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Inspiring Stories from Del Mar, Encinitas & Carlsbad

The heart of our mission at the SD Voyager 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 the San Diego’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 rising stars from Del Mar, Encinitas & Carlsbad below.

Jennifer Law

I was born and raised in San Diego, California surrounded by extended family which provided wonderful childhood adventures, no dull moments, and a family that remains close today. My parents raised me to work hard and to constantly examine the people and the situations around me. Read more>>

Merima Helic

Fifteen years ago, if someone had asked me if I would be working as a photographer today, I probably would’ve laughed! In fact, I studied Biochemistry in college and intended to go into healthcare for a career. Talk about an about-face! But, art in its many forms was always something that called to me. Read more>>

Terry Beasley

The Beasley family has been in the dry cleaning business for four generations. I grew up with my grandfather and father in the business. I bought my first store from my father and have been doing this for over 40 years. At some point all of my kids have worked for me, and my two oldest sons went on to open their own stores. Read more>>

Adrian Pelkus

As an only child, I dove into science and electronics and model making at a very early age. Fixing tv’s and minibikes at 13, I built a functioning robotic hand at 15. UCLA CAPP (Child Amputee Prosthetics Project) hired me and there I worked 2 years as an electronic technician until I graduated Pali HS. Read more>>

Brian Bateman

I started drawing at an early age and around the 5th grade I started showing an interest in history, and my best friend at the time was also an artist and he brought in a drawing one morning that he did of an airplane that he drew off of a model box. That was it, I was hooked! Read more>>

Robert Sommers

I have been buying and selling art since 1975. The Gallery has been open since 1997. It has been appointment only for the past several years. I depend on a mixture of private clients and collectors, walk in and exhibiting at about eight antique shows a year around the country. Read more>>

Robert Kenyon

I was raised in Massachusetts, leaving at age 17 to join the Marine Corps with my first overseas assignment being Vietnam. I returned with a love of Asia and a passion for travel. Having left the Marine Corps, I went on to earn my law degree and practiced with the San Diego District Attorney’s office as a prosecuting attorney for six years. Read more>>

Alicia Countryman

When I was about 8 years old, I wanted to be an actress, so I dedicated my time in middle and high school to acting in plays. I moved to Los Angeles to attend drama school when I was 18, and while I was there I took hundreds of pictures. I found myself falling in love with photography. Read more>>

Cody Thompson

Three B Zine started in 2011 as a blog site. I wanted to share some of the amazing things our city has to offer, specifically regarding local beer, local food and local music. I really wanted to spread the word of some of the great things and the stories of the people that make San Diego the beautiful, incredible city that it is. Read more>>

Siobhan Sullivan Crews

I am originally from Chicago where I worked as a professional actress for several years. In 1995 a friend asked me to teach a drama class to which I replied “I am not a teacher”. She said “Oh yes you are” and my life was changed. Read more>>

Bethel Nathan

Such a broad question! As the about me page on my website is titled, “how do you get from wall street to wedding ceremonies?”, that is really where my business story begins. After undergrad at UC Berkeley (Political Science and Japanese Studies) and business school at Thunderbird (focusing on International Finance and Japan), I took the more traditional business route, heading to Tokyo to work for a global investment bank (and, yes, I do speak Japanese). Read more>>

Sam Zien

I quit a biotech job in July of 2001 to try to become the host of a travel show – I know, crazy right? But a month before a trip to shoot demo footage in Tokyo and Hong Kong, September 11th happened – and that changed everything. Read more>>

Brent Stephens

Well I started my surf camps about 14 years ago. I was working at Hansen’s Surf Shop at the time. I was a surfboard buyer and I was managing the surf team there. We would get tons of calls during the summer asking about surf lessons. I thought it would be a smart idea to start my own surf school and have all of those calls directed to me so I could make a little extra money on my days off. Read more>>

James Stone

James opened a small glass blowing studio in Rancho Bernardo in September of 2001. In the early years his focus was primarily blown glass making fish, turtles and vessels. In his quest to make larger more interesting pieces he began to combine metal with glass, first in the form of sea life fountains. Read more>>

Dr. Christina Binder

I have always had a fascination with the design and the efficiency of the human body. My undergraduate studies were dedicated to the pre-med track but I couldn’t wait to get involved so I decided to work as an EMT. I am so glad that I made that decision because it forever altered my future and led me to where I am today. Read more>>

