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The Valley 2.13.2017

Lantz Huston

while working as Art Director for Universal Studios, I started getting tattooed and it changed my life. The shop I went to offered me an apprenticeship, I started tattooing, and have never looked back – i was with that shop for 13 years and we won Best Tattoo Shop twice by the LA Weekly. Read More>>

Kendall Duplessis

I loved doing hair since I was 8 years old. I have a close cousin that says to this day, I was her very first client. When we were around 9 I told her I was her hairdresser and completely cut off one of her ponytails! Read More>>

Monique Hale

I started doing hair in 2003. At the time, I was working two jobs. I had zero money to pay for cosmetology school, but I had always wanted to do hair. I told my hairdresser about my goal, and she recommended that I get an apprenticeship. Read More>>

Sean Wang

I am a first-generation immigrant of this country. My dream was to have my own business. As a teenager, I spent a few years in a martial arts school in China, learning kung fu. When I moved to the US, I started performing and teaching kung fu in the bay area. Read More>>

Lindsay Faulk

I’ve always been a creative person with dreams of owning my own business. Originally from Indiana, I’m an artist by trade, always transforming things to showcase their best attributes. Read More>>

Carmella Terrell

I started this company on a whim. I woke up one day and said what am I waiting for. Why am I not following through with my dream. So I took a risk and put everything I had into opening my own salon and finally being my own boss. Read More>>

Amanda Cummings

I initially got my Cosmetology license for hair, but quickly discovered that skin care, (more particularly waxing) was where I felt drawn to. I was always the first to volunteer for the waxing clients during school. Read More>>

Heidi Lish

I had been wanting to open my own business for some time. I had several ideas, but all of which I needed a financial investor. I kept hitting road blocks and realized I didn’t want anyone having control over my business or decisions, so I set out on finding something I felt passionate about and that I could do on my OWN… Read More>>

Kimberly Rosenberg

My first passion was makeup artistry, but after more than a decade of being a Makeup Artist and Eyebrow Specialist in a salon, I found that my connection to my work was becoming foggy and I needed a way to center myself so that I could remedy the disconnect I was experiencing. Read More>>

Yen Say

I first learned about eyelash extensions in 2006 when I had them done on a trip in southeast Asia. I was amazed at how lashes can change your look and confidence. Read More>>

Maria Milanes

Enhancing the beauty of others has always given me such tremendous satisfaction. Growing up, I was always the one who played with my friends hair and experimented with their make-up Read More>>

Olubunmi “G$ol” Afolabi

I was born Solomon Olubunmi Afolabi in Lagos, Nigeria. I got my producer name “G$ol”, one night in a studio session. Initially, I came up with GSolo, but eventually dropped the additional “o” and just left it G$ol. Read More>>

Apollo Bukowski

Music and entertainment have been a significant part of my life since the beginning. Growing up surrounded by the performing arts, my family pushed me toward singing, acting, dancing, and musical instruments. Read More>>

Dave Pearlman

I always was associated with music; that’s all I’ve ever done. Early on (in the 70s) I toured with Dan Fogelberg, Phil Everly, Hoyt Axton, Bobby Womack, and many others. I opened a recording studio in North Hollywood in 1979 and stayed there until 2005 when I decided to open Pearlman Microphones. Read More>>

Arlene Yuan

I was a dancer/choreographer for the past 10 years here in LA. Had a back injury and so decided to jump careers. I don’t drink coffee, therefore, wanted to create a space with good vibes for tea drinkers but still include that coffee shop culture. Read More>>

Neda Nehouray

I first got into property management when I was 18 years old but never thought it would develop into a career. After working in the industry while in school, I initially thought I was pursuing a career in law. Read More>>

Lori Tucci

I was brought up in the Antique business; my father was a Gemologist and antique appraiser and my mother was an trendsetting interior designer. I am second generation antique dealer appraiser. I was born and raised in New York and followed my parents into many Hampton’s estates and museums. Read More>>

