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Trailblazers: Quincy

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

McKenzie Leek

I finally narrowed it down and attended Johnson and Wales University where I began taking classes for fashion merchandising and retail marketing. One day, they had a speaker come in and she went around the class asking everyone what they wanted to do in the field. When she got to me, I said I wanted to be a fashion photographer and she moved on. After the class, she approached me and said that I was at the wrong school if that’s what I really wanted to do. Read more>>

Rosanna Ortiz

I didn’t ever want it to be a fashion week dedicated only to Rhode Island designers, we always had the mission to incorporate designers from all over the U.S. and beyond. Our first STYLEWEEK was June 2010 and we opened with NYC designer, Karen Sebag and had a full roster of 12 including Project Runway alum and established designers. After our first season, I realized we really had something here. Read more>>

Shana Cohen

I took some colorful wire and beads with stars on them and began wrapping them around the pins. My first design, Safety Pin Earrings, was created. Moving forward, I wanted to stand out instead of fit in. I would look for everyday objects, for example, LEGOS, Barbie Doll Shoes, Guitar Picks, etc., and I would think of how I could use them in my designs. It’s been over 12 years since I started making jewelry. Read more>>

Michele Hanson

After trying steroids, biopsies, skin analysis, light therapy and a painstaking review of my personal products-no relief. My dermatologist helped me to manage the symptoms by prescribing an immune inhibitor. Like steroids, it felt like a miracle at first but still didn’t get to the bottom of the issue. Ultimately, the mystery was solved with a simple patch test for diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis. Read more>>

Cheryl Castagna Rogers

Although this was a scary “leap” to take, I knew I needed a life change and wanted to grow my true talent. In October of 2014, I opened On Course Training and Fitness, a private, upscale personal training studio located in Mashpee, Massachusetts. I wanted to offer a unique experience; different from the traditional gym setting.  The components most important to me are One-on-one attention with no distractions, privacy, focus, cutting edge training techniques and an IMMACULATE environment. Read more>>

Sara Doherty

My life almost came to an abrupt end in 2011 and in a way it did because today, my story and my life have completely transformed. I’ve been reborn, physically with a stem cell transplant and personally with a deeper understanding of my journey, my purpose and my self-worth. Read more>>

Olivia O’Hara

Everyone around me knew that was my calling. I was the girl who “wore too much makeup” or “changed her hair color every week.” I was dedicated to cosmetology. I had amazing teachers who taught me almost everything I know now about hair and makeup. At the end of my junior year, I got my cosmetology license and in my senior year of high school, I opened up my own full-service salon right inside my house. Read more>>

Mavis Elmyra Hicks

Beauty N Simplicity began as an escape from my 9-5. I had done all the right things. Attended the best hospitality school in the country (Johnson & Wales University), worked for world renown companies, lived in multiple cities, to seemly sit at my career peak at 28 working for Harvard University and I was miserable. Read more>>

Audra Bradstreet

I hired a fantastic local marketing firm out of Nantucket to create the face of BOHO thrift shop and design the initial website. I linked out to several third party sites and in January of 2015, the first sale was made. I’ve been actively building the brand and growing a customer base throughout the past three years and BOHO has over 10,000 customers today. Read more>>

Francesca Jestings

Having Italian roots, my personal life has always been focused around food. So much so my brother became a Chef in New York! I grew up loving everything from home-cooked meals to elaborate upscale dining experiences. When I received my first smartphone, I started taking pictures of food I made at home and shared recipes with my friends. Read more>>

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