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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.

Rich Mead

As a kid, most of my jobs in summers (and on weekends) were in the food industry, washing dishes, making toast on weekend mornings—prep work to making sandwiches for a summer at the Calvert Deli in Washington D.C. After college and a few years working for the government, I decided to take a trip out West to ski and see the “world’. Restaurants were a great place to work. Read more>>

Naomi Singleton

I remember as a child lining up with my siblings waiting for my Mom to shovel that spoon full of cod liver oil down our throats, Yuck! Always putting together some fruits or herbs to help heal the elements that caused us dis-ease. The doctor was only for yearly check-ups and emergencies in my home. Read more>>

Weston Seid and Khiry Kemp

We realized that when we entered college, we didn’t have a strong understanding of potential business careers. Through various on-campus experiences and summer internships, we were able to engage in work ranging from financial services to marketing. By pursuing and securing internships, we were able to learn what we liked and disliked. Read more>>

Jason MacMillan, Ethan Ganouna, Naveed Farhadi and Jack Kimber

We all met during the first semester of college, hanging out and playing music together in the same dorm. In January of 2018, we realized we had something special and decided to pursue it more seriously. Our first gig was March 1st for a Jewish holiday party at our University’s Chabad. Since then, we have been playing as many shows as possible, and sharing our music with as many people as we can. Read more>>

Brenyanna Harris-Hill

I fell in love with art at a young age. My parents realized the potential of my talent and quickly entered me into art classes at the age of seven. While continuing art classes for over ten years, I realized how easy it was to express myself through the work that I produced. Read more>>

Christina Finley

I have always wanted to have a career, where I could be of service and help people. I worked in the medical field for 15 years, I was actually going to school to be a lactation consultant when the opportunity to start a Jellybeanstreet in California fell into my lap. As much as I loved my patients and the career path I was heading toward. Read more>>

Brandon Hoogenboom

I was 19, I moved to Australia, and a one year study turned into a five years stay, so most of my musical career has been in Australia fronting my band called Set Sail. We had a hell of a run starting out busking on the streets for change, to selling out some of my favorite venues in Sydney and Melbourne, touring the world, and playing some really fun festivals, as well as getting deported but that’s a whole other story. Read more>>

Char Goetz

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania where I learned to appreciate worn, timeless treasures, which has now become such an important part of who I am. My grandmother and mother both dreamed up food, clothing, furniture, and home décor out of items that most people would never take a second look at. This instilled in me an appreciation and love for the unusual, the imperfect, and the story behind the object. Read more>>

Chris Santillan

I lost everything, when I say everything I mean it, I had to move back into my moms house which I’m extremely grateful she had the space for me to stay. I felt like my identity was lost, I didn’t know who I was and I knew I needed to do something about it. I knew that if I ever lost everything again, next time I wouldn’t lose myself as well. Read more>>

David Meltzer

By his early 20s, David had risen to the top of his game in the business world, becoming a millionaire just nine months out of law school. He worked as an executive for several technology companies, including Westlaw, Thomson Reuters, Everypath, Accenture, and the PC-E Phone, lectured around the globe and saw rapid success in every business project he touched. Read more>>

Eric Hirschhorn

Music was always there. When I was a baby, my father would sing constant pitches or play guitar and I would instantly fall sleep in peace. When he would play his local shows in Long Beach, which he still does today, I would crawl on the stage and around the dance floor. Read more>>

Matthew King

I’ve worked there ever since in multiple schools in all parts of the city. Even as an intern I had a knack for going above and beyond to help put students in positions to succeed. That’s my passion and goal. In every school that I’ve worked with, I joined the coaching staff, created afterschool programs and joined programs for students to get involved with. I made sure to support socially and emotionally as well. Read more>>

Darrin “CC” Cuffie

I was raised in the capital of the “Motown Sound” Detroit, MI. The nickname CC was given to me by my best friend during the time he and I were members of a touring gospel group. The nickname stuck and is how most of my closest friends refer to me. Read more>>

Mark Carrillo

I was raised with old cars and music, and I although I went to school to be a teacher my past came calling. Took a job in Orange County selling old Ford parts and learned as much as I could. Meanwhile, I kept falling further and further in love with the past. Read more>>

Frances Naude

I have always felt like I had a dormant superpower. Since I was a child, I have been an intuitive empath — you know someone who just ‘knows’ things and can feel everything from everyone? But I never thought anything of it, because I believed that everyone was this way. It wasn’t until I had gone through the motions of life (college, job, etc.) that I realized that I was different. Read more>>

Nicole Caudana

My childhood played a large role in who I am today. I’m really close with my family and we went camping every summer to places like the Sierras and San Clemente. I knew I wanted to work in the environmental field when I went to Outdoor Science School as a fifth grader. Read more>>

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