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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.


I am a youth orchestras founder and conductor in San Diego and a violin classical musician as well. It was 2015 when I attended Mutek Festival in Montreal; an electronic music and digital arts festival that I got inspired to start my electronic music project M A L U. I am basically composing music but instead of composing for an orchestra or ensemble of musical instruments, I am composing to electronic sounds and noises. Read more>>

Kashala McCain

I started working as a stylist and marketing assistant with a local showroom downtown Los Angeles. I had a helping hand with providing brands with the exposure they needed, styling models, and curating ideas for photoshoots. During that time, I realized I had a detailed eye for how I envisioned the models and clothing to be presented. Read more>>

Brooke Allison

My entrepreneurial journey began about six years ago; however, I have always been a rebel, an outgoing, energetic spirit, and a freedom chaser. I should have known from a young age that I was meant to be an entrepreneur. Let me explain, even when I was a little girl, my dream was to be Celine Dion’s backup dancer. Read more>>

Meredith Marple

I’m not lucky and I don’t have innate gifts for winning people over. A chubby misfit all throughout school, I learned to play guitar, eat in private, and avoid getting beat up. Far from an outlier, I can be unsure of myself and struggle with confidence issues. I’m a certified makeup artist who runs the beauty department at a busy downtown CVS. Read more>>

Carla Olson

Approximately ten years ago, I started photographing beach sunsets to capture the memories I was collecting at the beach. I was continually at the beach enjoying life and admiring sunsets. So, as I was snapping photos and admiring them, the desire grew from personally photographing to working as a businesswoman photographing. Read more>>


Tina Jo

I started photography when I was 15-years-old. When I first started, it began from just taking photos of objects around my apartment, but as I continued pursuing the dream of becoming a photographer, I found an interest in fashion photography. Read more>>

Lolita Korneagay

Lolita Korneagay was enjoying her life as a registered nurse when her world came tumbling down. One moment she was on her feet at work, and the next she was bedridden thanks to symptoms of a chronic illness. She tried everything she could to minimize the pain, including high dosage pain pills and surgery. Read more>>

Zeinab Ghais

I have been working in the art and design world for over twenty years, drawing upon my unique upbringing, training and skillful eye to infuse my art and designs with color, textures and natural influences. Growing up, I was surrounded by a family of creative types, who helped me hone my talent. I earned a BFA in Furniture Design from Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, GA. Read more>>

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