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Portraits of the Valley

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find inspiring interviews from in and around the Valley.

Eddie Grigorian

I always had a drive and passion for events as long as I can remember. I started to coordinate events for a law firm in my early 20’s and started my own event company soon after. Everything halted once I started graduate school to study History. After several years of teaching at the high school and college level, I knew I was missing my passion for events. I began helping friends with their events and soon began bartending when needed. I realized how much I enjoyed serving and making drinks immediately. I enrolled in a bartending school and got certified in order to make sure I am able to meet all of my client’s needs. After working for a company for several months, I realized the only way I am going to truly make it is to start my own business. Hence Classic21 Bartending Services and have never looked back; best decision I ever made. Read more>>

Bas Janssen

If this was an ice-breaking exercise, playing two truths and a lie, I’d say: 1. I’m Dutch 2. I have a Guinness World Record for playing the Triangle and 3: I went on a tour to Portugal with my Cricket team. The lie would be the tour was to Spain, but that is the quickest skim over the randomness of my story. But let’s unpack shall we? Yes, I am originally from the Netherlands, but by the time I turned eight, I moved to France, Utah and England. That’s where I first picked up drumsticks after being inspired by Nick Cannon in ‘Drumline’. This is what started my musical journey, but because I was living in England, I was joining orchestras, playing timpani, marimba, etc. That isn’t exactly the ‘Drumline’ vibe, but I was hooked on music. From there, I played in orchestras that toured Europe, competed as a soloist and prepared myself for the next step. College… or they say University over there. Read more>>

Maisie Grace

I have been acting since I was five years old. Like most kids, I went to dance classes and drama club, performing in local children’s plays and dance shows. I really fell in love with the arts and acting and knew it was what I wanted to with the rest of my life In the fall of 2014, after graduating high school and I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams of acting professionally and enrolled at the New York Film Academy Acting program, which was amazing and so much fun. I made so many friends, found the love of my life and learnt so much about life, myself and, of course, the industry. Read more>>

Haruko Nishida

When I was nine or ten years old, I really loved kpop idols that’s why always copied my favorite idol’s choreography. Then I started taking some dance classes with my friends when I was 12. When I graduated Junior high school, I started to taking one of my favorite dancer’s class to be a professional dancer, and he always took me to his work as his assistant, so I started my dance career from that moment. I decided to move to LA because I really wanted to work for movies. My parents took me to movie theaters almost every weekend, I loved that moment because I could forget about everything in this real world. My mom loves musical movies that’s why I started to think like I wanted to be a part of movies or making choreography for movies in the future, so I moved here by myself after I graduated high school. Read more>>

Matt Dyson

My story is pretty common among people working in the control room side of a studio. I had a garage band when I was young and needed something to make our vocals loud enough to get over the drums. Plugging mics into the old guitar amps we had sounded terrible so I was the one who sucked it up and bought a PA system. My Dad has always been my biggest supporter and he loaned me the money for it. I DJ’d a couple of middle school dances to pay that off. He noticed me alone in my bedroom plugging the PA mixer into my boombox so one year he bought me a four track cassette deck and that was it, game over.  Read more>>

Jennings Rice

When I was very little, Santa gave me a pair of black ballet slippers. I immediately enrolled into dance classes and always found ways to perform. I was a shy kid, but once I felt comfortable in a space, you couldn’t get me to shut up. I feel like I would bounce off the walls when I would perform a routine. As I got older, I wanted to act more and more, so my Mom took me to an audition and I devastatingly did not get cast. I thought it was the end of the world, no really, I cried the whole night. Fate seems to intervene and when I was in seventh grade, we were required to do theatre, we all wrote our own sketches and performed them. I don’t remember much about my sketch only that everyone died in some insane way. I think I really caught the acting bug when I was Patty Simcox in the 8th grade production of Grease Junior. From then on, I was hooked. When I looked at how I got here, I just kept going. There’s always been a little voice inside of me telling me it was all going to be fine. Read more>>