Sabrina Gallier

Sabrina is a startup entrepreneur, with a strong digital marketing background. After many years living abroad, she is back to California, mixing her tech knowledge, French education and Brazilian culture to recently launch FiitZ, a different and fun yoga marketplace. Previously, she co-founded Nibo, a fast-growing Fintech in Rio de Janeiro, that received investments from reputable funds like Redpoint eVentures, Valor Capital and Vostok. Read more>>

Robin Rodig

Well, with roots on both coasts, my story may sound familiar to some. I’ve played by all the rules throughout my life. Perfect attendance in elementary school. Assumed I got into college on my extra-curricular activities in high school. Worked 16 loyal and fulfilling years for the same company in corporate America. Amazing friends. Read more>>

Alexsandra Babic

I was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, now called Serbia- Europe. I have become an artist here in America and pursued my passion for art acacdemiclly. Reflecting on my childhood struggle, I bonded to some relocated homes because they symbolized human characters and my emotional state when I was uprooted to this country. Read more>>

Seth Brown, Corey McLean, Tyler Dunham

Good Day San Diego! Stoked to share a little about where we at Makewild come from and what we’re about. As a group of 3 friends from Maine (Tyler, Corey, and Seth), we formed up as Makewild Films because we wanted to create wild things – stuff that brings us outdoors, takes us to incredible places, and portrays a different perspective about how the world goes round. Read more>>

Irina Ovchinnikov

I was born in Vladivostok, Russia, San Diego’s sister city. Photography has been my passion since middle school. It was film photography back than. My father brought all the equipment to enlarge negatives and develop photographs, it was so adventurous for a little girl to spend nights in a bathroom doing magic! Read more>>

Keeley Wolf

I grew up in the Coastal Carolinas. My childhood was blessed with lots of love and adventure. My grandmother took me to 7 countries in Europe when I was 12 years old, and I’ve been travelling as much as I possibly can ever since. My parents each had their own businesses, and I saw the value in being your own boss early on. Read more>>

Laurie Dufresne

I’ve struggled with managing my weight for the past 25 years. Not a lot, but I’ve fluctuated 15-20 lbs. It was enough to make me feel depressed about it, insecure and holding myself back. I had tried every “diet” under the sun, always losing the weight, but very quickly putting it on again plus some every single time. Read more>>

Johna Nilson

Johna’s passion began in the kitchen at a young age in the shadow of her Grandmother, Gourmet Cook and Flavor Mentor, affectionately referred to as OMA. This was the beginning of her understanding of flavors and technique. Read more>>

Meagan Strodel

It was around the age of twelve or thirteen that I visited my first Naturopathic doctor, and after that visit, even though I didn’t know it at the time, my life was changed forever. Even though I was young, I had been experiencing a variety of chronic health issues for several years, like a scaly and painful rash on my scalp which caused me to lose my hair, chronic constipation, heavy periods, weight gain, and many more symptoms that I don’t remember now. Read more>>

Marcie Bain

I attended FCC (Fashion Careers of California) College and graduated with an AA in Fashion Design in 1999. I decided to put my fashion career on hold and raise my family. Over the years I continued to make garments and handmade jewelry for family and friends. I knew that one day, I would pursue my dream and build my label. Read more>>

Kristy Lamb

While I was raised in the “Deep South,” in Pensacola Florida, I knew from an early age that I was a West Coast girl at heart. I completed my undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University with a BS in Neuroscience, with the long-term plan to attend medical school, but knew I had a few things to accomplish beforehand. Read more>>

Kate Carpenter, Bob Carpenter

We started more than 6 years ago by selling cookies at the Farmers’ Market. Then we added sandwiches, salads and soup. We went from one market a week up to 4 or 5 a week. After 3 years we opened up our brick and mortar place. Read more>>

Ron Bierman

Advocates for Classical Music (AFCM) was founded as an all-volunteer non-profit corporation in 1996 by a group that included many former San Diego Symphony League Board-members. Soon after, AFCM established a docent program for children who would be attending the Symphony’s Young People’s Concerts. The program was extended to Classics 4 Kids concerts in 2005. Read more>>

