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.

Lisa McMillan | Owner & Founder

The most important factor behind the success of our brand is trust from our customers that we are making the best, healthiest treats for their best friends. Read more>>

Martise Moore | The Run Faster Coach

The most important factor behind my success is my ability to get clients fast, noticeable results. Read more>>

Jamaal Lewis | Model, Actor & CEO

I think just like with anything else in life, consistency.Showing up every day with a positive mentality and overcoming adversity along the way. But above all else staying grounded in Faith. Read more>>

Henok Negash | Magician, Entertainer & Social Worker

In magic, most magicians focus so much on the trick (the technical and methodological requirements). After that, they usually focus on a traditional presentation that they hope will tie the magical routine together. I feel that I stand out because I’m more interested in presenting magic routines that have presentational topics about myself and what happens in society. I discuss my exotic mixed background in one routine and then I delve into how a married couple first met while on stage. I believe these presentations work because they are “authentic”. These are topics that people think about on a day to day basis and they are topics that society is trying to figure out. To see a presentation, please click on the link in my signature: Penn & Teller Fool Us. Attached are some photos as well. Please let me know what the next steps are. Read more>>

David An | Founder

I personally can vouch that there isn’t one single important factor when it comes to the success of a small business. Success comes through a balance of resilience, networking, customer care, and employee morale. First of all, any business isn’t going to go according to plan. Especially a small business. When one aspect of the business teeters, the whole ship rocks. I found comfort in treating change like a game. The moment something changes, it becomes a puzzle to figure it out and repair it as soon as I can. Definitely try to find ways to make challenges amusing, it will become your saving grace when things start to not go according to plan regularly. Small business doesn’t have the liberty of having an endless supply of capital. So, your network of colleagues, friends, family becomes vital to your success. They can provide insight, creativity, emotional support, and so much more. Read more>>

Kirsten Pannell | Life Designer, Spiritual Success Coach & Community Activist

Melanated Moments was created by the people for the people. I follow a three “C” philosophy; Connect, Community, and Conquer: We must connect the community in order to conquer the disparities that have been placed upon us time and time again. When Melanated Moments was placed into my heart and hands I had no idea what doors it would open nor what paths it would lead me down. I had one goal in mind which was to offer the people in the low economic communities that surround me access to holistic and natural healing. See where I am from, we are infested with liquor stores, smoke shops, and a McDonalds on almost every other corner. It wasn’t until I was working in Santa Monica ( a more prominent city in Los Angeles, CA) that my eyes were slapped open to see how disproportionately affected my community was from that of a nearby city. Read more>>

Zaira Miluska | Content Creator

I believe that the most important factor behind my work and success has been my passion through sharing, listening and building community. I put my heart into my work and I’m so happy when others are able to see my passion through my work but they can also see themselves in my work, too. Although I was a very shy kid growing up, my parents always encouraged me to lead with my heart and constantly reminding me that whatever projects or career I want to take, to do everything with heart and compassion. It’s kind of corny–I know–but I truly believe that if you put your heart and passion into anything you want to accomplish, it will definitely work in your favor and the best outcome from this is meeting amazing people who later on you can call your friends or maybe family. Please keep going, listen to your heart and be patient. Read more>>

Kaori Suzuki | Photographer

My main focus in photography is to highlight the most positive qualities of my subjects and express them with a specific lighting approach and attention to composition details. I really enjoy the process of shaping the image and bringing the best out of the person or product I am photographing until I get to the point where these qualities are best captured, and I can deliver a photo that energizes everyone involved in the shoot. Read more>>

Joshua Evans | Camp Director & Improv Instructor

It’s 100% about relationships and personality for my business, and I believe that the two go hand in hand. I have to cultivate and grow a relationship with the parents of the kids that I teach, all while having extremely limited interaction with these parents. The only way to accomplish this is to showcase an amazing, energetic, fun-loving, and magnetic personality for their kids to enjoy. If I can create an environment and personality that the kids look forward to on a daily basis, then I’ve created fans out of these kids. These fans go home and tell their parents all about the crazy, fun, silly teacher they have, and then the parents begin to form an unspoken relationship with me through them. By having the kids become fans of my program, the parents become fans of me, and a trust is created. Without this trust, earned through personality and our relationship, my brand would wither and die. Read more>>

Holly Seidel | Craft Hairdresser

The first thought that came to my head when asked this question is Authenticity. When I first decided to jump into the hair world in LA after leaving Seattle to move here for my husband’s career I knew it was going to be a challenge and nothing was just going to fall into my lap. I needed to stand out and to brand myself, so I started an IG account like many other hairdressers. I started looking at all of the established influencers, artists and well known hairdressers who had already been there before me and so many followers and success. This can easily have you comparing yourself ,which can quickly lead you to feeling overwhelmed, inadequate or lacking what it takes to “make it” whatever that looks like to you. I Decided quickly that I would not let myself get sucked into that negative mindset. Read more>>

Marco Cerretelli | Tattooer

I think the fact that I’ve always been true to myself and to my beliefs when it comes to the art of tattooing. If you learn Trade the way you’re supposed to, and if you dedicate yourself to understand the true meaning and the value of it, you then possess the recipe for success. If you mix that with almost 30 years of experience and an excellent customer service…well, then you really got what it takes to be on top of your game. Read more>>