Andrew Gabriel

I grew up in North Carolina where I had just about every opportunity to explore what I enjoyed the most. My family always encouraged me to not only discover what talents I had but what would also make me happy at the same time. I was heavily involved with competitive swimming and most importantly, baseball. I loved the purpose-driven mindset that sports taught me and the importance of discipline, work ethic, and supporting the people that surround you. I was never really interested in the arts until I was about 17. The arts, acting in particular, changed my perspective on life in many ways and led me to this career path. I was a very emotional kid growing up and being an athlete, I had to suppress a lot of those emotions and keep a level head. I didn’t have an outlet to express myself until I found my love for acting which stemmed from my first theatre class in high school. Read more>>

Mayra Martínez

I was born and raised in the small town of Capilla De Guadalupe, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. I am part of a family of six, I have one sister and two brothers. Twenty-nine years ago as a result of my father’s economic struggles, My mother and I decided to help out. We both enrolled and took an artistic chocolate learning course offered at the neighboring town of Tepatitlán, Jalisco. Shortly after, my mother started making chocolate pops in a variety of different shapes and characters, supplying local stores and for special events like weddings. I enjoyed helping my mother. Although her little business was not too lucrative, it definitely helped my father get back on his feet. Read more>>

Eli Sickle

I started as a nerd that was into 90s cartoons and music and now what I like is becoming popular so I can tattoo it on people. I’m feeling grateful for this fun and opportune moment! Read more>>

Daniel Sagal

We all go through experiences in life that change our trajectory. My big change was emotional and challenging, but at only 25, it gave me the opportunity to do something special. My grandmother had a fall, broke her hip and was in the hospital. Two hip surgeries in three days and a Doctor’s order to spend the next three months in a Skilled Nursing Facility was just the beginning of this journey. Imagine being nearly 90 years old, not speaking a word of English, being removed from your home, and taken away from your husband of over 60 years. That wasn’t all. After only a week, signs of Dementia started to show and it was clear what was happening… my grandmother’s health was spiraling and she was that much closer to death. Read more>>

Anna Janelle Cardenas

I’ve been in the jewelry industry for nine years now. I didn’t expect to be here, jewelry was never part of the plan. I used to have a weekly craft night with some of my girlfriends and one evening we decided to make some bracelets. One of my friends and I enjoyed the process so much we kept diving deeper, learning new techniques from youtube, taking classes, and trial and error. One day we said to ourselves “Hey, we should start a business!” And that’s how I got into jewelry. My first business, Dodds & Boshae, lasted around four years and we dabbled in a bit of everything – gold, silver, rose gold, leather, beading, wire-wrapping, we wanted to do it all! We hustled, started a website, did pop-up events and festival, hosted parties and had a blast doing it. At the same time, I was working for another local jewelry designer, Sheryl Lowe, as a production manager and learned all about the industry. Fast forward four years and life had other plans for us, I was moving to Amsterdam! We decided to end Dodds & Boshae which has led me to where I am today, Anna Janelle Jewelry. Read more>>

Marcel Ramirez

I was born in Palm Springs, CA. I grew up in a South American home, where panqueque’s (aka crepes) were a weekly tradition. We would eat them in every way possible: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner. Years later, I had the opportunity to call San Francisco my home. Here is where I began to experience the art and taste of unique savory crepes. After having experience in the food industry from an early age, my wife and I decided to move back home we knew we wanted start our own Creperie with a South American twist. That is when Gabino’s was born. Read more>>

Jana Bunge

My father was a hairdresser – so I’ve grown up in and around the beauty business! I’ve been a working professional in this industry since 1984. With a background in commercial, video and print work – I began to include providing makeup & hairstyling for weddings in the early 2000’s. As the years progressed, I’ve added makeup/hair artists to our team. We service Ventura, Santa Barbara, LA and Orange Counties – and are so blessed to have the most wonderful brides and bridal parties. We feel honored to share in the most important day of their lives! Read more>>

Randall Michael Tobin

It was late November 2016 and I had a thought: “I wonder if I could make sourdough bread? If it turns out good enough, maybe I could give it as gifts for the holidays…” (I prefer to create artistic things to give as gifts, rather than buying stuff.) I love food and creating healthy meals, but I’d never made real bread before. So I ordered a packet of organic San Francisco sourdough starter from a website and proceeded to bring it to life over the course of a week. When I made the recipe for the bread that came with the starter, the result looked like a big, flat, gray UFO! I tried it again and got the same result. Read more>>

