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South LA’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 LA’s gems below.

Theo Brown

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, so I didn’t have any connection to a film community growing up. My parents were professors and involved in our church, and always encouraged me to find my passion – which was always science. Specifically, astronomy – during the summer. Read more>>

Diana Greer

I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Since a young age, both of my parents were incarcerated so I was raised by my grandmother, who was a single parent. I grew up in an environment full of gang banging (my father is a former gang member), gun violence, drugs, crime, and no one I knew went to college in my community. Read more>>

Marquisa Gardner

I was first discovered in a film Called RIZE which Lions Gate films put out in 2005. It told the story of a growing street dance form called Clowning and KRUMP. I have since then been labeled the Queen of Krump. My career took off from there in ways I couldn’t fathom. Read more>>

Tanisha Merriweather

Growing up my mother and father were in and out of the prison system. I couldn’t even remember what my mother looked like as a child. A memory of mine is at my 5th-grade graduation, my mother showing up and me not knowing who she was. Read more>>

Chef Rod Steele

I go by Chef Rod Steele, I arrived Aug 17th, 1988. I was raised in Westmont area in South Los Angeles. I came up as an artist throughout my childhood all way up to high school always sketching portraits from magazines drawing my favorite cars from old school impalas, houses, down to my favorite musicians. Read more>>

Brittany Williams

I started blogging because writing has always been a passion of mine. I wrote poetry all the time when I was younger. As I got older, I started writing about more complex topics and things I was experiencing in detail. I started blogging to take the stigma off of mental health, infertility, and life challenges in general. Read more>>

Monica Jones

Saged Beading all began after a bad relationship (marriage). I was feeling as if something was missing… so I began reading more and deepened my spirituality. I am very active in my church (choir director to be exact) but I began meditating and reading on different stones and crystals… that can heal. Read more>

Nazeema Sims

As a kid, the only thing I was interested in was singing. I didn’t like any other form of art until one day I got real sick and couldn’t talk or sing properly for days. I started exploring other outlets like fashion and videography and from that moment. Read more>>

Jessica McConico

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to thank Voyage LA for this opportunity to share my story. I consider this a privilege and I do not take it lightly. Thank you Voyage LA for considering me. My story began in South Central Los Angeles in the Crenshaw district. Read more>>

Jimmie Johnson

My journey as an entrepreneur started very young. I was always into different hustles as a child whether it was selling some of my old toys to friends around my neighborhood or even selling shirts and toys down at the Martin Luther King parade with my uncle. Read more>>

Jala Eaton

I’m from South LA, I’ve lived off of Vernon and Crenshaw practically my whole life. College is where my life began to change. I got married sophomore year to a Navy sailor and decided to graduate a year early because he was leaving the state. I was 20 years old at the time and didn’t have a real relationship with money. Read more>>

Destiny Chavez

Born and raised in Whittier, my Mom had a tribe of five kids. Single mother, making sure to love and cherish each and every one of us no matter the circumstances. Growing up for me, everything had to be ea®️ned, there were no hand-outs and I believe it’s a true blessing to learn that at a young age. Read more>>

Lordess Clarke

My name is Lordess. I am a young artist from South Los Angeles. I grew up right outside of Inglewood on 108th and Van Ness and then moved with my mom by USC college at the age of ten. I’ve dealt with all types of traumatic situations throughout my life that has helped me tremendously with my artistry. Read more>>

Derek Prado

Born in a Mexican-Salvadoran mixed family and a Los Angeles native I was interested in the arts at a young age. I began my studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills for my undergraduates in Fine Art. Through my academic career. Read more>>

Keviette Minor

I’ve been drawing for quite a long time. Ever since I was two, according to my parents (lol). I didn’t take a ‘traditional’ drawing class until my first year of college but growing up, art was my means of survival, y’know? I was a quiet kid, had trouble making friends. Read more>>

1 Comment

  1. Jane

    October 9, 2019 at 03:32

    JBalloonFiesta is a hand made shop run by an great woman with an amazing story

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