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Inspiring South Bay Stories

The heart of our mission at VoyageLA is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of South Bay’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rebel rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool.  Check out the area’s rising stars below.

Michelle Nicole Gerrard

Stories within stories. The road to where I am today was long and winding, woven to others’ stories and journies and filled with leaps of faith along the way. My childhood was the foundation for everything I have created. I always thrived in nature surrounded by color, sound, textures, and smells. I wanted to feel everything, no matter if it was unpleasant or magnificent, I wanted to experience it all. Read more>>

Matthew Partsch

My love of the outdoors makes for frequent forays into the Californian wilds, where I delight in the stunning vistas of Los Angeles Beaches, and the Pacific Coast. My company name, Blue Cloud Photography, comes from the time of day before or after the sun rises. Sunlight has seven colors (you can see this in a rainbow): red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet {ROY G BIV. Read more>>

Sebastian Moya

I grew up on the border between El Paso, TX and Cuidad Juarez, Chihuahua. My family was personally affected by the violence that upended the area from 2008-2010 (and still does), and I was ready to try somewhere else. My acceptance to USC and my Latin@ family in Los Angeles was a welcome way to start fresh. However, my background being raised bi-culturally between Neruda, Dickinson, Mario Benedetti, and F. Scott Fitzgerald had inadvertently prepared me for the juxtaposition Los Angeles has to offer. Read more>>

Gilles Vanpoucke

My mom passed down her love for footwear to me as a young kid. I was raised between Italian made design shoes and German made comfortable boots in my mom’s shoe store back in Belgium. I knew I always wanted to do something with footwear because of that and also as an homage to my mom (hence the tattoo of a shoe on my arm). It was around four years ago when Ben Chan (Co-founder of Fritz ‘n Chewy) and I along with our pups were having a few beers on the Hermosa Beach Pier when his love for socks came up. Read more>>

Merissa V. Grayson, Esq.

I’ve always wanted to be a Lawyer. I moved to California after Undergrad (Go Gators!) to go to law school. I didn’t know anyone in the Los Angeles area and was literally just chasing my dreams. I worked part-time during law school for a prominent Attorney in Bel Air. I learned a lot from him…not only as it relates to “Lawyering,” but most importantly, I learned that I was destined to be my own boss when I became an attorney. Backstory: My pay rate was $13/hr. Sure, the wage may have been low for a college graduate at the time. Read more>>

Cameron Weiss

I founded Weiss Watch Company in 2013 to achieve my long-standing goal of restoring prestige to American watchmaking. We design and build timepieces with mechanical movements by hand in Los Angeles, California. Each timepiece is individually assembled in America by me. I have always had an interest for timepieces, even as a child. I attempted to fix my first watch at just 5, and for my high school graduation present, I requested watchmaking tools and books instead of a traditional gift. Read more>>

Cindy Clark

I’d have to say half of me was born this way, the other half was shaped. Maybe that’s how everyone is. But I was born with both fury and curiosity. My dad said I struggled with sleep as a baby and I’d hit my head on things when I was tired intentionally. I have a fixation of light. And because of that, water. I always have. I’m not even sure how to describe what I am now so it makes it difficult choosing what details to include in what shaped me. Read more>>

Arin Dear-Walker

It all started at John W. North HS, where my creativity really started to blossom. My classmates not only knew me for being on the volleyball team but for making these name designs that people would attach to the front of their binder. Their names would be incorporated within different designs, pictures and sketches. I had so many people requesting for me to make them one, even my teachers. Read more>>

Stephanie Tsai

After majoring in Mass Communications from UC Berkeley, I moved to New York City to work in public relations. I stayed in PR for most of my career, taking a brief two years break to get my masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. I was fortunate to have worked with incredible brands and incredible people over the years. Read more>>

Italia Woodson

I was fortunate to have grown up in a family that valued alternative healing and new ways of thinking. My grandmother was a Reiki Master and my dad played CDs of Abraham Hicks Law of Attraction on the way to school for years. Having had these experiences, I was always interested in spiritual healing. During college, I lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a semester and my time in Southeast Asia was not only pivotal to my journey, but it opened my mind to many meditation practices. Read more>>

Eli Nodel

I founded Eco Renovate Pros after many years spent working in Senior Project Management at some of LAs most reputable Design & Build firms. My company was founded around core guiding principles; Transparency, integrity, honesty. Over the years, I’ve been able to build an extensive network of Designers, Architects, Engineers, Subcontractors & Craftsman. Each being a specialist in their individual fields and practice. Read more>>

Arin Dear-Walker

It all started at John W. North HS, where my creativity really started to blossom. My classmates not only knew me for being on the volleyball team but for making these name designs that people would attach to the front of their binder. Their names would be incorporated within different designs, pictures and sketches. I had so many people requesting for me to make them one, even my teachers. Read more>>

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