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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.

McKenna Hutchinson

My background is as a graphic designer. I had to take a photography class as a part of my college program and I found out I was having a lot of fun with it. After some senior portraits and photos of friends, I did my first couple’s session and was hooked! After doing couple’s sessions and a few weddings I finally started taking it seriously and turned it into a business in 2016. Read more>>

Ryan Jensen

When COVID first reached Tennessee, I was working downtown as an events manager. It was pretty much guaranteed that I was going to lose my job at least temporarily, if not permanently. I took the time and opportunity to open a brewery in Ashland City, TN – Marrowbone Creek Brewing Co. I had very little experience with craft beer and did not even drink at the time. My background was in food & beverage and events and we spent May 2020-February 2021 planning and building out what is now our front taproom at Marrowbone. Read more>>

Victoria Rockwell

I am originally from California, but moved to Nashville, TN when I turned 20 due to a job opportunity I couldn’t turn down. However, when covid hit, the company I was working for decided to fire everyone in the company with no notice. Because of this, it was nearly impossible for me to find a new job because no one was hiring. I ended up having to move out of my apartment and move in with my twin sister in Clarksville. Read more>>

Steven Coffee

The story of my military career and now passion for work began at Whites Creek Comprehensive High School in 1995, leading into my senior year. I enrolled in the second class of the then newly established Air Force (AF) Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC), headed by AF Major (retired) Roosevelt Williamson and Staff Sergeant (retired) Savington Nickens. These two veterans of the Air Force and Metro Nashville Schools impacted my life in high school and beyond. Read more>>

Jason Turchin

In law school, I started my career in the music business managing different songwriters, from young up-and-comers to well-established award-winning hitmakers. When I graduated from the University of Miami School of Law, I worked for a top law firm in Miami, representing recording artists on the litigation side. As a young lawyer, I worked for one of Florida’s largest personal injury law firms for several years. About 15 years ago, I opened up my law firm, and we’ve grown to be one of the larger product liability law firms in the US. Read more>>

Ashley Martin

My name is Ashley Martin. I’m the owner of The Glam House Nashville, previously known as Nashville Lashes and Brows. I’m originally from Gadsden, Alabama, but I am now going into my 13th year being a Nashville resident. I love this city so much and everything it has to offer. Read more>>

Jenna DeVries

I have been singing or attempting to sing since I could walk. When I was little, I waddled around the house, dragging one of those little cassette players with a microphone and singing my heart out. I grew up in a very religious household without access to popular music. I was raised on Gospel music and learned how to sing in church. Piano lessons started when I was just 5 years old, and at 14, I wrote my first song. Read more>>

Marabeth Quin

I came to Nashville in 1987 right out of college because a local producer wanted to try to get me a record deal. That project never happened, but I worked in the music business here in Nashville for decades, doing studio work as a studio singer for artists like Martina McBride, George Jones, and Joan Baez and singing on commercials, choral projects, and International radio IDs. Read more>>

Garet Maddox

My journey as a creative started very early in life. I’ve been creative ever since I was a child. I still have vivid memories of being a kid in my room, letting my imagination take me wherever I wanted to be—playing with Legos, stuffed animals, couch cushions, and anything else that allowed me to create my world. The only difference between those memories and today is now people will pay me to use my imagination! I still find that pretty wild, to be honest. It almost feels like I got away with something I shouldn’t be able to do. Read more>>

Mark Brown

Mark Brown welcomed his son Noble into the world in 2012. Instantly he knew he wanted to help him learn the life-changing power of gratitude, mindfulness, self-compassion, and many other evergreen value before he did. The author admits, “Until I was 24, I was obsessed with chasing things that would make me happy, cars, houses, money, status, etc. Read more>>

Alannah McCready

I grew up in Minnesota, which is the state of hockey, so naturally, I had a love of hockey from a young age, but my mom is from Oklahoma, so simultaniously, I had a love of country music from her. Growing up, I played hockey, sang full time, and tried to merge the two as often as possible. I would sing the national anthem before hockey games and then play etc. Read more>>

