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Nashville’s Most Inspiring Stories

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.

Nica Lina

I have always looked up to bloggers growing up. I used to binge-watch beauty and fashion YouTubers whenever I came home from school, read through dozens of blogs while in class, and would peruse through tons of magazines at bookstores, seeing how celebrities and famous bloggers were living their lives. I was obsessed. I wanted that life so bad. To be able to work with brands you love, live a life of freedom, and be known for something you’re passionate about– that was the goal!  I started to build a following in early 2018 when my then-boyfriend suggested I start modeling with cars at car shows. He was incredibly passionate about cars and wanted me to be a part of that, so I did that for a few months. I quickly realized it wasn’t my thing, but also realized how quick the growth was and how empowering it was to have a following that looked up to you, wanted to be your friend, and more. Read more>>

Samantha van de Kamp

With a degree in Communications and Media, I actually got my career started in newspapers and magazines, where I was always working within the local community and of course local businesses. That is truly what I loved, was working with business owners and helping them share their stories. I actually worked in Australia for 4 years and got to work closely with local businesses in new areas. With the rise of social media, I began managing the online presence of the newspaper and then starting working more in the digital marketing space. We made the move to Nashville, TN in 2017, and being in a new and welcoming city, I started to meet local business owners and giving them advice on how to use social media. And VDK Digital was born – in 2018 I start my own business helping other business owners with their social media and digital marketing.  Read more>>

Brian Bauer

Prior to founding BEM, I co-managed Rockhouse Partners, an entertainment marketing firm owned by global ticketing company Etix. As Agency Director, the team and I supported entertainment properties in generating sales, activating fans, and maximizing sponsorship value. I also enhanced concert experiences for Etix ticket buyers by establishing a first-of-its-kind promotional partnership with rideshare giant Uber. Previously, I led my own New York City-based digital marketing consultancy and managed GuyRilla Marketing Group, an organization providing strategies and alliances for companies marketing to men. I created and implemented high-profile marketing summits that attracted speakers and attendees from Microsoft, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, Nike, J. Crew, ESPN, and ABC’s Shark Tank. I launched my marketing career at MTV Networks, RCA/J Records, and Wind-up Records. I was also selected by Universal Music Group, from over 30,000 applicants, to work directly with executives at Warped Tour, Bad Boy Films, and KROQ. While there, I produced a music video featuring Kanye West, Chester Bennington, and Good Charlotte for worldwide release. Read more>>

Laura Moll

My dad gifted me my first DSLR camera nine years ago when I traveled to Lima, Peru. I lived in Lima for about five months, and during my time there I photographed anything and everything. I was enamored by the way I saw things differently and creatively when using my camera.  As soon as I got back to LA, where I’m born and raised, I began looking for opportunities to get involved in the business side of photography. I began assisting other photographers that I admired and I leveraged every opportunity I could get to learn more about photography, both the artistic and the business side. I slowly began building a portfolio and a client base of my own.  From there, every opportunity led to one or two more opportunities and my business has multiplied exponentially. Although it’s been a long journey, I feel like my business took off overnight, and I never imagined that I would be where I’m at today. I’m incredibly grateful for my amazing clients, both in Los Angeles and in Nashville where I now reside, who have turned into friends, and the dream opportunities that continue to come my way. Read more>>

Jantrice Johnson

I am Jantrice ‘The Homemaker’ Johnson, but not a homemaker in the traditional sense. I believe in redefining what home is through real estate, family, and community. I am a Real Estate Agent with Intero Real Estate Services in Middle TN, mother of two daughters, wife, Director of Rutherford County Back to School Bash, Board Member of Read to Succeed, and CEO of Muka, a virtual community connecting minority homebuyers and sellers to trusted realtors.  Read more>>

