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Inspiring Stories from Middlesex, Essex & New Hampshire

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 Middlesex, Essex & New Hampshire and surrounding areas below.

Matt Kalinowski

I began my business in the early 2000s. It was not until four years after I graduated college that I began to seriously pursue the commercial and editorial Photography as a job. Making art and using a creative outlet as a career was the real motivating factor. Read more>>

Chuck McLaughlin

I have been a private investigator since I graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1990. I started off like many people in the industry by doing surveillance work. Read more>>

Becky Chiasson

I knew I wanted to open a dance studio since I was in High School. In college I studied Business Management and participated in the dance program and eventually taught classes as well. When I graduated college, I went to my old dance studio to see if I could teach and help out. When I discovered the studio was vacant, I knew it was a sign. I didn’t think I would start my own business so soon, but I knew I had to jump in. Read more>>

Gulshan Kumar

Rangoli Grill opened its doors in October 2013, but the idea of this fast-casual restaurant had been percolating in our minds for several years. We started with a simple vision – to provide healthy, flavorful Indian food in an expedient and efficient manner. Read more>>

Kelly and Mark

After nearly 16 years as a stylist, and a lot of pushing from my husband Mark, we decided to embark on the adventure of small business ownership and open Vivid Salon April 1, 2012. The transition from stylist to business owner was not an easy one. Read more>>

Joanna Kopko and Arianne Kindle

Several years ago, we came up with the idea to open a high-quality preschool program. It was an idea that immediately seemed right! After working with children for many years in a variety of school settings, we both knew that we had the education, the knowledge, and the drive to build and create a unique preschool program that is child inspired and driven by the arts. Read more>>

Richard Trubey and Raul Raudales

I (Richard Trubey) was working as a volunteer on human rights issues in Central American back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, though my formal training was in environmental science. I met my business partner (Raul Raudales) when he joined our human rights organization. Read more>>

Sonja Grondstra

For over 20 years now, I have been gathering beach glass from the shores of New England. I am drawn by the unique shapes and soothing colors of the glass that has been tossed and tumbled along the rocky coast for many years. I select pieces of beach and complementary glass and set them into creative designed necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and other fine jewelry. Read more>>

Cara McCarthy Hutchins

I was raised in northern New Jersey in a close-knit family. Reflecting back, I realize my upbringing had a strong influence on my career choice. My father, a plastic surgeon, was a founder of “Operation Smile”, a charity that enables doctors to perform surgery on underprivileged children with cleft palates. Read more>>

Susan Hancox

After working over 35 years in the healthcare industry, then doing some consulting, I retired. That lasted 6 months and I was looking for my next adventure (at 65 years of age.) I had raised llamas for about 15 years (2000-2015) and fallen in love with their fiber (in addition to their great personalities) — and that began the pull for me towards fiber-related activities. Read more>>

Jill Robbins

My son is one of the 1 in 13 US kids with food allergies. At social events, I’d watch him watching everyone else socializing around delicious treats he couldn’t have. As a mom, and as a clinical psychologist, I knew the psychological importance of feeling included, so I started to bake treats he and local kids with allergies could eat so that they could be part of the group too. Read more>>

Justin Demetri

I grew up in a Gloucester fishing family in a time when commercial fishing was not a viable career option for me. My family wanted me to get an education and so a long line of fishermen, going back to our Sicilian ancestors, ended with me. However the love for my heritage and Cape Ann’s history never waned. Read more>>

Sandy Runnion

I have owned and operated theArtRoom for 15 years. After graduating from the Art Institute of Boston, I spent several years as a graphic designer at HBM Design Group, an in-house design studio for one of Boston’s leading advertising agencies. I was also a founder and partner in the award-winning design firm, Runnion Design for 12 years, where I worked with a variety of nationally-known clients. Read more>>

Craig Maggio

During your formative years people will often ask you “What do you want to do when you grow up/graduate/get into the real world?” For as long as I could remember I would always reply “I wanted to own my own business”. That would then of course prompt the follow up question “What kind of business?” My answer was always the same… “No idea, but I am sure I will figure it out when I get there!” Read more>>

Joanne Barbarito

My biggest passion is animals. In fact, my husband would tell you I’m obsessed! I love all animals. Some of my favorites are dogs, cats, elephants and bears. This would be why I decided to start a pet business. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 14 years now and I love it! However, I started thinking it was time to get back into the work force. I was spending so much time trying to figure out what I wanted to do, filling out applications and stressing about not being home for my teenage boys. Read more>>

 Denise Simpson

Middle class up-bringing with parochial school equals “good girl” obedience, ‘don’t speak up or rock the boat’ so my deepest needs, desires, and destiny were squashed. As I matured I drifted according to other’s story of me – what they needed me to be. Getting divorced at 35 year old gave me the opportunity to say No! I’m going to grad school full-time. Most people go to therapists…I become one instead. Read more>>

