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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.

Jake Fabricius

I moved to California from Boston when I was 16 years old and life became a whole new world for me; new friends, new home, and new life-style. I fell in love with California and the way of living here. During my first years living in California, I was really wanting to get out in nature and take photos. A friend was kind enough to give me an old film Canon Rebel; so I went out into Santa Rosa Plateau and went wild. Read more>>

Maria Garcia

I feel as if my entire life, I was meant to own a business. Both my Mexican grandmother and my mom have always had entrepreneurial spirits. Even though they never got the opportunity to open up a storefront, their humble beginnings and work ethic always inspired me. Whether they sold candy or jewelry, they always did it for their family. Ultimately that’s why Del Carmen is here today. If I’m honest, my family is the reason I don’t quit. Read more>>

Nestor Estrada

I’ve always had a close relationship with music as far back as I can remember. I was obsessed with film and video game music. Back in the 90s, my brother and I would play a game up to a certain level. Once we reached that level, we’d hit record on a tape recorder and just let the level’s music play for a while. There were no official video game soundtracks back then so this was how we used to listen to video game music. We also did this for films or anything that came out on the radio. Read more>>

Jason Barnette

I grew up in Downey and Paramount, and I went through a lot of trauma growing up. This led me to a lifestyle of violence and criminality. I joined a local gang, and as a result, spent a lot of time in jail. The last time I went to prison, I was there for nine years straight. I lived my life by rolling with the punches and suffering with my consequences. During my last stay in prison, I decided that I didn’t want to be a gang member anymore. Read more>>

Kate Felsted

I’ve been fortunate enough to have started my journey with a niche set of skills that happened to fit perfectly with the opportunities that came my way. I look back and can’t believe the timing of it all, it just worked out. When I was a kid, I learned to do every craft I came across. My Oma taught me to knit and I learned paper crafts, sewing, and painting through various community programs. Read more>>

Brian Diaz

I have always considered myself a photographer. Ever since high school classes on Long Island where I grew up, where I learned to shoot on film, develop, and print. The interest for me was always there, but my journey to where I am now has sort of twisted and turned. Music has always been where I saw myself landing career-wise, and for many years I saw myself solely as a musician or an audio tech or guitar tech. Read more>>

Jonny Kosmo

My journey with the intersectionality between mental health and musicianship began about seven years ago. I started writing songs when at the beginning of high school, drawn to the experiments of sound and words. When I decided to go back to school to become a therapist, I felt a sense of conflict. I bought into a discourse that by pursuing this path, I would be leaving my identity as an artist behind. Read more>>

Gary Dorothy

Way back in the olden days (the mid-70’s), I sold my art photographs at art shows all over the Pacific Northwest. Under the banner of “The View Finder,” I created in my booth space ‘the world’s only self-guided photo nature trail,’ and I displayed scores of my nature and landscape photos on burlap covered walls amidst the smells, sights, and sounds of a lush Olympic forest. Read more>>

Lee Piechocki

I am a studio artist with a focus on painting. I have been painting most of my life and received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. After graduation, I quickly moved across the country to Los Angeles. Since arriving in LA, I have had studios all over the city, starting in Sherman Oaks, Filipino Town, and now Lincoln Heights. To survive in LA I have always had a day job in addition to my studio practice. Read more>>

1 Comment

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    September 17, 2019 at 03:19

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