Tal Orion | Event Designer & Producer

One of the things that makes me successful is the intimate and genuine connection I forge with my clients. It’s not uncommon to see me on the edge of the wedding aisle, choked with tears as the bride walks toward the groom. If you didn’t know any better, you could easily mistake me for a member of the bride’s family. During the process of planning an event, I become a part of the family’s journey – their joy, their anxiety, their excitement. Just this year, I was planning a lavish 400-person wedding for a lovely couple when Covid turned our world upside down. So, like everyone else, we had to pivot and rethink the entire event: a different date, different scale. Then we were forced to cancel, again. By the third time I had to plan the wedding, I was so personally invested in this couple that as I watched them (finally!) stand under the wedding canopy to begin their lives together in this mad world, I was flooded with emotion. Read more>>

Jackie Romero | Makeup Artist & Hairstylist

I feel what makes me different from others in my industry is that I truly care about creating a relationship with my clients. I find a way to. relate to them on a personal level which makes the whole experience that much more meaningful and enjoyable. This has created a lot of success for me especially with doing a lot of weddings I am able to give my Brides a calm morning of getting ready before all the excitement. This has also resulted in a lot of referrals for my business because if one client has a great experience they are likely to tell their friends and family. Read more>>

Nathania Stambouli | Yoga Instructor & Founder

The most important factor behind my success and the success of the various brands I’ve developed over the years is AUTHENTICITY. I never try to be something I’m not. As a yoga teacher in a world of hyper-spiritual yoga teachers who often talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, I loudly proclaim that there are parts of the yoga teachings that have changed my life, but I don’t claim to be a spiritual guru or that I can lead you to enlightenment. What I DO focus on is the parts of it that have changed my life, and I’m authentically me – a yoga teacher that curses, drinks iced coffee (sometimes while teaching!) and is SUPER passionate about installing new beliefs in my students. I stand for eradicating “I can’t” from my students’ vocabularies and empowering them to believe that they CAN do anything they set their minds to – whether it be achieving a handstand, quitting their jobs to live their passion, leaving a relationship that they’ve grown comfortably uncomfortable in or doing anything else that presses them up against their comfort zone. Read more>>

Kort Havens | Director & Photographer

Relationships are the most important factor behind any success I’ve ever had. People want to attribute success to talent, hard work, luck, or any number of things, but no one gets anywhere in life without other people. The only reason I am where I am is because of the friendships, mentors, and relationships I’m lucky to have. The lessons learned from others, introductions from friends, referrals for projects, and the camaraderie between my peers has allowed me to build a career and help other people build theirs too. Read more>>

Tetsuya Koyama | Musician, Guitarist & Composer

For me, it’s been collaboration. After the Covid pandemic began, I wasn’t able to perform live, so I was instead making music at home in isolation. I would produce every part of the song by myself—every instrument, the mixing, the editing, all of it. I could do it, but it was very draining, and I didn’t feel particularly inspired. Later on in the quarantine period, I started reaching out to other artists. Making music with other people is far more rewarding, and it gives me a better understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses. Read more>>

Djosefin Maurer-Soto | Baker & Owner

Attention to detail and personal connection with my costumers. Read more>>

Ryan Darton | Photo and Video Booth Creator

When I launched Time Machine I focused heavily on two things; attention to detail and community involvement. Because photo booths are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles, I knew that I had to create something unique, fun, and easy for the client and their guests to use. I chose to build a new photo booth system from the ground up so that I could have complete control over the appearance of our equipment and the software behind it. Having custom-built the software and hardware has allowed us to offer new photo booth experiences and customizations for our clients based on their needs. I consider Time Machine a photo + video EXPERIENCE company -not a photo booth company- because Time Machine creates experiences for our clients, not just branded photos. Since its launch in 2015, Time Machine has sponsored many education and non-profit events. It feels great to give back to the community and help these important organizations raise awareness for their causes. Read more>>

Daniel Shemtob | Serial Entrepreneur & CEO

The most important factor for our companies success is staying true to our values and empowering the people that help us obtain success. When I take a look around at the organization I built over the past 10 years I am honored by the people who decided to help get the company to where it is. It’s those selfless acts in connection with high ethics and consistency that makes a brand persevere over time, building a legacy. No single person can grow a large organization and as soon as you invest in your people, build the support and boundaries, you are able to succeed! Read more>>

Ivan Vazquez | Operations Officer

Consistency. People have a lot on their plate, juggling work, school, daycare perhaps. The less people have to think about a decision the easier it is for them to make it. We don’t do much if any advertising, so it’s important for us to treat every customer with respect and show them how we can provide value to them by providing great service, great products, at pricing they want to pay. By providing consistent (good!) service, customers share their experience with their family and friends. We’ve been around for nearly 40 years, and we’ve gotten this far by consistently providing our customers with experiences they go on to share with their love ones. It’s not uncommon for us to see 3rd sometimes even 4th generation customer come through our doors. We’re not always going to be the cheapest place in town, but when your business is able to provide reliable service at a fair price, customers more often than not are willing to pay for that consistency. Read more>>