Connect
To Top

The Change-Makers: stories that inspire

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.

Joseph Hanna

I’d like to think things started right before college graduation. I was graduating with a degree in Recreation & Sports Management with minor in Advertising. Our country at the current time was going into the Recession, so I’d graduate with no jobs to look forward too. I needed a job, and a friend recommended I apply for a behavioral health job working with children. I applied and got the job, but my initial intentions were solely a paycheck. The experience in that job over a year allowed me to get the opportunity to get a better one at of Miami’s biggest hospitals. I worked for Jackson Memorial hospital for two years in behavioral health, not children, but adults. The more I worked in the healthcare system, the more I felt that I would prefer to work in more of a “preventative healthcare” type of setting. I kept my hospital job while getting my first fitness job working in a boutique studio on Miami Beach. It was in that setting I realized the fitness industry is where I needed to be with the passion I had for helping others. Read more>>

Linda Harrison, aka Red

I grew up in the small, sugarcane farming community of White Castle, LA, the fourth of seven kids. Whether preparing meals, organizing the household chores and generally looking after my younger siblings while my parents worked, I always possessed fierce self-discipline. Art and creatively have always been part of my life. My parents and parental grandmother were avid amateur artists. They painted landscapes and still life in oils, charcoals or watercolors as well as creating ceramics and other assorted crafts. I, of course, participated in many of these activities and much more, such as knitting, crocheting, mosaics, designing my own clothes, making home decorations and yes, painting. However, the realism of painting landscapes, flowers or fruit did not appeal to me. Being an artist was not part of my original plan in life. Nor did I give it any thought, for I was focused on the business world. I received an academic scholarship to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, earning a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and, in short order. Read more>>

Nashalie Soto

Inspire of Central Florida began as Seminole Work Opportunity Program (SWOP) in 1980. We opened a storefront in a Sanford strip mall and employed six individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Stephanie Ryan, our Executive Director, took over in 2016 after serving as a board member for a year. Since that time, we have changed our name to Inspire of Central Florida. We currently serve approximately 72 individuals with IDD at our facility in Casselberry. Inspire offers several programs for our participants, including Operation G.R.O.W (Giving Real Opportunity for Work), which is an internship program offered for individuals seeking competitive, integrated employment. The program serves about 30 individuals who continue their education through classroom instruction or through vocational training with our community partners. Nashalie Soto, the G.R.O.W. Program Coordinator, partners with businesses such as the Sharing Center, Goodwill Industries, Northland Church, Seminole County’s Sheriff Office, and Seminole County’s Services Building. Read more>>

Dr. Francis Hoffmann

I am originally from Venezuela, and I moved to USA 15 years ago, I am a Dentist, I am the 5th generation of Dentists in my family, becoming a Dentist has been my passion since I was a child. Growing amongst a family of dentist inspired me to become a dentist by myself. My grandfather was a pioneer in the field of dentistry, becoming one the first dentists in my home city. My parents have been working in the dental field for almost five decades. I attended dental school with my oldest sister and we graduated together and shortly after, my youngest sister joined by also graduating with her Dentists degree. I am proud to be part of a family devoted to the advancement of dental health in our community. I came to USA not speaking English, and it was my first step in this country learned English. To became a Dentist here in US, you need to take many steps. Forced to start over as a professional, I relearn my career in a completely new language. To familiarize myself with the terminology in another language, I chose to become a Dental Assistant, and few years laters, a became a dental hygienist. The experience reinforced the value and importance of my dental team. Read more>>

Jodi Roark

I am Jodi, the owner/designer of Florida Kid Co., a Florida-inspired baby/kid brand. After having my son almost four years ago, my husband and I decided to leave the Army life to move back to Florida. While the life of a military spouse was an adventure that I will always cherish and appreciate, it did come with its fair share of challenges, one being the difficulty of creating and nurturing a career for myself. Since we decided to settle down in one spot, it was now my chance to go after the dream of starting my own business. After I had my son, I realized that there weren’t a lot of baby items that were vibrant colors and represented the laid-back, beachy Florida lifestyle that we lived. I’ve always loved designing and creating, so I set out on a mission, and the idea for Florida Kid Co. was born! Read more>>

