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Pasadena’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 Pasadena’s gems below.

Eddie Mickenberg

My story is very unconventional, as I believe most entrepreneurs’ business ventures are. What I can say is every job I have had, aligned with my end goal to become an interior designer and to work independently. Always have an eye on the board while keeping tabs and checking in on myself with the details of what I am doing. I worked on Visual Merchandising for Macy’s in San Diego, where I grew up, at 17 years old and that’s what sparked my interest in creating environments for a career, whatever that meant at the time. I also was involved in the selection of furnishings for my parent’s home, since I can remember. Once I realized I can make a living designing home interiors, I moved to LA over a decade ago to attend FIDM in DTLA and earned my degree in interior design before they offered a Bachelor’s Degree for this study. Read more>>

Jessica Ladrow

Born and raised in Oregon I was inspired as a child by all of the beauty that surrounded me. Growing up as an artist is probably how I found the path of make-up artistry. It kind of sounds like it was an easy thing for me and I just fell into make-up, but let me just say nothing happened perfectly. It took me a while to let myself follow my passion for make-up. The make-up world was just a hobby something that I enjoyed doing in my free time, but never really knew I could make into something more. So I went about my life and graduated high school with no real idea of what I wanted to do with my life, that’s terrifying. So I did what everyone who doesn’t go to a four year does, worked for Starbucks and just hoped one day I would have the realization of my future career. Finally deciding to pursue my dream of make-up artistry I signed up and attended Cosmetology school in the Portland Metro Area. While attending this school I not only learned how to do hair, esthetics, and nails, but I was able to take a short MUD make-up course in Oregon. Taking this course re-blossomed my love for make-up and made me consider actually attending Make-up Designory in Burbank, CA to follow my true dream. Read more>>

Mike Chen

Me (Mike) and Lena used to be regular customers at Delicious Chengdu. The place itself almost explains the definition of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It doesn’t have any fancy marketing or accolade, no big signs nor any attractive décor. You can barely even find a good photo on website for this place, but it is definitely the chef’s gift to master the complex flavor of different Szechuan dishes, and it takes years of practice to get such perfect texture and this level of presentation. And when you visit as often as me and Mike and seeing all these familiar faces, it tells you how much people love it. It is the type of food that we are proud of, and we want to share it with more people. The hit from pandemic is real, even with a lot of support from local customers, the previous owner decided to give up this business. Mike and I met with the head chef and decided to partner with him and take over the ownership. The ‘reborn’ of Delicious Chengdu stands for our love and passion for great traditional food from our homeland. And it shows our respect for craftsmanship. Read more>>

Diana Campos

Diana Campos is a Los Angeles Based Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist voted one of the Top creatives in 2022 based on experience, credibility and professionalism. Diana is the owner and founder of Ellance Beauty, a Boutique Agency with a team of highly skilled Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists who are committed to provide clients with the best beauty services for their special events. Diana is an Artist with over 15 years of experience in the Entertainment Industry. She is currently working on Commercials, Music videos, Print, Film, Red Carpet and Television. With her professional training, she is equally skilled in Makeup and Hair and she now has an established clientele that appreciates her craft and dedication. She has the ability to work at a good pace and is always up to date with the latest trends to deliver the best possible results every time. Read more>>

Jessica Miller

I’ve always had a passion for art, even as a young child. I cried when my mom signed me up for club soccer. Please don’t make me play sports, I want art lessons! Naturally, I continued to pursue art into early adulthood. Even though I’m a native Angeleno, I attended Boston University for college and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. BU provided an excellent foundation in traditional art, I took two years of painting, drawing, and sculpture before even touching a computer. I graduated in 2008 (height of the economic recession) so it was not an easy task to find my first design job. After working a few odd jobs, and applying to countless companies I landed a Graphic Design Internship at Disney Consumer Products, which essentially started my long-standing career in toy packaging design. I worked for numerous toy companies over the years, bouncing around between freelance and full time creating style guides, packaging, branding and even dabbled a bit in product design. Once you get started in the toy industry I’ve found it’s hard to leave. Read more>>

Pakoh Legalbear

Pakoh was born and raised on Long Island, NY. He’s created art his whole life. His natural inclination towards art led him to one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, Rhode Island School of Design where he received his bachelor’s of fine arts degree. Pakoh studied a wide variety of mediums at different institutions including the San Francisco Art Institute and the Pilchuck Glass School. Pakoh worked out of Rhode Island until Jan 2003 when he was fortunate to land a spot in a well-known glass cooperative in Seattle, WA. After a decade in Seattle, he moved to Southern California in 2011 where he established his own studio and has been creating and mentoring from there ever since. Pakoh’s work has been featured in art books, magazines, and exhibitions. Most recently, he invented the “double reverse klein” recycler that’s become a high-demand piece. Read more>>

Monique Pimentel

I started doing makeup when I was in my Sophomore year in High School. Since then I was always self-taught until I went to a Makeup Studio in East LA in 2020. I was then a certified Makeup Artist in August 2020. After, I started creating more content and becoming PR / BA for small businesses. I was being recognized by some big brands, such as Benefit Cosmetics, LA Girl Cosmetics, Makeup Revolution, Kara Beauty, Morphe, and Beauty Creations. A small brand business also wrote about me in their blog, which they are located in NYC. As these years gone by, I started getting more clients for my freelance makeup. Read more>>

Sam Sherbin

I’m a mixed engineer based in LA. I was born in Manhattan and spent most of my early years in Brooklyn and Long Island. My musical journey started when I was 11 with the violin then later the flute. When I met my best friend Paul, we’d make music after school at his house. We’d record vocals, then I would mess with the effects on Sound Recorder. Something clicked for me, and I realized that recording and mixing were my passions. I replaced playing an instrument with art. I went to a gifted and talented program and drew regularly until I was 15; I learned so much and continue to use the creative techniques in my career. I was still making music on the side as a creative outlet until I decided to take the music production and mixing side more seriously. Read more>>

Kathryn Michelle, Elizabeta and Izabela Vidovic

Kathryn and Elizabeta’s filmmaking journey began at a small table in Genghis Cohen back in 2002. They collectively decided to stop waiting for great content to come to them and instead, create it themselves. They created multiple projects and won awards in filmmaking in spite of pregnancies, child-rearing, and full-time jobs. Izabela, Elizabeta’s daughter, joined the duo with their first horror film, The Accursed, quickly making them a trio. Their motto is to make films for women to channel their inner badass. They write, direct, and produce films that give women a voice, not only on-screen but behind the camera as well. While their stories entertain, they also always deliver a message of strength to women. Their films portray relatable female characters, of all ages and walks of life. Their stories challenge their female characters to overcome obstacles, revealing those badass qualities that often get buried beneath the weight of responsibility. Read more>>

Jose Pinedo

Tequila & Spirits Magazine is a result of my passion for tequila. I developed a consulting services business that provided me with the opportunity to work with various spirits brands and visit many distilleries, breweries, and vineyards. I enjoy sharing my experiences and the art of making tequila and other spirits with friends and family. For several years, the idea of publishing a magazine was in the works and only about five years ago did it become a reality. I told my wife, “I’m going to publish a magazine about tequila and spirits.” I remember calling my brother Simon around 4:00 a.m. to break the news and invite him to collaborate. He is a good story teller and a great writer; after a few cups of coffee, he was sold on the project and asked, “When do I start?” Tequila & Spirits Magazine was born to connect brands with fans; we increase the possibilities for fans to learn more about their favorite brand while at the same time helping the brands expose their name. Read more>>

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