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Orange County’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 Orange County’s gems below.

Lacey Conine

My name is Lacey AKA Hype Priestess, and I am self-identified mixed-race Witch, Entrepreneur, Reiki Master/Teacher, Healer, Tarot Reader, Business/Life coach, specializing in ethical witchy-spiritual businesses, and I Co-Host The Brew Witchcast, and – oh yeah! – I’m the creatrix behind Witch Walk (DTSA). I started Witch Walk in June of 2019, and it was shocking to me how quickly my vision not only became a reality. Read more>>

Christine Hilinski-Lombardi

Hilnski’s Hope was born out of the tragic loss of my nephew, Tyler Hilinski, to suicide on January 16, 2018. Tyler was a vibrant, loving, caring son, grandson, brother, cousin and friend to all who knew him who also happened to be a fantastic athlete. He was slated to be the starting QB at Washington State University in the seasons to come. Read more>>

Daniel Ngo and David Pham

David and I met at work about eight years ago. It was your typical 8-5, clock in, clock out, sit at a desk, call center type of work. My boss set me up with David, he was my trainer in the call center. We got to know each other and realized we had a lot in common outside of work as far as sports teams (Lakers and Green Bay Packers), music (Hip-hop/Reggae) and FOOD (everything). Read more>>

Ashley Wang and Robin Chen

We are two entrepreneurs in our twenties from the LA/OC area that co-own a buy/sell/trade consignment thrift store in Chino Hills called Lineage Trading. We have been open for two years now and have a selection that ranges from contemporary labels to curated vintage. The idea of Lineage began when we were just two poor college students attending UC Irvine (Ashley) and UC Riverside (Robin) with an unhealthy addiction to thrift shopping. Read more>>

Arvid Arays

I came to the United States from Siberia, Russia. This was amidst the 2008 financial crisis – a tough time for many people. To buy plane tickets was the matter of selling off personal possessions and leaving behind important people and things. Like most of those adjusting to a new way of life in a completely different place, the beginnings were very rough and uncertain. Read more>>

Nicholas Gathman

I was born and raised in Oklahoma. Home to endless farmland, tornados, soul-filling comfort food, and much more. But none of it was enough to satiate Nicholas’ desire to do big things in life. I lived in a small town called Henryetta. It’s a quaint little town where everyone knows their neighbors. It’s nice and quiet there too with lots of green nature and wildlife. Read more>>

Stephanie Sechrest

Nearly seven years ago, I left the office life to pursue the crazy idea of having the first pop up shop in Orange County dedicated to dogs and the humans who love them! From my first show at a high school fundraiser to being a featured vendor at Pottery Barn and everything in between, I’ve always had a passion for what I do and loved living that “vendor life”! I loved the spirit of the markets and events I vended at and loved interacting with shoppers and fellow vendors. Read more>>

Amanda Holder

I’m the owner and lead designer of Amanda Holder Events. Prior to starting my wedding and event planning business seven years ago, I spent almost 15 years as a corporate event planner for organizations such as the PGA TOUR, IMG Worldwide, NBC television, CBS television and REC Solar. The first wedding I ever planned was for NBC on live television at five o’clock in the morning. And, I’ve been hooked ever since. Read more>>

Nicole (Nicci) Dewez

I consider myself a Mompreneur! I have a background in Accessory Design and a degree in Visual Communications and Space Design from FIDM. Creating art makes my soul happy. I became a Mom almost five years ago and I quit working as a designer to be a stay at home mom. About two months into parenting, I knew I needed to create and started an Etsy shop where I sold custom baby blocks for four years. Read more>>

Katie Cole

I’ve always been doing art ever since I was a kid. I didn’t take it serious as a career but in college, I took a basic drawing class for fun while I was majoring in biochemistry and I started to realize I was much happier when I was doing art. I dropped biochemistry and switched my major to art. At the time, I was working as a busser at a bbq restaurant and one of my old friends mentioned to me that Disneyland was hiring face painters. Read more>>

Michelle Terpstra

Over the past ten years, I have had over 25,000 sales conversations. I successfully built multi-million dollar books of businesses… Three times… Three different industries… Three Fortune 500 Companies. I learned that “no” was a gift and the art of human connection was the key to success and happiness. After serving as club president and leading 35 ambitious professionals through the internationally acclaimed Toastmasters public speaking curriculum. Read more>>

Renarda Miller

I am the CEO of The Flourish Kollection, LLC. I’ve always had a passion for fashion, I know, so cliché. I’ve always considered starting my own lipstick/gloss line, clothing store, or consignment shop, but I never followed through with it. About two years ago, swimwear came into my mind. For some reason, I felt that swimwear would be easier to start with. Read more>>

Tim Howells

Established in November 2012, Tara’s Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-based organization dedicated to promoting the physical, cognitive and social well-being of children and youth with special needs through individualized treatment in the form of equine therapy and horse-related activities. Read more>>

Karen Capalaran

In 2013, I tore my ACL rocking climbing. My injury set me back quite a bit because I couldn’t walk or go to work. During my time off, I decided to learn photography. As a teenager, I always had a camera in my backpack and took photos of a lot of random stuff then made a scrapbook. I figured why not get back into something that I found joy in. Read more>>

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