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The Most Inspiring Stories in Utah

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.

Kayla Elizabeth

I have always loved doing hair but never thought it would end up being my career. I appreciate separating beauty and vanity so I was concerned about being sucked into what social media emulates as perfect beauty. With that in mind, I decided to do some research. I visited multiple schools and all were incredible but when I first stepped into the Aveda Institute, I knew this was the school for me.  Read more>>

Natalie Terry

My love for entrepreneurship began at the young age of 5 years old. My first ‘business venture’ was a makeshift Fun Center in my backyard, where all the neighborhood kids would buy tickets to play on our rope swing, toss sticks in the creek and climb trees. Thankfully I have come a long way since then, though my love for business has not wavered. Over the coming years I would have dozens of business ideas, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I found something I was truly passionate about. Read more>>

THOMAS BENDER

We (my wife and I, Jess) founded Acme Overland out of necessity. We were in the market for an adventure rig that would deliver an escape from routine, letting us travel, work, and play in an ever-changing variety of locations. We were discouraged by what was available at the time: a mix of poorly executed DIY builds and unaffordable high-end luxury campers. We wanted something in the middle, a well-built van with properly designed systems and a reasonable price tag. Read more>>

Mike Hurst

Not really brief, but this is my story- My original high school career goal was to be a radio DJ or a Ringling Brothers circus clown. I met and got to know a guy who had been a boss clown on Ringling Brothers for 23 years. He said it was a really hard life and didn’t advise it. Shortly after graduating high school my mom asked what I wanted to do with my life. I was working as an inbound telemarketer and knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do. She said I should try to learn to make neon signs, as she had seen two sisters on tv that didn’t know what they wanted to do with their life. Read more>>

Tara Lipsyncki

I have been involved with nightlife and drag for over 10 years. I started hosting and sponsoring nights at local bars here in SLC such as underwear nights, drag shows, and other specialty events with my former underwear and drag supply mobile retail shop called Carnal Desires. I moved to San Francisco in 2015, were I continued in the LGBTQIA+ retail scene, and adding drag performer merchandise to the business and rebranding into Bricks Gay Stuff. While in SF I also transformed myself into Tara Lipsyncki, taking a name inspired by Tara Lipinski and my figure skating background. Read more>>

Shayla Oliver

I remember being a small child, and imagining to myself, where I would put my future dog’s bed in my room and where I’d set up food and water bowls one day. I guess, some girls imagine a wedding…not me hah, I was imagining my life with a puppy one day. I started working with dogs when I first moved myself back to the Salt Lake Valley in 2006, at a pet store near me. I loved watching them grow and quickly found myself pretty deeply invested in understanding the most effective way to help mold and motivate our canine companions in to building positive relationships with their families. Read more>>

Dillon Fay

I started playing golf when I was around twelve years old, after growing up playing baseball and other sports the first time I hit a golf ball I was hooked. It wasn’t until highschool when my parents bought me a monthly pass to the local golf course that my golf addiction began. I would walk as much as 54 holes a day for an entire summer. I tried out for the highschool golf team every year and every year I was cut. After highschool, I really started diving into how the golf swing worked and trying to learn everything I could about it. Read more>>

Melo 222

Let’s start by saying I am A black male that was adopted by a white family. I had a strange start to life, a little after my birth mom got pregnant with me my father was arrested on Marijuana charges and sent to prison so my birth mom decided to give me up for adoption. My adoptive brother had 4 little sisters and had always wanted a little brother so on his own he found an adoption agency and eventually found me and my birth mom and started the process he told my parents and they agreed that adopting me was the right thing to do. Read more>>

Parker Bautner

Raising butterflies started as just a hobby for me. I had no idea what I was getting myself into 6 years ago when I first learned how to take care of my own butterflies. I was focusing on growing my plant business in my greenhouses, but my customers kept telling me that I should raise butterflies for them. After deciding to give it a shot, it started to really grow and take more and more of my time as I found more clients. Read more>>

