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Hidden Gems: Local Businesses & Creatives You Should Know

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of our latest local gem features below.

Jayne Drooger

As a child my folks gave me a 110 camera…. most people have no idea what that even is! I have been taking photos ever since. I do wish I had been encouraged to stick with it somewhere along the line but in my twenties, I started doing skincare. I enjoyed helping people, especially teens, with skin issues. My career lasted 30 years including nearly 10 with my own salon.  At some point, I sold my 35mm camera for a digital while raising my babies (those were some of my favorite photos) and started following local music. Being a Blues and Jazz fan, I discovered so much amazing music in the Tampa Bay area. I started to make connections and from there I began getting photoshoot requests. I didn’t really dare to call myself a photographer until 5 years after I started making money but finally realized I had become one!. Read more>>

Dieter Kondek

I am a Serial Entrepreneur | C-Level Executive | Venture Capitalist | Board Member  I am currently Founder & CEO, MergingMinds International LLC | Managing Partner, TransAtlantic Venture Partners (TAVP) | Co-Founder & Partner, Global Blockchain Ventures (GBV) | Co-Founder & Chairman, EduPortle Inc. | Advisor, C5 Capital. Read more>>

Audrey Dingeman

Golden Dinosaurs opened on August 2, 2018. Gold Dinos is Tampa Bay’s favorite vegan restaurant, serving sandwiches, desserts, kombucha, beer, and wine, located on Beach Boulevard in beautiful Gulfport, Florida. Most items are made from scratch, including all sausages, cutlets, seitan, sliced, sauces, salads, and baked goods. Read more>>

Megan Glasbrenner

When I was a little girl, I remember being fascinated by the family Polaroid camera. I couldn’t play with it enough. Photography always interested me, from capturing a new MySpace profile pic to memorializing family vacations. I started taking “professional” photos my senior year of high school when friends wanted headshots for their theatre portfolios or their senior pictures taken. I had a cheap pawnshop Nikon camera my dad had gifted me for my 14th birthday with a $200 lens I’d saved up for from Amazon. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was learning as I went. I remember getting paid $40 here, $80 there, and feeling like I’d won the lottery making money doing what was just a fun hobby for me.  When I went off to college, my suitemate was an amateur photographer as well, and she introduced me to the world of wedding photography. I began following other photographers’ blogs and social media pages, learning everything I could from observing what they were doing.  Read more>>

Chavy Kemp

I started my business 5 years ago when I was a preschool teacher for 10 years. On my free time, I like to take pictures. I like to set up props on special occasion and take pictures (Used cell phone) for my students and print out holiday cards to the parents. The parents love it and complimented that I should continue my passion as a photographer. I went out and bought a DSLR camera, lens and self-taught from scratch to taking beautiful pictures.  As of today, I am a professional photographer. It is very motivating and fun. In the beginning, I gave a free photo session for friends and family and asked them to please post on their social media so, I can build my business. Since then, people have seen my works. I get a lot of referrals from new and old clients. I’m very lucky that, I can do what I love to do and very grateful I have wonderful clients.  Read more>>

Naysha Rivera

I’m an aspiring entrepreneur in the media industry for over 5 years, looking to expand my hands-on experience even more within the field. I am a visual creator; I currently freelance photography and videography. Starting as a hobby and turning into a full blow career, Thatzawrapp was something I never knew could blow up. As a kid, I always had these strong “visions” in my head and I loved how taking a photo or video could make a moment last forever. Creating my love for media, I knew what I wanted to do very young with my life. It started with a photography class in high school that lead me to go to college for 2 years where I learned the foundations of media. Shoutout to my professor Mark, he really was someone I looked up to and taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I still use today for work. However, it wasn’t until I had to jump into real life that I began to really get a grip of what it takes to be in the media profession. Being very outgoing myself it was never hard to mix and mingle with others and is something that most of the people who work with me love about me. Read more>>

Libby Bolles

My mom and I have always loved house plants, but after the stay-at-home orders throughout the pandemic, our obsession grew! We knew others felt the same so we started with renovating a cargo trailer from an AC company, and turned it into our mobile plant shop. We went to business and markets, and now we are opening our own retail location!. Read more>>

