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South Bay Trailblazers

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around the South Bay that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Vanessa Arias

I would say there were three main catalysts that launched me into the space of entrepreneurship. First, growing up at the San Fernando Swap Meet with my Abuelos (Grandparents). I was that kid in front of the stand yelling, “Pasale, Pasale! Todo Barrato!” (Come in, Come in, Great Prices!). They sold 14K gold and allowed me to learns hands-on. Read more>>

Norelle Simpson-Johnson

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up already knowing how to sing. lol My mother recalls stories, and I remember some very vividly, being around five years old, singing the likes of Sade’s Smooth Operator. I had a very wide range of musical inspiration due to the music my mom listened to at home, from Sade to Arrested Development, to Alex Buugon. Read more>>

Shaunte Brown

I started my family childcare business in 1998 in a small two-bedroom apartment. I converted my dining room area into a small preschool. I went through the proper steps to become licensed by the state of California and then utilized my skills from teaching preschool and developed a plan to teach, love and educate children from the comforts of my own home. During this time, I worked on building my enrollment. Read more>>

Celia Prieto

I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I’ve always been an artist, just never identified or felt comfortable enough to say it. I’ve always drawn as a kid but I really didn’t see my potential as an artist until High School. I was lucky enough to have an amazing teacher and motivator. Read more>>

Martha Reyna

I was born in the veeeeery southern tip of Texas, in an area called “The Rio Grande Valley”. I spent my days in The Valley and crossed the border to Mexico often to spend time with family and friends, which was the usual thing to do there. Read more>>

Ronnishia Johnson, Rheema Calloway

The Vegan Hood Chefs started in 2017. We were deeply involved in organizing in our community and in the process of adapting a plant based diet. We used social media as a platform to spread awareness about community efforts as well as healthy recipes from our journey. Read more>>

Jean Choi

I decided to do my own extensive research and learned about food sensitivities and the paleo diet. I decided to try the paleo diet just to see if these sensitivities applied to me, and I was seriously amazed at how much my symptoms diminished in just a week. Read more>>

Britt Deanda and Tara Schulenberg

We each went through struggles that took us on a journey of transformation and spiritual awakening and that sparked us wanting to share what helped us through it and create community around the lifestyle that got us there and continues to give us amazing results and allows us to manifest our best life. Read more>>

Ivan Vasquez

I am extremely passionate about educating my guests on Oaxacan culture, as well as Madre’s extensive mezcal offerings. I go back to Oaxaca a couple times each year and meet with notable mezcaleros to bring as much knowledge as I can to my guests in Los Angeles. Read more>>

Deanna Danski

I punished and judged myself more harshly than my parents, teachers or bosses ever could. I was riddled with anxiety but never spoke up about it. I was afraid to ruin my image of “Little Miss Perfect.” I swallowed my feelings and learned to cope because I thought of getting help, love, or support meant I was weak. Read more>>

Megan Margeson

I grew up in a motorcycle-loving family, raised by parents who each rode dirt bikes and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I got my first dirt bike when I was seven years old and instantly became hooked. As I was growing up. Read more>>

Glendale Calmerin

I unknowingly started in the event planning industry when I was 12, helping my older sister set-up for her events. The first event that really started it all for us was her wedding. I mainly helped because I wanted to hang out with my sister and if that meant having to help her choose between the hundreds of shades of purple. Read more>>

Mikee Castaneda

I always excelled academically in high school, however, I could never decide on a career field that I felt I could be happy in. I’m my twenties, I supported myself by working as a server/bartender. After I had my daughter Madison. Read more>>

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