To Top

The Influencers

Photo by: Staci Ratner of Chicago Literacy Alliance

VoyageChicago owes a huge debt to the incredible local community of influencers – from fashion bloggers to foodies – who put in countless hours of work uncovering hidden gems throughout Chicagoland. We’d like to introduce you to some of Chicago’s most gifted tastemakers and influencers below.


Swipe to see the transformation! I normally don’t share this with many people. I never wanted to remember what I looked like because I was so ashamed of it. I wanted people to forget I was ever fat or how ugly I looked because of it. I use to smile and play it off as if it never hurt when someone called me fat or laughed at me, when in reality I would go to the bathroom during lunch and cry. I isolated myself and enjoyed being alone because no one could hurt me. I never realized I was also dealing with depression, and back then I didn’t even know what that was. Depression?! I was always happy for no reason! But deep down I was sad from the inside. I always turned to food. I’d lock myself in my room and eat if anyone called me fat. I finally hit rock bottom – I hit 224lbs – size 18 no longer fit. American Eagle could only special order up to size 18… New York & Co. XL didn’t fit unless I wore drawstring pants. It hit me hard. I never had many friends. I always tried to fit in, but ended up alone because I felt too fat that no one wanted to be friends with me. I started to spend my days after school my junior year going to the gym and staying on the treadmill for hours.. and with title boxing, my life changed. I gave up many times, but every time I did, I grew unhappy. I got back up and tried again and again… and again. Until I was happy. Even today I constantly worry, but I eat everything and today I am happy with myself. I just make sure I end up at the gym no matter what. Today, I realized I’m proud of how far I have come… and thankful for being obese, because I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today. If I don’t work out now I don’t feel good. I get itchy and feel sick if I don’t go to the gym or hit the bag. I learned to believe in myself, that everyday is a new day to start over. Every single day you can make a small change and work towards whatever you truly want. But the key thing I learned is: Achieving lasting results is adopting the mindset that there is never and should never be a point where you decide “this is good enough. I’ll stop here.” ✨💙

A post shared by Amna A. Khan (@theamnaali) on

I love this beautiful woman ❤️ #everydayismothersday #lovemymom

A post shared by Gerica (@momosamondays) on

I am so excited to be doing a fabulous workshop in collaboration with @familypicnicchi. If you don’t know about Family Picnic, you must! Run by mother-daughter dynamo duo, Rebecca Nguyen and Sue Gottscha, Family Picnic is a gathering space for families providing meetings, workshops, and classes for pregnancy and the early years. 🤰💁‍♀️👶🏻👧🏼 . Join me, June 8th at 12:30 pm for “7 Tips To Achieve a Better Night’s Sleep for Your Baby” (3 to 9 months). I will cover everything from naps, bedtime, night wakings and early morning wakings. You will walk away with techniques that you can implement immediately to help your baby get the sleep they need to for their emotional, mental and physical well-being. 🙌 . Be sure to visit!💕 . . . I am a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and my goal is to help you love bedtime again. If your baby or toddler is experiencing sleep issues, I can help! 😴Click the link in profile to schedule a free 15 minute evaluation. 🌜We can work together via Skype, phone or in-person (Chicago Area).🌎 . #kellymurraysleep #toddlersleepexpert #toddlersleep #toddlerlife #tiredmom #sleepytime #sleepy #sleeptraining #sleeptips #sleepthroughthenight #sleepingbaby #sleepconsultant #saveoursleep #naptime #mumlife #motherhood #momlife #chicagomoms #chicagomomblogger #chicagomom #chicago #babysleep #sleepthroughthenightplease #sleepthroughthenightalready #momblogger #goodnight #chicagosleepconsultant #babygirl #sleeping #babyboy

A post shared by Pediatric Sleep Consultant (@kellymurraysleep) on

This spring I dove in and did a very deep edit of my closet thanks to Dacy of the @midfulcloset. I was able to let go of so many clothing items that were no longer serving me. . . Often we hold onto clothing items because of the financial investment. @thredup is a great way to let go AND get back some money! If you didn’t know thredUP is the largest online thrift & consignment store. . . You can order your clean-out kit for free and shipping is FREE! What are you waiting for? A clean closet and some extra cash. Definitely a WIN-WIN . . #chicagospacesinorder #thredup #midfulcloset #closetcleanout #edityourcloset #declutter #secondhandfirst #consignmentshopping #thriftstore #chicagoprofessionalorganizer #chicagohomeorganizer

