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The Most Inspiring Stories in St. Louis

The heart of our mission is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our communities. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some incredible artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with the incredible group below. Check out our favorite stories from across the Voyage family.

Austin Zagar

I established myself as a photographer in 2015, but the love I had for the industry started at a really young age. I was drawn to the stories and the places you could visit by looking at a picture. I can still remember reading an Atlas and seeing photos of India; the farming, the vibrant colors, the feeling as if I was there. I was hooked. As a film photographer, I am continuously challenged and pushed to understand how to get the end result. Read more>>

Paula Delores

It was back in 2017; I had just had my second daughter. I was slightly down and looking for a way to “show up”… I was looking for some self-care. So I started spending more time washing my face & etc. As I got deeper into my routine, I realized how harmful some of these products were. Honestly, I was offended. That’s when I started doing more research and creating hobby-like products for my girls and me. As time went on, I found myself reading more and digging deeper into what a healthy skincare routine consists of. Read more>>

Kit Edwards

So, I come from a background in Supply Chain/Logistics and was working for a local company in which I ran their distribution for their e-commerce orders. About a year and a half ago the company decided to dropship all their online orders which means they would be fulfilled directly by the vendors and my department was to be dissolved. For the next six months, as I was still at the company, I began looking at the job market to move on to my next opportunity, all the while wondering myself if there was a way that I could stay with what I know and enjoy all while incorporating something I cared about and maybe make some kind of impact. Read more>>

Journei Cole

I love to help others, and what better way to do that than by helping others voice their opinion through their shoes! I thought it was unique talking about something and making it your own! Well, I’ve never had an easy life growing up… or never been the outspoken one out of the group and that’s is why I knew it wouldn’t be easy getting my crocs out to the people of STL! I started trying to sell to my peers but there was little to no clientele and it definitely takes money to make money. Read more>>

Karis Gamble

I am a 2020 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University where I obtained a Multimedia Journalism degree with a minor in Communication Studies. Despite the pandemic, I grew my love for film, media, fashion, and thrifting through various outlets encouraging me to become an entrepreneur. I began working as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator for the video production company “My Friends and I.” During this time, my love for fashion and thrifting lead me to open a vintage to early 2000s resale closet called Kare To Thrift. Read more>>

Elizabeth Shryer

My love of storytelling and acting led me to Creative Actors Studio (FKA Creative Actors Workshop) in Burbank, CA. There I trained and eventually held an apprenticeship with the late Scott-Arthur Allen. I mastered the acting philosophy that Scott-Arthur developed for himself and taught to his students. In addition to acting, I worked in production for 17 national and international commercials. I also worked as an assistant to Scott-Arthur at his management company, Gentle-Force Artist Management. Read more>>

Jermeshea Nichole

Born and raised in Saint Louis, MO, I was a very shy kid. At the age of 12 or 13, I started singing I was in the Concert Choir at Confluence Academy Old North the director was named Sherry Jones. In 2012, I remixed Lauryn Hill The Ex-Factor and made it my own to dedicate a song to former President Barack Obama. I got that recording and submitted a CD to the White and months later I received a letter in the mail from Obama and Michelle. Read more>>

Kendall Davidson

The film was my first love. I got my first camera when I was 8 years old. I would record our family events and interview my family members about their life. The idea of documenting real-life experiences in a unique way was a driving force in my music as well. I started writing short stories and poetry around the age of 10. I couldn’t really tell you why I started but I can say that I felt like it was what I should be doing. Read more>>

Ray Jones

I studied aeronautical engineering in college and spent the summers working in construction in the small Northern California town where I had grown up. I was very fortunate to work for the same man each summer and learned a lot about making things with my hands. So when I graduated from college in 1976 and moved to Los Angeles to take an engineering job (developing ramjet engines) I rented a house and instead of buying furniture I bought tools and began making my furniture. Read more>>

Sophia Miller

Hello! My name is Sophia Caroline, it wasn’t long ago that I sought to be behind the camera lens. The fascination with capturing pure moments that pause in time, that bring the utmost joy to the recipient, and myself. I recall the first poster I printed with my photography on it, (I still have it) was a tree from the angle of me shooting looking up as if I were laying down on the ground. That was the magical moment that began it all… Read more>>