Tamikia White

Seafood Sacs originally started as a food truck in the Middle TN area, primarily serving Wilson County. We would take our food truck out on the weekends, and either does private functions or set up at the Lebanon Outlet Mall, which brings us to where we are currently located. In 2000 we were approached about putting a permanent location inside the Food Court of the Lebanon Outlet, and we opened the doors to the location on March 12, 2000. We are currently into our second year in the Food Court location and would love to remain there and expand. Read more>>

Daniel Dennis

My story starts with my parents. Even though they aren’t musicians, they recognized that I had some interest in playing music. Banging on pots and pans led them to sign me up for drum lessons at 8 years old, and I just kept building from there. At 12, I went to a pawn shop, bought a guitar and a bass, and started learning those instruments. At 14, my parents bought me a 4-track Tascam cassette recorder, which started my interest in audio engineering. Read more>>

Tony Red-Horse

My name is Tony Red-Horse. I’m half Cherokee and half Mexican. I graduated High School in 1984 and went into the US NAVY at 17. At 18, I purchased an Upright Bass and took it worldwide while teaching myself how to play. I played in my first band in 1987, still not knowing how to play my bass fully, but I dove into the deep end and started learning how to sing, play, and write songs. I had many exciting adventures and played with a few bands until 2004 when I formed The Rocketz. Read more>>

Christian Justus

SKIES OF AVALON Forged by the union of Western NC bands 28 Pages & Palenium, Nashville recording artist(s) Skies of Avalon is a semi-progressive rock band w/ classic rock elements, focusing on thought-provoking originals accompanied by some key cover song counterparts. Tides are their first single, originally released in October 2021. Full-length album coming December 2022. Influences include Rush, Asia, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Dream Theater, Queensryche, and many more. Members: Johnny Thorn-guitar/vocals, Steven Posey-keyboard/vocals, Christian Justus-bass/vocals, Jacob Whiteside-drums. Read more>>

Jason Odine

I started my business during the pandemic. It was in July of 2020. I was 23 years-old, soon to be 24. I got my first client from cold-calling local realtors, and I just so happened to call the realtor selling the house that appeared in the now cancelled TV show, Nashville. Read more>>

Josh Davis

Hi, my name is Josh and I play guitar and sing for the band TVSEXDEATH. I’d say some of the earliest ideas began in late 2017 maybe early 2018 and would go on to be used in the earliest iterations of the group, then known as Day Moon. I believe I met our drummer Craig online and went to try out for his band first and we began first by gettinf kicked out of the storage units they rented at the time because of a noise ordinance and so we immediately had to find a new practice space. Read more>>

lily nelson

hi, my name is Lily Nelson and I am a creative director and photographer in Nashville, TN. I have always had an appreciation for art ever since I was very little, I attribute this to my mom who is an artist herself. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and went to an all girls catholic high school, where my two best friends and I would skip school to wait in line to watch our favorite bands play in concert. Read more>>

Kendra Johnson

I’ve always had a passion for baking, even owning a small cake business years ago as a side to my normal job as a middle school math teacher. Once my daughter was born, I took a break from both careers for a few years. Enter the ever-long Covid-19 Quarantine of 2020. I had just purchased custom decorated sugar cookies from a friend and said, “hey, I bet I could do that.” After a few YouTube videos and a day of messing around with royal icing, I was hooked. Read more>>

Amanda Keltner

It started in 2020 during quarantine with painting. I was teaching myself how to paint again since it had been years and I wanted to occupy my time spent at home. I went hard and heavy with painting for a solid year and sold the occasional piece. Eventually, painting became problematic because I also operate my own hair studio, Flora Luna Hair. The repetitive motions of painting and cutting hair were similar enough to develop tennis elbow. Read more>>

John Winalski

Tom and I became best friends our freshman year of high school (2008.) We played sports together, we’re partners for most school projects, and just had a natural talent for making people laugh. Over the years, our friends and family would sit and listen to our rants and debates, and would reiterate how we needed to “get on the air.” When The Covid Pandemic happened, and we had time to kill, we really fleshed out the idea of starting our own podcast. After a few months of research and planning, we completely gave up on the idea. Read more>>

Cameron Bortz

my love for music began when my dad forced me to go a Rock n Roll summer camp because he thought I had something special with my voice and musical ability.. or because I was a little ADHD brat and he didn’t want to deal with me hahah! I remember the first day he dropped me off I was so shy and standoff-is because I didn’t know what to expect and I certainly didn’t want to show all those veteran kids up, but I found some insanely talented people and remember leaving after the first day wanting to never leave. Read more>>

