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East LA’s Hidden Gems

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of East LA’s gems below.

Molly Haas

I’m a California native, originally from Sonoma County a way north. I took my first ever photo class as part of a summer program at Sonoma State when I was twelve, really didn’t like it, took another photo class in high school, again decided it wasn’t for me, and then miraculously was pulled in a third time my senior year of college. That last time it really resonated. At that point, I’d already decided to study art (I think I thought I was going to be an abstract painter), had spent six months at an art program in Denmark, and was completely captivated by the blossoming art scene in LA. So I was a little more serious about the craft by then. Read more>>

Anders Mouridsen

I grew up in Denmark and started playing accordion when I was six years old. Accordion was a perfect first instrument because I always loved melodies, and the accordion allowed me to play all the melodies I knew while accompanying myself. I have two uncles who used to be very ambitious classical guitar players and now skilfully play two old Martin’s in the style of James Taylor, Ralph McTell, Bert Jansch and Neil Young. They would always bring their guitars to any family gathering, and I was always completely mesmerized by their gentle fingerpicking and harmonized singing. Read more>>

Merrill Davis

Like all daughters of medical professionals, my parents wanted me to be- a wife. They also recommended Law? So I majored in history and fell asleep a lot (not that history isn’t eventful!!). I knew I always wanted a career in the arts. I was a closeted actor really but I knew my parents wouldn’t approve so I kept it to myself. First, I moved to Austin because, of course, it’s the place to go! I went with the intention of “taking classes in costume design” at UT. But, I was taking theatre classes and felt right at home. I booked my first commercial for Mountain Dew and I knew, well, I knew I didn’t like Mountain Dew. And I knew I needed to move to LA if I wanted to book more soda commercials. Read more>>

Davis Chang

I was born in Kaohsiung, an industrial city famous for the international port in Taiwan. A land has been influenced by many cultures, such as Japanese, American, Chinese, and Taiwan indigenous culture itself all blend together. Where the commercial buildings and the apartment where people live are mixed together. A diverse environment surrounded by people from different social classes where gaps and conflicts occur between individuals all the time. Everything is in between and mixed. For instance, Two sides of my family support the two opposing political parties, just imagine that. How exciting the communication can be. Read more>>

Ay-Yanna Clark

I’ve always been a creative that partakes is many art forms throughout my whole life. I originally had the idea of coming out with my own smoking tools and accessories back in Spring 2016 but it ended up falling by the wayside but due to the Corona Virus & being in quarantine April 2020 is when I was just crafting and creating things like I always do and it took off like a rocket from there. I uploaded my first complete set and started getting a flood of repost and messages. Now I have a full fledge Customization business that specializes in smoking tools and accessories. Read more>>

Annisa Adjani

I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia until I was about nine years old. I then moved to the states and have pretty much lived here since then so I’d say I’m your typical Asian American immigrant in that sense. I did a lot of growing up in Texas, went to college in Savannah, Georgia, and then I pursued an animation career in Los Angeles. I’ve been working in animation for about ten years now. Read more>>

Elise Go

My journey into music started when my mom first took me to a “Mommy & Me” style music class at age three. I immediately became fascinated with all the instruments introduced to me and the songs we sang. I began classical piano lessons at four, joined my elementary school choir shortly after, completely immersing myself in music. At age 13, I wrote my first song, which started a journey of dramatically expressing myself, haha. I started considering music as a career in the summer of my junior year of high school. I was accepted to GRAMMY Camp, a 10-day summer camp hosted by the GRAMMY Foundation. My experience there solidified my decision to pursue music professionally. I had never seen so many fellow artists and musicians who were my age and serious about music. Read more>>

Kelsey Schulte

By trade, I’m an entertainer and have always thrived off the creative process. I never expected to find an outlet for my creativity as a mixologist and entrepreneur (thank you, Covid..). I initially became a bartender to financially support myself while going after my dream of acting in LA. In 2013 I began bartending at a Sports Bar in Huntington Beach and recently, until the shutdown, was employed at two locations in LA, a restaurant and a music venue. When Covid hit, I lost both my jobs and, like many others, instantly became highly anxious about how I was going to pay the bills. Well, I’m not very good at being idle and with the loss of both jobs, I now had a lot of time to think… and a lot of time to worry. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Camera Accessories

    September 17, 2019 at 03:19

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after looking at many
    of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll
    be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

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