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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.

Lola Demure

I came from a long line of dancers (my grandmother was a showgirl on the Vaudeville circuit) and I have been on stage since the age of four. I am a classically trained ballerina and have danced with the Pennslyvania Ballet in Philadelphia, as well as the California Ballet Company here in San Diego. I have been a professional dancer since the age of 14. Read more>>

Tori Smallwood

I went to night school at Bellus Academy here in San Diego, where we’ve lived for 12 years now. After earning my cosmetology license, I landed a job at Hyde Edwards Salon & Spa in Little Italy, where I worked for six years. During my time there, I honestly took advantage of every opportunity I could. I signed up for every education class I could find. Read more>>

Ryann Kipping

Aside from one on one nutrition counseling, Ryann is a nutrition writer and menu developer. She is currently attending San Diego State University to get her Masters in Public Health and dreams to not only change the health of individuals but also make a big impact across communities. Read more>>

Heather Balaam

I’ve steadily grown my career as a freelance makeup artist over the years. To now having a studio, owning a Bridal focused hair and makeup business Bloom Bride), and a personal portfolio I am really proud of. I’ve gotten to work with big names like Taco Bell, Sephora, Fenty Beauty, Taylor Swift, Fox News, countless clothing brands, editorials, and individuals. Read more>>

Cady North

I specialize in helping women make a similar transition from their successful corporate life to a self-employed life. I’m an advocate and sounding board for my clients on financial issues like how they’re going to replace their benefits, save for the future and maintain their lifestyle while they make the transition. Read more>>

Aspen Scharff

With that being said, I NEVER gave up. I didn’t take a semester off I continued to fight to be my best. I learned new study skills, I sought out advisors. I am a first generation college student so my entire family is learning as we go. I was rejected BY multiple schools before being accepted. Read more>>


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