Highlighting 8 Memphians That are on Their Grit N Grind!

By Brianna Smith-Herman

The Memphians listed below all represent various industries from education to innovation to fashion to entrepreneurship, all people to keep an eye on in 2021.

Photo Credit: Zaire Love

Zaire Love (@zy_year) is a multi-disciplinary artist, award-winning filmmaker, TEDx speaker, and entrepreneur from Memphis. Her work is an ode to being Black and southern in America. Her mission is to honor and amplify the stories and voices of the Black South. Zaire is a filmmaker, music maker, documentary photographer, and creative director with her studio, Creative Cornbread. Zaire held a residency at Crosstown in 2020 and was named Indie Memphis Black Screenwriter Fellow. She is always producing dope art!

Photo Credit: Junior Achievement of Memphis


Ellen Celosky is an experienced events manager with a history of working in Development, Project Management, and Marketing. She currently serves as Director of Development at Junior Achievement where she is creating ways to provide young people with the tools necessary to succeed in a global economy. 


Photo Credit: Lindsay Porter via LinkedIn



Lindsay Porter (@ieducate365) is the Owner and Founder of Miniature Minds Private Day School. She is adamant about preparing young scholars for primary school, with a hands-on curriculum; service-learning and academic excellence through a partnership with parents to help develop and nurture the whole child. She is laying a solid foundation for scholars as they begin their educational journey. 


Photo Credit: Cara Greenstein


Since the age of 12, Cara Greenstein (@cara_melized) has had a passion for the kitchen. Her kitchen love affair grew the older she became and she began Caramelized, a self-created, award-winning food and lifestyle brand with a purpose to share, celebrate and elevate everyday experiences. She shares recipes, beautiful photos, restaurant reviews and tablescape tutorials through her award-winning blog or day-to-day Instagram account @cara_melized.


Photo Credit: RealRed (Jorres Nelson)


RealRed (@1realred) is a Memphis music producer that made his entrance into the industry last year. He delivered a music project showcasing his hard-hitting production style and highlighting Memphis’ thriving rap/hip hop scene. The album featured various artists from the city such as Big Boogie, Co Cash, Fast Cash Boyz, Kevo Muney, Krucial, Casino Jizzle, Big30, Tee Top, Big Homiie G, and BlocBoy JB. His sound mixes a trap style with bouncy synths and a knack for catchy melodies. Most recently, RealRed has been spotted in the studio with Memphis artists NLE Choppa and MoneyBagg Yo. 


Photo Credit: Diamond Young


Diamond Young (@dyoung901) is a sales powerhouse that has relocated back to Memphis from Brooklyn, NY. In the NYC and DC areas, she had a track record of producing revenue for CoStar Groups multifamily, marketing sector, Apartments.com, as a Sales Associate and New Business Development Executive. She looks to bring that same tenacity, energy, and persistence to her hometown in several of its emerging markets. As the New Business Development Manager for Three(i) Creative Communications, the only social-impact marketing agency in TN, she is determined to increase revenue to unseen heights and assist in the economic development of the city in her spare time through marketing, sales, and community service. 


Photo Credit: Dustin Starr


Dustin Starr (@dustinstarr) is the Co-Host and Owner of Championship Wrestling presented by Pro Shingle. You can call him the voice of the 901! He is the Emcee for the Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Redbirds, Memphis 901FC, V3Fights MMA, and a PA for the Memphis Hustle. Dustin is also a co-host of CW 30 Memphis (with his wife Maria Starr), the Memphis-based version of Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. Dustin Starr is a Memphis enthusiast!


Photo Credit: Aquila Augusta


Aqila Augusta (@aqila._) has become a trailblazer in the hair care industry with the creation of her hair growth stimulant, Edge Entity. While Aqila’s professional background is not in hair care, she does credit her experience as a nurse as helping her formulate products that work. She has studied both chemistry and biology courses in-depth and has a thorough knowledge of how to combine certain ingredients to make them work well with each other to create an effective product.

You also might be interested in: Memphis Sports: A City of Champions | We Are Memphis

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