Every overnight success we’ve seen has been years in the making. And those overnight successes are rarely because of an amazing idea or a stroke of luck. We asked some of our favorite folks from the community about what characteristics are at the heart of their success story?

Alexa Faye | Brow Artist

Staying passionate. I, no joke, used to go home and cry when I wasn’t living up to my own standards. I had to/have to continually reinvent myself and my craft. I tattoo eyebrows, to me, that’s art – I need to stay inspired. Taking courses offered by other artists has helped a lot, so has browsing social media and analyzing the work of others. What helps me the most is traveling to cities that light a fire in me, like LA or NY. When I come home to cleveland from LA and see the trends there I just want to launch myself back into my business and offer the best of the best. So, I would say stay inspired, watch others in similar industries and find what lights your fire. Read more>>

Kevin Hernandez | Florist

I have given myself the freedom to really let my creativity run wild with every piece that I create. From the colors, patterns and textures each piece tells a unique story that can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. By being true to myself and allowing my experiences as a queer artist to influence my creative process, I have built a strong foundation for my creativity to thrive off of. This is the most important factor behind my success and is the reason why each person can connect to my work differently. I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received since starting my business. My work has allowed me to authentically express my ideas and share my art with the world. Read more>>

Octavius Luke | Brand owner, Creative Director & Photographer

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is the genuine support that I receive. People tend to overlook how much their personal support means to any creative. Any time a creative decides to share their work with the world, they are sharing something very personal to them and the more support it gets, the better the creative feels about their work. Read more>>

William Reusch | Educator

I believe that the success that I have found both inside the classroom for 16yrs and on social media & the podcast space is because of my genuine curiosity and intellectual humility. Education should be the pursuit of deeper understanding and constant curiosity. By modeling this, both teenagers and adults feel ok “not knowing” and seeking truth Read more>>

Florenza Lee | Author, publisher, Master Storyteller, narrative coach.

I believe the most important factor behind success is faith: faith in God, self, purpose, and gift. When we believe in something, I mean sincerely believe in it, it sets our entire being into motion. Matthew 12:34 says, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We speak the words that our hearts believe. My success has been in my ability to guard what comes into my heart so that my words have power to produce abundance. When I first began writing, my husband asked me, “Why you?” For a nanosecond, I mean an extremely brief moment, his words found space in my heart. Then as if being overtaken by a giant container of RoundUp, my spirit rose and asked him, “Why NOT me?” Read more>>

GABRIELA VELASQUEZ | BOUTIQUE OWNER

The most important factor behind the success of my brand has been to be myself. I use my personality as inspiration and that has made gabri.LA genuine. My personality shows not only through my statement pieces of clothing and accessories but also in the way I interact with my customers and the people around me. Whether they are shopping in person at a local pop up or online, my pieces and I are going to make everyone feel special and unique. I want every person I have an interaction with to have something positive to remember my brand and I for. Read more>>

Alex Porter | R&B Singer ~ Songwriter ~ Actor

The most important factor that’s made me successful in my respective industry is listening. I was blessed to be raised by a single mother and grandmother and also have a lot of professional mentors growing up. The biggest piece of advice they taught me is that having a good reputation is the biggest weapon a person can have and take you very far in life. If you are a person that people constantly want to be around and work with, then it’s only a matter of time that you will soon be in a position to thrive and pass down successful advice to the next upcoming star or person. Read more>>

Alejandra Sinclair | Visual Storyteller

I feel that my success is down to the authenticity that underpins my work. I only photograph thinhs that I love, that resonate, that bring me joy and happiness. Read more>>

Jackie Moore | Artist & Leather Artisan

The art of living the life I was ultimately meant to live is the driving factor to my success. Being able to connect with people who see you and support you in all your facets, and vice versa, has truly been one of the most empowering components of my life and my brand. For me the door is always open to connect with someone, hear their story, encourage their dreams, lift them up. I strive for authentic, organic connections in my relationships and in my work. The success of my brand is a direct result of this honest endeavor. The small businesses, consumers and fellow artisans I work with daily see crafting these bags and creating my art as an extension of my love for the art of life. Read more>>

Brenda Ferrell | Founder of B Ready Beauty

The most important factor of my success is having the will power of not giving up, Doubt your doubts. The success of my brand “B Ready Beauty” has been the loyalty of my clients, friends and family. Word of mouth. Read more>>

Ana Predescu | Mechanical Engineer / Racing Driver

I believe the most important factor behind my success is finding genuine enjoyment in what I do. I believe that if you find something you’re genuinely passionate about, of your own will and your own mentality, there is no more important tool that you can acquire towards achieving success. When you find joy in your work, in life, in whatever you do… it’s not a job or a chore, it becomes fun. To me racing, space exploration, building rockets, building race cars… that’s fun! Not saying it’s easy, at the end of the day its still rocket science. But, the challenge is what makes it worthwhile, what makes it more satisfying when you succeed. I think it’s often hard to get lost in conforming to society’s standards, I think it’s important to really follow your own interests and passions. At the end of the day, you control your life, you control your actions, and you have the power to control your future. Read more>>

Brian Ambat | Co-Owner & Respiratory Therapist

I think that the most important factor behind the success of Dough Dudes Pizza are the roles that my business partner and I play. Owning a business means that we have to put on many hats at anytime and we lean on each other to do it well. We’ve been best friends from a very young age and have watched each other grow into who we are today and with that, we understand that we each have our strengths and weaknesses that we often shuffle around to make sure that we are always trying to put our best foot forward. Our familiarity with each other’s work habits and work ethic keep us on top of one another so we’ve almost created this system of checks and balances that allows us to push ourselves. It’s almost everyone’s dream to be able to start up a business with their best friend and while there are constant challenges and hardships, the reward of being able to rise up and accept that challenge shows us that we are more than capable as business partners and best friends. Having a cool name like “Dough Dudes” helps a lot though. Read more>>

Kristin Fracassi | Founder & CEO

I’m blown away with the success we have had at Root and Splendor. When we launched a little over a year ago I had no idea we would be where we are today with selling nationwide direct-to-consumer and selling in bulk (up to 50-gallons at a time) to retailers across the country. As I reflect on conversations with consumers (both individual and wholesale partners) they are always complimentary about the passion I have for my products, the education I provide, and our emphasis on relationships. I believe these factors have contributed to our success. Read more>>