Author Archives: Tony M

Open Mic Night July Feature

SevanKelee Boult (bka Lucky 7) is a well known Bay Area poet and performance artist.  This UC Berkeley graduate has a minor in Theatre Arts.  SevanKelee is continuously  redefining her poetry and performance. Hailing from East Palo Alto, CA and writing since childhood, her most recent artistic venture involves the ukulele and spoken word.  She effortlessly blends music and poetry to engage the audience with her soft, raspy voice and mesmerizing stage presence. Gracing such stages as The Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena, De Young Museum , Brava Theater and The Marsh Theater(s) in San Francisco, CA.  Her poem Cucumber has been seen on HBO Real Sex since 2000. She has represented several Bay Area slam teams over the past 15 years. In 2014, she became the only person in the Bay to win the honored title Grand Slam Champion of 4 different Bay Area Slam teams (SF, Berkeley,Oakland and Palo Alto). SevanKelee’s poem Listening to Pain has been published in the 2017 Spring issue of Foglifter Journal. A  2017 QCC emerging artist, SevanKelee’s performances are full of excitement.

Make Music Day Featured Artist

From chill vibes to soaring notes of pain, Noop brings his intimate musical life to the stage. Journeying across America and the world has positively affected his purpose to share powerful emotions meant to counteract delusion. Often seen sporting flowers in his hair, this singer/songwriter is sure to surprise you with unique live performances tailored to each occasion.


See him LIVE at Make Music Day on Friday, June 21st 

Eastridge Center Court, 4-6p

San Jose Downtown Association is offering a $5 discount to all Make Music San Jose Participants for their June 21 Music in the Park event with the Delfonics.


The code is: MakeMusicDay

Interested? Here’s the link to get tickets.

Local San Jose Pop-Rock Band

Extra Credit! is a pop rock band from San Jose, California. The band’s lineup consists of of frontman and vocalist Ellis Marcel, guitarists Minh Shackelford and Paul Nguyen, and drummer Merl Suarez. Their debut EP ‘Chain Locked Heart’ was released worldwide on April 26, 2019 and currently has over 275 streams on Spotify. Their influences include Green Day, Paramore, Queen, Taylor Swift, and Marianas Trench.

See them LIVE at Music Music Day on Friday, June 21st

Eastridge Center Court, 4 – 6p

San Jose Downtown Association is offering a $5 discount to all Make Music San Jose participants for their June 21 Music in the Park event with the Delfonics.

The discount code is: MakeMusicDay

Interested? Here’s the link to get tickets. 

Pacific Retail Wins THREE MAXI AWARDS at ICSC 2019 Global Awards CEREMONY

LOS ANGELES, Ca. – (May 20, 2019) – Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) based in Los Angeles, CA was honored with several awards of distinction during the 2019 Global Awards sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). The ICSC Global Awards Program, held in Las Vegas at RECon, the world’s largest retail real estate convention, recognizes the retail real estate industry’s most innovative events, programs, and technologies that add value to shopping centers and companies across the country.

The shopping centers in the PRCP portfolio that utilized a myriad of resources to re-energize centers, drive traffic, increase sales and give back to their respective communities, and were recognized as a MAXI finalists include Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara, CA; Eastridge Center in San Jose, CA; The Shops at South Town in Sandy, UT; Galleria White Plains in White Plains, NY; Yorktown Center in Lombard, IL; and Northpark in Jackson, MS. “I have the distinct honor of collaborating with a talented group of people and companies to take Pacific Retail to the next level and create impressionable experiences for our guests, while continuing to push the envelope in the industry”, said Najla Kayyem, Senior Vice President of Marketing, who accepted the awards on behalf of PRCP.

Three Pacific Retail centers took home three MAXI awards – one gold and two silver awards – recognizing the properties’ programming as the best in class across all centers and companies in both the United States and Canada.

