At 15 years old, Melissa Alexander (aka Phyllis.Iller) was convinced she was going to be a DJ. She had the passion, the love for music and the rhythm to make it happen. All she needed was the equipment. So when her father asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she made sure to ask for two turntables and a mixer. To her surprise, she received a small digital camera instead. “I was slightly disappointed,” she recalls, “but, little did I know, this would be the beginning of a love affair documenting the life I saw before me.”

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If you’ve never been to an event created by Nirjary Desai, you’ve been missing out. Radiant, lively, lavish and grand, her events are tailor-made once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. “If it’s not perfect, it’s not right,” the spicy but sweet Zambian-born trailblazer says.

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It’s not everyday that we’re confronted with the idea of legacy. Sure, we’re taught that actions have consequences and that what we do matters, but when was the last time you thought long and hard about legacy? When was the last time you reflected on your role in the larger world? Have you taken the time to consider how the heritage of your ancestors determined so much of who you are today? These are the questions painter and artistic director Jarvares “J.Q.” Franklin encourages us to ask ourselves.

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It doesn’t take long for guests to take note of Canopy’s  luxurious vibe. Within seconds of entering the West Peachtree parking garage, valet staff greets you with smiling faces as they grab your bag and park your car because, well, self-parking isn’t allowed. Located in the city’s artistic district, the boutique hotel is walking distance from Piedmont Park, Atlanta Symphony Hall, the Alliance Theatre and the High Museum of Art.

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He’s designed more than 750 household items, yet most of us don’t even know his name. We use his products day in and day out, never stopping to think about the details of how the items were made. Instead, we drive to a store and grab what we need, never quite realizing how his sacrifices resulted in our convenience.

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They refused to invest in her dreams and spewed out some really harsh criticism. “The chances that this is a business are practically zero. You only have so many minutes on Earth, don’t waste them trying to sell lipstick,” Businessman Kevin O’Leary told 29 year Detroit native Melissa Butler in 2015 on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

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With his collection of charcoal pencils, acrylic supplies and oil paint, 26-year old Oliver Okolo is making his mark on the world. “I try to pass a message of self awareness and also bring our attention to all that is happening in our society today,” the self-taught artist tells The Spark, an art magazine.

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Like most fashion designers, Toronto based Izzy Camilleri knew she made a name for herself when she started designing clothes for celebrities like David Bowie, Angelina Jolie, Jason Momoa, Daniel Radcliffe and Meryl Streep. What she didn’t know was just how much her career would change after meeting Toronto Star Journalist Barbara Turnbull.

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While standing in line at the grocery store looking at magazines, 27-year old Liberian model, blogger and medical student Deddeh Howard decided she’d had enough. Despite having 10 years worth of modeling experience, agencies consistently rejected her because they already had a ‘black model.’ But that’s not what she saw as she gazed at fashion magazines in the check out line.

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