Christopher Sayegh

After high school, I felt the need to “serve” and that need to serve drew me to the military. I started to look at my options to see what the best fit to be for me and how I can serve our great Country to the best of my abilities and, of course, which branch of service to choose.  Read more>>

Deborah Moyer

I have a saying. “I didn’t pick senior downsizing as a business. It picked me”. I didn’t even know the industry existed until I personally went through the process of helping my parents through the downsizing process in 2008. It was one of those synchronistic experiences where things just fell into place. Read more>>

Michael Sick

After spending 25 years as a corporate road warrior traveling around the country as a marketing VP for brands like Jack In The Box, Pearle Vision, Arby’s and others, the idea of spending less time leaving San Diego was an appealing one. When my office was relocating out of state, I took the opportunity to explore some new opportunities. Read more>>

Ursula Bensimon

I grew up in France and came to the United States about 25 years ago. I’ve always had an artistic mind, with a passion for singing and photography. My dad and my grandfather were both photographers, (my dad was a photographer at the Eiffel Tower) so photography is in my blood. Read more>>

Todd Young

Today, I have the incredible good fortune to be practicing medicine in the vibrant and health-conscious community of Encinitas. Since 2009, when I first moved to California to complete my fellowship training in child and adolescent psychiatry, I’ve lived and worked in San Diego, Napa, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Ventura. Read more>>

Kristianne Kurner

I’ve known since I was very young that I wanted to run a theatre. I was the kid in the neighborhood inviting you to the show that I wrote, directed, and was starring in that would take place that evening in my backyard. I grew up doing theater, mostly as an actor, and ended up with a BA in Theatre from the College of William & Mary and an MFA in Acting from the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School University. Read more>>

Douglas D’Amico, Marianne D’Amico

Doug and Marianne lived and worked in Hollywood for a famous Optical Boutique that catered to celebreties and Stars. Famous people such as Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Cher and many more for creative customer eyewear. We moved to Encinitas back in 1982 and searched to build our own store which started out on Encinitas Blvd. for about 7 years then a major relocation took place to the current location for the past 25 years. Read more>>

Krisztina Scheeff

Growing up in Hungary as a young teenager I spent my summers hiking, camping and learning about nature, wildlife and conservation. After moving to Southern California 20 years ago, I continued to enjoy and photograph the local wildlife and the natural beauty of my favorite spot, Lake Hodges in San Diego County. Read more>>

Jan Catron

I have always loved creating whether it was painting, sewing, crocheting or baking, I/ve tried everything. Once my nest became empty I stumbled upon paper card crafting with rubber stamps, inks and all sorts of embellishments. Most of my time is spent making greeting cards and other items involving paper. Invitations, paper flowers, paper wreaths. Read more>>

Susan White

I started as a transplant from Toronto, Canada. I had left behind a beautiful community of dancers who had become like family. So, knowing my love of dance, yoga classes yoga and fitness I set out to open my own sanctuary for people like me, A placed filled with like-minded individuals who love to move with a desire for connection. Read more>>

Dan Van Dyck

I was contacted in 2011 by Judie Vivian, a breast cancer survivor who was referred by a friend in the paddling industry. Judie, feeling grateful to be alive wanted to share her experience with Standup Paddling as an active, healthy lifestyle and a tool for recovery. Read more>>

Jenny Livits

I think my love of fashion and entrepreneurship started very young. I remember making bracelets with my friends in elementary school and selling them on the playground as a young kid setting trends. I also remember my mom telling me very young when I’d complain that someone copied me, she’d say “Jenny, that’s the strongest form of flattery.” Read more>>

Noelle & Kelly Rideout

Approximately 5 years ago the airline Noelle (the daughter 1/2) works for offered a one year furlough. She decided to take advantage of it for a little break from being a full time flight attendant. She realized that she’d need to make some money (yup, no one was paying her bills), so she started hunting for furniture pieces that she could repurpose. Read more>>

Ines Irawati

I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and started music training when I was 4 years old. When I was 9 years old, I joined Junior Original Concert, a very special program for young musicians where we were given composition lessons as well as opportunities to perform our own compositions around Southeast Asia. Read more>>

Krissi Trevino

I got my start in the event industry by just planning the events of the people around me. In 2006, I decided to head to culinary school in Scottsdale, AZ, where I earned my degree in Culinary Management. For a while after culinary school, I sold wine for a few different companies before going to work a catering company in San Diego. Read more>>

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