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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.

Shanelle Simmons

I’ve always had an interest in the fashion world since I was a little girl. I loved to dress up and put on multiple fashion shows in my room in front of my toys. Growing up, I was always experimenting with different looks with my clothing, hair, and makeup. I would visualize looks and make them come to life. Sometimes gaining inspiration from my favorite fashion icons mostly Rihanna, from TV shows and music videos. Read more>>

James Elliott

It started working for a job paycheck to paycheck at small jobs and was asked to help someone move just a few items out of the blue one day. It took no more than two hours but I made almost if more than half the paycheck I make it two weeks at my then current job. I started to just ask more consistently for people that may need help rather than just let what just happened pass even though I was still at my job. Read more>>

Fathiyyah Doster

After a long and tedious battle with HELLP syndrome in 2010, I learned the essence of this quote as it pertained to myself. At 37 weeks, my daughter Ayah was delivered through emergency Caesarian because my blood pressure skyrocketed to 210/150. This caused me to have two seizures, shutting down my liver, lungs, and kidneys. Read more>>

Shirley Plantin

I believe I have always had a heart for service, particularly for youth. I truly believed that I would go on to Law School and become criminal or corporate attorney, never did I think that I would end up working with gangs and at-risk youth in North Miami, North Miami Beach, and Little Haiti. As I immersed myself in the body of work we call youth prevention, I honestly believed the call on my life was revealed. Read more>>

Nora Baz

It started when I was a child, back when Art Class was still a thing. I did the usual crafty things, trying to make blobs of clay into some kind of intricate shape people would recognize. I drew portraits, which got entered into art competitions and came with a nice little participation ribbon. I didn’t’ keep up with art after I got into middle school, preteen angst and awkwardly trying to fit in contributed a lot. Read more>>

Duncan McClellan

My fascination with glass began at age five when I visited a glass factory in West Virginia. That image of the molten glass being formed into a beautiful work of art made an indelible impression on me, but I didn’t begin blowing glass until I was 30. Largely due to the expense and lack of glass blowing facilities available at the time, my art career began with clay and leather. Read more>>

Juan Atienza

I love the colors. I started painting at school, my parents home is still full of my earliest works. But I had to move and I started my professional career as a young hairdresser that suddenly discovered could replicate the same colors in someone’s hair. Then I became a makeup artist, and I continued painting, but this time the face of a beautiful woman. That was my life in Spain where I come from. Read more>>

Scott Guilbert

Music was always a big part of my life growing up. My father was a Dj, so I was always surrounded by music, The lifestyle and ambiance seemed to follow me wherever I went. Although music always sparked my interest, it wasn’t till about four years ago a friend of mine introduced me to FL studio and I began my journey. Read more>>

Arvis Lawson

I grew up the oldest of four in Miami, FL to Tracy Lawson. Yet I was raised mainly by my grandmother Geraldine Lawson. Who is truly the reason why I am the way that I am today. She showed me what it was to care for people without any conditions. She showed me how to fight until the end despite what life throws at you. Read more>>

Phasion Mickle

I started Pardon My Phresh as a hobby where I would do friends & family makeup for fun and help upcoming women like myself to brand their business until it dawned on me that I needed to add tax to my greatness because doing those things (in which I absolutely love) is also time-consuming. With so much support it was a no brainer to turn my skills, expertise & passion to a steady income while helping other women do the same. Read more>>

Marlyn Sophia Marcelin

I am upcoming natural hair and wig stylist. I started doing hair since I was about the age of 14. Well doing hair for others. I used to play in my own hair from like the ages of ten. Growing up my mom was a cosmetologist and very informative on hair. She always did all my hairstyles from relaxers, to blowouts, braids, ponytail, beads and etc. Read more>>

Carlo ExtraBar

Started back in 2002 writing with my friends to other rap instrumentals in NYC. After a while that got dull quick, I wanted a new challenge so my friend download a music production software, Acid and I started to experiment on how to make beats for me and my friends. Not so long after that I was recording us and making our beats. Read more>>

Leondra Saintil

Growing up as a child, I’ve always been surrounded by the arts and creativity. I was always intrigued by fashion, music and, creating. I was very aware that I had a special gift around the age of maybe 4/5 years old. I knew I could sing and I was surrounded by a family full of musicians…. so it was not long until I would constantly start singing. Read more>>

Jabria Blackman and Imani Martineau

Music has always been a part of my journey. From the time I was seven years old, I was singing in the church choir (where most singers start.) But the difference, between myself and most was the drive to not just sing but to become an expert in the business. I’ve always been business oriented and a lot of it comes from my parents instilling traits within me to go beyond the norm. Read more>>

Monique C. Morgan

I have always loved music. Growing up my father played music often particularly on weekends which I believe cultivated my interest in exploring various genres of music and becoming an avid listener. I have always heard music quite differently as well. The harmonies, melodies, vocals, and beats of the song were more pronounced for me compared to some of my friends. Often times I would rave about what I would hear to my friends and they would be lost. Read more>>

Morgan Barse

This entire journey began with supporting a different aspect of the professional woman, her feet. My freshman year of college, I wandered into an entrepreneurship club meeting and when they asked for additional participants in the business pitch competition (happening the next morning), I somehow found myself with my hand up in the air. Read more>>

Terri Sherman

I fell into business brokerage—it was nothing that I set out to do. I was in the urban music industry for a number of years, working as a manager/consultant, and I was burned-out and ready for a change. I started applying for jobs and had very little success in becoming gainfully employed. Read more>>

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