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Portraits of Nashville

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find inspiring interviews from in and around Nashville.

Christopher Meek

My path is extremely indirect. Although I started at the age of three studying violin and then piano at four, by the time entered my tween years, I think that I terrified my parents. I was writing music, signing up to perform in school plays, and reaching out to industry professionals to pitch demos. When I got into high school, I started my band, while also doing solo projects, and by my sophomore year, I got my first synch placement for commercial radio. I was all over the place. Worried about how invested I was, and concerned about income stability, my parents channeled my energy to preparing for university and getting a “real job.” Read more>>

Ben Saunders

I first picked up a video camera because my friend brought one to summer camp when we were in high school. As I began an ongoing journey of awareness about the ways that systems of oppression operate in our world, I felt compelled to use video as a way to tell stories and motivate people into consciousness and action for social change. My friend, Kyle, has a similar vision and we started Adelicia Company with an ethos of “co-creating meaningful media.” We create documentaries, promotional videos, and curriculum in collaboration with nonprofits and other organizations working towards a more just and equitable world. Read more>>

Beadle Beadlecomb

After living abroad for a year and a half in Guatemala, I wanted to find my cultural identity.  I attempted to do that through music, specifically bluegrass guitar, and then found old-time music and then began playing the fiddle. A lot of the people I was meeting and playing music with were part of the “back to the earth” movement. I wanted to do something good for the Earth, be outside, and have a life that felt more real to me as opposed to being caught up in the rat race. Read more>>

Sydney King

My small business started by me creating charcuterie boards for my friends and family. From BBQs, girls’ day at a local winery, and family gatherings. I was always being told that I should start a business, but never thought it would go as far as it has! Grazin me Crazy was established in May of 2021 and has grown since! I’m a local vendor at a wedding venue and have my first three weddings booked for 2022! I attend local markets to promote my business and have the pleasure of meeting new faces that I have the honor of serving charcuterie boards, boxes, and tables to. I’m so blessed that God has given me the opportunity to use my creative eye to make fun and beautiful charcuterie arrangements for everyone! Read more>>

Michael Leatherman

I moved to Nashville at 28 to pursue a career as an artist and songwriter after spending the last 8 years teaching piano and guitar in Maryland.  My performing experience was rather limited before taking the leap of faith, but I knew it’s what I had to do to live without musical regrets.  The last three years have been the most exciting of my life, making so many friends and connections. Surrounding myself with like-minded musicians/artists/writers and soaking up an abundance of knowledge along the way. Read more>>

Steven Roccazzella

Hello, my name is Steven Roccazzella and I am certified as an instructor in the Wim Hof Method. The Wim Hof Method is a wellness practice that consists of three pillars: breathwork, cold exposure, and mindset/commitment. I found the Method in 2016 while living in Utah, owning/operating a small business(barbershop). At that time in my life, I was deeply depressed and unhealthy both in my body and mind. I was suffering from depression, PTSD, and several health issues that resulted from personal loss and mental/physical damage sustained during a prior career of 13 years as law enforcement officer. Read more>>

Jim DeCesare

My daughter, Brooke Mattingly, and I both had full-time jobs, but we also had several side hustles. I was doing business consulting and organization management and Brooke was doing social media influencer coordinating and content creation. Brooke and I had often talked about starting our own business and one day over coffee in July of 2020 we decided to develop a plan to create The DeCesare Group. We are business solutions and strategies company. We can facilitate any needs a small or medium-size business may have. Read more>>

Aleece McKnight

I am a proud Memphis native and the only attorney in my family. My career was always my chosen path but getting where I am today was not.  I was in the second grade when I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I was in a situation where I could not and did not know how to speak up for myself. I was about to be expelled from school for something I didn’t do until my mom showed up to defend me – to tell my story. Not everyone has someone who can step in to defend them. I didn’t want anyone to feel that hopeless and I knew that lawyers fought for people who needed help. Growing up, I told my mom that I wanted to be a lawyer and a nurse because both careers helped people. I didn’t know much about either career, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do – so I thought. Read more>>

