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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.

Luka Lyman

I created Pua Angels in response to my mother’s death in 2001. Essentially, she originated the flower angel design and was making and selling these well-loved Hawaiian dolls to galleries and gift shops on the islands. At first, I continued making everything the way she did. But I knew I needed to come up with my own business name and by the summer of 2001, Pua Angels was born. Read more>>

Claytia Gonsalves

I wanted to be an ambassador: travel the world, kiss babies, have diplomatic immunity, you know, the perks of the job. But being in D.C. and living in the epicenter of our nation’s political thumbprint, I had a front-row seat to our democracy. At this time, Obama was President and I continuously observed a bipartisan, uncompromising system. And I didn’t like it. Read more>>

Kimmie Jeppson

I started making my own all-natural beauty products for myself almost five years ago. I’ve had extremely sensitive skin and suffered from terrible eczema for half my life. I tried almost everything on the market and spent thousands of dollars on dermatology appointments, prescriptions and beauty products that promised so much but delivered little results and comfort. Eczema is extremely painful and uncomfortable. Read more>>

Kaitlin O’Riley

A true romantic at heart, I write historical romance novels. There is so much bad news in the world every day, and horrible things happening everywhere, that I like to escape from it all. Why not escape into a world where two people fall in love? Isn’t that the best part of any relationship? The beginning, when things are new and exciting and leave you a little breathless. Read more>>

Shefali Vasudevan

When I was twelve, I formed a “Filmmaking Summer Camp” where I wrote a script and filmed a few of my cousins and friends goofing around in my parents living room on a camcorder with a whole lot of Hilary Duff playing in the background. Over three years, this project turned into three hilariously low budget fantasy short films about three female best friends getting transported to a magical land. Read more>>


Eden began her training in ballet and modern dance at the age of seven. At the time, formal Hip-Hop training didn’t exist in Israel, so her only way to learn was from watching MTV. Always determined and passionate about dance, she set her goals high and decided that after the Army she would move to New York City, train in Hip-Hop and “be on MTV”. Read more>>


I have always been drawn to working with fabric and fibers. Growing up in Eastern Europe in a large family, I learned many skills and techniques from my mom: sewing by hand and on the machine, knitting, crochet. Whatever we made was not considered “artisan” or “handmade,” we see these skills today. It was just a way of living. Read more>>


We initially started as strictly best friends/roommates; we had written together here and there, but mostly spent our time hanging out and getting into trouble. We were in Nashville, TN at the time and had both been writing for our own different projects; when I (Elli) decided to make the switch from country to pop music. Read more>>


I came to the United States of America in a full scholarship from the Ministry of Higher education in Kuwait to pursue my degree in Art in Journalism/PR, I started my journey at the California State University of Northridge majoring in Marketing, however, I realized how unhappy I was. Read more>>

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