Ali Gensert

I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since I was 15. The hustle and bustle of restaurants have always excited me, so it was a natural career path to follow. Upon graduating with a degree in Service Management from UT, I began my tenure with 4Top Hospitality as the Sales Manager for Amerigo Italian Restaurant in Brentwood, TN. After two years, I took over the Nashville location, followed by our new restaurant, Etch, in 2012. My primary role was to increase catering and private dining business for the three local restaurants. As our company continued to grow, there was an increased need for marketing, so I began to focus my efforts on increasing our presence both online and in our local communities where our restaurants are located. This morphed into a new role, and a new division, for our company. Today, I oversee the sales and marketing department for our 15 restaurant locations.  Read more>>

Kerstin van Bolderen

A Nashville-based Functional Medicine Health Coach, mom of two, and founder of The Little Wins. I specialize in helping women prioritize their health throughout their motherhood journey, from pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. I’ve always been drawn to the health and wellness field, but narrowing down my specialization took time, and evolved as I grew in my personal and professional life, and became a mom. As I transitioned into motherhood, I noticed that women consistently put their needs last, and struggle to find the energy, time, or support to make their health a priority. Yet when they do, they feel better and more equipped to take on the load of motherhood mentally, physically, and emotionally. I work with women to bridge that gap and help them create sustainable lifestyle changes that are realistic and authentic to their lives. I help my clients realize the power of food and lifestyle, and the profound impact everyday choices can have on their long-term wellness. I’m always striving to inspire self-empowerment in my clients, and pride myself on being able to transform their mindsets around their ability to take their health to the next level. Read more>>

Taylor Wharton

I’m the founder and owner of House of Baesics- a lifestyle and accessory brand that believes in empowering people to feel confident in who they are. I started working on this brand at my previous job 2 years ago- and I’ve had an entrepreneurial, growth mindset my entire life and knew one day I would own my own business. Jewelry and loungewear have always been staples in my everyday life, and as I started doing research (and also from being a bit of a shopaholic myself) it concerned me that popular online boutiques were *severely* lacking proper size ranges. These days, manufacturers that sell to these boutiques only make standard sizes small through large. I want to redefine the “standard” because…who wants to be standard? I want to break the crushing stigma that you have to be a size small through large in order to find accessible, trendy clothing. So instead of ordering directly from popular brands that all other boutiques buy from, I started to design/find loungewear in sizes S-3XL so that everyone feels welcome at House of Baesics. Read more>>

Sara Fahling

As a child, I was fascinated with architecture—specifically, homes; domestic spaces. I dreamt of being an architect and then an interior designer. Then in my late teens, I picked up a camera and photographed anything that brought me joy. It wasn’t long before I took my first photography class in college, and like many new photographers, I wanted to take pictures of people. I wanted to make them look beautiful and capture their special moments. It wasn’t until my last two years of college that I started taking photographs of interior spaces. Specifically, my grandparent’s home that I would continue to photograph for almost a decade. In this time, I finished my BFA and decided to pursue an MFA in photography. During graduate school, I used the photographs I took of this house in my grandparent’s absence to express the fragility of memory and its unique relationship with photography.  Read more>>

Natosha McCarroll

Someone I was once close to “Barbara”, and she was trying to complete her healing touch certificate. She had to practice on so many people and she didn’t have enough people. So, I went over and had a great session. I decided I would like to make people feel that same way. Only did I not know that no two people will have the same session. I started reading more books and learning more about the chakras. I found a Reiki One Attunement Class given by, Becki Baumgartner, and I registered for it.  Her hands changed my life, and I am grateful for her. When class was over, she looked at me and said, “I will see you back here for your Master Attunements.” I laughed and she didn’t. She looked at me and told me that she saw something special, and she was excited to see what my practice turned into. Well, I guess the Jokes are on me because here I am since 2018 a Certified Reiki Master Teacher. I would not trade anything to change it! If I could change it, I would want to experience this healing journey a lot sooner. It’s all in God’s timing.  Read more>>

