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The Valley 3.27.2017

Rachel Rankin

When I originally moved to Los Angeles in 2005, I had a passion for music industry and aspired to be a savvy festival organizer or hip A&R. Being that the music industry was at its worst though, I knew I needed a degree that could translate into greener pastures. As I was working to finish my Communications degree, I decided to get my Pilates certification as a plan b. Good thing I did. Read More>>

Nina Savelle-Rocklin

When I was five years old I developed an obsession with my thighs. I truly thought that if my legs were thinner, I’d be perfect. And I was a perfectly normal weight child. Read More>>

Leo Frincu

A former World Champion wrestler, Leo Frincu has been training professionals and amateurs for more than 15 years. For the past decade, he has owned Results Studio, a premier gym in Los Angeles, California. He has had the privilege of training world champions Ronda Rousey, Romulo Barral, Mikaela Myers and Diana Prazak. Read More>>

Joy D’Albora

I first discovered yoga about 15 years ago. I quickly realized this was something I knew would be a major part of my life. I would dream about running my own yoga/wellness center for years. I spent the next decade working for small businesses and co-running one of my own. Read More>>

Gabrielle Saran

I’m basically a cronut topped with chocolate: a mix of French, American, and Swiss. Probably not the best analogy for a Pilates instructor, but I’m a foodie, what can I say! My life in general is a concoction of a variety of jobs and places I’ve moved to. Actually, Pilates wasn’t in the cards until not too long ago. Read More>>

Steve Baca

I began training the martial arts after becoming a victim of a violent assault. I stayed in the arts because I fell in love with them. My journey started with the traditional art of American Kenpo Karate in Pasadena Ca. under GM Larry Tatum in 1993. Read More>>

Cecile Rivoire

I started my business by designing evening gowns. There was a need for me to have a store, so I decided to carry bridal and bridesmaids and mother of the
bride dresses as well. Read More>>

Aaron Robins

I started cooking alongside my old school, Jewish grandmother as a kid. Cooking with fire is a skill I owe to my father, and upscale European cooking is something my mother guided me towards. Read More>>

Martin Barthold

I’m so very proud to be associated with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. The company has been teaching the world to dance since 1912 (the year the Titanic sank!) The company has revived and revitalized dancing through the last 105 years and through all the greatest entertainment booms associated with dancing in the 20th and early 21st centuries from all the fun swinging Elvis movies to Saturday Night Fever through Dirty Dancing, Shall We Dance, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and now La La Land. Read More>>

Brian Kukan

I started getting into Reiki in 2007 while I was on summer break from teaching high school math. I was going through a tough time in my life, and by learning how to meditate and practice Reiki I started seeing improvements in myself. Over the next few years I studied with two Reiki Masters and found myself getting more involved in my Reiki practice. Read More>>

Bruce Burchmore

I did my first Pilates session in 1994 after being introduced to it by a friend. I was hooked immediately and sought out a way to study the technique in an effort to incorporate Pilates into my personal health regimen. Read More>>

Donnie Jeffcoat

I moved to California from Oklahoma in 1984 at age nine. I started training in martial arts shortly after the move (after having problems with being bullied at school). I was also a child actor and grew up doing television and film projects all the way up through my thirties. Read More>>

Paola Petrella

The amazing journey began in December 2005, right after Chef Paola gave birth to her second child. Chef Craig and Paola Petrella partnered in 2006 to launch their very own high-end meal delivery service & boutique catering business, TWO PEAS INC. Read More>>

Renee Dalo

Oh it’s a long story! I was a working actor for a while in NYC, specifically performing in musical theatre. In between jobs, I (of course) worked in hospitality. I’ve literally held every front of house job you can have in a restaurant – even food running and bussing! Read More>>

Christina DeChellis

I am a self-taught Artist. I took my first Art Workshop at the age of five, and I knew immediately that art would be my life. At eighteen, I landed a gig as a Portrait/Caricature Artist at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I was lucky enough to study under Jess Rubio, an Artist and close friend of Walt Disney. Read More>>

Chris Arpad

Thank you so much, my story: Well … I’m a gigging musician based in Los Angeles, primarily as a solo steel drummer. Over the years I’ve crafted a unique performance of singing and playing steel drums live over my own custom-computerized music tracks, with reggae and island music like Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffett, Santana, Beach Boys, UB40, etc. Read More>>

Thai Gaon

I started off my journey at the age of 13, instead of having a huge Bar Mitzvah party my mother and father decided to buy me a camera. Since then I learned everything by spending long hours in camera stores and watching YouTube videos. I self-thought myself and with the help of the people around me got a small photography business going. Read More>>

Yelena Protsenko

As a professional actress, I have always wanted to find a way to bring theater to the lives of children. I am very passionate about the art of theater and have always felt that it was imperative that the next generation be exposed to the art as well. The original idea of Puppet Theater on Wheels was born from this passion and experience. Read More>>

Katy Chase

My husband Ryan and I opened Studio LOL in May of 2010 in an effort to make a living doing the two things we thought were our greatest strengths and also the most fun — improv comedy and working with children. Read More>>

Kristeen LaBrot

I studied Advertising and Art History at the University of Florida. Event Planning never crossed my mind as a career choice! Before I made the move to LA from Florida, I had a two jobs in marketing that involved events. Read More>>

Zimar Manigault

The story really started with my passion for computers and providing a multipurpose event vehicle. I own a nonprofit (ComputerWorks Global). I took an old Thomas Built school bus and converted it. Read More>>

