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Trailblazers: Cambridge

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

Brenna Banister

I began dancing when I was five years old but really fell in love with the art form when I was 10 years old and my family moved to Vermont. My new teacher, Jacque-Lynn Mackay, instantly made me feel welcomed and helped me realize my innate need and ability to move my body. Read more>>

Jenny Lee Paiva

I loved exploring the beaches of Cape Cod and the South Coast as a little girl. I spent a lot of time reading books that told tales of summer love and island life. I kept a little diary about my Summers spent on Mashnee Island, New Hampshire, and wherever I managed to tag along when I heard of anyone heading to the beach. Read more>>

Nari Malkhasyan

I found myself dreaming of big adventures, of exotic travels, and making an impact. At age three, I “wrote” President Reagan a letter, asking him to end the Cold War (who knew he’d listen?). At age eight, I recruited my best friend to run for my VP when we were finally grown up: I, of course, would be running for president. Read more>>

Danielle McFarlane

I started as a freelance graphic designer in 2006, from there, I joined a print and marketing franchise from 2008-2014. My experience there in design, print and customer service helped me develop strong skill sets to branch out on my own! Read more>>

Julie Reisler

My background was 11+ years in corporate America as the director of recruiting and guest relations with a successful fortune 500 restaurant company. As a recovering food and sugar addict, this was ironic and at times very challening (mainly because of the constant free pastries, cookies, and bagels). I liked what I did and am grateful for my past experience, but I wasn’t on fire passionate about my career. After a few major breakdowns; choosing to amicably split from my husband of 11 years (with two kiddos under 4), my thryoid shutting down and becoming a single mom of sorts, I enrolled in a powerful personal development program. I saw the transformative effects of coaching and went back to get my master’s degree in health & wellness coaching and concentration in nutrition. Read more>>

Sue Jones

Back in 2005, I was a wife and mother of two young children (ages 3 and 8) and fast approaching my 40th birthday. I had moved to a small tourist town in Maine with my husband (then boyfriend) at 25 years old. Over time, I became more distant from my family, isolated from my close friends and removed from any career goals that I held in the years I lived in New York City. Though I wanted to move back to New York, my then boyfriend didn’t want to leave Maine. By the time we made the decision to stay, I felt dependant on him; both emotionally and financially (he came to the relationship with a trust fund, which made it possible to live in Maine without many career choices.) Read more>>

Amanda Centrella, Nicole Gauthier and Bethany Killian

Our band formed out of an open mic in Providence, Rhode Island in 2015. All three of us had started checking out the Madcap Monday open mic at what was then called The Spot. We were each solo vocalists at the time, heard each other sing, and decided to perform a cover song together. We met up at Beth’s house about an hour before the event started, learned a cover of “Hate to See Your Heart Break” by Paramore, and recognized that our voices blended together so seamlessly. We performed that night, and The Spot Underground was a supportive environment that really encouraged us to work together and collaborate. Read more>>

Samantha Vallery

I started cosmetology at Somerville high school my junior year. It’s actually funny because I had no interest in doing hair I only wanted to do cosmo to be around my friends! My teacher told me that a salon down the street needed a receptionist, so I thought “Sweet! Easy money to sweep floors and answer phones!” I started working at Hair by Christine, the salon I’m still at when I was 16. I continued doing cosmo in school with the thought I was going to go to college. As time went on and we got to senior year, we started doing clients and I started being a lot more hands-on at work with clients also. Read more>>

Samantha Altieri

In May of 2013, my health and appearance were at an all time low. I had just finished graduate school, where sleep, a balanced diet, and exercise were mostly non-existent. I was uncomfortable. My clothes didn’t fit anymore and I lacked understanding of what it meant to be “healthy.” My reflection was not one that I was proud of, but truthfully I didn’t know how to fix it and it was easier to blame it on genetics or my “slow metabolism.” I blamed it on everything but my own actions. I told myself I couldn’t be fit or healthy or skinny or all the things society wanted me to be. Read more>>


I stared Ms. Bonafide Creations Jewelry and Creations as a stay at home mom hobby creating eclectic original one of a kind beaded wire expressions of myself. Making jewelry in the wee hours of the night into the morning while my children slept was and still is my therapy. I was introduced to jewelry through a neighbor in 2005 and have been designing ever since. My first attempt at stepping out on faith was when I looked up at the collection of earrings I had created about 50/60 pairs of earrings stared back and I said to my then 2-year-old daughter “We’re about to sell these baby girl.” I walked with my jewelry display board made of cork pushing my daughter in her umbrella stroller to the nearest hair salon in my neighborhood and asked the owner if he’d like to take a peek at my collection of handmade earrings & bracelets. Read more>>

Krista Cole

I grew up in East Millinocket, Maine and became a nurse twelve years ago. I also met my best friend and business partner, Antonio Alviar, at that time. We were both waiting tables in Bar Harbor… just a couple of college kids. We spent years talking about having our own restaurant. He’s been in the business his entire life from dishwashing to general management. At the time, traveling nursing had brought me to Denver, CO where I stayed for a number of years. I went back to graduate school for business and entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Cyndi Lou

I moved to New England from the Deep South of Alabama in 1999. My lifelong goal has always been to find my way as a successful working artist. I went to Maine College of Art and studied photography. Shortly after school, I realized I did not want to be a professional photographer. Luckily, BFA allows you to be malleable and my education, if anything, taught me how to reconsider new ways to view the big picture. I took a job house painting around coastal Maine for four years to sustain my income, have slow work in winter and continue to push forward working towards my goal. Read more>>

Taylor Hancock

Being in the beauty industry has always been a dream of mine. When I was young, I would spend my free time playing with my sibling’s hair/makeup, it was always a way for me to show my creative side. When I graduated high school, I worked full-time at an elderly home in Waltham while attending Empire Beauty School in Framingham in the evenings. After two years, I graduated and started working in my first salon. I worked hard, learned, and met great people but I wanted to grow and become more comfortable with all my skills. One day, I was scrolling through Instagram and found the Hair by Christine and Co page and knew that was the place I wanted to work. Read more>>

Claire Kiewra

I have always loved fashion, since I was in the first grade. I always wore clothes to school that others thought of as pretty out there, but I didn’t care at all. All I’ve ever wanted to do is express my point of view through clothing. Read more>>

Manoucheca Lord and Chrisitine Williams

Our goal is to create content we wish people would share more or in a more simpler way and provide events that people will feel impacted their lives and had more meaning to them. With a collective confidence we intend to uplift our peers and guide them in their daily walks of life be it in regards to career, health, relationships, and or adventures. Read more>>

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