Adriana Mejía

I moved to the USA a year and a half ago from Nicaragua a small and poor Island. When I was 17 in my fourth year of college studying business and administration, I decided I didn’t want to do that the rest of my life. I always wanted to be an architect but my parents never support me so I quit. I just didn’t really feel it would fit me my parents did not like that so they kicked me out of the house almost instantly. I left and worked teaching math to my old friends from college and one day in the small apartment where I was living one of my old friends told me to do her makeup. Of course, I didn’t know how to but I tried and she liked it, the next week another girl came to my apartment and before you know it, I was going house by house doing makeup and hair! I opened up my first beauty salon when I was only 18 years old, I finally saved enough to be able to open a small place it wasn’t fancy at all but people really came there for me and didn’t care how run down the place looked at all! After a year of saving money. Read more>>

Anna Pittman

I got a job delivering flowers when I moved to Tennessee in 2017. After delivering for a year, I started designing while not knowing a thing about flowers. I was sort of just thrown into it and taught myself as I went. After a while, I decided to start my own business while still freelancing for other florists which I still love to do. I didn’t start doing custom cookies until earlier this year. Another one of those learn as you go things!. Read more>>

Karnitia Holmes

While attending graduate school at the great Tennessee State University, I decided to take a nonprofit management course along with my Master’s degree. While in one of my classes, I met a female grant writer which piqued my interest in the field. Fast forward to 2021, I’m the go-to person for all things funding for my circle of friends and colleagues. I want to help people see that starting a nonprofit is not as hard as you think it is and you can most definitely find your business with grants. Representation really does matter. I educate every person I hand a business card to or speak to online. They all tell me the same thing: They have NEVER met a grant writer… let alone one who was female and happened to be black. Isn’t that something?. Read more>>

Robert Young

I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee watching my late father conduct investigations as a federal police officer with the railroad. He had a cool job, and I wanted to do the same thing! Once I got past becoming an Atlanta Braves baseball player, I chose the path of law enforcement. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) I entered into the Metro Nashville Police academy in 2007. After 6 months of training, I was awarded with the Top Gun award, and then I hit the streets. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I just had to work hard to get there. In five short years I had made it; my dream job on the 20th Judicial District Drug Task Force. The cases this small unit of 6 was able to produce were unimaginable, something straight out of a movie. In 2014 I started a cocaine trafficking case. Little did I know that it would lead to the largest cocaine haul and most complex wiretap case in Nashville history. Read more>>

Stacey Randol

I am originally from Central Illinois. I went to Millikin University where I studied Public Relations and minored in music. After college, I moved to Nashville. Originally, I thought I would pursue music business rather than be a songwriter. But after living in Nashville, I changed my mind quickly and I knew I wanted to be the one creating songs.  Read more>>

Glynnis Garcia

I honestly feel like I don’t have a typical hair and makeup artist story, to be honest. I grew up always doing something visually artistic. Painting and drawing mostly, making jewelry, weaving, ceramics, sewing, etc. I was always big into fashion growing up and was very experimental with my personal style. I had used to flip through my grandmother’s W, Bazaar, and Vogue magazines when they used to be as thick as a Bible. And draw the models, from full body to the makeup (those were my favorite). I had used to model for years as well… Art is my life and my therapy. I eat and breathe it.  I had gone to cosmetology school in 2011 (Paul Mitchell, Antioch). A lot of my contacts from modeling started to book me for session styling. Which was funny to me, because 1.) I had gone to hair school originally out of hope I MIGHT be good since it was creative and no math course required. 2.) I had no idea how to even blow dry hair, or know how to use a bobby pin. Read more>>

Tim Stout Group

The Tim Stout Group is a high-producing real estate team that started in June 2018 as a sister team of Tim Stout and Associates (located near Atlanta). Our CEO & Coach, Tim Stout, is a successful businessman of several businesses, author, speaker, and is in the top 1% of Real Estate Agents nationwide.  Since June of 2018-2020, our combined teams have sold over 1,000 homes. Our teams are trained with the highest level of coaching – both from Tim directly and from his coach, David Keesee – and exercise the highest level of customer service to all customers and business partners.  The focus of our business is to truly help people, give back to the community, and impact others’ lives from their positive interactions with us during a stressful time in their life. This vision sets our team apart from the rest so that we can function with a mindset that echoes, “Who you work with matters!” Read more>>

