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Inspiring Stories from the North-West 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 rising stars from the North West side below.

Nick Porcaro

nFocus Photos was founded in 2006 with the goal of offering portraits to high school seniors unlike what they were able to get from the yearbook photographer. To accomplish that goal I studied lighting, posing and everything in between with some of the top senior photographers around the country. Read more>>

Danny Shapiro

I came to Chicago in 2009 to do comedy writing in Second City. And, over time, I found myself deeper and deeper in the bar world. It was its own diverse community with a roster full of creative, funloving, hardworking, people. And, through this community and an educational class taught within it, I met my business partners. Read more>>

Georgia McKinney and Cassandra Fischer

The Business Acumen got started as a “passion project” combining Cassandra’s passion for graphic design and website creation with Georgia’s passion for reading business articles and sharing them with her friends. This was a fun project that we started sitting on a living room couch in Cassandra’s apartment drinking hot chocolate which evolved into a professional website with a steadily growing user base, list of subscribers, and nearly 10,000 Instagram followers. Read more>>

Mohammad Salahy

Our Mission: Empowering Afghan family farmers by bringing their saffron to international markets, and empowering their children by reinvesting in their local schools. On April 2017, Heray Spice is founded by two US Army Linguists who served the Army for 3.5 years in Afghanistan. Read more>>

Janice Aponte

Art was always a big part of my life. As a child, I always felt a sense of comfort when I created art and today it brings me healing and it grounds me. I traveled back and forth while growing up, between New York and Puerto Rico (this usually happens in a Nuyorican family while parents are figuring things out) then after college, a family, and two kids, from Puerto Rico to Chicago, in search of the American dream! Read more>>

Sylk Negron and Danny Martinez

Our story began years before we met, yet it wasn’t until we met that the magic began. From the day we met, we instantly discovered that we shared the same passion for people and photography. After working on multiple projects and weddings, we decided to join efforts and create Sylk Marti Studios. Read more>>

Megan Ores-Uhrich

I got started in dogs 19 years ago. I’d had dogs as a kid but the reality is that your mom takes care of them. My first pup as an adult was a little wild thing. She was smart, sweet and she loved us as much as we loved her. She could do no wrong. Read more>>

Lisa Pizzello

I began my makeup career 12 years ago and have built a name in the bridal beauty business. Two years ago I naturally progressed into permanent makeup. It’s my passion! Natural looking Brows & soft smoky eyeliner’s are my specialties. Read more>>

Lindsay Wilson, Dusty Folwarczny and Ryan Robinson

Two serendipitous meetings six years ago—one in Prague, Czech Republic and the other in Sydney, Australia—led the three of us to ditch our management consulting gigs and launch a company dedicated to creating visual experiences proven to inspire and engage people. Read more>>

Gustavo Castro and Pilar Garcia

We started the Company As a home deep cleaning service. Then the business grew to do, move in move out cleanings for Real estate agents, landlords, property management companies and so on. We started a new focus on new post construction cleaning, which we excelled. Read more>>

Juan Moreno

My story is one that begins on the West Coast, where my family migrated from Colombia. I am Colombian born but raised in Los Angeles. I completed my college education in Southern California with some college experiences in Florence, Italy. All my personal and academic experiences have impacted me in terms of the person I am today. Read more>>

Shefali Kalyani

The idea of service has always been close to my heart. In 2012, I decided to call local soup kitchens to lend a hand. To my dismay, I was met with rejection as soup kitchens claimed they were simply “all set.” I persisted, and a few months later, I received an invitation from the Nashua Soup Kitchen to cook and serve their Saturday dinner. Read more>>

Erica Popik

It’s amazing to think where I am today. The friends I have made, the challenges I have overcome, it’s all been an amazing journey. It started when I was kicked out of my parent’s house at 18 with my senior year of high school still ahead of me. Read more>>

Steve Florian

Kadampa Meditation Center Chicago is a small non-profit organization that has been serving Chicago and the surrounding areas for over 15 years. We began humbly when a small group of individuals interested in Buddhist meditation began meeting in each other’s homes. Read more>>

Kevin Tao and Dr. Renjie Chang

It was Christmastime in 2012. Icicles were drip, drip, dripping outside, while gingerbread and peppermint aromas danced about. Endless cycling of the same 10 Christmas songs on the radio was at its zenith. Little did I know, I was about to have one of history’s all-time Top 10 most awkward mother-son conversations. Read more>>

Moises Micha

Grupo Habita is a Hotel Management Company that owns and/or manages 15 properties in Mexico and the US. We were invited by Convexity Properties to manage The Robey and The Robey Hall in Wicker Park. Read more>>

Pete Ternes

In 2011, one of my partners, Nick Burica, shot me an email about starting a brewery that gives 50% of its profits to local charities. We’d been homebrewing for years, and spending large chunks of our paychecks on beer for just as long. Read more>>

Nora Kerr

I started Memoir for Me almost 3 years ago after a very personal experience with my father. He had been fighting cancer, and the day came when doctors told us that we wouldn’t have a lot of time with him. I suddenly realized that there was so much I didn’t know about him–about his childhood, starting out in his career, what he was most proud about… Read more>>

Crystal Soto

I’ve always had a passion for makeup since I can remember. In school I was always trying to do everyone’s makeup and our sleepovers consisted of makeovers. I kept searching for a good makeup school but nothing stuck out to me like tnt agency. I flew to LA to pursue my dream of becoming a Profesisonal makeup artist / hair stylist. Read more>>

Mike Bojesen

SourceOne Events was founded by Mike Bojesen. Bojesen has been an event professional for over 25 years. Mike saw disconnects with the progression of technology, marketing and client care within the events industry. While working for another general service contractor, he found a void in the industry and at 37 sought out to fix it. Read more>>

John Daly

I was an advisor on the retail side of the business for 10 years. I worked for two of the largest brokerage firms. I’ve always been fascinated with investing and helping people make the best decisions to either accumulate wealth or protect and preserve the wealth they currently have. Read more>>

Jacqui Neurauter

I am involved in several callings. As a Renaissance Soul, it took many years for my interests, talents, and passions to come together. Following a long career as a professional recruiter for major corporations, I graduated from the Coaches Training Institute in 2000 and begin my coaching career. Read more>>

Angie Gardeck

After graduating from college in 1987 with a degree in Finance and Economics, I jumped into a staff accountant position for a major oil corporation. It didn’t take me long to realize this was not the right fit for me. I stuck it out for a few years, then after having 3 kids in 3 years, I found myself a stay-at-home Mom. Read more>>

Steph Worth

Before starting Travelworthy, I worked as a tax accountant for twelve years at a large public accounting firm. I started there as an intern when I was in college finishing my BA in Accounting and MBA, and continued to climb the corporate ladder intending to reach the top and become a partner. Read more>>

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