My parents taught me that if you follow your passion, you’ll be successful. That mantra has been the road map for many of the Rising Stars we profile in this issue. Alice Park traded her career as an industrial engineer for photography and hasn’t looked back since. Jeremy Smith let his curiosity for real estate lead him to a membership in the Million Dollar Club of the industry’s top producers. He is also now a TV host. This accomplished group of seven also includes London-born professional golfer JJ Grey, restaurateur and cookbook author Kelli Ferrell, multi-faceted artist and content creator Melissa Mitchell, debut novelist Andrew Diaz Winkelmann and former UGA quarterback and on-air sports analyst Aaron Murray who recently launched a new media venture. As you read their varied stories, their talents and drive to follow their callings will have you enthralled and leave you encouraged.
Beyond the cover feature, you’ll also meet some other inspirational individuals. Karina Antenucci interviews wig stylist Rebecca Walden who helps those suffering from hair loss, and Emily L. Foley profiles three Art Institute of Atlanta student designers leaving their mark on the fashion scene. This summer issue also includes travel features on three enticing destinations—Italy, Montana and Highlands, North Carolina—a fun collection of summer entertaining goods and a colorful display of tropically modern home decor.
Whatever your summer may look like, grab a copy of this issue to take along with you to the pool, on the plane or to the office, and enjoy the impressive stories of locals who are charting their own paths with great success.
Giannina S. Bedford
photo: Sara Hanna
Giannina S. Bedford is multi-faceted writer and editor. Her work covers design, travel, food and business. She’s penned Simply Buckhead’s home feature since inception and held a variety of editorial roles at the magazine. Her freelance work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Virtuoso Life, Hemispheres and TravelandLeisure.com. She also contributes regularly Atlanta Business Chronicle. Fluent in Spanish, Giannina was born in Miami and grew up in Brazil, Chile, Hawaii and Australia. She currently lives in Dunwoody with her two kids and husband.