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Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series. Check out some of our latest local gem features below.

Matthew Ford

I am a University of Tennessee graduate where I studied Economics & minored in Business Administration. I joined a fraternity thereafter. I ended my baseball career and also bartended throughout the entirety of my four years there. Both hobbies introduced me to the world of networking and the importance of always working hard and being kind in order to make the right connections. Shortly after graduating, I moved to Nashville to start my career in Sales. I began as a Territory Sales Representative for a chemical and sanitation company. I covered Middle & West TN territories and then quickly worked my way up to Territory Sales Manager, where I took over the East TN market as well as managed a small team. After dissolving our distribution chain, I moved up again to Regional Sales Leader, where my territory extended to six states throughout the Southeast. Read more>>

Lindsy Read

Before moving to Nashville in 2014, my husband and I lived in France for a year. I knew I needed a good camera, so I purchased my first digital SLR camera. I honed my craft during that year in Europe and started my photography business, shooting weddings, when we got back to the States. I spent the next six years planning corporate events and photographing weddings. So, becoming a contracted wedding planner for Music City Events was the next natural step. Under the leadership of our founder, Sarah Willard, I executed dozens of events in just a few years. In 2018, Willard left Tennessee, stepped down as founder, and I became the owner of Music City Events. This company gave me a love for Nashville, and I am so proud to carry on its legacy. I am a designer at heart. I love to create events that feel unique and represent each client well. I love to focus on guests’s experiences, and my hope is that they feel just as relaxed and happy as my client’s on their big day. In an effort to diversify, I launched Read Event House this year. Read Event House provides full-service planning for modern couples with impeccable style. Read more>>

Austin Schulenburg

I have been drawing and writing for as long as I can remember. After a while, my dad (a software developer) encouraged me to try drawing digitally on the computer. I was pretty resistant at first – I’ve always loved the tactile joy of a pencil and paper. Eventually I dipped my toes. The first program I remember drawing in was AppleWorks, painting pixel by pixel. Some of my favorite video games at the time (and still today) have that lo-fi, pixel-art style. I immediately loved it. Read more>>

Jennifer Garate

I never wanted to own my own business. (Never.) I saw my parents struggle financially my entire life and figured every small business owner worked hard, long hours, and was left to struggle to make ends meet. I didn’t want that. No thanks! Well, there I was. Unemployed. Not knowing what to do. I liked succulents and I liked rusty old things. I was pretty handy with the basic power tools so I threw all that together and started making repurposed succulent planters. I was different. I was unique. I didn’t know or see anyone doing what I was doing. However, I needed a platform to sell. So I went to the local farmer’s market. I was warned to not even ask about the Saturday market because the waiting list to get in was 3 years out. That’s fine, I didn’t mind doing the others. Well, guess what, someone called out 2 days before Saturday market and I got a call that changed my life. For the first time, I saw people loving my work. It was weird!. Read more>>

Andrea de Leon

Online grad school was getting ramped up, and I settled in my new part-time job at a local marketing firm. The Magnetainment Brand President, Kayla Ryan, had called me saying she knew of a cool opportunity that I was potentially interested in. Kayla had explained what Magnetainment was, and I thought it was an amazing opportunity to begin my entrepreneurial journey – much sooner than I had initially planned. Starting a business in the midst of a pandemic was a blessing in disguise because I could take my time learning how to begin and run a business. The support of the Corporate team at Home-Based Franchise Group has and continues to be so great. Over the last few months, the business has begun picking up, and I’ve made amazing connections with other local entrepreneurs. I plan on continually finding new ways to grow my business, and I’m very excited for the Magnetainment of Nashville’s future. Read more>>

