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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.

Luca Cioci

I started by painting walls in Italy. When in high school my interest in painting, sculpture, photography and architecture lead me into traditional fine art studies which have helped to build a core historical knowledge and develop some craft. I’ ve always been interested in traveling and wanted to study overseas. I spent my first year of college at UNG in Georgia US. Read more>>

Kendal Brenneman

I came to Los Angeles at 18 years old to pursue acting. After years of struggling through, doing background work, stand-in work, and short films, I needed to get away for a while. I decided to see if I could get a visa to live in Paris, and I did! My plan was to find my way into the film industry there. Read more>>

Dustin Mattock and Eric Keshishian

Eric and I (Dustin) met in 2006 at an interactive agency here in LA, where we worked our butts off together up until 2010. I left to pursue work at other studios, to which I would always freelance work out to Eric if I could. Leading several large scale campaigns around movies, TV shows, and Broadway properties. Read more>>

László Bolender

I started tinkering around my father’s music studio when I was five and immediately got hooked on synthesizers, samplers, and computers. I had, of course, no idea what I was doing. I was also learning the piano at the time but I don’t think I fully understood that I had things to express until I was an angry fourteen-year-old and heard the Stooges for the first time. Read more>>>

Marisa Osollo Montellano

I had a childhood filled with overgrown yards and unreachable treasures in the basement and garage. We lived about 50 feet from the train tracks in Highland Park. This proximity to the tracks prevented me from playing in the front of the house. As such, I ended up having to rely on my imagination to get me over the fence. Read more>>

Lisa Sutton

I am a violinist and have been a member of the LA Opera Orchestra since the company began in the early 1980’s. Over the years as the company grew, I had the idea of showcasing my colleagues in the opera pit on stage in chamber music ensembles. It seemed to me a worthwhile project to reveal and connect this invisible group. Read more>>

Dennis Preston Jr.

I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. My story in LA begins after leaving St. Louis the night after my ex-fiancee’s birthday for a three-day Greyhound bus trip to San Bernardino in May 2015. I left in the middle of the night without much sleep. Today, I can hardly remember her birthday dinner aside from a few old photos in my backup folder on my phone. Read more>>

Isabel Moreno

Ever since I can remember, I always saw myself as an entrepreneur owning my own business. When I was a senior in high school (2000), I decided to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with the thought of eventually starting my own fashion business. I completed three years at FIDM, earning an AA in Product Development. Read more>>

Sunny Sun and Silvia Lee

Like all good fairy tales, the story of The Only Roses begins in a place far, far away. That place is Shandong, China, a coastal province in the northern part of the country. In Shandong, there lived a mother whose daughter moved thousands of miles across the world to settle in America. The daughter was me — Silvia Lee. Read more>>

Shayar Bhansali

Around the time I was in college in Mumbai, I started helping my brother and his friends with a documentary. They needed someone to help record sound and shoot B cam and I was just looking for any way to get involved and hang out with my older brother. Read more>>

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