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South LA 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 South LA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Ashley Anderson

After all the mishaps that I experienced a few years ago, I learned that it’s best to move at my own manageable pace with my businesses. I see people on Instagram selling packages on how to start a business trying to make entrepreneurship look easy. But truth is that it is everything but easy. Save your money, put in the work, but most of all stay consistent and you will reach your goals. Read more>>

Courtney Shove

Almost two years ago, a close friend told me she was joining Beach Cities Roller Derby and something sparked inside me. My now ex told me I “couldn’t join.” It was the first time I broke my brainwashed submissiveness and bought a pair of Moxi roller skates and joined the wonderful world of derby. Through derby, I gained a second family and met my new girlfriend. Read more>>

Steve Fawley

Growing up at the beach under the wings of a father who is an inventor and a mother who is a photographer. Having the ocean, surfing & skateboarding as my muse. Surrounded by urban culture and graffiti. Abstract colorist my trajectory. My First art show was in 2002 in LA at a gallery on La Brea called FOAM. After that show, everything was a blur… 50 shows over the past 17 years. Read more>>

Mackala Lacy

The beauty of the work I do as a community-based healer is that there is no real “start.” I believe that in developing into my most authentic self I have found ways to pass along tools to help others heal into their fullest selves as well. The genuine intention to support folks on their healing journey came from my yoga practice. Read more>>

Rachel Jean Firchau

I spent most of my childhood fascinated by performing arts, and by the dream of moving to a big city someday and being ‘somebody.’ For most of my childhood, I thought that the only path for me was to ‘make it’ as a model or an actress. So, I did everything it took. I danced for ten+ years, I took acting classes, I had a modeling agent, I went to high school to study the performing arts, I even had a brief stint doing pageants. Read more>>

Tina Watkins Quaye

My story starts with my grandpa. My dad’s dad, Ted Watkins Sr., who happens to be an American hero. In the early 1900’s he fled a lynch mob in Mississippi as a child, all alone. He started life in Watts, built a family, and made a living working in the auto industry with Ford Motor Company. Eventually, he decided to make the neighborhood his family was living in better for them and their neighbors. Read more>>


I started singing in church as a little girl. Cliche I know, haha. I used to love watching my mom sing in the church choir. She was the 1st star I ever knew. A few months ago, a few friends and I took a little road trip to Yosemite Lakes, CA! We arrived pretty late at night and I was so taken back by how many stars were in the sky. There must have been a billion of em! I was so awestruck! We don’t see that here in LA because of all the pollution. Unfortunately, so many people are like the stars in the night sky here in LA, unable to be seen because of all the pollution of life. The crazy thing is, there are so many different types of pollution that we come into contact with in our day to day lives but, we fight and survive every single day! Read more>>

Nicole Morgan

For as long as I can remember I have loved doing hair. I’ve always been the one in my family doing everyone’s hair for almost every occasion. I also had the pleasure of doing my friends hair and make-up for school events. In 2012, I decided to walk away from my job at AAA and go to cosmetology school. While in school I learned much more than how to do hair. Cosmetology is the study of hair, skin and nails. I learned how to do men and women’s hair, skin care, make-up application and nail care. Read more>>

Michelle Steilen

I was inspired to bring roller skating back by telling the East Coast and the rest of the world that you don’t need to be inside to enjoy roller skating! Then I discovered so much more. After incorporating roller skating into my regular lifestyle, I shed an effortless 30 lbs. I was hooked. I had worked so hard through all of my teen years running, elliptical stepping… Read more>>

Jennifer Shirley

Small town girl raised on Jesus and tradition that had big ambitions of cities and accomplishments she only ever dreamed about. My family (my two children) own my heart and inspired this single mother from rural America to spread her wings and fly to California. Read more>>

Linda Garcia

I started by taking notice of synchronicities and using them as signs. I think most of us are taught to not really believe in signs and just brush them off as coincidences. Read more>>

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