Paulie Z

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and am the oldest of three boys. My brother David, the middle child, and I played in bands together since we were young. He was a bass player, singer and songwriter. Our first band was a heavy metal group called Legend. We were a very popular band in the NYC area and developed a loyal following. As the music scene changed, we started to form new bands and began incorporating more grunge and modern rock elements into our music. It was when we formed our power trio ZO2 with drummer Joey Cassata in Dec 2002 that we finally found our perfect sound – a mix of heavy modern riffs mixed with retro 70’s swagger and some 80s flare sprinkled in. In 2004 ZO2 went on to do a 40 date national tour with KISS and Poison which opened many doors for us. That, coupled with the fact that David was the bassist for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, helped us start our fanbase which turned out to be very loyal and supportive through the years. ZO2 released three CDs and a handful of singles and music videos. Read more>>

Kate Logsdon

Prior to being a doula, I worked as a petroleum geologist for 11 years. The inspiration for becoming a doula lies partly in my kiddos’ birth stories. My 6-year old daughter was born in a hospital in Bakersfield. My husband and I went in blind (no education beyond What to Expect When You’re Expecting), trusting that the doctors and nurses knew what was best for my body and our baby. After a very arduous labor, the typical cascade of interventions happened (epidural, Pitocin, breaking my waters, etc.). When I was pregnant with my son, I began to get panicky as we approached his estimated due date. I did not want to repeat the same experience. I was working with a client whose wife was also pregnant. He encouraged us to watch “The Business of Being Born” (an excellent documentary on hospital birth versus home or birth center birth) and to give their midwife a call if we were interested. Read more>>

Sabine Dodane

I was born and raised in a small town in Eastern France. My mom made everything from scratch. She was very discerning and a stickler for quality (I inherited those traits). She believed in experiential learning and taught me to rely on my senses to determine when something was fresh, ripe, tasty, well-crafted, properly grown, etc… It made my world colorful, exciting, and it gave me confidence in my abilities. I spent a lot of time in nature. Foraging was a part of every weekend outing. Being a nurturer and a maker, I started creating beauty products for myself and my loved ones using natural ingredients. It felt right to feed the skin the same way we (should) nourish our bodies: with wholesome ingredients, not chemicals. Read more>>

Jojo Katabyan

I’ve been a licensed fitness coach for five years now, so prior to launching Morphology, I was coaching clients privately in my home studio with a primary focus on strength and conditioning. Ironically I knew about 3D body scanning technology even before I became a coach because I was in pursuit of accurate and precise measurements of my health and fitness journey. So I bookmarked that 3D tech I had come across believing it will benefit me one day. Flash forward many years later and I came across a company that took an x-ray for health and fitness measurements without a doctors appointment, and I thought what if I can find technology that’s just as accurate and less expensive and provide the same service to the valley since I’ll be the first to do such a thing. Read more>>

Isaac Tillman

I’m an actor and writer. My story begins on October 16, 2016, when I was 14. I started my career as an actor in an independent film called Second Semester, where I had the chance to have an improvised speaking line. However, the film was canceled shortly after so the world never got the chance to see that. In 2017, I was featured in the ACT Like A Child Magazine Issue 20, which was released on July 21, 2017. In 2020, I was also featured in Deore Society Special Issue, which was written by the founder, Kassidy Slaughter, who is also a great friend of mine. Read more>>

Johnny Miller

I started playing in bands when I was 13, writing songs as early as eight years old. I used to sit and read the linear notes of albums (which I stole from my older sisters) the lyrics, producers, and all that stuff. I couldn’t get enough knowledge of music. My sisters took me to my first concert when I was seven which was Steppenwolf. I had many influences but my favorites were Zeppelin, The Stones, Floyd, and the Beatles. Though I listened to Johnny Cash, George Jones, Keith Whitley as well. After a two years stint in the Army when I was 16 while still in high school, I moved from the small town of Fremont, Ohio to California. Read more>>

Nic Greene

Art, the quality of communication, is what I strive to create in all aspects of life. I spent my early years in London, moving to LA as a teenager. These days the two countries have more in common, but back then it was a real culture shock. I was in awe of the variety of ethnicities, cultures and of course food. My biggest discoveries – burritos, bagels and thai food! Coming from a relatively conservative environment to one with seemingly no boundaries found me very productive in art school, in various underground bands and activities. I went on to work as a silversmith, gallery assistant, musician, artist, actor, digital retoucher, vfx artist, as well as a counselor. I’ve worked with all kinds of people from celebs to regular folk on the street. Read more>>