Jennifer Mieles

I had a rough childhood and moved out early. Because of that, I was unable to finish ninth grade, let alone graduate. I was forced to learn a lot on my own and it was hard. My life definitely lacked any solid family relationship. I was 24 when I had my twin boys and cleaning houses for a living. By the time they started high school, I was expecting another son. Cleaning houses was one of the few lackluster jobs I worked, and I knew something needed to change. I wanted to be a good example for my children and get my GED. How can I ask of them what I have not yet done? I took the test and passed. I was so surprised and proud of myself, I enrolled in college the spring of 2014. I wasn’t really sure what exactly I wanted to commit the rest of my working life to but, I knew I didn’t want to sit in an office all day. So, I took several self-assessments and the Briggs Myers Personality type quiz. Those somewhat annoying questionnaires ended up being instrumental in choosing a career that would suit me. I learned I am an ENTJ (extravert, intuitive, thinking, judging) which is dubbed “The Commander.” Looking over jobs that fit my personality type, I decided I wanted to be a paralegal and help people. Read more>>

Laura Perez

I have always had a passion for photography. I grew up around a mommorazi who always wanted to take photos I soon grew into that passion and proceeded to do it as a hobby. We would always take family photos yearly and I would always think how lucky is she/he to be doing something they love. My family kept saying, why don’t you take the leap and one New Years’ resolution, I took the leap. Read more>>

Brayden Brown

When I was kid, I always wanted to surf. I got to summer surf camp every year from 7-12… when I was ten my mom finally got me my first board, a starr surfboard rocket tail. I had been surfing a year or two n was getting tired of what I was riding. I turned to the jigsaw and chopped up the tail… resulting in me learning to glass a Lil bit with the neighborhood boat works guy… from there, I was screwed, lol. I found a blank a year or so later and shaped out my first board! All while teaching my set to weld and build bicycles around 13… after the first board, I knew what I wanted to do. I built hand planes and skateboards from wood and slowly built up my surf connections. After a couple years working from the basement and garage of my parent’s house, they told me I had to move the stuff to a shop. Lucky the family had a publishing company with a warehouse of stuff. I was lucky enough to be given part of the space and we built out my first factory! In holly hill fl. I did about three years there and hundred of boards!

Heather Taylor

Twenty-six years ago, while working my way through college, I took a position as a Floral Specialist at a local Publix Supermarkets. Three years later, I spent 13 years designing at a floral shop in Plant City, FL. Nine years ago, on 4.1.2012, I took a leap of faith and Taylormade Floral & Event Design was born, and the rest is history. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Read more>>

Marcus Brown

My journey to where I am now and the reason behind my drive is mainly because of the adversity I faced growing up in the Foster Care system. Facing obstacles and trails that tested me not only mentally but physically at times made me really tune into the kind of person I wanted to be in this world. Growing up, I also played football at Mount Dora High and earned a Division 2 scholarship to West Liberty University. After a year, I returned and became a father and my life changed forever. I always wanted more out of life and even out of football and never seemed to understand until I had my daughter where my passion truly was, in Life and its Truth. After a few years, I decided to enroll and get my Bachelor’s in Metaphysical Sciences from the University of Metaphysics. I now use my knowledge of Life on all levels to provide series to help assist others along their unique journeys through life. As Rev. Marcus Brown aka Metaphysical Marc, I am an Internationally known certified Metaphysical Practitioner, Author, Spiritual Advisor, Intuitive and an Ordained Minister within the International Metaphysical Ministry (IMM) after obtaining my Bachelor’s in Metaphysical Sciences (B.Msc) in 2019. Read more>>

