By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer | Photos by Viktor Budnik Never stop learning,” says 36-year-old Leslie Arnette. “Every job is a stepping stone if you want to have your own business one day.” It’s a motto that has served the Ventura-based...
By Kimberly Rivers The sun is just peaking over the ridges to the east.  It’s late fall in Ventura County and while it might get hotter throughout the day, the morning is brisk and requires a coat. Across the county...
By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer There are few physical pursuits as demanding as mixed martial arts (MMA). Competitors engage in hand-to-hand combat, calling upon skills in boxing, jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, kickboxing, Muay Thai, taekwondo and wrestling to bring their opponents...
here is proof of an afterlife. For beautiful old trees, anyway. You’ll find it at BC West Creek Gallery in Casitas Springs, where trees that would have otherwise met a woodchipper or been turned into firewood find a second life...
By Karen Lindell   Satya Twena’s halo hats go through hell to become heavenly. Most hats begin as a piece of felt — not the stuff used to make kindergarten crafts, but a super-strong fabric that is essentially the compressed, matted and...
by Kit Stolz About five years ago, Michelle Ellison, a young mother living with her family in bucolic Ojai, experienced what she calls “a climate awakening.” This was not a joyous, uplifting experience. A story she encountered about the existential...
By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer  |  Photos by Luis Chavez The small-town charm of Santa Paula can be felt most prominently in its downtown district. Main Street is lined with historic storefronts and could be mistaken for a movie set....
By Karen Lindell  |  Photos by Dina Pielaet The team at the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) Trauma Center is like a NASCAR pit crew during the golden hour. The mixed metaphor works, these medical professionals say. Similar to a racing...
By Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer Amara Bessa is helping to make Ventura County a more fashionable place, one customer at a time. The groovy stylist, designer and entrepreneur offers up an eclectic array of clothing, accessories and jewelry at her...
By Emily Dodi. One of Christine Ren’s first memories is of being a little girl at the community pool in rural Pennsylvania where she grew up. She hadn’t yet learned how to swim but, as Ren recalls, “I would...