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Trailblazers in East LA

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


I fell in love with acting when I was about eight. There was a semi-professional production of the musical “Annie” being done in Boston. I played an orphan — no lines, no name — but was mesmerized by the older actors and how they marked up their scripts and got “into character.” Read more>>


Pursuing my career in hairstyling, I began at Aveda Institute Los Angeles. I started with a strong foundation of color theory and thousands of hours of practical training. After graduating, I spent a year assisting celebrity hairstylists in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. Read more>>


I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio into a family of six. We lived outside of the city and our family farm located forty minutes away from home. The majority of my childhood was spent playing outside until Mom whistled for us to come in for dinner. Read more>>

Alyson Toone

Alyson Jon Life was started from my tiny bedroom in Brooklyn, New York in 2009. I started making handmade jewelry out of a need to do something with my hands after working on a screen all day as an apparel designer. By 2014, I started to teach other people how to think like a designer through upcycled jewelry making. In 2016, my life changed when I was laid off from my apparel design job. I wanted to laugh and cry. I wanted my often neglected side hustle to be my full-time gig. Read more>>

Leah Angela “Lei” Sahagun

I am a born and raised Angelino on the beautiful lands of Tongvaar, daughter of community supportive driven immigrant parents. My work, my being, evolves around healing, empowerment and deep thought and subtle activism in the community. One of the many modalities that have supported my passionate nature is mindfulness and meditation through movement – Read more>>

Alice Iakubovych

I’ve got a new dream, a new vision, to create an international agency which will work to unite all types of young experimental artists and help them find collaborators and new projects. The ultimate goal is to create a worldwide community of art, one that everyone, including you, is welcome to join. Read more>>

Ame (HGuo)

Though I never regret any part of my journey, it does bother me that I needed so much acknowledgment from my parents and my peers. So much that, it prevented me from ever being brave enough to make mistakes and discovering who I am without echoing someone else’s voice. Read more>>

Priyanka Ram

I am an artist deeply situated in a type of social writing, theoretical painting, and community-based music practice. These things may seem a bit insane to try and lump together in one business through one person, but this is how my art practice shaped up since grad school. Read more>>

Claire Blackwelder

I was incredibly fortunate to have parents that not only supported my artistic pursuits but understood the world I wanted to be a part of. My mom is an incredibly talented actress and received her Master’s Degree in classical acting when I was nine years old. While my dad’s penchant is for business, he loves and respects the arts and has always encouraged my passion for them. Read more>>

Beverly Elle

I have always been a creative and expressive person– I used to write short stories, spent hours practicing my calligraphy, and even taught myself photoshop. As I got older, I experimented with my hair and my looks. Makeup became a passion of mine and I carried it into my high school and college years. Read more>>

Sarita Dougherty

I’ve been lucky to find organizations like the Women’s Center for Creative Work who are dedicated to systematic change towards reducing the wealth gap, confronting Western cultural hierarchies in the production of art, and unapologetically support women artists of color who are mothers, gender non-conforming and committed to liberation. Read more>>

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