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Inspiring Denver Stories

The heart of our mission at VoyageDenver 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 Denver’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 Denver’s rising stars below.

Jazlyn Smith

At a very young age, I had an entrepreneurial spirit, My cousins and I were always coming up with different business ideas such as doing car washes and lemonade stands. So, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and help people at the same time, That is how I came up with L.U.M.E which stands for Love Urself More Everyday. Read more>>

Jill Carstens

Spring 2020 during the stay at home order spring was warming up but we were deep into the unknowns and isolation of Covid. I was no longer working at my job so was able to work on a lot of art as well as developing a website I had already planned on creating for local art in our area. That April I contacted other artists I knew in my North Denver neighborhood to suggest putting art in our yards on the first Friday in May to cheer folks up and to sort of have a socially distant art walk. 5 artists participated, we posted on the neighborhood websites and social media to let people know. Folks showed up and loved it and even purchased some of the art! This became Art Walk North Denver. Read more>>

Constance Weissmuller

As many people often do, my story has many small places it began and those places eventually met together in the creation of my practice. The most important part, in my opinion, is how my passion for the work I do get ignited. I remember the small classroom I was in while in graduate school, and I remember the anger rising inside of me. I was so mad that my cohort was being prompted to go around the table and give examples of how we would teach a future client how to reduce their cookie consumption for the sake of weight loss. I remember answering the question differently than my other classmates for a couple of reasons. First and foremost- I am recovered from an eating disorder and I remember thinking how scared I used to be of cookies and how grateful I am now to be able to have a healthy relationship with all food. I also remembered how thoughts of my body and food consumed my brain for what felt like 90% of the time and how I never wanted that for any future client of mine. Second- I had been doing my own outside research about Health At Every Size and Intuitive Eating- the two largest foundations of my current practice- and I pushed back using some of the concepts I had been learning. Read more>>

Kevin Nguyen

I grew up in Texas but moved to Denver a few years back. I’ve fallen in love with the mountains and have been mastering my foodie taste buds! I love eating my way around the world. It’s a delicious way to explore new cities and cultures. Every dish has a story and I want to hear them all. I noticed a lot of places were charging for food tours while I was doing research and eating at my own pace. I wanted to share my “free” and leisurely experiences with everyone else. I knew I wasn’t the only person who loved to eat and travel, and I wanted to help them with ideas. As a result, I started my blog and Instagram two years ago. The account started very focused on food, but my followers have grown to love my vulnerability and I’ve leaned into it. We’re all going through some of the hardest times in our lives. I was tired of having to sound perfect and portray the perfect life, so I started getting real. I’m very open about my lows, but I’m also happy to celebrate my highs. Read more>>

Mariah Medina

Something about photography always fascinated me as a child and I would enjoy taking pictures on disposable cameras. When I got my first smartphone, I started taking pictures on there instead and was able to be more creative with the pictures. Then when I was about 16 years old, I got my Canon camera that I still use to this day. I wanted to capture important moments in life and freeze those moments with my photography so they last forever. I took pictures casually for myself until I took my first photography class my freshman year of college. My professor Roddy became such an inspiration for my photography. He showed me how photography is much more than just a photograph, it is also a story. He enjoys taking pictures of people and engaging in conversation with them in order to learn more about their life and story. His influence led to me taking two more of his photography classes and changing the way I do photography. Read more>>

Shavande Green

R. Léryn & Co. Is a Luxury Dessert Studio that began as an outlet of mine to help me cope with the challenges of being a new mom and dealing with postpartum depression. Creating became my therapy as it was healing. Fun fact: My business is named after my daughter Riélle Léryn! I started my journey in 2017, after creating custom desserts for my daughter’s 1st birthday. Originally, I only intended on creating things for my children to celebrate them on their birthdays and different occasions but it later turned into so much more. As I shared my journey with close family and friends, as well as on social media, the demand for me to create desserts for others began to flow in. With the help of good ol’ YouTube and determination, I managed to teach myself how to create various desserts catered to different themes. After creating my daughter’s 1st birthday cake, which was a complete flop, I was destined to keep trying my hand at the cake. I studied everything I could, took a few online classes, and kept practicing. I had finally found my niche and began to transition to doing more cakes than treats. Read more>>

Bryan Sederwall

Everyone calls me “Pastor B.” I started my journey as a Youth Pastor in West Palm Beach, FL in 1997 and then moved to Los Angeles in 1999. I started a nonprofit using academics and athletics to reach at-risk youth and young adults. We started a midnight basketball league reaching hundreds of gang members and keeping them off the streets. In 2006, my wife and I loaded up our two years old and two months old sons and moved to Denver to launch what we now call the Denver Dream Center. Our passion is to bring HOPE to everyone we can! The Denver Dream Center provides services and runs programs that support single moms, engage men and women transitioning from corrections back into the community, help at-risk kids and youth, and provide ongoing support to the communities in need in Denver. I work alongside Mayor Hancock, Police Chief Paul Pazen, Deputy Director of Parks and Rec John Martinez, City Attorney Kristin Bronson, and many others to create healthier and safer communities. Read more>>

