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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.

Ananda Kirchhofer

I am Ananda Kirchhofer, 28. I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I Graduated in Business with an emphasis on Marketing and entertainment. I’m Cofounder and CEO at Reconnect Marketing Agency. Everything started when I was working in the sales area for Red Bull in Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. I felt that I was trapped in this company and I didn’t have time for myself. I decided I wanted to travel to learn English and learn about myself, at that time I was looking for self-knowledge. January 2018 I was 25 years old and I quit the company and bought a ticket, destination San Diego, CA. I decided to spend three months in California that was the place that had been dreaming about but at the same time I bought a ticket to live in Sydney, Australia for six months. I left brazil with those two destinations in my plans. I came to San Diego and fell in love with the people and every single place, I didn’t know anything in English and it was a really hard time for me because I was by myself. Read more>>

Anne & Kayla Valenzuela

We are a duo family business. We both started our event planning journey years ago planning events for fundraisers, shows/competitions, and for family and friends. However, what really sparked our interest to open our own business was when Anne got married 11 years ago. As cliché as it sounds, we fell in love with love. Weddings bring so much nostalgia and that sense of awe – we were hooked. We started planning weddings here and there to get our feet wet. Then it progressed into themed events (ie. retirement parties, birthdays, showers, etc.). So, here we are today. Since the pandemic hit, we’ve slowed our business to keep everyone safe. However, now we can check off drive-by parties! And we’re loving it!. Read more>>

Maria Regnetta

I always joke that one day I’ll need to write a book about my life. There are no dragons and wizards but there is a Prince Charming that changed my life completely and brought me to his Kingdom haha! So if I tried to make it short: I was born and raised in Russia, graduated from Moscow State University with a Master’s Degree and Chinese as a first language. Went to study in China for a semester and met a US Marine there. We started dating, then we got engaged in Brazil and then again in Venice, got married in Florida and now live in beautiful California. By now you’re probably wondering what all of it has to do with photography. Well, my whole life I loved weddings! I was a flower girl as a child and then a bridesmaid so many times. These beautiful days filled with love and elegance just make me the happiest. Also, by then photography has been my hobby for about four years. Read more>>

Eric Gonzalez

I got my start via following my passion of playing soccer. I was a full-time employee working for Verizon at the time, along with being a full-time college student. On top of trying to manage a stressful school and work load, I managed to find a way to become a student athlete during pre-season. Nearing the beginning of the season, we were told the different times we would practice, and compete. Additionally, this became a huge issue for me as I was very limited by my two days off from work, along with attending my classes. After quickly realizing that I would have to pick either competing in college, or keeping my full-time job, I decided that Verizon was always going to be there. All in all, I decided to leave the company in order to keep competing, but during this time I was researching different ways of creating a source of income for myself. Read more>>

Mayra Tejeda

I was born in Indio, CA. I moved to San Diego when I was about eight years old. I went to Chula Vista High School and got my Associate’s degree in Social Work at San Diego City College. I thought I wanted to be a Social Worker and help families in need; however, it turns out I ended up assisting families in an entirely different way. After my second child at 30 years old, I was always tired, irritated, and could barely sleep due to my newborn, and on top of that, I worked full time. Trying CBD helped me feel a lot calmer and relaxed in general. I felt like I could be a better mom and I wanted to share it with the world. That’s how [Nilo organics] was born. I started doing more research on CBD products, and finally, I created something that I myself CANNOT live without – The Nilo Organics collection. Nilo is pronounced (Nee•lo). The name Nilo came from the combination of my two children’s names, Nickolas and Kylo. Our products were blended for the body and mind with all-natural and organic ingredients, hence “Organic.” Read more>>

Adam Goff

The Oaks is a Southern California retreat center that hosts in-house programming and private property rentals. Guests enjoy great food, modern accommodations, personalized hospitality, and thoughtfully curated experiences. Our stunning 240-acre property and flexible indoor/outdoor gathering spaces for people to enjoy. Lots of places have agendas, but our intention is simple: make the people who come feel loved. In your busy life, we know you need rest and a little margin to reconnect with the things that make life meaningful. We’ve created a property and a process to give you exactly that. The Oaks will be your backdrop for decades of life change, the birthplace for countless new adventures as you return season after season to create, rest, and celebrate. Read more>>

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