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Inspiring Stories from Brookline, Brighton & Allston

The heart of our mission at the BostonVoyager 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 the Boston’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 the rising stars from Brookline, Brighton, Allston and surrounding areas below.

Africa Rubio

I consider myself a citizen of the world. I’ve visited and lived in various countries, experiencing a lot of different cultures. I came to Boston looking for a place I could fit into and a sense of community. While living in Boston, I found Boston Women’s Market. BWM has given me purpose and allows me to work with incredible, creative, strong woman. Supporting and working with these women has motivated me to be more creative. It has helped to come to the decision to start back up WaterWheel Clothes&Jewels, which was started in Madrid, Spain. Boston not only has helped me gain back that sense of creativity but has given me endless opportunities to use that creativity outside of Boston Women’s Market and WaterWheel. Read more>>

Kellie McDonald

I have always been drawing, crafting, and making throughout my life. I spent a lot of time in high school crocheting, making jewelry, and painting. With the guidance and encouragement from some wonderful art teachers and my family, I made the decision to attend MassArt to study illustration. I remember sophomore year of college, I was really struggling with finding my voice in my artwork, learning so many new mediums an techniques, and trying to figure out WHY I was making art. Read more>>


First grade, quiet time. I was sitting at a table against the wall at the edge of the classroom. I was doodling in a new lined notebook (that the school provided). I was lost in the page, wandering through my imagination, drawing people, and places, and creating scenes. My teacher walked up behind me, looked at the notebook and complimented my poorly rendered, but thoughtful drawings on the page. This particular moment wasn’t a watershed moment because it inspired me to be an artist right then and there or anything like that. Read more>>

Ryan Carroccino

Although I tend to utilize a shortened moniker, “ryccino”, on my social media platforms. I suppose it’s for ease of typing. Carroccino tends to be a mouthful (it rhymes with cappuccino, if that’s of any help). I’m a visual artist, mostly a painter. Last year, I was received my BFA from MassArt, with a concentration in Illustration. I specialize in acrylic portraiture, but I also work in 3D illustration and bookmaking. Born in Salem, MA, I grew up in southern New Hampshire. I’ve been a resident of Boston since 2012, having moved through the communities of Jamaica Plain and Allston before settling in Brighton. Beyond my work in the arts, I am an Americorps and City Year Boston Alumni and have spent the past five years bartending. Read more>>

Luba Gankin

I was born into a family of creative people who always kept an open house for family and friends. From a young age, I participated in a wide variety of events which my mother organized, from concerts to camping trips and large group gatherings. When I became old enough, I began following in her footsteps; I organized many events in my high school, college and at my places of employment. I have always been especially fascinated by weddings and other events where people gather to celebrate love and life. Read more>>

Staci Stamm and Tim Curtis

We are husband and wife team, Timothy Curtis and Staci Stamm. Staci has suffered from migraines and asthma since childhood and was becoming more and more sensitive to the candles and incense we loved to have in our home. After looking further into the products we were bringing home and learning how harmful chemically based home fragrance products are, we started to make natural candles scented only with essential oils. It really was just a hobby for ourselves to use these all-natural candles in our own home, which in turn greatly alleviated Staci’s sensitivities and symptoms. Read more>>

Phyl London

My journey in fitness and wellness began the summer before I started college in 1993. I was a dancer, but it wasn’t until I took my first Step Aerobics class that I became passionate about fitness. I was immediately hooked on the group exercise concept, and loved it so much I became certified to teach group exercise that same year. I ended up focusing on health, wellness, and exercise science both for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Read more>>

Lisa Reindorf

When my sisters and I were young, our father – an artist immigrant from Poland – moved the family to a small town in Mexico. The culture, the colors, the architecture, all entranced me and engendered a lifelong interest in art, color, and design – as well as an appreciation of other cultures. I loved walking through the marketplace with its piles of colorful produce and exploring the parks and fields. Our house was always open to visitors. Painters, musicians, opera singers, bullfighters – they all seem to flow through the house. When my father finished up a painting, he would walk to the town square and invite whoever was around to dinner and the subsequent parties with music, discussions, drinking, and dancing could last all night. Read more>>

Elly Stern

Visual art has been my most natural mode of expression ever since I can remember. I’ve been scribbling on paper since the first day I learned how to hold a marker, and I have held on to art through every change and period in my 20 years. My mom is a painter, and my dad is an architect, so I have been surrounded by creative minds and art makers my entire life, which has inspired me to carve out my own path as an artist. I have always known I wanted to go to art school, and over the past two years at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, I have discovered that animation is the best way for me to express myself. Read more>>

Cindy Chen

I got into makeup art when I started college six years ago. It was a means of connecting with my family back home, and an easy way to make new friends. I had a passion project every week that brought together amateur photographers and artists. Through the images, I was able to tell visual stories and later on, I began to realize how much I loved retouching and manipulating them. This eventually led to my career in art directing and graphic design. Read more>>

Alexandra Johnson

Gingerthyme started in 2014 while I was employed as a nanny for a family in Brookline. I was asked to make the family dinner each night, and I delightfully accepted the request. I’ve always been interested in cooking, learning new cuisines, and researching traditional and modern methods in the kitchen. As time went on, I found I was attracted to creativity in plating and the aesthetic of food, as art. I started photographing the food and posting on Instagram. I found that I was not only getting positive feedback within the foodie community but from friends and family alike. Read more>>

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