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Trailblazers: Downtown

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 that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Ashley Brehmer

When I was around 9 or 10 years old, my parents enrolled me in a modeling class called Barbizon. I was naturally an outgoing and confident kid, and I have my upbringing to thank for that. I am lucky that my parents allowed and pushed for me to try things outside of the “norm.” Read more>>

Kara Lichtenstein

It all started with a food blog. Yawn, I know… Everyone has a food blog, right? Well I had mine before it was cool, I swear! With that came all the necessary social media — mainly twitter cause it was before instagram’s time, believe it or not. Read more>>

Sandra Carey, Psy.D, M.S, HTCP

Becoming a psychologist has been a life long dream of mine, but I spent the early part of my career as a professional musician, performing throughout the United States and Europe. After while being on the road and teaching, I decided it was time to pursue my deepest desire, psychology. Read more>>

Amber Oztunguc

I love being able to replicate anything that strikes my attention, or something that I truly love – like a tiny Chicago-style hot dog, or a mini deteriorated Chicago Tribune newspaper box. My childhood dream of becoming an artist became the best reality I could ever ask for! Read more>>

Bea Cordelia

I am a Chicago native, interdisciplinary artist, and queer and transgender woman. I write and perform across various media, although most of my background is in theatre, spoken word poetry, and performance art. Read more>>

Ratna Soni

As the months went by, I connected with more people and advanced my skills. I progressed into doing hair, makeup, draping and jewelry placement for south Asian brides. I continue improve and grow from each client because like I said in the beginning my story is no where being complete. Read more>>

Melissa Lindemann

Food is just awesome! I’ve always been into food. I had a subscription to Cooking Light in high school, haha! I’ve always been that person who takes pictures of their food if it’s something that looks really good, although I just kept them on my phone. Read more>>

Emily Haller

I’ve been passionate about traveling the world since I was old enough to walk on it. My family has always been very supportive of this, and support my desire to travel, wherever I may choose to go. By the time I was beginning preschool, I’d already traveled the span of the east coast. Read more>>

Michelle Boyce

I have been obsessed with makeup for as long as I can remember. Even as young as elementary school, I remember begging my mom for my very first eyeshadow one day when we were out running errands. She agreed, and I happily picked out a light purple shade; so 90’s. Read more>>

Alina Gutierrez

I have always had an interest in writing, being creative, and wanting to inspire others. I used to compete in Beauty pageants, where I learned a lot of public speaking and interview skills. Read more>>

Chiquita White

As one of Chicago’s most successful style mavens and entrepreneurs, Chiquita has been coined “The Stylepreneur”. Chiquita White began her grassroots journey to pursue a career in fashion by operating a boutique catered to women of all shapes and sizes with a divine love for fashion. Read more>>

Kathy Vega

The ironic thing was, I was not a very good cook. So I cooked with my mother a for a couple of weeks and gathered as much basic Filipino recipes from her. After many taste testings and jumping through hoops with paperwork, I opened A Taste of the Philippines (ATOTP) food truck in Denver April 2012… fun fact, A Taste of the Philippines was the first mobile restaurant in the whole state of Colorado. Read more>>

Halle Sobczak

I decided to make the move from Michigan to Chicago to start my job search. I had studied public relations in college but wasn’t sure of the direction I wanted to take it. I did know, however, that I really wanted to work for a small company because I loved the idea of building something from the ground up. Read more>>

Kelsey Joelle Morrison

I’m so thankful to be welcomed into a community of artists, photographers, wedding planners, and fellow vendors who are all like-minded and supportive. There is no greater feeling than seeing your work come full circle. Giving someone that boost of confidence is the greatest feeling. Read more>>

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