With the power of innovation, leadership, and teamwork, PRCP was the recipient of the following awards:

Gold MAXI Award in the category of Impact for shopping centers more than 500,001 square feet: Aloha Winter Rollerland – The Aloha Roller Rink was a staple of the San Jose, CA community from the 70s until 2014 when sadly, it shuttered. Eastridge Center, which was fully-renovated in 2018 and was once home to an ice rink through the 70s as well, is constantly evaluating experiences they can offer to the community. With a vacant Sports Chalet box and an approaching holiday 2018 season, they excitedly explored the idea of bringing the famed roller rink back as a holiday pop-up experience. The new Aloha Roller Rink opened at Eastridge with much success in November 2018 and – after an outstanding continued local response – will remain open for patrons to enjoy throughout 2019. Offering theme nights, free lessons, mommy and me events and more, this go-to destination offers the nostalgic community an updated classic while driving redevelopment awareness, center traffic, sales, and a healthy rent.


Silver MAXI Award in the category of Innovation for Shopping Centers more than 500,001 square feet: The Shops at South Town Murals – The Shops at South Town completed an interior renovation in 2017, however the exterior façade was left bare of improvements. With limited ownership funds, the team enacted a creative solution to involve their city council. Envisioning exterior blank walls as an opportunity to cultivate the arts, the team garnered the city’s partnership to fund a public art program. The $85,000 contribution began what is now an ongoing city-funded arts initiative. Activating walls with art created synergy between the center’s picturesque backdrop and the urban-meets-mountain renovation theme. Featuring three artists, the murals serve as a tangible touch point inspiring lasting community engagement.


Silver MAXI Award in the category of Revenue for Shopping Centers more than 500,001 square feet: Humana Partnership: Yorktown Center secured a multifaceted year-long partnership with national healthcare agency, Humana. The business development deal generated thousands of dollars in new revenue in 2018 totaling 30% of the business development budget. The partnership included onsite activations, advertising domination in Center Court, and sponsorship of the “Heart & Sole” center walking club. Humana activated Center Court with weekly events including fitness classes, seminars, health checks and games that added experiential value, traffic, and sales. The partnership proved extremely valuable to Humana who renewed the partnership for 2019.

“We are fortunate to not only have some of the most passionate and talented marketing people in the industry on our team, we also have an incredibly savvy group of investors who partner with us to execute these award-winning initiatives,” said Gary Karl, Chief Operating Officer for PRCP.


About Pacific Retail Capital Partners

Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) is one of the nation’s premier retail operating groups of large open-air centers and enclosed malls, with more than $1.8 billion in retail assets presently under management in the United States. Based in Southern California, PRCP provides end-to-end sourcing, assessment, underwriting, valuing, developing, and asset management of retail real estate with a proven track record of repositioning retail properties. PRCP strategically manages over 11 million square feet of regional malls and open-air lifestyle centers. The Executive team has over 150 years of collective real estate expertise with deep experience in leasing, marketing, operations, design, development, investment, and finance. With a keen focus on enhancing the value and quality of its growing portfolio, PRCP is dedicated to creating a unique, strategic vision for each property and exceeding the highest expectations of retail investors, retailers, and consumers. To learn more visit or follow us on social media at:

Facebook: pacificretailcapitalpartners

Instagram: @PacificRetail


About ICSC

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) is the world-wide trade association of the shopping center industry and serves the global retail real estate community. Their 70,000+ member network provides over 100 countries with invaluable resources, connections and industry insights, and work together to shape public policy. For more information about ICSC visit

Women Who Lead: You Are Collect;ve Co-Founder, Cherelle

Eastridge #WomenWhoLead Series


Co-Founder of You Are Collect;ve

Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how you began working at You Are Collective and with Eastridge?

You Are Collective was born at Panera Bread in 2019. Before it was called 13 You Are, a one-person project that started in 2017 and instilled in the power of words and reminders of why YOU ARE meant to be in this world. Approaching this year, I became one of the CoFounders, when a good friend of mine, Syzette and I were brainstorming this idea of a women’s conference in combination with the art of lettering and sharing awareness of Mental Health. As we sat at Panera, that was when 13 You Are became You Are Collective. Together, we partnered with Eastridge, because they believed in our vision and wanted to feature us as Artist of the Month for helping us share awareness of Mental Health through art.

