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Inspiring Stories from DTLA

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA 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 LA’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 LA’s rising stars below.

Michelle Pellizzon

I’ve had a really weird life. I was on track to be a professional ballet dancer when I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 17. I went to a million different specialists and neurologists, but no one could tell me exactly what was wrong with me—just that I’d need to be on an anticonvulsant medication for the rest of my life … and I’d have to deal with the side effects of that medication. Read more>>

Alec Emmons, Seth Freedman

We conceptualized Driftr independent of, and prior to knowing one another while each of us traveled abroad. Seth: I spent my early 20’s backpacking through Europe before settling into a real estate career. After Europe, I took a vacation to Jamaica with my family. We were based in beautiful Negril, in one of those all-inclusive sorts of packages. Read more>>

Kerri Baker

After graduating college with a psych degree, I began my career working in marketing. Not sure I ever loved it, but it was a career and it had its rewards. Fast-forward a few years later, and after being laid off from three jobs in a row, I decided it was time for a change. Read more>>

Travis Peters

Ranksharks was inspired by the struggles that I faced as a young entrepreneur and today we’ve grown into a team of passionate marketers and worked with over 4,000 small, medium, and name brand businesses nationwide. I’ve launched quite a few business ventures throughout the years and have applied my experiences to the development of Ranksharks services. Read more>>

John Omar

With my first company, Bitfountain, I taught over 100,000 students how to code. Running the company allowed me to live in five countries and work my own hours. After my company had run its course, my biggest fear was getting an office job and losing my freedom. I applied for a job as a software engineer and didn’t get it. Read more>>

Uli Nasibova

I’m originally from Baku, Azerbaijan. I moved to the U.S. to attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, where I double-majored in French Literature and Mathematical Economics. Following graduation, I worked in the world of finance for eight years, doing everything from investment banking to investment management research. Read more>>

Christopher Leatherwood

After I finished up High School I basically had no idea what to do with my life at that point. I decided to go to college to try my hand at video game development in which after only a year realized this was not the direction I saw myself going in. Anytime I was stressed out I would go out and skate with my roomate and best friend at the time Martin, that always helped clear my head. Read more>>

Jill Pearson

I knew I wanted to have my own business from an early age. For a long time I assumed it was because I liked being the boss or thought it would make me rich. Then I read an interview with Donna Karan where she said that her business gives her a place to put her ideas. I had already had my business by then, but what a light bulb moment. Read more>>

Matt Dorado

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Halloween was always my favorite holiday–I was the kid that went trick or treating right when I got home from school, so I could get the candy early and be home in time to scare all the suckers that came when night fell. I would set elaborate scares up in my front yard, complete with crazy decorations and spooky soundtracks. Read more>>

Jennifer Otto

After leaving a 6 year graphic design career I went to beauty school where I met one of my business partners. We worked for some not so great bosses so we decided to take a chance on a salon of our own. 5 1/2 years later we are 3 locations strong! Read more>>

Lizy Dastin

I’ve been teaching various college art history courses for the last twelve years and come from an extremely traditional background in the material. After graduating from Christie’s Education with a degree in Connoisseurship and the History of the Art Market, I worked on curatorial projects at the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art while working on my dissertation in a Ph.D. program. Read more>>

Alex Morehouse

Myself and Iris (my best friend/roomie) started TGS as a blog because we wanted to share our real, crazy, food and adventure centered lives as best we could through photos and a couple short stories about our times with rad photographers & super cool boutique owners! Read more>>

Neil Spears

I started teaching sixth grade English and social studies in 2007 at El Sereno Middle School in East LA. My sixth graders entered my classroom ready and excited to learn and their parents were invested in helping them succeed. But when I gave the reading diagnostic test the first week of school, I learned that many of my students were far behind in reading. Read more>>

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