Troy Castellano

I grew up in rural Minnesota. A town with a population of 800. Everyone knew everyone and there were very few kids playing in bands. From the time I can remember I always wanted to play guitar. Getting my first one for Christmas at 8 years old. I got a couple of lessons. By the time I was 14 I could play some of my favorite songs. I started jamming with a few friends. We were terrible but I was a “lifer” from then on! Fast forward to to my 20s, by this time I was playing in successful cover bands in and around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. There were a lot of great times and gigs but years later I realized I wanted to “create not imitate”. Read more>>

Drew Elliott

I first picked up the guitar at the age of 10 after my brother asked me to learn all the songs off the AC/DC album High Voltage. I immediately became obsessed with the instrument and spent most of any free time I had in my room learning songs. I took a liking to songwriting near the end of high school but didn’t really start to write authentically for myself and for others until the end of my college career. Read more>>

Lyndsey Sayles

I love everything about photography. My dad is an artist and photographer, so I grew up with a camera around me most of the time. In high school, I took a few film photography classes (back before everything was digital) and fell in love with capturing moments in my family and life.  After college and while starting my career, I’ve done photo sessions for friends and family, and just kept up with the trends in the industry.  My husband is actually the one that purchased my first DSLR camera for me and said “Go chase your dreams!” And I have been doing that for a little over a decade. Read more>>

Bernisha McFerrin

I started my journey to becoming Bernisha Rynia by having a baby at 16 years old in 10th grade. I skipped my 11th-grade year of high school, graduated HS in 3 years, and then hit the duties of real life.  I started college at MTSU and that is when I got into the entertainment industry.  My personality during my youth is how I mastered the entertainment industry. I went from being the first in line at every party from teenage to college and to adult that I soon became the face of most events and people were listening to me as far as where to go to have a good, fun night. My former stage name was “Shawty Redd” With that being said, I am one of the best female event hosts/promoters and I also curate the best events. I love the entertainment business, but with being a mommy that lifestyle does not always align up. Read more>>

Dan Madson

I started my own publishing company in December of 2019 to republish several books that I had written. I started collaborating with my grandson Mack on a series of children’s books in 2020. He came home one day and told his mom about two characters that he had dreamed up called Burgerhead and Mean Jerry. When she told me about them, we both started laughing. When Mack was younger and we would visit, I would tell him stories at bedtime. While he liked hearing traditional folk tales and fairy tales, what he loved most of all was when I would tell him stories from my childhood. I told him about all the shenanigans I got into when I was a little boy. It dawned on me that I could take the characters he dreamed up and put them into the stories I had told him at bedtime. Thus began the Burgerhead & Mean Jerry series! Read more>>

Morgan Jones

Hello, my name is Morgan Jones. Somehow, I have been gifted with the ability to be dynamic in my passion pursuits, which allows me to wear many hats. For someone like me, it is difficult to focus on one career path or just one hobby/side hustle. I feel like my purpose through life is not totally defined yet. I am a people person, I love conversating with others. This quality of mine, among many others has lead me into a life of being more of an entrepreneurial type of worker. I have dreams in music, so I have been a Disc Jockey for over 12 years. My music artist name is Mojo Le Fay. I have produced dance music songs as well, with having 4 songs released and 2 more to be released this year in 2022. Read more>>

Craig & Lisa Dudinetz

Craig and Lisa Dudinetz began with a leap of faith from Craig out of a salaried 25-year profession in the restaurant industry with a well-known family restaurant. He worked his way up from busboy to the General Manager, and later Director of Operations. -Lisa spent 10 years in restaurant management and the last 10 years bartending at a respected restaurant in Franklin, TN, J Alexander’s.  -We opened The Candied Rib Company as a catering business in 2017 with a menu and armed with Smoked Babyback Rib samples. We stopped by our local Police Dept, Fire Dept, City Hall & a few local small businesses to get the word out. Read more>>

