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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.

Jonathan Sheinkop

As a co-founder and the general manager in my previous start-up company, I was working extremely long days sitting at my desk staring at a computer. My back was aching every day. My neck was starting to make little cracking noises when I’d finally get up. Read more>>

Ryan Kapp

I came to Chicago in 2000 to attend Graduate school at Northwestern University. I grew up in Columbus, OH and attended both Miami University in Oxford, OH and the Columbus College of Art & Design, where I received a BFA in 1998. Read more>>

Lili Trifilio

Beach Bunny originally was only a solo project for about a year and a half starting sometime in December 2015, and then almost exactly a year ago (May 2017), Matt (guitarist) and Jon (drummer) joined, and then Aidan (bass) in October of 2017. Read more>>

Dawn Stobart, Kelly Stobart

We started Beauty and Balance in 2006 with the goal of creating an upscale hair salon where our guests can find the latest trends in cut and color in an atmosphere that provides top notch customer service and relaxation. Read more>>

Ramsay Marston

I started off by wanting to be a labor/delivery nurse actually. I had gone thru 2 years of general courses and decided it wasn’t for me. I enrolled in cosmetology school full time, 40 hours a week. 10 months later I had graduated 2nd in my class. Read more>>

Laurie Baker

Since college, I have always had a passion for making my home one full of stories. I never wanted it to look like a retail catalog, and would much rather have a mix of new and old treasures. I previously worked in buying for home furnishing brands like CB2, Crate and Barrel, Holly Hunt, and The Land of Nod. Read more>>

Melissa Chin

Sure! I’ve found that being a ceramic artist with an International Relations background is something that really makes people scratch their heads. The truth is that I have always had two main passions: culture and the arts. Read more>>

Alex Specht

I’ve been lighting up the industry since 1998. After growing up playing guitar in bands, I thought my professional interest would be studio engineering. I came to realize that it was incredibly boring and frustrating spending so much time in a small enclosed space saying to bands, “that sounds great, but could you try it again.” Read more>>

Conor McInerney

I’ve always had an intimate relationship with food. Growing up, I spent my summers working on an organic farm and learning about the impact our diets have on society. I also have a strong affinity for adventure. Read more>>

Rebecca Pesche

I’ve been a Deerfield resident for eight years, working as a residential real estate broker and raising three kids with my husband. I came across a Scout & Molly’s store while visiting Ohio, and I couldn’t help but think that Deerfield could use a great little boutique like this. Read more>>

Eudell Watts IV

Over the years, the highlight of our family barbecues has been in enjoying the exceptional barbecue sauce that we painstakingly made from a family recipe that had been carefully guarded and handed down over the course of six generations. Read more>>

Andy Kalish

Gina (spouse/partner) and I have been together since ’95 and have worked primarily as caterers. Several years back we wanted to expand our work base and felt a restaurant would be the natural extension of what we were already doing. Read more>>

Jamil Khoury

Silk Road Rising was founded in 2003 by life partners Jamil Khoury and Malik Gillani. The husband and husband duo created the company as a direct response to the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, and to a “clash of civilizations” discourse they very strongly reject. Read more>>

Christina Pecce

I am a singing-actress crossing over the genres of opera, musical theatre, jazz, and performance art. At the early age of 4, I was sure of what I wanted to do. My uncle was an actor and I recall sitting in the orchestra pit for his touring shows and going backstage. Read more>>

MK Andersen

In college, I would joke and say that if my degree/studies didn’t work out, I would just become a wedding planner. Junior year, it was no longer a joke, but part of the larger plan: get a “real” job and then open my wedding planning firm on the side. Read more>>

Tyler Kirsch

I wasn’t always in the business of men’s footwear.. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in psychology from John Carroll University, I got my start in chemicals and plastics sales working for several companies managing the Midwest, based out of Chicago. Read more>>

Tony Rossi

I’m Tony. I’m an actor who loves reminding other actors (and non actors) that “we are enough – regardless of what our resume says or doesn’t say.” I moved to Chicago from Salem, Massachusetts in 2010 after graduating with a theatre degree at Salem State University. Read more>>

Eric Floberg

It started in seventh grade. Mrs. Park assigned a video project to our Spanish class. I got paired with Chris and Matt. Chris knew a lot about editing in Windows Movie Maker, so I was stoked to get to work. I marveled at all the things he could do with the software, and we knocked the project out of the park. Read more>>

Bonnie Glassner

I retired from the Chicago Public Schools after 35 years of teaching students with disabilities, and decided to try. my hand at visual 2-d art. My mother was a textile artist and she could draw anything, so I grew up around her art. Read more>>