Kali Schlemmer

It all started around eleven years old when my dad gave me my first digital camera on Christmas. I recall thinking how amazing it was to take a photo of something and keep it forever. Fast forward to 2012, my Junior year of High school. This is when I took graphic design and interned with our local Photographer. I decided to invest in my first professional camera and learn to shoot manual photography. That next year, I began to photograph a lot of friends and coworkers’ Senior Photos. Little did I know this would be how I would meet my future husband. We graduated high school, left our small hometown of Wabash, Indiana, and moved to the sunshine state. Living in Florida, allowed me to expand the business side of my photography. This was when we welcomed our first child, our daughter, Kyndel Rae. Read more>>

Brandon Jackson

I got my start in photography back in high school, where I took a photography class. This lead to my taking a job after school at one of the local camera shops, Dury’s. During this time, I learned a lot about photographic equipment, and this fed what became a passion for photography. After high school, I went to work full time in camera shops both at Dury’s and Wolf Camera over several years. At 25 years old, in 1995, I opened a photo lab and photography studio in Brentwood with a friend from wolf and Dury’s. Owning your own business is a very time-consuming, exhausting, and rewarding experience. We were open for two years until a Wolf Camera opened in our shopping center. It took them only about three months to carve enough of our business away to the point where we had to close. This was both disappointing and relief as I hated to see the business go away. I was happy to get time again for things I wanted to do. At this point, I stopped my photography work as I was pretty burned out from taking any type of photography that walked in the door. Read more>>

Tanza Perry Cooper

I’ve always loved planning events and organizing. I was always the go-to person for planning our family reunions and church events. I always tried to serve on committees with my sorority that involved planning some event. While stationed (husband is retired Army) in the Washington DC area, I worked at a law firm where I was tasked with all of the event planning duties, such as planning the office get-togethers along with the baby and bridal showers. I soon started receiving requests from other departments and lawyers within the firm to help with their department or personal events. It was all a free service at the time until I looked further into the event planning world. My research yielded a plethora of opportunities to make event planning a full-time job. I decided to enroll in the Event Management Professional Certificate course at George Washington University while working full-time at the law firm. Read more>>

Kayla McDowell

Growing up, I was surrounded by family in the medical and emergency services field, creatives, and entrepreneurs. I knew I would end up in one of these fields, and I just didn’t know which one. I grew up in Bolivar, TN. A very small town in West Tennessee. So honestly, I thought my only options in life were to become something that was already in my family. My youngest memory that I can recall of what I wanted to become when I was older was a Plastic Surgeon. Then it changed to owning my own clothing boutique. And finally, back to anything in the medical field. I just knew I wanted to help people. Fast forward many years, it was time to apply to college. I attended MTSU and set my major as Nursing. During my freshman year, I had a meaningful conversation with my grandfather, who was a very well respected Doctor. We were talking about my future and my major in school. I felt uneasy with my decision. And in that moment he gave me the “out” I didn’t know I was searching for. He told me “If your heart isn’t in it, don’t do it. The medical field has changed”. This conversation has stuck with me for almost 10 years. Read more>>

Perplexity

I started acting in plays at a young age and continued through high school where I found a love for film and TV. I can be too creative for my own good at times, so when I graduated college I didn’t have many extracurricular activities to express myself. This is when Drag came into my life. I fell in love with it almost instantly. I started doing my research (watching YouTube videos) to learn how to do my makeup. Once I felt like I was at a good starting place I ran to thrift stores, bought a sewing machine and started to make my own costumes. I went to a local open stage night and the rush of adrenaline that I felt after my first performance was incredible and in that moment I knew I was hooked. I am thankful for that night because it has since sparked my career of being a Drag Queen. Read more>>

Alyssa Dicarlo

My story began with an array of artistic ideas. I spent several years modeling in both Arizona and Florida before relocating to Northern Alabama. My ideas continued to soar in the realm of the visual arts, and I had yet to meet a photographer who shared my vision, so alas, I became my own photographer. What started as a simple plan to be a self-portrait photographer blossomed into something extraordinary. I brought both my own visions and the dreams of others to life with the magic of photography. I connected with fellow creatives from Nashville, Huntsville, and beyond. I spent countless hours and endless nights perfecting my craft, studying my gear, and creating an image of which I could be proud. Today, I’m beyond lucky to have worked with beautiful models, charming families, dreamy couples, and most importantly, myself. It’s only up from here!. Read more>>

