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Inspiring East LA Stories

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 East 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 East LA’s rising stars below.

Elisa Ferrari

Although my love for photos started at a young age, my path towards becoming a photographer was full of unexpected twists and turns. I was born in Argentina, where my father worked as a photojournalist. When I was just shy of two years old, he lost his job. At that time, the military coup, also known as the ‘dirty war’ had been taking the lives of many and my parents decided it would be better for our family to move to the United States. We emigrated to San Diego, which is where I would spend the next 18 years of my life.  Read more>>

Carol Chang

I started the Sound of China Guzheng Music Promotion Center back in 2005 with the intention to promote and spread the guzheng music. I visited guzheng factories in China, picking good quality instruments and shipping back to USA. Back then, this instrument wasn’t easily available to people here in the United States. Later we expanded our business to other Asian musical instruments. Now, the store carries most East Asian string instruments under the subsidiary company Sound of Asia Musical Instruments. Read more>>

Hendry Kojongian

My wife Donnarita Lingkan Pijoh and I have been married since 2001. Not long after our marriage, specifically in 2005, we launched our wedding video business. With the fact that we both understand the beauty of marriage and the wedding day, we decided to spend our life putting those memories on film in a very wonderful way; and as a husband and wife team. We are blessed with two wonderful kids. Apart from wedding filming, we also have individual hobbies. Hendry loves watching movies & playing recreational tennis. Read more>>

Robert Tseng

As a little boy living in Taiwan, I thought I had the perfect life. Playing around with my brother and sister every day after school, I never once thought I would even move out of my city. When one day, at 7 years old, my parents had told me I was going to the US. I had two weeks to prepare and we were off to the US. Not knowing where I was going, I just knew that my grandmother was going with us.  arrived in Hacienda Heights, CA at the summer of 1990. I had finally came with my grandmother and siblings thinking that we were just on vacation. Read more>>

Kristina Trinh

Sixteen years ago, I went to school to become an Esthetician just for my own personal benefit. After I married, I relocated from San Diego to Orange County to live with my husband, who has been supporting me throughout this journey. After staying home and enjoying my honeymoon for few months, I found a skin care clinic in 2002 and worked there for couple years. Gradually I found skin care to be my passion and it made me fulfilled; helping clients to achieve their dreams of beautiful skin. From there, I started to rent small spaces from different salons but I was struggling. Read more>>

Edwin Barahona

I started my business out of my home in my dining room, and focused on customer service from day one. It has been very fun from day one as everyday is a new adventure. It is a privilege to have all this trust from my clients. It was a little challenging in the beginning as some clients were skeptical about having their taxes prepared out of some stranger’s home. At that time, I had just started a family so it was very scary, no secure income in sight, and no clients. From there I was fortunate enough to meet about 50 new people and about 10% of those new clients gave me a local review. Read more>>

Joe Uribe

Well as all good ideas this came to me by accident. I was filming a commercial for a school project back in college. When I needed to use a Velvet Backdrops in one of the scenes, so I asked my mom if she can make me a large velvet curtain to use in the commercial as she made curtains for a living and I just couldn’t find any for sale online that fit my type of project. So I went to Downtown LA and purchased the fabric and she made the curtain for me. Once I finished using it in the commercial I had no more use for it so I decided to put it up for sale online as I was selling things on eBay at that time for my side hustle college money. Read more>>

Gus Castellanos

Growing up, I was always fascinated by music. It wasn’t until I went high school where I began to experiment with the process of mashing up two songs. In early 2008, I decided to buy my first DJ mixer and that marked a new and exciting era in my life. I started to DJ school events and private parties at age 16. I instantly fell in love with entertaining people with music and light shows. As years went on I gained experience by continuously playing at private venues, clubs, and bars such as Tiffany’s on Vine, Club SS, Ebano’s, and 103 Lounge to name a few. It wasn’t until I went to college that I realized this fun hobby could be a business. At the moment GoodVibes Entertainment was born. Read more>>

Dr. Amanda Cohen

I am a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and practice medicine with kindness, compassion, and mindfulness. I like to think of myself as a pioneer of a new way of medical practice: patient empowerment. My goals are to help my patients thrive in mind, body and spirit and be a witness to their lives and to their growth. Together with each patient, I create a customized unique treatment plan towards wellness that combines acupuncture and Chinese herbs, western herbs and supplements, nutrition, functional medicine (looking at the body as a whole system) and behavioral medicine (aka “homework”) such as yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, and journaling to strengthen the whole person. Read more>>

Gabe Middleton, James Jack, and Aaron Wilkins

In 2012 Gabe & James co-founded human-I-T, a nonprofit focused on digital equity and sustainable e-waste management. Their humble beginning in a cell phone repair shop has crystallized their vision into what human-I-T is today. human-I-T breathes new life into your unwanted electronics; converting e-waste into opportunity for others. Human I-T is a non-profit organization that is growing quickly, and doubling its capacity year over year. Human I-T is generating revenue and consistently selling more on eBay than previous years. However, Human I-T has a low lack of awareness. A select group of people actually know who and what human-I-T stands for, which makes human I-T lose out on technology that could be repurposed because people do not know there is a superior way to get rid of e-waste. Read more>>

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