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Savannah’s Most Inspiring Stories

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.

Rachael Farmer

I have always been interested in being an educator. Right out of high school, I began working at a local Montessori school and decided to pursue both my undergrad and a graduate degree in the field of education. When I landed my first real teaching job with Chatham County Schools, I was stoked. I loved my job– and I was great at it. I was head of many committees, built strong student and parent relationships, and even was recognized as teacher of the year. Even with all my success, I was not seeing the success I wanted with my students. Read more>>

Janel Chua-Valdez

I am a mother of two, a Physical Therapist, and an Army wife. We are stationed here in Savannah, GA. The idea of transitioning from being an employee to considering a self-employed business was created during the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing and isolation becoming the new “norm”, our fast-paced life is suddenly at a snail’s pace, and most plans are put to a halt. All we have now is the most expensive commodity that we all used to yearn for – TIME. This gave me the opportunity to reflect on and examine my life. At the age of 37, I realized that I have always found ways to hide my flaws: my small stature, my skin color, and my imperfections. Read more>>

Ronnie Taylor

People we knew wanted an alternative to the traditional fitness model that required you to go to gyms. They would always ask us questions daily or seek advice on alternative methods to achieve fitness or to improve their quality of life. Many of them had bone and joint issues or other conditions that prevented them from participating in high-impact exercises or large group activities. Many of them also lacked the confidence and supervision to properly execute their long-term vision of improved health and vitality because they did not have the proper guidance to accomplish the task. Read more>>

Alana Jenkins

Although the Lowcountry hasn’t always where I lived, it has always been home. My grandfather was born in White Hall, SC, a rural, unincorporated Gullah community about 34 miles from St. Helena Island. On our yearly pilgrimage from New York to South Carolina, he would share stories the highlighted my rich Gullah Geechee heritage. In Gullah, the proverb “mus tek cyear a de root fa heal de tree” roughly translates to “you must take care of the root in order to heal the tree.” From my decade in public education, I know that students’ “roots” must be firmly planted in order for them to exercise agency and access the opportunities available to them. Read more>>

Natarsha Glover

Queenology Accessories was birth out of love for all things African print. In 2019, I started creating accessories for myself out of my desire to embrace my heritage through fashion. I love creative, unique accessories that accentuate my style and personality. After creating pieces for myself, I found that I was asked multiple times where the pieces came from. Therefore, I decided to create for others as well. I started by selling through Facebook and then expanded to my website. Queenology Accessories is for the confident, creative, sophisticated women with a Queen consciousness. Read more>>

Derrick Dove

I started performing as the drummer in my dad’s oldies band when I was 10. I switched to guitar when I was 12. Put my first band together when I was 14. Played in a couple bands in high school. Dropped out of college about a year in to go on the road with a country band. Moved to Nashville in 2009. Loved the town but hated the business. Moved back home a year later and formed what would ultimately be Derrick Dove & the Peacekeepers. We started out just playing local bars & restaurants a few times a month. After a few years of lineup changes and couple different band names, we finally had our “act” together! Read more>>

Anthony Cahusac

I started taking photos with my mom’s old camera when I was young and just continued doing it wherever I went with whatever I had. It turned into something that I really enjoyed doing; the pictures weren’t always the best, but they reminded me of moments, and that’s what I thought was important. I then continued borrowing cameras from whoever I could until I bought my own point-and-shoot Olympus, which I used until it literally broke into pieces. After that, I bought a Nikon DSLR and then my current Canon mirrorless camera. Read more>>

Hannah Mahdavi

In 5th grade, my parents signed me up for piano lessons. I, the least musically-inclined person in my family, was not thrilled about this. I begged my parents to let me take art lessons instead. They agreed, and there, in Mrs. Carter’s kitchen studio, my love of paint and brush flourished. I took painting classes all throughout my grade school years. After high school graduation, I kept painting as a way to soothe my soul. A couple years ago, I also began designing clay earrings. I love that I can mix paint and polymer clay to make each piece unique. Read more>>

Kaylee Ruiz

I’ve loved making art constantly since I was young, but it took a long time to make the connection between my enjoyment and a career. In 2020, I began to practice digital art in all my spare time, and my love of traditional media fell into digital media. Since then, even when I’m not working on an illustration, I’m daydreaming about the illustrations I want to make. I’m still happily looking for inspiration everywhere and it is something I care about improving and growing. Since learning at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I’ve fallen into a love of Motion Media, which I still find intimidating and exciting. Read more>>

Kenneth Washington

KKLE started with a vision that was inspired by a need in my community. There was a serious lack of live production. I began with investing into the business and by building a strong team of talented individuals to help build Kenny Keyz Live Entertainment. Although we’ve only been in business for a little over a year, we’ve been afforded amazing opportunities to provide live sound, band, and singers, and recordings for schools, events, and community gatherings as well. This is only the beginning. The scales are getting bigger, and the platforms are reaching further that we could have ever imagined. Read more>>

Alicia Menjivar

I started making treats about 10 years ago. I would make treats for my son’s school events, birthdays, etc. I would buy molds from one of my competitors, and one day after paying 35.00 for the mold of a number, I decided to do a little research of my own and get into the supply side of the baking/treat-making community. I am an accounting manager for a living and was working full time when I decided to open up a shop as a side business. This was 6 years ago now. I would work 9 to 5 at my day job, and then come home and work till 2 or 3 am and do it over and over again every day for 3 years. Read more>>