Chemeka Johnson

In 2015 I was introduced to makeup by a friend who loved makeup. One Saturday, we visited the MAC store and got a simple glam. Didn’t realize what I was getting myself into, I felled deeply in loved with the makeup every since. I realize the makeup gave me a different type of confidence about myself. A few years later, I notice makeup became a big trend in the beauty industry. I found myself spending a lot of time watching videos and live clips of other makeup artist learning different techniques and learning about the industry. This is when I officially found my passion and what I loved to indulge in on a daily. I began to set goals on how I can take this makeup to the next level. I started purchasing loads of makeup as if I was already in business with clients. After doing makeup on myself countless times, I decided to push it as a business to gain extra income. In 2016 I decided to promote makeup service for other women at a low cost. Family and friends allowed me to enhance their beauty and better my skills. This only made me go harder with my skill set. I am very thankful to be a part of this industry for five years as we speak. Read more>>

Alyssa Walke

I am the Owner of Blyss Beauty LLC. I am a Licensed Esthetician of 5+ years and a Licensed Tattoo Artist of 3+ years. My passion for cosmetics and esthetics led me to the permanent makeup industry. I have been professionally trained and certified in many techniques, including Microblading, Permanent Makeup, Lash Extensions, Makeup Artistry, Scalp Micro-Pigmentation, and more! I have also had the honor to Train & Certify Students in Microblading, Lash Extensions, & PMU. After many years of preparation, and with the support and blessings of my clients, in May of 2020, I opened Blyss Beauty Studio! January of 2021, blyssbeautyacademy.com went live and is now enrolling students in Permanent Makeup Training Classes. It has been quite the journey and it is only the beginning! Whether it be a Microblading Transformation, Micro-needling Facial, or Volume Lashes… witnessing my client’s GLOW is my biggest reward. Read more>>

Mary Fosky

I’ve always had an artistic eye. Ever since I can remember, no matter the art or the craft, I have always challenged myself to try. That means I have a ridiculous collections of arts and crafts, from watercolor, pastels, wood-burning and acrylics to resins, jewelry and charcoals. I had a similar approach to photography, “let’s give it a try,” so in high school (many moons ago), I registered for photography 101 and fell in love. I learned the art of film, processing black and white- it’s still a favorite of mine. I’m currently building a studio with a darkroom in my home so I can dedicate more time to it. In college, my interest in photography continued moving from film to digital. My daughter was born, at that moment, my desire to capture every moment was REAL! Shortly after my husband gifted me my first DSLR and my business grew organically. I captured friends and family, then their friends and family. Before I knew it, I was booking every weekend. Fast forward two years, I got married- it was then I realized how much I LOVED weddings. Read more>>

Michelle Crawford

Ten years ago, my marriage of 18 years ended. I found myself a single mother of two young girls with no work experience or formal education. I was terrified and unsure how I would provide for my daughters. Like so many people without a career path, I was floundering with ideas on what I should do next? After a great deal of soul searching, a family member called while I was in the midst’s of a good old fashion pity party. My Aunt, who has since passed away, was a woman of little patience but she humored me for a bit, at least until she couldn’t take it anymore. She cut me off and suggested That I go to “cooking school.” She went on to say, “You’re always cooking that Foo Foo Sh*t and everyone seems to like it. I mean I don’t care for it, but everyone else does”. My cousins and I laugh about it today because that was just how she was. I am incredibly grateful for that afternoon because it planted the seed and started me on my path. In the following days, I reached out to a friend I went to high school with who worked as a chef. I told him my plans and he set me on the course of researching Community Colleges. Read more>>

Zoe Heafner

I am a lifestyle photographer and filmmaker from Winter Park, Florida! I’ve always had a passion for capturing special moments, so why not make it my job? I started in competitive filmmaking in 7th grade and decided to make it my career. I attend UCF while getting a bachelor’s in fine arts degree in Film while running my business simultaneously. In the summer of 2019, I worked in Los Angeles for a summer, and it is my dream to go back and start a career there in music video and documentary directing. When covid hit in 2020, I decided to start my own business and dive into filming weddings on the side of school!. Read more>>

