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Inspiring Stories from the North Side

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 North Side’s rising stars below.

Daniel Trinidad

When I was in college, I was playing basketball and then my Achilles gave out. My theatre teacher suggested I auditioned for Romeo and Juliet, so I figured I’d try it. I ended up getting a part and it was a lot of fun. I started auditioning for plays ever since. A year later, I auditioned for a musical, while I got a part and had a lot of fun, I told my director I felt out of place because I can’t sing at all. Read more>>

Elizabeth Anne Moylan

I was always drawn to art, and secretly wanted to be an artist, but I thought I was going end up somewhere in academia because I was good at it and it was what I had been groomed to do. I also worked very hard because I knew to do well in school was my ticket out, and believe me, I wanted out into the wider world. I was searching for my tribe of weirdos. I came here in 2003 for college at the University of Chicago and never left. Chicago feels like my hometown now. Read more>>

Sarah Heck Kirkham and Anna Warren

Tactile Craftworks is a small leather crafting company founded in 2014, with a focus on high-quality goods handcrafted in the US. Our Atlas Series was born in 2013 out of a recurring conversation we (Anna Warren & Sarah Heck Kirkham) were having about a place. So often as we move through our adult lives, we feel a conflict between the desire to put down roots and make a home, while being pulled by the thrill of adventure and travel. Read more>>

John Dillon

Went to U of I, then spent five years based out of Singapore traveling a lot for work. Really enjoy finance but my dream has always been to have a successful company and wanted to go into entrepreneurship. When I adopted my puppy, I realized that there was a big need for after-hours veterinary care and I decided this was my chance to make meaningful change and bring real value to an industry I was passionate about. Read more>>

Jamie Mazursky

Founded by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Ron Kaplan in 2012, The CITYPAK Project provides a safe, convenient and versatile backpack uniquely designed to meet the constantly changing needs of the homeless. Inspired by the simple desire to create something that would make life on the streets of Chicago a little easier, Kaplan shared his idea with the design team at the international adventure travel gear manufacturer High Sierra. Read more>>

Steven Piper

Mad at myself for not going to art school in the first place, I cherished this small taste of what it would be like. Looking to see where Marketing and Art crossed, I found my clear calling in Advertising. Going from career fair to career fair, trying to get my portfolio in front of the right person. It is funny that I often overlook the fact that I was still applying for non-creative roles because I was scared that my passion for photography might not line up with industry standards. Read more>>

Irina Cardos

My professional career began very early in Romania as a server in restaurants while I was working to acquire my accounting license (CPA). As a server, I learned very quickly to pay special attention to our regular patrons’ habits and usual requests. Soon, my tables were requested by our most prestigious customers. I continued to expand my career once I emigrated to the United States in 2005. Read more>>

Richard Kallus

After college, I started taking improv and sketch classes at the UCB Theatre in New York. I then moved to Chicago to be a part of the comedy scene here (and to be with my then girlfriend-now wife who had gotten into medical school here) where I took classes at IO Theatre and The Annoyance Theatre. And well, now we are here. Living this life in the world we’ve created for ourselves. Read more>>

Negeen Masghati

Real Estate was the obvious career for me that I never realized I wanted. I previously owned a furniture resale and interior design business in the near-west suburbs with a colleague, brokering furniture between buyers and sellers. We both have our Bachelors of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Harrington College of Design and also put our skills to work on some residential design projects and staging. Read more>>

Bruce Faber

I started in the restaurant business at the age of four, spending weekends at my grandmother’s restaurant in Chicago, The Rathskeller. It was here I realized my passion for people and food, and later that year at school during career day, in 1st grade, I said I wanted to be a restaurant owner, like my grandmother. Read more>>

Beth Shadur

I have been a professional artist in the US since the mid-1970s when I returned from an international journey through a grant from Brown University where I documented murals in Mexico and Europe and created murals in Great Britain. Since 1975, I have created over 150 murals as both public and community-based projects, as well as for private residences. My studio practice since then has investigated a wide range of themes. Read more>>

Madiha Naqvi

Because they knew I loved makeup in a way that was not normal. I would have to tell my sisters to hold my purse or convince me not to purchase something anytime we went to a makeup store. I loved it in a way where I felt at awe seeing someone with full-on foundation blended naturally with eye shades and lipstick complimenting each together in the most perfect harmony. Makeup was like music, where a person’s creativity combined together with the right touch, could create something very amazing. Read more>>

Laura Harrison

As a painter, it was not smooth at all but as an animator more so. It seems people are more responsive to my animations so having that kind of support and vote of confidence from an audience makes the making of animations less onerous. As artists, we are supposed to be in dialogue with the world so it was a bit depressing to spend two years on painting and have only one month at the most to share it with others. Read more>>

Jet Levant

I tried my hand in the art game nearly a decade ago; the market went to hell and with it, my art sales. I’ve never been a fan of any type of formal schooling, so I stood up and joined the military. Fast forward to now and I’m back painting stuff and making things. Art is often interpreted in so many different ways through so many different forms, so I try not to limit myself to any one facet. Read more>>

Ellen King

It was a circuitous path to get to where I am today. My love of history played a big role. As a graduate student at the University of Maine, I did research on culinary history from the colonial time period. This included reading through old farm journals to better understand how crops, including wheat, were grown and produced. After a brief stint in the corporate world, I decided to pursue my true passion and applied to the Seattle Culinary Academy. Read more>>

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