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The Change-Makers: stories that inspire

The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some incredible artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the incredible group below. Check out our favorite stories from across the Voyage family.

Tayla Manson

I have been in weddings and luxury events since I was a freshman in college at Johnson & Wales University both in Providence, RI, and Miami, FL. In my sophomore year of college, I found myself in a conversation with someone visiting JWU for an event I was hosting and she presented me the opportunity to intern for her, at the top of One World Trade Center in New York City. At 17 years old, I packed up from Rhode Island with my parents and they moved me into a small apartment in Brooklyn, NY to kick start my career in events. Sitting 1,776 feet in the sky (102 floors) overlooking New York City, it quickly became a place I called home. Legends Hospitality is the company that operates the top three levels of the building and welcomes thousands of guests each day to experience something extraordinary. Read more>>

Amanda Rose

I started in the dating industry 10 years ago after going through a divorce. While married to my ex I had suspicions he was online dating. So, I went searching for his profile and as I was looking for it, I thought wow how are these men getting dates, there should be a business that helps them look dateable and date successfully. I ended up finding my ex’s online dating profile in that search. And needless to say, we got a divorce. I went from being a stay-at-home mom to a single mom overnight and knew I needed a way to provide for my children. So, I took that little idea and decided to turn it into a business that created online dating profile makeovers for singles. That little idea blossomed into a nationwide business. That first business also led to a regional coordinator position with an international matchmaking agency. Read more>>

Kanesha Mitchell

I was a wedding planner and decorator for 8 years before starting Très Chic Home Interiors. I ended that venture and decided to turn my focus to priorities that were higher on the totem pole, my son. It was only supposed to be for a year but my desire for planning weddings started to fade. However, my love and passion for decorating never left me. I have always had a love for fashion, colors, shapes, and patterns. So, I decided I was going to take my skills from weddings to homes. That’s when Très Chic Home Interiors was born. Read more>>

Crystal Smith

I love to share that I’m a first-generation college graduate. Not out of selfish pride but gratefulness for how I was raised. My family is full of successful entrepreneurs who taught me the meaning of perseverance, hard work, and sacrifice. Although many of my family members found success without college, per my grandmother, college was the only option. It never crossed my mind not to go. And when the opportunity arose to be a part of the school, I was raised to love it as a no-brainer. The University of SC was a place I knew well, growing up attending football and basketball games and living just a short drive away. I started UofSC knowing I wanted to eventually attend graduate school and become a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist. There were so many seeds planted along the way that led me to the career field. Read more>>

Avery Gavornik

I moved to Charleston to attend the College of Charleston back in 2017. I’m originally from New Jersey and was itching to get away from the cold, but was also in search of an atmosphere that doubled as an approachable city with access to the water. The first time I stepped foot in Charleston, I fell in love. What really excited me about The College was the incredible Hospitality & Tourism Management program (located in a city that lives and breathes the industry was also a perk). Although my passion for this industry never went away, I found myself interested in other aspects of managing hotels and restaurants, such as finance and marketing. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to combine these interests of mine and finally settle down on a major. Read more>>

Matt Troyer

Matt and Beth Troyer, owners and founders of Charleston Amish Furniture, are both from the Amish heritage and were married in 2002. Matt and Beth live in Charleston SC with their 3 sons Vincent Dawson and Carson who are also involved, in forming a strong family-owned business. Matt was born in Ohio and Beth was born in Pennsylvania. Their unique entrepreneur journey began when they launched Foothills Amish Furniture in Landrum SC in 2005. They now have a 2nd retail store in Charleston SC since 2017. Initially, they battled through hardships and doubts, barely making ends meet, but giving up was not an option, so they persisted with a purpose-driven destiny in mind. Read more>>

Rachael Mitchell

I had been following a husband/wife photography team on Instagram- Amy & Jordan. They provide education for photographers and I thought it would be fun to take their course to learn how to use a professional camera. I had no clue how to use manual mode, what good lighting was, nothing. I had never even turned on a professional camera before! I took the course in April 2021 thinking it would be fun to know how to take nice photos of my toddler. After I took the course, I wanted to know everything about photography. It was all I could think about! I decided to keep investing in education and start taking on practice sessions, and in July of 2021, I opened my photography business. After 5 months, I decided I wanted to get into weddings and since then, it has been a whirlwind of model calls, styled shoots, second shooting, and booking and photographing my own weddings! Read more>>

