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West LA 05.01.2018

Greg Shane

I was volunteering for an organization called Changing Perceptions which gave an opportunity to visually impaired individuals to share their stories. However, soon after I started volunteering, the head of the program had a sudden death. Read more>>

Paul Hefti

I come from a family of musicians, as both of my parents, Neal Hefti & Frances Wayne, met in New York City while working for Woody Herman’s First Herd: Neal composed, arranged, and played trumpet, Frances as Woody’s lead vocalist. Read more>>

Chase Shi

I’m a product manager at a mobile gaming company. However, photography is always my passion to pursue. I’ve been taking photos for 10 years and focusing on portrait photography for the last 3 years. Since I moved to LA, I got really fascinated by how amazing the photography resources it offers. Read more>>

Justin Ramirez

My entire life I’ve been an entrepreneur. I remember reading business books in grade school and enrolling myself into real estate courses in high school. My first serious venture was in 2008. I started a music publication and independent label from my college dorm room that highlighted hip hop culture and its diversity. Read more>>

Suzanne Brosnan

When I first started thinking about ZANNI and dresses made from technical performance fabrics I was freelancing as a UX/UI designer. My work consisted of auditing and improving the experience and design of digital products like websites, apps, software etc and with that mindset I also started to take note of the flaws of tangible things in my life, like my clothing. Read more>>

Victoria Livingstone

There are distinct periods in the breath of our lives when we learn that fate has a funny bone. I had been bestowed, by what-ever powers that persist, a tranquil, mostly trauma-free experience on earth. That is, until a couple of years ago. Read more>>

Danielle Burgio

One thing I’ve learned on this beautiful wave called “life”, is to expect the unexpected. And starting a jewelry line was certainly unexpected! My entire career has been a series of adventures and surprises. I went from being an actress, to a Broadway dancer and after moving to LA found myself among the badass stunt community where I learned some of my greatest life lessons about facing fear (and the thrill of adrenaline). Read more>>

Sura Simpson

I moved to LA to work in the music industry. I did radio promotion for a while and realized I hated it. I wasn’t sure what I would do when I decided to leave the industry. The idea to go to beauty school came out of nowhere, or seemingly so. My decision would be validated much later and rather unexpectedly. Read more>>

Desirée Chance, Antonella Nardi

We originally started Yourlixir in an effort to solve an issue we had with easily incorporating our health with our on-the-go lifestyles. Between work, travel and having active days running around the city, we found it either difficult or just too expensive to keep on top of the kind of health regimine we’d like to. Read more>>

Steve O’Dell

The first experience I had with Entrepreneurship was a communications course at UCLA with Professor Steven Peterson. It was the only class I actually enjoyed (and went to) while at UCLA. The summer after that class I started my first company called the Odd Job Bros, which was a big success for me at the time. Read more>>

Alyssa Sparks

I was a dancer for 20 years of my life, competing nationally with a nationally recognized studio and also teaching dance and choreography to young dancers local and national. As a ballet dancer, taking Pilates was recommended by my teachers to help with stability and core strength as I continued developing as a dancer. Read more>>

Jewelia Britton

Born and raised in California my family had me outside all of the time. My love for crystals started at a very young age when my dad and I would search for moonstones, every time we visited my great grandmother who lived near Moonstone Beach in Cambria. Read more>>

James Kicklighter

I grew up in Bellville, Georgia, population 123. I always knew I loved telling stories, but I didn’t know how to make a living from it. You don’t have a frame of reference for that in a small town. Fortunately, when I was sixteen, I went to a Young Writers Conference at a local college. Read more>>

Annette Parry

I grew up in the north of England, Manchester. Where I really mastered my skills of ‘play’. I was outdoors at every opportunity , playing with my neighborhood friends. Either building shelters, catching frogs, playing tag or our beloved football (soccer). Read more>>

Malia van der Kamp

I grew up on my family’s farm/vineyard in Sonoma County, then went on to pursue a double BA in Theater and French from UCLA. During my time at UCLA I developed a deeper love and appreciation of wine. I spent a summer in Burgundy studying winemaking, and took night classes at UCLA Extension to get a business certificate in wine marketing and management. Read more>>

Ada Li

I first began blogging about my baking and food adventures on WordPress, and I kept that up for a couple years until it became too time consuming for me. Afterwards, I started becoming more active on my Instagram account (which was a personal account at the time) and realized I was gaining more and more followers because of my food posts. Read more>>

Justine Lee

I was born and raised in Los Angeles in a first generation immigrant family. My parents were both born around the end of World War II and lived through times of great political upheaval in East and Southeast Asia. Read more>>

Gigi Yogini

Which is funny, because growing up I perceived myself as a tomboy. I was the youngest in a family of all boys and I was an athlete, but I developed quickly into a young woman by middle school. After a life in co-ed schools, I decided to go to an all girls boarding school for my last two years of high school. Read more>>

