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West LA’s Hidden Gems

Every day we have a choice. We can support an up and coming podcaster, try a new family-run restaurant, join a boutique gym started by a local fitness champ or we could keep giving away our money to the handful of giants who already control so much of our commerce. Our daily decisions impact the kind world we live in; if we want a world where small businesses are growing and artists and creatives are thriving then we should support them with our time, money and attention. We’re proud to highlight inspiring creatives and entrepreneurs each week in Hidden Gems series.  Check out some of West LA’s gems below.

Robin Brient and Jenn Haskew

When Robin’s oldest son was born, she struggled as a new mom to find her rhythm and how to help her baby sleep. She started reading a lot of sleep books and became fascinated with how important sleep was for her infant’s development and her family’s well being. Read more>>

Adonnica Genon

I initially started my photography career seven years ago, in Detroit, MI. I’ve always been passionate about photography since a very young age. I stepped out on faith not long after graduating high school and decided to become a free-lance photographer (which has not always been the easiest thing). I’ve traveled to New York, Atlanta. Read more>>

Sachi and Chiyo Hartley

Ever since we can remember Chiyo and I have been bringing delicious coffee beans to our family in Japan as gifts. When we would arrive in Japan, we would all get together over a cup of coffee and talk for hours. As the years went by, it became an inside joke that we should open a coffee business. Read more>>

Stefani Beckerman

My love affair with Los Angeles began early. I’ve always been attracted to California’s positive and mindful energy and grew up visiting family here many times a year. When I was 12, at a photo shoot that my cousin took me to, I met Rick Yorn. I decided that I wanted to be him when I grew up. Read more>>

Rachel Jones

I feel like I’ve been following this path from quite early on, whether I knew it or not! I grew up an English born-and-raised kid with an American accent. I never felt like I fully fit in with my peers, but it wasn’t so clear as to why because I looked and sounded like everyone else. I think the experience of “hiding in plain sight. Read more>>

Raphael Dargent

I am from Paris but I grew up in Tokyo for the first ten years of my life. Very early on I was exposed to music through piano lessons. I have to say I wasn’t so sensitive to music. It was only later on, following the death of my mother, brother, sister and grandparents in the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, that I realised it was a vital mean of self-expression for me. Read more>>

Andrew Revell and Julia Hasbrook

We own a line of CBD products called Canndeux. We started looking into CBD when both of us started having health issues at a much-too-early age. Julia was dealing with a major upcoming open-heart surgery to repair one of her valves and Andrew had just had his own heart attack the year prior. And we were only in our 40’s. Read more>>

Justin Fredericks

I am deeply entrepreneurial and curious, which has led to an interesting array of career paths and turns. Currently, I run ArtxCo, a visual arts agency – and our latest project is Sneakertopia, an immersive pop-up museum dedicated to sneaker culture, that just opened at HHLA (formerly The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, just off the 405 freeway). Read more>>

Gary Chau and Mark Wain

Best friends since school, Mark Wain and Gary Chau quit their corporate jobs in 2006 to start their dream of working together and owning a local neighborhood business. Through their shared passion for European sensibilities, their experiences with Caffe culture in Italy always stayed with them. Read more>>

William Nguyen

Always looking to express creativity in different ways, my relationship with photography began my senior year of high school in 2015. I quickly developed an eye and started planning shoots with people I met off Twitter/Instagram. Gaining experience primarily in creative portrait photography. Read more>>

Jay Bernardo

I started OPEX Santa Monica in June of 2019 after close to five years of coaching group fitness classes. I felt like I had accumulated enough experience and knowledge to confidently go off on my own so I decided to pursue an opportunity starting my own business. Read more>>

Emily Larson

My name is Emily Larson, I classify myself in the simplest terms, as a painter, illustrator, and sculptor who uses a variety of different materials, both conventional and unconventional in my work. I’m currently a Sophomore studying at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California working towards getting my Bachelor. Read more>>

Amber Murdock

The unification of becoming my own boss while pursuing a modeling career has helped me to define myself as a ”Model-Preneur”. Striving for success in the midst of busy streets such as Los Angeles was by far no stranger to me. I grew up on the west side of Chicago where there was always two sides to every story. Read more>>

Jason Varughese

I grew up outside of Dallas, TX and moved to the SF Bay Area for college. I primarily stayed in the SF Bay Area until I moved to Los Angeles about five years ago. Prior to Co-Founding Pink Cloud, I spent 60% of my career as a Product Manager and 40% as a Software Engineer. Read more>>

Christian Bowman

It all started with me watching a food network chef by the name of Emeril Lagasse at nine yrs old. I would watch him every day until I found myself wanting to make something that he made. So I started to watch my mother who cooked very well and she would teach me the basic seasonings. Read more>>

Jessica Chen

Growing up in a Taiwanese family, I guess you could say Traditional Chinese Medicine was in my blood. When we were sick, my mother would often make soups using traditional Chinese herbs to help us feel better. So, I guess that’s how my journey into acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine actually started. Read more>>

Zeus Ley

I guess I can start with my name. My parents had thrown this name on the table with many others. It was my nana (momma’s mom) who insisted on this name over any other. It’s a powerful name and you’d think someone named after the God of thunder would be a confident and electrifying personality. Read more>>

Zach Moon

We’re made up of three guys (myself, John, and Dan) who all grew up playing in a band together in high school in Salt Lake City, Utah. In college, I met Alisa, the Aussie girl in the band. We started writing together and formed a band that we called ‘Heaps n Heaps.’ After college, I moved to L.A. Read more>>

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