Kimberly Bowman

Kimberly Denise Bowman, an experienced creative and cultural enthusiast, and Charleston native is a lifelong advocate and champion for small business advancement, connecting members of the community through various activities, and youth rights & empowerment. She brings an unwavering sense of passion, and deliberate creativity to her leadership roles with Exquisite Enterprises Inc. and Exquisite Kids, equating to a combined 10 + years of community outreach and service, and entrepreneurship experience. She believes in living a life of your own design, as evidenced by her transition from a career in customer service, to running multiple small businesses in the Tri-County area, and consistently inserting herself into collaborative spaces to provide opportunities to underserved groups, communities, and professionals. Read more>>

Jessica Reagan

Since I was a teenager, I have been the go-to planner for my family and friends. I planned all the birthday parties, showers, and weddings for all the people I love. In college, I met my now-husband, and in senior year I planned our wedding, while also job hunting, and finishing my degree. It was then that I realized I was really good at planning, and balancing a heavy workload. My degree is in English, so I got a job out of college using that, but still continued to plan all kinds of celebrations for loved ones, and friends. A few years after we married in 2008, my husband decided to join the military. So, our lives drastically changed, and my resume did as well, including a variety of jobs that were conducive to frequent moving around the country. We moved 6 times in 7 years. It was tiring. In 2018 I went to a yearlong certification course online to become a certified wedding and event planner. It was amazing! Read more>>

Alfonso and Rachel Castejón

Alfonso and I met in Seville, Spain in 2008. Fast forward to 2012 and we had married, moved back to my home state, and began working to build a life in Charleston, SC. Alfonso worked in restaurants during college in Spain and continued to do so here in the US. However, life in food and Bev in Charleston doesn’t always work for families, so we decided to open our own business in 2018. He had decided to go to culinary school while he was working in local restaurants and I am an avid home cook with some skills built over the years, so we decided to bring our favorite Spanish and Lowcountry flavors to the public. No one was really doing what we were doing, so it made it exciting to show people a new way to work with the great, seasonal ingredients available in and around Charleston. Read more>>

Colin Peterson

My love for clay started early on. I had two aunts that were both ceramic artists, so I was familiar with the medium at a young age. It wasn’t until high school that I started working on the wheel with my ceramics teacher and mentor Alan Boyd. I attended East Carolina University and graduated in 2007 with a BFA and concentration in ceramics. After leaving college I moved back to my hometown of Wilmington, NC where I started up my pottery business. About four and a half years ago I had an opportunity to move to Charleston, so without hesitation, I packed up my things and moved further south to the Holy City. Once moving here, I was reinvigorated with the energy of a new town and the inspiration from multiple artists and friends that I surrounded myself with. Read more>>

Kayla Seldon

When I first began to get really sick, my dad bought me a little zebra stuffed animal. The irony is not lost on me that this silly little “feel better” gift would ten years in the future become the mascot for an illness that I struggled with my entire life, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Ehlers Danlos is a group of inherited disorders that affect your connective tissue resulting in a myriad of symptoms and co-morbidities from joint instability and dislocations to neurological disorders. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that things really started to progress and I became very ill. It was also during this time that I fell in love with art. I have always been in an artistic family and looked up to my mother who always held a paintbrush or graced the piano with her delicate fingers. Music was a vital part of my life, but the sicker I became the more my heart yearned to paint. Read more>>

Perrice Ledbetter

The idea started when I was in college at Claflin University. I remember I was rushing to finish a video project for class and needed a name for an intro card introducing my production company. While running through ideas with one of my homeboys, I took a look at the couch we sat on. to me and my boys, that couch was like our version of the round table. Birthed at that moment was my name “LazyCouchMedia” from the name I formed, I picked up my first camera, a Canon T-6, and started practicing wherever I could. With whoever would let me shoot them in front of my lens. I would have at least a shoot a day to really start getting my own style and building fundamentals down, photography slowly grew from a hobby into something I knew I wanted to do. Read more>>

Desiree Taylor

I started baking as a stress reliever I would bring cakes to work to give to my fellow coworkers just to bring some light into their day because work had become such a stressful environment. It also helped me keep connected to my mom who is deceased but she always loved sweets and started baking pound cakes for our family functions. A pound cake reminds me of her…simple eloquent and enjoyable. She had such connections with people and that is what keeps me going. Read more>>