Graeme Morris

I’ve been working in Nashville as Graphic Designer with a rich printmaking background since 2010, I interned at Hatch Show Print and worked for various screen printing companies, and was a designer at Jive! (a local digital printing company) when I started playing with an old copier to exercise my design practice, exploring textures and multiple overlaid images. In 2015, a fellow MTSU design classmate, Josh Shearon, introduced me to Risograph Printing, which works like copier, and has a rich color palate of spot colors and unmatched printing textures. Read more>>

Camron Angus

I fell in love wIth playing hockey when I was in kindergarten and played through college. I received a degree in Sports Management from Eastern Kentucky University where I was also the team’s workout coordinator. After graduating I lived in Memphis for a summer working in the field of my degree, I quickly realized it wasn’t for me so I came home to Hendersonville. I needed to spend my days working a job doing something I loved. Read more>>

Suellen Stringer-Hye

It was 2016 . I had had a long creative, fruitful career in academia. I had helped build the first web pages for the library. I had written and published several articles. My husband and I contributed to a book on the history of American Yoga. My work with colleagues using new technologies to enhance humanities research was groundbreaking. I had even established a Sanskrit Study group, But now I realized that the direction of academia was veering from my own personal path. I wanted to leave to have a bigger impact and start teaching my first love, Yoga. Read more>>

Rikeena Luckett

Hi, I’m Rikeena owner & operate of Ajs Custom Kreations & Bounce which is named after my youngest son Antonio Jr. I began this business with the support of my husband who is a small business owner as well. Seeing his ambition and dedication to his success made me want to create that for myself as well. So I just up and quit my 9 to 5 and took that leap of faith. ACKB originally started out as a personalized/ custom creations business. Read more>>

Richard and Tammy Redmond

Haven Painting Co began from a true felt need. But really things began when, Rich Redmond, our lead painter and owner of the company, started painting with his father as a child. He fell in love with the tedious and rewarding nature of it right away. As we all know, sometimes life takes us in a different direction than the things we really love. So as an adult entering the work force, Rich went the route of working for US Air. But the truth is, he alway wanted to be painting. Read more>>

Matthew Bryan Beck

I’m an indie singer-songwriter. I was born in San Diego but grew up in NYC. My parents met and married in Brooklyn, I’m a 3rd generation New Yorker. I moved to Nashville from Manhattan the first time in August 2017 after a bad breakup, quitting my 6 figure salary advertising job to start over in Tennessee. I’d already made an album in Berry Hill with producer Matt Odmark of Jars of Clay, and pursuing music full time was my ultimate dream. Read more>>

Duncan Vinje

Early on, I always saw myself as a listener, not a player. I always appreciated music from afar and secretly wished I could be doing what my heroes were doing. Around the age of 15, I finally got enough nerve to ask my dad to teach me guitar. For context, he spent the early 90s fronting a rock band that had a 5-night residency at one of the best bars in town. In my mind, he knew all there was to know about music. Read more>>

Dylan & Mickenzie Fitch

I, Mickenzie, chose the name Nashville Farmacy in 2011 while in college with the plan to have an herbal apothecary or cannabis farm. We met in 2015 each perusing different careers as a fine artist, Mickenzie and Dylan, a touring musician. In 2018 we moved in together and shared a passion for growing and cooking great food. Read more>>

Leighton Fields

I grew up in a very musical household. My mother led the hymns at our baptist church, and my father was a guitar player in a rock and roll band. There were plenty of instruments around the house to spend time with. I joined a metal band in my early teens, a country band in my late teens, and had several side projects throughout the years, of different genres. After living in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas, Texas for 5 years, and finding what I would call “my sound”, I am now building my life, and team in Nashville. Read more>>

Carson Phillips

I have always had in interest in creating just in general. Ever since I was little I wanted to have something in my hands and figure out how it worked or tear it apart to make something else. My grandmother who I called “MamaLinda” was one of my biggest inspirations. She had an art room where my sister and I would use my grandfather’s shirts as smocks and just let us paint what we wanted, which usually was something fantastical. She had such a love of nature and fantasy that really connected with me and my sister. Read more>>