Sean Hughes

Howdy World! Ryan and Sean here, we are just a couple of best friends that met as college roommates at UCF (Go Knights!). Collectively, we have 20 years of experience across the hospitality and events industry, with a side hobby of enjoying tasty beverages! When we came across Kombi Keg we were immediately sold on bringing the experience to our hometown of Orlando. Our mission is to deliver a unique and memorable experience for your next special event or occasion. Not only will you get a one-of-a-kind interactive mobile bar, but we’ll help set up those Instagram-worthy moments as well. 🙂. Read more>>

Terri Marinaro

My story begins with becoming a minister with the Universal Life Church in 2001 and also becoming a Florida Notary Public around the same time. With both of these credentials, I began officiating weddings. However, they were few and far between, mostly for close friends. In 2011, I opened a UPS Store franchise and offered Notary services to my customers. I found that many couples walked into The UPS Store to get married quickly, easily and without much ado. It was bizarre to me at first thinking, who in the world would want to get married in a UPS Store? I quickly realized there was a need for not just small but also non-denominational ceremonies. I trained my staff on how to perform quick but meaningful ceremonies and the proper way to notarize a marriage license. In 2016, I sold the UPS Store franchise and decided to design a website. I wanted to see if there was indeed a demand for these non-denominational ceremonies. I named the company Orlando Area Officiant because I believed this would be the keywords most often used on search engines. Read more>>

Joann Vanié

I am an afro-latina puertorican woman born and raised in Puerto Rico. I come from a very humble family in Naranjito, Puerto Rico at a “barrio de campo”. Both of my parents are still together and I have one big brother who’s actually happily married. I grew up in a small pentecostal church where I developed my passion for music, God and the desire to help and love others. Later on, I decided to complete a bachelor’s in Social Work at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Pierdas campus. During that time, I experienced major losses in my family and many challenges that led me and my family to move to Orlando, FL. As usual, moving to another country tends to be stressful and the transition is not always easy. I experienced cultural shock and even racism. I started working at schools in positions similar to Social Work but still felt like something was missing. I’ve always consider myself a highly creative person and I don’t want to define me with one single thing. I love fashion, photography, beauty, design and music. Read more>>

Bonnie Whicher

I was born in Korea, adopted by an Italian mother and an Irish father when I was five years old. There are three photos of me when I moved to New Jersey from the orphanage. When my childhood best friend, whom I have known since the second grade, killed herself at 36 years old, I was trying to find photos of us as we were growing up for the funeral and much to my sadness, I found none. Even into adulthood, there were very few photos of us together. That was when I realized how incredibly important photos are for the memories and for those who are left behind. I have always loved taking photos, but I never thought I could do this as a business. I called my other best friend since middle school and told her I wanted to become a professional photographer. Her name is Anna Jannotti and she been photographing professionally since high school. Much to my delight, she said, “I have been waiting for years for you to tell me I wanted to do this professionally.” Even though at the time I had no idea what I was doing, apparently, I had the natural creative eye for capturing images. With her help/support and my husband, I become a professional photographer. Read more>>

Jill Bolander Cohen

Before The Lifeboat Project, I was a professional jazz singer and I also ran my family’s coffee roasting business. I am a member of the Presbyterian PCUSA church, and in 2010 I took a position with Presbyterian Women, doing justice and peace work. I learned there was going to be a gathering in Washington DC called Ecumenical Advocacy Days. I wasn’t sure what it was all about but I wanted to go. As it turned out, it’s where different faith denominations gather and they workshop a chosen topic. The topic could be gun violence, mass incarceration, the SNAP program, etc. but that particular year, they were looking to renew the Violence Against Women’s Act (VOWA). When my husband and I arrived at the gathering, we attended classes. One of the classes was advertised as having a woman speak who had been a sex slave. I didn’t attend the talk because I knew I would cry. Fast forward to six months later, while speaking to someone from our national Presbyterian office in Louisville. Read more>>