Simon Mainwaring

My story began with a 15 year career in advertising where I worked in many of the top creative agencies in Australia, London, and the US such as Wieden Kennedy, Ogilvy and Saatchi and Saatchi. During that time I was lucky enough to work on incredibly exciting brands like Nike, as well as run global accounts such as Motorola. Read more>>

Ross Canter

I’ve always loved food. I grew up going to my grandpa’s deli every Sunday (he was one of the Canter brothers at the original Canter’s Deli location in Boyle Heights). I spent most of my time at the bakery and candy counters – I still get a lot of inspiration from those weekend visits. Read more>>

Kaj Larsen

Carter Gaffney (co-founder) and I met as freshman at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. We became life long friends and would go on to become Navy SEALs together. We served at SEAL team 1 as junior officers and did multiple deployments together in the Global War on Terror. Read more>>

Farah Casis

The Room Santa Monica will be celebrating 20 years this year!! After the tremendous success of The Room Hollywood, we wanted to recreate the same vibe on the Westside. Back in those days, the Westside was full of flip flop/beach-y bars… There wasn’t much around with “soul” that catered to younger demographics. Read more>>

Roderick de Rode

It started with the frustration with the POD systems like Keurig and Nespresso and the bad tasting coffee made by those machines. With a bunch of coffee experts and engineers we came up with a method to make coffee using a centrifuge. Read more>>

Leah Kemerling

I moved to LA from Chicago about a year ago. Prior to moving here, I spent a lot of time working in various tech startups. Most of them fizzled, but one of the startups I worked for was eventually acquired by Twitter. After that, I took some time off from tech work. Read more>>

Debra Olson

I started Debra o design out of an idea I studied interior design maybe 25 years ago , worked on friends places , it wasn’t until I moved into a super super super tiny apartment in Brentwood over a garage and that became my palate where I had to get really creative and make it look a lot bigger than what it was when people started to see it they were amazed at what I had done with this tiny space and they’re the journey began. Read more>>

Sophie Lovejoy

Before starting my pajama company, I was a TV producer working in Melbourne, then New York (20/20) then Sydney. I adored my job with 20/20, but when I returned to Australia, the work I was doing in TV wasn’t nearly as challenging. Read more>>

Jenny Pagliaro, Angela Petrilli

Roses & Cigarettes was formed in late 2013, when Pagliaro and Petrilli were performing in a cover band together. The girls bonded over their shared love of artists like Patty Griffin, Ray LaMontagne, and Fleetwood Mac. Read more>>

Tanner Martty

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for physical culture, health and self improvement, which was passed on to me by my father. About 10 years ago I made the conscious decision that I was going to dedicate myself and my life’s work to something I believed in that was a reflection of the principles for health, strength and happiness that I had developed. Read more>>

Sarah Gross

Sarah’s love for dance growing up led her to studying the art of it further in college. She attained an A.A. degree in Dance from Santa Monica College, which led to getting her B.A. in World Arts & Cultures with a dance concentration from UCLA. While in college, a friend spontaneously asked her to teach a children’s dance class at the Santa Monica YMCA and that’s when Sarah discovered her love for teaching dance. Read more>>

Sasha Carrion

When I was 5 and my sister 3, our mother disappeared. Two days later, our father disappeared. My mother’s mom would end up taking us in. A few years later, she formally adopted us, making herself the oldest woman in the state of CA to adopt children at that time. Read more>>

April Beyer

I began my career as a Matchmaker twenty years ago. After spending several years working at a top agency, I saw a more specialized path to serve clientele and started my own personal matchmaking firm, catering to some of the most eligible single men in the country. Read more>>

Jen LaVita

My love for art started as early as I can remember. My grandfather, who was a successful architect, gave me a set of pastels when I was six and I never looked back. I had two great high school art teachers who taught me traditional skills and technique. Read more>>

Mary Wiggins, Chris Getto

Luck started it all! Chris’s last business was forced to move from Westchester to Venice in a temporary spot. Mary happened to be leading a yoga workshop at this same space one weekend. This chance meeting started it all… falling in love and ultimately creating our little shop. Read more>>

Cami J. Kidder

I had been the Eastern Regional Marketing Director of the American Skiing Company for about 4 years when my job was abruptly eliminated. I was also had just starred in “Annie Get Your Gun” at the local community theatre; and had been starting to wonder about acting prospects beyond Vermont for a while.  Read more>>

Madison DeClercq

I started my career in esthetics as a makeup artist in Los Angeles after a big move from Michigan at 19 years old. After my early years of experience in the beauty industry, I quickly became obsessed with skincare and how important it is to have healthy skin. Read more>>

Alison Doherty

My story began with my own initial experience with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. In my early twenties, I suffered from health challenges that included unexplained nerve pain. I sought help for my condition and was discouraged with the options I was finding, until I tried acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Read more>>

Germana Torres

I moved from Fortaleza, Brazil 18 years ago straight to Los Angeles. My business was born from my own necessity to a have natural way to wax due to my very sensitive skin and my pain tolerance be close to zero. So I tried to find natural wax like one that I used to have in Brazil and I couldn’t find it. Read more>>

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