Kristi Gillette

I started showing interest in photography when I was just a wee little thing. I would pose my cats (yes, I said cats) and photograph them on my film camera. I decided to continue on with that love & headed to Nashville after college. This is where I received my Bachelor’s in Photography and started my career in photography. I came back home to good ole Kentucky & quickly fell in love with my husband, Jerry. We now live in Paducah, KY with two rowdies, but adorable girls. I come back to Nashville as often as I can (less than two hours away) so that I can visit the city & photograph the beauty in it. Read more>>

Meagan Waller

I have had a passion for capturing the world around me since I can remember, and I truly mean that. My Uncle, Chris Coombs, sent me a photo about two years ago of him and his friend and my great grandmother that was clearly taken back in the ’90s. I thought it was a bit strange that the photo was taken from the floor where it was basically an “up the nose, double chin” kinda shot. It turns out I was the one behind the camera. He said, “Here’s the first photo you ever took. You were about three years old. You grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of everyone.” And that’s where my photography story begins. I dabbled in taking pictures all throughout my childhood, and I’m pretty sure my mom got mad at me several times for taking her camera and never putting it back. I officially picked photography back up in 2016 and have been practicing ever since. I continue to look at every session I do as a learning opportunity because I still have room to grow but knowing that someone out there chose me to capture their memories that they will be looking at for years to come brings tears to my eyes. Read more>>

Kim Pearse

I actually started staging before we even knew what staging was. I was a financial advisor for 30 years, when working with my clients they always told me they were getting ready to sell their home. I would actually say “let me come over and spruce up your home.” Again, this is before staging was anything except for model homes. So even in the hard selling markets over 20 years, the client’s homes looked much more open and inviting and the homes sold quickly. I have always been the girl who rearranged her bedroom at least once a month, much to my sister, who shared the bedroom, dismay. It has been a passion that I have always had that allowed me to keep the creative side of my brain working as I was working in the financial industry. My daughters and husband actually were all working in Tennessee while I was in Ohio and the final straw was when my son decided to attend Belmont. So that made three out of our four kids in this area. I choose to sell my business in finance and get certified, license, and bonded to become an official home stager seven years ago and start this business in Tennessee. I have never looked back. I get to be creative all day!. Read more>>

Taylor Sorensen

My backstory is not unlike many in Nashville. In 1999, I moved here to pursue music. The rest of the story is far less predictable. After graduating with a degree in Religious Studies, emphasis in Theology, and a double minor in Music Business and German (Ha! Yeah, I know), I had a short-lived record deal, recorded and toured, etc. Music did not pay the bills, and during the early post-college years, I worked various jobs in order to support musical pursuits. Due to this, my work resume is at least doubly eclectic as my college degree with a mix of construction workers (framing the East Nashville Kroger), mechanics (Tennessee British Motorcycles), barista (Portland Brew), and more, including working for the no-longer-in-existence ArtHouse Gardens landscaping company. Read more>>

Neysha Clevenger

I am originally from Buffalo, NY (Go Bills) and have been in Nashville for the last six years! I got started with Nashville Vibin about three years ago after being the go to girl for all things Nashville from my friends here and also my hometown friends who came to visit me. When it came to the best food, drinks, and places to be… I was there. I loved Nashville from the minute I came and I was absolutely obsessed with the social scene here! Seeing Nashville grow into this vibrant, young, ever changing city has been wild and refreshing. After awhile, I needed a place to host all of my recommendations and my love for Nashville… that is when Nashville Vibin was born! A place for me to connect with others who love this city and those who want to visit!. Read more>>

