We asked some of the city’s rising stars to reflect on what made a difference in their journey. We asked them to tell us about what they think the most important factor has been behind their success.

Ashwin Subramanian | Composer for Film & TV, Ads and Games

Consistency. I believe this is one of most underrated qualities that can guarantee success in the long term. I’ve personally known several people who have been doing what they are passionate about for over 20 years, and they are all highly successful. I’ve been a full-time musician for over 12 years, and Lakshmi and I founded Eclipse Nirvana almost 10 years ago. Being focused in what we do and giving 100% every day has led to many wonderful opportunities and our brand being recognizable worldwide. Read more>>

Kelly Etter | Pilates trainer

My commitment to making a positive, healing, encouraging and empowering impact on the world. I believe that my approachability, authenticity and genuine desire to be of service, as well as to have fun, shines through and is a very important factor behind my success and the success of my brand. Read more>>

Elizabeth Kahn | Founder and Key Consultant of Elizabeth Kahn Consulting LLC

I would say the greatest reason for my success would be my ability to adapt to anything that comes my way. I have found that adapting has been a successful strategy in the growth of my business. I pride myself on providing expert tailored consulting advice and guidance to my clients. This means, adapting to whatever my clients need help with. I’ve crafted the services that my consulting agency provides by asking what my clients are looking for. Read more>>

Shineth Cunanan- Gonzales, M.A. | Mother | Teacher| CEO

Love. A zillion factors! I even often say to my students that “your success is my success.” With that, there are many things I’m grateful for in my humble existence. My success as a school founder and educator is built on love, the foundation and support of my family, friends, students, colleagues, the community, and, above all else, God. Read more>>

Mary Neville | Artist

The way people connect with my work. Read more>>

Pablo Mathiason | Artist Manager

I have been very fortunate to have been able to continue to work in some capacity with artists. Some established and some developing. When it comes to branding myself, it’s mostly about personality and reputation. Mine is pretty much built around authenticity, honesty and the ability to work with people. Whenever I meet someone who I am interested in working with. Read more>>

Gabriella Then | Professional Golfer

I have so many moving parts behind the scenes of my professional golf career. It’s so hard to pick the most important because there are several! Behind my success is the support from my family and boyfriend. They push me to be the best I can be and continue to work diligently in my craft. They believe in me to be successful so that pushes me also. I’m only successful because of them. Read more>>

Chivon Parks | Spiritual/Mystical Enthusiast & Fashion Designer

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is what it can do for my clients and customers. At Ace of Moons, everything made, is created with love, intention, and energy. It’s imperative that the hands that make the products are coming with an open mind and heart. Pure intentions, and a keen focus when it comes to detail. When the customer receives their product, rather it be a candle, a milk bath, crystal, or a reading; how the product makes them feel, and how it changes their life in some way, that’s what make for success. Read more>>

DahT SouL | Creative Director & Man of GOD

Selflessness . The less about myself I am, the better SouL.Topia becomes . It’s an entity of the people truly . Without the people my brand wouldn’t be what it is . I don’t treat people like a dollar sign , but I look to genuinely connect with whoever comes to a SouL.Topia, listens , buys merch, etc. regardless of what people believe in, I believe GOD truly has show grace and mercy with my life , and with that I want to be a blessing to other people . With how organic everything happens people need it , and love it because everything has become to synthetic and unauthentic people been having a hard time finding something real, and SouL.Topia will always remain real . Read more>>

Maria Proios | Headshot Photographer & Actor

Being both a headshot photographer and an actor, I am blessed with insight on both sides of the camera. My brand is more procedural in nature rather than visual. It begins with a consultation where everything is discussed and I get a sense of the actor’s brand. I advise clients on each of the looks they want and give them homework to do for the day of the shoot. Read more>>

Lindsey Zilliox | Vintage and Styling Enthusiast

There are a few important factors to being successful in business and in life, for that matter. Don’t be afraid to fail Don’t be afraid to ask questions Don’t give up when faced with struggles…and always reassess how you are conducting business, ask yourself who you want your audience to be, is your work aligning with your values, are you maintaining work/life balance. And continue to be open to change and growth within your work with shifting needs and wants. Read more>>

Mikaela Moody | Vegan Content Creator & Plant Parent

Being consistent and true to who I am. Paris Hilton said it well on TikTok recently, “I inspire others by being my authentic self.” The colorful and bold outfits I sport while in the kitchen inspiring you to eat more veggies or in my tiny jungle showing you how to care for house plants are totally unapologetic every time. The style catches your attention, and since that’s how I feel the most comfortable, the confidence resonates. Read more>>