Genevieve Mashburn

I was a bartender throughout college and that eventually segued into a career in hospitality. As manager and event director for cocktail bars and restaurants in both Charleston and New Orleans, I fell in love with facilitating memorable experiences for our guests. While I still have a great appreciation for (and some wonderful ties to) food and beverage, I felt it was time for a change, so I stepped away from that world and into the world of florals. The mentality is very similar (perishable product, tight time frames, lots of multitasking, etc.) and I really feel my time in F&B gave me a leg up in those respects. That said, I especially love the opportunity to be creative and hands-on. It is especially satisfying to have this vision in your head, collaborate with your clients, and then bring it all to life for them. It feels like a really great fit for me. Read more>>

Haley White

I have always been a very creative person. I am always looking to express that creativity in new ways. In high school, I was the friend that knew how to braid, so naturally, I was always styling my friends’ hair. Through that, I research and taught myself the art of formal hairstyling and creating updos, intricate braids, and voluminous curls. It is a passion that just kept growing. And soon, those friends started falling in love and getting married. The first wedding I did hair and makeup for was in 2016 for my best friend on her big day. After sharing my work from that special day, word of mouth spread like wildfire. I kept styling brides and other clients for special events through college and then into my career as a graphic designer. As much as I loved hair and makeup artistry, I only viewed it as a side hustle. That is, until March 2020. Read more>>

Angela Blakeney

I got my start with my business a little over 2 years ago. I was selling any and everything lol, I didn’t really have much direction on where my business was going but I knew it was going. I was working for the post office at the time and was a fairly new Mom, who knew my son and family deserved so much more of my time and attention. My business actually started with me selling sunglasses, purses then I pivoted to selling eyelashes (Something I don’t even wear lol) Then one day at work my husband and I (Yes, we worked together) were talking and I was telling him my new vision for my business and wanted a name that was bold but had powerful meaning behind it. My Husband is actually the person who came up with the name The Blk Society, and the rest, the rest is HerStory. Read more>>

Krysta Chapman

I guess my journey into copywriting wasn’t conventional. I didn’t go to school for marketing or writing, instead of graduating with a degree in political science. And then I threw it all out the window, moved to Costa Rica, and opened a bar on the beach with my now-husband, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and two other friends. It was during this time that I began writing to document our adventures, such as our drive from Myrtle Beach, SC all the way to Costa Rica, and then becoming parents while living in another country. As my blog grew, I realized just how much I truly enjoyed creative writing… and apparently, I had a knack for it. Read more>>

Kolton Miller

From as early as I can remember I would create and draw. Throughout childhood could never distance me from creating and wanting to do art. When I was in 3rd grade, I received an award and my first purchase award. In 5th grade, I designed the logo for my school which is still being used today. Through middle school, I mainly painted murals while sticking to art classes. While in High school I focused way more on art within and outside of class. I attended college at Greenville Tech learning and growing the most through that program and then finished my bachelor’s degree at Clemson. I moved to Charleston after graduation and have been building and growing my art business ever since. Read more>>

Sarah Ziesler

I was born and raised in Germany and moved to the US in 2017. Celebrating my 5-year milestone this year! In Germany, I worked for a corporation in the automotive industry. I had the opportunity to work in every department of a company which allowed me to gain incredible business insight and knowledge. When I moved to the US in 2017, I started working at the subsidiary and quickly climbed the corporate ladder. Eventually, I outgrew the corporate world and took the brave steps to start my own company SZ Solutions Consulting in 2020.  I now specialize in empowering women in the business world by designing a strategy that fits their nature of business in order to reach their goals successfully. Read more>>

Megan Larke

During the hardest season of my life, I found myself looking for something to occupy my time + my mind. I was walking through the store + randomly bought a $15 wood-burning too thinking “this looks cool.” I began going out to my garage, blaring worship music + making random knick-knacks like cutting boards + home decor items all while worshiping, praying, + let’s be honest. totally sobbing & crying out to God. In February of 2017, I began to feel this heart call to take this wood-burning thing a step further. At the time I was working a corporate job I didn’t really love + I felt like God was calling me to take a leap to start a business. Two weeks after I felt this calling, I had already quit my corporate job, secured a part-time gig for some steady income, created an Etsy shop + a little Instagram account + was well on my way to creating. I had zero business plans, zero ideas about what I was doing,  and oddly enough. I had zero fears that it wouldn’t work out. Read more>>

