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Downtown’s Rising Stars

The heart of our mission at VoyageChicago is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Chicago’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out Downtown’s rising stars below.

Sonali Patel, Nick Patel

ArganCoco has taken eleven years of testing products, formulas and conducting research. We believe in providing the best in the market and something that is made with love and passion. ArganCoco’s philosophy is to create a brand without chemicals, without preservatives and without harming animals. Read more>>

Noah Furey, Jimmy Kurz

Clark Street Collective was founded the summer of 2017 when a group of local photographers and models came together at 416 N. Clark St. Bored with the typical city shots, we wanted to evolve our skill set and get out of our comfort zones. For the next three months we came together every Sunday building our craft and developing a community based around creative minds working together. Read more>>

Brandon Carlton

I started as this kid who moved to Chicago from Atlanta but born in Baltimore. Upon arrival I was put out of my dads crib and stumbled into my first group of friends at Fat Tiger Workshop, clothing store in Wicker Park at the time aka my family. Um from there I lived in the stores basement and worked an internship for the exact same store I lived in. Read more>>

Nicholas Miaskowski

I am a childhood cancer survivor of 10 years and a successful young entrepreneur who co-owns four companies with my family, including Golden Wing Mobile Homes, a mobile home investing company. Golden Wing Helping Hands, a non-profit with a sole mission to create care packages for the homeless people on the streets and Mobile Home Millionaire, a coaching organization created to teach others how to get into the mobile home investing world and how to be successful in it. Read more>>

Devanchey Bell

Being from the westside of chicago it was difficult to get where I am today. With all the odds against me I started my own clothing business in 2013 to explore more of my interest in fashion. I decided to name it Goodsinners Chicago ( @Goodsinners) because it perfectly summed up the imperfections of man and how we are drawn from both sides. Read more>>

Nicole Wood

I started my career in management consulting, and coming from a university which was not on any recruitment list, I had to cold call and hustle my way into my job. I thought I’d be a lifer consultant. But after a few years I was burnt out and frustrated because I’d worked so hard to get into an industry that had now become clear to me was not where I wanted to be long-term. Read more>>

Keiashia “Key” Wood

It’s crazy how life happens. I never actually thought I would be working in the beauty industry. Growing up I wanted to be journalist. While in college at Southern Illinois, I did an informative paper on how to sew in hair extensions. At the time I had never actually installed hair extensions, but my paper made it seem fairly easy. Read more>>

Monique Jimenez

I have been doing photography for over 20 years. I started in high school by accident when I meant to sign up for a cooking class and must’ve written down the wrong number. I was immediately fascinated by light, composition and everything film. Eventually I started working for a mall portrait studio as a manager. It was obvious to me that 20 minutes in such a staged setup wasn’t yielding the best results. Read more>>

Shayla Samples

I was a sophomore in high school when I can vividly remember a teacher asking me, “What do you want your major to be in college?” Without hesitation I responded, “Photography.” I spent countless hours in the darkroom in high school where I completely fell in love with the whole process of watching my photographs develop right in front of my eyes. Read more>>

Danielle Mitchell

The murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin changed the course of my career and my life. In 2012 while working for Coca Cola the tragic news of the shooting hit. I was devastated and like many of my peers, identified with the slain teenager. I lived in a gated community in Central Florida, just like Trayvon. Read more>>

Frances Vera

Born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community to first generation Puerto Rican family. My love of make-up artistry began during Chicago’s early hip-hop club scene. This led me to the salon industry. In 2001, I became a licensed esthetician and practiced at one of Wicker Park’s most sought after salons. Read more>>

Pranita Nayar

I migrated to USA in 1985 and became an Illinois resident in 1988 moving to downtown Chicago in 2004. I started as a solo independent artist and conducted classes in the basement of of my home from 1991 – 2003. I was the founder artistic director of Kalapriya. I left Kalapriya in 2014 to start a new NFP called Mandala south asian performing arts. Read more>>

Larry in Burberry

The Larry and Burberry persona was born on the streets of Florence, Italy. I was there on vacation with my wife and our best couple friend. Throughout our trip, my wife and friend were constantly mentioning things their favorite fashion bloggers did in each location and stores we had to check out because Songs of Style or Damsel in Dior had recently been there. Read more>>

Jennifer Zhang

As a kid, I loved performing arts. My mother was a professor back then and due to my father’s busy work schedule, she would take me along with her to her classes. I was a great “teaching assistant” for her – during class breaks, the mini-me would be raised onto the desks by my mother’s students, and I would sing and dance “on the stage” for them. Read more>>

Dana Matthow

I grew up in Elmont Long Island and went to school at Temple University in Philadelphia. My uncle was Walter Matthau, and I guess the theater bug runs in the genes so I always wanted to be a producer, never wanted to be a performer, but who knows, there is still time. I graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia and decided to raise money to produce my first Off-Broadway show, called “Sea Marks” by Gardner McKay. Read more>>

Alex Corradetti

I started being a journalist in pre-school. We had different toys to play with, but I always had a favorite. I would play inside the fake ‘TV” set. I absolutely loved giving the other kids the news of the day. Farther along in my education, I realized how much I loved language itself. Read more>>

Atom Basham

I actually don’t remember any part of my life when I wasn’t drawing. It’s one of my earliest memories, so I guess that’s always been a thing. Intentionally creating characters with well thought out names and entire back stories has been a little more recent though. Like, just over the past ten years. Now everything I paint I could easily get it’s own book (If I ever find the time). Read more>>

Shanti Knight

I’m Shanti Knight, a second-generation wedding, lifestyle and portrait photographer, available globally, with a museum habit and a big love for sauvignon blanc. A few other facts about me: I shop all the time, and I wear black a lot. I love reading and I tend to stick to biographies, memoirs or non-contemporary fiction. And, I listen to a lot of jazz and love to see jazz performed live when I get the chance. Read more>>

Ashley Erin Brehmer

I was never a shy kid. I was tall, outgoing, and I enjoyed being the center of attention. Naturally, my parents enrolled me in a modeling school called Barbizon. It was not a “career launcher” as we might have imagined, but it sure did teach me a lot about the industry and it taught me how to be confident at a very young age. Read more>>

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