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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.

Dontae Eubanks

I am originally from Atlanta, Ga. I came to Nashville in 2010 to attend Tennessee State University on a band scholarship. After graduating, I began working for Nashville Government. As much as I enjoyed my line of work, I felt the need to help people attain what they thought was unattainable; I wanted to do something impactful while also creating lasting relationships. Read more>>

Keitra Brooks

Growing up, my Mom had a side-hustle planning events (of course it wasn’t called a side hustle then), and my Great-Aunt ran a catering business. Needless to say, I saw the ins and outs of planning events, but my favorite thing was seeing the reactions of the event hosts! I knew it was a calling in my life, so it only felt right for me to carry on the legacy.​ Read more>>

Eva Moye

As a protégé of celebrity couture designer, Sonia Été, Eva launched the development of her craft at the Beverly Hills Design Institute in Los Angeles. In 2012, Eva launched Moyeva. An empowered female entrepreneur and bespoke concierge, Eva soon made a name for herself with professional athletes, TV commentators, Grammy award-winning performers, and business entrepreneurs across the nation. Read more>>

Joe Jarvis

Music has always been such a big part of my life so it wasn’t too long before I was inspired to write my very own first little song, at the ripe old age of five years old. “The Fruit Snack Song” was an instant hit, mostly with my mom, but what can I say? I loved fruit snacks. Years passed and I never thought I would choose music as my career. I wanted to be a chef and open my own restaurant. All that changed (even though I still love to cook!) when I started taking guitar lessons with an instructor that wrote his own music. He inspired me to give it a try once again, and I fell in love with the craft. Read more>>

Darren Bland

I started music as a child. I should say started writing poetry as a child. So I always had the gift of wordplay and rhyme. I always loved telling a story creatively. My mother is from Florida and my Father is from the east coast so I have a cultured background and I have been traveling my whole life…therefore I was always able to identify with people and their stories as well. I’ve always loved music so as I got older I was a dope freestyler. So I started recording freestyles and I always got good responses. A few years ago I started to take music seriously and it has been a blessing to this day for the opportunities and business I have built to this day. Read more>>

Jesseca Toovey

From the time I was a little girl, music was my life and I always had a song in my heart. I loved to be with people, to make them smile, to lift their spirits, and bring joy to their hearts. At the age of 3, my mom entered me into the Little Miss USA contest. My mom says I walked that stage with confidence and the biggest smile on my face! That day I won Little Miss USA for the most beautiful face, I didn’t even get to sing, wait, what! No singing!! Haha! That was the first opportunity to be in front of people and I believe it started something in me that is still in me today! I had no idea what would come of the little girl standing on that stage. Read more>>

LaTorra (Tarrie) Fayne & Jessica Burns McCutcheon

When we get ready to go out rather it be to work or a club we always like to get glammed up and look nice. What we were starting to notice is that when covid hit us the department/retail stores were very low on stock and it was hard to find cute diverse pieces and that’s part of what motivated us to start our own diverse accessories line. When you look good you feel good and even the plainest outfit can be enhanced by a cute pair of earrings/bracelets. Read more>>

Manami Lingerfelt

I was born and raised in Japan, graduating from Tokyo Musashino Art College in 1985. I began my art career in Tokyo, Japan as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator. I became depressed and unhappy while busy working in a graphic design company in Tokyo, Japan. I left Japan to travel across the globe for 10 years (1985-1995), then back to Japan for 7 years, teaching arts and crafts. I moved to GA in 2002 starting family life in Kennesaw GA, but it only lasted a few months, after the divorce, decide to become a professional artist who can live life doing what she loves. Read more>>

Anna Myint

International Market was originally opened as International Market & Restaurant in 1975 by our parents, Win and Patti Myint. It was the first Thai restaurant and Asian grocery in Nashville and over the years became an institution in the city. In 2017 our family sold the property to Belmont University I (Anna) had plans to work with my mom and reopen across the street from the original location. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2018, our mother passed away suddenly and we were left with the decision if we wanted to continue with the restaurant or not. Read more>>

Micah Atkinson

I’ve always known what I wanted to do. Tell stories. Screenwriting and songwriting come naturally. Before I learned to spell, my parents dictated dialogue blurbs onto comic book panels I drew! And as soon as I got hold of a camera, I started making films… This is funny because I don’t consider myself a film buff or cinema snob. There are just SO many stories I want to tell; so I do whatever I can to get them out into the world! Read more>>

Rory Kiser

In my junior year of high school covid hit which canceled my softball and track seasons. I was always creative and wanted to get a camera but never had time until covid. I babysat every day and saved up to buy my first beginner camera. I learned from watching youtube videos and asking other creatives! I started by just building up a client base in Bardstown, Ky of friends and families. Read more>>

Tamara Teague

In the winter of 2020, I noticed that my hair began to appear thinner than normal; I’ve always had fine hair. By January 2021, I had significant hair loss in the crown and temple areas of my head. The hair loss was so significant that I shaved my head completely. Losing my hair broke me and I became depressed. So, I started researching hair loss solutions that were more permanent in nature because I was tired of using topical fibers and dark-colored gels to give my hair, which was slowly growing back, the appearance of fullness. Read more>>