Rico Coar

I work professionally as a Registered Nurse at a local Hospital here in St. Petersburg. During the pandemic, I was scared for a little while about my job it was the height of the pandemic when things first started shutting down completely. I was worried I might get sick and not be able to work as a nurse, so I was brainstorming what could I do just in case I couldn’t keep working professionally as an RN. So, one at my job on night shift I was talking to another nurse who mentioned a friend of hers just finished an esthetician program! And just like that, an ah-ha moment came to me I could do skincare! I have always enjoyed the process of choosing skincare products and buying them in the stores and really appreciating the experience of skincare it both a relaxing thing for me and exciting thing because I like corrective skincare so the process of correcting hyperpigmentation also known as dark spots gets me excited to see the outcome. Even though the ah-ha moment came and felt ecstatic about getting the idea of the business, I still thought on it for the next few days. I reassured myself if was the tight idea for me and that I should move forward with it because all throughout my life I have thoroughly been engaged in skincare. Read more>>

Monika Pierzchlewicz

In 2011 I was trying to find my way in a difficult work industry. I was working at a spa and an Asian fusion restaurant. My manager at the restaurant went on a cruise and returned with beautiful magazine-quality photos of his trip – it was the desert photos with the blurred background that especially caught my eye. I decided whatever camera took those photos was what I was going to get for myself. A little later that year, I decided to start dabbling in photography with my new Nikon D-3100 camera. It was autumn and I decided that in the next couple of months I would do an engagement session, a newborn session, family, and headshots, all of which would constitute my portfolio. January 1st, 2012 I would officially be a photographer and charge $100 for sessions. Ambitious, naive or cocky? All of the above!! Nevertheless, I did in fact start my business that year and after much trial and error, and with the help of word of mouth that I am endlessly grateful for, I am where I am now – specializing in family, women’s and children’s portraits.  Read more>>

Charmaine Jennings

My art story is about the journey of self-discovery through the marriage of life lessons and compelling questions. I wasn’t given a choice where I was born or what name I would be called. However, by the age of sixteen, I decided to break up with my obsession to please others through compliance. I needed more choice and voice. I needed to stop placing so much value on people’s opinions and ideas about the person I needed to be in order to make them feel comfortable. I didn’t know that I was a walking-talking contradiction that people needed to figure out. As evidenced by the questions I was regularly asked. Who are you and where are you from? Why do you choose to do things that are difficult? Why do you find value in the invaluable? Why are you sad when you have so much? Why are you happy when you have so little? The solution was simple. I needed to make my perspective the loudest, most valuable narrative in my ear.  Read more>>

Hannah Martin

Since I was young, I’ve always had a love for art. My parents even had me in art classes when I was in elementary school. I have memories of my parents letting me draw all over the walls of the homes they would rehab when I was about 4. Throughout the years my form of art has changed. In middle school and high school, I used to compete with dance. Having to learn how to do competition makeup, I found my love for it. In high school, I became a freelance makeup artist. I was doing makeup for homecomings, sweet sixteens, and weddings. My favorite part of makeup was always the brows. The brows were also the most complimented part of my makeup style. Within my friend group, I was always the girl that my friends would come to, to do their brow shaping. When I was 17, I left the country to live in South America to do missions work. I put my career plans on the shelf for 3 years and I would not have had it any other way.  Read more>>

Daphne Verzosa

I and Chad (my partner) started Lathala Creative Studios in 2019 as a side hustle, shooting here and there for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs, thanks to a friend of Chad’s who suggested we try doing product photography. Back then we didn’t realize it was a thing, that it was something we can make a career out of. So, we bought a small tabletop photography equipment and lights and used our small living room as a makeshift studio just to try it out. Fast forward to 2021, we are now in a 1000 sq. ft. professional studio in Clearwater, FL, and have done work for brands, including Walmart, Stash Tea, Love Pop, and homegrown brands like Cirkul and Dixie Belle Paint Co. Read more>>

Daysi Rojas

My name is Daysi Rojas, I was born in Cuba in 1980, I always wanted to be a photographer but back in Cuba my chances to get my hands on a camera were actually impossible. By 2007 the wind blows really hard and I had the opportunity to come to Tampa, Florida. I am really thankful for that wind that brought me here. My story is not different than other immigrants, I worked hard and picked up any job I was able to find, waitress, babysitter, front desk, etc. Read more>>

