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Trailblazers: Downtown & Little Italy

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 Downtown & Little Italy that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Daniella De la Puente

I was born in Mexico City and came to live in Tijuana in 1988. After studying graphic design, and with my grandmother as my greatest inspiration in the kitchen, I discovered a deep passion for food that inspired my culinary journey. After a few culinary courses and workshops, I studied at Culinary Art School, and later on, I got my sommelier degree. Read more>>

Mallory Plemons

I am a photographer based in San Diego. My artistic journey began when I was about 16 years old where I started working at a local portrait studio as a photography assistant. I was mentored under many different photographers, and that’s when I really started to get the feel of my own artistic flare through studio portraits and travel landscapes. Read more>>

Bridget Lambert

I ended up finishing law school, passing the bar exam and practicing with some really cool lawyers, but I always knew that my path was meant to be promoting alternatives to court; and alternatives to violence in some cases. So when a position came open at the Mediation Center in 1999, I left the lucrative career behind and followed my heart. Read more>>

Zarina Aure

My story started with a long road of trial and error. I started in the film industry first when was invited to George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” premiere. As a film student, I wanted to start my journey in becoming a producer or director and I wanted to learn it all. Matthew Dearborn, writer and director of Even Stevens, was my mentor. Read more>>

Kiana Caton

Over the past few years, I’ve kind of lived a double life and I’m in this ongoing transition from one life to the next. As a result, my story has two distinct sides to it: Kiana the Model and Kiana the Future Lawyer. I was born and raised in Sacramento, California–the state capital. Some may disagree but I would hardly say that government and politics make Sacramento “fashionable.” Read more>>

Annette Kalla

I enjoyed being creative and creating something out of nothing. I would be curious about the various techniques used to create certain paintings, sculptures, and drawings. When I was younger, I would constantly draw up sketches of different things such as portraits of people, the scenery outside, and so much more. I couldn’t wait to go show my parents what I had created. I vividly remember my dad always telling me to use my skills and make it a career. Read more>>

Allyson McKeag

My story has started with Strong Women. My mother was a huge influence in my life. She has walked me through my journey every step of the way. I was 17 when I got my first serving job at the JW Marriott in Palm Desert. My Aunt was a top server there and referred me. Read more>>

Alda Escobar

Our philosophy is to support artisans towards economic independence by providing and creating social and economic opportunities through trading partnership with jobs and a Fair Trade model of business based on values and a sustainable model. Read more>>

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