Kate Sutherland

I am a Nashville native who wandered to Colorado, which is where I figured out that massage therapy is my calling. It suits my need for deep connection with people. I have loved returning to my hometown with this new skill and being able to help my community find healing one person at a time. Read more>>

Maddy Underwood

My name is Maddy Underwood, and I was born & now live in Nashville, TN. I’m an artist, birdwatcher, graphic designer, and letterpress printer. Since I was a child, I’ve collected ephemera—everything from magazines to vintage cards, to bookmarks, and old maps. In college, I majored in Communication Design and fell in love with letterpress through a series of book arts classes. After graduating, I interned at Hatch Show Print, which got me interested in the relationship between design and music. From there, I worked as a designer for Third Man Records, where I designed record sleeves, book covers, posters, and more. Read more>>


Music has always been an art for me, loving music from some of the most influential female artists such as Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, Latto, Iggy Azalea, and more. In December 2019, I went into the studio not having a clue about what to do but laid my newborn rapper voice on a track. I instantly got so excited and knew that I would take my music career as far as I could with whatever help I could and play my music for anyone who would listen. Read more>>

Jenna Howard-Hampton

I started Little Finn Creations in November 2021 when my son was three months old! I was struggling with severe postpartum depression and anxiety, I desperately needed an outlet to keep me sane. I loved the idea of having a small business, but I was lacking the passion behind it. Read more>>

Arlo Nugent

After receiving my degree in International Business in East Tennessee, I moved to South Korea where I started a company. I recognized an opportunity, but it was in a field for which I had zero passion. After 3 years, I sold the business to an investor out of Chicago and bought a one-way ticket to San Diego to pursue my dream of becoming a real estate agent. Read more>>

Grace Laurèn

My name is Grace Laurén, I’m from Seattle Washington. Music has always played a big part in my life since I was very young. My dad was a drummer and introduced me to the classics in all genres. From Queen and Led Zeppelin to Bob Seger and Muddy Waters… the list goes on and on. I grew up on an off-grid island where we had no electricity, running water, or even a bathroom. We had solar, a well, and an outhouse. The island in itself had only dirt roads. Read more>>

Jeri Haag

Hello out there, my name is Jeri. I’m the proud owner of, an online store devoted to custom gifts. Lots of time goes into creating, researching, designing, listing & perfecting each product, so hearing clients’ stories of giving these beautiful gifts created by me brings so much joy! It wasn’t why I started my store, but have found out, working with so many amazing people that’s it’s a great feeling. Read more>>

Melissa Smith

I am an older millennial raised on the traditions of doing life practically – going to school, getting a good job, having a family, and retiring. However, I have always been a dreamer with a passion that yearned for a life where I could explore my creative outlets and pursuits. Read more>>

Kendra Hammell

In 2017 after combatting severe health issues, I had the desire to change. I wanted to feel better and have more energy. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was suggested to try a Reiki session with my cousin who is a Reiki Master and the seed was planted. My first session had a very peaceful vibe and I didn’t really understand too much about what was taking place I just let myself be and breathe. That was a big step for me. Read more>>

Zack Cockfield

I had been a financial planner for over 20 years when a couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to create a way to connect with people that were moving to my city. In the process of creating a resource that would help me to meet people that I could help, my team and I created a fantastic resource for people to get a ton of great information about what makes many cities unique and great for businesses to meet customers that need their services. Read more>>

Shan Scott

Have you ever given up everything to do exactly what you knew you needed to? No matter how challenging and scary? No matter how far off the deep end the fall? That’s what my entire life has been; a constant finding of balance within the give and take. Three siblings, strict parents, and a lot of pasta… That’s how I would describe childhood. Read more>>

Kathy Meland

I am a social worker by trade. I worked for 40 years in child welfare. I kept my soul sane by delving into the art world as often as I could. One evening, I think it was a Tuesday, I decided that after many weeks of very long work hours, I was going to take a much-needed break. I lived in eclectic East Nashville so I went to Mad Donna’s where I was sure to meet some fun people. That night would open up so many doors for me and send me down a new path. Read more>>

Jon “King Ross” Sanford

I was born and raised in South Nashville. Music became a major part of my life at an early age. From my parents blasting their records all throughout the day, to my aunts, uncles, and cousins jamming at my grandmother’s house on the holidays; as well as my siblings constantly watching music videos on MTV and BET. I was always around it and it eventually took a hold of me. I jumped from elementary school to elementary school. Because of that, it was difficult for me to make lasting connections. Over time, my siblings and I drifted apart. And the relationships I had with my parents became more of a burden than a blessing. Outside of the few good friends I had in those days, I was typically left alone, which lead me to become a quiet kid. Read more>>

TJ Kennedy

Well, it all started when I was a young man, but that’s kind of a long story so we can just cut to the chase. My first real band was a Who cover band. We played the whole set to zero people and an hour later we played it again to a full house. I smashed a guitar on a cinder block I found in the alley that wasn’t even plugged in. It was hilariously cheesy but everybody loved it because I rule. Wasn’t until several cover bands later that I tried writing a song. 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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