Taylor Hoover

My love for photography started when I was around 14 years old. I grew up in rural Illinois with my mom, not much out there besides cornfields and livestock. I spent most of those days as a young kid outdoors. Eventually, My mother acquired a very low-quality digital camera (I think two megapixels), that I would take along outside with me to take photos of the sunset and different landscapes in the midwest.That was the start of what sparked my interest in making photographs. I really loved being able to capture a feeling; being able to look back on that moment & memory. I lost interest shortly after that and didn’t pick up a camera until later on when I was about 17. I had moved back home to my hometown of El Paso TX. The camera was a standard 35mm SLR that a friend gifted to me. I fell in love with shooting film after that. I learned a lot with that camera / how to compose photos in every way. Several years down the road and a few digital SLRs later, I wanted to pursue photography as a possible money maker. Read more>>

Julie Glassman

My journey started 36 years ago. I was 14 years old. I took a silversmithing class in a woman’s basement studio in Westchester NY where I am from. One ignition of a blow torch and I decided I wanted to be a jeweler. I continued metalsmithing in high school and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology
in Manhattan with a degree in Jewelry Design and Gemology. In my last year at FIT, I decided I wanted to be able to tell stories in my jewelry. I took one workshop in the ancient art of cloisonné enamel. Everything I learned about enamel, I tossed aside. Through experimentation, I developed my own technique which allowed me to create my signature style. Cloisonné allows me to paint miniature paintings with glass enamel. More detailed pieces entail up to 35 applications of enamel and kiln firings between each layer. I frame these tiny paintings in silver, gold, gemstones, and diamonds. They are art to wear. Read more>>

Kathleen Ketchum

I moved to Denver back in 2019 in hopes to start my own business, but I never really knew what it was going to be. At that time, I was also going through so many things spiritually and physically that it was hard to stay on track of owning my business. I jumped from job to job trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do for my career. As time went on, I started to develop abilities that not a lot of people were tuned into. I was going to my regular nine to five as an Assistant General Manager but was constantly distracted with things that I kept hearing, seeing, and feeling that others could not sense. Once my abilities started to get overpowering, I knew that it was time to make a switch into something that could help me propel forward in helping everyone become their highest best self and that was to start doing Mediumship Development and Tarot Card Readings for others. Read more>>

Meril Shane

Like many photographers, I was always interested in the past and how we relate to it. The object permanence that photography can bring to a person’s memories was something that I related to in a very personal way. In my case, the need for photography to be a part of my life stemmed from an injury that resulted in a large portion of my memory being lost. Looking at photographs was a way for me to relate to my own past even when I wasn’t able to remember being present in that moment. This began when I was about 9 years old. The fascination with photography then spiraled through adolescence and adulthood, as a way for me to relate to my own past without relying on my memory alone. Pictures became my way of creating permanence in my own memory. Which was something that I explored in my work throughout my Masters of Fine Art program. Read more>>

Tate Hamilton

I have always wanted to make a living in the arts. I learned how to play the guitar at a young age and had a few local bands from the late 60s to the early 80s. I was never quite able to sustain a living with music. Later on, in the 80s I began to paint with oil paints as a hobby and I owned a couple of different businesses. As I got more and more comfortable with oil paints, people began to show an interest in them. I joined the Art Student League of Denver and took many classes by outstanding artists for 12 years and was able to become skillful enough to sell my work at a price that enabled me to make a living only doing my art. My wife retired, and we began doing the top art festivals throughout the US. I have won many awards throughout the US including Best of Show at the top-rated La Quinta Art Festival in southern California. Best of Show at The Bruce Museum in Greenwich Connecticut, Best of Show Ann Arbor Arts Festival South University. Read more>>

Hailey Sorensen

My junior year of highschool I stumbled into the “Future Business Leaders of America” club (FBLA) which changed my life! I competed in the business plan competition and immersed myself into the entrepreneurship mentality; the following year I was inspired to start my first LLC called BellaAnne Boutique which was a custom jewelry gift set company. This evolved for two years with my business partner/best friend & even morphed into a new brand called Bella Luna Treasures before coming to a close at the end of 2018. I was having the most fun I’ve ever had and I’m so grateful I decided to start my entrepreneurial journey so early on. It’s where I realized my passion for fashion could take me places and I also learned how much fun I have making jewelry/art. Read more>>

Kira McCall

I’ve always been the free spirited, talkative and approachable friend to share everything with. Maybe it was easy to talk to me because in everyone’s hearts I’ve encountered, we share a piece of the same story… Fast forward to 2020, (right before the Covid-19 shutdown) my life took an unexpected, and turbulent turn. My marriage of almost 4 years came to an end and the only person I could really talk to was myself. I had been the rock for everyone but now, I couldn’t see a piece of me in everyone else. I was alone and I had to be my own life coach, best friend, motivator and uplifter. As a result, 5 months into my divorce, I felt the best I had ever felt in my life. After growing up with an abusive, black, single mother, running to the military to still not find peace, be diagnosed with anxiety and depression, to then end what I thought was my forever, I had finally found peace. That peace was within myself. That moment trademarked a spark in me to help any and everyone I could feel THAT way. That happy. So because of this, life coaching is not just a title for me, it’s who I am. Read more>>

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