Wendy Risquez

I’m from a family of bakers and all-around food snobs. We’ve always loved trying out and creating new recipes. My sister owned a bakery where I worked for her and she taught me all of her decorating skills. The sugar cookie recipe I use (and the one we used at my sisters’ bakery) was passed down to us from our Canadian Grandma. I make cakes and other desserts as well, but sugar cookies are my most popular item, and I know my Grandma would be so happy to know that her recipe has provided a way for me to work from home so I can be with my children. We like to joke that our cookies are baked with love and cuss words… but mostly love. Read more>>

Jane Luck

I’ve always been an artistic kid. My mom gave me the ultimate freedom when it came to self-expression and exposed me all kinds of music and art growing up. We would go on “mommy-daughter dates” to the local museums. She would occasionally pick me up from school just to catch a matinee of a movie. I was constantly picking up inspiration. When I was six years old, I walked right out into the kitchen and told her I wanted to be like Britney Spears when I grew up. I’d sit in my mom’s bedroom with my headphones singing along to my Disney and Britney tunes as loud as I could. Not much has changed since then. I still sing at the top of my lungs. I hog the mic at karaoke with my best pals, but they don’t seem to mind and I love them for it. They’ve been along for the ride for as long as I can remember. When I was taking some classes at the local community college in 2011, I discovered the world of cosplay. My first cosplay was nurse Harley Quinn with a leftover Halloween costume and a fake cork gun I made from scratch. I never really took it seriously and was always doing “closet cosplays” with things I had laying around the house or cheap things I thrifted. Read more>>

Ruben Javier

I began cutting my own hair at the age of 13 when I moved to Florida from Pennsylvania. I lived with my older sister and her family, who took me in at the time, so I remember she used to get mad at me whenever I would clog up the bathroom sink since I would attempt to cut my hair every two days or so. Eventually, I started giving out free haircuts to those in my neighborhood and classmates until one day, I began to charge $5, that’s when I saw more people contacting me for haircuts weekly. Around then, my mom had moved to Florida and I was able to use her garage to turn into a personal barbershop to attend all my clients. In 2014 I made the decision to open my own barbershop and in 2018, I opened another location in Colorado which, by the grace of God are both still operating, I was also able to open a Barber and Beauty school in Lake Wales, FL, which has been a great resource for the community in not only providing careers for many but also in services to the public. Throughout my career, I have been able to work with companies in beauty shows across the country and share my skills with others by providing education. I thank God for all the opportunities that He has allowed for me. Read more>>

Jelitza Rivera

Some people are afraid to admit that when they start off on their goal path, they have no idea where they are headed. I believe that sometimes people just need to know where they do not want to be and start moving away from that taking advantage of blessings in disguise, life lessons, and opportunities along the way. I was born in Puerto Rico. By age five, my family and I moved to New York City where I spent the next 14 years living in the housing projects of South Bronx under poverty lines. I grew up with two sisters and my parents. My first blessing came when I started school in New York. Since I had started VPK in Puerto Rico and my parents did not speak English, I forced to take classes in Spanish all the way until middle school; as a result of that, I am fully bilingual. My first life lesson began in middle school. By the time I got to 6th, we lived in a single-parent household living on less income than before. If we wanted to buy an item that was not in my mother’s budget, we had to work harder. My sisters and I had to work selling seasonal items year-round to help my mother make ends meet. We would do things like go door-knocking selling chocolate roses for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Read more>>

Rima Schillinger

As I watched my parents age and grapple with various heart related health issues, I came to the realization that there were lifestyle choices I could make to reverse the progression of disease in my own body. My genes have loaded me with the potential for heart disease but I’ve come to understand that what I eat will determine whether or not those illnesses can actually take root. I became plant-based overnight and began to understand more deeply how our food choices affect the environment and the lives of other animals. I’ve always loved to cook and I threw myself into the world of plant-based cooking. I was surprised by the satisfaction my family and I experienced eating amazing plant-based meals. After cooking plant-based meals for my family for a couple of years, it became clear how difficult it would be for someone who doesn’t cook to take on a whole plant-based lifestyle. Options for vegans can be limited and sometimes the options, though vegan, are not always healthful. It has become my focus to create abundant and nourishing meals for people who would like to incorporate more plants into their diets, it makes me happy to know I’m sending a little bit of health and love home with my customers in every bag. Read more>>

