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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.

Taylor Collins

I’ve been doing art all my life– my earliest introduction to art was when my mom had ‘arts and craft’ days at my house with my brother and I when we were younger. I learned you can make art out of anything. For example; I specifically remember making a purse out of a denim pocket! Fashion became a big aspect of my creative energy. Read more>>

Todd Huschka

I was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin. Just out of high school, I took a job sweeping the floor at a local cabinet shop. Within about six months, I found out I had the ability to make things with my hands. This led me to be a cabinet maker which launched my career. Read more>>

Vladimir Valencia, Juan Melgar, Jose Higareda, Ossiel Rico and James Andrade

Our story as a band began around the summer of 2016. While still attending Magnolia High in Anaheim, there were a few projects before The Beachstones came into existence. Even though the group consists of high school friends, it wasn’t until our third year of high school where we got together to write songs. We’ve had to cut out certain members, who are still very close to us, in order to get The Beachstones going. Read more>>

The Junglecats

The band originated with two high school buds, Asa Edelbacher, and Kyle Brawley. The two played music on and off for a few years until parting ways for school. Shortly after, they met back up for college in Long Beach. After recording an EP together, they needed additional members to join. They recruited college classmates, Mikey Feser, and Cameron Cooper, to play bass and drums. Read more>>

Catherine Rex

My mother is an artist, and my father is passionate about the outdoors. So I spent my childhood surrounded by the beauty of the wilderness and great art. As a child, I was either covered head to toe in paint, from adding my own creations to the bottom of my mother’s large abstract paintings, or caked in dirt, from helping my father with his creative outdoor projects. Read more>>

Cyrus Mohseni

When I was in elementary school, I always wanted to be an architectural engineer. But, when I was in 6th grade, my dad passed away. When my dad passed, all I wanted to do was play soccer. It was my way of getting my mind off of things. Then, I found out it is possible to play professional soccer. So thats what I decided I wanted to do. Read more>>

Grace Edwards

After spending the day at a local theme park with my cousin Logan, who is a person with epilepsy, he had a seizure which caused the people around us to panic. As a child who had grown up learning proper seizure first aid, I knew exactly how to help Logan but was surprised to see so many adults not know what to do and vowed from that moment on that I would make sure to do my part to teach others proper seizure first aid. Read more>>

Jamie Weiss

I have always been interested in the arts from a young age. While kids could not wait to go to school and see their friends, I could not wait to go to the library after school where I embarrassingly spent a lot of my childhood. Before I had a taste in music, I was blown away that by watching or reading something so artificial and fantastical could make me feel so much. Read more>>

Leandra Graves

Music for me was born out of a fiery desire to express the inner workings of my mind, but also out of my desperate need to process the anxiety and pain I’ve dealt with since I first picked up the guitar my mother taught me to play at the age of 11. In Jr High, things in my house started to crumble apart.  My father developed a severe drinking problem that resulted in verbal and physical abuse. Read more>>

Max “Figgy” Figueroa

I always knew I was trans. I guess my whole story was the journey of coming to terms with that. A small (conservative) town is what I call home & I didn’t have any knowledge of anything queer. It just simply didn’t exist. I had no one to turn to & I was alone for many years. I didn’t think I’d make it out alive & every day I’m sort of still in a shock that I am where I am today. If it weren’t for music, I really wouldn’t be here. Read more>>

Sir Dushon Adams

I grew up in Gardena, California. I was raised in an entertainment family full of dancers, singers, actors, musicians, producers, etc. I would say around the age of 2 I was aware that a lot of this artistry flowed through me. I would find myself mimicking dance moves, banging on any surface and making beats, listening to every instrument in music. Read more>>

Paige Faulhaber

I was a stay at home mom at the time I had the first thoughts about starting a business. I didn’t know what it would look like, what I would name it, or how to get customers, but I knew I wanted to center it around crystals and energy. I learned how to make soy candles in my kitchen during the holidays in 2017 and listed my first crystal candles later that year. Read more>>

Annie Compean

My life as an artist has been incredibly fulfilling, and I’m fortunate to have come across wonderful people and opportunities in the Art world. I spent a lot of time in school, so I’m always using that experience to navigate my life. Even though “the real world” is always seen as separate from a student’s world, I try to hold on to that curiosity, skepticism, and optimism. Read more>>

Shideh Shahinfar

It all started when my mother round brushed my hair for a birthday party when I was five. I remember being fascinated by the process and the results. Since that day, the excitement of glamour and grooming transformations has stuck with me. All throughout school, I would cut and color my friend’s hair. Read more>>

Matthew Smith

We are a rare type of twin, known as mirror identical. This means that looking at us is like looking in a mirror, I am right handed he is left. When we were young, we would get a cavity on the same tooth, just the opposite side. I was a shy kid, but very inquisitive. My mom said I always asked a lot of questions, even at a young age, I questioned everything. Read more>>

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