A post shared by Carrie Kempler (@chicagospacesinorder) on

I’m home!! I spent the last week in Playa Del Carmen, MX with @vaerajourneys & @dailymomofficial on a retreat for female entrepreneurs— it was BEYOND amazing, you guys! Feeling so inspired & can’t wait to see what the future holds. I’ll be sharing all the details in a blog post soon 🌴 ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Newest Blog Post: Gio & Gabi’s Birthday Videos! {𝒘𝒘𝒘.𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒆𝒔𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒈.𝒄𝒐𝒎} ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #jj #bacalar #bacalarlagoon #mexico #vaerajourneys #jj_community

A post shared by Kristen Love | Mom Blogger (@thelovenotes) on

Sunday, you’re my favorite! I was spoiled with snuggles and homemade blueberry pancakes and coffee this morning which was the perfect slow and sweet way to start our day. 💗 Chris often works Saturdays so Sunday is our main family day for lots of quality trio time and it’s always the best. We snuck off to the lake for a quick visit and have been dance partying our hearts out! I’m always so refreshed after a wonderful Sunday and all of the intentional family time feeds my soul. I’m thinking of trying to make special Sunday family dinners more of a regular thing, inviting all of Olivia’s grandparents over, too. I think it would be the perfect way to head into a new week- don’t you?! Do you have any Sunday family traditions? Screenshot to shop this pic with the app for details! #liketkit #LTKhome #LTKfamily #LTKunder100

A post shared by Katie Jackson-Meara (@sodressedup) on

A bond that is forever!

A post shared by Nisha H. (@prettyinpower_) on

As a life coach, I get out and do live speaking events often. Just this past winter, I flew to Denver for a keynote presentation where I taught a group of educators some of my favorite tools when it comes to mindfulness around the stories (AKA thoughts!) that we so often tell ourselves. As I stood in front of the men and women in that audience, I also touched on my upbringing. I shared about how I was taken away from my mom when I was 13. I shared about how much I felt her love despite her drug addiction. I talked about the years that followed spent in foster care and how all of this shaped my journey with self-care. ◽️ For some reason, when I am in front of others, it is easy to share these things. ◽️ I feel safety in a room where I can see the faces in front of me. I feel more at ease talking about the hard things. But sharing online, on my blog, and even on my podcast can sometimes feel like I am baring it all. (You too!?😌) Is it because my words are left here visible to all? ◽️ I’m not quite sure. But what I do know is that there is a purpose in sharing, and I am feeling more ready to share than ever before: ◽️ Today over on the blog, I wrote about what’s been hard about sharing online, and why I feel called and ready to do it anyway. I also have a nudge in there for you when it comes to your own personal stories! ◽️ Head on over to the blog (see link in profile) to check it out. 😽❤️ . 📷 by @dianacoulter_

A post shared by Jen Wille | Life Coach (@jenwille) on

Can I take it back real quick in my snow boots?

A post shared by Nikki • Blogger • Chicago (@its_niknak) on


  1. Desirée

    February 2, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I feel so honored to be included in this lineup of amazing bloggers! Congrats to you all and thank you for the blogger love VoyageChicago.

    BIG hugs,
    Desi |

  2. Taylar Barrington

    February 14, 2018 at 2:34 am

    Wow!!! Thank you all so much for the feature! Such an honor to be named amongst these amazing women!

  3. Kirsten

    February 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring me in this article with so many other amazing Chicago bloggers! XOXO

  4. Sierra

    February 21, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Thanks so much for the feature! Such great content from everyone!

  5. Lexi Holden

    March 20, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Thank you for featuring me among other amazing bloggers! SO cool! XO.

  6. Jessie Barber

    March 27, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Thanks so much for the feature! <3

  7. Kaitlyn Biver

    April 12, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you so much for the feature

    🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Lilacs_and_lattes

  8. MIchelle Jones

    April 13, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you so much for featuring me and also connecting me with other amazing influencers! Excited to be a part of the Voyage Chicago community! – Michelle Jones (@styledbymjonesy)

  9. Cierra Thurman

    May 3, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Thanks so much for including me in this awesome feature. It was nice to get more information about other Chicago bloggers. I’m honored to be included amongst these fabulous women!!!

  10. Mary

    May 24, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Love this page and this space! Thank you so much for including me!

  11. Megan Zink

    May 24, 2018 at 4:01 am

    OH MY GOSH thank you so much for the feature!!! I am so beyond moderately excited. This made my month!! Thank you guys for doing what you do.

  12. Natty

    June 7, 2018 at 2:39 am

    Thank you so much for the feature!!!! I am so excited to be one of the bloggers here in the feature.

  13. BeBe Jones

    June 7, 2018 at 3:14 am

    I’m very grateful for you guys thinking of me!!! Thank you, VOYAGE CHICAGO!!!!

  14. Rese

    June 7, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Thanks so much for including me with all these fabulous influencers!

  15. danielle

    June 7, 2018 at 5:25 am

    So honored to be on here! Thank you so much! So many inspiring people

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Guides