To Top

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.

Jessie Schultz

My photography journey started back in 2012 when I was pregnant with my son. I had always been extremely interested in photography but never really did anything about it. I had decided at that moment it was time to teach myself and there was no turning back. Read more>>

Justin Lee

Academics were always an important part of my life. The question growing up wasn’t if I was going to attend college, but where I was going to end up. Despite being raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to support my brother and me, she placed a great emphasis on receiving a quality education. Read more>>

Colleen McNutt

Colleen founded Lightning Fit on the core belief that she should use her unique experiences and access to the best in wellness technologies to help other people achieve their fitness goals. Colleen joined a big 4 accounting firm after graduating from Columbia University, where she played NCAA Division 1 volleyball. Read more>>

Courtney Fletcher

I began school at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine San Diego in winter of 2010. During my time there, I was able to do clinical rounds outside of school at the San Diego downtown free clinic and study abroad in ShenYang China. It was about half way through my education that I found myself drawn towards the Japanese style of meridian acupuncture. Read more>>

Belle Tuckerman

I grew up in a small coal mining town in Eastern PA. It was the depression and I had one doll and a pair of skates. Times were tough. But during those years I learned that I had the gift of creativity. I invented toys and games and I made art from anything I found in our home. That was the start of my artistic journey. Read more>>

Camilla Richter

My story begins 39 years ago with a few girlfriends who were very artistic and were stay at home moms! All the items we made to sell were handcrafted…. anymore, you don’t see that word very much. Read more>>

Andres Pesce

I was 9 years old when I first witnessed a Martial Arts Class. I was immediately hooked but I never thought it would become my career. I went from training in a local martial arts school to eventually become part of the Chilean Taekwondo National team. Read more>>

Ana Avila

Hecho en Mexico is a family owned business that started 13 years ago in swap meets where I would set up a booth with my items from Mexico. As time went by, I started paying attention to the crafts that I was selling and learning more about the story behind the craft and its maker. Read more>>

Euri L. Yoo

Twelve years ago, I graduated from college with a degree in accounting and did the predictable – I got a job at an accounting firm. It may sound boring but I loved it! I loved the long hours, the satisfaction of preparing a complicated tax return, the appreciation from clients when I could solve their tax issues. Read more>>

Pete “Lightnin” Wittenberg

In 1999, at age 21, I opened my hot rod shop. I was a huge nostalgia drag racing enthusiast. I got asked to be on a front engine top fuel dragster team. I crewed on the car for 15 years. When the owner Bob passed away in 2014, me and my partner Leroy took over the operation. Read more>>

Nicole Edel

My education and background is in Marketing and Business, however, after working several years in the industry I was burned out and feeling unfulfilled. I had been practicing yoga and meditation for several years and friends of mine would always tell me, “Nicole, why don’t you be a yoga teacher. You’d be great at it!” Read more>>

Rona Graf

While working in the model home industry, I gained vast knowledge in custom furnishings, built-ins, and overall concept design. This experience later translated into the inception of Grace Blu Designs, Inc., which I founded in 2007. My northeastern roots are evident in my attraction to nature, organic materials, colors and forms. Read more>>

Frank Fitzpatrick

I decided I wanted to be a cowboy when I was 8 years old. I haven’t changed my mind since. I took agriculture in high school and was a member of Future Farmers of America, FFA. In high school I raised cattle, sheep and pigs and owned horses. Read more>>

Minka Hall

Being around animals has always made me happy. By the age of 7, I was already bringing home strays. Cats, dogs, hamsters; it didn’t matter. I have just always felt a connection and wanted to take care of them. About 7 years ago, I realized I could turn my passion into a career. Read more>>

Natalie Alexander

My healing journey and connection with alternative treatments started at early age as a result of emotional traumas. Growing up, I witnessed my parents struggled in their relationships and dealing with life in general, it created deep dysfunctional believe in myself, confusions, fears and pains, I compounded and buried everything inside me to cope with the situations and felt completely hopeless. Read more>>

Alex Nguyen

Back in 2007, my sister in law asked me to teach piano to her daughter, who is my niece. I was reluctant at first but eventually gave in. Having no experience in teaching, I went down to the local music store and purchased a traditional piano method book. I believe it was the Sebastian method. Read more>>

Aileen Pham

This was the moment that started it all. Not only do I love the teaching aspects of yoga, but I love the business and managerial aspects of the industry. Entrepreneurship runs in the blood of my family and my degree is in Business Administration. Read more>>

Munira Ezzeldine

I strongly believe that education is the door to personal growth, career fulfillment, and financial success. I am passionate about supporting all students in their educational pursuits and have worked with diverse students, making me adaptable to different learning styles and pathways to success. I love what I do. Read more>>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in


    The incredible folks at Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) have put together an incredible exhibition on Dia De Los Muertos. ...

    VoyageLA StaffOctober 16, 2017
  • LA’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood in LA has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is not what differentiates...

    VoyageLA StaffOctober 16, 2017
  • Fun Things to do in LA in October

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in LA over the next few weeks. Check them out below...

    VoyageLA StaffOctober 14, 2017
  • Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985

    This month the Hammer Museum is presenting an incredibly important exhibition called Radical Women.  It will highlight the art and artistic...

    VoyageLA StaffOctober 4, 2017
  • OC’s Hottest New Spots

    Orange County’s has a great couple of months on the food and drink front.  From Cha Cha’s opening up in Irvine...

    VoyageLA StaffSeptember 25, 2017
  • The Jig + Saw Story

    We worked with the folks at Squarespace to find the most exciting and innovative local entrepreneurs in the LA area and...

    VoyageLA StaffAugust 14, 2017
  • The Future of Food

    We worked with the folks at Squarespace to find the most exciting and innovative local entrepreneurs in the LA area and...

    VoyageLA StaffJune 29, 2017
  • The True Renegades

    Cindy Whitehead is a 70’s pro skateboarder who was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2016, she is the...

    Cindy WhiteheadMay 11, 2017
  • LA Art’s Inconvenient Truth

    Xandra Myers, Founder & CEO of i3 Arts Fest, opened our eyes the potential public art installations hold for the city...

    Xandra MeyersMay 3, 2017