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Trailblazers: Old Town – Mission Valley

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 Old Town – Mission Valley that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Koko Hayashi

Born and grown up in Japan, where Face Yoga has been popular over a decade, Koko Hayashi has been practicing Face Yoga personally for a long time and moved to the States in 2016 to introduce Face Yoga. Now, her media appearances include Netflix, E!, GMA, etc., and she has some celebrity clients in Hollywood. Read more>>

Brittany Jarman

I had no plans to start a business or shoot for anyone other than myself. I got a camera shortly after I got married so that I could learn how to take photos because I knew we would have kids at some point and that I would want to photograph the crap out of them. So, I got a canon rebel and practiced nearly every day for two years before I ever photographed for anyone else. Read more>>

Maggie McGonigle

My life is pretty great. There just seems to always be this blah sort of feeling right beneath the surface. At any moment, completely unannounced and often for no apparent reason, I can be reminded of the absolute absurdity and unbearable aching sadness that Mark, my favorite guy, my person, my partner, is no longer here because he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Read more>>

Rachel Stewart

Every woman is freaking amazing and has so much to offer the world! I want them to believe that and show everyone around them what they are capable of doing and being. There will always be resistance, whether from their own inner voice or from people around them. Read more>>

Deb Sutton

Unfulfilled in life; relationships and career. Started working in an office environment at 19 years old and at the time was 33. I had a college degree, had lots of incredible career experience (worked for ESPN radio, wrote for the Tampa Yankees), management and marketing experience in healthcare was always driven but I was feeling lost and unhappy. I felt like I was wearing a mask and knew I needed to make a change to figure ME out. I decided to follow a dream and take a leap! I quit my job for the “Eat, Pray, Love” experience and enrolled in a month-long immersion into a yoga teaching training in California. Read more>>

Megan Wyreweden

Like most artists, creating was a constant thing throughout my growing up years. I had many career aspirations through my childhood and teenage years, including mermaid, marine biologist, and video game concept artist. I opened my online store in college, mostly as a hobby as I got my psychology degree. My Etsy store started really small, with just a few prints that I would get made at Costco, and it took me a month to get my first sale – a $5 mini print. Read more>>

Anuschka Alborzian

My story might seem scary to most, yet it’s empowering to me. It all began the Spring of 2017, while my husband, Ashkan, and I were on vacation in Hawaii, and I couldn’t leave the hotel room one of the last days due to a massive headache, which leads to random vomiting throughout the day. Initially we thought it had to do with alcohol, so I cut out alcohol once we headed back to San Diego, yet the sporadic migraines (or so I thought) and getting uncontrollably sick to my stomach continued for several months, 4 to be exact, when I finally decided to go to the doctor for a checkup. Read more>>

Shireen Shahidi

As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that photography embraces something so special because it captures a single moment in time that can never be replicated. Growing up, I would have photoshoots with my friends all the time. I would do anything to be behind the camera. Read more>>

Suhail Rivera

I practiced law for almost ten years before deciding to close my practice and open up The Alkaline Herb Store. When I became ill, a few years ago, all of the alkaline herb stores I visited were charging more than what I could afford, so it was very important for me to make affordable herbs, which I succeeded at doing. Read more>>

Laura Katleman

I worked in two shared kitchens before we got into our current space in Linda Vista. It was terrifying! The new was 4000 square feet 15 times larger that the shared kitchen space. I had seven other subtenants lined up and we produced cookies and bars for another company all to help pay the rent. Read more>>

Anaili Galindo Perez

My dream is to become a blogger who the people can get inspiration from for their outfits or clothes, and I can have the opportunity to advise what to wear or where to buy the dress that I’m wearing or what photo is best to upload, collaborate with brands, have my own brand of cloth or makeup, and assist at fashion events and runways. Read more>>

Jenn Housman

My first real collection’s inspiration came from my first trip back east to visit family and instead of taking the red eye, I flew during the day, since I quit my job! I had my sketchbook in my lap, and sitting by the window, I didn’t stop sketching for 5 hours straight. Read more>>

Gabby Grad

I started blogging through my cancer treatments as a way to keep my family and friends up to date as to what was going on in my life. It helped me heal and my blog was shared to several other people who were going through cancer treatments. Read more>>

Nikala Ollar

My journey into the events world is a little different than most, as you seem most people that end up here dream of doing events from a young age, and they feel that they have a calling. Me, on the other hand, I had other dreams. I dreamed of being a cop, I thought that was called. Read more>>

Carmel Moreno

After high school, I attended Purdue University but had no idea what I wanted to do. I must have changed my major 10 times! After discussing things with my family my sister said, “I can totally see you being a hairstylist.” That comment planted the seed and so I went and checked out a local cosmetology school. Read more>>

Sarah Staples

My mission is to empower as many women as possible by showing them that they are fully capable of overcoming limiting beliefs and mental blockages through movement. My method will guide them to gain confidence by becoming stronger mentally and physically. Read more>>

Stacy Barnes

I’m a marketing strategist for personal brands, coaches and consultants. I help brands get clear on confident on their marketing strategy. I host a weekly podcast that helps entrepreneurs move one step closer to their marketing goals. Read more>>


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