Cashield Freeman

I’ve always loved all things beauty, hair, makeup, skincare, etc, and my love for it grew into a passion when I took a part-time job in cosmetics about 4 years ago. Since I was working in cosmetics, I had to look the part, full makeup, hair nice & neat, etc. I feel like I was able to do my makeup effortlessly however, my look wasn’t complete without lashes. I fought with lash strips on a daily and finally decided to get lash extensions to make my routine a little more easier. I had heard so much negative things about lashes and how they were not healthy for your natural lashes but I took a chance anyway. Read more>>

Savannah Lingle

I didn’t officially start my journey in photography until 2016 during my sophomore year of high school, but I’ve been told my entire life that I’ve always been drawn to a camera and had an eye for the art. My mom tells me that when I was only 5 years old, I picked up her point-and-shoot camera and captured a beautiful moment of her nursing my baby brother. Any chance after that, I would steal her camera and take as many photos as I could. I received my first “real” camera, a Canon Rebel T3, in 5th grade. When I was in 8th grade, I entered a black and white photo of marbles on my living room carpet floor for a photography competition for Beta Club. Read more>>

Elia Esparza

I’m originally from El Paso, Texas, born and raised. I did choir, theatre, music all through school and eventually moved to New York City when I was 17 to attend the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. I spent about 6 years in NYC, recording in studios, demo singing, writing in camps and groups for labels. I also probably did every single open mic out there too, after being featured on The Voice Season 11, I moved back to El Paso, Texas, and started singing in clubs, bars, restaurants landing a residency at two hotels here and was also able to land opening for some big Latin artists such as Nicky Jam and Laura Pausini. I started recording and writing my own music at Beacon Hill Recording Studios (best known for helping to discover Khalid) and also worked there in PR and Brand Management for Artists. I’ve have self-released a few singles produced there and plan to release more in 2022. Read more>>

Trapper Haskins

I live outside Nashville now, but I was born and raised in Tennessee’s “other” Music City–Memphis. I’d like to be able to say I was hip to STAX Records and everything that came out of Sun Studio from an early age. However, like every kid growing up in the 80s I was glued to MTV. I was a teenager before I learned all that rock n’ roll I was listening to was actually a derivative of the music that came from my own city.  I started playing guitar around that time, a cheap nylon-string classical my parents bought years before for something like 80 bucks. I was obsessed–writing songs, learning solos. Once they saw I was serious about it they got me a few lessons and kicked in some to help me purchase what I really wanted, an electric guitar. I became sort of reclusive, playing for hours a day after school, so much so that I neglected studying and homework and started flunking classes. I didn’t care. I was 16, and I was going to be a professional musician. Read more>>

Madison Nolan

I was born in Arkansas and raised on Country music; but I was also raised in church and fell in love with worship music. I’m a singer/songwriter/worship leader in Franklin, TN. My dad’s job had us moving all around the country, and we ended up in Tennessee almost 8 years ago now. I’ve been pursuing music, but I have SO many interests! I love clothes, but more importantly, I love affordable clothes. Can I get an amen? When the pandemic hit, I was furloughed from my job at The Country Music Hall of Fame and of course, furloughed from all of the gigs I was playing in Nashville. I had always planned to *eventually* open a clothing store, because I had already been thrifting and selling clothes on the popular app, Poshmark for several years at that point. When I found myself sitting at home, I decided 2020 was the year I was going to make that dream into a reality. Read more>>

Lauren Levine

I think you could start my story with the birth of my first child in 2017, and the way that becoming a mother not only transformed me as a person but also completely rearranged my career goals. Up to that point, I had been working as a professional musician for most of my life and assumed I’d get right back to it after having a baby, but when my son was born, I just couldn’t imagine going back to touring, late nights, and the stress of the music industry in general. Instead, I became more and more interested in connecting with other moms and deepening my knowledge of all things babies and postpartum. Read more>>

