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Trailblazers: Balboa Park & Hillcrest

The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that media portrayals of women have been too one dimensional. Today, women are doing incredible things in all fields – from science and technology to finance, law, business, athletics and more.  With the Trailblazers series, we hope to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.

Below, you’ll find some incredible trailblazers from in and around Balboa Park & Hillcrest that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Rachel Cosgrove

Results Fitness was opened in 2000 by husband and wife duo, Alwyn & Rachel Cosgrove who had worked as personal trainers at a number of gyms both in New York City and California. They opened Results Fitness out of frustration for the standards in the industry wanting to change the way fitness is done! They did just that and over the last twenty years have created a community unlike any other gym where clients come first. Read more>>

Pilar Montaño

Her oil paintings are recognizable for their honesty and authenticity for their vivid colors and distinct shapes. Her work transcends the boundaries between representation and abstraction, between memory and actuality. She is equally proficient with brilliant still lives, penetrating empathetic portraitures, and contemporary cityscapes. Read more>>

Sandra Buczek

I am an artist and I am very creative. She suggested we start designing bridal accessories. I said yes knowing that weddings are part of our cultural makeup. We designed a lot of gorgeous accessories ans attended our first bridal fair in Temecula. The owner of a prominent San Diego wedding magazine noticed our pieces and asked us to join her styling team for a photo shoot. Read more>>

Paty Sevener

One day I decided to buy a one-way ticket to Washington D.C. from Madrid, Spain. I quit my poorly compensated jobs, my band at the time (Maybe Nots) was breaking up and I was ready for a change. I spent six months in D.C., where I lived for five years growing up. During this time, I played music and toured the East Coast with a band from Baltimore called Conor and the Wild Hunt. Read more>>

Whitney Sartain

Ten years ago, I lost my mom to breast cancer. Shortly after that, I lost my grandma to the same disease. Yeah, SUCKS, I know… Ya feel me?! I knew I had to do everything in my power to prevent myself from being next. I vowed to turn my LOSS into my LEGACY. Read more>>

Tori Viola and Lora Lakanal

Namastray was founded by two women, Lora Lakanal and Tori Viola, and our story begins about five years ago. We met working as makeup artists at Sephora. We both spent majority of our adulthood careers in the beauty industry. Outside of work, we found a lot of purpose within our hobbies and volunteering. Read more>>

Arlene Silvera

My fitness journey began during the hardest and most trying time of my life. I had just turned 50 and was suddenly dealing with restarting my whole life. The very thought of it crippled me with depression. I just couldn’t seem to find a way out of the way I was feeling… I was just stuck. That’s when my son urged me to get up and moving. Read more>>

Nay Secka

I’ve been sketching since I was seven years old! Long before I knew what a “Fashion Designer” was, I knew I wanted to change the way my clothes looked. I was born in New York City but I grew up in Gambia, West Africa and they weren’t any fashion designers back then, only tailors or seamstresses. Read more>>


Erin Stafford

I grew up in Orange County and have always felt like an old soul. I excelled in school but was bored out of my mind. I felt like I was wasting my time. So the second I graduated, I moved to Paris for college. For the first time in my life, I finally felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Read more>>

Rithi Arora

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and really knew nothing else outside of my comfortable, little bubble. I was slowly growing discontent with how stagnant life was starting to feel and the lack of direction I was facing with my own career goals reinforced those feelings even more. Read more>>

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