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Inspiring Stories from the OC

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 area’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 OC’s rising stars below.

Devin Marie

I truly believe God gave me art in its many facets to build my confidence and exercise my peace learning to freely be myself. I struggled with my identity as many adolescents do. However, I felt it in a deeper sense having been repeatedly bullied and harassed through most of my academic career. I can’t remember a time I wasn’t “dealing with the repercussions of feeling like I never belonged.” Read more>>

Ryan Hickman

I’ve traveled around the country to different cities to teach people how to be better recyclers with Valet Living and this year, I’ve partnered with Recycle Across America, and we’re going to show the world how to recycle right. I’m also a youth ambassador for Busch Systems and Sand Cloud. Read more>>

Anya Thakur

UN Women to young leaders such as Stanford University’s sophomore class president. But I want to reflect on the moments that left me breathless and exultant all because of young girls in rural India. I’m honored to advocate for UN Women and turn my dreams, and those of leaders and luminaries, into a reality and make an impact in the lives of young women and girls. Read more>>

Ronald Cadiz

I moved back to California in 2018. I think I am still trying to figure out my place in California (as well as trying to understand social media and how photography is marketed these days). But since returning, I have been the Creative Director for a small luxury fashion brand and have been shooting regularly for a men’s suiting brand and jewelry company. Not too bad for a long and twisted road of life… so far. Read more>>

Angela Boyd

Lupo the Label is my way to make a change right now. We all buy clothes, but few of us ask ourselves where our clothes came from or who made them. There are also a lot of devastating environmental impacts that come along with mass production of clothing which is super sad, but we get to choose what kind of future we want by voting with our dollar. The impact we can make when we choose to buy from companies that care is HUGE. Read more>>

Jacob Kazakos

When I got to junior college, I took and Illustration class and instantly knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. I transferred to CSULB and graduated with a BFA in Illustration in 2016. After graduation, I began working fulltime as a freelance illustrator, and that is where I currently stand today. Read more>>

Kimberly Clausen

Helping people is the most rewarding thing I feel I can do aside from being a parent. I worried this dream would take me away from my family but luckily my businesses allow me flexibility so I can be with them, grow my businesses and give back. I feel blessed to be able to teach my children by example what it means to love and serve others while fulfilling your dreams and providing for a family. Read more>>

Chelsea Smith

As a young single mother, I knew I had to work hard to provide for my daughter, so I decided to attend culinary school and pursue a career in the hospitality industry. From there I expanded my career by working in LA, OC, Riverside, and SD learning from chefs of all walks of life. This continued for 14 years during which time I wrote and taught a WASC accredited post-secondary Culinary Arts program. Read more>>

Paolo Mazzucato

In high school, I wrote my first science-fiction story—a sprawling “epic” which I then attempted to film using my father’s spring-wound Bell & Howell 8mm movie camera and equipment borrowed from the local Cable TV Public Access station. It went… well, except perhaps for the miniature space station explosion that nearly caught my basement on fire. Read more>>

Tami Shaikh

I am a mom, storyteller, activist and author. About seven years ago, I left a 20-year marriage and moved back to OC with three kids and no money- all I had was hope. Today I have published three books, written numerous articles for Huffington Post and Thrive Global, and followed my dream of doing an MFA at 47 (I graduate in May 2019). For my current book, I have been traveling the world interviewing refugees from all over. Read more>>

Yvette Carrillo

I have been in the beauty industry for over 10 years. I started my career as a freelance makeup artist in Los Angeles area specializing in beauty, bridal and special event makeup. I soon after became a permanent artist with MAC Cosmetics. I quickly found my passion for all things brows. I love all aspects of a makeover, but I have a special love for brows. Read more>>

Shahira Marei

It’s not about baking. I’m the furthest person from your typical Betty Crocker. In fact, in my past life, I was an aerospace project manager. The Dirty Cookie was born from the desire to turn something small, into something meaningful. It was born from my personal aspiration to change lives. Read more>>

Rubi Rymenmy, Yolanda, Manuel, Eric, and Enrique Reyes

Their vision extends out further than the artistic endeavor of the museum, as it also serves as a platform to inspire others facing similar challenges to dream big and work hard to create the world they envision for themselves and others. Rubi, coming from a family oriented background, imagined a space where adults could awaken their inner child in this family-oriented environment. Read more>>

Tyson Pruong

At this school half the day we’re academics and the other life/job skills, upon graduating I realized I wanted more in my life, this school changed my life. I started Konsept back in 2011, an art collective based out of Santa Ana filled with musicians, photographers, artists, filmmakers, clothing designers, etc. Over the years I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of artists producing events, concerts, music festivals and all type of shows. Read more>>

Damian Orozco

I longed for the restaurant industry, the ambiance of Los Rios Street, the idea of taking tea. So I left the corporate world and came back to my roots and take over The Tea House on Los Rios. In addition to truly finding my calling, I am able to carry on my family’s legacy of a place that so many hold near and dear to their hearts. It has been an exciting two and a half years since I’ve taken over – Read more>>

Lisa Caprelli

I have spent 25 years in branding and marketing numerous businesses. I have worked with over 150 CEO’s and have spent years researching what makes a meaningful and happy life by interviewing entrepreneurs and leaders. I have written several books. Read more>>

Parker Jazz

Music has always been important to me and my family. My earliest memory is hearing “I Try” by Macy Gray on the way to pre-school and music has followed me ever since. My parents encouraged me to try a range of instruments and listen to different genres like jazz, rap, reggae, rock, indie, etc. I’ve dabbled around percussion, guitar, piano, and even the violin in kindergarten but never became proficient in anything. Read more>>

Ryan Mathews

The whole business “DIY” idea just came from straight survival. I remember there was a time where everything hit the fan in a single week. Most of my personal relationships fell apart in a matter of days. My mind shot into pure desperation, but this is where I would get the most done. I was now back to googling “how to make money as a teenager” just starving to get results fast. Read more>>

Heidi Blackstock

I wanted to pursue my love for traveling and start hosting worldwide yoga & adventure retreats. Shortly afterward, I met Ryan Blackstock, whom I thought might just be a fun summer fling, but as time grew, so did our relationship which sprouted into us founding our company The Xanadu Life in 2013. Read more>>

Nikita and Jade Ramsey

Through hard work, endless hours researching, debating decisions, deliberating, building furniture, learning all things house and watching our savior of a handyman we found on Yelp bring our dream home to life we couldn’t be more proud. ‘Sprocket Hollow’ (named after our dog) has been on Airbnb since January 2019 – we have already hosted 22 different groups, have an 80% occupancy rating and have received all 5* reviews!!! Read more>>

Natasha Ponomaroff

My so-called “marketing” job had turned into a sales position, and I really disliked where I was career wise – I knew I wanted a change, I just didn’t know what my next step was. At the same time I was dating a woman who was based in Utah (I was living in CA, we had met on a plane, she was my flight attendant) we were doing the whole long distance thing, and I ultimately decided to spend a summer with her after quitting my NY based job. Read more>>

Dr. Chad Beauchamp

The biggest chip I had and have on my shoulder is the shortcomings of medical insurance forcing medical providers to go in the network, see a ton of clients and get paid less and less money every year. All the while the patients pay more and more and the insurance companies bank accounts get larger and larger. We will continue to fight no matter the cost! Read more>>

Yvette King

I always try to think out of the box and steer away from the normal cookie cutter parties and having those distinct touches is what I think gravitates customers to my designs. I love being able to share my unique collection of items with brides, soon-to-be mamas, moms and anyone else looking to throw a fabulous, custom tailored event. Read more>>

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