Ben Sharpe | General Manager and Booker

El Cid is a magical place with now over 100 years of history. We’ve been doing shows for pretty much this whole time, so it is not uncommon to have people come up to you and tell you a story or memory of theirs at El Cid from many years ago that’s really meaningful to them still. Read more>>

Mariya Palanjian | Founder and CEO of Globafly

Discipline and Persistence Read more>>

Ed Roesgen | co-creator LIAR Comedy

It is a 50/50 between showing people respect and showing you have integrity, which I guess you could sum up as “be genuine” as a single factor? When comedians who work with us get offered a spot on a project, they know that we value them, and will also look out for their best interests. We don’t chase clout, or put up with nonsense, and I think we’ve shown that people are attracted to that. We run things as a meritocracy, which in comedy means we gravitate to the funnier performers, versus someone with a weaker act but a huge social media following, for example. Sounds intuitive, but you’d be surprised! Read more>>

Sue Fearless | Founder, Mindset Coach, Educator

The most important factor behind the success of my organization, Fearless Women, has been the fact that we are passionate advocates for empowering women by providing educational services and resources in areas of major need, such as: Health and Wellness, Mindset, Career Coaching and Entrepreneurship. Read more>>

RC Caylan | Creative Director & Founder

The most important factor behind my success is to never give up on your goal and keep continuing on what you love to do. Always trust the process. At the end of the day you’re going to love what you created. Read more>>

Andy Kay | Founder of Kay and Associates Investigations

I would have to say diversity, having a-lot of people that have multiple skills and multiple interest. Read more>>

Vanessa LeMaistre | Speaker & Shaman

The most important factor behind my success/ the success of my brand is that we are impacting others in a positive and inspirational way. I feel as if I am here on mission. I truly believe we all are. And now that I know my mission, it is my upmost duty to fulfill my work efficiently and with as much impact as possible for others. Sure I believe we come here to help ourselves grow and evolve, but I truly believe we are here to be in service to others. Read more>>

Raquel Pomplun | Actress, Comedian and Model

The most important factor behind my success is never stopping. I see each achievement as a stepping stone to the next goal. I’m always on the move. I don’t believe in reaching a maximum and that, just like energy, success is transferable. I also believe that there’s no cap! There’s always something new you can create or achieve, even, sometimes, discover! Read more>>

Lindsey Heppner | Founder , CEO + Creative Director of Vampped

The most important factor behind my success is making sure I stay true to myself and making sure my clients know that I have integrity, values, and transparency regarding how I do business. I was warned at the very early stages of my career that if I wanted to become the best, there would be things I would have to sacrifice to be at the top. Read more>>

Natalie Joos | Knitwear Designer

I believe the success of my brand is two-fold. I owe it to 1. contacts/connections and 2. an organic brand identity. I would not have been able to start my brand if I hadn’t 25 years of fashion industry contacts in my address book. I was an established name in New York; everyone knew who I was and what I stood for. All I had to do was pick up the phone and ask for a sales appointment. Read more>>

Lindsay Hopper | Actor, Producer, Singer, Filmmaker

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand (which are kind of one and the same) is clarity of purpose. I was very fortunate 10 years ago to start studying at The Richard Lawson Studios, and one of the first things we were tasked to do was write out our dream and create a road map from that dream for our life and career. I was able to identify why I am doing what I am doing, for myself, and I use that compass to measure everything I work on or decide to do. Read more>>

Bret Englander | Entrepreneur

Work ethic, creativity, appetite for risk, and authenticity are key factors behind our growth and success. For a brand or individual product to succeed, there are so many different things that need to align correctly. How many songs have been one small hook away from becoming a hit? I think about this a lot and feel really fortunate to have been able to work with our team to create a brand and products that people appreciate. Read more>>

Dr. Angela McCrary | PSY’D, LLPC, CPRC, ADS

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is; the mindset of becoming the change I wanted to see in my family and my community. There were so many times during my educational path, especially during my Doctoral journey; that I wanted to give up. It was that constant reminder that ” I am the example” that kept and continues to push me. I knew when my daughter entered high school that I wanted more for her than what I had provided. Read more>>

Laura Gaddo | Social Media Content Creator

I pride myself on finding consistent authenticity in my work and in what I create, especially when representing a brand or company with their own unique identity and needs. As in my interior design career, I work directly with my clients to create a palette and mood for their brand and products that carries on month after month. Read more>>

Shae Rowe | Content Creator & Blogger

I believe that the most important factor behind my success has been putting myself out there, and challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and push myself creatively. When I first began thinking about creating my own blog and becoming an influencer, I was incredibly intimidated and scared to show my ideas to the world. Read more>>