Amanda J. Clay

I consider myself one of the lucky ones who always had a passion. I knew from childhood I wanted to write stories–I have old notebooks filled with the literary genius of a kid, haha. But it’s definitely not an easy career path. I studied English and Journalism in undergraduate then went on to get a Master’s Degree in media studies. I then went into the corporate world. Finally in 2014—I wrote and published my first novel!  It was a young adult dystopian with a little romance—ala, Hunger Games, which was of course wildly popular at the time. It went on to be a trilogy and while I love that first series, ultimately my heart wasn’t in that genre. After playing around with a few things, I realized that my true calling was mysteries and thrillers.  Now I have fifteen published novels, mostly in the thriller space. Read more>>

Allee-Sutton Hethcoat

My mother worked as a model beginning in her twenties and throughout my childhood. My Dad worked full time and we used to go on bookings with my mom as kids and we all wanted to work as well so my other siblings and I signed with her agency and worked as a family and independently. I’ve truly loved having the chance to be creative and work in my industry for my entire life. It’s cool now as an adult to get to work with people who remember me from the time, I was a toddler. I only took a break from the entertainment industry in middle school, then picked back up in high school, and haven’t stopped since. I feel so grateful for the incredible creative community here in Nashville and have been fortunate to enough to be a part of some really special projects here at home and in the Southeast. Read more>>

LaToya Jackson

As a former healthcare professional, I believe in healthy, sanitary nail care for all.  Working in Healthcare, I’ve seen the worst of the worst in nail health… from extremely dry skin to thick, overgrown, fungal nails. It didn’t get much better after becoming a nail tech. I’ve worked in several salons and noticed the lack of proper nail care, where your issues are overlooked and covered up. Have you ever been cut and they keep working like nothing is wrong? Did your expensive pedicure leave your skin dry and feet sore from the cheese grater? Did that set of nails leave you with thin, brittle, and sore nail beds from the drill? I have.  Being fed up with those around me offering inferior nail services, I bring you Manicure U Natural Nail Services, where healthy nails start!  All nail techs know how to make nails pretty, but I offer you safe and comprehensive manicures and pedicures that give you what you want and NEED when it comes to your feet and hands, by providing revolutionary waterless techniques, in a clean and relaxing environment. Even diabetics can comfortably sit in my chair, knowing that their nails and skin will be well taken care of. Read more>>

Kara Jamison

My flower growing journey began in the winter of 2018 when a seed was planted in my heart to learn how to grow cut flowers to bring others joy. Growing plants was not a new endeavor to me as my husband and I had spent the past decade growing vegetable gardens to supplement fresh food for our family. Growing fresh flowers for the purpose of cut flowers was new to me though. This idea was planted in my heart a short time after I lost my mother, Joy, who bravely battled the fight against breast cancer. Flowers bring people joy and I decided to name my business, Blooming Joy Flower Company, after her and spread joy in her name. Once this seed was planted in my heart to learn how to grow cut flowers, I dove headfirst into anything I could find about how to grow cut flowers. There was a lot to learn such as what flowers grew in each season, how to start seeds when to harvest flowers, how to condition flowers after harvesting, and design techniques to arrange the flowers beautifully. Read more>>

Antionette Booker

My journey as a serial entrepreneur began at The University of Memphis, where I had the opportunity to lead in different capacities through on-campus organizations and in my sorority – Alpha Kappa Alpha.  In addition, I had the opportunity to participate in five different internships which gave me a sneak peek into the work that I would eventually do in Corporate America and as a serial entrepreneur. There was one particular internship that shaped me into the businesswoman that I am today. At one point, I was the Marketing Manager at The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation under the leadership of Kelly Penwell at the time. Kelly taught me the ins and outs of running a business…  That is where I discovered my passion for helping small businesses. Read more>>

