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Downtown & Little Italy 10.26.2017

Helena Raju

Creativity and art has been two important parts of my life since childhood. It began with two colored crayons and a piece of paper. I realized that challenging myself while expressing the creativity of my mind gives me the best satisfaction. Focusing on many things, rather than one, is a key to my personal success. Read more>>

Andrew and Anna Vanover

We met in Africa in 2007 and kept in touch for 5 years via snail mail and Skype. This is where “Deer Lovers” comes from, the idea of writing a letter to a lover. After we saw each other again we got married 6 months later! We started shooting weddings a few months after that and never stopped! Read more>>

Riley Brianne

As a “starving college student”, I had to find a way to bring in a small income around my 18+ unit class schedule. Finding a boss who’s willing to work around your studies after an economic crash, when anyone and everyone was looking for any kind of job no matter their education level, was impossible. That’s when I connected the dots: I had worked at Sephora and under the tutelage of celebrity makeup artist Jill Powell for a couple years at this point, and I knew that I ‘knew my stuff’. Read more>>

Missy Peters

Growing up, I loved photography so much that I built a darkroom in the basement of my parents’ home. It was rather simple – absence of light, an enlarger, photo paper and negatives! I painted the walls black for dramatic effect. I know my parents don’t regret the decision because it earned me an art scholarship in college. I minored in studio art, loved it, but never thought of it as more than a hobby. Read more>>

Erika Lee

My journey, hmmm? Now that is an interesting question because it was less journey and more of a trip and fall component to my experience, I was a hobbyist photographer with ideas in my head, which were editorial ideas. At the time, I didn’t even know the term editorial but I knew that I had ideas which I wanted to bring to life but I lacked any makeup skill. Read more>>

Diana Ocampo

I am a native New Yorker who left to join the military. Joining, I was fortunate enough to have been stationed in beautiful San Diego, needless to say I fell in love with the City. After the military, I had started a few businesses. Between 2006 and 2008 I was fighting cancer, I stepped away from my roles for a year to recover my mind and body. Read more>>

Art Wager

I’ve always had a love for photography. My parents gave me my first 35mm camera when I was about 13 years old, and it grew from there as a hobby. I moved from NY to California after leaving college and began a career in law enforcement with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department working various stations and details throughout the county, while maintaining and expanding my photography hobby. Read more>>

Lori Brock

I began playing golf at 7 years of age. By 10, I was competing and winning tournaments. I loved the challenge that the game presents. I was awarded a full scholarship to college and achieved All American status as a Senior. After college, I immediately qualified to play at on the Ladies Professional Golf Tour. (LPGA) Read more>>

Julia Satterlee

About 7 years ago, I suffered a debilitating neck injury that caused me so much pain I couldn’t sleep, work or practically move. I saw several MDs who prescribed pain killers and then scheduled me for a cortisone steroid injection, for which I couldn’t get in until 3 months later. Read more>>

Kelly Tsue

My story began in Springfield, VA. I was 15 years old signing up for my high school classes for the following year and cosmetology caught my eye for an elective. My parents wanted me to go with something I could use towards college so I went with accounting. (Boring!!). Once I started my junior year of high school and got a driver’s license I started working for my father. He was the GM of a Hilton and insisted that I work at the front desk so I could learn the art of working with people. Read more>>

Vera Ross

Fitness is not one size fits all- what works best for one person may not necessarily fulfill the needs of another. I created my personal training business in order to help others create happier, healthier lives through fitness and nutrition. Read more>>

Darryl and Denise Hazlitt

Velocity Paintball started because we wanted to fill a need for the Paintball community in San Diego. In 1994 none of the shops seemed to keep regular hours and none were open 7 days a week. Our Mission has always been to be available every day of the week. We pride ourselves on being the place everyone comes to for service or knowledge, whether it’s about rules, repairs or knowing when to hydrotest a tank. Read more>>

Shannon Rundle

I’ve been in the service industry since I was 15 years old. I started as a waitress at an Appalachian truck-stop restaurant. I’ve done other jobs over the years in retail, sales, floral, delivery, even construction and warehouse. I picked up a few degrees along the way. Something about Hospitality has always called me back. I think that it all comes down to liking to take care of people. Read more>>

Monica Martinez

My journey began in 2012 as a lash apprentice at a local salon in San Diego. After having experienced two years as a lash artist, I ventured off to create Deluxe Beauty Bar. I first began in Gaslamp in a small studio. After my first year, I was given the opportunity to relocate to a larger location. Read more>>

Brittney Gossmeyer

I began my journey with photography my senior year in high school. I chose photography as my last elective. It was one of those “Well I need the credit so……” type of things. And although our teacher was not the friendliest, I fell in love. In the class we started with 35mm film cameras, black rooms and all! It was definitely more of a challenge. Read more>>

Renee Bear

My husband Roy and I were in the beginning stages of our new Wedding Co., so we attended a lot of industry functions and noticed a big photo booth presence out there. We were immediately drawn to it, so we decided to add one to our company portfolio with the idea that we would focus on amping up the customer experience with a top-notch system and lots of high quality props and outstanding customer service. Read more>>

Summer Kais

My uncle introduced me to my first camera when I was 16 years old. It was 1996 and film was still dominant. Kodak was still in the S&P 500. It was only 20 years ago, but the technology had not changed much for more than a century. I never had a darkroom, but I was always amazed by the amount of effort and labor that went into capturing one moment in time. Read more>>

Najah Abdus-Salaam

I began my path as a healer in 2008, while living and working in New York City. I started practicing yoga, and it changed me. It changed the way I felt about myself, which changed the way that I felt for the world. I had a new sense of compassion for all things, and knew it was my time to step into the path of a healer. Read more>>

Megan La Fave

I was 21 when I opened my business in 2000. I wanted to be my own boss and do what I absolutely love to do every day. Hair. I am with people all day and I love all my clients. I knew if at 21 I could be my own boss it would be in a cute little boutique salon in Old Poway. Read more>>

In September 2012, after years as a community leader and entrepreneur had taken its toll, Saffron & Sage founder Cristin searched for a season of rest and a break from the constant activity which she’d grown accustomed—and she found it in Mexico. During her time of restoration on sabbatical, a friend noticed a lump on her neck that was later confirmed to be four tumors rapidly growing in her neck and thyroid. Read more>>

Yaneck and Sasha Wasiek

WASIO photography was started by Yaneck about 10 years ago back in Chicago. Back then, he was a passionate photographer, often inspired by his father love of photography. He always loved photographing people and one-day a friend-of-a-friend asked him to photograph their wedding. This is how WASIO photography started. Read more>>

Tahnie Benitez

My earliest memory of starting my own business began at the ripe ‘ole age of 7. I grew up in the small town of Ojai, California and I wouldn’t come home until the sun set its last rays upon the Topa Topa Mountains. As an avid nature kid, I began picking and bundling wildflowers and selling them door to door to my neighbors for $5 a bouquet. I guess that’s when I can say I found my passion for creativity. Post college I began managing a cupcake bakery and cafe shop in Santa Barbara, where I would have to create cupcake and dessert displays for weddings. Read more>>

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