Karel Dimalanta

My story starts in the Philippines. My parents were college sweethearts and emigrated from the Philippines in the late 80s after the then-president (dictator, really) was overthrown. The political climate was unsure, and my parents wanted a better life. They were both college-educated and spoke English fluently, and they were prepared to leave everything they were familiar with to achieve the American Dream. Read more>>

Anne Sargent

I’ve always been a curious seeker. Maybe its the Aries in me but I enjoy learning about new things and sometimes those explorations become deep dives. From a young age, I’ve felt a profound connection to nature and the non-human world. Now in my mid-50’s I’ve gathered many life experiences including collegiate athlete, advertising/marketing agency owner, divorce, motherhood, Crossfit® Games Competitor, death of a parent, cancer, and many passions and hobbies. Read more>>

Martin Tanner

After graduating from law school, I wanted to develop my communication skills, so I found a weekend position as a radio talk show host at KSL Radio. Near-death Experiences (NDEs) were newly in the public eye at that time. It was May of 1989. To figure out if they were genuine glimpses of the afterlife, or just dreams or hallucinations, I interviewed NDE pioneering researcher Raymond Moody, MD, PhD, for three hours on the radio. I thought Dr. Moody was great, but I was still a skeptic. Read more>>

Emily Casamassima

I’m a scatter brained, open minded free spirit figuring out how to do it all, but I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had thus far as an artist. I’m a singer-songwriter from NorthEast Pennsylvania. I took sketch comedy writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC in hopes to one day land a job as a writer for a comedy show or better yet, create my own sketch comedy show. I also love making up silly songs on the spot, though I have written a lot of bittersweet songs over the years. A lot of my inspiration and influence comes from my brother Brian, who passed away in 2010. Read more>>

Anchal Gupta

Hi guys, Anchal this side and I am a professional Makeup Artist along with this I am doing a full time job as a financial analyst with my M.COM all this I do by myself. Every child want to do job when they grown up but in my case I wanted to do something which is totally related to me so in the first phase of lowdown I choose to be a Makeup Artist so I enroll in course now I completed around 3 years in this field. Hurdles are always there we just need to side the hurdle and choose our path, choose your interests and follow them passionately. If you follow your dreams successfully will follow you automatically. Read more>>

Mel Soul

Singing has been my passion I’ve worked on for almost sixteen years. I started writing songs after I left college. Since I became a songwriter back in 2012 I’ve been under the wing with the likes of Darrell Scott, Mary Gauthier, Lauren Christy, and Natasha Bedingfield. Music has been a journey I’ve concluded as my main purpose in life. I’m trying to inspire everyone through my lyrics to love themselves and everyone else. I believe adding Soul to my stage name has been an appropriate add because many have told me after performing I’ve helped heal their soul. Read more>>

Mathieu Bolillo

After 16 years of high level gymnastics – 2x French champion on floor exercises – I become part as a performer of Cirque du Soleil show KA in Las Vegas for more than 5 years. During this amazing experience, I broke my leg and decided to use this event as a strength by focusing my body, mind and spirit into handstands skills. When I finished my time with CDS, I created a novelty act with a unique circus apparatus called the BOLI WHEEL. At the same time, I contracted chicken pox and almost died. Took me 1 year to come back physically and mentally on track. Read more>>

Leeza Fullmer

I’ve always been a dancer – through and through since I was around 3. I felt like it was my whole identity. Competing and dancing at multiple studios and also a member of my high school dance company. I remember my Sr year all of a sudden I had this horrible pain in my spine (kind of like that pressure you feel when you need to pop your knuckles but between my vertebrae) and it felt like my upper body was too “heavy” for my hip joints. I took time off from dance and went on a four year medical journey to learn I had Fibromyalgia. Read more>>

Sarah McClure

I’ve been in the wedding photography business since 2016, but have been taking photos since 2009! My passion for photography started when I was in high school. I spent a lot of my time creating unique portrait shoots with my friends and local models. In 2016 one of my close friends asked me to take her engagements photos. I was adamant that I would never shoot couples – it was too much stress. She finally broke me down and I said yes. I quickly learned that shooting with couples was way more fun than portrait work! Read more>>