Is there anything from You Are Collective we should be looking out for in 2019!

YES! With our partnership with Eastridge, we will be at the CosmeCon doing a mini hand lettering workshop and sharing the power in words instilling your Inner Beauty in the VIP Lounge on April 6th.

May 2019 is Mental Health Awareness month, we as You Are Collective, will be creating a “mini teaser” of what is to come in October. We are bringing our female conference + art of lettering + sharing awareness of mental health for all of May at Eastridge, this will be our soft opening. So be sure to check us out!


It is a gathering of females (girls + women) that aims to connect and create a space of belonging and awareness. This life-changing event will provide an experience annually, that will ignite hope, transformation and cultivate a deep sense of connection; through inspirational messages that is accompanied by Insta-worthy affirmations room, local art vendors, entertainment and creative & wellness workshops that are geared toward preventative measures of coping with Mental Illness. We want to inspire you through the art of hand lettering, finding your community, and the power in words.

Follow us for updates! Instagram @youarecollectve

How can the Eastridge community connect with You Are Collective in real life?

You can connect with us by our upcoming events we have in April and May! We love our partnership with Eastridge and are excited to be their first artist feature in May!

Come, you don’t want to miss out! We are creating a mini teaser before our Grand Event in October.

What inspired you to begin You Are Collective?

I had an interest in learning the art of hand lettering. I was inspired by Instagram, taught by my best friend, and eventually attended a workshop at my church. Being a stay at home mom, I suffered through identity, lack of community, and struggled with postpartum blues. I began to feel like something was missing. At this workshop, was when I found community and a place of belonging.

Everyday I would practice this new creative outlet of hand lettering, and practice words of affirmation and listen to encouraging messages to write. This is when I saw a shift in my mindset. I began to believe in the power of words and how they can build or break you. As I discovered more of this art, I started purposeful projects that reflect on words. One of the projects called 13 You Are.

In 2017, Netflix released a TV series titled 13 Reasons Why. This series revolves around a 17 year old high school student, Clay Jensen and his deceased friend, Hannah Baker. The bases of this storyline sparked a challenge in me to use my new found skill to create handwritten cards that inspired hope by giving friends, family, and strangers 13 Reasons why they mattered. Creating the #13reasonswhychallenge and shared it on my social media platform. In 2018, I wanted to be intentional in my projects and wanted to grow what I started the previous year. I relaunched 13 You Are with 13 different artists creating 13 cards and a clothing campaign to continue this vision. I started also teaching brush lettering where each student not only learns the basics of lettering but they are able to create a foundation of what it means to empower others and themselves with words.

Today, I wanted to be bold in my projects. I reached out to close friends and family casting this vision. As the vision manifested into plans, I revisited a partnership to create a passion project with Syzette, my other CoFounder, an original 13 You Are supporter, artist, leader and good friend. What once was a one person project became a team of four; where we rebranded 13 You Are to You Are Collective

What purpose do you wish You Are Collective to serve?

Our purpose is to create an ongoing event that transforms and empowers the lives of those in our community, locally and nationwide by bringing awareness of mental health through the art of lettering, community, and the power in words.

We believe that …

You Are Life-Changing, we want to share awareness for our mental health that when we create daily affirmations in our life, we begin to transform and believe the power of building our self-talk, confidence, love and worth. Then we create life-changing decisions, to grow for ourselves.

You Are Loved, we want you to build that love for yourself and learn to build it with others that are liked minded.

You Are Connected to Reason, we want you to feel connected through the words, the community, and know that there are reasons why you exist.

You Are Not Alone, we want you to tell your story and allow your words to create new perspective and connection with others. We want you to find sisters through a solid foundation of support, love, and hope through all your challenges and struggles you face; knowing that you are not alone.

