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West LA 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 West LA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.


I started my career managing marketing activities for big beauty brands like MAC Cosmetics, Lancôme, and L’Oreal Paris. More recently, I aligned my professional endeavors with my personal passion for clean, safe products as I helped build successful indie beauty businesses for Jurlique skincare and Beautycounter. Read more>>


I always like to look back and think about how I got to where I am right now. The simpler and shorter story of myself is: I was born and grew up in Tokyo, moved to LA in 2007. I’ve always been passionate about many forms of visual arts and started storytelling based visual art project in November 2018. I mainly use illustration and photography as my medium. Read more>>


After several years of working in the fashion retail industry, my work ethic and attention to detail led me down a path of visual display coordination for a well-known Fortune 500 company. The career opportunity as a Visual Coordinator fueled my innate passion for design. I began leveraging my professional experience to assist co-workers and friends in planning important events such as showers. Read more>>

Irina Cara

I was born and raised in Venezuela. I decided to move to the United States when I was 16 to pursue my passion for the creative arts. I had never visited this country before, nor did I fully speak the language. Through perseverance and a burning desire to succeed, I got my Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design at 19 years old. Read more>>

Mandy Martini

It started twelve years ago when I moved to Los Angeles from Sweden alone as a 19-year-old. I dated a man shortly and when I ended it with him, he started stalking me. He would watch me behind the gate of the complex I was living in and leave me notes on my car while I was inside a store. Read more>>

Morgan Paupaw

I started as an actor, I mean I’m still an actor, but right after graduating college, that’s all I wanted to be. All I could see myself as, and I had no ambition to be anything else. When I finally moved to LA, I soon came to realize, that the casting breakdowns I thought were perfect for me, were aimed towards non-people of color. Or they would describe the character as “ethnically ambiguous”, then add a photo of a white woman for reference. Read more>>

Ashley Torrijos

At the beginning of this year, I launched my own pop-up and private dining service, Lowboy LA. It has really been a great opportunity to step up as a chef and also as a businesswoman. Now, I’m currently developing a dinner series that I’ll be starting in the Fall. I have a lot more work to put in to get where I want to be, but I’m excited about it. Read more>>

Jenny Deveau

I began practicing yoga and writing music. I met my partner Seth in 2001. We immediately began creating music together as Dynasty Electrik and running an underground performance space for visionaries, musicians and artists. After a decade of performing in the Brooklyn underground music scene, touring and writing music for television and film. Read more>>

Kate Abdelmalek, Sarah Govea and Amy Fernandez

We knew we wanted our brand to represent all the women who were working so hard to make it all happen in their careers and lives. So, we named our brand Canary + Co after Amelia Earhart’s first plane, The Canary. Amelia Earhart was and continues to be an inspiration, as she rejected all gender roles of the time and pushed the limits to be a woman in the field of aviation. Read more>>

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