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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.

Charles Worthington III

I started selling vintage band tees right before the pandemic. My now ex had a vintage store and taught me some of the tricks for authenticating real from fakes. During the pandemic and after the breakup, I started purchasing shirts from bands I was into in the 90s. Lots of grunge and black metal with a little pop sprinkled in. I built a website that I planned to use but still haven’t at this point. I’ve worked in high-end retail for over a decade, and I work with a lot of celebs and celeb stylists, so I started reaching out to them to see if they liked any of what I had. It took off. From Behati Prinsloo to Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, as well as my favorite Peloton instructor, Olivia Amato, I started moving some pieces. At this point, I started hunting down specific pieces for people too. I’ve provided gifts for Robert Downey Jr to give at Christmas and work with Apple + to help find pieces for gifting for their clients. I even got my friend Mariqueen Reznor into an old Nine Inch Nails shirt. Full circle!. Read more>>


I started making beats in 8th grade and then I started rapping freshman year then I just started to do both. I really didn’t know what my sound was at first. I would do everything then I found out singing was my strong point and now I’m here and I’m still learning as I go. Read more>>

Lauda Flores

Sno Con Amor founder Lauda Flores grew up in the kitchen of her Mom and Dad’s ice cream parlor, Los Alpes Paleteria, in Huntington Park. From the age of 8, she has been making Mexican paletas (popsicles), sno cones, & homemade ice cream with unique flavor innovations. At the age of 18, Lauda stepped out on her own and became the youngest restaurateur in DTLA with the opening of her first entrepreneurial food venture, La Marimba Mexican Cuisine located in the heart of downtown on Spring Street. After four years, she joined the entertainment industry where she spent over a decade working alongside industry icons including her former employers, Salma Hayek and music legend Rod Temperton. Eventually, Lauda found herself longing for these childhood novelties and was inspired to bring raspados, traditional Mexican sno cones, to the streets of Los Angeles but with an honest to goodness twist! “With all that Mother Nature has to offer, why go with the artificial stuff?”. Read more>>

Paul Sanchez IV

I was born Paul Sanchez IV in the tony town of Darien, CT. If you don’t know Darien, imagine the richest, whitest, preppiest town you can—and know that THAT town WISHES it was Darien. And, as you can imagine, Darien was no real home for a brown-skinned boy. So, my mom, after my father left when we were young, changed/Anglicized our names to her maiden name of “Yates”…to try to protect us from judgment…it didn’t work. And it didn’t help that we were poor. And, as I said in the last interview, my mom worked her butt off at low-wage, menial jobs until she landed a job as a secretary at an advertising company and worked her way up, with her smarts and guts, to VP of that company. She wrote a slogan that help Ronald Reagan get elected and became president of her own firm. We’d “arrived”. And things were looking up. We moved into a small house and I started high school. Read more>>

Claudia Dockery

Surfing Cowgirl is a female-owned, handmade jewelry company that I established last year. During the pandemic, I picked up my mom’s beading supplies and taught myself how to make some funky necklaces that I wanted to wear and ended up making it my small business project. I was very inspired by my mom’s jewelry business she had in the early 200os making beaded wrap bracelets since there were so many colorful kooky beads and a timelessness to them. All my necklaces are hand beaded with glass beads, vintage beads, freshwater pearls, and sterling silver clasps (so you can wear them in the ocean!) Everything is hand wrapped and inspired by the construction of the 70s puka shell surfer chokers. I want my pieces to be playful, layered, and super unique. Since living in Los Angles for the past couple of years, I have been actively surfing the West coast and horseback riding in the mountains of Southern California. I wanted to create pieces that evoke the dreamy moments when the desert meets the ocean. Read more>>

Marissa High

I was working at a post house in Detroit and battling with depression, so I decided to take an improv class. I got the comedy bug then and kind of just ran with it. I realized I did not like the cold weather and moved to LA, where I started taking improv and sketch classes at Upright Citizens Brigade. I eventually landed a job at CollegeHumor in post-production. Elizabeth Bank’s comedy production company, Whohaha reached out to CollegeHumor about working on an all women-led sketch together, and our full-time writers were busy, so myself and some other women in the office asked if we could write one. I had directed sketches before, so I ended up directing our sketch, “Tips for New Year’s Eve” and it ended up being #5 trending on Youtube and has over a million views. I kept directing at CollegeHumor and it felt like a sandbox, being able to try different methods and just having fun. Read more>>

Frankie Siragusa

My entire family were musicians of all sorts. So that helped me develop as a multi-instrumentalist. From there, I decided to pursue recording engineering and production out of high school. Started my first recording studio a few years after that, and the rest grew from there. Joining bands or becoming a hired gun networking through my recording studio The Lab. Read more>>

Amaju Amoruwa

My journey has been very interesting and rewarding at the same time. In high school, I remember having an ah-ha moment with my cousin as we discussed her path to medicine. I told her I wanted to be a Dermatologist but I didn’t want to go to school. Shameful! Fast forward thirteen years later, it’s ironic how I made my way back to something I spoke into existence. I am no Dermatologist but I am honored to work in the field along many brilliant ones! Getting to where I am now took a lot of experiences to shape and redirect me to my innate purpose! Helping the community in my divine way! During college, I would skip class and drive from Riverside to LA every work to work on makeup gigs with L.A Models. I loved doing makeup and being a part of a team of artists bringing a specific vision to life! I also dabbled in hair and male grooming for some time because we all know how that goes when you’re starting out and hustling. 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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