“When I becomes we, (i)llness becomes (we)llness.” -Malcolm X

You Are Inspiring, we want you to feel inspired to give reminders to others of their value + worth to this world.

You Are Powerful, we want to create + empower a community of people who wants to stop the lies we tell ourselves, and the lies that others tell us, to start living life fueled by positivity + art of lettering + breaking the stigma.

Because of you … because of your story… YOU ARE the reason for You Are Collective.

What strengths do you find in working with a group of like-minded women?

Wow, there is SO much strength when you are working with a group of women who endlessly want to support and cheer for you. You feel motivated to be better. You create honest and authentic relationships. There is this African Proverb that I recently heard and have been loving, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. So, when we are together with like-minded women, we can go far. Whether it is in our careers and personal life. We see growth within ourselves that is powerful and when we allow ourselves to be aware of who we are surrounding ourselves with, we begin to see that we can’t do life alone and we must do it with positive like people to grow us further vs those who rather see you fall.


CONNECT with You Are Collect;ve on Instagram @youarecollectve or subscribe to their email list at for updates on their October Conference!


The Eastridge Women Who Lead is an 8-part series featuring the extraordinary women who are leaders in the East Side San Jose Community and pillars of Eastridge Community Programming. For more empowering content, including in-person workshops and speakers, join us for CosmeCon 2019 on April 6th. More information here. Love this story? Please consider sharing on social media or attending an event to support!

Women Who Lead: Aloha Roller Rink Owner, Liz Ruiz

Eastridge #WomenWhoLead Series

Liz Ruiz

Owner of Aloha Roller Rink

Can you tell us a bit about your journey with Aloha Roller Rink and with Eastridge?

When Eastridge management sent me an email requesting a meeting, they did not specify what the meeting was about. Well, my imagination went wild and I hoped they had a spot they wanted to open a skate rink in. I walked the whole mall and looked for spaces with skate potential and determined the old Sports Chalet building was the only contender. When I walked into the meeting, I found their intention was to just bring my mobile skate rental truck in for a one day pop up rink in the parking lot. But in that meeting we imagined how cool it would be to have a winter themed pop up rink for the 2 month holiday season. I assured them that I could make this vision a reality and that I knew just the spot in the mall for it. By the end of the meeting we had decided to scrap the one day event and pursue the 2 month pop up instead. Our temporary pop up went better than we ever expected and Eastridge offered us the opportunity to stay open in the Eastridge community for the rest of the year. I have been so thankful and blessed by the opportunity Eastridge has given Aloha and the community has really embraced the skate rink at Eastridge. 

What is your favorite thing about managing Aloha Roller Rink?

Aloha is in the business of fun so the work is pretty fun too! There is an energy at the rink that is contagious. Everybody is dancing and skating and smiling and having a blast. It’s one big party! And my favorite part is watching families come in and parents get to share with their kids something that they loved doing growing up. I love watching the kids fall in love with skating and beg their parents to come back week after week.

What inspired you to begin Aloha Roller Rink?

My quest when I started Aloha was to simply preserve roller skating for our community. Multiple roller rinks were shutting their doors and I recognized that if I didn’t do something, the next generation of children would miss out on the skating fun that was a staple in my own upbringing. As the rink I grew up skating in closed down, I took the steps to purchase their fleet of skates and begin this next chapter of skating in San Jose.

What are some of the hardest challenges you face in your business as a woman of color?

As a woman, I often get underestimated by men who do not know me. I hate when I’m asked if I need to check with my partner as if I’m not the one in this meeting capable of making the decision for my company. They are just so unfamiliar with a woman being in charge and seem to be looking for a man to double check with. Sometimes they will try to direct the conversation at my male assistant or any other male present other than me. I am much more likely to do business with a company whose rep talks to me and is acknowledging of my authority in my business. 

Favorite ways to stay fit and healthy?

