A big part of making decisions is determining what our actions and choices have been inspired by. So we asked decision makers from the community to tell us about what they are inspired by.

Jordan Straus | Makeup Artist

Not sure if I have already been introduced or not but if so hi again, I’m Jordan, 20 years old at the time of writing this and possibly 21 by the time you’re reading this. (birthday is coming soon. Eek!) I do a plethora of entrepreneurial type jobs but my main sources of income are produced by social media managing and makeup artistry. Social media is newer for me and mostly a means in which to make income. It’s not something I’m necessarily all that passionate about. Beyond creating and writing the analytical side of social media can be a living hell if I’m being completely honest. Makeup on the other hand is my muse. It is my expression and my craft. It is often my escape from my overwhelmed brain and a way to connect with God on a “creator with it’s creation” level. My business is called World Makeover. A Christ-Centered Women’s organization created to provide beauty and photography services for women who can’t afford them. It is also a means in which to provide a space for complete vulnerability. Somewhere where we can see what’s really going on inside. Read more>>

Michelle Barry | Owner & Lead Designer

My inspiration as a florist comes from nature itself. I’m constantly in awe of the beauty of flowers and foliage. Whether I’m driving past a Willow Eucalyptus tree or marveling over the Dahlias in my mother’s garden, it never ceases to amaze me. Here in LA, we are so blessed to have the flower mart downtown. My supplier carries jaw-dropping blooms from local growers and all around the world. I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to work with such wonderful varieties of blooms. I love to incorporate texture and unexpected elements like rare garden roses or interesting foliage in my work. Along with nature, my clients inspire me. Each and every client has a different style and I enjoy translating that through the art of flora. Read more>>

Hilary Ward | Julian Pathways, Inc. Executive Director

Julian Pathways, Inc. is a nonprofit organization in Julian that provides services and programs to the community through a variety of grants and donations. In the past, the organization focused solely on the children and families associated with the Julian Union School District. Due to the current health crisis and the school closures, the leaders within Julian Pathways, Inc. adjusted their focus to include more of the Julian community in its services. With food insecurity at its highest and so many in the community in need, it became apparent that the organization needed to rise to the challenge of providing support. Already armed with connections to organizations such as Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank, the nonprofit has stepped in to provide regular food distributions to three different locations in the rural backcountry. Pathways, as it is affectionately called, continues to work very closely with the Julian Union School District and the students there are their top priority. Read more>>

Andrea Nhuch | Visual Artist

Inspiration strikes in unexpected ways, times or places. The places I live set the stage for the issues I think about then materials, textures or patterns I encounter along the way define the visual manifestation of the works. Sometimes it is conscious, others not. I may be using something and only later realize where it came from. For example, when I created my first bubble series I was living in Miami. I was researching alternative materials to build volume without weight. I found an oversized industrial bubble wrap by accident when I ordered a fridge for my studio. While resolving a material and weight issue the ensuing works reflected the materialism and obsession with youth that I observed around me (not very different than what I experienced growing up in Brazil). The works were finished with shiny auto-paint inspired by flashy sports cars abundant in South Florida. When I lived in NYC, the piles of broken concrete, asphalt and tarmac inspired my relief works. Read more>>

Ashley Lee | Personal Trainer, Pre & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, and Mother

I am inspired by all the mothers around me who give so selflessly to their families and still find the energy to lift each other up. When I first became a mother almost two years ago, it was one of the loneliest times in my life as I unknowingly said goodbye my “pre-baby” life and career, and hello to a completely new normal. Because I was the first in my group of friends and family to have a baby, I found myself having to search for answers and comfort from strangers and old associates who could relate to not just my struggles as a new mother, but also the sudden darkness that took over me. It was with the help of these incredible women that I was able to find my groove as a mother, and eventually, my strength to start my own business, Ashley Lee Fitness. Read more>>

Alex Davies | Sewing Blogger and Instagramer

I draw so much inspiration from watching how my favorite bloggers and influencers are approaching the ever evolving landscape of social media. I know it’s popular to say don’t look at what other people are doing in your space and focus on your mission, and there’s definitely a fine line between learning and gathering inspo versus getting caught in the distraction zone trying to be like someone else. But I think in a brand new space like social media, there is constant change that requires us to work together and learn from each other to succeed at a job that’s really still being invented. Meeting local Instagram ladies in my niche is always so encouraging. We compare notes, share strategies that are working, create ways to collaborate on new projects and it gives me fuel and inspiration to keep creating. Read more>>

John Beaudry | Garden Artist

I am inspired by nature. I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago. We were surrounded by woods, creeks and a river. One of my first memories was discovering a Jack-in-the-pulpit, a highly unique wildflower. I asked for my first garden at five years old. I am a garden artist. Nature continues to inspire me. As a landscape designer, I paint with plants. I use them as they grow naturally, in drifts in dappled shade or in crevices in rocks. Every garden presents a new opportunity to work with the land and its inhabitants to create a cohesive design that is at once functional and in harmony with nature. Read more>>