Jeff Loeb | General Manager, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Almost ten years ago we decided to survey every customer who would offer their thoughts regarding what they valued about our theatre. That active listening taught us that our brand was way more than just the shows that played our stage. Everyone loves a good musical and we have learned there is something special about being able to say “I saw it at the Hollywood Pantages.” Read more>>

Ava Milva | Sound and Energy Healer, Spiritual Teacher, Founder of ETHERICA

I feel the most important factor behind my success is the fact that I never gave up. When I was first starting on my spiritual journey I didn’t know where it would take me but I kept following my heart and trusting the process. I have always believed that it is important to live a life that we love and feel fulfilled in so I couldn’t settle doing a job or career that I wasn’t passionate about. Read more>>

Gandom Mizban | Artists (painter)

The answer is Love Love to portray everything in life, successes, failures, sorrows, resentments, sufferings, joys and all the imaginations of our minds about life and the environment around me. I think anyone can paint, painting is an inherent art in us, you just have to cultivate it. Painting gives me the feeling of being God, when I create a work of my own and I can depict all these feelings. I can’t see a better factor for my sexist than being in love with my job. Read more>>

Johnny Jay Lee | Actor, Writer, & Nerd

I’ve found that there are 3 factors at play whenever I have experienced personal success: faith, humor, and blind leaps into the unknown. 1. Faith in God’s love and his ability to take care of me no matter what happens; no matter if I get the big auditions I have been dreaming about or if I never work in the entertainment industry again–just knowing He has me covered gives me the freedom to take risks and boldly pursue my career. Read more>>

Jonathan Zillman | Hip-Hop Artist (J-Theo)

When I think about success and what it means to my artistry and brand I really try to just be as ever changing as possible, but at the same time maintaining my ground and my vision as a whole. Even though I’m not a world renowned Hip-Hop artist I still treat every move and decision like; booking shows, studio time, photo shoots, video shoots, interviews etc. Read more>>

Trent Park | Recording Artist & Creative Director

I think the most important factor behind my success is understanding that the “feeling” of success will change in definition every day and that consistency is key to creating an artistic identity. I think the coolest thing about my brand is it wasn’t defined too early. Read more>>

Jen Oliak | Fine Jewelry Designer, Concierge Jeweler

Ounce of Salt Jewelry’s mission is to make shopping for fine jewelry less intimidating. No Shade, Only Sparkle. Offering concierge services in fine jewelry available to anyone. OOSJ is redefining the jewelry industry by offering more transparency and education. OOSJ features clean lines, and updated, sophisticated classics with a twist. Read more>>

Melissa Webb | Wedding & Event Coordinator / CEO

I believe the most important factors behind my success are family, faith, and humility. Each factor has a key part in my success but most important is family. At a young age, my parents were individuals of unlimited talents. As a little girl, I would see my parents actively planning or organizing an event and while helping them I learned all the ways to successfully organize all events. Read more>>

Natashia ‘TOSH’ Blach | Owner; Designer @ GYPSYPOSH BY TOSH

Allowing the customer to really fall in love with the pieces and not going for the ‘hard sell’ Creating pieces that speak for themselves, the best materials, prompt repairs (when & if ever necessary) and overall attention to customers and feedback. We trust the process this much and have never had to go for quantity over quality, or rushing items out of fear of not keeping up with sales/volume. We have thrived on a kind of ‘open exclusivity’— whomever this brand ‘speaks to’ is in the Club. Read more>>

Liz Favini | Founder & Creative Director of Flow State Design Studio

I began my career as a graphic designer/art director, working for magazines, in agencies, and with big brands, yet I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. It didn’t seem like people were recognizing the heart and soul I was putting into my work. I eventually reached my limit and decided to take a leap of faith and go out on my own and start my own boutique branding agency. My goal became to use my artistic talents to help people and make an impact and touch people’s hearts. My mission was for my artwork to have purpose and meaning. Read more>>

Dr. Marquisha Frost | CEO & Owner, Queens Do Things Inc.

I think the most important factor behind my personal and brand success has been faith. No matter how dark, how complicated, how challenging or impossible a thing seems or feels, I don’t give up. I don’t give in. I trust the process and I trust God for victory because I know that I am doing the work he has purposed me to do. Read more>>

Devika Wickremesinghe | Pilates Instructor+ Performing Artist

i can feel my body tighten a little as i choose this question/choose to ponder the language of “success” and “brand”. feels crunchy, and tight, like air is being sucked out. the way my body feels when i read the words “late-stage capitalism” . my body also believes people want good things. Read more>>