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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.

Kara Coy

I’ve always wanted to help people and make people feel good. My mom is a nurse and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. After I started exploring what nursing school would be like I quickly learned that was not my path. I always loved doing hair and make up, and after I left college my family encouraged me to go to cosmetology school. I attended Empire Beauty school and graduated in 2014. After working in a franchise salon for about six months and a local salon for three years, I found a group of stylist that help shape me into the stylist I am today. Read more>>

Laura Carrier

I sewed my first dress in seventh grade for my neighbor who is in high school now but was then around nine. She wore her dress to church and I remember seeing her walk to the front of the sanctuary confident and excited in the dress I had made. I sewed my eighth-grade graduation dress, which looking back on was pretty rough, but I was so excited to have done it. In high school, I was really into schoolwork and making friends; I would do some creative things on my own but kept them very to myself. I think I thought they were a bit pointless for the phase of life I was in, but I definitely enjoyed them. Read more>>

CHARLENE KEITH

I attended foodbanks in the past. I was homeless and a single parent at that time with 3 little babies and 3 separate fathers that were of no use to me and my babies. Life happened. Now I am the mother of 6 adult children doing very well for themselves. A couple of years back my bestie invited me to a local foodbank, I went and was overwhelmed with food that I don’t eat as I am vegan. I gave some to my hubby but there was excess, I offered to my neighbor with her kids and she accepted. My hubby suggested that I ask others through the Buy nothing windsor forest website which I did and it led my daughter to call me and ask if I was giving away food because the yard was full of people, the line was backed up down the street and almost to Abercorn. Read more>>

Gage Rountree

Savannah Secret Gardens opened in 1995 and was started by Mike Bashlor and Paula Bashlor and is now the largest plant grower in the Savannah low country area. I Gage Rountree grew up at the nursery, started working part time in middle school, and have been full time for the last six years. We have spent the last 27 years perfecting our craft. The early 2000’s were great on our landscape installation and maintenance crews. After the 2008 Recession We down size and started focusing on the Nusery more. Being first generation it has been challenging figuring out the tricks of the trade everything from what chemicals work well without damaging the environment to the simplest things like how much water each plant needs. Read more>>

Lynn Wiginton

My daughter was in college and trying to work part time in Atlanta. Between the commute and the late hours she was working and closing up at night, I was concerned. After talking to her, she developed a business plan to start her own business making custom dog collars. She began doing craft fairs and starting an Etsy shop as Barks and Bites Co. Soon she asked me to start making accessories for the business and so we started doing festivals together. Eventually, we developed Cattywampus Crafts and branched out to making a variety of sewn items for children and adults as well. We placed items in Atlanta boutique stores. Read more>>

Brinkley Fuller

In 2016, I wrote and published my first book through Amazon. I had no experience and was literally going with the flow. During this process, I learned a lot about the publishing industry, but truthfully I didn’t think I would go through the process again. A couple of years later, my Mom asked me to help publish her book and before I knew it, her book was published as well. By this point, the momentum started to pick up and my friends knew about my publishing work. I ended up publishing several people books, received a lot of referrals and so much more. The best part for me is, all of their books were either sold out or graced several best sellers on Amazon and other categories. Read more>>

Dejyah Yisraèl

Growing up, I always admired my dad’s worth ethic as a business owner and took note of him striving after his entrepreneurial ventures. I knew that was the path I also wanted to follow. Honor Confers The Crown LLC began as the righteous standard for virtuous women to hold themselves to. I was given the middle name “Shardae” after my late maternal grandmother. It wasn’t until 2020 that I truly understood the value, importance, and power of this name. “Shardae” meaning, “Honor Confers The Crown” translates to high respect or great esteem bestowing or granting a symbol of sovereign authority. Read more>>

Kennedy Lindberg

I’m originally from Alabama, I’ve been drawing and making art since I was able to use crayons which is where my teachers and family realized I had a talent for it. There’s hardly any opportunities for art in Alabama and if there were any, I went there. I went to an art academy in high school all four years. From there I wanted to work in fashion design when I was in high school, but realized that costume design was an option and went in that direction because of my love of film. I applied to only SCAD and got accepted there. Now I’m in my senior year. Read more>>

