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Trailblazers: South 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 South Side that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Amanda Clemmer and Meghan Carmella

We met in 2010 through mutual friends instantly connecting and becoming close. Amanda went off to beauty school and Meg continued taking classes at Moraine Valley Community College. The following year, we ended up working at salon together as shampoo girls, and Meghan also became Amanda’s client. After a few months, Amanda moved on to another salon, and Meghan wanted to continue her education at Illinois State University. Read more>>

Jessica Jade Thornton

I have been very invested in planning events in my life and finding ways to be different and over the top. My 13th birthday was a production, to say the least, practically entirely planned by me minus the financials handled by my lovely parents. Over the years, event planning was something I couldn’t get away from. With the surge in celebratory. Read more>>

Ella McCann

It has taken me a long time to embrace that statement. My story is best told through my educational background. I was born and raised in Hyde Park and attended Ancona Montessori School. My education meant that I was constantly asking questions and seeking adventure and working to see how could I tie together all of my experiences once they were complete. Read more>>

Jeanne Hall

I am a wife and mother of two girls, 10 and 12 years old; since my girls are pretty self-sufficient now, I felt like I really needed something for myself. I started LimeLife by Alcone as a hobby seven months ago, but grew to love it so much more than that and quickly realized that I love it as my career. Read more>>

Marilyn Jones

Marilyn’s only true memory of her mom was her scent, this birthed a passion and a zeal to create Fragrances as unique as the individual who wears it! Marilyn grew up with a love of scents, her love for perfumes and lotions grew strongly in later years. Although Marilyn didn’t share some of the special memories as her siblings such as making that special cake or pie, however, what her mom did leave her with has become just as valuable. Read more>>

Mia K Jones

I played volleyball basketball, and was an all state track athlete in high school. There got to a point in my adult life where I wanted something different out of my normal workout routine. I convinced my best friend to try a yoga class with me at the local gym, and I remember it being something completely different than any other workout I had experienced, and that’s because it wasn’t just a “workout” at all. Read more>>

Auriel Banister

In some under-resourced Chicago neighborhoods, the child overweight population/obesity rates exceed 50%. With Bani’s Beets, my fresh juice bar, I have created a fresh and fun outlet to afford families a healthier lifestyle. No need to be discouraged when thinking about “eating healthy”, vendors like myself want to empower you through organic fresh food and drink recipes that taste great and are nutritiously satisfying. Read more>>

Tai Sawyer

I’ve come to learn that that isn’t my only passion when it comes to helping people. I understand the mindset it takes to go after opportunities that will improve your situation and as a blogger, I encourage improving your mindset by shifting your perspective and looking for opportunities to push yourself through self-reflection. Read more>

Thaneshia Newby

I am that person who sees an expectant mom in the grocery store, mall, bus stop — wherever! — and I have politely walked up, asked how she was doing, her due date, etc. and then I would ask if she was considering breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Based on her answers, I would just tell her the benefits of breastfeeding and share my experience as a breastfeeding mom. Read more>>

Serita Edwards

Growing up she was surrounded by women and men that were passionate about styling hair. Saturday afternoons you could find her sister and brother cutting, curling, and braiding hair in the kitchen. When she got older she herself started braiding family and friend’s hair. Even though she was gifted with natural talent it was seen more like a hobby for her. Read more>>

Maura Gale

As I look back over my life, I have a sober knowingness inside my soul that the choices I made, the trauma I’ve endured and the optimism I possess have all conspired to create the person I’ve become. I believe everyone has a story to tell, but most people are too afraid or too ashamed to tell it. Read more>>

Sarah Johnson

Creating one of a kind pieces of jewelry from metal and stone is not only gratifying, but it is also therapy, work, and a self-expanding process that always leaves me a little further developed as an artist, and as a person. What was once a hobby, has become not only a full-time job but a way of life. Read more>>

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