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Mid Wilshire’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 Mid Wilshire’s gems below.

Shirley He

I was born in Nanjing, China. My dad, an animator and storyboard artist at the time, traveled to Beijing in pursuing his master’s degree at Beijing Film Academy. At the age of six, I moved to Beijing with my parents and was living there until I decided to pursue my own dream of becoming an anthropologist and a filmmaker. Now having been away from home for six years, the memories of growing up in the old residential neighborhood in Nanjing and witnessing the fast transformation of Beijing as a globalized capital of China have resurfaced and are constantly reminding me to reflect on my creative works. Growing up within a male-dominated culture that attempted to erase and recant its history, programming its people to “forget to remember”, I became keenly aware of the confines that oppress people’s, particularly women’s, actions and desires. Read more>>

Chris Catlin

I was born in Gand Cayman and moved to the US when I was 8. I grew up in Bradenton, FL always traveling back home to see the fam in Trinidad and Cayman. Growing up id always been surrounded by music, as it’s so crucial to Caribbean culture. But moving to the US really exposed me to culture and the Hip Hop genre that I fell in love with. I started playing drum set when I was about ten and that was my intro to actually playing and making music. Thats when I knew music was where I found my flow. Then, when I was 14 me and my friends would smoke and freestyle at the park, and that led me to start writing raps and lyrics. Ended up going to college at FGCU, and that’s when It turned into a passion and got real. I ended up collaborating with a few producers that helped me really fuse the hiphop urban sound with my Caribbean roots. Capi and Maroon Riddimz to name a few. After I graduated, I moved out to LA, and the flame is ever burning. Read more>>

Jane Owen

I was lucky enough to be born in New York City but raised in Europe, and have enjoyed the privileges of dual nationality. I started my career in PR in London where I was lucky enough to be mentored by a legendary publicist called Joan Rolls. We worked with luxury brands like Van Cleef & Arpels. I moved to the United States at the age of 22 and worked in LA and New York for excellent PR companies till I started my own company. I have had ups and downs along the way but I’m glad to say we have always achieved great results and all our clients are referrals from other happy clients. Many of our clients have been with us for years. In fact, I have a current client that I started working with when I was 25 at a different company and who left with me when I started out on my own. I think one of the best indicators of success is longevity. PR is more an art form than a science and it’s hard to guarantee anything. However, I can always guarantee hard work and honesty. Read more>>

Omar Rivas

My story as an artist starts at a very young age. I was as young as one year old when I was holding pencils and drawing happy faces. Growing up, I was always the student drawing during class and lectures. My desks and notes were riddled with sketches and doodles. I just could not stop diverting my attention from what was being taught to drawing the images and ideas from my mind onto a surface. My father was the one who really sat me down to teach me how to draw different things and how to properly coordinate colors into an illustration. He was in the graffiti scene in South Los Angeles during the 90’s. I would always see him drawing graffiti characters and tags. As I’ve grown older, it has become clear to me now that he was my biggest inspiration to what I enjoy drawing to this day. Character designs, whether it be a caricature of a human, an alien or a personified animal, is what you’ll catch in most of my work. Read more>>

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