Vahe Shahoian

I’ve always been into Information Technology; ever since I was a little child. In 2008, just after the crash, I found myself unemployed and broke. During this time, a good friend asked me if I knew anyone who designed websites for their brother’s new company. Read More>>

Nathaniel Beaver

I grew up in West Lafayette, Indiana in a family of five. I was lucky to have seen Return of the Jedi in the movie theater at 3 years old! My family loves movies, and film had a big influence on my life. My brother, sister, and I used to use my dad’s old VHS camera to shoot fun little videos and commercials. Read More>>

Ayumi and Doug Iizuka

History of Connect Studios LA Connect Studios LA was started in 2004 by actor, Lynn Milano. She created a studio where actors could learn and network with casting professionals in a clean, respectful and supportive environment. Read More>>

David Bulko

The year I was born (1979) my father began his work in the auto repair field. He was called the Tune-Up Doctor and he traveled to his customers to repair and maintain their vehicles. Read More>>

Tamar Levy

Makeup has been a passion of mine since a young age. I remember going to middle school with blue eye shadow and glossy lips thinking I knew what I was doing, looking back at that its quiet embarrassing, but its where my passion started. Read More>>

Tony Valenziano

Was in a popular power pop band back in the 80’s and started producing our records… Got very involved with production and producing and engineering kept going with that. Read More>>

Mark Holtzman

I first learned about photography from my father and spent many of my childhood nights in the darkroom. My main creative outlet growing up, which lasted well into college, was music; I played the trumpet and loved jazz. Read More>>

Lucie Aleks

My passion for photography originated in my father’s veins. He had an old, Russian Lubitel Twin Lens 6×6 Medium Format camera. That vintage camera was my first and favorite toy, and I grew up exploring life through its lens. Read More>>

Andrew Fels

I was always interested in the tv, movie entertainment industry and really wanted to do animation. I started attending Cal State Channel Islands for Studio Art / Digital Media. I got an internship at STARZ / Film Roman and my 3rd day there I showed my student projects to the editor I was helping the day before. Read More>>

Deborah Capstone

My business partners and I have been in the industry for many years. From acting world to ‘the other side’ in casting, directing, management and producing we’ve seen all sides for the actor and what it takes to be seen (opposed to sheer luck) and many of the mistakes actors can make. Read More>>

Rob Eves

When some friends asked me to photograph their wedding a few years ago I had no idea how much I’d love it. When I was priced out of the Bay Area early this year I had no idea how much I’d love LA. Funny how life throws such excellent curveballs. Read More>>

Alexis Kemp

I was born in Flint, Michigan to young parents (18 & 19). My parents moved to LA when I was a baby because my father was a musician. I grew up around music, attended shows at the Roxy and remember having art & poetry time as a child. Read More>>

Lance Bowling

Before I started working in the entertainment industry, I ran my own marketing company and held sales positions for over 10 years. I moved to LA on a whim and decided to start over and follow my dream of getting behind a camera. Read More>>

Denise Bella Vlasis

The Entertainment Industry “Go to Girl” and President of Tribute Productions Talent, Denise Bella Vlasis has worked hands-on in the Entertainment Industry since 1985. She graduated from ART Company Theater (Laguna Beach) with Scholarships in theater, dance and choreography. Read More>>

Claudine Marshall

Born and raised in Paris, France, Claudine Marshall embarked on her American journey in the 1970’s. She had been dreaming of the United States ever since she was a little girl and had no idea what a cultural shock it would be when she moved to Boston while expecting her first child, after receiving her Master of Psychology from La Sorbonne. Read More>>

Teri Bocko

I came to Los Angeles seven years ago with twinkly stars in my eyes and a dream to be on the silver screen. My wish was to bring characters, ideas + stories to life. Read More>>

Gretchen Hydo

My story…….I grew up in Stockton, CA. My parents were 18 when they had me. We had a lot of fun together. Being so young, my parents split up when I was 7. They had an amicable relationship but, I still dealt with the affects of growing up in a broken home. Read More>>

Brooke Reiser

I grew up being told – “You can be anything that you want.” Although I know my parents meant that as a motivational sentiment, it caused me to feel like I had a lack of direction. Read More>>