Olivia Frances

Music has always run deep through my bones. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, from my toy karaoke machine days to middle school choir concerts. I took piano lessons from when I was 6 until I was 12 and that’s when I picked up guitar and wrote my first song – I was hooked.  In this moment as it stands, I’ve written hundreds of songs, performed on stages across the country, and have to say it’s been quite the journey. I’ve released 3 albums, several singles (more to come in 2022!), and multiple awards. Read more>>

Renee Chatelain

Being enrolled in the dance class at a community center at the age of 6 launched opportunities which have led me to a career in arts leadership. At the recommendation of my first teacher, my mother enrolled me in a classical ballet school. That experience not only provided me with the training to have a professional career but expanded my world and my imagination. After a stint with two companies in New York and later in Tampa and New Orleans, I went back to school, graduating with a B.A. in History and Juris Doctor from Louisiana State University.  Read more>>

Anica Parrish

As a child, I was always intrigued by the human body. And I knew that when I grew up, I had to be doing something that would enable me to help people. Working through several surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy led me to obtain a degree in Kinesiology. Rather than going into Physical Therapy as I’d planned, I pursued a career in Personal Training. I felt that I would have the most freedom to help people in whatever capacity they needed. After beginning my career in training, I quickly realized that the corporate gym setting would not work for me. I developed a vision to open up a space that would be safe and inclusive for anyone that walked through the doors. And that is where Func Factory comes into play. Read more>>

Sarah Hilton

I grew up just outside of Detroit with my parents and younger sister. When I was 10 years old my father had a massive stroke which left him disabled and my mother had to become his primary caregiver. Money was very tight growing up so I started working a regular babysitting job when I was 12 and then moved on the restaurant business as a teenager. While in college I started working at a local radio station dabbling in nearly every department. That was just a great job where I learned a lot. After I graduated from college my sister and I traveled around the world for several months. Read more>>

Cindy Morgan

I am originally from East Tennessee. Not long after my high-school graduation, I met an A& R director (John Mays) from Word Records through a mutual friend around 1988. John offered me a development deal and I moved to Nashville. I recorded my first project for Word, which released in 1990. In the beginning, they were looking for someone who was the equivalent of a Mariah Carey/Janet Jackson. I loved pop and R&B pop, so I was open to the idea, but I was so young, I didn’t really understand who I was as an artist yet. The records I did with Word were a commercial success, but I was drawn to the more earthy, Joni Mitchell meets Tori Amos singer-songwriter vibe. I recorded a record called “Listen” which was the first record that showed my true voice as a writer, musician, and artist. I feel like every record I have recorded is a continuing evolution toward something that is always a bit out of reach. Always diving a little deeper and further back into my history. It is part of not becoming complacent as an artist. Read more>>

Michael Ubaldini

It all started starts at age 4. I was a little kid and an old clip from days of yore of The Beatles from Ed Sullivan came on the TV. Now it was only filmed in Black and white. I saw it in full technicolor. When I got older, I searched and searched for a color version. It don’t exist. Not to mention the TV was black and white – they say music can make you feel colors & I saw it that way like a hallucination. I knew that I was supposed to do music. Age 7 my dad showed me how to play two songs on guitar – he wasn’t a player just a hobbyist. Hank Williams ‘Jambalaya’ & Ray Charles ‘What I’d say’. It was on from that moment – penned first song at 7-had a Bluesy title- kids were listening to children’s records – not me I was listening to Rock n roll, Folk, Country, and Blues records through elementary school and on into high school – I had to know what why and where it came from and how could I be involved. Read more>>

The Revenant

Travis, the guitarist, started playing guitar at the age of 10 after getting Guitar Hero 5 for the wii. He then started the band at age 13 with Bailey, the singer, and over several years and lots of changes in personnel, they found Nathan, the bassist, and the last year Thomas, the drummer. Travis has been going to Belmont for 3 years, but the rest of the band moved to Nashville this summer. Read more>>

