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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.

MacKenzie McClain

I sort of stumbled into the metalsmithing world, but it really is a sweet story. About halfway through my college career as an Advertising Communications major, I needed to fill up an art credit. I wanted to take ceramics, however that class was full and one of the only classes left was bench jewelry. Read more>>

Gabrielle Kronlein

My name is Gabrielle Kronlein but anyone who actually knows me calls me Gaga. I recently moved here from Sacramento. I was at a point in my life where I didn’t quite know which direction to go. I was happy but in a very mediocre way. Read more>>

Len Jefferson-Springer

At the ripe old age of 5, I knew my connection to foods ability to heal while learning to cook alongside my mother and grandmothers was part of my life’s path. I was fascinated with how specific soups was made to rid us of colds/flu. Read more>>

Jhoanne M. Castillo

My background is in graphic design and advertising, but if you asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer would’ve been either “eye doctor” or dentist. Growing up in a Filipino family, it was highly encouraged to have a career in the medical field. Read more>>

Claire Burke

Working with dogs is something I’ve known would be my career since I was a kid. I wasn’t quite sure in what context, but I knew this was the industry I was made to work in. I used to build agility equipment in my backyard and teach my dog any trick I could think of. Read more>>

Melissa Slack

I grew up watching both of my parents work really hard to provide for our family. We didn’t have much and like most children, growing up I just wanted to feel like I belonged to a community and to hang out with the cool kids. My mom made most of my clothes until I turned 13. Read more>>

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