Chef Tony Hyde

I worked for Whole Foods Market, doing recipes for the main kitchen and worked in their stores as a chef for about six years. One day the company had an accident with one of their holding refrigerator case, so I developed a bracket to solve the problem with the cases, but once I tried to sell it to the company, my invention was stolen by the manager at the Santa Monica store and was replicated, then sent to all the other stores. Read More>>

Brandon Wollner

What You Want Productions started out from a need to provide quality events. The idea came to us sitting in the back of a van. We were at an event discussing how poorly the stages, sound, and visuals were executed. Read More>>

Tommy Wu

I established myself as a corporate editorial photographer in Silicon Valley. After years of this I found myself wanting more of a reach in the visual world and slowly transitioned into shooting fashion and editorial throughout Southern California, specifically in Los Angeles. Read More>>

Arthur Trace

Like many budding magicians, I became interested in magic at an early age when I saw a magician perform at my grade school. However, it wasn’t until my second-grade teacher assigned me a do-it-yourself project that involved learning a simple version of the classic Cups and Balls trick that I actually started performing. Read More>>

Dana Bresin

My background is in the restaurant industry, my parents were restaurant owners and I was trained at a very young age to do every position there was to ensure that as a manager of the restaurant I could do any job. Read More>>

Corrie Mendes

I started working in LA as a talent coordinator on the Academy Awards and moved into the event world 10 years ago. At my last event firm, she produced some of the most memorable celebrity events of our time. Read More>>

Bryan Chesters

Let’s Party LA Entertainment is a DJ/MC company that provides “Entertainment for all Occasions”! We pride ourselves on our personal attention and we work with each client individually to ensure that every event is as unique and special as they are! Whether you want a dazzling elegant affair or a casual family get together, we have the experience and the talent to make sure your event is a night to remember! Read More>>

Haik Zadoyan

While I was in college, I kept myself busy on the side by doing marketing, branding, web development and design for a few local and online brands. To me, it wasn’t just a source of income, but an interesting and fun process. I started an online music website called Raw Goodage, which covered music events, conducted interviews, and suggested new music to thousands of viewers. Read More>>

Farzad (Zad) Youshei

In 1999, my family and I were finally able to escape Iran and move to the USA. I remember my father coming home and letting us know that we finally got our visas. A feeling of excitement filled the room. Of course, I was too young to fully understand the importance of it, but I remember that we all breathed a sigh of relief. Read More>>

Tracy Pacht

I came across TapSnap when I was looking for a photo booth for our daughter’s upcoming Bat Mitzvah at the time. I was attracted to TapSnap for its innovation, technology, engagement, and customization. I originally contacted the company to see if I could work for them and then decided it was a good fit for me to purchase a franchise. Read More>>

Linda Wehrli

I’ve been committed to continuing lifelong learning and inspiring creative thinking through art and music since 1989. These are pastimes that will last a lifetime. Read More>>

Joseph Rivera

“Saving the City, One Party at a Time” is my slogan, and its history started when I first started out as a DJ. I discovered the fun possibilities of mixing music in 2009. Not only did I love it, it was a skill and interest that I wanted to be involved in as much as I could. Read More>>

Krista and Per-Olov Pettersson

My husband and I LOVE music and dancing!!! We launched Thousand Oaks DJ Company four years ago when we found that we were informally DJing friends’ and friends’ of friends parties more and more often. My husband had started a successful DJ company while still a teen-ager growing up in Sweden. Read More>>

Shara Prophet

It has been a series of crossroads throughout my entire life that led me to energy based healing work. I have always been very spiritual and felt I was being led through life by a higher force. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I certainly didn’t expect my life’s work to be centered around hypnotherapy. Read More>>

Jonathan Pelletier

I got into kickboxing because it was inviting. It encompasses both strength and cardio in the same workout. It has always been my go to work out to maintain my weight when everything else has always been monotonous. Read More>>

Mickey Goldkorn

Super Sal,, started 15 years ago as the premier Israeli grocery store (glatt kosher, RCC certified). Today, with new management (owners of Menchie’s and MidiCi), Super Sal of America is investing heavily in key areas and growing rapidly. Read More>>

Melinda Flatsker

Flatsker Fine Art Restoration brings over 22 years of European trained experience to antiques and decorative arts that are in need of cleaning, repair, conservation or major restoration. Read More>>

Carrie Russo

I was a dance minor at Ohio University and Pilates was part of our curriculum. Years later, when I moved to LA from my hometown of Cleveland, I decided Pilates was a natural progression for my career. Read More>>

Alex Kim

We would like to invite you to come in and experience our unique Belgium Liege Waffles and Specialty Coffees. Located in the heart of the Granada Hills Village, we are using real, authentic Pearl Sugar, imported directly from Belgium, to make our famous waffles. Read More>>

Sarah Hallman

I have had several careers in my life and getting to this one has been a journey. I moved to LA from Kansas to be a wardrobe stylist and work in fashion, it was my dream to own my own line. Read More>>

Ruth Caal

Jackalope Pottery & Plants began as a pet-friendly home furniture store. Down the line we let go of a few things and headed towards the outdoors! Now we are the #1 pot spot in The Valley. Read More>>

Anne Jackson

Born and raised in a teeny, tiny, town in the South, I packed it up, and left home at 13 to pursue my dreams of tutus and tiaras. After graduating with Distinction in Dance from Interlochen Arts Academy, I spent a season with Sacramento Ballet. Los Angeles beckoned, and, since about 2006, has been home. Read More>>

Taihina Tamar

I became attentive to the human form when I noticed how vastly different my grandmothers were from each other. My curiosity as to why became obsessive. Little did I know this obsession would become my life. Read More>>

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