Dawn Howard

My story began when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011. I had just graduated college and the following month I was diagnosed. Over the last 10 years, I have struggled with paying my high medical deductible and I was constantly battling the insurance company which was more often than not denying treatments recommended by my doctors and they didn’t want to pay for any medication that wasn’t generic. Read more>>

Sarah Banks

My name is Sarah Banks and I am called as a healer to assist individuals on their spiritual journey of life by providing a safe space for healing and connecting with nature & the community. I am a Lover of Qigong, Teacher of Spiritual Psychology, and Creator of Greater than 3D: A Spiritual Health & Wellness Boutique and Healing Center. What is Greater than 3D? Greater than 3D is my passion project focused on reconnecting the Mind, Body, and Spirit as well as the rediscovery of self through different modes of holistic healing. Read more>>

Dannie Saines

Drawing has always been something I could do, and in all honesty, I never thought I’d be treading the path that I am today, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Growing up, I would always draw on myself in class, then eventually the other students would ask and I never really had a problem with it. I guess somewhere within that time frame of 6th grade to my senior year it just became a regular thing. Multiple people put the idea of becoming a tattoo artist in my ear but I never really took it seriously, I guess my pride wanted it to be purely my decision if that was what I chose to pursue or not. Read more>>

Eric Bell

As far back as I can remember into my childhood, my LOVE and passion for art have always been there. My fondest memories are after school on Friday nights sketching and drawing out images and t-shirt concepts while watching TGIF. I used to sit and imagine, ” what it would be like if I could put these images into a machine and bring my ideas to life?” Who ever knew that years later, I would have actually discovered a “machine” I could use to breathe life into my ideas? Read more>>

Rivka Sajida Zwibelman

Daar ul-Gharib Masjid started out of a need at the beginning of the pandemic. Not only were all masajid (mosques) closed during Ramadan, but we knew once they opened, many people would still feel like they didn’t have a spiritual home. We wanted to give people somewhere to go, to be with like-minded individuals who support marginalized persons within Islam. We opened our online mosque over discord and gave space to Queer Muslims and other Muslims who have trouble finding physical mosques they feel safe to pray in. Read more>>

Mark Indursky

I’ve been an avid collector my entire life. Once my wife and I moved from an apartment to a home, I was able to expand my collecting field and display them throughout our home in small vignettes. I did not collect a specific category but several. Focusing on visually interesting sculptural pieces, regardless of their originally intended use, size or condition. A collection could be as small as three pieces and as large as a hundred. Read more>>

Dawn Karlovsky

Karlovsky & Company Dance was established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in 2012. From 2004 through 2012, I operated as an independent choreographer directing a “pick-up” company under the name of Dawn Karlovsky & Dancers and working as a consortium artist with ANNONYArts. This was a formative time for me to meet and collaborate with many wonderful artists in the St. Louis community and eventually create and produce both in-theater dance productions, site-specific dance, and dance on film. Read more>>

Eyaan Mahone

First, thank you. Thank you for asking about my story and how I came into the person I am today. I don’t like asking people how you doing unless I truly intend to know sincerely. So again, I appreciate you giving me the liberty to be more emancipated. In 1996, I was born in Burbank, California, and spent 3 years living with my parents in Inglewood. My mother and father are still together. Edward Mahone “The Hammer” was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. At this point, his boxing record is eight straight wins. Read more>>

Kyra Lumpkin

I created Penrose Apothecary as an ode to my late grandmother and as a love letter to the street I grew up on. A home is very rarely a physical place, but more of the epitome of comfort, acceptance, and peace. Home can be many things to many people. My grandmother and Penrose St. are my definitions of home. I wanted to create a brand that instantly creates a sense of hope and happiness for all that patron Penrose Apothecary. Read more>>

Kevin Bryant

Among some of the emerging commercial real estate developers in the region, Kevin Bryant is making his mark by establishing and nurturing critical business relationships with some of the St. Louis area’s most prolific companies and individuals. He is the executive founder and developer of Kingsway Development LLC and CEO of Conversions Global Marketing. Kevin is a tactical decision-maker with a keen eye for creative problem solving and diplomatic negotiating. Read more>>

