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

Alexx Whitehead

My blog started out as a dream. A dream that came alive suprisingly while wedding dress shopping. Being a plus sized woman has such a negative connotation these days and A for a long time I looked at my body in that light. Read more>>

Esmeralda Caballero

In this life, there is absolutely nothing we can not have if we only work hard enough. Esme Makeup Artist has been running for 5 years now and this is just getting started! Read more>>

Nadia Khalil

Nadia Khalil is a teacher of self-love and based on how that looks and feels to you, you can build a workable, achievable life plan. Start looking forward to your life rather than feel fear, doubt, or worry or constantly wonder how you are going to live the life you dream of and want to live… Read more>>

Allison Cooling

When I was 13, I discovered a book titled “Basic Beadwork for Beginners” by Mitsuko Muto at my public library — I credit it with being the sole jumpstart to my crafty career! Read more>>

Kristen Riley

I fell in love with Pilates in 2011 after the birth of my first child. I left my job in medical sales to be a full time mom and began doing Pilates to try to “get my body back”. I fit it in late at night, when my husband got home from work, just once a week at first. Read more>>

Carrie Dilger

In 1994, I took a temporary job for two weeks as a receptionist for a security firm. On my first day, I met Sean Morrison, who is the CEO/Owner of Morrison Security. At the time, he was the VP of Operations for another firm. We instantly clicked and began to work as a team. Read more>>

Tamara Granath

When I was 15 years old, my sister took me to MAC Cosmetics to get a makeover, it was at that time I learned my love for the art of makeup! I was so excited by the colors, textures and creativity that Makeup brought to me. A short 4 years later and I found myself as an artist for that same company! Read more>>

Victor Mauricio Vázquez

Ever since I remembered, I enjoyed playing with color then, I had an opportunity to worked with hair and marring both of them together was the perfect fit. I learned so much working with hair color companies, where I got most of my continuous education. Read more>>

Melissa Grcich

I am a Nurse Practitioner with a background in primary care. I previously worked in a primary care setting that was privately owned by a physician. It was fairly busy and I felt really limited on the time I was able to spend with each client. Read more>>

Ela Czupta

My advice is to keep the hustle no matter what! Learn from your mistakes and grow. Believe in yourself; believe in your dream – put it out into the universe and work hard. You can do, create, whatever you set your mind to!
And no matter what, it’s extremely important to be true to who you are and really enjoy what you do. Read more>>

Brandi Dunkel, Andrew Gooding

There have definitely been ups and downs throughout our time here. Months where we had to pay rent with a credit card or debated giving up all together… luckily, we always had eachother to lean on and keep us going. 2018 marks the 4th year we have been in Chicago and it is our most successful one yet. We are now showcasing in tradeshows, working with commercial projects and custom work. Read more>>

Krystal Salgado

I began my career in the beauty industry at the age of 19 as a hair stylist. Making people feel special, beautiful, and confident in themselves has driven me from the very beginning. After 6 years of hairstyling I really began growing a strong passion for makeup artistry.  Read more>>

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