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

KT Speetzen

KT Speetzen Presents came as a result of friends in corporations and various other entities looking for advice on how to deliver a keynote, or how to engage their clients or teams. The thread of my careers is storytelling, and I’m excited to weave them all in KT Speetzen Presents. Read more>>

Jordin Ruthstein

I began to evolve from just local to-do’s to a positive lifestyle brand. I focus on being a “destination for inspiration on how to live your best, happiest life” and try to keep this at the forefront of everything I do. Whether it’s a quick restaurant shout out or a career/life advice column I try to maintain an optimistic approach to storytelling. Read more>>

Tia Brown

I grew up on the Westside of Chicago and attended Chicago Public Schools until I graduated from Lane Technical High School. Growing up on Washington and Cicero, I had many opportunities to see positive things, but the negative was much more prevalent. Read more>>

Katie Durbin

This is when the seeds for MSS started. I really, really wanted to do something more creative. I felt pulled to do it. But I couldn’t imagine not helping people anymore after being a social worker for so long. It is part of who I am. So I had to figure out a way to do both. Read more>>

Janessa Birkland

I have always loved expressing myself through fashion. My passion for style landed me working in local boutiques and this gave me the opportunity to gain a strong feel for how small businesses run. Read more>>

Katherine Wilkinson

Since I was a little girl, I have always been a visual child who looks for the beauty in all things. From press on nails. to makeup, hair, and fashion, I was known as the girly girl of the family. As I grew up I started to recognize the feeling of joy and happiness that came along with beauty services. Read more>>

V’osha LàDon

I actually started Lovies this year. I started Lovies literally after I ended my blog V.L Diaries. The “Lovies” name came from me just calling my viewers who watch my inspirational videos (Lovies) I needed something catchy and “Lovies” stuck with me. Read more>>

Wanda Sparks

Writing became my therapy when my 18 year marriage ended. It took me four years to write my first book, Table for One. Table for One is my journey to self-love after facing rejection. Read more>>

Aubrey Pittman-Heglund

I now work with kids, as an artist & culinary teacher, and one thing that inspires me is igniting these kids with passion and helping them find an outlet for emotions and creativity and being a support system for them. In addition to teaching kids, I also work as a weaving instructor at a senior living facility. Read more>>

Caroline Shields and Ashley Shields

We started Line & Lee over many creative conversations while our kids were playing at the park. We should add that we are married to brothers, both live in Downers Grove and have kids the same age. So, lots of opportunities to chat! Read more>>

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