My favorite way to stay fit is roller skating!! It burns 700 calories per hour!! It’s a blast!
CONNECT with Liz Ruiz and Aloha Roller Rink on Instagram @Lizapalooza + @AlohaRollerRink


The Eastridge Women Who Lead is an 8-part series featuring the extraordinary women who are leaders in the East Side San Jose Community and pillars of Eastridge Community Programming. For more empowering content, including in-person workshops and speakers, join us for CosmeCon 2019 on April 6th. More information here. Love this story? Please consider sharing on social media or attending an event to support!

Women Who Lead: So She Slays Founders, Chauncey & Heather

Eastridge #WomenWhoLead Series

Chauncey & Heather

Founders of So She Slays 


What inspired you to begin So She Slays?

We started So She Slays because we wanted to provide a platform for a diverse group of women who are driven to have a space that would help support and empower them from the inside out.  We are focusing on empowering women in all aspects of their lives. We want to provide a voice for all women to share their experiences when they feel like they do not have a view. That would have an authentic and real voice in the challenges that women, especially women of color face in today’s society.  We aspired to be your best friend that can continuously challenge you to always be on top of your game and hear you out without judgment. 

What are some of the hardest challenges you both face as women of color?

We started this blog to have a safe open space for minorities to have a voice of the everyday struggles that we face without being judged.  As a minority woman, I often find the hardest challenge is being taken seriously or having to continually prove that I’m just as good as any male counterpart if not better.   We understand the difficulties of being in a workplace when you are the only one that looks like you in your company.  We are often pre-judged to be a particular stereotype, and if we don’t fill that specific “stereotype,” we are known as being ‘acceptable.’   

What strengths do you find in working with a group of like-minded women?

I find that we are all better together, that each person has the things that they are amazing at. When surrounded by like-minded women there is indeed nothing that can’t be accomplished. I love that we can rely on each other without hesitation. I know that they will always have my back and will inspire me to reach for a higher goal that at one point I thought was unachievable. 

Favorite ways to stay fit and healthy?

With my busy schedule, it’s essential for me to stay active with working out to keep my stress and anxiety down. I’m super into F45 a cross-training program that I just fell in love with plus I love eating my fruits and veggies. 
Self-care is highly relevant to us. We often forget as women that we need to take care of ourselves and focus being mentally and physically healthy. Sunday self-care is essential in my life. I take Sundays as a day to refresh and recharge. I work out, clean and do my best to stay away from working and be constantly surround by technology. I want to go into the following week with a fresh perspective.  

Keep Slayin,

So She Slays Team
CONNECT with So She Slays on Instagram @SoSheSlays


The Eastridge Women Who Lead is an 8-part series featuring the extraordinary women who are leaders in the East Side San Jose Community and pillars of Eastridge Community Programming. For more empowering content, including in-person workshops and speakers, join us for CosmeCon 2019 on April 6th. More information here. Love this story? Please consider sharing on social media or attending an event to support!

Women Who Lead: City of San Jose Parks & Rec Eastridge Team, Leticia & Isabel

Eastridge #WomenWhoLead Series

Leticia Espino & Isabel Montano

City of San Jose Parks & Recreation Eastridge Team


Leticia Espino

Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how you began working at City of San Jose and with Eastridge?

I have been working for the City of San Jose for the past 17 years and originally was hired to work at an after school program.  That is where I began building my experience and passion for working with the community.  Over the years my experience has grown from working with youth directly, to supervising different programs and services.  I currently supervise the Evergreen Community Center and try to ensure that District 8 has classes, programs, and special events that we can continue to operate and or create.  We work closely with Council-member Sylvia Arenas who introduced the idea of partnering with the Eastridge Center to offer youth programming.  I loved the idea from the beginning and knew it had potential with the right support.  After months of programming the Teen Center has 12-30 participants, senior walking and stretch is building and youth classes are also moving forward!  This has been a great partnership between Eastridge Staff, District 8, and Evergreen staff.

What are some of the hardest challenges you face as a brown Latina woman?