Jah Frida

I’m originally from Dallas, Texas. Been doing music my whole life, through all the grade schools. Been an instrumentalist/producer/singer since. Moved here to join my brother’s band ‘The Bumbs’ while still pursuing my own personal music. Been backing and producing artists of all genres around town and enjoying the journey. Read more>>

Karim AL-Saied

I always have trouble speaking about myself for someone who is a writer. Let’s see, I was born in Libya, moved to Baghdad shortly after (during Desert Storm), few years later moved to Jordan, then in 1995, we moved straight to Tennessee. We came here with very little and I knew no English. Yet I understood that we came here for a better life and opportunity. I always gravitated towards music and poetry as kid. I wasn’t the best student growing up, but I always thrived in writing classes. I never thought about writing songs until my early 20s. I was going through a difficult time and a coworker thought it would be nice for me to get out of the house and kick it during a studio session. They asked me to hop on a verse and its history from there. I discovered a feeling I had never felt before. It felt like a new way of breathing and the fact that people connected to it made me feel understood. I felt like I had found my purpose. It still feels that way… Read more>>

Tina Klein

In September 2018 my daughter Jacqueline & I were hit by a drunk driver on a trip to Ohio. Jacqueline suffered some injuries throughout her body and I was severely injured. After a year of various surgeries, I had to have my right leg amputated. During this time of recovery, we lost everything. We all lived on the support of our community and our family who we eventually had to move in with. It was a very dark and trying time for us all. I dreamed of becoming relevant again. I desired to create and do something to fill my time and be productive. I knew I didn’t want to just wallow in self-pity and depression forever. The idea of candles stuck with me. We didn’t have anyone locally who made them and it was just supposed to be a side hobby to make a few extra dollars. So, Jacqueline and I finally got ourselves an apartment and we got to work. We sold from home and set up tents and did farmers’ markets. We were received by so many and couldn’t keep up! Now here we are today. And we’re loving every minute of it! Read more>>

Alisa FitzPatrick

I was born & raised in Spring, TX, about an hour north of Houston. Growing up I was bullied. My parents didn’t have lots of money, so I wasn’t one of the popular kids. I also had a learning disability which made school a challenge. In 1994, while working at a grocery store, I met the man that would eventually become my husband. We have 3 wonderful children. We have moved 12 times in our 26 years of marriage. Through all of the moves, I have learned to take life in stride and work at building friendships while carrying the weight of my childhood. I really didn’t understand how it was taking a toll on my body. In 2018, I really took a deep dive into a total body healing. Little did I know it would take me on a wild journey to say the least. Read more>>

Carmine Prophets

I started producing around 2009 in Dallas, Texas on my older brothers iMac using Garage Band. We would record ourselves with the webcam microphone and experiment with the little to no effects that Garage Band could offer at the time. I started making beats when I started high school on the same computer while my older brother went to college. Back then, making beats with a computer or laptop wasn’t the coolest thing in the world, usually people were making beats on an MPC, an ASR-10, or some other type of drum machine. My family couldn’t really afford to buy me drum machines or instruments so I just stuck with the computer, come to find out a lot of other people were having to do the same thing. Read more>>

Dominique Nelson

Hi there!  My name is Dominique. I am a wife, mother, dog mama, and a full-time Harry Potter enthusiast. My husband and I relocated to Nashville in 2017 for a job opportunity. It was during that move that I discovered I was pregnant with our first child.  As I transitioned to the role of stay-at-home mom, I decided to do some things I’d always wanted (since I now had the time) like teach myself how to hand letter and write calligraphy. As I taught myself, I started making small things for friends and family and decided that it would be a great idea to start an Etsy shop. HandLetterd by DNelson was born out of my need to have a creative outlet as a stay-at-home mom, and it slowly developed into a full passion project! Read more>>

Jyou

I’ve always been in love with music since birth! My parents and family members always used to tell me how good I was at reciting every lyric to every song on the radio. My big sister joy and my cousin Jonathan are my 2 biggest influences as far as music. They’ve put me on to so much and really expanded my musical taste. I’ve always been a writer as well, whether it’s short stories, raps, or poems. Writing is a way to release my feelings and thoughts, as well as express myself in my own way. In 2019 I started taking music seriously, worked, and released a couple of projects with my boy K.O.N. It’s been history ever since! Read more>>