Shannon Yebuah

I started my cheerleading career at the age of 5. I cheered for youth leagues and school through high school. I began coaching cheerleading in 2014, with the Nashville Cardinals, and went on to become the Director of Cheerleading with the Shelby Park Jaguars. When the pandemic hit, many football teams did not offer cheerleading for the season. With this in mind, Cheer HIVE was created! I put together a group of educated black women, whom all have cheer backgrounds to form the founding staff for Cheer HIVE. Together we encourage, promote, and teach girls the importance of self-love, discipline, and sisterhood through the sport of cheer. Read more>>

Maria Haycraft

I grew up in Niagara Falls, NY, in a home with a single mom. I was one of those kids who never fit into any real mold. I made my own, haha I was very into music, and it was my creative outlet all my high school years. I thought I would be in the music industry for sure. But funny how life throws curve balls. I was ready to be a music major at a college in Rochester, NY, and at the last minute, I decided nope im moving to Florida. I lived in Florida for a few years and made some pretty tragic decisions which taught me many lessons. this was a very dark time for me. I lived in Gainesville, Florida, discovered a super awesome legal graffiti wall, and began creating stencils and painting that wall. This quickly became and obsession and a creative outlet for me. I didnt realize then that I needed that outlet to help me through life at the time. I was in a toxic relationship that I committed to marriage. Now that was falling apart, so facing divorce, worthlessness, abandonment, and a slew of other emotional issues, you can imagine a creative outlet was key. Read more>>

Bethany Shaw

I started taking photography seriously when I realized I wanted to take photos of my kids and I wasn’t happy with how they were turning out. This was, gasp, before the iPhone, and back when digital cameras were still new and not the amazing cameras they are today. I stuck with it, invested in education and better equipment as time went on and decided I wanted to do this for other families. Read more>>

Joelle Cardinale

I was born and raised in Miami, FL, surrounded by vibrant art and cultures. Following my creative passion, I attended the University of Central Florida and earned my degree in photography. I graduated during the height of Covid-19 and went on a trip to live with a close friend in Nashville for a few months. Those couple months turned into a year, and now I am a full-time freelancer located in Nashville, TN. Read more>>

Meghan Grace

I started my work as a researcher back in graduate school when I was completing my master’s at the University of Arizona. But, I didn’t really fully claim my identity as a researcher until about 2017. I began my work as a generational researcher, focusing on Generation Z. Being a generational researcher is still a big part of what I do, but my work has expanded as I’ve further studied higher education, organizational development, leadership, and data strategy. Throughout my career, I’ve worked on college campuses, for non-profits, as a freelancer, and most recently, as a consultant. At the heart of what I love to do is help other people and organizations be better and grow. For much of my work, that involves helping clients learn and answer questions so that they can elevate their practice through becoming more efficient or effective. I credit much of where I am today in my career to the incredible mentors I’ve had along the way. Read more>>

Ashley Bowman

After graduating high school, I knew I loved helping others, from the various community givebacks I participated in coaching younger athletes in sports to volunteering time with my church. They were all great, but there wasn’t fire there, that drive, to make me go all in. Since I had good grades, I figured I might as well give college a shot only to realize, after a bit like some people do, that college was not for me. I was always interested in our military and will always have a deep love for our country instilled in me from childhood. I decided to enlist in the Air Force serving our country. After getting out, I came back home, a little wiser, more disciplined, but most of all still longing to find that “passion” that was still elusive to me. After a few months of working as a teaching assistant and waiting tables to make ends meet, I found myself slowly entering a depression fueled by alcohol and terrible eating habits. Before I knew it, I had put on over 70 pounds and was at my rock bottom. I looked in the mirror and saw disgust. Read more>>

The Shirah Brothers

We come from a family of 10 kids. We grew up singing southern gospel music with our family group, Royal City. About eight years ago we decided it was time to pursue families and careers, so we came off the road. For the past three years, we have felt a calling to go back into ministry. A year and a half ago we decided to make the calling a reality, and we set off as the Shirah Brothers. The Shirah Brothers consist of three brothers, Josh, Jake, and Aaron. Read more>>

