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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.

Jerra Latrice

I began writing ‘I Was Bitter, Now I’m Better’ in 2014, not even knowing that I was writing a book. I was just writing to release the hurt, betrayal, and whatever emotion I was going through with those I dated throughout the years. Writing was (and still is) a form of therapy for me. Read more>>

Juliana Cruz

I’ve always been interested in beauty. Makeup hair nails all of it. I went and finished school for nail technology in June 2018. I am now pursuing an education for makeup artistry and finish in October. After that ends I’m excited for what’s next! Read more>>

Ashleigh Robinson

I’ve always had a passion for beauty but I ended up sort of falling into eyebrows. I have a bachelor’s degree in public relations and was literally a month away from starting graduate school at NYU, when I decided to put that on pause and pursue my passion for beauty. Read more>>

Aniyia Bell

My passion for makeup started when I got my first MAC lipstick from my auntie for my 13th birthday. I was hooked! Ever since then makeup has become an outlet for me and defines who I am, an artist who uses faces as my canvas. Read more>>

Deborah Minor Harvey

I am the sum of all my life experiences. My life journey began in a small town on the Jersey Shore. I had solid family and community roots that provided me with the grounding I needed to evolve into a women who can lead. The transformation process was sometimes daunting, painful and downright scary. Read more>>


I started doing makeup when I was about 15 years old buying makeup from MAC and Sephora. I have an older sister who was into makeup who had introduced me into the world of makeup and since then I was hooked. Read more>>

Elysia Ganier

I started sewing by hand a a child in grade school. I made Barbie wedding gowns from old slips my mother had and was selling them to classmates. I later register my gift in my freshman year of home economics. This is where the sewing bug bit me hard. Read more>>

Natalie Noble

As a serial entrepreneur with three start-up companies under her belt, Natalie is now aiming her life’s mission to empowering and encouraging female entrepreneurs though speaking engagements, hosting business networking events. Read more>>

Brea O’Neil-Porter

I have always had a fascination with beauty and fashion since I was a young girl. As a daughter of a cosmetologist and the cousin to a fashionista it seemed to be inevitable that I would fall in love with image. Read more>>

Dawn Brim

My passion for hair and beauty started at a young age. I was always doing family and friend’s hair as favors. It wasn’t until a few years ago, I discovered that my passion run really deep. Since, I have always been a caring and helpful person. Read more>>

Nia Green

It all started in my grandmother Elaine’s kitchen. Something sweet was always baking. From pound cake to lemon squares, butter cream to cream cheese frosting, cupcakes to cake pops–she did it all! I took an interest in my grandmother’s home baking business. Read more>>

Rachel Gadson

I now spend my days as an independent contractor/ freelancer. Operating two facets of my business, ILA Creative Studio. The creative is the design work I produce, the studio is the space that will open in 2019 for creatives of varying disciplines to have a space to commune, collab and create. Read more>>

Alexandra Eldridge

I had the good fortune of being one of 7 children born to two exceptional artists and writers. My mother and father wrote and illustrated 27 children’s books and created a nationally syndicated comic strip based on our family life. I set my easel up next to my mother’s very early on. Read more>>

Aida Saffiyah Muhammad

I didn’t know exactly where to start, but I did know that if I had faith that God would guide me. One year later, I’m blessed to be where I am now and couldn’t be more thankful for all the support I’ve had. The ambition increases daily as I see the fruitions of my labor, and look forward to what the future has in store. Read more>>

Claudia Parker

With prayer and meditation, I was led to write a memoir, Becoming a Mother While Losing My Own. After its publication, a reporter from The Reporter newspaper featured my story on the front page. After reading the piece I became enthralled with the idea of being a reporter myself. Read more>>

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