Christina Wiggins

I’ve always had a love for art, color, nature, and people, so I’ve incorporated all four aspects in creating customizable unique abstract artwork. I have always drawn with straight lines, and perfect proportions, but a few years ago, I decided to think outside the box and try a new technique. I sat outside on a sunny day and decided to blend a few colors that I thought would complement each other, and the result was mesmerizing to me! I was captivated by the way the colors flowed with no set true intention, that I decided to create more and more artwork. Over time, my designs have captured the attention of family, friends, and local abstract art lovers. So, in the beginning of 2020, I decided to build my own abstract art business, where I offer customizable art and home decor designs. From coasters to canvases to side tables and more and with exceptional customer service, my designs will add life to any room and space. Read more>>

Sheila Wysocki

No Case is too Cold Private Investigator, Sheila Wysocki, takes matters into her own hands using unique methods such as crowd-sourcing and podcasts.  For private investigator, Sheila Wysocki, no case is too cold. She embraces the challenge and views each case as a mission to seek justice – and seeking justice is what she does.  Wysocki became a household name in the private investigation world after she helped solve the cold-case murder of her college roommate, Angie Samota, more than 25 years later. Only wanting to figure out Angie’s case, Wysocki was ready to close the case on her PI career. However, that’s when letters from around the world came pouring into her inbox begging her to help their families who had mysteriously lost a loved one. “I just couldn’t say no,” recalls Wysocki, “these families were in the same position I was after Angie’s death and I knew I had to at least try to help them.”Read more>>

Brian Hicks

In 2007 my wife Courtney and I started a nonprofit organization called Harvest Hands Community Development Corporation in South Nashville specifically focused on partnering with our neighbors and neighborhood for wholeness. The four primary areas of our work included healthy living, education, spiritual formation, and economic development.  We were informed at a neighborhood association meeting about an old crack house that was abandoned and someone said to us at the meeting–“if you all want to do something in this neighborhood to partner with us…. you all should do something about the crack house…some folks have died up there and kids are afraid of that place.” So, in the summer of 2007 in partnership with a mentor, Rev. Dr. Howard Olds, and Brentwood United Methodist Church we bought a crack house on a 2-acre lot for $250,000 (overlooking the fairgrounds). Since the house was condemned, we had to tear it down and on that same lot we held a “Harvest Festival” and the only price of admission was that folks had to fill out a survey about their community. Read more>>

Gina Quattrochi

I like to say that I’m a regular mom with a whole lotta moxie! I reached the top of my social selling company during the naptime hustle and now my biggest passion is empowering women to find the confidence and grit needed to do the same. I joined my direct sales company purely as a “side hustle.” I signed up for the discount but I had no interest in building a business. I had my sight set on my ultimate dream job: Becoming a Mom! In 2015, my wildest dreams came true. While I was overjoyed and smitten with my new baby, something was missing. I realized that I didn’t just want to be a stay at home mom. I wanted more. I wanted to be a stay at home mom AND a badass business woman that made my own money. I didn’t want to choose one or the other. Read more>>

Angie Gleason

I’ve been in the Nashville tourism industry since 2012. I’ve been extremely blessed to have amazing opportunities working with some amazing guys, including my husband, on other tours in Nashville. This is the first tour experience that I’ve taken the lead on and have absolutely loved jumping into the world of boutiques and female owned businesses! A couple of years ago, one of my business partners had the idea of a shopping tour. We saw something similar in Austin, TX but I wasn’t quite on board with what they were doing. It was more of shuttling people around and just reminded me too much of a hop on/off experience. I told him if we were to do something like this in Nashville, I would want it to be focused around boutiques and a higher-end experience. As I started researching and observing the different neighborhoods and the groups of girls shopping, I quickly saw there was a unique need for something like Bevē. So many groups are sticking to just one neighborhood or having to Uber or Lyft around town. I also asked a lot of local friends how & where they shop and any difficulties they have shopping near or around downtown. Transportation & parking was the most difficult part I found between both locals and tourists. Read more>>

Derek Shampine

I grew up in the northeast (Upstate NY) where you could easily find Pierogi most places. I came to nashville to work in the music industry (and did for around 10+ years) but have always loved cooking. During the covid “shutdown” I decided I wanted to pursue that passion and had noticed there weren’t any options for people to get handmade REAL Pierogi anywhere. So I felt strongly that I could bring that to Nashville. Read more>>

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