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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.

Sara Lander

I always knew I wanted to be creative but never could find an avenue to do so. I worked as a paralegal for five years before I decided to leave and follow my passion which, at the time, had become makeup. I worked as a freelance makeup artist for about two years as well as hustling side jobs. The makeup field is so competitive and some jobs paid very little so I was constantly stressed. Read more>>

Kanya Sesse

I was born in Thailand without legs. And was adopted at age 5-6 years old when I came to America. My first language was Thai, I was learning English when I was about 7-8 years old. Childhood life was difficult for me. I was trying so hard to understand everything and it was annoying when my parents couldn’t understand what I wanted because I didn’t know English, so getting things I want and showing them. Read more>>

Shelby Webster

I always felt like the flowers transformed the space the most! As I gained experience over the years, I began planning the day when I would take a leap of faith and become my own boss. And I knew when this happened, my focus would be on flowers! After being on my own for almost three years, I now offer both services of full floral design as well as planning and coordination. Read more>>

Ania Piekarska

A couple of years later, my significant other and I went to Poland to shoot my sister’s wedding. That was a huge deal but also a very thrilling time and defining moment that helped me realized photography could be not only my hobby but also my job. Read more>>

Julita Galwa

I became an international student in El Camino community college in Torrance CA. My English was good back then, but attending college helped me gain confidence in speaking, reading, and writing. At the beginning of 2009, I lived with my host family (from the exchange culture program) and until this day I’m happy to call them my family here in the USA. Read more>>

Radiance Thompson

I am a single mother of two girls and they have undoubtedly made me the woman I am. I battled depression and anxiety during my last year of college while taking care of my girl. I was mentally, physically and emotionally overwhelmed and eventually I had a breakdown. Read more>>

Sig Ward

As a stay at home mom of five, she didn’t indulge in many luxuries but would always treat herself to a piece of jewelry whenever she got the chance. Buying herself a little piece of luxury gave her a sense of empowerment. With all, so to me, that’s what jewelry represents: Empowerment, love, and self-care. Read more>>

Gina Calderone

I treat them as energetic disorders – hyperactive or deficient patterns or frequencies in the communication system of the body. These diagnoses are physical but there is an emotional and generational root. Once the root is found, I reconnect the core and rebuild the body using Pilates and Gyrotonic methods. I welcome complex and mystery patient cases. Read more>>

Amanda Tomczak and Carissa Mestaz

One area of opportunity we’ve found is that hair and makeup isn’t always a top priority. When hiring VVA, you’re not only getting our extensive experience in technique we also provide our knowledge in time management, the highest quality of products in our kits, and an overall flawless day. Read more>>

Kalyna Astrinos

Sometimes, I can’t find the words to really describe how incredible my journey has been and how thankful I am to be where I’m at today. I grew up in Modesto, CA which is a relatively small town in the Central Valley. I was always focused on getting good grades, so I could move down south to pursue a career in entertainment. Read more>>

Courtney Cronin Dold

After seven years of doing stand up professionally -and on the road- I decided that I enjoyed writing the jokes more than I did telling them. So, I got a writer’s assistant job on ESPN’s late night talk show “Mohr Sports” starring Jay Mohr and that’s when I knew I wanted to write for television. Read more>>

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