Brian George

I grew up in central Kentucky in a small town called Lebanon. I’m the youngest of five siblings. Being a dentist is something that I wanted to become since middle school. I watched the transformation (both physical and emotional) of my siblings and myself as we went through orthodontic treatment. Straightening our teeth, correcting our bites really improved our self confidence and it really left an impression on my younger self. From that point on I focused on what I needed to do academically to make that dream come true. Read more>>

Ryan Hawthorne

Howdy, my name is Ryan Hawthorne. I am an up and coming professional wrestler based out of the Nashville and Atlanta area. This is my story. I loved wrestling from a young age. When I was 5-11 years old, I would watch World Championship Wrestling, or WCW with my older brother. I loved the physicality and how theatrical it all was. I distinctly remember being obsessed with the Nintendo 64 game, WCW/nWo Revenge. Read more>>

Lindsey Woodard

My interest in the beauty industry started at a young age. While making my future plans after high school, it was important to me to travel, explore, and make sure I was sure that beauty school was the right choice. Beauty School options were pretty sparse at the time so I settled on an affordable school with a high State Board passing rate. Madison University of Beauty had been in operation for a very long time when I began my beauty school journey. Read more>>

Crystle Elam

I have been blessed to be singing gospel music for 15 years. I actually started singing at a young age in school choir and church choir, my parents knew early on that God had given me a gift of singing. I soon found myself singing at places around town and my love for it grew more and more. In 2008 I meet a man by the name of Jim Ricketts who would soon become my best friend and singing partner. He and I traveled every weekend as a duet for 9 1/2 years until the Lord called him home. Read more>>

Susan Martinez

I started my account AdAstraSu in October 2020 to encourage women in STEM to feel like they had every opportunity and resource to be themselves. I have been a woman in STEM without a role model my entire career and now because of Instagram, I have many role models! I grew up being the only woman I knew wanting to pursue mechanical engineering and didn’t have a woman to look up to in that professional aspect. This is a way for me to show that if you have no one to look to, to pave the way? Pave it yourself. The idea is that they don’t have to pave it themselves, but they do have the power to do it, they just have to find it. Read more>>

Joseph Lekkas

I started Palm Ghosts in 2014 in Philadelphia. It was initially an indie-folk project and my first foray into self-recording. I released the first record, did a quick tour and moved to Nashville. I set up a studio here and recorded the Greenland record with some new friends I met. That record is much more electronic with tinges of power pop. I was basically searching for a sound. With the release of Architecture, I moved into a much more 80s post punk / goth sound. Read more>>

Joss Winfree

Always loved music, my parents were music lovers also, so it was in my blood, I’ve always wanted to be in a successful band that could turn out great original music, I definitely appreciate the success we’re having today and looking forward to the next chapter Read more>>

Carol Silveira

I’m originally from Brazil, I moved here in 2006 when I was 24 years old to leave closer to my mom and brother. I’m so glad my mom chose to leave in Nashville, that is why I moved here. After learning a little about our community I saw a need of a good, trustworthy, consistent and reliable cleaning services, then I decided to start my own business. I did all the bureaucratic paperwork and started advertising my new business. Read more>>

Sarah Rummel

I have always loved vintage fashions and as a kid I spent a lot of time at yard sales, garage sales, flea markets and auctions with my extended family. Secondhand shopping was as much a cost saving measure for my family as it was an effort to support sustainability and I still appreciate those benefits as well as the self expression vintage fashion offers. 1940’s-1960’s fashions are my favorites and while I love the full pinup look and wearing vintage with a modern twist Read more>>

Cal Stamp

I spent the 2010s touring and recording with an alternative rock group called Spirit Animal. We had a nice run – signed with Atlantic Records in 2018, toured the country, supported bands like Third Eye Blind and The Struts – then the pandemic happened. Now I’m launching a solo project. It started taking shape a few years ago at a songwriting camp in Nicaragua. I vividly remember bouncing around the back of a pickup truck with a couple other carsick Americans on our way to the now-defunct Jungle Cuts songwriting camp in Maderas Village. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Erik Freund

    June 21, 2022 at 12:20 am

    I’m practically amazed by all of these articles … good job

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