Venus Mack

Ive been doing hair since 2003 , 19 years ago . I started in my moms living room with my friends and family . Everyone would come to me because I was only charging $10 and give great quality service . I worked my way from the living room to the basement to finally investing into my own salon. I believe that was in 2008 and I’m still going strong til this day . Ive made a lot of mistakes along the way but Ive never given up . Today I operate The Glam Bar Salon in Statesboro Ga, We’re a full service luxury salon catering to heathy hair care. Read more>>

Jennifer Tisdale

I’d like to say that I’m in the business of escapism. As a kid, I loved anything not based in reality. Movies, TV, video games, or just running around the backyard with a stick and my imagination. My family instilled the value of imagination in me at a young age with bedtime stories and magical trips to Orlando to visit Disney World. As I got older, I realized that these values manifested themselves in the form of a talent for illustration and sculpture in an effort to bring others into the worlds I had created. But nothing has had as big of an impact as my trip to Universal in the fall of 2018. Read more>>

Sarah Eisner

In the summer of 2019, as Ta Nahesi Coates testified to the House of Representatives and our nation finally entered into semi-serious discussions about reparations for Black Americans, I made contact with the great-great-great-grandson of a man, Zeike Quarterman, who my great-great-great-grandfather, George Adam Keller, had enslaved. In a single email exchange with Randy Quarterman, whom Google allowed me to find and whose generosity and openness allowed me to investigate this issue, I was stunned to learn that Zeike Quarterman’s descendants still owned ten acres of land given to him by George Adam Keller after Sherman’s Field Order №15, in 1865, just outside of Savannah, Georgia. Read more>>

Grant Goodwin

I have always had an interest in art. I grew up painting, drawing, taking photos, and just about anything else you’d could think of. I never imagined that any of that would be translated into makeup. I grew up in a very old-fashioned household as well as a very southern town. Boys wearing makeup or showing any sort of “gender fluidity” was not spoken of or accepted, so I had a mindset that doing it would make me more feminine, but now, as a boy who wears makeup, I realize that it is not about gender, it does not define femininity, but it makes me an artist which is what I have always strived to be! Read more>>

Olivia Battles Reap

Olivia Battles Reap is a producer and casting director from Boston, Massachusetts. Reap got her M.A. in Film & TV and Her B.F.A in Performing Arts with a Minor in Film & Tv from Savannah College of Arts and Design. Currently located in Brooklyn, New York, and working out of both NYC and GA. ​
Reap runs Battles Studio & Casting, which is an independent casting and production house that helps independent filmmakers with narrative, shorts, music videos, as well as Commercials work for Nitrous.LTD. Read more>>

Ed Kelly

Photography began for me in high school when I borrowed a friends camera. After college I worked in NYC as an assistant to other pro photographers. Two years later I rented my own space in my home town of Red Bank NJ. My business expanded rapidly and soon I purchase a building and created my own studio. I worked in that location for over 25 years doing commercial and corporate photography. My clients included Johnson & Johnson, New Jersey Natural Gas Co. and Phillips lighting and other major corporations. I was one of the first photographer in New Jersey to purchase a high end studio digital camera. Read more>>

Ed Kelly

Photography began for me in high school when I borrowed a friends camera. After college I worked in NYC as an assistant to other pro photographers. Two years later I rented my own space in my home town of Red Bank NJ. My business expanded rapidly and soon I purchase a building and created my own studio. I worked in that location for over 25 years doing commercial and corporate photography. My clients included Johnson & Johnson, New Jersey Natural Gas Co. and Phillips lighting and other major corporations. I was one of the first photographer in New Jersey to purchase a high end studio digital camera. Read more>>