Raphaëlle Dufosset

Petit Parisien was founded by Barbara & Raphaëlle two French women who crossed the Atlantic Ocean with their families. We are two moms who moved from Paris to Burbank, California, in early 2019. We love our new lives and neighborhood but miss the little Parisian shops, full of treasures, that we grew so accustomed to back in France. That’s why we decided to open our own place, trying to replicate the mood you’d find in our dearest city of love. And because we also wanted to shop for our kids and share our favorite French brands, we decided to bring them to the shop. So, Petit Parisien is all about bringing a little piece of Paris and French touch in Magnolia Park! Read more>>

Joe Dolezal

We started out immigrating from Europe in 1983 and moved around practically my entire life until my early 20s where I had settled in Southern California. Throughout my 20s and 30s, I lived throughout the world living in countries such as Europe and India, seeking the mysteries of the cosmos. Lately, I have found fragments of them. 🙂 Read more>>

Benjamin Doktor

The inception of my photography began in my adolescent years in 2006. My foundation or “photography roots” started in film photography learning the basic fundamentals of image composition and post-processing film in the darkroom. In 2007, I transitioned into digital photography and received my first DSLR camera. This year, I made the transition to mirrorless cameras. My senior year of high school was when I really began to forge my identity. I credit my photography instructor Mary Ellen Wortham for giving me the encouragement and confidence that I needed to pursue this at a critical point in my life when some of my peers dismissed this as nothing more than a phase that I would eventually grow out of after I graduated. Read more>>

Rebekah Tripp

From a young age, my aspiration was to become a lawyer. I had been told I was good at arguing. At some point, on the journey through adolescence, I decided I wanted to be an actor. I had never acted in high school or participated in community theatre (unless you count playing a wood nymph in a production of The Frog Prince at the local park district when I was eight). So in college, as a theatre major, I hit the ground running. One short year after college graduation, I moved out to LA with friends. It can be a slow road in LA but I was lucky enough to find amazing friends and an awesome theatre company; a fantastic community in which to act, grow and learn. And with that, life continued to unfurl and now I find myself an actor, homeowner, and mother. Read more>>

Julian Montgomery

I moved to LA a little over seven years ago. Prior to moving to LA, I produced music for artists in my local community. After moving to LA, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do from a music standpoint. I had an interest in film music but had never really made an effort to take a look at that industry. After being here for a couple of years and helping my wife start her journey of going to school to become an Architect, I decided it was time to get serious about music for visual media. I started doing some online research and attending local events. I also decided to start attending school at Berklee College of Music Online. After a couple of years of school and spending an enormous amount of time scoring music to random clips, I decided to start reaching out to independent filmmakers. Over the years, that has led to scoring several independent short and feature films. Read more>>

Justin Martin

My love of themed entertainment and awesome immersive experiences started when I was young and my parents took me on vacations to Disney World. I fell in love with the idea of transporting people to places to escape the reality of the mundane world. I ended up keeping that dream and taking it to Savannah College of Art and Design years later, where I studied Production Design, focusing on Themed Entertainment Design. My love of design and storytelling was fostered and blossomed to new heights as I was around like-minded people, all striving for the same dream. After graduation, I was able to move out to Los Angeles and work for numerous firms such as Thinkwell and Universal Creative where I worked and lead numerous projects in the immersive experience design space. Working to develop new world-class attractions, events, shows, exhibits and museums with some of the best talent in the world. After my time with Universal Creative came to an end, an unexpected opportunity came up with Meow Wolf. Read more>>

Sean Carney

We both had been making music separately for years and met five years ago in Los Angeles attempting to write for other artists. We found that the chemistry was undeniable and it led us to form WOLVES, which was originally three members. With the band becoming a duo, it brought Sean and I (Marc) even closer together as a group and as homies. It allowed us to find out who were as WOLVES. We create music that sounds and feels like Chicago where I’m from and Los Angeles where Sean is from, and we’ve coined the genre “Surf Trap”. Read more>>

