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Rising Stars from the South 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 the rising stars from the South West of Chicago below.

Brie Pflederer

I majored in Horticulture at the University of Illinois, with an intention of doing Landscape Design. I took a floral design class on a whim in college just for fun and really ended up loving it. I never thought it would become my career, but knew right away I loved working with flowers. Read more>>

Milissa McClaire Gary

I was born and raised in Beverly and currently live here with my husband, two sons, our dog, and three chickens. I have been an educator for about 13 years in many different roles. My work has allowed me to visit dozens and dozens of schools and meet hundreds of teachers. Read more>>

Ericka Perry

The idea for TSB came when my best friend was pregnant with her first child. At the time she was in Florida and I was living in IL and I wanted to gift her something for herself that would make her feel a little better. I can recalled her telling me that she wasn’t feeling well and had no idea what to buy to ease common pregnancy issues like morning sickness. Read more>>

Kelly Hurliman

I started in fashion and worked as personal stylist to Oprah Winfrey for 10 years. When it was time to move on I knew I wanted to do interiors and styling. I had causally known Nate Berkus throughout my time with Oprah so I reached out to him to get his thoughts on what my next steps should be. Read more>>

Amanda Thomsen

I started working in a garden center in my early 20s, soon I started to blog about what I was doing and learning at work every day. Even though I was just doing it to amuse myself, people started to notice and I was asked to blog for Horticulture magazine. After a while, I left Horticulture to work for Fine Gardening magazine. Then Storey Publishing asked me if I wanted to write a book. Read more>>

Taylor Fauley

I graduated from Illinois State University in 2016 with a degree in construction management. At the time of graduation I was fully committed to returning to school to collect an MBA at the start of the coming Fall Semester. That summer, between the time I received my undergrad diploma and before starting my graduate semester in the coming Fall, I took up a 3 month internship at a small construction contractor. Read more>>

Joy Macarus

Joy, a Chicago native started her entrepreneurial journey as the owner of Tanning Salons in the 90’s. She had 5 stores and owned the franchise until she sold her last salon in 2003. Once she sold her last tanning salon, she decided that she wanted to look into Childcare ownership. Read more>>

Marcela Rafea

I moved to the States 15 years ago from Brazil. My photography journey was born from my labor of motherhood, I wanted to have a visual document of our journey as a family. So, my job was born with my first child, Olivia, that is 12 now. Read more>>

Emily and Brian Weber

In 2011, Brian and I both felt very strongly that God was commissioning us to move from Morris IL to Yorkville, Illinois. We were not exactly sure as to why this area, with the exception that Brian worked here. We looked at houses up here that year and the following year and always came back to ours thinking, “We just can’t leave the house we are in.” Well last year was different. Read more>>

Asiaha Butler

My journey started when I decided to relocate from Chicago back in 2008, after my block here in Englewood was in turmoil. A bullet went through my door, someone had climb through my daughter’s window attempting to rob us and there was shootings happening on a nightly basis. Read more>>

George Powell

The idea of Easy Beauty was sparked out of my gift of problem-solving, my passion for helping people, and my deep desire to provide advanced solutions. At the time of its inception, I was working in a corporate role as a solutions architect; paid well, yet unfulfilled. Read more>>

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