Aynsley Broom

At my previous job in Arkansas, I worked with a very diverse group of people. I actually made two best friends while working there. We would always talk about learning more about our heritage and history. Growing up in Arkansas, I didn’t know much about my Samoan heritage. However, my best from that job, Chanterra, had grown up learning a lot about her Black American history. She really encouraged me to dive in and learn as much as I could. That was the start. What really launched me into starting Sipping Koko had the opportunity to meet my family overseas as an adult. I say “as an adult” because I had met them when I was a child, but it had been since then since I was able to spend time with them in person. It was the fall of 2017, and I was at my cousin’s wedding. Sadly, a week before the big day, her mother passed away. So, not only did we have to prep for a wedding, but we also had to prep for a funeral. Like I said, I grew up in Arkansas and had attended only predominantly Caucasian weddings and funerals. Read more>>

Nikki Moreland

I come from a long line of female fashion entrepreneurs who believe that the best part of this job is making our customers’ eyes light up when they put on that perfect dress. My grandmother started our business in the Philippines in the 1930s. Ten years ago my husband and I relocated to his hometown, Springfield, TN, which is North of Nashville. I was a bit homesick and I started Chantilly Belle as a way to stay connected to my family and to put my business degree to good use. Our creations are a product of my life’s journey: my passion for fashion, my struggles with body image, my evolution from young professional to stay-at-home mom. It’s also an aspiration – a manifestation of how I want to look and feel in the future. I want to share it all with other women. Read more>>

Allie Chambers Hopkins

I picked up my first camera (my mom’s old point and shoot) when I was 12 years old, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I would conduct a photoshoot on anyone I could convince to be my subject, whether it be friends, my brother, or even the family dog. I kept photography as a hobby all through college, and after I graduated with my degree in Psychology, found that I really do have a passion for photographing people. From 2016 to 2018, I took time to explore different worlds of photography. I moved from a hospital newborn photography job to specializing in portraits to specializing in couples and weddings. I found myself engrossed in the world of weddings and want to specialize in that realm. In 2018, I decided to take my love of photography to the next level (ie. doing all of the tedious and technical “official” steps to developing a business). Read more>>

Jenny Abrams

Professional organizing is a second career for me. I graduated with a masters degree in social work and worked as a medical social worker for 16 years. I always had a love for organizing and when my position at the hospital I worked at was eliminated, I decided to turn my love and passion into a business. I felt that my my communication skills as a social worker would be a huge benefit to me as I changed course to help families in a different, but still important way. Initially, I provided both organizing services and decluttering services for clients moving/downsizing. When I relocated and rebranded my business to Nashville (from Chicago), I decided to focus my services just on organizing projects. My specialty is working with busy moms and families create peaceful spaces in their homes to relax, enjoy, and entertain. I work with these clients to develop and embrace new strategies for organization as well as create aesthetically beautiful and functional spaces. Read more>>

Jasmine Peterson

Jasmine Peterson, founder of Beauty by A’meera, started the company in 2019 with a line of lipsticks. Jasmine was inspired in 2016 when her everyday look turned into wearing lipstick and a cardigan with other attire for work. Give a woman the right lipstick, and she can conquer the world. Jasmine was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and has resided in Nashville, TN, for over 12 years. She enjoys new adventures, music, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She is a graduate of Alabama State University with a BS in Business Management and earned a Masters of Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from DeVry University, Keller School of Management. She dreamed of being an entrepreneur as a kid; she always came up with innovative ideas and saw challenges as stepping stones. She has a passion for beauty, desires to inspire others and challenge women to express their beauty boldly. She is a certified makeup artist and started her makeup journey in 2012. These are a few reasons she implemented a beauty business for queens to explore and meet their life’s potential. Read more>>

