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The Valley 9.5.2017

Sarah Sohn

I started off as a client first when I fell in love with lash extensions. There were times I didn’t have a job and I would go in and get fills from Oxnard to West Hollywood doing hour or more commutes. I had a feeling they were going to be all the rage so I always wanted to learn how to do them but never had the money to start up. I was working two jobs at the time but never had enough money saved up to take the leap and was nervous what if I invest all this money and I am no good. It was when I visited my family in South Korea and saw they were all on their way to success; one cousin was a lawyer, another in school to be a Doctor, and most of my relatives graduated from a UC or better while I was still in community college not knowing what I wanted to do. Read more>>

Lise Evanger Pedersen

I was born and raised in the rural countryside of Norway. Growing up I would always look for adventures, which meant exploring old barns, playing with cows, riding horses, running through meadows and hiking in the mountains. All of this right outside my doorstep naturally made me fall in love with the rustic and authentic elements of the world. It was a big contrast for me when I, in 2012, packed my bags and moved across the Atlantic Ocean (and the US Continent!) to the urban jungle of Los Angeles. Read more>>

Gennadiy Kopelyan

I was always excited about online marketing, the process where you take an unknown company and make it shine and prosper. So, I got seasoned business professionals, engineers, marketing specialists that come from all spheres of life. Bringing together a diverse group of people has created a strong, versatile team dynamic, which allows us to step outside of the box and specifically cater to each business on an individual, specific, and personal level. I can’t call it a smooth road. A lot of clients we work with have been burned before. Read more>>

Mat Gurman

I became involved in music and guitar as a matter of survival. I was abused by my maternal grandfather from a very early age. When my father discovered it quite accidentally while staying over at my grandparents’ house (where the abuse would occur), he told me it was all a dream and to forget it ever happened. I believed him, being only 4 years old but the abuse continued for another several years with me not really aware of what was going on. I found a way of detaching myself from the present as a way of surviving the abuse. I went from being very verbal and outgoing to very shut down as a child, self mutilating and having frequent recurrent nightmares. Read more>>

Adrian Ghila

I started this business out of pure necessity and frustration of the poor existing services out there. I was in a search for a luxurious RV to camp out with my family and I was getting really frustrated with the quality of the RVs out there. Not to mention the high prices and all the add ons. As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve seen this challenge as an opportunity for business. And this is how Luxe RV was born. I admire Richard Branson a lot, and when I look at Luxe RV, I want to see it as Virgin Airline brand for RVs. The consumer should have a truly luxurious option and Luxe RV is here to deliver the ultimate level of RV renting. Read more>>

Arezou Yaghoubian

I was born in Iran and immigrated to the US by way of Italy in an ” Argo” type of story. I have lived in LA majority of my life and have wanted to be a doctor like my parents as long as I can remember. Graduated valedictorian of my high school. Went on to UCLA and received my B.S. and M.D. degrees. After completing medical school, I completed a general surgery residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. I continued my education with a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery followed by an additional fellowship in orthopedic hand and microsurgery at UCLA. I have been very passionate about academics and have co-authored almost 50 manuscripts and book chapters. In addition to running my own private practice, I am currently a clinical instructor at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center’s Department of Plastic Surgery and the Los Angeles VA in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Read more>>

Shahab Mahboubian

Working on the human body and helping those with musculoskeletal injuries was always a passion of mine at a very young age. Learning about making people taller and correcting their deformities came toward the end of my orthopedic residency and I found it fascinating. I was determined that this specialty would truly fulfill my desire to help those in need. In the past few years, I have been able to not only make people taller or walk normally, but I have raised my patients’ confidence and helped them achieve their long-life goals. I have been fortunate enough to learn from some of the best surgeons in the country and I keep myself updated on all the latest techniques in orthopedic surgery. Read more>>

Sabrina Delgado

After two careers in male dominated industries, I felt it was necessary for me to start out on an endeavor where I would benefit more from my skills and hard work. In 2016, I was fortunate enough to have the time to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Everyone always says, “one day I’d like to open my own restaurant” or “one day I’d like to write a book.” I too, was one of those people. Then, when I had the time to do either of those things, I realized neither one of those things were going to give me the satisfaction I was looking for in a career. After several different business ideas failed to spark the excitement that it takes to pursue a project that has no deadline; nor anyone is holding you accountable to complete – I finally realized that working with and taking care of dogs does. Read more>>

Jon Robertson

Like most Angelenos, I, too, was just another ‘pie-eyed Laserium-fan’, back ‘in the day’, when it reigned up at Griffith… But, as my life turned from doing Graphic Design / Art Direction for a “living” (which, after 9/11, seemed to be ever-more elusive.) I began to explore my lifelong fascination with Laser Light as a (maybe??) sort of ‘fantasy football’ option, as-to where to look for gainful work (that paid ‘on-time’…) So, from about 2002, I converted the ‘obsession’ into ‘fishing with Photons’, and after landing a few jobs with my own start-up Laser Show Co. (DayStar Lasers), I sought out my ‘inspirational roots’, by seeking out Ivan and Co. (Laserium) We were ‘officially introduced’ about 2005, and immediately saw the synergy between the companies. Read more>>