Alyssa Noel

When I was a young girl, I would say things like, “When I get older and have my own family, I’m going to do things my way.” Usually, those statements came from experiences that made me feel hurt, disappointed, and inadequate. These experiences put me on a path of becoming a warrior for love. I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together and building strong families and supporting single women and couples in 2015 when I began my master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy. My foundation in mental health supported me in working with couples that were lacking the skills to foster healthy romantic relationships and single woman trapped in the cycle of an unhealthy dating mindset. Read more>>

Isabella Vargas

Ever since I was little, I grew up with a father who was infatuated with photography. It was the usual photography, you know. Weddings, landscape and etc. After being around it for so long as a child, I decided to finally pick up the camera myself around the age of 15. It wasn’t no fancy camera… it was an iPhone 7 camera. That camera and passion with photography brought me to where I am now in my journey with photography. My style with photography is a little different from my father’s, though. I do fashion photography. Being able to capture the uniqueness of someone’s outfit or even their makeup still has me overjoyed. Being able to be different from the others and actually catch people’s aesthetic and give my audience a taste of my client’s personality through a photo and also their story. Also, the same goes with musicians. I get invited to be present for artists’ studio sessions or even performances to catch the emotion and also give their audience a feeling through the photo and show everyone that they work to get to where they wanna be. It’s all still a process that I’m willing to go through. I’m still learning. You can be the greatest ever and still be learning. Read more>>

Sierra Ford-Jones

When I was just 16. I borrowed my mom’s camera and walked around the island we were visiting, taking pictures of anything that inspired me. I was instantly addicted to capturing simple everyday things in fun ways. Because of my newfound hobby, I took a film photography class and fell even more in love with the art. My first year of college I saved up to buy a Canon Rebel on Craigslist. Friends started asking me to take photos of their kids, and then their families, and then their weddings! My side hustle had become an accidental full-time business by the time I graduated (with a degree in public admin.) It’s been ten years since then and in that time, I have photographed hundreds of weddings in multiple countries. I have also captured many of those families grow from family sessions to branding photos for their new businesses! It’s an adventure I am blessed to be on! There is nothing quite like doing what you love as a job. Read more>>

Christian Ortiz

I was at a down point in my life after a baseball injury. I got fat, out of shape and depressed. One day after being a grocery store I saw the men’s muscle magazine and saw a ripped-up guy. The title read get your physique back. The next day I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe I let myself go. After that day, I worked out and ate good every day until my new body was formed. I started to help people after that. Like every trainer, I dreamed of opening a gym and having a successful business. It was tough to maintain being a trainer when I was still serving tables at fine dining restaurants. I gave myself a goal that when I turned 30, I’d quit the restaurant industry and take up being a fitness business full time. On my 30th, I quit with just three clients to my name. You have to give yourself no other way but facing it. So I did. I dedicated to just being a trainer and growing my business. One day a client of mine invited me to her school to help fellow teachers. During their workout, kids got inspired and wanted to do the same. That’s when I created Fit Kidz 4 Fun which is now in over 23 OCPS schools and featured on WesH 2 news. Although covid has shut that down temporarily I plan to bring it back and take my dreams to the next level. Read more>>

Christy Marks

I fell in love with photography when I was gifted my first disposable camera in 6th grade. I started to capture snapshots of my friends, family, and the things I felt were beautiful in my life. When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to do something creative so I spent a year searching for the creative outlet and photography was the one thing that I truly felt passionate about. While working towards my Bachelor degree in Photography, I explored the various genres and fell in love with photographing people. After I graduated, I continued to do shoots on my own to really discover what I loved about photographing people until one day, it just hit me. I loved making portraits that made my subject feel beautiful in their own skin. Experiences that make them feel like a celebrity for a day. I’ve made it my mission to empower preteens, teens, and women through portrait experiences and be able to capture their essence and boost their confidence. Read more>>

 