Dr. Nicole Robinson

It all began at the age of 46, I have diagnosed with Stage 2 Invasive Mammary Carcinoma, “breast cancer,” as we know it. Still, today, when I think back, I can recall how I dismissed and ignored all the warning signs. In early March 2014, my once then simple life was quickly and abruptly put on hold as I grappled with the big “C.” Like many who receive the news of a cancer diagnosis; I thought, “Why me, why now?” Read more>>

Tyneisha Jackson

Hi, my name is Tyneisha but you can call me Ty. I am the owner of Savory Delights. I started my business in 2019 only selling deserts in a jar. At the time, it was never my intent to go full-time with it, it was just something to make some extra money. During this time, I got pregnant with my daughter and completely stopped cooking, and found myself a call center job. After a few months, I knew that this was no longer for me and had it set in my mind that something needs to change. A month after having my daughter, I went back to selling my deserts but also adding cakes, and started selling plates of food out of my grandma’s kitchen. Things started slow but I kept at it. Cooking is my peace and my joy. Read more>>

LaMar Williams

LaMar “Finsta” Williams grew up on St. Louis’ South Side. He honed his MC skills throughout the 1990s as part of the hip-hop group The Ruckus Crew and as host of St. Louis’ longest-running the iconic hip-hop club night, the Hi-Pointe Café, (where up-and-coming artists honed their skills and platinum recording producer scouted for talent) as a part-time on-air personality for a show called, “Phatlaces” with DJ Needles. He was eventually laid off due to a format change in December of 2004. Read more>>

Erika McClellan

Hello! I’m Erika, I am 31 years, I am a stylist and mental health professional in the St. Louis area. I was born in Dallas, TX, and raised in St. Louis since the age of 5. I went to elementary, middle, and high school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. All throughout that time, I was a tri-sport athlete playing basketball, softball, and rugby. My passion has always been in connecting with people through physical activity, discussions about mental health, and making the world a more beautiful and creative place. Read more>>

Bo Lamar

I’m just a kid from St. Louis who decided to bet on himself! Growing up, I found my purpose and passion at a very early age. Music has always been a vital part of my DNA, inherited from my Father and supported by my family and loved ones. Along side of sports, I was always involved heavily in learning and actively performing. Whether it was playing drums in church, or percussion in the school band. I chose to attend college and study music, earning a bachelors and masters in Education & Arts. After teaching for a few years, I decided to move to Los Angeles, California to tour and record full time.  Read more>>

Nicola Hodges

I started my journey of wanting to write a children’s book for my son because I wanted to do something specifically for him. I’ve always wanted to be able to leave a legacy for my child, this is the start of that. I decided to write about him having a hard time going to bed because I figured a lot of kids could relate to that and well honestly it’s the truth! He went through the entire process with me, from writing the manuscript to checking the illustrations. It was an amazing and emotional process for both of us. Read more>>

Ryan Gregory

Hi my name is Ryan Zeff Gregory! I’m a parkour athlete, model. Stuntman and Influencer from St Louis! Growing up I was never into traditional sports, or trends. I fell in love with parkour because it had freedom, had no rules. It was separate from society is what it felt like. I hate social normality, and robotic culture. Through traveling for parkour events as I got older, I quickly fell in love with photography, modeling and expressing myself, my art in unique ways was. I enjoy creating content that makes people think, that makes them question thing and concepts around them. I believe that’s how we grow and be our best selves vs just accept what we are told to be correct. So here I am! Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. SYLVESTER BROWN, JR.

    September 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Greetings and congratulations on the launch of VoyageSTL. From the perspective of a former columnist (St. Louis Post-Dispatch and publisher (Take Five Magazine 1987-2003) and current writer with the St. Louis American, I can honestly say I am impressed with your work. Already, it seems to be a refreshing addition to the region’s sometimes stale media landscape. – Good luck with your venture.-Sincerely, Sylvester Brown, Jr.

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