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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.

Sterling Scott

As a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology I thought that my life was setup. I came home, worked in a hospital nights and taught in high school during the day, thinking that I would become a doctor. But I guess life had something different in store for me. Read more>>

Paige Cole

I have always been entrepreneurial from a young age. I started my very first business when I was 18 years old and have tried my hand at many different things over the years: Network marketing, a bikini coffee stand, fitness studio, real estate, insurance… nothing ever seemed like it was meant for me though. Read more>>

Alexandra Jackson

Tutoring for me simply started as a part-time job during my college years. Many programs that I worked for operated on a system where students are given an allotted amount of hours for tutoring services. After those hours were maxed, tutors were no longer able to provide services. I had an extremely difficult time cutting ties from my clients after forming so many beautiful relationships. Read more>>

Cesar Cummings

Back in 2005, I attend fashion school at FIDM and quickly I felt like an outsider being a plus-size queer beauty. No one understood me nor did that care so I dropped out after realizing that the fashion industry wasn’t inclusive. Upon dropping out the bills started piling up so I have to start working a full-time job in retail start making payments for all those school loans. Read more>>

Wendy L Cortez

Sugar Rush Sisters started with 3 PTA moms, two really sisters and one that become like a sister. We started in November of 2018, doing a fall festival for our PTA school to fundraiser money for field trips and other stuff for the school. After it went well on the sales we decided to try it out with family and friends and start promoting. Read more>>

Heather Daughtry and Aysia Drew

Being open-minded and ready to collaborate goes a long way. The podcast came to light when Heather better known as HDee called up some of her close gal pals when she had an epiphany that they should start a podcast. The excitement squealed over the voice text messages as everyone was ready and anxious to get started. Read more>>

Brandie Freely

I began to really explore myself outside of my comfort zone. I was in Houston, Texas at the time and had decided to move to a condo downtown. That’s where the shift began. I stopped clinging so tightly to the things that were practical, yes but didn’t really bring me joy. I started to reach beyond that for the things that were really in my heart. Read more>>

Cody Ramirez

After a while, I would do more and more around the salon. Washing hair, blow drying, mixing color, taking appointments you name it. I had a blast getting to know the clients and assisting my older sis. Plus she would always hand me cash at the end of the day which I loved. I met my prom date at the salon and my very first girlfriend of three years. Not a bad gig. Read more>>

Kirk Sweitzer

I grew up in Iowa, which is where I first started playing music. I was part of a couple of different projects, but it wasn’t until I moved to Denver, Colorado that I started my own band and writing my own music with a couple of dear friends of mine. In the six or so years that we played together. Read more>>

Marianne Diaz

Began life as a child of immigrant parents. Poor and living in a home with the results of racial and financial oppression. Felt disempowered at an early age. Unable to defend my mother from my dad who became rageful. We moved from the Palms/Sawtelle area to unincorporated Lennoxwhere my dad purchased a small house. Read more>>

Daniel Perez

I’ve always wanted to create a clothing brand that represented the Southern California lifestyle and I decided to take the first step towards that dream becoming a reality in 2017. The story behind my brand revolved around the lifestyle I grew up with which was heavy influenced by hip hop, skating, graffiti, sneakers and other thing that represent L.A . Read more>>

Nneka Gigi

I started creating jewelry back in 2008. I would go to flea markets with my dad and gather what most people discard, like broken glasses, and melt the plastic into a beautiful centerpiece for a ring. Many of my pieces were hand carved from would. My dad didn’t trust me with power tools just yet so I had to use a workbench and a large saw to shave the wood down to what I desired. Read more>>

Isaiah Robinson

When I first graduated from Crenshaw High School, I had no idea what I wanted to do. What was going to be my next steps? All my peers was either going to college, working, or having kids. During the summer of 2016 I was recommended a book called “Rich Dad Poor Dad” So I read the book and got inspired. Started researching, on how I can become a Financial Advisor, turnout you needed a degree. Read more>>

Ladi Soul

I’ve been writing poetry since I was in middle school. I went to a bilingual school so I knew how to read and write in Spanish but English was really hard for me. I had an English teacher during my first year of High school named Mr. Luts. He had a whole poetry day once and had us read our poetry or someone else’s poetry during the class with the lights dimmed. Read more>>

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