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Inspiring Stories from South San Diego

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 inspiring stories from South San Diego below.

Jason Gorgol

When I was growing up a neighbor would weld. I loved seeing it at night the bright light. I have always loved building things since I was a kid. I bought my first welder when I was 18. Started making some money. I decided when I was 22 that I needed to know what I was doing. I went to a ROP program. I met my mentor. His famous words were “ break it do it again”. What ever I was doing in school. I found a night job to master what I was doing in school. I did the ROP program for 4 years. I treated it like my college. I went to work for TEK steel to learn more. I got laid off for a period of time. I decided it was time to start my business. I was doing my business part time before. TEK steel hired me back. I said things have changed since I started my business. They said that was ok. It worked for a while. I started to take days off for my business. Then weeks. TEK steel said I had to make a choice.  Read more>>

Emily Esparza

It all started in high school when I was given a camera for my birthday and eventually, I decided I wanted to express my creativity with everyone else so that is why I decided to create my own photography page on Instagram. I remember when I was little I was so sad because everyone else had a talent like playing some sort of instrument or were good at sports but I always pondered what my passion/talent was. Eventually, I fell in love with photography. Read more>>

Karina Romo

When the pandemic hit in March 2020 I was stuck working from home. After a few weeks, I realized that this wasn’t going to end soon so I wanted to explore some ventures I had in the past and one of them was to start a business. I always wanted to do something related to retail/clothing/fashion, so I weighed my options and found a passion for jewelry. I realized that whenever I was looking for jewelry in Tijuana, I could never find a minimalist-modern style for sale, so I saw an opportunity. I started researching and looking for the best quality pieces I could find and creating a concept that would resonate with young women between the ages of 18-35. Once I had all that I created my brand (MUUD) and launched it in September of 2020. I’m grateful to say we just celebrated our 1st anniversary and everything is going better than expected!. Read more>>

Abraham Morales

Jam Reparación de Instrumentos started both as a hobby and as a necessity. When I was 14 years old I began doing my own set-ups for my guitar and bass. I had a very specific sound and I realized that the only way to achieve it was by setting them up myself. Soon after, friends and fellow musicians began to notice my work and I began to work on their instruments as a favor. It wasn’t until 2013, at 17 years old, that I officially named the shop “Jam Reparación de Instrumentos”. It all started in my grandma’s storage room, piling up tools, strings and instruments. Eventually, I was able to move Jam to a new place, where I was able to work and receive clients more comfortably. Today we have a nice little shop, we recently celebrated our 8th anniversary and we look forward with gratitude toward more growth and music!. Read more>>

Devaughn Burns

I’m currently incarcerated in California been gone for 7 years. From all of my shortcomings, I’ve come up with my clothing brand Brainfood Brand. Which the name comes from the coping skills I’ve learned from being in here to overcome these shortcomings. This brand is for the underdogs and unheard, just to motivate people they can do ANYTHING through any circumstance. Read more>>

Madina Morris

I grew up in South Florida and my dream has always been to become an art therapist. While attending school I ended up working at a lash extensions salon as a receptionist and fell in love with lashes and how it made people feel which inspired me to change my career path. I have always wanted to live in California so packed up my little Mazda and moved to San Diego on a whim with my boyfriend and completely fell in love with the city, the people and the lifestyle. I never thought that owning my own business would ever be a possibility until I noticed how welcoming and supportive this city is to small businesses. My boyfriend was my number one supporter in launching my own business and encouraged me even when I didn’t think it was an option. During quarantine, I really had time to sit down and reflect with what I wanted in life and that’s when the idea of Little lash shop really kicked off, everything else started to fall right into place shortly after and felt like a push in the right direction.

Alicia Jimerson

Our bakery really started out as a hobby. We love French macarons and wanted to learn how to make them. Little did we know that the macaron-making process can be incredibly difficult. Making the perfect macaron became an obsession. We started posting what we were doing on social media. Likes and positive comments quickly turned into requests to make custom orders for birthdays, baby showers, and other special occasions. Then, an inquiry came from a San Diego boba tea shop, asking if we could wholesale 1,000 pieces a week. I guess you could say we were officially in business at that point. It’s amazing to think that an established business thinks enough of your product to stock it on its shelves. From there, we participated in the Temecula night market scene while looking to expand our wholesale operation. Read more>>

Priscilla Arce

I have always loved flowers. Creating arrangements was always a hobby for me but I never thought it would be my career. My beautiful mother always had a dream of opening a flower shop as she had a great understanding and passion for all types of plants and flowers. Today because of her, my hobby has turned into my passion and I am a fulltime designer and florist. Designing and creating floral arrangements has always been therapeutic for me and my goal is that they would bring joy to someone’s life. Today, my mothers dream, passion and creativity are running through me as I do what I love!. Read more>>

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