Eboné Merrimon

My story starts at Middle Tennessee State University at the Mass Communications building. I remember first walking in and quickly my eyes filled with tears as I felt a sense of comfort. I was home. I spent time as a reporter for both on-air and radio and eventually found myself as the first African American female General Manager of the college station WMTS. Growing up I never thought I would end up in media let alone radio but here I am still in it and I’ve been blessed to experience so much. Currently, I am the Producer of Joy In The Morning, Back-Up Producer for the Kenny Smoov Morning Show, and Promotions Coordinator of 92Q. Yea….a lot of titles. I truly have no clue how I’ve come so far but I am thankful for every step God allows me to take. Read more>>

Terah Lynn

Brief. Hmm, I’ll try some cliff notes but even that is long! Well, I’ve always loved music. It was always a form of therapy for me and the only thing that helped me feel peace so it was always a staple in my life. From worship at church to the oldies I grew up on in the Appalachian Mountains, I found solace in it all. And there were a lot of things in my life that I needed to find solace from. When I was 17 years old, someone I loved very much died in my arms and I found myself going from an honor roll student who had never been in trouble to being kicked out of high school a couple of months before graduation. Read more>>

Hope Aberg

While trying to conceive my daughter, I dove deep into the birth world and never left. I quickly realized this was my passion and what I wanted to do every day. I decided to pursue ICEA’s childbirth educator certification in January 2020…then the world shut down. I completed all aspects of the program, minus attending 3 births. In June 2021, I started attending births on a volunteer basis to complete my certification. As I spent more time in the birth world, I came to realize I wanted to start my own business. I wanted to provide a safe environment for all birthers. I formed Village Birth Services June 12, 2021 Read more>>

LC Conley

I moved to Nashville from Eugene, Oregon back in early 2018 and have been a licensed hairstylist since 2009. Hair wasn’t necessarily what I planned on doing when I was younger, but I knew I wanted to be in a field where I could use my creativity and artistic ability. I started in cosmetology school when I was just 20 years old and quickly found out that it was something I loved. As my years behind the chair went on, I discovered that I not only loved the creativity of this career but also, I loved the ever-changing world of hair, the opportunity to always be learning something new, and the connections that grow between me and the people who sit in my hair. It will always be an honor to be trusted with someone’s hair and to be let into a little part of their lives. Read more>>

John Burke

I’ve only ever worked in film. At 18 I dropped out of college at TSU with one toe in the door of the film world. That blossomed for me and led to 15 years of location scouting and producing for music videos, commercials, and television shows here in Nashville and across the country. But about 6 years ago, my wife offhandedly mentioned ‘dog cakes’ to me, and for whatever reason, that concept stuck in my brain. We’d never bought a dog cake, so I don’t know why. Often people think we live in a time where everything’s already been done, there are no new frontiers, but for me, dog cakes felt like a new frontier. I googled it and discovered it was a ‘thing,’ tho in its infancy as a market. I told myself there was potential there, and that I’d put some thought into it later, perhaps when my next film job was over. But the next morning, I awoke with an onslaught of ideas and they wouldn’t stop. It nagged at me. Read more>>

Bryan Vastano

My dad, as well as both of my grandfathers, worked with their hands, so I feel as though I have always had that blood flowing through me. Once I moved to Nashville from NYC 6 years ago, I was able to set up a small shop in my garage, fixing items around the house, as well as building furniture for friends and family. I’ve currently been completely enamored with cutting boards. The kitchen is such a special place in a home, and for one of my boards to be a part of those memories being created, is so cool to me. Sorry for being sappy, onwards with the interview. Read more>>

