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Trailblazers: North Side

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

Katrina Tecmire

Nearly ten years ago, I began working at a spa where I met one of my dearest friends and spiritual mentors who is a yoga teacher and healer. I held this inner calling towards something I didn’t know existed and I couldn’t quite understand what it was. Read more>>

Brianna Wolin

My inspiration for Find Your Ditto is highly personal — it really is my life story. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease as a small child, ages 4 and 5 respectively. Though I had a support system growing up – my mom and grandma both live with T1D and my mom worked feverishly to ensure I had a “normal” childhood – my experience as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan was far different. Read more>>

Tina Tobar

I am a Chicago city girl, from Bridgeport. Obsessed with my two Brussels Griffon dogs, Monki and Pita. Yes, like the movie from As Good As It Gets! I love staying active by doing yoga and pilates. Read more>>

Franziska Miles

I created my YouTube about 8-9 months ago after long consideration. I wanted to create a platform that spoke of love and appreciation for one’s natural self. For a long time, from an end of elementary to end of my high school career, I felt inferior. In that, I noticed I was neglecting to care for my hair, allowing my crown to disintegrate into almost nothing. I decided that was enough. Read more>>

Kelly Nash

Growing up, I had poems and opinions published in the Chicago Tribune and I wrote lifestyle and sport articles for my high school newspaper. I have continued writing in the professional world at my current employer, where I’ve had articles published on the company blog. I even wrote a book over a span of five years and it currently sits on a flash drive as I debate on whether or not to publish it. Read more>>

Jessica Petropoulos

The name hummingbird hair lounge came to me from the love of my father and the love of hair. My father came back to me in the present life as a hummingbird. I choose ‘hair lounge’ so that I could cater to both men and women without having the words ‘salon’ or ‘barber’ in my suite name. Thus creating my brand, Hummingbird Hair Lounge. Read more>>

Amber Mancha

I have always had a passion for creating whether it was drawing, painting or playing music. When I was 19, I went to cosmetology school and that’s where I discovered art through hair and makeup. I opened my own business in 2013 and it was in that moment that I really felt creatively free. Read more>>

Crystal Vasquez

Originally growing up in Indiana, I flew south to start a new journey. In the industry since 2005, the first ten years of my career we’re spent in Raleigh, NC. I spent my first 6 years with my first salon home fueling up on continuing education, perfecting my craft and building a strong clientele. Read more>>

Courtney Allen

During the summers months, I shampooed clients for tips. I always had that hustle spirit. What intrigued me about this industry was seeing a clients transformation and attitude shift after her hair was styled. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, I spent a short time in Corporate America and eventually came back to my love for beauty. Read more>>

Lily Horowitz

I have been in the fitness world since the age of 15, teaching group x and personal training. I have always loved to help people. At the age of 27, I was introduced to Pilates after having had a c-section and I failed my first mat class… I was very unhappy with myself because as a fitness professional there was nothing in fitness I couldn’t do. Read more>>

Amanda Topper

Social media has changed so much and there are so many more people who share the same passion for food. This has created a tight-knit community of food lovers but has also made it challenging to stand out from the competition. It’s important to stay true to your core interests and voice which will always be unique. Read more>>

Rosalinda Jackson

I didn’t begin making a name for myself until my husband, Reggie pushed me to begin doing YouTube tutorials and Facebook live interactions. My personality and lifestyle quickly gain the trust of many girls, women & guys from Chicago, Texas and California… I was blessed with many opportunities such as NYFW, Chicago fashion shoes, music videos, commercial shoots and even future on a magazine, TV and podcasts! Read more>>

Autumn Anderson

While it may surprise my students and clients, I’m actually an introvert, so traditional networking events have never been my cup of tea. However, I have built a network of like-minded friends and colleagues that have advised me along the way. Most people are more than willing to give you a helping hand, guidance or even a quick introduction to someone else who is better suited to assist. Trust yourself and keep pushing forward. Read more>>

Denise D’Agostino

I’m so excited to teach my students what I have found and to help them along whatever path is meant for them. I’m able to offer them the idea that there is a limitless well inside of infinite possibility because I feel it in myself now. Read more>>

Gavriella Weisel

My advice for those wanting to get started in the industry is to just never give up. Never say, “I can’t,” and just keep believing in yourself and pushing past your limits. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because those mistakes will help you grow. Keep practicing and building your skills and sharing them with the world. Don’t be afraid to do something different or unique, the beauty industry needs those trailblazers. Read more>>

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