Moesia (Mo) Davis

I’m not sure how I got here; so many prayers and so many people breathing life into my craft. It definitely has not been a smooth road. There have been numerous struggles involving adapting to a new city and just maintaining an appreciative attitude towards my gift. I used to wonder sometimes if people really saw me; if they saw how much I really loved my art and delivering a product that makes me proud. Women who look like me often struggle with imposter syndrome. Do I belong? Am I worthy? We find ourselves working our entire lives for validation of others. Read more>>

Jessica Kent

My journey began at home, baking for family and friends. I truly loved creating something from the heart that sparked joy. In 2014 I began working in a bakery as a decorator I realized that this was my passion and my future! I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some incredibly talented and successful cake artists and bakery owners. After moving to Beaufort back in 2018 my husband and I decided to try our hand at starting a home based business. After just a few months, and making a few key connections with local wedding professionals we were thrilled with the interest and the orders coming in. Read more>>

Heather Burrell

My story begins like most, I would assume or, at least like to think. My parents were married very young and had me shortly after on September 21, 1988. I have two sisters, Starr and Tori, and I am the oldest. My parents’ names are Joy and Heath Newman. My mom moved to the Effingham area when she was beginning high school, and met a local guy, my dad, who she fell in love with, married at 18, and started a family with shortly after. My mom and dad were great parents when I was young, and I say that with love. I believe that they were two kids in love just trying to make it together. I remember very vividly the love they shared, how hard working they both were and most of all how much they loved “their girls”! Read more>>

Amber Kuehn

Amber Kuehn, Owner of Spartina Marine Education Charters, Sea Turtle Patrol HHI Manager, and founder of Spartina Dolphin and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Amber was raised with the May River in Bluffton as her playground. A 15-foot Boston Whaler and an adventurous (or maybe just fearless) 12-year-old set out on quests to discover dolphins, sand bars, shrimp, and blue crabs. Most everything was learned by trial and error… the type of learning that sticks. Although she knew the rhythm of the May, she could not always explain why it was so…. Read more>>

Desiree Davis

I started my business by accident believe it or not back in 2014. I was listening to some music from my now business partner that he was recording and made some recommendations. Then I applied my banking background with learning the music side as a consultant scouting talent. I started to read and research previous industry A n R stories and documentaries along with Wendy Day and became intrigued. Then I just stepped out on faith and the rest is history. Absolutely not. Lol. Nothing worth having is ever easy. It’s been a struggle and very tough road. Putting your fears aside and stepping away from a corporate industry that you’re comfortable in is always uncertain. Read more>>

Whitney Poersch

What first began as a simple hobby, Invitations by Whitney quickly developed into a nationally recognized, bespoke stationery business overnight. My family is full of creative, talented and detail-oriented individuals, so it was no surprise that I discovered my passion for art and design early in life. I have often said that my creative genes truly run through my veins — the passion never ceases to flow from my heart. After several friends and family members expressed their interest in having me create one-of-a-kind invitations for their special events in high school and college, I began promoting sample designs via my personal Facebook page and eventually created an official, “Invitations by Whitney” branded Facebook business page in August 2013. Read more>>

Elizabeth Kennedy

I’ve always enjoyed being in the kitchen since I was little. I can remember when I was a little girl I was in the kitchen with either my parents or my grandmother. We would make all sorts of things like my dad’s homemade bbq sauce, cooking cookies with my grandmother, and helping my mom get dinner ready for the night. I am so thankful for them. They have made me who I am today. Sweet Pea’s has been a smooth road for the most part. There have been times in my business when I have struggled making a order, and I have had to start over which has been stressful. Read more>>

Aleya Bradley

My journey to becoming a journalist and educator wasn’t as many expected. I decided to drop out of college due to my mother needing help and a plethora of other things and I had no intention on returning to complete my degree. After working my way up in retail management and a horrible break-up, I realized I wanted more for myself so I decided to return to my alma mater, Florida A&M University to continue pursuing my degree in Journalism. That was the best decision I ever made. From there, I became a published writer, an Associate Editor, a News Editor, a News Producer, a mentor and the list goes on. Read more>>

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