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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.

Shamola Kharkar

I wasn’t the kid who picked up a camera and knew I wanted to make movies. I grew up away from the city on a rose farm in Lusaka, Zambia. I imagined studying agriculture and eventually planned to run my parent’s rose export business with my elder sister. Read more>>

Zachary Lefevre

I attended my first Coachella in 2011 and that’s where my passion for chasing live music began. A few years and a plethora of concerts later I crossed online paths with Grant Gilmore, editor-and-chief at EDM Identity, via the Reddit Coachella Facebook group. Read more>>

Gina Hacken

I knew a long time ago back in my college days and probably before then, that I wanted to be an interior designer. Back then, when I was a child, my friends and I would gather in my bedroom and dream up all the different ways to change up my bedroom. Read more>>

Tyler Argento

Hi, my name is Tyler Argento and I am a lover of all things health and wellness. I am currently living my dream as a personal trainer and a certified yoga teacher; along with sharing my personal tips and tricks to living a simple healthy lifestyle via blogging and podcasting on social media platforms. Read more>>

Kerry Collins

Kerry walker collins began her journey with reiki in 2007. Always an intuitive since she can remember, she had visions of healing and extreme deja vu since childhood. Through a series of life events including becoming sober all contributed to her awakening as a healer and the further deepening of her abilities. Read more>>

Sylvan Streightiff

I grew up in San Diego, California. My parents encouraged a thirst for learning. They supported activities like learning musical instruments, competitive swimming, and community service efforts. I was diagnosed with Type-One-Diabetes at age eleven. Read more>>

Devin Larscheid

In terms of video production, I’ve been making digital videos and short films since I was a junior in high school (around 2012). This was sparked through a film class I took at my high school which, coincidentally, was the first year a film class like that had even existed at my high school. Read more>>

Joel Brown

I have lived in Southern California most of my life. I studied photography in the early 70’s while enrolled at Cypress College, and in 1993, I studied under the tutelage of John Sexton for an intensive workshop in the Southwest. Later that same year and again in 1996. Read more>>

Katelyn Piz

I have been singing for as long as I can remember (before I could even talk, according to my parents). Growing up my mom always had music playing around the house… And she LOVED to sing. I remember getting ready for school in the mornings when I was little, blasting Dixie Chicks on my junky red boom box. Read more>>

Joel Valera

All started back in Venezuela, with a very humble beginning when my mother “forced” my brother and I to study music since we were little ( I say “forced” because what we really wanted to do was to play baseball, but music). My mother believed music was very important for our education. Read more>>

Brooklyn Madison

I have always been a girly girl since a child. I was always into beauty and fashion. I started sewing with my grandma at a young age. Making anything from matching outfits for me and my dolls, to quilts. Grandma and I would also make soap from scratch. Read more>>

Dr. Monisha Vasa, Dr. Anna McCarthy and Ryan Franke

We knew Orange County was feeling the void of comprehensive, integrative, and evidence-based mental health treatment programming. Dr. McCarthy, Dr. Vasa and I knew that with our combined treatment experience we could provide patient-centered care in a safe and supportive environment within our own community. Read more>>

Jakarri Hunt

The Fat Vegan started in 2015, prior to that I would just cater family events. And would people would try the food they couldn’t believe that it was Vegan. I had another business that I put to the side because I believed that I could really do some good in the Vegan world. Read more>>

Jessica Acosta Jaquez

I graduated from Pepperdine in 2017 with my MBA, my goal was to obtain the knowledge and relationships for me to grow as a professional and entrepreneur. After graduation I took several months “off”, working full time and spending much needed time with my husband and two kids. Read more>>

Brandi Hamma

I spent 14 years working in the restaurant industry working just about every position but mainly in the last nine years bartending. I kept with this job as it was always easy money and I’ve been known to be a leader, which always got me promoted in every place I worked out. Read more>>

Ligia Maria Storrs Rojas

I began dreaming about being a filmmaker when I was a teenager living in Colombia, but at the time, I might as well have been living on another planet. To my family, this was not only a foreign but a dangerous environment, and none of my friends and family could relate to it. Read more>>

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