Pelota Cubana

We are lifelong baseball fans and we noticed that no one was reporting any news on Cuban baseball players worldwide, so we decided to join forces and fill that void. We received plenty of requests from various people about stats and the goings-on in the Cuban baseball world, so we began our page five years ago to satisfy the Cuban baseball fan and Pelota Cubana has taken off ever since. We are now accredited by MLB, USA Baseball and the World Baseball and Softball Confederation. We are also members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. We have also published a book named Cuban Baseball and my Love for the Game Vol. 1. The book is chock-full of interviews with today’s top Cuban baseball players and prospects.  Read more>>

Abby Harr

I’m Abby, the creator and owner of Pupnic Baskets, personalized charcuterie boxes for dogs. I’ve lived in Dunedin since 2014, but been a lover of cheese and dogs my whole life. My spouse Maddie and I adopted our first dog Annie in May 2020 (yay covid puppies!) from Suncoast Animal League. Maddie and I love making charcuterie for ourselves, so naturally, we didn’t want to leave Annie out. I would put together little charcuterie plates for her meals using chicken, fresh fruits, veggies, and kibble or small amounts of treats. I posted a few pictures on my personal Instagram and friends began to tell me I should start a business out of it. At the time I didn’t think I had the knowledge or time to start a business. I work a full-time job and had never done anything like this before. I wrote it off for a few months as something I might do “someday”. While attending an International Women’s Day event in March 2021 at 9th Bar Coffee and Cueni Brewing in Dunedin, I was inspired by all the women businesses owners and entrepreneurs I met, many of whom also had regular full-time jobs, kids, and other responsibilities. Read more>>

SimiSola Mitchell

I started taking pictures from a vacation that I went on with my husband, then-boyfriend. At the time, I found that it soothed me, it turned into a passion with landscape, and I did that for about 3 or 4 years. And then I said, I want to be better, so I applied for jobs that would have me take pictures of people it started with the charm school, then I moved on to a life touched, and now I am moving forward with my own business, I started in this business very late 46 years old, and I have goals that I’m going to reach, but at the same time, I’m enjoying every second of my journey which has brought me into a life of living a more healthier and wellness, spiritually, physically and emotionally, I love photography, I love everything about it and my passion is boudoir seems to like me, so I’m taking it one step at a time. This is my journey so far. Read more>>

Ashley Burke

I grew up in St. Petersburg and have been involved in the arts from an early age. From attending summer camp at the Morean (when it was the Arts Center), to attending Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, to working as registrar at the Museum of Fine Arts and today working locally as an art appraiser and art consultant.  As a St. Petersburg native, I have seen the city grow and transform over the last 40 years. Throughout this growth, the arts have always played a key role in the life and story of the city. Today, there is so much emphasis on growth that it has me looking to the past for the story that got us to where we are now. The history of the arts has always been a part of our story, but that story is not as well known or told anywhere. I want to help change this and start looking back. In coordination with the St. Petersburg Museum of History, we want to create a program to begin capturing, documenting, and preserving this long history of the arts.  Read more>>

Jeffrey Gatt

I was born and raised in Livonia, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit). I went to Detroit Catholic Central, a private catholic high school, and then went on to Hillsdale College, a small private division II college in Michigan where I earned a four-year football scholarship and graduated with a degree in accounting. I also met my wife of 33+ years, Elizabeth there. We got married and raised our two sons, Stefan and Joshua in Plymouth, Michigan. I started my career in Public Accounting with a firm in Michigan, Plante & Moran. I spent 11 years there before leaving for my first of many CFO roles. All of my senior leadership roles have been in the family-owned, closely-held private company space. I work primarily in technology, and food manufacturing and distribution industries. Seven years ago, after both of our sons had left the nest, we decided to make a major change and seek new challenges in the south. Michigan is a beautiful state but the winters can be extremely cold and brutal.  Read more>>

Jenny Carey

My photographic practice began as a teenager with the gift of a Yashica box camera. I no longer remember the model number, but the viewfinder required looking down into the camera to photograph. That memory just came to me on a recent trip, and I wonder whether that first lens led to successful photographs with different cameras recreating the same viewpoint. Originally, I did not aspire to a career in the arts, I planned to follow my mother into the medical field. While studying to be a nurse, I began working at Rough Riders Restaurant in Ybor City during the ’80s. Ybor City was in its heyday then as an arts mecca. Many well-known artist names from Tampa had studios there, exhibited, hung out, or showed up there. Studios were cheap, incredible work was created in all disciplines, and Rough Riders was ground central relaxation for many artists. During my time in Ybor, I photographed, frequented artist studios, hired local theatre artists, and created art events for the restaurant. It was then when art as part of my every day became the norm. Read more>>