Patrick Stalinski

Stalinski is an American actor and recording artist. He got his start as a professional vocalist when he was discovered by Soco Brown. It was with Browns recommendation that landed the break through role for Stalinski in the Michigan Opera Theatre production of Die Fledermaus. This debut role lead Stalinski to perform for four seasons with the Michigan Opera Theatre company; Marriage of Figaro, The Mikado & Madam Butterfly. Stalinski then caught the attention of the great North American tenor, Edward Kingens who became his mentor spanning nearly four decades. Read more>>

Sarah Gossett

Ever since I can remember, doing hair has been my passion… and I truly don’t remember the exact moment I thought to myself “I want to be a hairstylist”, I just always knew that was what I was going to do with my life. So, right out of high school I got my Cosmetology license and was able to begin my career at the age of 19. The first salon I worked at was an Aveda exclusive salon in Santa Clarita, CA called Rituals Colour Salon. There I was trained by haircutting and color specialists, and was also sent to the Aveda headquarters for extensive classes and hands on training. I was so grateful to be able to begin my career with such an amazing foundation of the fundamentals of color, because I truly don’t believe I would be where I am today without that initial training. Read more>>

Jennifer Weisman

Jennifer Weisman has been part of the beauty industry for over 13 years now. She started her career in the industry working for MAC Cosmetics back in 2004 and hit the ground running. Her artistic and creative nature drove her love of makeup. She decided to expand her knowledge by attending the prestigious Makeup Designory in Los Angeles, California where she learned special effects and character makeup. After many years of working as a MAC Pro artist on weddings, photoshoots, and music videos; her passion for learning drove her to expand her knowledge once again and she decided it was time to go deeper than the makeup on her client’s face. She enrolled herself at Lu Ross Academy (Aesthetician Program) in Ventura, California where she learned everything there is to know about skincare. Read more>>

Nicole Wright

In 2002, I pursued my dreams of being a filmmaker when I took a one-way road trip from Boise, Idaho to Southern California to attend film school at Brooks Institute. While going to school, I worked as a newscast editor at KEY News. Years after earning my Bachelors Degree in Film & Video Production, I joined the Air Force Reserves as a Broadcast Journalist, where I further developed storytelling skills via videography. I currently reside in Moorpark with my husband and daughter. I’ve had to learn how to start up a small business on my own. I’ve actually learned the most from difficult clients and how to modify my contract, boundaries, and professionalism to avoid stressful interactions. Read more>>

Alicia Riggs

My family and I had the war on lice about 6 years ago. We used all of the over the counter products available to try and rid ourselves of the horrible little bugs. All of the products from the store promised to be 100% effective but not one of them worked. I kept thinking I was doing something wrong because they said they would work. We dealt with the problem for about a month until I finally did some research online. The over the counter chemical products are no longer effective. The lice are now “super lice” and have built up an immunity to the chemicals. So what is a family to do? The at home remedies don’t work either i.e. olive oil, mayonnaise, Listerine, Cetaphil lotion. We felt like we were never going to get rid of the lice. It wasn’t until we had researched thoroughly that we came upon the natural solution to removing the lice. Read more>>

Cynthia Rowley

I started my career over 20 years ago as a decorative painting contractor specializing in finishes ranging from Venetian plaster to stenciling and murals. I loved the idea of coming into a space and making it a beautiful home for the client to enjoy. Once I realized my eye for design went beyond the walls, I wanted to create a business that allowed me to help others re-purpose their homes and create an entire finished space with everything from paint to furniture to decorating. I have used paints from around the world and chose Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan because it’s simply a product that cannot be beat. Read more>>

Kristen DeBenedetto

MMCD began as a healing space. I returned to teaching after taking sometime to be a stay home mom. once my son was in school I needed my own healing. I found that as always dance heals the soul in ways that are unexplainable. I had re found my passion! I set out to create a safe place of creativity and healing through movement. That led me to Autism Movement Therapy. A brilliant fusion of therapy and dance to re connect the hemispheres of these special dancer’s brains. Then I wanted to do more! I wanted to build community through dance and the mixed ability class was born. Dancers of all abilities learn together and from each other. I look forward to expanding the program one unique dancer at a time. Read more>>

Helene Liatsos

As a child of an immigrant family, the message I got was to get a good education and a good job. So, I did just that – right after college I got a job with TWA. My entire family rejoiced! Staying in the travel industry I moved up several times working for a variety of travel related companies such as The Sheraton Corporation. About 10 years later I had enough of the corporate world; didn’t like the limitations, the politics and the pay scale. Spend about six months thinking about what I really, really wanted to do. In talking with my father one day, I realized that he had his own business, making his own decisions and giving himself a raise once in a while! Hmmmm, I thought – if he could do it, coming to this country with minimal skills, language and money, then what is holding me back? I concluded that nothing was holding me back except for my own initiative. Read more>>

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