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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.

Tammie and Shanie Los

The story of this business starts with my mother. My mother, Tammie, worked with food all her life. From training with high-end pastry chefs in San Francisco to working nights as a waitress for extra cash, she was always around incredible food and some of the best kitchens in California. So it’s only fitting that she too would go on to create something great, right? And all great stories start at home, whether it’s in a garage, basement, or in this case a kitchen; a really, really small kitchen. A good friend of my mother was opening a small coffee shop and asked if she wanted to make pasties for him. Wanting more than just waitressing she gladly accepted by making him a couple of small batches of cookies and fudge. These were of course a big hit but the owner wanted more. He wanted muffins. My mother had never made muffins before as these weren’t things you made in a high-end pastry kitchen. She gave it a go and they were good but not great. After numerous nights of force-feeding her family muffin after muffin, she stumbled upon what we know today as the South Bay’s best muffin. She went on to later own that small coffee shop, taking the reigns from her friend after her muffins became the main attraction. Read more>>

Sommer Green

I’ve started my career as a plus-size model over a decade ago. I was approached by an agency that was looking to tap into the newly booming plus industry. I was completely caught off guard because I never saw myself as a model or even had interest in the fashion industry. I was an athlete and that’s all I ever thought about. I was so nervous but excited to try something new. After my first test shoot, I fell in love and told myself I will give it my all the same as I did for sports. I studied past and current models, I interned with various fashion production and publicity companies to learn the ends and outs of the industry. My journey has been long and I look at it as more of a marathon. I started my career off with amazing blessings. I met some great people in the industry who helped guide me over the years. I actually booked my first gig with a large retailer, Torrid, the sister company to Hot Topic. I was a freelance model at the time and quickly gained other clients such as Igigi and walked the runway for the Black Business Expo. Sometimes bookings completely stopped I learned quickly to create opportunities for myself. I enjoy creating content and producing fashion shows. Read more>>

Natalie Milberg

I never knew much about architecture or design growing up. I went to a high school that, at the time, was a little limited in that area. I went to college not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I hoped one day lightning would strike and I would all of a sudden just know. Luckily, during a summer trip to Europe after my freshman year, I ended up in Barcelona. My friend and I decided to take a Gaudi tour on a whim. I remember being in the attic of Casa Mila where they had a small exhibit. I saw a mirror on the floor, and above it was a giant tangle of ropes and weights. However, when you looked in the mirror, it all made sense. Standing there, in the reflection was a model of an intricate, beautiful dome. I was done for. It was the simplest yet most complex thing I had ever seen. I decided to go into architecture and design at that moment. I majored in Art History and Urban Planning and then went to SCI-Arc for a master’s of Architecture. I had the good fortune to learn from some amazing mentors along the way. At Gehry Partners, I had the opportunity to work on the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Read more>>

Raven Jade Emmert

I fell in love with afternoon tea in college. There is something so soothing and meditative about it – it was such a pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of being a full-time college student as it truly forces you to sit down, take your time and enjoy the process. It became a weekend tradition of mine to visit a new tea room every opportunity I could, and I did this regularly for about two years. When restaurants closed last March, it was something I missed the most. I began trying new scone, french macaron and finger sandwich recipes at home. I have never been much of a chef or baker, so this was an incredible accomplishment for me. When I decided I wanted to make this my business, I really did not prepare for long. Within two weeks of having the idea, I started to refine my recipes, find vendors for my materials and that was it. I didn’t want to waste time overthinking or convincing myself not to, I wanted to jump right into it. In my first week, I had nearly 15 orders – though it may not seem like much, it was a huge accomplishment for a self-taught baker like myself. Read more>>

Kit Karlyle

Kit is my birth name, (also my mom’s name) and I’m half Chinese. Happily, I live an international wellness lifestyle with my husband, and celebrated my 60th birthday this year.  To get to this point in my life has been  interesting, challenging and fascinating at times…but most certainly transformative. Being a “Type A” personality can definitely take its toll. Sometimes quickly, but in my case, slowly and silently. After working on Wall Street in a highly-charged and highly-stressed corporate position for 14 years, my body started to break down. At first, I just rationalized my way through it, took pain pills, and carried on. Heck, I was (seemingly) strong and in my 30s – how bad could it be? And then I landed in the hospital. Not once, but twice. My body was trying to communicate to me. Maybe next time, I might not be so lucky. And I finally listened.  Leaving my “A” type world behind, I began a journey of self and personal healing that started in Bhutan and Nepal in the Himalayas. My journey continued for fourteen years and through 74 countries.  During that time I experienced many healing modalities and wrote a book about what I learned and how to create them in the comfort of your home – no travel required. Read more>>

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