Yessenia Martinez

I’m from Puerto Rico and I’m a hairstylist. I currently live in Saint Cloud, Florida. When I was in high school, I had a passion for hair, so I decided to study it and get to know more about it. I went to hair school and graduated in the year 2000, since that moment, I haven’t stopped doing what I love I started as commission base in a small salon, then as the time went by I owned my own salon in Puerto Rico after the years went by I decided to move to Florida and start a new life so I went rental in a salon and now I work by myself in my own suite. I have been blessed I have the greatest clients anyone can have. Looking forward to opening a bigger salon in the future if God permits me and love to educate myself and my clients as well. Always follow your dreams and do what gives you passion. Read more>>

 

Janelle Zipse

I have always had a creative side and a love for fashion/design! My childhood pictures show me rocking lavender cowboy boots and as many purses as I could fit on my arms! So extra. Let’s see… Growing up, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to do it my way, whatever that may be. In high school, I was in just about every club and program they offered, from fashion to the debate team. I went to college at UNF in Jacksonville, FL and majored in Advertising. Then went on to makeup/special effects school in Los Angeles after graduation. Spent my time in LA freelancing as a makeup artist and stylist working on movies, plays, and print. A few years later, I saw one of the movies I worked on in a Red Box. My roomies and I were so excited to watch it. Got all the way to the end and they spelled my name wrong in the credits. “Janette” instead of “Janelle.” My only claim to fame, too funny. Florida will always have my heart though, so I made my way back. I landed a job at a popular advertising agency in Miami, Crispin Porter + Bogusky. I spent several years there and loved it, but still wanted to do my own thing. Read more>>

Jayne Williams

My story goes back to my childhood when I was five years old. My parents went through a messy divorce, and I became an amazing “bottler.” I was the kid who was sunshine on the outside, working hard to keep the peace but a mess on the inside. That mess manifested into horrible gut issues throughout my 20’s. Between poor eating habits, not knowing how to deal with stress, and major IBS I was in a downward spiral. After an emergency visit to the ER and a colonoscopy, I was placed on prescription medication to “help” ease symptoms… at the time. I thought it was going to be a “quick fix.” But after one miscarriage, three years of infertility treatments, an incredible desire to have a child, and being tired of always feeling bad, I decided I needed to empower myself to get healthy and kick the prescription meds. That’s when I discovered nutrition school, my passion for holistic health and wellness, and my desire to learn all I could around the idea of what it actually means to be healthy and nourish my body. Read more>>

Olga Dolynina

Fitness has always been a part of my life. As a former trained dancer, I have spent hours in the gym training myself or training others. The movement has been my passion and a source of my happiness. Shortly after college, I traded my dance career for a career in management. However, even when working corporate jobs, I made sure that I was connected to the fitness industry and kept moving my body and motivating others to move. I made it a priority to squeeze in a little time to teach fitness and yoga classes or train on the side. Over the years, I gained knowledge and expertise in different disciplines like yoga, Pilates and prenatal training to add diversity and uniqueness to my training style. While corporate check paid the bills, fitness gigs fed the soul. Over time I found myself managing fitness and yoga studios for others and helping them to build their success and make their dreams become a reality. Even though I always wanted to branch out on my own, the fear of failure and financial instability always kept me in the comfort zone. Read more>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Featured

  • 15 Amazing Female Founders Changing the World

    Meet 15 incredible women who aren’t letting the world hold them back.  They’ve built hugely successful businesses, created thousands of jobs...

    Local StoriesAugust 1, 2020
  • 12 Positively Brilliant Mini Recipe Videos

    Impress your friends, your significant other or your mom by learning how to cook in just 2 minutes or less 1....

    Local StoriesJune 16, 2020
  • Editor’s Choice: Best Videos on the Internet

    Happy Friday y’all – enjoy the following videos from around the web 1. 8th Grader Impersonates Donald Trump , Cruz ,...

    Local StoriesJune 10, 2020
  • Seasons of Love

    Kadam Malik, relationship guru and entrepreneur, shares his thoughts about love, romance and dating in the city. I find myself in...

    Local StoriesMay 14, 2020