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Meet William Zakrajshek of Out at the Fair, Hillcrest Social, DJ WILL Z, & WZ Productions in San Diego

Today we’d like to introduce you to William Zakrajshek.

Thanks for sharing your story with us William. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Back in 2006, I decided to move from South Dakota to San Diego to pursue my dreams. I started at Numbers nightclub in July 2006, making that my first Pride experience ever. Being from Minnesota & going to college in South Dakota, my knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community was very limited. After a few months of working in the nightlife scene, I got offered to learn how to DJ from DJ Nikno. I found out quickly I had an ear for it and DJ Will Z the Top 40/Hip Hop video DJ was born. Being a community DJ I quickly grew a passion for pushing our community forward.

In 2011, noticing a lack of LGBTQ+ presence at the San Diego County Fair we decided to create a simple Facebook check-in. In April 2012, we created a Facebook event and got a message from Luis, at the San Diego County Fair marketing department asking if we would like to meet during our visit. In 2013, we started working directly with the San Diego County Fair to create an unofficial Gay Days. In 2014, we created a partnership with San Diego Pride, North County Pride, LGBT Community Center, South Bay Pride, and Out at the Fair was born. Since it’s conception, Out at the Fair has grown quickly at the San Diego County Fair offers a wide variety of family-friendly programming.

In 2017, Out at the Fair expanded outside of San Diego to the California State Fair in Sacramento, CA on July 30, 2017. Then on Sept 16, 2017, Out at the Fair expanded for the first time outside of California to the New Mexico State Fair. Both of our new Out at the Fair’s were a great success and we are planning our return for 2018.

After the success of DJ Will Z – Mobile app, needing a new way to market our LGBTQ+ friendly events and other community organizations we created the Hillcrest Social app. This mobile app connects the San Diego County LGBTQ+ community to events, businesses, Rage Magazine, & many more features for free. Our goal is to help our community become more social & explore everything Southern California has to offer.

In Sept 2016, I was awarded “40 under 40” by San Diego Metro Magazine for my contributions to San Diego County. This was an amazing honor and has only motivated me to work harder.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Growing these businesses come with the same challenges as most entrepreneurs face. But when you add into the LGBTQ+ factor sometimes you deal with people who don’t see your point of views. Which hasn’t slowed our growth, it’s just made everything we do that much more important.

Out at the Fair, Hillcrest Social, DJ WILL Z, & WZ Productions – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I explained more about our businesses Out at the Fair, Hillcrest Social & DJ WILL Z in my personal description.

I am proud of the impact we are making for our community every fair, every app download, and every DJ gig is just one step closer to building a stronger LGBTQ+ community.

Being a digital media company and LGBTQ+ fair festival we are already unique in spreading our message. We striving to include all, build an event everyone can be proud of, and give our users/fairgoers the best possible experience.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Right now I measure success by Hillcrest Social app downloads and the growth of our Out at the Fair festival. As many entrepreneurs know, you don’t take a paycheck for many years. Everything goes back into your business for the potential success down the road. But when a family tells you; “They never thought their trans-child could come to the fair and be welcome”, those moments are priceless.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

California State Fair, Hillcrest Social, New Mexico State Fair, San Diego County Fair

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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