Sean Bielat

I became interested in service as a child. My father served in the Air Force, all my uncles and both my grandfathers were veterans as well. I attended Georgetown University to learn more about government and policy and, after graduation, joined the United States Marine Corps. Read more>>

Oryx Cohen

My parents met on a commune in the early 1970s, fell in love, got married, and then hitchhiked across the country. I was born on their travels in Philadelphia, PA in 1973 and given what I can only describe as a hippie name. Read more>>

Kevin McGuire

I was struck by an intoxicated driver in 1968 (at the age of seven) while playing baseball. The driver was drunk, drove off the road onto the front yard where I was playing…I just did not have time to get out of the way. Originally, I was paralyzed from the neck down, but after extensive physical therapy, I regained the use of my arms, hands, fingers…my upper body. Read more>>

Kate Stephens

I started creating my boxes because I needed a wedding gift for my husband’s boss’s wedding. I made a three-layer gift box that looked like a three-layer cake. In each layer I placed a gift for the bride and groom. Read more>>

Conrad McKinney

My answering service mixed up and send me messages that were meant for a Private investigator and when I met him he hired me to do PI work. That was 40 years ago… I now have a successful detective agency doing work in Ma, and N.H. I do all type of investigations especially under cover and surveillance. Google Conrad Mc Kinney investigator Ma and N.H. Read more>>

Michael Finegold

Essex Chamber Music Players was officially established in 2000 at Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott St, Haverhill, MA 01830 which is still our main venue. I had been giving flute recitals at the NECC where I was a full time music professor since 1972. Pianist David Pihl was one of our ECMP’s founding members. Read more>>

Andrea DiFiore

Right away you will notice a collection of wines from varied countries across the globe. Wines of complexity and individuality at all price levels are carefully sourced by our staff. The depth of knowledge and customer service our wine team has accrued ensures both a gentle, non-intimidation approach for our beginners and a confident, informative one for the more seasoned enthusiasts. Read more>>

Angela Karogiannis

I started my business three years ago. I was working as an associate for 12 years in a wonderful office nearby. During that time I got married, had 2 children and started to feel it was time to invest in my career. The practice I was currently working in did not have a partnership option so it meant I needed to out on my own. Read more>>

Susan Amato

Food is my whole life, Growing up my memories were made at the Family dinner table where we came together, talked about our day, eat great food and sipped on wine. For hours we enjoyed each other’s company and cherished the memories that became unforgettable. That’s what inspires us today at Angelina’s! Being from an Italian Family, the one thing for sure was that life was all about food. Read more>>

Andrew Spindler

Two things I always wanted in my professional life were independence and creativity, both of which I have found as an antiques dealer. After earning my Master’s degree in Spanish Literature at Yale, I decided I wanted to dwell more in the realm of art and objects rather than theory. Read more>>

Andrea Drinkwater and Steven Cecchinelli

Steven and I have known each for a long time. I was thinking of opening a hair salon, Steven had owned hair salons before, so we got together an opened Andrea Stevens. When we opened in 2010 we had only 2 employees. We have grown to a staff of 14. We are very blessed to have very talented hairdressers. We are very proud to have a beautiful salon that has a growing clientele. Read more>>

Weylin Symes

Stoneham Theatre (our building and how our company was known until last month) was founded as a vaudeville and silent movie house in 1917 and showed movies up through the early 1970s when it was shut down for showing X-rated movies. Read more>>

Thomas Dick

In 2004, the site of the former The Broken Pushcart at 920 Central Avenue in Dover was renovated and a new vision for the 30 year old market was born. Through their leadership, Fiddleheads established relationships with some of the finest local merchants and offered them the opportunity to sell their delicacies under one roof at Fiddlehead Farms Marketplace. Read more>>

Jessica Waitt

Growing up, I had five younger sisters. For this reason, my dad worked 2 sometimes 3 jobs in order to take care of us and the family. He worked hard over the years and became a general manager, and was very good at his job. He hired people who needed a chance, and who he thought had potential and just needed someone to give them a shot. Read more>>

Tacheryn Morrison

After working as a substitute teacher, I decided that becoming a teacher was what I was meant to do. I have always loved children and working with them became a passion. With my husband deployed for the second year to Iraq with the Army National Guard, a one year old son and a 12 year old son at home with me, I took on the challenge of pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Read more>>

Arthur Carlow

During the four years I watched my son row for Harvard, I noticed that the shape of the blades had undergone some unique changes. It went from oval and straight to rectangular and set at an angle. This new shape improved the rower speed and power, an allowed the oar to get in and out of the water quicker and with less effort. Read more>>

Lance Keene

Keene Systems is what I do for a living, however, the real interesting story is not about my software business but instead my hobby, my passion, my life long art project: I’m building an off-the-grid medieval castle that will produce all of its own energy. I have been working on this project for 17 years now. Read more>>

Iain Kerr

In 1987, I met Dr. Roger Payne on a beach in Argentina where he was studying right whales, he was looking for a captain to take a 93 ft. research vessel (unpaid) to the Galapagos Islands. I have worked for and with him since. Read more>>

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