Clayton Long

Career History I am Clayton Long a Navajo gentleman from Kayenta, Arizona. I retired from San Juan School District in Southeastern Utah. I retired after thirty-eight years as an elementary, middle, and high school teacher. And after teaching for eight years I became the Monument Valley High School Assistant principal for five years. After that, I became an elementary principal at Montezuma Creek, Elementary School for six years. Then arrived at Blanding, Utah, at the School District office and became the San Juan School District Bilingual Education Director and serviced the rest of my career. Read more>>

Yong Hui No

Yong Hui No grew up in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with her family at Jr. High school age and lives in Taylorsville, Utah. Her passion for art began at a young age, surrounded by art, dance and music, inspiring her interest in fine art. Yong’s art originated with her intrigued ancient Asian art on a rice paper called Sumi-e and was deeply interested in the effects of color that came alive on canvas. She experimented with different mediums over the years, including Sumi-e, pastel, oil, and acrylic, before choosing her favorite, watercolor. Read more>>

Kinley Thomson

from a very young age I knew I was going to go into the beauty industry. In fifth grade my mom bought me my first ever make up palette an eyeshadow palette from elf, yes I still remember my first eyeshadow palette. She let me practice on her and myself. when I was in seventh grade they did what was called a CCR, basically so you can align your classes for the next five years before going into college. My vice principal asked me what I wanted to do for a career, instantly my answer was hairstylist.  Read more>>

Huber Najera

It all started in 2018 when I was sitting in my barber’s chair and I asked him about hair loss solutions. The sides of my hair had started receding. He suggested Scalp Micropigmentation. I had no idea what that was. I looked at a few SMP Instagram accounts and thought it was a great idea. As I did more research I learned that there were no SMP artists in Utah. So instead of going to an SMP artist to have the procedure done on myself, I took the money for what the procedure would have cost, and invested a training in Southern California. Read more>>

Zyan Chavez

Growing up I was always artistically inclined. When I was younger I wasn’t allowed to wear make up, but I enjoyed it as an art medium, so I would practice in secret. Over six years I continued to grow my knowledge in make up techniques and trends. When a platform called TikTok came out my friends encouraged me to post my videos on there since I spent so much time creating these intricate looks. Over the two years of that I was able to start working with brands as well as start my own lash business. Read more>>

Sarah Langsdon

As a student at Weber State University, I was working in the library and decided to switch my major from nursing to history. Taking history classes, I became interested in local history and inquired about a position in University Archives. I moved departments in the library and found my passion. I had the skills and ability to work with primary source materials and found something that I wanted to do. I went on and got a masters degree in history at Utah State University when I received a phone call from my former boss, who offered me a job. I came back to Weber and worked my way up from processor to Curator of Special Collections. Read more>>

Dan Krauss

I became interested in the art of photography early on in high school, working with all film and developing myself in the dark room. After high school, I went to Ohio University and got a bachelor’s degree in Photojournalism. Through college, I interned at several different newspapers, finally landing at my final newspaper internship with The Orange County Register in Southern California. After finishing that internship, I started working as a freelance photojournalist based in Los Angeles and continued on that path for about 5 years. Read more>>

Riah Hansen

Hi! Thanks so much for having me, so grateful for this opportunity. Well shoot, if I had one word to describe my story it would probably be “pending”. I feel like inspiring stories are usually about people who have made it to the finish line, and I’m still running the race. I was a stay-at-home mom for almost 10 years, now I’m a single mom of three kiddos and I’m just trying to play catch-up. Right now I’m going back to school full-time, working part-time and juggling my passion projects on the side. It’s actually a really great place to be, there are so many things on the horizon that I’m really excited about. Read more>>

Carlos Arevalo

Sorry for my English I know is a disaster This is a passion and be with me for a long time but like a hobby nothing serious I’m from Venezuela and i used to be A&P that means aircraft mechanic in my own country so when I move to US I’m start again like other Venezuelans I was in different industries like food, service online and construction with the time I put my self the goal to study something and with my wife we start to photography can be one of them and Yeap I deposited all my soul on that everything was when the pandemics start I lost my job so without looking back I put all my savings in this (photography). Read more>>

