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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.

Whitney McDonald and Amanda Rose Shirk

We met while working for an event company and immediately connected. We knew that we would make a great team, and eventually decided to branch off and start our own event company that represented our style. We started without any leads or a work space. Read more>>

Kelsey Castillo

My business truly came out of the blue. I was an avid doodler in college — always making my notes as colorful and cursive as possible. During my freshman year, a friend back home saw a picture of my notebook and took a chance on me to be her on-site calligraphy artist for her wedding. Read more>>

Evelyn Sandoval

I have been now a makeup artist for eight years and a licensed cosmetologist for six. I have worked so hard from being assistant with no pay to now working on commercials. It’s definitely being a hard journey that I’m still working on but it’s worth it because this is something I have passion for and dedication. Read more>>

Anne Rios

Working with Think Dignity allows me to continue to see the persecution and disproportionate negative effects to these same communities. I am able to cultivate my passion as executive director to help create a more equitable society. Read more>>


We often hear these stories about people who leave a job they hate to pursue their dreams. Well my story is a little different. I left a career I absolutely loved wholeheartedly, for a dream so big only someone crazy enough would have the courage to go for. Read more>>

Angela McCaw-Evans

I grew up around fundraising and event planning and I really enjoyed that environment. The more artists and female entrepreneurs I met, the more inspired I was to have a place and reason to bring people together. When the little black house I’d admired from afar became available. Read more>>

Emily Hsu

For most of my adult life I was a performer… I moved to NYC after college to pursue my dream of singing and dancing on Broadway and I have been fortunate enough to have appeared in 12 Broadway shows. After my last show closed I was living in NJ with my two daughters and found yoga as a great outlet. Read more>>

Arielle Berneman

In March 2017, Sweat in SD was started from a random idea of wanting to share my favorite fitness studios and fitness events around San Diego. Initially, it was an Instagram account to share local events and happenings. It was my way of influencing others. Read more>>

Dana Uzana

I started my food blog @myalkalinerecipes a year ago after doing a body cleanse , i changed my diet to an alkaline vegan diet. this diet follows a nutritional guide that a guy from Honduras named Dr. Sebi developed. Read more>>

Nicole Sager

I played competitive tennis and danced growing up and all the way through college. I have always had the traveling bug, maybe because my dad is a pilot but I also studied abroad which gave me the appreciation to see the world. I am also super passionate about music and fashion. Read more>>

Salina Duggan

I started competing at a young age, which gave me a very strong foundation physically and mentally.. As I got to high school, gymnastics became too expensive and time-consuming for my mother to support me so I started transitioning into high school sports like field hockey. Read more>>


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