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Trailblazers: Mesa

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

Charity Jones

From the age of 12, I have been braiding hair. It all started from the necessity to keep my own hair braided to the enjoyment of braiding all of my friend’s hair, their families, and then strangers. I decided in 2009 to take things seriously and I began to build my brand-Braids By Charity. Read more>>

Rebekah Hussong

When I was in high school, I was really hairy, and I loved all things beauty. I would make my own facial masks, wax myself, and create at home scrubs all night. While in high school, there was a program nearby where I could go to esthetician school and get my license by the time I graduated from high school. Read more>>

Tajia Diggs

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 2009 and then my Master’s in Social Work from George Mason University, in 2012. I am originally from the Washington DC area and moved to Arizona in 2013. Read more>>

Pauline Kibathi

I would say my story started after I graduated high school in 2013. I was an athlete that had suffered an ankle injury during AAU basketball in April of 2013. With graduation around the corner, I started to get a little nervous because I was certain no one would take a chance on me with the type of ankle injury I had. Read more>>

Leyla Havok

Ever since I was a tot, I always knew I was different. Weird and misunderstood. I never really liked school and was kinda always failing. I remember always drawing in the corner of my homework little doodles. They always gave me this escape from the normal. My childhood was very rocky and art was my escape. Read more>>

Loraina Talbot

I started my MugMama journey by wanting to find a gift for a friend that just got engaged. I thought, well, I could make something and do it my own way! I grabbed the glitter, glue and other goodies, and got started! Once I was finished, I posted it online to show friends and family, and they asked to make some for them. Read more>>

Beverly Crupi

I have taught group fitness for over 30 years. Working for the USAF, teaching at the base and working with Service men and woman and their dependents change the course of my life. I learned the value of team and community. In 2001 I decided to run my second marathon. Read more>>

Stephen and Gabby Dunegan

I think thrifting all started with being poor essentially. Haha. Not having enough money to be able to wear what other kids were wearing which piqued our interest in thrifting for ourselves. This allowed a creative avenue of expression not just with the clothes we wore but who we became as individuals. Read more>>

Vanessa Hopkins

When I saw pour overs on a menu, I never understood why someone would pay so much for a cup of drip coffee! Little did I know, that cup of coffee would transport me to coffee farms around the world and once again give that special connection, this time to the farmers and coffee roasters. Read more>>

Infynity Hill

My admiration first sparked when I was a little girl spending hours in the school library examining kid-encyclopedias on animal biodiversity or reading up on natural disasters. I remember building ecosystem dioramas and teaching classmates about the carbon cycle in the seventh grade. Read more>>

Shea Jones

My advice for other women is to always go after what you’re passionate about. No matter how hard you think the battle may be, what others will think, or even if you think you simply can’t do it. Reach out to others for advice, you will be surprised at how open and kind some people are. Never be afraid to ask for help. Read more>>

Jerny Rieves

I worked in every position imaginable in health and wellness since that time. I now own a company called Healthworx that works specifically with metabolic disorders in subclinical and clinical middle-age populations. My goal is to teach people how to take care of their personal health and wellbeing, reduce medications, and increase the overall quality of life. Read more>>

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