Dawn Aiello

I grew up with a darkroom in my attic so photography has always been a part of my life. I never considered it professionally until my cousin asked me to take pictures for her at a family event with her new DSLR. And that’s the day that everything changed! Within a month I had my own DSLR and within three months of that, I had my first client in 2011. I started out just doing photo shoots for friends but eventually turned to photography more seriously after moving back to Florida in 2014. I worked freelance for several different companies, including Disney Fine Art Photography at Walt Disney World, and was fortunate enough to work with amazing photographers who took me under their wings and taught me so much practical knowledge about being behind the camera. While freelancing for other companies, I also continued to build up my own company and incorporated in 2017. My previous professional experiences include teaching and nonprofit management which I think gives me a different perspective than many other photographers. Read more>>

Denise Anderson

I grew up in the 99’ and 2000’s era, when YouTube was our guide to makeup before Instagram, and Tik Tok trends. I quickly realized that none of those women at the time looked like me, nor did their methods work for me. I began to practice on myself, my family, or anyone who would let me. Thinking back, I remember the first time I applied makeup and how it made me feel. It’s more than just what meets the eye it’s an attitude and confidence booster.  Over the past 6 years, I’ve worked for 3 major retail brands such as Ulta, Sephora, and MAC. Each company has played a major role in my growth in artistry and how I connect with my clients.  After leaving the retail industry, I decided to freelance and have been doing so for the past 3 years. I’m currently enrolling into school to get certified in Esthetics to offer skincare services. My goal is to meet everyone’s beauty needs under one roof.  Read more>>

Marcus Hernandez

How many accountants you know can say they are Salsa artists as well? I am told frequently that I don’t fit the mold of a typical accountant. I have to agree. The only thing accounting and music have in common are numbers. However, I bring creativity and high energy to both my passions: accounting and music. You might ask “how did that happen?”  I was always mathematically inclined, and my school counselor encouraged me to study accounting at Baruch College in New York City. Being originally from Brooklyn, NY, I was surrounded by Salsa music, but it was at the college during one of our student events when I became fascinated with Salsa music and began spending hours each day teaching myself to play piano. While in college, I started playing with local Salsa artists and enjoyed it so much that I started my own Salsa band, and shortly thereafter I was invited to record my first album “Fuego ‘77” with the famous Fania records. I had the privilege to perform with some of Salsa’s greatest artists during the peak of the NYC Salsa scene. Read more>>

Brian Wright

After struggling to figure out what I wanted to do with my life as far as a career path, a trip to Cocoa Beach changed everything. I have always been an artist, painting and sketching my entire life, but I never could figure out how to make this passion something that could support me. Six or seven years ago I went with my mom to Cocoa Beach on a work trip of hers. We went into a surf shop, the name I don’t remember, but we ended up starting a conversation with the man at the cash register who was also the owner. He was a younger guy probably in his 30s at this time and he told us about how he and his friends started designing and screen printing in their garage and it ultimately grew into the store we were shopping in. Something about his story inspired me. I could use my passion for art and blend it with my love of fashion to create something that I could do as a career and something that I would enjoy doing! Of course, I had no idea how to start that process, so it took some time to get started. Read more>>

Sined The Chosen

I always wanted to do music since I first listened to artists on the radio in 3rd grade. When I really took a leap of faith was when I turned 19 and told my barber I was interested in music. It wasn’t the best studio equipment we were working with but it allowed us to experiment with sound and gain experience. Eventually, I was able to afford going to a professional studio and we took off from there.  Read more>>

Amanda Casamatta

I became an esthetician with one single intention: to offer the highest standard of treatments that will not only help you to look your very best, but also enhance your total health and wellbeing. I offer my clients results-driven facial treatments that are as luxurious as they are effective.  In addition to facial treatments, I am a CBD enthusiast, makeup artist, and lifestyle freedom mentor. I have dedicated my life, personally and professionally, to living a healthy lifestyle and giving back to my community. I am constantly educating myself on the latest products, trends, and techniques that are consistent with my wellness-centered approach so that I can offer my clients the best that the industry has to offer.  Outside of the treatment room, I absolutely love to be with my 2 boys and dog Curry. If you would love to discuss how I can help you achieve the skin you’ve always wanted. Read more>>