Hugo and Amanda Soto

We have always been into nerdy stuff. I found out about 10 years ago that a comic convention existed, and I went to my first show in Atlanta. I knew the second I got there that I had to share it with my family. So, the following year my wife and I took our 2 boys back to that show and had a blast. We did as many shows as we could. We went to a convention in NC and saw a guy out front screaming at people that they were going to hell and not really talking just yelling hate. As Christians, we knew that the guy was hurting more than helping. Read more>>

Sieda Reid

I started braiding when I was about 16 years old. Never was really passionate about it I just knew that it could get me money, so I did it mostly when I was broke. My parents opened a local restaurant here in Savannah called Na’Robia’s Grits and Gravy, and that’s where I spent most of my time. It wasn’t until the pandemic that I was forced to take my talent more seriously because we closed the restaurant down for renovations, which was only supposed to be for 6 months but the pandemic made it almost 2 years. Read more>>

Amanda Goralczyk

I have always loved to take photos. And not just of things but moments I didn’t want to forget. I was teased and asked why I always had to have a camera out. I am so glad I did though. Those memories can fade, and when you look back at a photo, it immediately can take you back to that moment. I love that! So, when my first daughter was born in 2018, I told my husband I wanted a nice camera to be able to capture her growing up. And he did! Gave it to me at the hospital! Ha I started taking a lot of photos, learning how to use the camera and how to use light. Read more>>

Lucinda Clark

Started as an art dealer before moving South. Have been working with the literary artist since coming from Philadelphia in 1994. Working with all age groups has been an inspirational joy. Money has been an issue for all arts organizations. I am an award-winning poet, publisher, and producer. I specialize in sharing the art of storytelling. I am the founder of the Poetry Matters Project, which has been in serving communities for twenty-two years. I am also the producer of the award-winning short film “Black People Don’t Tango.” My diverse background has kept me active and flourishing in the Georgia arts community. Read more>>

Ahdri Kent

Born in Atlanta, GA, to the haunting tones of “bless your heart” and “smile for me darlin’,” I thought everyone felt like me. Like they were playing a role in this life. Like the dopamine pez-dispenser of a game that is “making people want/need me” was a societal norm merely disguised as “doing the right thing” or simply “being desirable.” Like there was a quota to be met for loving harder than those who said they loved me. Once I realized not everyone felt like me, and I didn’t HAVE to choose suffering, I was able to see that not even all people pleasers feel the same. Read more>>

Tricia Callahan

When I was 17, I noticed an ad for youth correspondents for my local paper. After watching romantic comedies like Never Been Kissed and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days I too wanted to be the leading lady, the ever competent, beautiful, quirky, and wholly successful journalist. Running my first cover story that year had me over the moon, but my creativity and inner angst was yearning for an additional outlet. That was when I put together my first zine by accident, and the seed was planted. Attending college in my hometown of Fredericksburg, VA my goal was simple: I was going to be a music reporter. Read more>>

Quinsheala Williams

I started braiding when I was about 12 years old; I’d always do my sister’s hair for school and just developed a hustle over the years. I was introduced to makeup after my struggle with postpartum depression after I had my daughter, and I needed a hobby but fell in love with makeup but not just makeup the enhancement of natural beauty while making an individual completely look like themselves. I step out on Faith and opened my suit when the pandemic hit, and through it all, God has been blessing me to bless others ever since. I’m still standing. Read more>>

Katie Fitzhugh

I grew up in Montana and Washington state, where I learned to restore historic structures from my dad. This was always more of a way of life rather than simply a hobby. My love for history began when I was little and continues today. Went to the University of Montana for a BA degree in History (focused on Colonial American History), a minor in African American Studies, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology. Graduated in 2016 and then moved to Savannah to attain my MFA in Architectural History. While in graduate school I worked at Wormsloe State Historic Site as an interpretive ranger. Read more>>

Meghan Hughes

Meghaphone Marketing was founded in 2017 by Meghan Hughes, a girl who has been in front of or behind the camera her whole life. She is magnificent and is decorated with many awards for her creativity and overall success in the business and community. She was nicknamed ‘Megaphone’ by her friends and family growing up. Her loud and spunky personality was one to remember, she lectured every Sunday in front of hundreds at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. Read more>>

Abby Mew

I was working as a Conference Services Manager at a downtown Savannah full-service hotel when Covid hit. One day we were hearing about Covid for the 1st time. The next day, we were all being laid off. The hospitality industry was hit hard, suffering losses of millions of dollars in revenue in a single day due to all of the cancellations of events and travel. After some time off, I started working from home in customer service for a well-known web-based retailer (whose claim to fame is 2-day shipping). Read more>>

Erin Nicole Styling

My story starts around 2009. I had just graduated from college and needed to elevate my wardrobe to a post-collegiate, more “grown-up” style. As a petite woman, it was a little challenging back then to find fashionable, age-appropriate clothing to fit my body type, and I would jokingly say that I needed to start my own clothing line. Read More>>

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