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Inspiring Stories from West LA

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 West LA’s rising stars below.

Kirsten Thompson

My path to becoming a physician was almost 30 years in the making, and required the life-shifting moment of running to safety as the World Trade towers fell on September 11th, 2001. As a child, I dreamed of being a doctor and was obsessed with all things medical, including my bloody sutures from a head injury which I saved in a drawer for years. Read more>>

Jeffrey Sundy

I grew up in South Africa where I was passionate about playing soccer everyday from age five to eighteen. After joining the mandatory army training for two years in South West Africa (Namibia), my career began when I went to hotel school to study culinary arts and hotel management. Read more>>

Emily Raiber

I started years ago as an intern in the newsroom of the local NBC station in New York (WNBC). I worked for over a decade as a producer for NBC, CNN, and FOX. I won an Emmy for my work at NBC in New York and various other awards along the way. In 2017, a couple TV personalities that I used to work with in New York hired me to help them produce content for their Social Media. Read more>>

Rodrigo Trabbold

I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and went to business school. I know it’s the complete opposite of what I am today, but for some reason, it felt right at that time – I was young and thought it would be a good idea to follow my dad’s steps. It turned out I was wrong, but there is nothing wrong in that. Read more>>

Kaitlyn Lusk

I have always had an old soul so I have always loved vintage. Although I was born in the 90’s I am a 70’s child at heart. I started collecting Vintage when I was 16 years old. It started with my Grandma’s Vintage jewelry which led me to buying more Vintage jewelry at local thrift stores. Read more>>

Azi Vojdani

Born in a Persian-American family, drinking tea was an everyday event. For as long as I can remember, the answer to almost everything was “drink some tea!” As I got older and became a busy business woman, a wife and a mom to my two amazing boys, I found less time to enjoy a simple cup of tea. Read more>>

Hibaru Maywood

I’ve started my lifestyle & fitness blog “Beach Bum Kitty” in 2017 summer. It took me long time to start my blog, but I’m hoping to inspire someone in someway through my lifestyle changing since I moved to Los Angeles though my blog. Read more>>

Ed Taylor

This story begins in 2011 with Microsoft, the actress & model Brooke Burke, and me in a Santa Claus suit. Brooke and I were featured in a Christmas promotion for Microsoft. My Santa Claus portrayal apparently hit the mark and what I call “My Great Santa Adventure” began. Read more>>

Jennifer Warren

My name is Jennifer Warren and I am the founder and current chair of the Alliance of Women Directors. We are a nonprofit organization based on the westside of Los Angeles. We began 21 years ago as graduates from the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women. Read more>>

Nick Shipp

I’ve grinded my way through the culinary scene, starting as a dishwasher and working my way to where I’m at now. To the shigrin of my mother I’m a culinary school dropout!! Being a former heavy metal drummer turned chef, I guess my creative juices have always been flowing. Read more>>

Jess Mcalister

Moved to Los Angeles from San Diego fresh out of college not knowing what I wanted to do and could count my LA network on one hand, but had a handful of experience in talent wrangling, PR & Marketing, and event activations. Read more>>

Franki Floro

I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada. I moved to LA when I was 18 and had some pretty big dreams that I was looking forward to fulfilling. After attending college at, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, I found myself struggling to make money especially with the limitations of my Visa. Read more>>

Vincent Anter

My name is Vince, and I’m a certified sommelier and founder of V is for Vino, “The Show to Pair with Your Wine”. I came out to LA in 2010 to be a rockstar, but as it turns out, a lot of other people had the same idea. Read more>>

Camille Henderson Davis

I come from a family of interior designers but took the long way to working in the space full-time. My career started with a PhD in the history of change management and leading HR in corporations. A lot of what I did in HR was this combination of building workplace cultures but also, building the physical elements of the office space to support these cultures. Read more>>

Kat Mills

In middle school I was gifted my late grandfather’s Pentax K1000 SLR camera. That camera went with me everywhere: a road trip to the Grand Canyon, Holland, Germany, Belgium, & even to school. If I wasn’t using the Pentax, I had a disposable camera with me. Read more>>

Paolo Martinoglio

I believe we all have dreams but, in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. When I first moved to Los Angeles nothing has been easy and I had to work hard on myself as everyone else here in order to reach my goals. Read more>>

David Ma

My path to becoming a director in the food industry was a bit of a Cinderella story. I worked in advertising as a writer for 6 years. I moved out to LA and decided to leave my agency job to work freelance as a Director and Food Artist. Read more>>

Abby Tekie

I started working as a preschool teacher assistant several years ago. In my third year, our class had a student that had both autism and behavioral challenges. After going through two ABA therapists, I was temporarily assigned to shadow the child throughout the school day. Read more>>

