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Trailblazers: Peoria

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

Lauren Detweiler

I bought my cutting machine. At first, I just wanted it for myself. To make my own shirts, party decorations, etc. I then had a friend ask to do a pretty big art installation and I was so proud of my work, I wanted to share it. And thus Ivy + Olivia Custom Goods is born. Named after my incredible daughter and outrageous Frenchie. Read more>>

Jordan Leddy

I get asked all the time, how did you get into spray tanning? Well, to start this off since I was about 14 years old I was introduced into Tanning Beds* going through all the years of getting a UV tan and knowing it wasn’t good for you I decided to give the Spray Tanning Booth* a try. Back then there wasn’t many personal spray tanners out there so it wasn’t really known of yet. Read more>>

Tiffany Lobdell

I currently am now an Artistic Educator for one of the fastest growing hair color companies in the industry called Pravana. I continue to work behind the chair five days a week and I get to inspire and educate other stylists about new upcoming trends and techniques. Read more>>

Emily Marek

I love a good start to finish a project. Starting with helping design the floor plans and how the layout should be set. I love selecting all the finishes and assigning them to each space. Drawing is a huge part of a design and seeing the project take shape on floor plans and elevations and then to reality. Read more>>

Kelsey Kosenkranius

Yoga was something that I had little experience with, just a class every here an there throughout high school and college. About three years ago I found myself in a place where I felt very stagnant, bored, and had little motivation to set goals. It sounds cliche, but I was scrolling through Instagram and kept seeing amazing shots of people doing yoga and started to wonder how difficult it would actually be to learn to do that. Read more>>

Wendy Knipp

About 12 years ago, I started moving out of my circle. Suddenly, new people were pointing out things I was good at. A light bulb went off, and I realized that my personality was a gift. Twelve years ago, I would have never dreamed of having an online presence, or helping other people. I needed too much help myself. I was going to school, raising kids, and running my own business. Read more>>

Lindsay Persons and Jennifer Cluff

After admiring the talent  their community, they decided to hold a “small get-together” where the community could shop from these small businesses. This small get-together (also known as Sweet to the Soul Boutique) started in 2015 in an elementary school cafeteria. The boutique was so well loved, we quickly expanded to a high school and sold out of booth spaces there as well. Sweet to the Soul is now held at Peoria Sports Complex with over 250 vendors and 4.5k shoppers! Read more>>

Allie Zeable

I have always loved making memories with photos, so getting this new fancy camera was a big deal and I was SO EXCITED! I started taking photos in auto and love the photos I captured, but I wanted to learn more and get good crisp photos with consistency! I wanted to get educated and learn! Read more>>

Melissa Kim Corter

I’m honored to use my unique abilities to feel into the human nervous system and work with people to release blockages. They then begin to manifest their desires and release unhealthy patterns. This may or may not include releasing vows of poverty, rewriting sacred soul contracts, easing physical pain/discomfort. Read more>>

Cindy Martel – Brown

My journey to becoming an entrepreneur started years back realizing “I can do this on my own and someday I might just do that!” I have been in the insurance industry for 18 years and have had my own profitable independent insurance agency for the last four 1/2 years. Read more>>

Christin Kless

I had so many cameras as a kid it seemed. LeClic, Vivitar, you name it. I loved capturing moments from as long back as I can remember. I come from a long line of photographers, my grandma, my aunt, my dad, my brother. Only in the last few years did I start to get really serious about it. Read more>>

Stephanie Daniel

I’m a career changer. After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2004, and having a total thyroidectomy and radiation treatment, I was encouraged to apply for medical school by my doctor. I had gone through several jobs over the years that I didn’t like and weren’t fulfilling. Read more>>

Brandee Blodgett

I started this amazing brow journey in 2015, I was in a job that was slowly eating me alive inside and I was desperate for a change. I am someone who came from nothing, grew up in section 8/welfare and didn’t really ever have any dreams because anything outside basic 9-5 or sacrificing self-worth seemed too far-fetched. Read more>>


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