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South Bay’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 South Bay’s gems below.

Tim Hampton

I played varsity basketball and after a series of injuries, I was no longer able to compete. Determined to fill this void, I turned to the world of Djing. I touched my first set of turntables at a friend’s house and was hooked. I was working part-time in retail to be able to purchase my first set of crappy plastic turntables. From that point, I started practicing day and night. I felt inadequate without the support of a mentor and wanted to quit. Read more>>

Carlo Stenta

After 20 years in the corporate world, I found myself searching for something more purposeful. I left my position as VP of Media Investment for a large advertising agency and had about six months to hit control-alt-delete. I was always attracted to vintage “things” and was a fan of the current industrial-design movement that was reimaging commercial and residential interior spaces. Exposed beam-ceilings, open lofts, Edison lighting, metal, concrete and wood. Read more>>

Michael Kaintz

Planning and the wedding industry has been in my DNA from the start. As a little boy, I used to take my treasure troll dolls and marry them off; using a little bow tie for one doll and a few pieces of toilet paper to create a veil and wedding dress for the other doll. My mom was a single mother and she didn’t have the funds to provide me with the toys and goods that most kids around me had. Read more>>

Matt Mills

When I was 13 years old, I started running for two reasons: to lose weight, and be more like my older brother. As a young teen, I was shy, awkward, and also a bit overweight. I saw the personal and physical transformation that my brother experienced when he started running competitively in college, and it inspired me to follow in his footsteps and try out the whole “running thing” and see if I could experience some of that transformation myself. Read more>>

Masai Marcelin

I have always been thoroughly influenced by jazz, funk, disco and a litany of video game composers. To honor these musical traditions I created my own ensemble, the “Zulu Ali Quartet”. This is a band of highly skilled musicians that play salsa, funk, fusion, and jazz music. All of the compositions are written by me and were written to honor the various traditions of black music that have deeply influenced me throughout my life. Read more>>

Rocio Magadan

I grew up in the South Bay in the city of Carson. As a child, I was always getting into trouble by my parents by scribbling crayons on the walls or my mom’s lipstick on the curtains. When I was in kindergarten I remember I had an assignment that I had to draw a birthday cake, I was so proud of how good it came out once I colored it and I think that’s the spark of when my love for drawing came about. Read more>>

Rhonda Kuykendall-Jabari

I am a Reiki Practitioner, Chakra Therapist, Tarot reader and natural-born empath. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I think my first awareness that I was somewhat different came about in a conversation with friends. I was about 10 or 11 (1971/1972). We were talking about dreams and feelings and I said something like, “you know how when you dream stuff and then you wake up and it happens. Read more>>

Andre Kealii

My journey began in college. I was always participating in modeling and acting opportunities as they came about, but rarely had free time to attend casting calls for modeling agencies due to my demanding work and class schedule. So I decided to start a YouTube channel in August of 2017 which was a couple of years after I graduated college. Read more>>

Maria Ure

I remember hearing foreign languages as a child and thinking it was like listening to beautiful musical sounds that were calling my name. My mother signed me up for the best English program available taught by life-changing inspiring teachers who brought the best out of me and turned the lessons into a beautiful cultural experience. I continued my calling for languages with learning French since it is part of my family heritage. Read more>>

Mer Young

I have been creating art for some time. I am a multidisciplinary artist who has created a body of artwork manifested in collages, drawings, paintings, and public artworks. I began exhibiting my drawing and paintings in galleries for about ten years. I grew tired of my work being inaccessible then I sought out to do murals. Social media has been helpful as far as gaining recognition for the analogue and digital collage works that I do, it has allowed me to expand and work on commissions. Read more>>

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