Malique Guinn

My passion for storytelling came at a young age. First grade as a matter of fact. I started writing short stories whenever we had free time. My teacher would give me stickers whenever I shared them with her and that’s when I knew I was called to entertainment. And today by the grace of God, I am in my second and final year of my MFA in dramatic writing at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Read more>>

Amanda P.H. Bennett

It’s funny how deciding to get on a random bus touring a college campus can lead you to an unexpected, new career path. From that tour, I was introduced to the Sound Design program at Savannah College of Art and Design at began studying the field in 2014. I have always been involved with music for the majority of my life – from piano lessons as a kid to high school marching band. Sound Design, however, was a completely new field for me. It was a true leap of faith to pursue both sound design and music, but I felt deeply that if I didn’t go forward with it, I would only be regretful. Turns out that through it, I’ve been able to meet and work alongside the best artists, filmmakers, and composers that led not only to continued collaborations in the future but enduring friendships as well. Read more>>

Keren Ashri

I was born and raised in Israel. I started dancing ballet when I was four years old. A couple of years later, I transitioned to modern than Jazz and when I was 16, I started Latin Dances. After serving in the Israeli Army, I was teaching dance and performing all over Israel. While Performing for the second year in a row in the Israeli Salsa Congress, Frankie Martinez the Founder, and choreographer of ABAKUA Latin Dance Company based in NYC had made me an offer that changed my life. Frankie was attending the Festival as one of the International guest Performers and offered me to join his company. Three months later, I packed my life and moved to NYC (never been to the US before) and started training with the company. It was one of the hardest transitions in my life. I think I cried every day for six months because I felt so lonely. Read more>>

Krystal Canty

Since a little girl, say middle school, I’ve always wanted to work in an industry with skincare. Not knowing that I could be an esthetician until visiting a dermatologist whom helped me out with my acne growing up. Because I suffered with cystic acne, I knew right away I wanted to help other teens/adults with acne when I grew up. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18 years old and got my Associates Degree at FIDM for Beauty Merchandise Marketing. I worked in Marketing and PR thinking I was going to enjoy it. I’m glad I did it but I knew I needed to work with people and continued with schooling to become an esthetician. I’ve now been an esthetician for eight years and am so passionate it. Read more>>

Amanda Gish

I have always been interested in photography, but spending so much time isolated in 2020 during the pandemic pushed me towards starting my business. I needed a creative outlet and decided to take it one step at a time and not put too much pressure on myself to become something specific. I immediately became obsessed and loved connecting and creating with others! I really want my business to remain fresh and fun for me, so I focus on the aspects of photography that I find the most exciting and creatively satisfying instead of comparing myself to others in this field. I am always searching for inspiration and I make sure to schedule styled shoots that are just for me, along with the shoots I do for my clients. I have made so many new friends and have been honored to document tons of special moments. I’m so excited to see where it all takes me! Read more>>

Isaac Landfert

I’m from Grant County, Indiana. I started running shows for my friends’ punk bands, managing and selling merch. I always had my eye on comedy and started doing my character, Jasper T. Colbaire, while playing around and killing time on a tour. That was 20 years ago. Over the past two decades, I’ve knocked around all over comedy. I’ve done pretty much anything you can. I’ve written comic books, performed burlesque, done some tv spots, made movies, podcasts, albums, and produced too many live shows to possibly count. I’m the type of creative that really gets the same amount of satisfaction regardless of what role I’m playing in a project. I could be the lead performer or the editor and I’m happy if we’re doing good work. Read more>>

Verbosity

We are an r&b hip hop group originally from Philadelphia who is on a mission to show the world that being a female in this industry doesn’t mean getting naked to sell music. Read more>>

Lara Azoy

I’ve never been satisfied with the status quo. From 2006 to 2016, I worked in a well-paying, fully loaded W-2 salary earning job at a company that had fulfilled my heart’s desire “to do good things in the world.” One of my biggest fears in starting my own accounting and bookkeeping practice was that my new venture was not going to fulfill my “doing good” gene. I have come to terms with the fact that something inside of me is not at peace when I do not feel as if I am contributing to making the world a better place. Not everyone can relate and that’s ok; I’ve learned to accept this as both a weakness and a strength. Read more>>