As a woman alone, I think there are many challenges that one faces in the work industry.  It can range from something small like not getting taken seriously to facing discrimination because of your race or gender.  It’s not easy to deal with these challenges, but I believe it’s how one approaches the situation and how one should try to not take things personal. As a proud Latina Woman, I make sure I handle everything I do professionally and calmly while taking in account the individual I’m working with.

What gives you the motivation to keep grinding?

My motivation begins with my family, both my parents worked hard all their lives and always encouraged us to pursue our education and career.  Being the youngest and only daughter, my parents always pushed me more so that I wouldn’t have to rely on others.  Now in my life, I think my family is still one of my number one motivations, but giving back to the community in general is also another one.  After working with all ages, I have realized there is always something you can do to give back to build those relationships and create new ones.

 Beauty brand recommendations?

I try to explore make-up as much as I can, but usually stick to the same products. I use Urban Decay, Too Faced, MAC Cosmetics and try other brands when I have time.


Isabel Montano

Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how you began working at City of San Jose and with Eastridge?

Since the day that I can remember, I have wanted to work with children and families. I took it upon myself to research for a job that I knew would not only be worthwhile, but fulfilled my interests of working with children. 5 years ago, with no assistance and hardly any job experience, I submitted my application and hoped for the best.  Beginning my position with the City of San Jose, I knew that this was the exact place I needed to be to learn, grow, and make changes in the lives of many families. The partnership between Eastridge and the City of San Jose to enhance the recreational opportunities for our community has been such a turning point in my career. Senior programs, Teen Center, and Break Camps have really been a hit and I cannot wait to continue this alongside the amazing Eastridge team.

Is there anything from City of San Jose Parks & Recreation Team that we should be looking out for in 2019!

Keep an eye out for all the great youth, teen, and senior programs being ran by the City of San Jose happening at Eastridge Center. We are loving this partnership with the Eastridge team #CommunityIRL !

What are some of the hardest challenges you face as a brown Latinx woman?

As a Latinx woman, one of the hardest challenges I have faced is having enough courage to stand up and have a voice. As I have continued working within my community, I have learned that I have a voice and I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

What gives you the motivation to keep grinding?

My motivation to keep grinding is my family, my community, and the desire to make a difference in many people’s lives. Without any of these factors, I would not be as motivated to continue my path in pursuing a higher level of education, which is something that many Latinx woman were not given the support to accomplish.

Beauty brand recommendations?

As a make-up addict, I literally love most beauty brands on the market today. However, if I had to choose – I have 3 top beauty brand recommendations for eyes, lips, and face. Morphe is my top beauty brand for eyeshadow and at an affordable price. Jeffree Star Cosmetics is my go to brand for lips, his liquid lipsticks are amazing. And finally, MAC cosmetics is the go to brand for my foundation! I hope you try some out!

CONNECT with the City of San Jose Parks & Recreation Eastridge Team on

Facebook @EvergreenCommunityCenter


The Eastridge Women Who Lead is an 8-part series featuring the extraordinary women who are leaders in the East Side San Jose Community and pillars of Eastridge Community Programming. For more empowering content, including in-person workshops and speakers, join us for CosmeCon 2019 on April 6th. More information here. Love this story? Please consider sharing on social media or attending an event to support!

Women Who Lead: Shades by Shan founder, Shan

Eastridge #WomenWhoLead Series


Founder of Shades by Shan


Can you tell us a bit about your journey? 

I began working with 99.7now 10 years ago. I began as an intern for the Fernando and Greg Morning show, went on to become their assistant producer, then on to Middays for my own show, and now I juggle Middays as well as being the Executive Producer for the morning show. I started Shades by Shan this past summer with my sister, Erika, my business partner. We wanted Shades by Shan to have a purpose so we created a makeup line to help single parents in need. Being raised by a single mother, we saw first hand the struggles we went through and we wanted to make a difference. We started our own nonprofit organization in honor of our mother to help other single parents in need, called the “MamaBerries Nonprofit Foundation”. To date we have helped several struggling parents and launched Shades By Shan Cosmetics in 18 stores across California.

What is your favorite thing about working with 99.7Now and Shades by Shan?