Keith Reynolds

As a musician, by journey began as a child. My parents put me in piano lessons at age 5, but my love for the drums was realized very soon after that. I started playing the drums at age 12 in the drumline for my middle school and bought my first drum kit when I turned 15 with $75 from money I got for my birthday. This thing was such a piece of junk haha! If you hit the cymbals to hard, they’d invert. But hey…you gotta start somewhere, right? I quickly realized I wanted to be a professional musician and started forming and playing in bands from that age. Read more>>

Amber Bostwick

I am a Migraine sufferer and I have been for many years. In the past, I had what I called the “Mullet Migraine.” This type of Migraine started behind my eyes, went up over my head and down to my shoulders. They were typically caused by stress and being on the computer for long periods of time. I handled them with medication, a healthy diet, and exercise. However, in February 2020, I started to have daily Migraines which were much different than I was used to. Read more>>

Averi Potter

My name is Averi Potter, I am a 19-year-old Photographer in Salt Lake City, UT. In April, I started my business, Av Potter Photo, and have loved every minute of it since. I have done Photography since 7th grade, by taking pictures of flowers and my friends every once in a while. I really got into Photography when my grandpa started a Photography class at the now closed Art Institute of Salt Lake City. I helped him with his assignments sometimes and it really made me more interested in the art of Photography. Read more>>

Jasmine Simmons

For as long as I can remember, I believed that I had “power” in my hands. I remember from a young age volunteering to rub my mom’s back or her feet when she was in pain because I could see the relief that came in doing so. Foot zoning came into my life when I was a teenager, looking for another way to alleviate my chronic migraines. I was pleasantly surprised by my body’s response to my first zone. Over time I found more than just physical improvement. I found that emotionally and mentally I was improving as well. My mind was absolutely blown! Read more>>

Mateja Minic

The story of our mobile detailing business started all the way back to my childhood, with Me (Mateja) and my best friend Kalthom. I moved to America from my country Serbia at just 4 years old. Just 4 years prior Kalthoms family moved to Utah from South Sudan. Starting school in a new country was nerve racking but little did I know from there just as the bell was about to ring to start the first day of Kindergarten I would have found my best friend and soon to be future business partners, Kalthom. Growing up Kalthom and I would have these crazy ideas and plans in our head every time we would hang out. Read more>>

Madison Sersansie

What a whirlwind its been with Aged & Cured. A few years ago I thought my life was falling apart. I found myself in a difficult shift in my life where life and a typical job was no longer an option. As I started to watch my kiddos struggle with so many life changes, I knew I needed to make them my main priority. I needed to be home with them, while still being able to provide. My business and creative brain started turn…. which thought of Aged & Cured. Read more>>

Jason Latas

Our passion is helping more people enjoy the simplicity of meditation and mindfulness. All of our headgear patches are unique and hand made here in Utah. All of our headbands, face masks and patches are hand made by seamstresses earning a living wage, so they can raise their children with 1 job! We Do Not order mass produced headbands or patches. Every one of our headbands and patches are Hand Made, from creation to completion, full of Love and Intention. Read more>>

Jordache Yuen

To give a little background, I’ve always loved food since I was a kid. To me, food means more than just something you ingest. Food can be used as a way for you to communicate with people, share stories, and learn about different cultures and traditions through their cuisine. In the past few years, I’ve documented food ideas, mini-cooking shows, mukbangs, food reviews, and new restaurants on my personal social media platforms. Fast forward to present day, I moved to year a little over a year ago and I’m not an outdoorsy guy, that’s not my hobby. My hobby is eating food and trying new restaurants. Read more>>

Yvonne Dellos

I started in the Medical Aesthetic Industry by coincidence after completing Graduate school as a Family Nurse Practitioner studying reproductive medicine and working for IHC for 16 years. I started my first Medspa in 2015 and now have multiple locations. I started my training program Medical Aesthetic Art Institute in 2018 and took it to the top by being voted best training institute of the year in 2021 and 7 figures within 3 years and debt free. We have grown via word of mouth nationwide with 5-star reviews. Read more>>

2 Comments

  1. Hatin

    March 31, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Congratulations for post! Nice article 🙂

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