Courtney Grant

I started modeling when I was 16 in Ocala Florida. I moved to California when I was 20 to start making more money and bigger opportunities, as I was acting and modeling I started transitioning into eating healthier and going vegan. Which kicked off my YouTube channel Vegan Cooking with Courtney. Being in the industry has given me a love of filming and editing which made it easier to do all of the stuff I’m able to do with my channel. Read more>>

Maja Trochimczyk

If you look at my “cover” photo, what do you see? I see a very happy woman in gold – that Sunday of September 12, 2021 was a blissful day for me. First, I just heard an excellent concert of music and poetry celebrating the birthday of poet, flautist, and Poet Laureate of Sunland Tujunga, Alice Pero. The pure sound of the flute heard live washed over my mind and body like healing water. There are few joys in life that can exceed that of the beauty of classical music – I was immersed in Chopin, Faure, Piazzolla interpreted by the lovely Windsong Ensemble, of musicians that love the music and love playing it together. I was in a community of poet friends – with Amibka Talwar, Bory Thach, Elsa Frausto, and many others… Read more>>

Kasey Dutcher

My husband and I started our business in 2016 when I was five months pregnant with our second child. He envisioned this as something that would eventually be a source of income for us and a livelihood for those that we employ. In all honesty, I was just along for the ride since his whole idea sounded interesting and nothing like I have ever heard of and I wanted to help him see it through. Here we are today- 5 years later, pregnant with our fourth and fifth babies and continuously growing. It wasn’t until I accepted this business for what it is and what my role would be that I became successful in it; that acceptance got me to where I am today. I will admit I have pushed any social life off until I achieve the goals I have set for myself and our family and as much as that is less than desirable, it is getting me closer and closer to those goals each and every day. Read more>>

Kerry Lambourne

I am the founder of a slow fashion brand, RainbowPot Personalised Products. I create festival performance arts clothing using a range of fibers. I share a range of techniques including old school hand spinning wheel content, which I try to incorporate into my Products. The designs I create are also written up into purchasable pdf documents that go on sale in my Pattern Store. The range of products and patterns satisfy both types of my audiences interests. Read more>>

Shai Ashkenazi

I immigrated to the U.S from Israel after finishing my army service and had worked many and multiple jobs in order to get by. I started selling guitars online as a side gig and ended up opening a Guitar shop in Burbank, CA with my business partner Tommy. We now own three locations in the Los Angeles area. Read more>>

Aparna Thyagarajan

I moved to the US from India in the early 2000s. I am an engineer by profession and have a technology background. Until a few years ago, my life was all about bringing up my two young boys and my career at Microsoft. While I thoroughly enjoyed all my roles, I realized that I had a strong passion for fashion and an urge to express myself creatively. Arts and crafts activities were always therapeutic for me. Even when life got too busy, I always found time to do something creative. My sister Ambika has been my constant companion. Both of us have many hobbies in common, stitching and designing being one of them. Our mother introduced us to this magical world of fabrics, textures, and colors. Back when I was 12 years old, it inspired me to learn sewing by hand. My first experiment was a dress for my sister Ambika. For one of her birthdays, I stitched a dress from an old but beautiful saree fabric. Read more>>

Casey Ahern

Born and raised in California, I always grew up surrounded by music, whether it was classic Doris Day musicals or Glen Campbell albums and found myself learning to sing along. Luckily, my parents are extremely supportive and enrolled me in guitar and voice lessons when I was about seven years old. I also loved writing poems and creative stories and once I got proficient enough on guitar, turned pen and paper to melodies and lyrics. Fast forward nine years, after playing my original songs at countless open mic nights in Southern California, I formed a band and booked our first live show at a country bar in Ventura County. Read more>>

Steve Morrow

I became a private investigator in 2003. I went to both college and Nick Harris Detective Academy (a trade school) before fully going out on my own and obtaining my license in 2011. I was fortunate and sometimes unfortunate (depending on the day) to work for some experienced investigators who taught me how to conduct various types of investigations. Their stories and techniques have guided me and stayed with me throughout my career to this day. Read more>>

