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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.

Shelley Abramson

I have always loved art and creating, it flows through my veins. I always had the urge to create, I remember making doll clothing from fabric scraps when I was no older than seven. Shortly after was my first introduction to glass, I went to Mexico with my family and saw artists sculpting flowers in a soft glass studio. Read more>>

Jessica Justus

I’ve always painted and I even started as a painting major in college, but for fear of being a starving artist, I decided to switch majors to graphic design thinking it would be more practical. In the end that didn’t work out either and I ended up working in the hotel industry for several years. Read more>>

Ashlyn Dadkhah

It started as a space in my life where I could hold creative energy and it lead to a journey of self-expression. This project prompted me to confront the challenges I had with my own identity, the contradictions, the unknowns, the privileges, the mappings I never fully understood and am still learning about today. Read more>>

Therese Vu and Brandon Flazer

To bring people from all walks of life together, broaden their culinary experience into Asian Cuisine, and help them find their inner Chefs. 2) To give back and join the movement to end world hunger by working with a non-profit, Tiny Blessings Non-Profit, whose mission is to better the lives of homeless children. Read more>>

Liz Lyon

I started out as a personal trainer…actually, let’s back up; I was supposed to go to Veterinarian School, but I passed out during my first surgery- scratch that idea! As a personal trainer, I continued to build my business, eventually branching off on my own and starting a mobile training company. Read more>>

Kaliko Kahoonei

I grew up in Hawaii so the ocean is naturally my playground/school/church and sometimes feels like home. When I moved to San Diego I was amazed at all the different beaches – surf spots and activities you could do in the water. Read more>>

Kasey Knose

I had worked in the mortgage industry for over 13 years, but after my oldest son turned one and a half, and a long discussion with my husband, Bill, I decided to become a stay at home mom. This would allow me time to spend with my son and it would give me an opportunity to figure out what it was that I was passionate about. I had always loved cooking. Read more>>

Knight Campbell

As I transitioned from flying helicopters for the Navy, I knew I wanted to be in the leadership development field. I had the opportunity to teach leadership for juniors at the Naval Academy for a couple years and fell in love with helping people find their potential. So, I naturally (I guess) applied to a PhD program in management. Read more>>

Daniel Sanchez

I was introduced to photography by my older brother that was shooting 35mm film alongside digital. It always intrigued me on how his photos came out, they said something to me. I didn’t have money to buy a digital camera so I would always ask him to let me borrow his camera. Read more>>

Danielle Koelbl

Adults and children look at life from completely different angles. As parents, we hope to raise confident yet empathetic, well-behaved children while our children are expected to understand large concepts at a young age. I realized that my young daughters and I were experiencing common parent/child disconnects and wanted a creative way to reason with them versus saying “no” 1,457 times a day. Read more>>

David Allen

Essentially a ne’er do well with an exclusive interest in surfing and Western religions (my undergraduate field of study), I met a Daoist monk who turned out to be an amazing character which turned my mind to all things Chinese which led me to travel in China for several months. Read more>>

Kathryn Vargas

When the Me too movement started trending, I felt a strong desire to be a hopeful and helpful voice in it. unsure on how to get my voice out, I decided to start a blog in January 2019 called I share my story and my journey of healing from sexual assault. Read more>>

Cinderella De Groot

At the age of 28, I left The Netherlands with a one-way ticket to go and explore the world. I had done already multiple long term travels to South-Africa, South-East Asia, The Maldives, Caribbean and more. I was a successful freelance dance teacher and could take my work with me wherever I go. Read more>>

Nathalia Clariesse

As the end of my senior year in high school rolled in, I was just like any typical teenager trying to figure out what she was going to do with her life. Growing up, I wasn’t the most fond of school so college wasn’t going to be an option. Read more>>

Ryan Jubela

Masters Automotive and Machine Shop was purchased by the Jubela Family in the 1970s. The family has been long time, committed residents of Oceanside. The second son of patriarch Jubela, Ryan, always dreamed of opening a beautiful, family-owned restaurant for the community of Oceanside. Read more>>

Eileen Mendel

My parents were 1st and 2nd generation immigrants from Europe. Our family ran a farming/livestock business in upstate NY. I attended school in a small town called Brewster and graduated salutatorian of my high school. Earning a BA from Wesleyan University in Biology. Read more>>

Justina Duenas

I’m a writer and an artist. I also co-founded a creative agency, Queen Cartel. We provide public relations like assistant focused specifically on North County’s creative community. I’ve been writing my whole life but I rediscovered my passion for it while I was incarcerated. Writing made the time easier. Read more>>

Thais Maya

I’m originally from São Paulo, Brazil, but I grew up in a small city called Araras – it’s countryside and I still love it. My family moved from the big city of São Paulo to the small Araras because of my mom’s work… Since I was a kid I always wanted to work as an actress, but in Araras there wasn’t many opportunities to follow this goal. Read more>>

Sergio Santamaria

I grew up in a talented family. As far back as I could remember I loved watching a film. My dad showing me lots of actions and comedy, my mom showing the animated side, and my grandma showing me horror. While I watched movies my parents would have music playing louder than the tv. Read more>>

Jenny Griffith

I founded Wild Vedic Living because I am a healthy food lover and business-minded meditator. I created WVL after meeting Ayurveda face-to-face at a yoga teacher training seven years ago. I loved it so much that I picked up my bags and moved to California to attend the San Diego College of Ayurveda to become an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. Read more>>

Juan Ruiz

I moved to the States five years ago with my family, my luggage and two thousand dollars in my pocket to start all over again. We started from scratch. I was hired by a rental company in San Clemente to work in the warehouse loading and unloading trucks. Read more>>


Clarence Lee Jr.

The business really started from a place of service. My intern year in the Surgery program and Brooke Army Medical Center, due to the long hours I was working and lack of being able to engage with my loved ones at times, I wondered why was I working so hard to become a success. If success meant I couldn’t see my family and I was in the hospital all the time. Read more>>

Cheri Smith

I was first drawn to Yoga 1999. I had a regular practice out of Encinitas, attended workshops and retreats, I was hooked. The mental and physical discipline of yoga combined with the way it moved energy through my body kept me balanced and focused. I went on to graduate college, marry, and built a successful career and a family. As I did, I grew further and further away from my Yoga practice. Read more>>

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