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Rising Stars of Downtown & Little Italy

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 Downtown & Little Italy below.

Carol Neyenesch-Bentley

In 1899 William Neyenesch opened a print shop in the basement of the Hotel del Coronado. After a few location changes, including the U.S. Grant Hotel, the company has been in it’s current location since 1959, 119 years later, Neyenesch Printers is still owned and operated by 3nd and 4th generation family members. Simply put, we are printers. Read more>>

Alisa Wechsler, Gunner Williams

Our dogs and cats are our inspiration, and the need to feed them the best food possible was the driving force behind creating Maxota Raw and Urban Wolf. Years ago while living with Max and Dakota in Arizona, Max developed a skin allergy. Read more>>

Sean Boyd

Trinity Theatre started in 2012, while my business partner (Kenden Reed) and I were still in our Senior Year at San Diego High School. We wanted to provide Theatre Arts to our community, in a way that allowed everyone to be involved – experienced or otherwise. Read more>>

Elika Dizechi, Drenick Quiogue, Miles McCormack, Iyla Dizechi

The Portrait Culture came to fruition this past summer after four friends decided to establish a common goal for our community: a creative outlet for visionaries to meet up, network, and create content. We wanted to build an organization that would unite creatives to express their vision of art while promoting and supporting healthy collaborations. Read more>>

Dan Quinn

Land Survey Searches Made Simple —– County of San Diego’s Web-Based App Lets Public Easily Download Property Surveys Property and land surveys are crucial resources for anyone who plans to purchase or develop property. Surveys, parcel maps, and subdivision maps can all be used to determine the boundaries of a piece of property, which can be critical should a land dispute arise. Read more>>

Maxine Mahon

My performing background includes seven years featured in the San Diego Ballet, five years with Starlight Opera, and featured positions in the National Ballet of Washington, D. C. I invited friends from the National Ballet to headline the premier performance of California Ballet on July 13, 1968. Read more>>

Tina Belinsky

My husband Fred and I moved to California to begin a new adventure in retail. Our first store opened in Seaport Village in May of 1980. Seaport Village was the initial cog in the wheel for San Diego’s downtown redevelopment. It was unknown if the center would be successful. Read more>>

Elaine Reiter

I started training exotic animals for marine mammal parks and zoos starting in the early 90’s. I had the pleasure of working with dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, big cats and even falcons. While at a happy hour with a group of trainers, we started discussing the training of domestic animals, dogs and cats. Read more>>

Rich Rudzinski

My entrepreneurial journey really began at UCSD. I entered the college as a computer engineering major, but shifted to a new media degree (ICAM) after feeling too constrained by the very defined course path of CE. ICAM allowed me to pick and choose the courses that interested me, and studied a mix of digital music recording, coding, and new digital media. Read more>>

Reixa Marie Sanchez, Eric Gabrielson

We started doing hair after high school, we then took it to the next level and attended barber and beauty school. After working a few months in downtown San Diego, we decided to open our own shop He Fades She Colors. Smooth? Never, this business is cut throat, and in order to survive you need to be dedicated and passionate. Read more>>

Brandi Kirschbaum

I’ve wanted a coffee shop a coffee shop since I was 16. I finally took the leap of faith and started this shop in 2015 after training with many different baristas and meeting with coffee shop owners. I took a trip to Costa Rica and that is where I learned the origin of coffee and the Coffee cherry. Read more>>

Adisa Zirić, Dmytro Bershadskyy

We started White Gorilla Media at the end of 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Dmytro always had a passion for design and video and I was pursuing an MBA in Sustainable Management at that time. During our involvement in a cause-based marketing startup in 2005 we both realized that we can create a positive impact through our business while also expressing our creativity, both of which were important to us. Read more>>

Ramez, Clarissa, Sam

After meeting each other in 2015 while working at the same company. The three of us discussed our future plans for one day leaving the 9-5 work life behind and starting a business. We’ve all had experiences of people coming to us for our talents which led to us working on freelance projects during our free time. Read more>>


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