Chloe Temtchine

I’m a singer, songwriter, speaker, and entertainer. I suffered congestive right-heart failure in 2013 and was rushed to the ER. I was told that I had a rare and fatal lung condition, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), that I had little time left to live, and that I would have to be on oxygen for the rest of my life. Six years later, and many more days than doctors thought possible, I lived with a newfound sense of meaning, purpose, and passion. I wrote music, performed, and my mission became to empower those affected with PAH and other chronic illnesses via entertainment. Read more>>

Tiffany De Alba

I was always a dancing child but officially started training at the age of 10 at a local dance studio. I then got accepted into a performing arts high school in my city, Rosa Parks Performing Arts Center where I completed my high school studies while being a dance major. We had our days split up of academics and dance classes! University of the Arts in Philadelphia was my next step. I got accepted into the dance program on a scholarship and later obtained my BFA in dance from the university. During my junior year, I got my first professional job with the Philadelphia 76ers dance team for the 09-10 season and was ecstatic! After completing one season with the team, I moved on to graduate and to then work for Disney Cruise Line. I played everything from a princess to a flying monkey to a dancing napkin. I loved this job. Read more>>

 

Sam Cahill

I started with photo and video when I was in 8th grade. Growing up creating skateboard videos of my friends and I in the streets of Everett, WA. I took interest to it after an injury to my leg (torn achilles) that put me out of doing anything semi-athletic for two years. I took classes throughout High School and went on to study film in college at the University of Colorado… for a whopping nine months before I dropped out. I toured and lived with an artist for a year after that where I worked strongly in the music space and created ads with Lyft, Leo Burnett and Timberland as my first commercial videos I was proud of. I began to travel to international destinations such as Bali, Philippines, Cuba and more: Producing travel films and photos with my friends all while working with brands, influencers and leading hotels and private villas. Read more>>

Arlene Gillo

I was a massage therapist when I realized that I loved helping people, learning about the body and then teaching what I had learned. I also taught massage therapy during that time. I simply loved everything I was doing. But eventually, I realized that massage therapy was limited in how I could help people, I wanted to do more. Coincidentally, an acquaintance told me that I should study Oriental medicine to become an acupuncturist. She had recently finished her degree in Oriental medicine. I had no clue what an acupuncturist did. I had never heard of acupuncture before. That was over twenty years ago. Acupuncture was not as known or practiced then as it is today. As soon as I researched what entailed to be an acupuncturist, it didn’t take me long to enroll at Emperor’s College in Santa Monica. It felt right for me and I was excited. Read more>>

Chel Strong

I was born and raised in Detroit, MI for a greater portion of my life before moving to LA in 2012. I come from a music first type of family. My father, Barrett Strong was a singer/songwriter from the Motown era singing his first hit record, “Money (Thats what I want)” at just 16, and later Co-writing hit records such as, I heard it through the grapevine, Papa was a rolling stone, Just my imagination, War and I wish It would rain, just to name a few. Growing up under that pressure was tough when I began my journey in music, but my pops always reminded me of my value and it kept me confident in what I was trying to achieve and I thank him for that. I always had a deep admiration for rap probably like most kids my age during that time however, I always listened to rap differently than my peers. Read more>>

Brittany Hagerty

My whole life, I’ve been working with artists and creatives in one way or another. I started a music journalism site at 16 and went on my first tour at 17 because I knew that I was destined to be involved with the industry on a grand scale. Not only was I living the same lifestyle and relating on every level possible, but I truly cared about my role. After years of living in LA, and wearing many hats, Upon connecting with so many people, identifying our behaviors and habits, I realized that the real change begins with the mindset. With that realization, I started digging deeper into consciousness, the healing arts, and my own unique gifts. After diving in for about three years, I have now married the two realms by bringing Think Outside and its many facets to the industry and world at large. Read more>>

Nathan Cool

I always had a love for photography, but for many years I paid the bills as an engineer while doing photography part-time. Shortly after venturing into real estate photography, I became so busy that I had to make a tough choice: stay with the comfort of a regular paycheck, or take a chance to follow my passion of photography. I went full time into real estate photography some years back and being motivated to keep food on the table I worked more than ever to hone my craft, never being stratified, no matter how I progressed. This led to discovery, which I started sharing on YouTube. In very little time, my tutorial videos went viral (so to speak) which grew not just my subscriber count but also requests for more information, which, long story short, turned into best-selling books on Amazon on photography, video, and virtual tours. Read more>>

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