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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.

Tori Scranton

Art served less as a venue for a career, and more as a space for me to express and fully be myself. I decided to take a year long break from my art business after graduation… Read more>>

Danielle Riede

My parents loved nature and traveling and they took my brother, sister and I on adventures whenever possible. During my undergraduate career at the University of Virginia, I headed to Italy for a semester abroad and loved it! Read more>>

Sarah Lyle

When inwas 18 my dad opened up a business and asked me to be his second shooter. We went all over the world, europe, canada, down to Jamaica photographinf weddings. Read more>>

Sandra Leonard

Soon out of high school I landed a job as an assistant to an Interior designer, which I feel set me on my path. Early on the Bauhaus was very influential on my development as an artist. Read more>>

Jasmeka Boyd

Jasmeka  is the owner of Chicago’s Top Hair Extensions  Boutique Store Queen’s Couture Boutique is local on the Southside of Chicago. She was born and raised in the Harold Ickes Homes a formal project housing community by her grandparents. Read more>>

Dionne Victoria

Dionne Victoria was born to artist Victor T. Simmons Sr and Dionne Michelle Milton. Though her father sparked her creative mind by always exploring the world around her, it was her mother who taught her how to think outside of the box to accomplish her goals. Read more>>

Kevin Sesko

I consider myself a work in progress, always looking for something new and fun in the world of photography. Last year I added a Phantom 4 Pro drone to my arsenal of cameras. Of all the photography genres, I enjoy landscape the most. Read more>>

Amoz of Art

I was blessed to be surrounded by an artistic family and amazing support group in my community. My father, Malik Wright, is a carpenter that does amazing work. My mother, Marguerite Wright, is skilled in illustration and graphic design. Read more>>

Mary Jhay

Growing up on the Southside of Chicago I’ve always had big dreams of being successful. Like any other dark-skin girl I suffered from bullying of colorism constantly at schools. Read more>>

Kris Hudspeth

My story, when I was 13 I found out I had a passion for art, I would draw anything I could or saw and make it my own, I would create elaborate garage sale signs for my family with cartoon characters on it. Read more>>

Jason Forrester

I was a late bloomer when it came to being a musician. I didn’t start playing until I was 17. A friend of mine needed a bass player to jam with him and I said teach me. Read more>>

Khaliyah X

Having and recognizing your gift at a young age put me in a grey area for most of my life. I knew, and my family knew I had a talent for singing, so they put me in countless talent shows and pageants. Read more>>

Lance George

Ahead than most of my age at this game. Started of thinking that this would be something small but grew to be a successful business and still having chances to grow and meet people and being able to network. Read more>>

Alex Pizana

One night, just to kill time and do something, I grabbed a notebook and started drawing these really crappy landscapes using reference photos from my encyclopedia. Read more>>

Jai Barnes

I had never considered writing for a blog but I’ve always had a love for music and decided to give a shot. I became pretty well at and eventually I was writing for few blogs. Read more>>

Scott Deters

My goal is not only to express myself through my artwork but to inspire other people with disabilities to reach their full potential. Read more>>

Judiee Lee

After recieving my BFA in graphic design, I stumbled into teaching pre-school art (a place I refer to as “munchkinland”). During my stint there, I was inspired to Kickstart two children’s books about art, one about Monet and another about Picasso. Read more>>

Larissa Cottrell Tami Leman

Spurred by our love for people, details, and design, a simple wedding invitation we collaborated on for a friend became a full-blown dream of our own freelance studio. Read more>>

Rema Sweis

I’ve always loved fashion and beauty. It was something I was so passionate about and I just loved how I felt. I remember how I felt wearing something that I was so confident in (but looking back they weren’t the cutest outfits LOL). Read more>>

Heather Monahan

After being harassed in her position, she left the wine business and started working for Wilks Broadcasting as a salesperson in radio. A year later she was offered an equity partnership which required her to move to Saginaw, Michigan. Read more>>

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