Eddy Almaguer

I’d always done video for my day job and was actually in USF Athletics capturing the football team and creating hype videos for them and other sports. Then one day as I was researching camera gear, I stumbled upon a wedding videographer on YouTube (Matt Johnson) and I wanted to learn more. So, over the course of a few months, I really inhaled all things wedding. One day I managed to book a wedding as a videographer despite having no business name or even gear! I told myself in one year (the wedding date) I’d be ready no matter what. I soon left that job and COVID pushed back that wedding even further. But by then I slowly built up my gear, continued learning as much as I could from YouTube, and created officially created my business.  However, I began to dabble with photography little by little. In June 2020 I did my first engagement shoot for a coworker for a modest $125 and boy was I nervous! But they absolutely loved the pics and I found myself really liking the postproduction process of photography vs. videography. There was something special about photos where you looked at it and you just stopped to think back and recreate that moment in your head. Read more>>

Kasey Slye

Hair and beauty have always played a significant role in my life as far as I can remember. I’ve always appreciated all aspects of style with a diverse perspective of beauty. Whether it’s classic looks, the latest trends, or vivid statements, I love and embrace it all. Even after 15 years, it’s still rewarding. Hair really is a fantastic medium for artistic expression and expressing individuality.  When I finally decided to make my passion my career, there was no turning back. After completing hair school in PA with a corporate label, I was able to progress my career with that same label at a salon here in Tampa. That experience gave me the platform to utilize my enthusiasm for all aspects of style and beauty.  Not only was I able to improve my skill, through continued education and years of experience, I was afforded the opportunity to empower each  uest so they left looking and feeling fantastic, it’s those established relationships with guests and colleagues that afforded me to eventually break away from the corporate world, to become an independent stylist. I’ve enjoyed building my own brand while maintaining those relationships and continue to grow a local following in the Channel District. I’m so grateful I get to do what I love for a living. Read more>>

Nelson Nunez

I am first-generation American. My parents are from the Dominican Republic and I grew up in Puerto Rico until I joined the US Army. After 16 years of active-duty service, I was medically retired from service. During the latter part of my military career, I struggled with mental health issues and finding my purpose. At my worst, I was taking over ten medications daily and 60 pounds overweight.  In the midst of my struggles was when discovered the wonderful world of Brazilian Jujitsu. This martial art helped me both mentally and physically to deal with all the issues I had at that time. After my retirement, I worked mainly as a physician recruiter in Houston, TX where I was very successful but not very happy. That was when I decided to quit my job and moved to Tampa to be closer to my daughter who lived in Ocala. I had not seen my daughter in several years due to my service. When I moved to Florida I had several jobs but the one constant thing was my newfound passion in Brazilian Jiujitsu and photography. By now I had been training several years, had lost close to 60 pounds, and was not taking any medication besides Medical Marihuana for my mental health issues. Read more>>

Kyndall Cooper

As a child, you are always asked, “What do you want to been when you grow up?” My answer was always teacher. I heard somewhere that your purpose in life is connected to what you wanted to be as a child. I’ve always had a special connection and gift as my family & friends would say when it comes to children. It started off as babysitting and asking to volunteer in the church nursery. I remember some of my friends being in the nursery to avoid church but I was genuinely in there to help care for the babies lol. As I got older, I still babysat then my first job was childcare teacher and I studied Early Childhood Education in college. I was working with children ages 0-3 for 10 years in different capacities then I realized that I wanted to make a deeper impact. I started giving my friends advice about their children, & gaining an interest in pregnancy and birth. It wasn’t until after working with a family friend as a nanny of their newborn twins that I was told about doulas. The mom mentioned to me that I was her doula throughout her pregnancy and after without either of us knowing the term. Read more>>

Abigail Todesco

I started photography in 2012 (when I was 12 years old) and worked so hard at it that I got my work published in Photographers Forum “Best of Photography 2013” when I was 13.  I started going to school in Boston for nutrition in 2018 and kept photography as a hobby, but realized after my first year and a half that I was meant to do photography and own my own business. I transferred schools to SNHU online, moved back to Cape Cod to start my business, and started working at Hannah Noelle Models as a talent scout remotely at the end of 2019. The pandemic hit shortly after that, but I was still able to get my foot in the door in terms of booking couple sessions, families, weddings, and portraits (all when it was safe to hold sessions, of course).  Since then, I’ve become a talent manager at Hannah Noelle Models, opened my own studio on Cape Cod, and travel often to major fashion weeks such as Miami Swim Week and New York Fashion Week as both a fashion photographer and to represent the modeling agency. It all came through God’s provision over my life and trusting in His plan for me!. Read more>>