Edda Rodriguez

Originally from Peru, I moved to Chicago in 2002. I started practicing Yoga out of necessity in order to relieve back pain. Not only Yoga helped me relieve and eventually heal my back pain, but also started a process of self-awareness, self- acceptance, self- transformation and empowerment. Read more>>

Holly McGregor, Heidi Bernover

As a child, I watched each of my parents begin and grow their own businesses and I always had the passion for entrepreneurism in my blood. Throughout my childhood I knew I would dedicate my career to helping others care for their bodies. Read more>>

Amanda Marijanovic

My inspiration for starting a neighborhood cooking studio started brewing shortly after my twin boys were born. As a talented home chef, when the boys were ready for solid foods, I decided to forgo the jars and make my own. Read more>>

Amy Werner

I started at Rimland in February 2015. I graduated college in May 2014, enjoyed one last summer as an overnight camp counselor, and then began my job search. I had a very hard time finding a job that would both pay the bills and provide meaning, and spent month after month looking for something that could do both. Read more>>

Rabbi Binyomin Scheiman

I have been working as the Jewish prison chaplain for all of Illinois including county jail, state and federal prisons for over 38 years. Essentially, I think of myself as running a “recycling plant” for human souls. Read more>>

Joshua Zuckerman

I was born into the home improvement business. My parents own and run Lakeshore Paint and Patio in South Haven, MI and I grew up around home improvement retail and contractors of all types. In addition, my parents built their own home, a geodesic dome, in the late 70s and always had me engaged with building projects from childhood. Read more>>

Nicole Hayes, Jim Hayes

Rugan’s was founded on the concept of bringing a city vibe to the suburbs. So many young families move out of the city but still seek that sort of experience when they go out. We offer high quality craft cocktails, over 100 craft beers, an extensive wine list and delicious seasonal small plate food items. Read more>>

Carly Girard

I always knew I wanted to be in a helping profession. I’m at my core a caregiver and someone who gets an immense amount of personal satisfaction by helping others. Another passion of mine is technology and how things work. Read more>>

Maggie O’Brien

I first became interested in working in film during high school. I used to love watching the special features and behind the scenes that were included on DVDs. When I realized that people could actually get jobs making movies, I knew what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Rachel Varghese

I still recall the joy of capturing images with a Polaroid camera as a kid. I was always the friend who could be counted on to take photos and record birthday parties, special events, and my favorite: life as it happened. I got my first DSLR camera right out of college and spent hours photographing my brother’s kids. Read more>>

Emily Schroeder Willis

As a young high school student I was fascinated by the idea of making the perfect bowl lined with a black glaze so I could see the milk in my cereal. Twenty years later, I am still fascinated by new ways to look at familiar objects. Read more>>

Tyler Hall

I started nightclub singing when I was 18 at a local venue in Sarasota, Florida. I had won a talent contest there where the prize was a slot in their Wednesday night show cast. I started performing ever other week, and then every week and sometimes on weekends too. Read more>>

Katie Morlan

I started my fashion career in 2010 after graduating with an Art and Design degree with a Fashion Design concentration from Columbia Chicago College. In the past, I worked for notable designers & companies such as BCBG Max Azria, United Colors of Benetton, Nordstrom, MP Management Chicago, Virgin Hotels Chicago and Kendra Scott. Read more>>

Mike O’Mara

Ever since my own life was changed by a dedicated arts teacher during my middle-school and high-school years, I wanted to pay it forward by teaching others. I started my journey while gaining my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Composition from DePaul University – while studying. Read more>>

Alyse Burman

The mission of the Wildbird Shack was to create an awareness of birding, conservation and nature. The best way to accomplish our mission and commitment, was through establishing a bricks and mortar retail store, thus, the Wildbird Shack, located in Mt. Prospect IL. Read more>>

Mary Porterfield

My interest in art began as a child when I would watch my mother paint. When I was young, we lived in Germany because of my father’s air force career. My mother took art classes to help her overcome her homesickness for the Midwest. Read more>>

Steve Newman

As a teacher at Evanston Township High School, I witnessed the inequity of resources and networks for students to not only go to college, but through college. Helping students with test prep, or sitting with them over lunch for one session was too minimal — students without adequate resources need a sustained, consistent network of support. Read more>>

Rob Cressy

For as long as I can remember my dream has always been to work in sports, so 5 years ago I set out on a journey to turn that dream into reality. That’s when I started with the goal of turning a sports comedy blog into the awesomest sports media company ever. Read more>>

Hannah Litvan

I went to school for studio art and creative writing hoping the combination of skills paired with great internships would land me a sweet art job in a big city… wrongo. The art job market is flooded with newly trained artists waiting to burst into the scene, but saturated with the experienced artists all the job openings are targeting. Read more>>

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