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Trailblazers: South Loop

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 South Loop that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Kristi McKim

The vision for SallyBrooke began years ago. My biggest fan, my mother, encouraged me to follow my simple dream… that was. to create a place that people could come & make memories. She had always been the ultimate entertainer, as she planned every holiday dinner and gathering to a tee… Read more>>

Jillian JJ Simmons

I’m a single mom of an amazing 11-year-old daughter who was the reason why I started JJ’s I’m Me Foundation. I want nothing more than to me the ultimate role model and leave behind a legacy of giving. Read more>>

Jessica Raak

I have known I wanted to be a hair and makeup artist since I was three years old. I started playing around with hair color in junior high and makeup in elementary school. Needless to say, I made all of the major mistakes on my younger self, so by the time, I got out in the professional world, I knew a lot, lol. Read more>>

Anjola Coker

I am a spoken word poet, artist and filmmaker. I was born in Nigeria and lived there until 9 years old when my family moved to Canada, then Texas. The transition to the U.S. was challenging as a new immigrant, so I turned to books and school as an escape. Read more>>

Whitney DeCuir

Being the oldest of 5, I started doing hair fairly young to help my mom out. Since then, I’ve always been in somebody’s head from braiding my classmate’s hair in PE to helping out at my aunt’s salon back home in Baton Rouge. When I went off to college, I did a little hair on the side for extra money. Read more>>

laura butler

From 2014-2017, we walked a beautiful but hard adoption journey. We learned so much along the way and stepped into greater levels of patience, peace and our eyes were opened to the needs in our backyard as well as around the world. Read more>>

Julie Lehmann

My story starts with my grandpa. He had such an impact on my life. He taught me to treat others with respect and hustle. He told me that I needed to enjoy what I do then it wouldn’t be work. I have had various jobs throughout my life. Read more>>

Yuliana Johnson

I decided that I wanted to become a hair artist when I was 7 years old. It happened when I went to the hair salon with my mom. She was looking to get a perm. I was amazed by the transformation of my mom’s hair from straight to curly hair. I thought that the hair stylist was a magician. Read more>>

Meya Wright

I have always been interested in natural hairstyles. I never was a big fan of hair sprays, gels and sculpted styles that surpassed 2 weeks. When I was in the 9th grade, I started braiding hair on the neighbor down the street who had straight textured hair. Read more>>

Savannah Fields

Modeling didn’t make its way back into my life until my college years. It was a way for me to not only express myself but also break out my shell. Modeling gave a new found confidence. Read more>>

Kierra Lanice Wray

I’ve known that I wanted to be in the fashion and beauty industry since I was a little girl. My grandmother was a seamstress and local designer and her mother, my great-grandmother was a celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist for The May Company in Los Angeles. Read more>>

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