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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.

Jerry Camarillo

I started with studying design and attended Art Center for a year. I couldn’t complete it because of the high cost and graduated from UCLA school of design and Architecture. I took a few architectural photography classes and when I worked on design projects such as the Getty museum and others, I was asked to capture the progress on film (photography). After many jobs in design and its revolving door, I had to make one of the hardest decisions in my life and I had to say goodbye to my design life of 15 years. Read more>>

Missy Toy Ozeas

I never set out to be an Energy Healer and Transformation Guide. In fact, it took me a long time to come around to it. I initially resisted the call as I thought it was way too “out there”. I had some big doubts. How does this work? Why does it work? Do I even believe that energy is wise, has laws, and can move with intention? I graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and worked in the film and television industry for many happy years. But I could not shake the overwhelming desire to spend more of my time helping people in some way. Read more>>

Yan Ling Weng

My inner work journey started 20 years ago as I wanted to break the cycle of being stuck, having low confidence, and struggled to trust others. I was not able to develop a deep relationship with anyone. All of that had changed after I learned from a qigong grandmaster, who helped me heal and feel healthier and happier. Since then, throughout the last two decades, I’ve dedicated my life to integrative health practices including qigong, yoga, and Reiki. Read more>>

Luivette Resto

I was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico and proudly raised in the Bronx. Even though I have lived in Los Angeles for 19 years now, I carry the Bronx and Puerto Rico with me. It can be heard when I speak Spanish and in the way I carry myself. I was fortunate to attend Cornell University and experience a different space and community during my college years. Those years really left an impression on me. I learned a lot about myself and identity. From the professors to my fellow classmates, I learned more outside of the classroom at times than I did in them. Read more>>

Laura Vega

My narrative? Wow… Let’s see. How did I get here. I suppose my destination in this particular space and time fulfills, in the bigger scheme of things, my desire to serve my community by representation and direct advocacy. I am a mother first and foremost. At 40, when I finally matured enough, I became a mom. It is the single most transformative event, in my life, to date. My daughter is in her Freshman year at Cal-Poly Pomona. I became involved in theatre to find my voice and to represent my community. I have been an actress for well over 35 years. Read more>>

Victoria E. Orantes

Though I am still very far from where I would like to be, which is when my paintings pay my bills, I can at least acknowledge that the little girl in me is delighted to know where I presently am. Like everyone else, I colored, scribbled, and doodled because it was second nature to me as a child. But as the years crept in, creating art began to take on the role of hobby – suddenly productivity took precedence. It was not until my mid-twenties that I realized without deliberate dedication, it can be easy to unknowingly relinquish creative expression. Read more>>

Sloan Lee

I grew up in a musical home but no one really played an instrument, they mostly sang. My Dad was surrounded by music from his Dad owning a record shop in LA. My Mom was in marching band and she played quads in her high school days. My siblings were in all the school musicals and I was just there for the ride until I got into high school. When I went to high school, I joined marching band but I instead doing four years I did five years, I joined in 8th grade technically. I know some of y’all were thinking I was a super senior or something, I wasn’t. Read more>>

Melody Trice

I’m from Century, Florida. I was taught to speak your mind and not allow anything or anyone to hold you back. My upbringing taught me the importance of loving oneself and not allowing other’s opinions of you, to write your life story. It was important to me to respect others and know that their truth may not be mine but that’s ok. Growing up I was told by some of my teachers, and my peers that I’ll never be nothing but I had one teacher that believed I would become anything I set my mind to. And that was the fuel I needed. My life changed forever. Read more>>

Camden

I grew up in a small town called Greenville, Illinois just outside of St. Louis. My parents were pastors of a small church in the St. Louis area, and music was always a big part of our home. When I was young, I was surrounded by gospel, soul, and jazz influences that ultimately laid the foundation for the alternative soul I make now. I never thought being a songwriter/artist was a viable career path because I didn’t have any friends that did it. Living in a small town in the midwest, I think it just kind of sounded like fiction, or something far off in the distance that only celebrities did. So I studied music in school, but it was classically based and geared toward a career in education. Read more>>

Natalia Acosta

Tipico Tico began in 2018 by my mother (Alejandra) and I (Natalia) when we saw there was a need for Guatemalan representation in the fashion space. It was very important to us that create pieces that are environmentally and socially conscious, along with celebrating our Guatemalan culture. We create hand-crafted accessories that highlight vintage textiles and genuine leather. We work directly with our artisans to further instill ethical and sustainable practices. Read more>>

Ali Koehler

I started Eugenia Kids in 2021 with a $200 savings bond from my late grandmother, Helen Eugenia. Gram, as we called her, loved children. She was hard-working, frugal, and empathetic. When I found that old savings bond she had bought for my first Christmas, I knew I had to either save or invest it. It’s what she would have wanted. I moved to LA in 2010 for a position as touring drummer for West Coast based band – Best Coast. I was a professional musician and nanny for many years before meeting and working for illustrator Tuesday Bassen. Read more>>

Paula Johnson

I landed an internship at a tiny public relations firm during my last year of college. Most of the clients were in technology or engineering, but one client’s product targeted the sporting goods and medical markets. I left the little agency and joined my former client as the marketing communications director. That was a wild four-year ride because the company grew very quickly and then imploded. I started working as a freelance copywriter and, over the years, studied graphic design and web design so I could better serve my clients. Read more>>

Sabine Meyer zu Reckendorf

I was born in Palo Alto, California, where my parents worked for a few years at Stanford University. When I was a couple of years old my parents moved us back to Germany where I grew up and went to school and later studied Object Design. After I graduated, I moved to Los Angeles, California, to work as a designer. As a designer, I built mostly lighting and furniture and other functional art that I designed. Because of the film industry, you can get any kind of material that you desire in LA. The film industry is also a very interesting place to work. Read more>>

Leah Ferrazzani

Semolina Artisanal Pasta is what happens when a food and wine writer has two kids in two and a half years and watches all their free time to make fresh pasta fly out the window. Seriously! I couldn’t understand why all the good pasta was imported from Italy, and when I discovered that we export half the durum wheat we grow in the U.S. to Italy, I had an aha moment. What I didn’t have is any experience creating a product, launching it into market or building a manufacturing business. I learned all of that while I was making pasta and drying it in a makeshift dryer I built in my laundry room. That was eight years ago! Now my kiddos are big, and my pasta is sold in hundreds of stores, including my own little pastaficio and retail shop in Pasadena. Read more>>

Vicky Lin

I started my creative journey as a student when I ArtCenter in 2019. I came in school as an illustration major with little idea of what I wanted to pursue career-wise. I explored different styles and mediums during my first year at school and halfway through my second year in college I found my passion for motion and graphic design. A lot of my growth came from the community built around me during my education. I was able to learn from professors, peers, alumni, and gain insight from professionals in the industry. Read more>>

Alfred Gabidullin

I was born in a small rural town called Sterlitamal which is in Russia. Right after graduating from high school, I decided to pursue my acting dream. I spoke to several colleges and universities in the US and settled on New York Film Academy (NYFA) in LA. Although first, I received a phone call from NYFA asking me if I wont to pursue theatrical acting or film acting. I didn’t really understand that question back then but I replied – film and they told me that I’ll be accepted into nyfa in LA, so assuming if I’d picked theatrical, they would be sent me to NY. In LA, I spent four years at nyfa and graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s in acting, although a funny story happened after 2 months of being at nyfa. Read more>>

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