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.

Joe Mikoli | Photographer & Graphic Designer

Being in the creative field for over 15 years, I believe the most important factor in the success of my brand is my commitment to quality of the creative work I produce. My commitment to quality is something I live by for my clients. I always make sure my work yields the best results and will always do whatever it takes to get the job done well. .Always believe in yourself and your process. Read more>>

Jill Zachman | Artist, Lead Scent Maker, Founder

J.Pera is a Los Angeles-based creative scent studio. J.Pera’s core purpose is to develop unique, small-batch products and experiences driven by compelling narratives. We are known for capturing the interest of intrepid people of all backgrounds. We do this by translating intriguingly unique stories into scents tailored to bold personalities of all types. J.Pera’s success is in knowing its customer, their stories, and the types of narratives that appeal to them. All of this richly textured information is considered when crafting our unexpected scents for our intrepid customers. Not only are our customers intrepid, J.Pera itself is known for its bold and intrepid explorations of diverse geographic locations and heritages in search of intriguing narratives. We translate these experiences into unconventional and surprisingly unexpected scents which may slightly disorient yet strongly appeal. Read more>>

Rahul Alim | Digital Marketer & Agency Coach

To be honest, building my team was one of the best things I ever did for my agency and for myself. Surrounding myself with talented and dedicated people has enabled me to focus on things like developing company-wide strategies and long-term goals, as well as thinking about ways we can grow our client base. It’s important to surround yourself with successful, talented people. I began by hiring great people under me, but the key to my success and the success of my agency has been delegation. I learned early on that while I am good at some things, there are a lot of other things I’m not as good at. Read more>>

Wells Brown | Artist

So much of my life has been lead by coincidences and serendipitous occurrences. The slightest change in my past and I would be in a completely different place in life. For me the most important factor that has lead me to this point is keeping myself open. Allowing the, at times, chaotic directions of my life, take me to where it wants to go and trusting that the outcome will be worth it. Read more>>

Libby Amber Walker | Libby Amber Walker Social Media Content Creator

For as long as I can remember, I had a creative soul. I would memorize lyrics to songs and lines to movies and monologues from school skits. Yet I struggled when it came to studying for subjects like math and science. So I would create rap songs and do extra credit presentations to make the subjects more interesting. Once a devoted teacher helped me realize I was an audible learner, it helped me hone those listening skills and earn my way into a BFA performance program in college at University at Buffalo. I loved the acting process, and soon found my niche through internships in talent and casting management. I was blessed to acquire an amazing mentor, Alan Zweibel, for a senior year project in spring 2020, who helped develop my natural comedic nature. But then the pandemic hit. Read more>>

Christina Scavuzzo | Yoga Entrepreneur

When I started my business, the most important factor behind my success was the consistency and commitment. I started offering yoga in the park down the street from my house during the pandemic. After 25 weeks straight, battling the self doubt, I realized the only thing I could control was showing up. The community donation based classes magnetized a powerful tribe of humans all dedicated to healing themselves from the inside out. Read more>>

Tesha Smith | Brand Strategist & Social Media Marketer

My resilience and dedication are the most important factors behind the success of my brand. No matter what obstacles I face, I never quit. I just use the obstacles as fuel and wisdom to push me further in my pursuit of my goals. Read more>>

Buppy. | Music Artist, Songwriter, Producer

The most important factor behind my successes thus far has been keeping my head down and pushing forward, ignoring any criticisms I receive and not getting lost in the competition that surrounds me. Often I see people wear themselves down over cynical comments made by peers, this is something I was victim to years ago. I worked past it though, and made sure I have enough love for myself and my craft to combat any negative outside influence. Read more>>

Cznae Simms | Esthetician

The most important factor behind my success is creating my own generation wealth. While my brand is inspiring woman to be creative , independent and following their dreams and aspirations. Read more>>