Joanna Fowler

My husband and I moved to Franklin from central Virginia in October 2014. We knew this area a little, and our oldest son had recently married and relocated here for his career. With our youngest son also recently moving to California, we felt it was time for a change so here we are!  Our journey to starting Pare Candle began in 2016 when we thought it would be fun to learn how to make our own candles. I was previously a devoted Yankee Candle and Woodwick Candle girl, but that was all about to change! We did some research and bought starter supplies to make soy wax candles in two seasonal scents, and voila – we were candle makers! Read more>>

Mikayla Elias

When I was in high school, I realized I wanted to get involved in music, and I started taking courses like songwriting and music technology. I fell in love with it and decided to pursue it as a career. Belmont brought me to Nashville in 2016, and I studied Audio Engineering Technology. Though I started with a lot of studio work, I’ve also carved out a niche in radio and podcasting. In addition to freelance work, I work for the Grand Ole Opry radio station, 650 AM WSM, and Nashville Public Radio, 90.3 WPLN. Read more>>

Bobby John Henry

After living most of my early life on the road as a singer/entertainer, In the ’90s found myself living at the famous Spence Manor Hotel where countless stars including Elvis, The Beatles, Sinatra, The Eagles, Dolly Parton, and many more had stayed while recording in Nashville. At 60 years old I found out I was going to be a dad. I was shocked and unprepared. At that point in my life, I needed to look for a new way to make money to support a child. By this time the Spence was no longer operating as a hotel and I owned several units including the kitchen that was once the room service kitchen. Read more>>

Blair Jones

My passion started with my great-grandma. Every summer I would visit her in Chattanooga. She would always cook us breakfast in the morning. One morning I decided to join and help out. That’s where my love of cooking started. My dad as far as I can remember was in the restaurant industry and when he got a GM job I would always hang out at the restaurant when I could. My dad would always share he wanted his own restaurant. So eventually I had the same goal and dream. After going and dropping out of culinary school and gaining years of not only cooking experience but manager experience as well, I wanted a change in life. So, I planned on moving to Jacksonville with a family member to start my Personal Chef Journey in Florida. Read more>>

Ericka Mayberry

Hello! My name is Ericka Mayberry from Nashville Tn. I am a makeup artist and owner of Make EM Blush. My love for makeup started when I was just a little girl. I loved all things girly from smackers chapsticks to playing with Bratz dolls. I remember a time or two when I got in trouble for drawing on my dolls faces with marker because I wanted to do their makeup over. As I grew older my love for makeup never faded so I decided to turn my passion into something I could share with the world! Read more>>

Pablo Marin

My name is Pablo Marin. I’m a graphic artist, designer, animator, and all-around artistic cosmonaut. But things…haven’t always been…this interesting for me…  I’m a graduate of Monmouth University, NJ. I like to say I took the Van Wilder approach to college, inching my way towards a diploma at just over the seven-year mark. While a professional creative today, I’ve been an artist my entire life, as many are. Winning an art contest at 5 years old, I realized I had a gift if I wanted it. I did, so I decided to nurture it. Read more>>

Shadale Smith

I am a Nashville native and self-taught artist. I have dabbled in art for as long as I can remember and was heavily influenced by art mentors and family. In 2017, alongside my corporate job, I decided I wanted to focus more on my art, so I chose to do paint parties because it was something that I always had interest in. I continued through 2018 until my focus on art shifted when I went through a difficult time, losing my mother. This life change caused me to focus on why I was doing what I was doing. At that time, I began to paint for purpose. I continued to paint personal paintings that highlighted my drive for painting. In 2020, I was laid off from my corporate job due to the pandemic. Read more>>

Lisa Taylor

I grew up in the restaurant business with parents who owned two restaurants for close to 30 years and have been entrepreneurs my entire life. With this upbringing, I have always had an appreciation for food and business. Alongside this, I have always loved cotton candy and it’s usually been my choice of treat when it’s an option. As a stay-at-home mom, I started to feel the need to have a creative outlet for myself that would not only benefit me but my family. So, it only made sense to follow in my parents’ footsteps and venture into creating a small business that involved a food item that I love! Read more>>

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