Sam Morris

My interest in Zen dates back to college in 1998, when I first discovered Buddhist teachings. Suddenly, the human condition made a whole lot more sense to me. The notion that the impermanent things that we attach ourselves to are what cause us suffering and that finding true freedom means letting go of these attachments and becoming fully present really resonated. Read more>>

Sheree Ho

I’m Sheree! I am a Fashion, Lifestyle, Luxury Travel blogger and content creator currently living and blogging from Los Angeles. An ex-corporate management turned full-time mom with two toddlers (son 5 and daughter 3). Read more>>

Asha Dahya

I launched GirlTalkHQ.com in 2012 after being frustrated with my career in media and entertainment. At that stage I have been working as a host/producer/writer for about 10 years and felt a little lost. In my personal life, I was going through a divorce which impacted my ambitions and decisions about my career drastically. Read more>>

Farbod Phil Rezvani

I moved to Los Angeles right after receiving my Masters in Architecture from Columbia University. I began my career working the Los Angeles Unified School District where I eventually managed a team of 32 people for the construction of about 2,400 projects totaling more than $4B in project value. Read more>>

Jeremy Lowe

I started interning in the entertainment business when i was still in high school. i had no connections and worked effortlessly summer after summer to get internships + relevant experience. i interned everywhere from sony music to CAA to warner bros. Read more>>

Kiyoshi Iwai

Over 20 years ago, I moved from Japan to California. As a passionate surfer, I have always loved the outdoors and cared deeply about the environment. After living in LA for many years, I became increasingly concerned with climate change. Read more>>

Sasha Abelson

I graduated law school and moved to Southern California. I began working in the field of environmental policy. It was interesting work but I was frustrated by the fact that I felt I was not making a big enough difference. Read more>>

Rich Peters, Constantine Savvides

Funny story… We met at a Vipassana meditation in Joshua Tree. It’s 10 days of absolute silence but as fate would have it we parked next to each other and struck up a conversation before the course began. Turns out we had quite a bit in common including a strong desire to prove ourselves as entrepreneurs. Read more>>

Jeanne Cheng

It’s been a journey! I’m the person you read about in all of the restaurant books, the one that thinks “oh, I’ll open a restaurant, it’ll be fun”, and has NO idea how hard it is. I developed the KyeRito from feeding my son and thought it should be in the world. Read more>>

Dr. Joseph Clarke

I believe that if you are in the work of helping others with their struggles, that it’s best, in order to deeply know the process, to work with someone else through your own. Prior to opening Elysia, my wife Maria and I were working closely with our meditation and Qi Gong teacher George Falcon. Read more>>

Taylor Weiss

My story starts around the time of the 2017 presidential election. My family and I are avid Hillary Clinton supporters and we had no doubt in our minds that she was going to be the first woman president. As the night went on, our hope slowly changed to sorrow. Read more>>

Ale Melo

I am from Rio Brazil and always liked boho bracelets , because in Brazil is very common to use this kind of jewelry, handmade …. tropical , very beach style . I decided to move to Los Angeles because of the bad economic situation in my country. Read more>>

Dr. Julie Glick

Dr. Glick was first introduced to custom in-ear monitors and musicians earplugs nineteen years ago when she started her career in a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. Her passion for music and commitment to the field of audiology led her to recognize that the optimization of the live performances of musicians and hearing conservation was a niche she wanted to be involved in from the very beginning. Read more>>

Kayla Allen, Marni Rosenthal Chaikin

Marni opened the Pure Barre Brentwood studio in February 2009, the first Los Angeles location. Five Years later she opened her second studio in Woodland Hills with Kayla Allen, a client from Brentwood who then bought into the Brentwood location as well. Read more>>

Anna Bäck

My story begins on a small family farm, in the woods of Sweden. Both my evolution into an acupuncturist, and my basis for becoming an entrepreneur comes from that environment. I grew up surrounded by lots of intense nature, but very few people. Read more>>

Jessica Kearney

I am the manager of The Satellite Centers, overseeing 6 facilities in California and running our center here in Santa Monica. Through operating centers and supporting community managers, I also helped develop management software to enable one staff person to run a 24/7 coworking center efficiently and effectively. Read more>>

Madeline SInclaire

I spent most of my life sexually inhibited and shy. I wasn’t always that girl you see in the photos or videos on my websites. Before my divorce, I was SO unhappy and was always waiting for permission to do ANYTHING. I was kind of just going through the motions and not living my life for me. Read more>>

Wendy Woodhall

I moved to LA to finish my last semester of college with an internship program ran through Emerson College and at its completion I had a week to find a job or I had to honor my return ticket home. Luckily the employment gods shined on me and I began my first job as a publicity coordinator for the Miss Universe Organization where I had the opportunity to travel the world with beauty queens. Read more>>

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