Hannah Celerin

The journey began as a 16-year-old bagger at the local grocery store while in high school and cheering after school. I knew from a young age; I would never depend on anyone else for what I needed. I took my first job seriously and always went above and beyond, even when sweeping the floors and cleaning restrooms. This hard work allowed me to work my way up position by position until I finally reached management in the Deli. Becoming a manager was a huge accomplishment because I was only 21 years old, and I finally saw the last five years of dedication pay off!  I was in the management position for two years. During the same time, I was enrolled at the University of South Florida pursuing my degree in Marketing. Those two years taught me more lessons than I can even count. I learned how to manage a staff of 20+, how to delegate (aka you cannot do it all), how to schedule a team, manage a profit and loss statement, conduct inventory, do orders, unload and stock delivers, how to train and develop a team and so much more. This time in my journey was one of the most influential times because it showed me that when you show up and give your 100%, you will succeed. It taught me the importance of teamwork and the true definition of earning respect from others.  Read more>>

Alex Retro

We started our band Atomic Treehouse in 2016 out of pure desire to rock. Our drummer Eric and I have been close friends for a long time and we were always trying to start bands. One day I was at my friend Johnny’s house and his brother had left a bass guitar behind. Apparently, Johnny had been practicing on it and getting pretty good. So of course, I was like, “dude you should join our band”.  The three of us started practicing and recording demos, then playing shows of course. In 2019 we finally recorded a studio album, and in 2020 added another guitarist (Preston who also plays in a sweet pop-rock band called The Easy Button). Now we’re releasing more new music which you can find on Spotify and Apple Music and everywhere else. Read more>>

Sylvia Pacquing

We are a small family-owned business based in Florida, founded by sisters, Vanessa and Ivy. Ives & Bees was born out of our belief in the many benefits of natural products and our desire to make them accessible to more people. We handcraft natural products in small batches using non-harmful ingredients for our bodies. We also consciously use containers, labels, and packing materials that are environmentally friendly.  It all started when Vanessa’s oldest daughter got the family into handmade natural soaps. They noticed the difference and loved the many benefits of the natural ingredients in their soap so they started using natural soaps on a regular basis. But they soon found out that it can be expensive to buy handmade natural soaps regularly. So, Vanessa decided to do lots of research and tried making soaps herself at home. After much trial and error, she finally found the perfect balance and started giving some away to family and friends. Thankfully, they had positive feedback and enjoyed using her soaps. Read more>>

Claudia Gamarra

Everything started 5 years ago, when I arrived to the U.S, from Venezuela. I began to look for a career that I would enjoy, and would let me easily manage my time and schedule. I wanted to be able to manage my time since I was a single mom and my daughter was a young kid that needed a lot of attention. I decided to specialize in skincare and permanent makeup. I obtained all my necessary licenses. At the same time, I’ve obtained different certificates, to keep me updated with the different techniques. I lived for 3 years in Miami, and my last year there, I was working in a studio, that gave me experience. I moved to Tampa 2 years ago, because I wanted to live in a more peaceful town. I worked for a few months in a spa, until I made the choice to start my own business, By Clau Consulting. I now have a studio where I offer a variety of services, along with trainings. These trainings consist of advanced esthetic, and micro-pigmentation. I’m the only “Master Training” in Tampa, endorsed by the GM Institute, and the Global University, in Miami. Read more>>

Kari LaRocco

I started in the financial planning industry when I was 24. I was at a job I knew I didn’t love and in search of a career that made me feel something and so I took a sabbatical and started going on interviews until I landed one with AMEX Financial Advisors and began my journey in January 2002. I passed my series 7, 66, and Life, Health, and Variable Annuities tests and licenses and began learning the business. I worked on how to meet people, how to connect on a deep level, and how to service clients year after year. I got my Certified Financial Planner designation along with my APMA and CRPC. I started as an employee of the company (which became Ameriprise Financial in 2005) and in 2014 after planning a wedding and then calling it off and then completing my first (and only) half Ironman and then full Ironman, I left the employee world and became a franchise owner. Read more>>

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