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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.

Allyson Straka

She was discussing this problem with her dad one day and he said: “Allyson, if you could get your clients to do just ONE thing to improve their health, what would it be?” Without even a second’s hesitation, she said: “Drink green smoothies every day!” Her dad responded, “How can you make that easier and more convenient for them?” Frozen Garden was born! Allyson decided to change the food system. Read more>>

Meganne Wecker

Skyline Furniture is my family’s business started by my grandfather in 1946. In college, I studied International Business and Spanish. After graduation, I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to use my degree and travel the world but didn’t consider joining my family business as a viable option. Read more>>

April Flavio

About a year ago, I decided to really take a step forward and make it more than just a hobby I occasional did. It truly has become my passion project! Through blogging, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people and be a part of some really exciting things! There is always some thing new and interesting happening! Read more>>

Samia Mansour

It’s SO IMPORTANT to just stay focused on what your doing, work hard and get yourself out there. Just because you have a couple of hundred followers, doesn’t mean you won’t have any bookings and you’re a bad artist. Keep going, stay positive and it will all work out in the end. Read more>>

Gabriela Santoyo

My mom encouraged me to continue my career and I decided that “esthetics” was a good choice to combined with makeup. Now, I am a licensed esthetician. I became an expert as a Color Consultant at Sephora through trainings that they offered and I became more knowledgeable of products, brands and service. Feeling confident of what I know, I decided to continue my YouTube makeup channel and full-time freelance makeup artist. Read more>>

Shenell Crear

By the time I married my college love, I weighed 220 lbs. I endured emotional and verbal abuse day in and out. I had become a withered rose, trying to withstand the storms of Winter. Weighing in at a max of 275 lbs. I left him. After 3 months of being separated, I lost 75 lbs. When I conquered the battle of self-worth, it was then and only then, I knew, it was time to blog. It was not for me, but for those who struggle like I did. Read more>>

Kristen Lowery

My advice to women is to: 1. Find wise people to associate with. They provoke you to think differently. 2. Always assess yourself. Be honest with how you contribute to situations both positive and negative, learn from them and become better. 3. Always trust your intuition. It’s rarely wrong. Read more>>

Missy Ranney

Missy is our buyer and so much more. She has been with Jack Lewis Jewelers just over 3 years and has become a local celebrity and one in our industry. Read more>>

Bianca Mz. Bee Lee

My journey in the field of beauty actually began…ironically enough…when I was singer. Yes, I was a Chicago recording artist and musician, having toured with groups, choirs, rendered background vocals, recorded solo projects, written songs and co-produced albums. Needless to say, this was my entire life at the time. Read more>>

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