Nicki Peeples

I’ve always had a love of art and consider myself lucky to have been born into a family of creative people. They always encouraged my painting. My grandfather was a self-taught artist and my mother followed the same. My older sister was the first to actually graduate with a degree in art. I have always doodled, as they say. I would sit in my bedroom in high school, with some type of trendy magazine, and I would draw for hours, with the music blaring. Usually, it was portraits of whichever celebrity was gracing the cover. Sometimes it was fashion. Whatever I found that I thought was beautiful. My mother owned a gourmet bakery for many years and I eventually started working with her and would actually paint on cookies (with icing of course). When that closed, I had been married for a couple of years and had a baby on the way. I remember being terrified that no one was going to hire me with the baby only due soon. Read more>>

Kerry Minten

In 1999 in Ashland, Wisconsin, I started my own decor party company where customers would host their friends and family in their homes to shop from a catalog. After building up inventory in my own home, I decided to host an open house to sell the products. I sold $1,000 worth of merchandise and at that moment I decided I wanted to open a store. I reached out to other business owners in my small town for guidance on how to get started and was shut down for being competitive. I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I went out and bought a book for dummies on how to open a business and I got to work. I needed some sort of direction on how to start considering I didn’t go to college and I was balancing being a mom of three girls. Read more>>

Cesar Rodríguez

Hello, my name is Cesar Rodriguez Everything started in Mexico City, all my family was street vendors selling everything from candy to shoes. It was fun back then but I been in the sales since I was little kid we into sale in the street of Corregidor it was a street with so many rocks in the floor I always think when I was little how they put those there and I always have instead on that , my Gramma race me she was like my Mom she was a hard working woman she always is to say “ I do care what you do for work but make sure you always do it right “ so people understand and know that you give 100% if you sale make sure you are a awe so sales person if you clean make sure you are the best cleaner ( I miss her a lot ) life is hard on the city the crime and drugs start to get to my family sometimes I will sleep on the street so I start worry about my future one day my cousin talk to me about USA I always see it like he was crazy. Read more>>

Takora Burton

I grew up back and forth between Asheville NC and Morristown TN the most but my family moved around a lot to many different states of the South, so I felt I could never really call anywhere home. I was always the new girl and I was very shy, so I always escaped into my own little world of the arts. I started out drawing pictures of horses and deer and dragons because I loved reading books and watching movies about fantasy worlds, about a year after graduating High School in 2016 I decided to go to a small community college inside of Asheville for a fine arts degree, quickly learning that it was not for me after failing numerous assignments and being told “my art is too goth” or “too creepy and not realistic enough” I packed my bags and hit the road back to Tennessee where I learned my niche for painting. There I sold my very first painting called, “Shrooms of the Moon People” and discovered my passion for spiritual arts, for that painting and many after have opened many new doors for me and have led me to where I am today! Read more>>

Lindsey Spears

I’ve always had an interest in art and figured I would at least pursue it as a hobby or side gig. I ended up studying Zoology and working at the Jacksonville Zoo but once I became pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to find a way to work from home and decided to revisit my passion for art. The rest is history! I’ve been following that dream ever since. Read more>>

Jill Hamlin

I was born and raised in Morehead, KY. I have always had a passion for people, music, and the arts. At a very young age, I was singing and played music in church. It seems music has always been a part of my life. Later in my life, I obtained my Ged and then attended Morehead State University. At Morehead, I majored in Sociology with a Minor in Traditional Music. While at Morehead I was inducted into the Non-Traditional Student honors Society and was in the KCTCM Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Bands. I then decided to pursue an advanced degree and moved overseas to Belfast Northern Ireland and obtained an MA in Social Anthropology Ethnomusicology from Queen’s University Belfast. I now hold the title of Assistant Director of Fine Arts for Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg. Read more>>

Jametras Shokes

In my younger adult years, I worked in medical administration for local pediatric dental offices as well as MUSC. Those positions I held just weren’t fulfilling enough for me. While suffering from depression I lost my car, my job, and my home. It was then that God spoke to me and told me to follow my dreams of being a nail technician. I started out being self-taught working with friends and family, and then eventually went to school at Charleston Cosmetology Institute in which I obtained my Licensed. A year later from that here I am still following my dreams and building my career as a nail tech. Read more>>