Jessica Baldwin

I started my business when I was 25, mother of two daughters. I just took my little savings and just did it. I have been doing hair for 17 years. Owning my business for 10 years. I have been very successful and ai love doing hair, but the color is my thing. Every year it gets better. I am so glad my daughters have been a part of this whole process and have been there ever since the beginning. Read more>>

Stacie Flood-Popp

I guess in Paris France where I studied Visual Art, but always loved dance, So I started to take a dance class! In Paris, I worked with two dance companies, Until I ran out of money and had to come home. I had to figure out how to dance in the US (since I had taken dance in the US before.) I came home thinking I would soon move to NYC, However that changed when I met my husband, got hired at an Arts Magnet School, and found a dance community I felt welcome in. While teaching at the high school, I started my own dance company. I started Found Movement Group in 2006 to fill the absence of hardhitting dance in Nashville. The company’s mission is to establish an open community by addressing real life issues through the lens of dance and movement theatre. The company explores the unspoken trials which we all seem to face but no one wants to admit. Our vision is to expose Nashville to choreography that maintains responsibility to social consciousness. Read more>>

Dan Alvarado

I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was either drawing/painting or playing guitar and writing songs. In 2009, I got my first real camera and would shoot photos of my friends that were in bands, couples, landscapes, portraits, travel, pretty much anything. I learned the basics and had fun with it for a little while but ended up putting the camera down for a long time to pursue other passions. I decided to pick it back up in late 2018 but with a different approach. I was losing interest in my hobbies during that time, so I figured I would dust off the cobwebs and see if I could get the swing of it again. This time, I fell in love because I had a much stronger desire to learn new techniques and was experimenting a lot more, so I wanted to keep that momentum going. I would spend so many hours researching new lighting techniques, in-camera tricks, photoshop, gear, editing workflows/styles, trends in fashion, attend photography workshops/networking events, the list goes on. Read more>>

Zachary Bair

It started when I moved to Nashville for school back in 2014. Moving from my home state of Delaware, I attended Belmont University as an Audio Engineering Major. At Belmont, I was able to make some amazing friends and great connections in the creative and music industry. A lot of these connections are friends and colleagues I still work with and hang out with today! Belmont is an expensive school, but in my opinion, it’s paid for itself through the amazing people that I was able to meet there. I hustled a lot in school. I had a few close friends, but a lot of my time was dedicated to finding new and unique work opportunities, networking with as many people as I could, and my studies, of course. Don’t get me wrong; I still had a lot of fun in college! But I wanted to lay some groundwork for my future. I never stuck with one field. A professor once told our class that as a freelancer, it was important to diversify your income stream and to become an asset. Call it ADHD or hyper-fixation, but I’ve turned that piece of advice into a profitable business as a freelancer. Read more>>

Kim “Cookie” McCray

After over a decade working in the freelance film industry on projects including Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile, Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, Alejandro Inarritu’s 21 Grams, Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown, Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance, Shana Feste’s Country Strong, Del Shore’s Blues for Willadean and many more films, television shows, commercials, and music videos, Kim decided on a career change and went to work as a SAG-AFTRA booking agent for a talent agency in Nashville, TN. When the owner retired, Kim opened a boutique SAG-AFTRA talent agency. The McCray Agency represents actors for film, television, commercials, music videos, print, industrials, and more. Within two years of opening her agency doors, her clients booked jobs including Showtime’s Homeland, Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBOMax/DC Universe’s Doom Patrol, IFC’s Stan Against Evil, Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird, Netflix’s Ozark, CBS All Access Tell Me A Story, AMC’s Preacher, Sony/Apple TV +/Playtone’s Greyhound, NBC’s Chicago Fire, CW’s Dynasty, IFC’s Brockmire, USA’s Queen of the South. Read more>>

