We asked some of the city’s brightest entrepreneurs to tell us the story of how they started their business. We asked them to tell us about their first steps, how they got their first few clients and how they turned their idea into reality.

Carly Zuffinetti | Influencer & Entrepreneur

When I got the idea for my brand and blog, “The Preggers Pantry”, I wasn’t worried about failing because I had no where to go but up. I just went for it. I knew my content was good so I didn’t focus on everything having to look perfect right away, I just STARTED. I wanted to create a resource for mothers who were concerned about health and wellness during pregnancy and beyond. I started out by creating an Instagram page and blog on my own. Then I reached out to companies that would potentially be interested in working together and other bloggers for advice and guidance. Read more>>

Courtney Cathleen | Lash Artist

I started off doing make-up in Hollywood over 20 years ago, it’s my first love. I decided to do eyelash extensions because as a make-up artist I fell in love with the eyes. I love the colors in the eyes, the spirit behind the eyes, the way make -up and lashes shape the eyes and that transforms the face. . When eyelash extensions came out I was thrilled. I went to a training In 2004 and that when it all began. I did them in a salon for a little bit and stopped because the product was difficult to work with. In 2016 I looked into to eyelash extensions again and saw the products evolved into the visions I had back in 2004. Read more>>

Irina Madan | Artist & Fashion Designer

I have always dreamed with my eyes open hoping one day I will become an artist and fashion designer. I took my very first art courses in 2009, in order to prepare for the student examination at The Fine Arts Academy from Moldova ( Eastern Europe). My education in fashion design helped me to develop the skills and strengths I needed for my career. I discovered my vocation in life, purely by chance, in 2013, during the work on my graduation fashion collection. Read more>>

Jasmine & Rebecca Singh & Newell | Entrepreneur

It started with simple small dinners in my tiny apartment in Leucadia, Ca. We would have the dinners to experiment with new recipes and to get feedback from friends. We would sit around the table with our friends eating and sharing in joyful moments. That’s when we knew we had something special that we wanted to share with more people. The cheeze sauces became the star of the show, friends started requesting sauce to take home and that’s when our business was born. Read more>>

Jillian Fae Downing | Private Event Chef & Caterer

I have always had a passion for food and cooking and knew by a young age that I wanted to pursue it somehow as a career. However, life takes turns and I ended up working a full-time job in research and development for a golf club manufacturer. After many years there, I finally decided it was time to pursue my passion, so I went to culinary school. I knew that the possibility of me getting an executive chef position at a restaurant was very unlikely and I felt I didn’t have the time to start at the bottom and work my way up, so I explored and researched other options. Read more>>

Emma Loizides | Cityscape Painter

The first painting I ever sold was in 2004. I found a competition online and decided to go for it! It was a little Gallery in the middle of nowhere in the English countryside, and the theme was Village life. I finished my painting drove about 3 hours to deliver it to the gallery, getting lost along the way. When I arrived they said it was too big to enter the competition…I was so dissappounted but thankfully they let me hang it in the gallery anyway. Two weeks later I called the gallery to see what time I could come to collect my work, dreading that long drive again. Read more>>

Kym De Los Reyes | Professional Artist

I have drawn and painted my whole life and I knew that no matter where I was in life I knew art was always going to be waiting for me. When I turned 43 something a huge nudge push me I to painting full time. I just had a whisper in my ear that now was the time to dive in. I carved out a space, got on social media, painted everyday and grew. I hustled in contracts, submissions, networking and things started to build after about 2 years of hard work EVERYDAY. I am relentless. Read more>>

Three Omens Creative Studio | Creative Studio

Three Omens came from an intersection of creative expertise looking to expand. Jake Craigmile and Ian Harrington came from two different disciplines, filmmaking and design. Working together as separate entities for a few years on various projects, it became evident that both had similar styles and goals they wanted to accomplish. After realizing such they came together to form Three Omens, a San Diego based Creative Studio. First steps included taking their separated realms of work and merging them into something cohesive. Read more>>

Nichole Gustas | Salon Owner & Stylist

My first clients were, as I’m sure most hairstylists can relate, my friends and family members. I still remember cutting bangs for a school friend (without permission) when I was probably 10-11 years old, and I also remember the stern lecture I received from her mother afterwords! I started regularly cutting my dads hair when I was in high school to help save the family money during tough times, but I instantly fell in love and moved onto the rest of my family members. My little sister was definitely the most eager. Read more>>