My favorite thing about working with 99.7now is being able to have a voice for the community, being able to connect with my listeners, and be surrounded by the music I love. My favorite thing about Shades By Shan is hearing and knowing that my customers genuinely love our products. I love seeing them wear our products day after day knowing in the process we are helping the community through our nonprofit organization. People feel good wearing Shades by Shan knowing they’re making a difference. 

Is there anything from Shades by Shan we should be looking out for in 2019?

We are super excited to be launching our new makeup collection on March 24th, my Dirty 30 collection. We are adding new lip kit shades, eyeshadow palettes and our first ever blush palette. It will be available at on March 24th at 9am.

What inspired you to begin Shades by Shan?

I was inspired to start Shades by Shan because my fans were asking me to put out merchandise. I didn’t want to just put out ordinary stuff like hats or hoodies; I wanted it to be meaningful to me. I’ve always had a passion for makeup and saw many influencers teaming up with makeup companies, collab’ing on palettes and I thought, “if they could do it, why can’t I.” Instead of collaborating with other companies, I decided to start my own. It is super important to me to be an impact driven company in order to continue to help the community and also be a cruelty free makeup company.

What gives you motivation to keep grinding?

My mother is my biggest motivation to keep going. Growing up and being raised by a single mother, she never gave up. It was never an option. She taught us that if we start something we have to finish it. I want to show her how big my dreams are for my company and my determination to make Shades By Shan a global brand and be a household name all over the world. 


CONNECT with Shan & Shades by Shan on Instagram @ShanBerries + @ShadesbyShan



The Eastridge Women Who Lead is an 8-part series featuring the extraordinary women who are leaders in the East Side San Jose Community and pillars of Eastridge Community Programming. For more empowering content, including in-person workshops and speakers, join us for CosmeCon 2019 on April 6th. More information here. Love this story? Please consider sharing on social media or attending an event to support!


Women Who Lead: Kidz Groove founder, Princess Ryan

Eastridge #WomenWhoLead Series

Princess Ryan

Founder of Kidz Groove


Tell us about your journey and how you began?

I was born in Cebu City and was raised in a small village in Tag-os, Southern Leyte, Philippines. Ever since I was a little girl, I was very active and I couldn’t stop moving, running, jumping and climbing but dancing caught my interest and it challenged my curiosity and creativity which led me to become who I am today. It gave me the confidence to dream big and it turned my world around. I became a model, celebrity dancer, actress and I worked for top TV networks in Manila. I also represented my country in an international beauty pageant and traveled around the world because of dancing.

What inspired you to begin dancing?

I wasn’t a born dancer and that’s how I realized that everyone has the ability to dance but not everyone invests their time to introduce it to empower the youth. Dance instantly makes you feel alive, confident and happy which is what we all need to be mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. This is WHY I created Kidz Groove. For the well-being of kids; they will be our future leaders and will help make the world a better place. It’s for all kids and the kids at heart.

 What gives you the motivation to move your mission forward?

Sometimes I wonder, “What if I never discovered dance?” I would have never gained the confidence that I have now because of it. I wouldn’t be who I am today. When a child’s creativity is not encouraged or developed, their self-confidence takes a hit starting at a young age and there’s a chance that they’ll never discover or stop exploring what they’re good at. Helping kids discover their unique abilities and pushing them to dream bigger is my biggest motivation.

What purpose do you wish Kidz Groove to serve?

Kidz Groove is fully committed in helping kids worldwide in gaining self-confidence by making them ambassadors of the brand and training them not just to dance but to teach and inspire other kids to be like them.


CONNECT with Princess & Kidzgroove on Instagram @kidz_groove



The Eastridge Women Who Lead is an 8-part series featuring the extraordinary women who are leaders in the East Side San Jose Community and pillars of Eastridge Community Programming. For more empowering content, including in-person workshops and speakers, join us for CosmeCon 2019 on April 6th. More information here. Love this story? Please consider sharing on social media or attending an event to support!

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