Will Goss

My mom taught chorus and my dad ran a popular music venue in the 80s/90s in downtown Charleston called Myskyn’s, so honestly my journey with music has been ongoing for as long as I can remember. I played piano, sang in choirs, wrote songs, and played in bands through middle school and high school, and after college, but eventually, after gigging 4-5 nights a week I got really burnt out and realized that what I enjoyed about music was the creative pursuit of writing music, and not so much performing. In 2016 I decided to shift gears and aim for a career in music composition. I went back and finished my music degree in music composition and piano performance, which really elevated my writing to a completely new level. While in school I wrote classical chamber music, a symphonic poem, and a song cycle; it was a fantastic experience that introduced me to possibilities in music that I couldn’t have imagined. Read more>>

Jenny DeRemer

Again, thank you very much for including me. I spent the better part of two decades admiring others for their bravery in striking out on their own, being entrepreneurial, and starting businesses or selling a product or book they had a hand in creating. I was especially influenced by a money blogger whose newsletters I subscribed to. She and her husband traveled the country, blogging about money matters and answering her followers’ questions about budgeting and investment issues. One day, I emailed her and asked how she got started. I did not expect a reply to my email, but I received one. She outlined three things I would need to do to start a business whether online or selling a product. The instructions were so easy, that I executed an application with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office that same day. I also purchased a domain name even though I was unsure what I would ever do with an online website. Read more>>

Kayla Gantzer

From as far back as I can remember, hospitality has always been a part of my life. As a Southern native — Alabama to be exact, there was always a family reunion to be had, a backyard soiree to attend, or a celebration to be planned. So, for me, hospitality and entertaining weren’t so much a choice as it was a way of life, ingrained into my core from a very early age. Fast forward through the college “golden years” where I discovered one could actually be paid for planning and orchestrating events (talk about a game changer) I found myself with an opportunity to work in the ‘big city’ of San Diego, CA! I excitedly left sweet home Alabama and jumped into the corporate world of events planning high-end galas and award shows – oh, and even a handful of multi-million-dollar fundraisers! Truly a dream opportunity for a budding event planner. Read more>>

Dr. Teresa White

Student Solutions started as a tutoring and summer literacy idea. The inspiration came from working as a public-school teacher and twice teacher of the year who understood the importance of reading and its influences on every academic area. Cold calls to family shelters and daycare centers were made offering a “free literacy party” to include an interactive read-aloud, a culminating craft, and a teacher break! Doors were opened, the car was loaded, and college students were recruited. All expenses were covered by my personal teacher’s salary. Those opportunities benefitted everyone involved! Ah! Unforgettable times! Eventually, the literacy party idea grew into a Summer Literacy Camp! With nowhere to house a camp, our church supportingly offered space on the campus. College students were recruited, veteran teachers, curriculum, a shoestring budget, a summer schedule, and enrollment was opened. We served PK-5th grade scholars from across the upstate on Saturdays from 9a-12p! We always ended with a priceless, picturesque, proud readers theater parent production. Summer learning was soaring! Read more>>

Christina Frank

There’s so much that I can say that has got me to where I am today, but this all truly started in middle school. When I was in 8th grade, I started to develop an interest in volleyball and I started to play that year and played my freshman year at Summerville High School. As 10th grade was approaching, I was going back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to continue playing. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, the program was amazing, the players were great, and the coaching was great, but I didn’t know if it was for me. During this time, I started spending a lot of time thinking about my purpose in life and where I am supposed to be. Little did I know, that deciding to stop volleyball caused a new door to be open in my life that changed me. I started my business, Joy Beads. A few months after I decided not to play, the pandemic began. I was spending a lot of time at home; I wasn’t going out much and I had a desire to start making money someway without having to work for someone else. Read more>>

Rachael Wollard

My dream as a teenager was to be a fashion designer. I wanted to focus on bridal and evening gowns. I have always loved the industry, the glitz, the glamour, and making dreams come true. In my senior year in high school, we had to choose a senior project and I chose to learn how to make one of my designs a reality. I did an internship with a local seamstress and made one of my sketches into a wearable gown. That experience confirmed my passion for the industry was real and not a fly-by-night thought. In my sketchbook, I drew our logo almost to a T as it is today. There is nothing better than helping a bride find her perfect dress all the while fulfilling my dream. I made the decision last year to leave the Finance world and start this business venture. I have never been happier or felt more fulfilled than I do now. We are in month 3 of being in business and I am so pleased with the success the boutique has had thus far and cannot wait to see what is in store for the future. Read more>>

