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Inspiring Stories from The Valley

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

Genevive McLaughlin

I moved out to LA September 2008 (coming up on my 10 year anniversary!). I thought I was going to be an actress on someones sitcom, but I didn’t have the drive. I fell into quite a few odd jobs to pay bills and stay afloat. Read more>>

Tristan Gatto

I’ve had an interesting career path before becoming a top selling yoga instructor on DailyOM.com and licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. I originally began my career at 16 as a professional singer and dancer and on the road for 10 years working different contracts for cruise ships, theme parks, and tours out of Nashville, TN. Read more>>

Jasmine Rezonable

Get Caked first started when I had stumbled across a video of a Japanese artist making pancake art. Following that I had read a study that showed that the way that our brains learn and develop new skills, we could learn any skill that we put our minds to. Read more>>

Michael Morgan

My story started in Orange County. During college I started working at a small music venue where I quickly joined a band, wrote songs, toured the country, got a manager and toward the end of college, jumped headfirst into writing and producing music all over L.A. Read more>>

Carolyn Brown

THE CROWN COLLECTIVE started 5 years ago as an idea to bring people together. It was during an event where I knew that there would be some down-time and wanted to engage in an interactive activity that my friends and I could get our hands into. Read more>>

Ann Daniels, Ann Daniels

Wayne Daniels, my late husband created Kids Club program 1991 while attending at USC in his Freshman year. It was one shopping center back then, now has grown over 20 shopping centers. Wayne also created a non-profit organization “The Reach Foundation” for autism children and after school program for children. Read more>>

Kendra Mays, Christopher Mays

As long as I could remember I was always creating. I remember growing up in my grandmother’s home in Dallas, TX being very poor so those surroundings forced me to use my imagination and be very creative. Read more>>

Deborah Lindquist

I’m an eco conscious clothing designer of women’s clothing, accessories, lifestyle, and wedding. I work with a combination of organic, sustainable, and recycled fabrics. In my vintage/reincarnated cashmere line, I also design men’s, children’s, dog sweaters, and home decorative accessories. Read more>>

Joshua Tate

Even to this day, it just seems like I am always in the right place, at the right time- catching some old lady picking her nose, witnessing a janitor slip over his own clean floor, laughing when kids wait till their parents turn around before mocking them after being disciplined, or making eye contact with someone before they walk into a nearby tree. Read more>>

Jason Miller

I began playing guitar when I was about 8 years old. My dad, Bruce Miller, is a composer/arranger, and I took an interest in music, very much due to growing up around seeing him work and watching session musicians come to the house to record. Read more>>

Ilai Segal

Since I was a teenage girl I suffered from severe facial acne it was an up and down battle. I felt self-conscious about my face and I made it my personal mission to find a solution. I was constantly picking at my face and experimenting with different products. Read more>>

Franceli Chapman

It began on the island of Dominican Republic. My mother left her country behind and came to America with me at 3 years old. My father was here teaching Ethnic studies. By the age of 7, I was dancing Dominican Folklore at festivals and parades my father organized and cherographed & also toured schools teaching young people our music. Read more>>

Dianne Valladares

It all started in 2007, when my husband and I were getting married, I loved planning our day so much, and wanted it to continue. Soon after my husband and I wed, 2 months to be exact, my sister was married, and a month after her my dad was re-married. I helped plan all of those weddings, back to back, and enjoyed every little bit about it! Read more>>

Annie Looysen

As a child I spent weekends at the Flea Market (around here it’s known as the Swap Meet) learning from my Dad how to negotiate and find value and purpose in items nobody wanted. Appreciation for finely crafted wood furniture and antiques is an inherited trait that has been passed down through the generations on my mother’s side. Read more>>

Shawn Morey and Josh Yakes

Shawn and I had worked on businesses together on the past (paid to play media group, California fight syndicate, etc), but as a result of severe vision issues I had to step away from business for a few years. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d work again because I was pretty sure I was going completely blind. Read more>>

Narineh Manoukian

I started off not knowing what “lash extensions” were and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into! I went to the course and day by day, I just practiced on everyone I knew! I’m where I want to be today, but I still have room to grow. Read more>>

Zenia Anderson

I was originally a wedding photographer. I loved being a part of the energy, life, joy, and emotion to weddings. But after time, I began to get burnt out. Despite this, I hung onto photography in every way I could – branching into birth photography, family photography, and teaching photography but eventually, left it altogether. Read more>>

Stephanie Scholz

I went to a school for the arts in the valley. When I was 9 I did my first play and really loved it. When I graduated at 16, I started pursuing it as a career while also working several other jobs. In that time I did plays, short films, commercials and a feature. I worked in a Salon learning to do hair and at an at home rehab program, helping people. Read more>>

Sossi Madzounian

I immigrated from Beirut, Lebanon in 1968 to Southern California where I have been living ever since. At a young age, I discovered the camera as a channel to my creative expression. After studying at Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena, I immersed myself in commercial photography, working on a variety of projects with many creative agencies and art directors. Read more>>

Lauren Rote and Lana Safoian

Lauren and I (Lana) have known each other a loooooong time, like 7 years. She’s marrying my brother, Edmond, later this year and will be my sister(in-law) that I never thought I wanted, but definitely have needed. We’re clearly close, have a great friendship and are moved by each other’s passions in life. Read more>>

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