their business. Read more>>

KJ Fletcher

I got into making wigs when I moved to Atlanta in 2014. My cousin showed me the ropes and once I got the hang of it, it became a stress reliever. Once I moved back home to Miami, I practiced my craft more and decided to make my passion my business. Read more>>

Octavio Cuellar

I studied Sculpture at the National Academy of Fine Arts “San Alejandro,” in Havana and I graduated in 1992. They were difficult social times in Cuba and Cuban art had gone from visual confrontation to a much more subliminal language of an ironic, sarcastic and ambiguous character to be able to express itself without being censored. I remember that while I was studying sculpture – the end of the 80’s, I did indebted works in expression to the ready-made, pop art and surrealism. At that time, I was a rebellious and dissatisfied young man and these artistic expressions allowed me a critical discourse and social resistance, which, encouraged by the artistic avant-garde of the 80s, it managed to invigorate Cuban society. Read more>>

Orlando Arnold

Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, to parents who were athletes, it was natural to fall in love with sports, even as a toddler. That love parlayed into a baseball scholarship at Alabama State University, a historically black university (HBCU) in Montgomery, the capital city of the State of Alabama. As my college aspirations of playing professionally did not mature, shortly after graduation, I began a career in Sales and pursued an MBA degree from Troy University. My journey throughout corporate America led to positions as a Sales Representative, National Sales Trainer and District Manager in the Hospitality and Pharmaceutical industries, respectively, for over ten years. Read more>>

Erica Johnson

It all started two years ago. As a parent of six, I had to figure out how to get extra income, so I started brainstorming and the first thing came to mind was selling women’s clothing. I then rented a space in the liberty market. The area was terrible but I still got rid of all the inventory I purchased. I love fashion and accessories. I think all women love fashion. Fast forward today, I have an online boutique which is worldwide and I’d growing daily. Read more>>

Tannesia Speed

When I started The Beauty Closet Co, it was something I felt like had to do in order to create a source of income. I just transferred to a new university and was unaware of the financial debt I was putting myself in. After starting, I realized my scholarships didn’t qualify for my program and I then had my tuition and other bills to pay. I decided I had to do something. As I started getting into the business world, it turned into something I loved to do. I honestly can admit that I had no prior knowledge of business but as I accomplished each milestone, I started to learn as I went by. I stayed up plenty of nights watching YouTube, researching and let’s not forget CRYING. Read more>>

Thamires Ribeiro

I realized this is what I wanted to do for a living when I was 16 years old and I was taking eyebrow shaping classes and also makeup classes in my city. During my classes doing a simple change in the face designing and shaping my friend’s eyebrows would make them so happy and excited after seeing the results, I could feel their happiness, I was seeing how a simple change outside would change them inside, how a simple change would make them feel more confident. I so from that day, I decided that enhance people’s beauty was what I wanted to do for a living. It is a very fulfilling work for me. I am not happy until I see my clients help. From that, I have been investing and keeping updated with the newest procedures. I decided that I should have my own business. Read more>>

Dr. Krishana Clark

This vision came to life in my kitchen on a quest to lighten my day and the days of those around me. In times of darkness, it may be harder to see the light. I had days where I would sit in darkness searching for answers and a way to pull myself through. Then one day I tried something new. See I generally burn incense to create an instant aroma and calming effect for my mind and body, but this day I needed something different. See Einstein said that “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is INSANITY”. So I take this quote and apply it to various aspects of my life. I needed more light so I started making candles for myself. I needed to feel something and see something different. So I created. And then I added the scents that I enjoyed. Read more>>

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