Tasha Robinson

After a couple of years of IVF, I was blessed with twins in the fall of 2010 after a traumatic pregnancy. Unfortunately ballooned 250 pounds, alongside the weight gain, I experienced aching knees, shortness of breath, and overall weariness. I was on a quest to bring myself back to health, so in 2012 I transitioned my lifestyle to 100% plant-based after watching raw food “cooking” show. I was absolutely mesmerized by transforming uncooked plants into the foods I used to enjoy like cheesecake, burgers, and lasagna.  In 2014 I became a certified raw vegan chef and vegan nutrition specialist. As a wife and proud mom of five, my family’s health is imperative. I wholeheartedly believe as a descendant of the Geechee-Gullah people that when individuals return to nature and observe the way of our ancestors—we will be healed. Read more>>

Kayla Joy

Raised by baby boomer parents, I am the #4 of 5 children. I come from a musically inclined family. All my siblings sing and a few even play instruments. Sunday was always a good time in our household because we would sing and sometimes dance & shout as we cleaned the kitchen after a big dinner. Using the broom or a spoon as a microphone and pots and pans were our drums, the kitchen was filled with a symphony of sound and rhythms created by household gadgets and appliances. I’ve been singing since I was five years old. My first solo was at my kindergarten graduation, where I performed the song, “I am a Promise”. The song’s simple melody and catchy lyrics capture a message that encourages you to believe you are a “great big bundle of potentially… if you’re listening, you’ll hear God’s voice, and if you’re trying, you’ll make the right choice, I am a promise to be, anything God wants me to be. Read more>>

Samantha Paternoster

I am a web designer and brand storyteller specializing in brand development with a background in creative writing. I earned my B.A. in Creative Writing from Brandeis University with a focus on long and short fiction. Using what I know as a creative writer, I’ve developed a strategy that identifies the intuitive questions my clients need to hear so I can identify their true brand voice and design a website and story that supports it. I didn’t immediately start out in web design though. Shortly after graduating from Brandeis, I started working with a local business as an in-house blogger writing about poster frames. Within 6 – 8 months I was running much of the marketing department under my manager’s supervision. I worked on everything from email design and scheduling to social media management, blogging, editing, SEO, content updates, scriptwriting, and overseeing videographers they hired. Read more>>

Whitney Bradley

I’ve always had a passion for baking and would bake with my grandma when I was younger. So, while 6 months pregnant with my daughter during the height of COVID I decided to start Bradley’s bakery! Not most would say during COVID you started a business? Yes! It was either that or put my daughter and me at risk by working around others! Read more>>

Kelly Kleisner

Both sides of my family have been involved in the hospitality business. I am very lucky to be surrounded by a family of great cooks and folks that love good food. I started as a cashier at a BBQ restaurant in Virginia Beach at sixteen and then went on to learn as a prep cook. I then entered Kendall College in Evanston, IL. I graduated with an Associate’s degree in culinary arts but did all my electives and my internships in the pastry field. Read more>>

Haleigh Hamilton

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I went to college and graduated in 2016 with my Early Childhood Degree in Kent, Ohio. Throughout college, I love taking photos on my phone and always had a creative side. Photos meant memories and something to have to look back on. I started nannying for an amazing family right after college because I couldn’t find a teaching job. The mom that I nanny for also did photography as a hobby and kind of pushed me to get my own camera. During this time, I started to travel more to fun places like Park City, Utah. I had gotten my first camera for this trip. I told myself that I just wanted to take photos of my 3 dogs (I have 3 Labs) and bring my camera with me on trips. I remember I had told one of my friends, who also did photography as a hobby, that I was never going to start a photography business. Read more>>

Mary Houchins

I’ve always loved to create, and also always had such an appreciation for nature. Flowers just amaze me, they make me smile, they just portray happiness. I was creating floral arrangements just for fun, just to give to friends, take to a neighbor. I never thought about making a business out of it, but my husband really encouraged the idea. I grew up in a family where my father was an entrepreneur, I saw how much that blessed our family, with his presence and time. I wanted something I could have for myself, separate from being a mom. That will always be my most important role but I found myself needing a creative outlet, something that was an escape from time to time. Read more>>

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