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Point Loma & Shelter Island’s Rising Stars

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 Point Loma & Shelter Island below.

Henry Kikunaga

I started the martial art of Kendo (The Way of the Sword) at the age of seven with my Father and older brother in San Jose, CA. My father thought it would be a great “family” activity and also to keep everyone in physical and mental shape. Within the year, I placed in a local tournament and the competitive fire grew inside me. I made the regional team to compete at Nationals at age 12 competing with other youths that were three years older and much bigger than myself. At that Nationals, I helped our youth team place third. At age 15, I competed in the next Nationals on the youth team again. Nationals are held every three years in Kendo in the USA. At that competition, I placed 3rd in the Individual competition and 2nd in the Team competition. I competed in the next three Nationals in the next nine years helping our Northern California Men’s team capture two National Titles. Through this time, I competed in many regional tournaments with competitors as far as Canada, Hawaii, and Japan. Read more>>

Cam Vili Maeva

Ever since I was a youngster, I’ve been fascinated by all things that have to do with art. Whether it be music, movies, photography, or even paintings, all of it has held a tight creative grip on me. My parents gave me a little playhouse toy camera when I was like seven, so you could say that’s where the visual arts of photography caught my interest. In reality, it took years of observing and comprehending the world that was around me in order to create art that showcased everything I was seeing. To be able to tell stories about the people and places I’ve come across. To sum up, the courage to take photos of different lifestyles and locations. I was about 15 when I was beginning to go full force in the art of visual storytelling. Read more>>

Brittny Ferguson

I was actually born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, which is a very diverse community in the heart of the Midwest. Growing up in a small town like KC allowed me to experience very humble beginnings which will forever keep me grounded. To this day, I still acknowledge my elders in passing as my grandparents instructed me to and speak with a “country twang” that never quite seems to escape me. I now reside with my family in San Diego, CA, and I would say that never being scared to write a new chapter is what I attribute most to where I am today. My core values consist of family, faith, community, growth, meaningful work, and inspiration, so every decision and choice that I make in life is always centered around that. With family being at the top of that list, I decided to start my own after graduating from The University of Missouri-Kansas City with my Bachelor’s Degree and had my beautiful daughter and greatest inspiration Mykel Michele. Read more>>

Rick Vazza

My grandfather ran a successful real estate development company in Massachusetts. My father and uncle both worked for him, and frankly, I always thought I would eventually join them. Real estate interested me and I really enjoyed visiting job sites with them growing up. I honestly didn’t know what a financial planner was when I was younger. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away unexpectedly in the depths of the 08 financial crisis. He did almost everything wrong; you can possibly do when it comes to estate planning. My dad spent significant time and resources cleaning up what became a very messy situation. I had a front-row seat to what should have been the prime of my dad’s career instead of being spent in and out of court to handle the estate. This experience triggered my interest in financial planning. From there, I was fortunate to develop a passion for the work. It is an interesting field that has you often playing the various roles of an investor, problem solver, psychiatrist, and coach. Read more>>

Paige Koehler

I wanted to reach out and introduce myself – I’m Paige Koehler, a local musician in San Diego. I’ve been following your pieces on the local musicians and I wanted to reach out about a pitch to help promote my debut EP, Sorry I’m Late. Not a cheesy, ‘listen to me’ kind of promotion, but rather an outline of a pivotal part of the local music scene and how it’s led to my EP. I’m an active gigging musician here in San Diego and wanted to shed some light on how the local scene has been drastically bridged with the help of a classic garage band practice space – The Garage Mahal. Over the past three years, the guys at the Garage have brought in dozens of local bands to spotlight their Garage Mahal Sessions, including a handful of SD Music Awards winners and nominees like Aviator Stash, MDRN HSTRY, Boostive, Vokab Company and more. Read more>>

Araiz Cervantes and Alysa Tuason

Our journey in the beauty industry started about 2-3 years ago. At first, Alysa and I were both working separately with no idea that one day we would become such a powerful team. My brand was named badasslash while hers was bosslabel beauty. I worked out of my small garage and Alysa was mobile going to each client’s home for services. We did not know of each other at this time, then one day, I decided it was time to expand into a small studio in Point Loma (October 2019 ), I knew I had space for another person and I started looking for someone with the same drive as me. I received a phone call from Alysa and instantly, I knew she was it. We met up at Panera and ideas were flowing organically. Read more>>

Jessica Zemple

By all context, I had “made it”. I was a young executive flying around the world working for a company making a positive impact. And I was completely miserable. I found my way to a master’s program in Spiritual Psychology with Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick where I spent two years digging into who I was and what my purpose was in this magnificent world. I looked at my old belief systems, judgments, and fears that were holding me back from living my greatest life. The results were so liberating that I decided I wanted to give that same freedom to others through life coaching. Read more>>

Breanne Acio

In 2017, my wife and I decided to buy a cargo van and renovate it into a beautiful tiny house on wheels. During that project and the adventures we began to take, we fell in love with road travel and the community of people who did it as well. However, we soon noticed several challenges. 1.) Campervan conversions were financially inaccessible to most people — at the time, they started around $60k, plus the vehicle. 2.) Road travel was lonely — constantly being in a new place, away from family and friends and 3). Finding legal places to camp that wasn’t a Walmart parking lot or $50/night was extremely difficult. And so, my entrepreneurial journey began! I began building a technology solution to solve for the challenges of finding safe destinations to camp overnight and loneliness from lack of connection to community. Read more>>

Jen Fisher

I was born in Los Angeles but raised by a single mother in San Diego. I attended undergrad at the University of Arizona with a major in Family Studies + Human Development. I spent some time traveling abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico and Segovia, Spain. After graduation, I returned home to San Diego and started a career gaining a background in education and non-profit management with Junior Achievement, an international organization dedicated to serving K-12 students through hands-on experiences that demonstrate financial literacy, work-readiness, and entrepreneurship. As a program manager, I spent years in developing curriculum, leading training, and stewarding corporate volunteers and donations. Read more>>

Christina Rounds

I started in Property Management in 2009 when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I had just lost two siblings within one year and then he hit me with the divorce talk. I had three kids and had no idea how I was going to provide for them. So I scoped Craigslist and sure enough, answered an ad for an assistant making $10 an hour working 10-15 hours a week. It allowed me to work, pick up my kids from school and still make sure I was home to make dinner. After a few months of working for my then broker, he asked me if I wanted a property to manage myself. Then another. Then another. After a few years, I was managing 60-80 properties. The job allowed me to grow and grow because I had to really toughen my skin. Read more>>

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