Alexandria Oviatt

The Dough Lab, in its current iteration, is just a test run of a larger dream. I started baking with my mom in middle school and have been talking about opening my own bakery for nearly that long. At first, I learned to bake weekly loaves for my family in a bread machine. When I no longer had access to a bread machine, I graduated to making it all by hand. I continued baking bread in college and incorporated other goods into my repertoire, including muffins and pies. As a graduate student at Vanderbilt, I have continued to add to my baking toolbelt, namely in the form of a slew of sourdough baked goods. My baking was well-received by my college friends, and some even encouraged me to start a baking blog (which I let my creative juices fuel until graduate school) and supported my dream of running a real bakery one day. For me, the jumping-off point was deciding two things: a) I wanted a wider audience to test recipes on, and b) I hoped to share a love of baking (and baking science) with others. The Dough Lab was then conceived in December 2020 and launched in January 2021. Read more>>

Bella Noelle Jordan

I’m Bella Noelle the youngest, published, best-selling author in the world, and all of this started because my mommy, That Math Chick, wanted me to have a love of reading. Math comes super easy to my mommy so she wanted reading to come easy to me. She figured if I loved reading at an early age then she could help me gain a love for math later, plus its math, so it’s in my blood. She decided when I was a baby that we would join a program where the goal was to read 1000 books before kindergarten. We set that goal but we took it a lot further, she decided that not only would we read 1000 books before kindergarten we would include books that were all about me and my adventures. So mommy and my god-mommy got together and created my business, The Adventures of Bella Noelle. Read more>>

Britney Campbell

I’m 41 years old and the founder and co-creator of Her Bank, a brand inspired by women for women to deliver a better banking experience. More formally, I am the senior VP of marketing and public relations for Legends Bank. I am a native middle Tennessean, who was born and raised in the great community of Clarksville before moving to Nashville in the fall of 2019. At that time, I had 19 years of banking experience with Legends Bank and decided to move to begin a new personal and professional chapter in my life. Growing up I was raised by a single mom who was extremely close to her family, so I had an amazing tribe of grandparents and great-grandparents who happily pitched in raising their only grandchild and first great-grandchild (I wasn’t spoiled at all!) My dad wasn’t in the picture really so I spent a lot of time with my mom’s parents and sister, who is special needs and still lives at home. My grandfather, who I affectionately call, Pawpaw, was the provider. Read more>>

Lindsy Read

Before moving to Nashville in 2014, my husband and I lived in France for a year. I knew I needed a good camera, so I purchased my first digital SLR camera. I honed my craft during that year in Europe and started my photography business, shooting weddings, when we got back to the States. I spent the next six years planning corporate events and photographing weddings. So, becoming a contracted wedding planner for Music City Events was the next natural step. Under the leadership of our founder, Sarah Willard, I executed dozens of events in just a few years. In 2018, Willard left Tennessee, stepped down as founder, and I became the owner of Music City Events. This company gave me a love for Nashville, and I am so proud to carry on its legacy. I am a designer at heart. I love to create events that feel unique and represent each client well. I love to focus on guests’s experiences, and my hope is that they feel just as relaxed and happy as my client’s on their big day. In an effort to diversify, I launched Read Event House this year. Read Event House provides full-service planning for modern couples with impeccable style. Read more>>

Andrea de Leon

Online grad school was getting ramped up, and I settled in my new part-time job at a local marketing firm. The Magnetainment Brand President, Kayla Ryan, had called me saying she knew of a cool opportunity that I was potentially interested in. Kayla had explained what Magnetainment was, and I thought it was an amazing opportunity to begin my entrepreneurial journey – much sooner than I had initially planned. Starting a business in the midst of a pandemic was a blessing in disguise because I could take my time learning how to begin and run a business. The support of the Corporate team at Home-Based Franchise Group has and continues to be so great. Over the last few months, the business has begun picking up, and I’ve made amazing connections with other local entrepreneurs. I plan on continually finding new ways to grow my business, and I’m very excited for the Magnetainment of Nashville’s future. Read more>>

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