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Inspiring Stories from Pasadena

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 Pasadena’s rising stars below.

Tracy Wilke

My father in law hired me at the jewelry store for my first job in sales. I worked for a short while with my husband and his brother, and then later another brother in law and my sister in law. Holidays and birthdays were often spent talking “shop” and we all enjoyed a unique and shared camaraderie. I later worked for and with my sister in law and her husband. I learned so much from working with long time professionals, benefitting from several generations of jewelers’ experience. Our customers were the real gems. They came from different backgrounds and educations, different life experiences and perspectives, and all of them taught me lessons that made me who I am today. Read more>>

Alexa Amigon

Growing up in the business of fashion and seeing how exciting and creative it was, I always knew that a brand of my own would be something that I’d work hard towards accomplishing. The idea for LAFOI is to not limit the creativity and design and to develop products that are not restricting what the brand can be, for example; LAFOI can be clothing, home accessories, beauty, footwear, or even a car. I want the possibilities to be endless. The overall design approach is always to make products that have meaning and correlate with everyday living. Like everything, it started as an idea and has been evolving into what it is today. At the moment, I’d say I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but with consistency I am seeing much change in the right direction. Read more>>

Asha Lee

Throughout my life, I have always been involved in sports. Growing up, I watched my father play professional cricket and travel the world with his team. I loved the team environment from an early age and while I tried ballet, dance and other sports, soccer was the one that I gravitated towards. I played competitive soccer from the age of 7 through college. In college is where I found the love of health and fitness after a devastating injury ended my soccer career. I worked out regularly, running, taking fitness classes and fell in love. I graduated and found that working in sports was the career path I wanted to pursue. I worked in professional sports for many years and loved every minute of the demanding job. Timing is everything and the perfect opportunity came with Pop Physique San Marino. Read more>>

Ruben Barraza

I go by Majorwavez. I started making custom shoes about 3 to 4 years ago prior to that, I had retail and management experience. I started painting my shoes when I worked at urban outfitters and I would get quite a few customers asking for the same or similar designs couple of months passed by and I was introduced to a buddy of mine that worked for Kanye West. He really believes in me and gave me opportunities which led to my first project for ASAP rocky, Ian Connor and Playboi Carti. Read more>>

Anthony Cotoia

When I was 19, I heard a speaker talking about how we can impact the world as we navigate life in these vast cities. He was insistent that we start by caring for each other, opening up our homes to the immediate community around us, having a place for people to feel known and cherished. To share our realized beauty of life with those around us and perhaps see hearts softened and opened. When I heard this, I immediately felt drawn to LA (which is strange because as a teenager, I specifically did not enjoy LA and felt adamant about never living here). Read more>>

Joe LoPiccolo

I started playing guitar when I was nine years old, but it was a bit of a false start. At the time, I was really into rock groups such as Kiss, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. My teacher really didn’t nurture that passion, so I stopped studying with him after a few months. I then switched to upright bass and clarinet for a little while and didn’t come back to the guitar until I was thirteen. Through my first three years of high school, I was extremely passionate about music and guitar, but I wasn’t really formally studying. When I moved to a new high school for my senior year, I fell in with a group of friends that were incredibly serious about music. Read more>>

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