Damon Corso

I had always been surrounded by cameras in my family, everyone seemed to have a Pentax k1000. But it wasn’t until the year 2000 at the age of 20 that I began taking photography seriously when I got my first digital camera at the dawn of the digital age. Read More>>

Conor Logan

I was introduced to Oriental Medicine when I was 19. I hurt my back simply lifting a case of water into the car for my mother. Fast forward 18 months and, after other forms of care, the surgeon said ‘wow! I really don’t want to operate on someone so young. Read More>>

Wayne Gurnick

I am a Los Angeles native… yes, there are very few of us. I grew up surrounded by a community of creative people in the city with no boundaries. As a teenager, I worked for a florist who did the most outrageous work for the “who’s who” of Los Angeles. Read More>>

Robin DeMarco

For me, fitness and nutrition have been a great way to stay in shape both physically and mentally. At the gym I belonged to years ago, a woman who I became friendly with often asked me exercise and eating tips. Read More>>

Michael Barnard

MBX stands for mind, body, motivation and belief. I have been in fitness for 25 years and decided to leave my job at a bank to pursue my dream, which was changing people’s lives. Read More>>

Joseph Kim

I started Mister Joseph’s Tennis in 2014, a little after my dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. At the time, I was a typical graduate student: subsisting on a diet of coffee and granola bars (#gainz), writing papers with esoteric titles that like 2 people would read, and drinking way too much whiskey. Read More>>

Richard Brenner

I ran a blues bar in Chicago which made me want to open a bar with music – but in a warmer climate. After 10 years of trying to do that, the idea morphed into finding a space to open a coffee house, which is when I met Tom Kaplan who was roasting coffee at the time at his restaurant, Caffe Latte. Read More>>

Beka Sikharulidze

I have found Beka Tennis Academy in 2001. I am a USPTR/USPTA Certified Professional, coaching tennis for over twenty years. I was a National Tennis Champion of Georgia in singles and doubles and during my professional career, I participated in major tournaments around the world. Read More>>

Francois Harris

One challenging situation bore fruit to a perfect opportunity for Francois Harris, currently the coach of Vision Swim Club in Sherman Oaks, CA. The city of LA had its challenges maintaining its city program in 2010, that it decided to completely shut down its operations. Read More>>

Steve Choi

Health Nut has been around since 1971, but our family purchased it in 1988. At that time, it was primarily a vitamin and supplements shop (think GNC), with a tiny restaurant in the back with about 3 tables. Read More>>

Emily Cohen

If you asked me ten years ago where I would be today career-wise I never would have answered that I would become The Water Whisperer. Like most unexpected and pleasant surprises in life, I got into the swim business by chance. Read More>>

Sandie Springer

I began riding horses at the age of 10. I had a very successful riding career with many championships. Riding came easy to me. After graduating college and finding an office job, I realized the only career choice for me was horses. I replaced the high heels and dresses for paddock boots and britches and never looked back. Read More>>

Ronson Moses

I was newly married, studying Biblical law in Israel and I needed a way to bring in some extra money to support my family. Throughout my youth, I studied different martial arts and styles of fitness, becoming very proficient in many forms. Read More>>

Tim Schnaible

In 1994, after playing college tennis at California Lutheran University, I started as a full-time tennis coach. I was coaching approximately 45-50 hours a day, 7 days a week for about eight years before I started my own tennis academy, Schnaible Tennis Academy opened in 2002 and had a tremendous following which includes over 25 sectionally and nationally ranked players, including two USTA National Champions.  Read More>>

Michelle Ishio

It all started after I was pregnant and delivered my first of three children 15 years ago. Prior to entering into this specialization, I mainly specialized in women’s fitness and wellness. Read More>>

Clarissa Lerchenfeld-Keller

Originally, I am from Germany where I have worked in the film industry and later in real estate development as a partner in my own business. Although I was very successful in both fields, I felt that my heart was not in either one. A challenging situation in my life led me to seek help with therapy. Read More>>



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