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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, Enallicinitas & Carlsbad below.

Vanessa Petronelli

For many years, I felt like I was dropped off on a planet that I didn’t belong in. “Do others feel this way?” I would often ask myself. Along with playing with Barbies and My Little Pony, as a kid, I was drawn to anything related to UFOs, ancient Egypt, alien species, metaphysics and parapsychology. Little did I know, that even as a kid, I had a strong connection with the Divine and my Spirit team. Read more>>

Tanya Ledesma

Moved back to San Diego in 2006 with dreams aspirations to start up a training facility for young athletes. Assistant Coached at cal state San Marcos softball team and worked at an athletic training facility for six years to learn the environment/process of training athletes from ages ten up to professional baseball players as well as training general population adult clients. Read more>>

Amy Pamensky

After years of struggling with digestive issues, negative thought patterns, self-doubt, and anxiety, I turned to holistic healing with nutrition and mindfulness practices. I started my nutrition business six years ago and over time have transitioned into Eating Psychology coaching and teaching women how to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression through holistic mindset practices. Read more>>

Adan Chinchilla and Mitch Brean

As we were on planning stages of an Southern African trip, We asked our guests to our summer party to bring school supplies; then we’d donate whatever we collected to A school in Mozambique. With the help of the Embargo of Mozambique in Washington DC, a school was selected a village about three hours away from Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Read more>>

Laura Micallef

With a refreshingly positive attitude, I have an innate passion for interiors. Since graduating from San Diego State University, with a degree in Art and a focus in Interior Design, I had a successful career in a hospitality design firm in the Gaslamp District. For years I worked with clients in the restaurant and bar industry learning when proper balance is struck between vision, materials, budget and time. Read more>>

Meli Nies

I am originally from Germany and moved to California when I was 19 with a 4-week old baby. You call that young and stupid 😉. That whole thing lasted for about three years. After that, I waited about two more years to finally tell my family back in the Motherland that I am no longer married. The reason for me waiting this long was that I did not want to hear “I TOLD YOU SO” 😉 #stubberngerman. Read more>>

Drew Davis

During my junior year at the University of Southern California, I decided to study abroad. While preparing for the venture, I faced the difficulties of finding someone to sublease my apartment for the six months I wasn’t there. I frantically posted on Facebook and asked friends if they knew of anyone who needed short-term housing, but found myself at multiple dead ends. After a stressful search that eventually leads to finding a tenant. Read more>>

May Gawaran

We are immigrants from the Philippines. We both came from different backgrounds. I am a physical therapist but I also have a passion for interior design. My husband is in sales. Our business started as a DIY project because I wanted to have something unique and unexpected to have on our walls. And the “California LOVE” marquees were born. The “LOVE” marquee was used in a photoshoot by a wedding designer and that’s how we got our start in the wedding industry. Read more>>

Adriana Ugalde

I have always been very restless and creative. I began to observe how the benefits of plants were very effective. I grew up in a very traditional Mexican family surrounded by home remedies for all different ailments. Always observing my grandmother and my mother who made different and very effective remedies with plants and other natural ingredients. Read more>>

Ashley Mcgrath

I found my hair journey while I was lost trying to find myself. Hair became an outlet for my creativity in 2012. I started my education at Bellas Academy in Poway, CA. It is where I learned the foundation to hair techniques and skills. Naturally being a competitive person, I wanted to compete and show off the skills I had worked hard to acquire. Read more>>

Ellis Bryant

I was born to Southern Baptist missionaries in Nashville one snowy night in February 1983. My parents were poor so my birth took place at Vanderbilt University with about a dozen pre-med students all watching my entrance into the world. I guess you could say I’ve captivated audiences since the day I was born. Read more>>

Casey and Michael Belitz

We met many years before we started dating but we were both dating other people at the time. Fate did its thing and years later we ran into each other on a train going downtown San Diego. We finally went on a date, as timing made sense and we were both single, and clearly the rest is history! Read more>>

Michael Lisa Kavanagh

From a young age, I’ve always had a passion for hair. I think some of that passion has been passed down to me through my Nana who was a hairstylist when she was younger. Growing up, I was lucky to have a mom who fully supported my crazy hair ideas and would help me dye my hair whatever bright color I wanted and an aunt who let me give her highlights when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and was just trying to mimic what I had seen done in the salon. Read more>>

Jon Marro

After an idyllic childhood surrounded by the mountains, lakes and rivers of Vermont, I attended Maryland Institute College of Art, where I attained a BA in illustration and an MA in Digital Art and Imagery. Just months after graduation, the tragedy of 9-11 unfolded; and I had a “spiritual epiphany” that bursted my world view bubble and I set out on a course to find and fulfill my purpose and calling. Read more>>

Ashley Kekuva

From curating simple yet meaningful details to remaining an admirer of aesthetics with historical value. Introverted to my core, I’ve always worked with my hands to illustrate, paint, compose and invent through a myriad of instruments, yet always partial to the lens. Much of my fine art inspiration as a photographer derived from studying aboard in Mallorca. Read more>>

Mayra Arenas

Makeup has been one of my interests since 8th grade but never thought about doing it professionally. I’ve tried different careers but After working in finances for five yrs, I decided that wasn’t my passion and decided to go to Bellus academy. I took the cosmetology program as well as intro to makeup. I wanted to learn for myself but the more I learned I loved it more, especially special fx. Read more>>

Scott Scanlon

I was an angsty Punk looking for chaos fueled by excess until I found structure, spirituality, and design which materialized into manipulating human fabric. I begin this journey by a suggestion from another fellow misfit Who successfully turned his life into a productive upstanding, taxpaying slave like all of us. I found myself enrolling at Santa Monica college and there it began. Read more>>

Jasmine Carter

As a girl, I was always fascinated with beauty. I loved nail polish, makeup, and hair. I would cut my Barbie’s hair and learned how to braid on them. Inevitably that fascination followed me to high school where I began cosmetology school. My high school offered an ROP program where I could go to high school from 7:30-12:00 and then go to cosmetology from 1:00-5:30 every day, including Saturday’s. Read more>>

Suresh Ramaswamy

My education was in electrical, and computer engineering, and my early career was in the field of microelectronics and software. After several years as an individual contributor at corporations, I felt inspired to explore the entrepreneurial route. Having your own business is a unique and powerful growth opportunity. I loved it! Read more>>

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