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Valley Trailblazers

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 Trailblazers series, 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 the Valley that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Kia Imandel Akhlaghi

I love people! I make friends with strangers very easily and then they become my best friends! I would say my life is very colorful. I wear many hats… and I live in the moment! I’ve always been an advocate for healthy living and fitness. In college, I studied fashion because of my love for color, creation, and style. Read more>>

Laurel Klein

That’s when I really started experiencing with portrait work & more intimate assignments. My favorite thing from that class was being able to shoot raw & real moments, sharing them in front of the class and then being able to get excellent advise (whether good or bad) from my professor and peers. Read more>>

Nausheen Ahmed

I was scouted by an agent in Los Angeles for a role in a short film that left me intrigued about the film/theater industry and decided to take acting classes. I fell in love with the acting world and made a 180 turn to be a full-time actress in Los Angeles. Read more>>

Mia Rae Vorburger

I’ve always liked a rocker feminine style. In middle school, I’d wear hot pink dickies with chains! In high school, I won best dressed as a senior and went on to study at FIDM. I love the styling, styling myself, my friends, family so it was only natural that that was where my career was going to take me. Read more>>

Renee Morales

After working for a couple of salons, I decided I would start to work from home and made a space where I live, dedicated to my clients for hair and makeup, this worked for me because I had a five-year-old daughter at the time and long hours at the salon with her didn’t really work for us. My clients loved this idea and ended up referring me a lot of their friends and family, however, I still craved the growth that would come from being a business owner having my own private studio. Read more>>

Lara Hagopian

I am all about finding joy in exercise as well as food. If anything, I’m living, breathing proof that you can balance a healthy and active lifestyle with yummy and drool-worthy meals. I live for finding the best food joints all over town and documenting my entire experience. It’s an important message to spread—you can be fit and in good shape and still enjoy these things! Read more>>

Miri Rossitto

I started with absolutely nothing and a very empty office. I didn’t have a client let alone a prospect in site. I immediately started knocking on doors, I joined local networking groups and my family spent two years living off of our savings. Things started to change as I added more and more clients but I knew that something was missing. My need to control every little business detail was preventing me from having a healthy company. Read more>>

Boun Borth

It’s what I wanted at the time. And I think everyone from school can attest to it. After graduating, things changed rapidly… I moved from my small town to the Twin Cities with my now husband. That didn’t sit well with my parents, but there was no turning back. Read more>>

Rachel Noelle

After unpacking a million boxes and settling in, my husband and I took a stroll down Santa Monica pier and came across what would soon be known as one of the greatest songwriting duos, The Jackie Boyz. Two brothers from Savanna, GA, figuring their way into the business as well. They had a cardboard box filled with cd’s that had their contact information written in black sharpie on the front. Read more>>

Claudia Cordova Rucker

I opened Aqua, my nail care salon, with the goal of making money to provide for myself and my family. In 2006, we opened a second, more convenient location, but had to close that salon just three years later due to the recession. I was operating my business as many typical small-business owners do: day-to-day survival and lots of prayers. Read more>>

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