7 SD Businesses You Absolutely Need in Your Life


A client of mine recently told me that I should create a webpage on my site that lists all of the small businesses in my “rolodex.” I had referred several businesses her way and she pointed out how amazing each and every referral was. I'm always shamelessly referring my favorite small businesses with others because, well, I think it’s the right thing to do! And here you have it: 7 of my favorite San Diego small businesses.

I have not been sponsored to tout these folks. I've personally done business with all of them and want to spread the word! #supportlocal ya'll. 

Hale Production Studios: 

For all of your photography and videography needs, look no further than Kirk & Alexis. These freshly married lovebirds combined their innate creative talents to form a production company that'll knock your socks off. With a fully equipped photography/videography studio in South Park, they can help with just about anything from crisp marketing imagery, to professional headshots, to family/engagement/wedding photography and more. Personally, Kirk and Alexis have done my engagement photography, professional headshots, wedding photography, and wedding videography. They always deliver more than what was promised and have the images ready in record time. Moral of the story? They're pheonom.com.  

Love & Light Acupuncture:

I met Cindy at my weekly networking group. After finding out she was an acupuncturist,  I stalked her in the parking lot after the meeting and told her I wanted to try it. "I have a LOT of problems to solve, Cindy." She laughed - poor thing probably thought I was joking. I can’t say enough about the service I’ve received from her since that day. She is an incredible licensed acupuncturist with boundless knowledge of Psychology and Oriental Medicine. I return regularly to address my anxiety/tension and get help with my digestive/immune system. Cindy is able to scan your body and recognize quickly where you need help- without you even bringing it up. And to those of you who've never done it - Acupuncture is painless and SO RELAXING. I fall asleep and drool every.single.time. Long story short, Cindy truly cares about her patients and takes the time to consult with each one to make sure she’s offering the best treatment possible. Her office is in Bankers Hill and I suggest you get your booty over there for a session! 



Lara Schulte - Life Coach:

Lara and I used to work together in our advertising hay day, and she has since found her calling as a life coach. Lara is certified through the Y.O.U. Institute, which is a professional coaching program backed by a scientific approach to understanding humans and [to simplify] "why they are the way they are". During my career transition from corporate sales to starting my own biz, I needed guidance. Lara being as successful and inspirational as she is, made it seem like a no-brainer to take her assessment, which is the first step in your coaching session with her. The assessment is done online and I was impressed at its thoroughness. Based on the results, Lara is able to understand your unique traits and talents, as well as how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you. She then sits down with you for a full consultation and breakdown of the report. Based on her findings (which were so accurate that I felt like I had seen a psychic), she was able to make realistic recommendations for how I should prioritize my day, my business, and even the best strategies to communicate with colleagues and loved ones. Wether you’d like a coach for business or for life, her expertise and unique approach to coaching make for an exceptional investment of your time. 



Ramsay Jewelry:

Another amazing friend of mine and jewelry designer extraordinaire is Ramsay! Ramsay owns her own successful jewelry line and I can personally claim over 15 pieces of Ramsay Jewelry in my closet right now. She started making jewelry out of beads & thread when she was just a little nugget, and now creates high-end designs for clients all over the US. She searches high and low to find the best materials, so the jewelry never loses its vibrance. Ramsay is always scouting for beautiful stones to make her stand-out pieces truly unique. Her designs are sold in multiple boutiques in San Diego, as well as Etsy and through her website. Her products make great everyday pieces or gifts for your loved ones. Check her out (literally) - you'll be obsessed.


Martin Family Real Estate:

Rose and Casey are two San Diego real estate agents that are breaking into the market with record success. If you haven't heard of them, it's only a matter of time before you do. Not only are they an adorable husband/wife duo, but Casey is also a Firefighter dedicated to helping other Gov't responders and military members find their dream homes. These two are passionate about making homebuyers feel comfortable and informed throughout the entire process. They stay up to date and educated on real estate news & trends to keep their clients one step ahead of the curve. If you're interested in buying or selling a home - these are authentic, sweet, and down-to-earth experts that you can trust to get the job done.


Karie Kaufmann Action Coach:

I recently started using Karie after meeting her at a networking event. She is a business coach for “ACTION COACH,” a global franchise of coaches that support businesses of all sizes. Karie happens to be the #1 Action Coach in the US and travels around the globe training others to be as badass as she is. Karie hosts several workshops per year that serve a variety of business owner needs. I recently attended one of her popular workshops called “Action Planning Day.” Myself and a room full of business owners broke down our long term business goals into short, attainable, ones that can be reached within 90 days. Before I started working with Karie, I was stuck working “IN” my business and rarely took a step back to work “ON” my business. Not anymore! My business has grown exponentially since I started attending her workshops. I’ve even hired my first employee. If you’re looking for a zero-bullshit way to get organized, efficient, and grow your business - Karie is your girl.


Gaines and Welsh - My Tax Wizards

I don’t know where I’d be without my tax wizard, Tracey Gaines. He is the most knowledgable tax professional I’ve ever met and has helped me navigate a plethora of shit-storms including 2 start-up businesses, an exit from one of those start-ups, a sole-proprietorship, and my own personal taxes. As a creative, right-brained individual, numbers hurt my head. The intricacies of taxes, especially when you own a business [or multiple], is enough to make you want to drown yourself. But Tracey saves the day every time. I joke that if I could chain myself to him and never let him go, I would. His wife may not appreciate that, though. Anyways, if you want a no-nonsense, to the point tax guy who has your back, Tracey is the only person you need to call.