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.


To me, success is having the freedom to pursue the work and life you want for yourself. If you can spend the day working on something that brings you fulfillment, that day was a success. Read more>>

Rachel O’Donnell | Artist

Success is the day you crown yourself. As an artist, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of creating career benchmarks that give you and your work value. You’re waiting for that big gallery, that famous art magazine or the top art critic to tell you that your work is ‘worthy’. When you take this approach, success will forever be a moving goal post as those things are changing all the time. There are also so many different factors to success as a creative that you’ll drive yourself crazy by trying to quantify it (Is it by number of followers? The dollar amount of private commissions? Being represented by a well-known gallery or collected by the right collector?). Once you decide that your power and therefore your success can only come from you, you protect yourself from the feeling that others can take it away.  Success is quite simply, being able to create work that you feel proud of and having the wherewithal to keep going even on days when you doubt yourself. Read more>>

Paige Russell | Artist & Owner of ELOI

I consider myself successful if I am continuing to evolve and push the boundaries of my art. Stagnancy is the enemy of artists. I need to constantly try new mediums, applications, techniques in order to feel like I’m moving forward, regardless of financial gain. Read more>>

Guy Rutembesa | Artist/Actor/Entrepreneur

I define success by doing what makes you feel alive. What makes you excited to wake up in the morning and go after your goals and build whatever it is you’re passionate about. I cannot imagine living a life where you’re always dreading waking up in the morning and living for the weekends because that’s when you feel most alive. Don’t get me wrong majority of people have to go through that phase of dreading what they do while they figure out their long term plan but definitely find a way to climb out of that pit because it’s no way to live as far as I’m concerned. Peace of mind and happiness is how I define success. Read more>>

Cesar Alan | Award Winning Hit Songwriter, Musician, Producer-Artist/ Purpose Activist.

Success is not a destination but a state of being. I believe it isnt something you arrive to but more a feeling and mindset. Success is the consistency of many failures, of many no’s but all it takes is one yes. Read more>>

Jonathan Ohayon | Entrepreneur

Success is Happiness! Waking up and being in line with your values, knowing that today, your actions will help the world to be a better place. Read more>>

Makha Mthembu | Actor, Artist and Creator of “Sip & Tell”

having a roof over my head and waking up knowing there is food, feels HUGE, because the whole year has not been that way. When I tell people I’m an actor, their response is always the same, “Have I seen you in something?” As though that is success. To an actor, paying your bills doing nothing but acting is Success. To me this year, being healthy, and having a home is my greatest dream come true. Read more>>

Kati Olexiewicz | Co-Owner, Event Coordinator, And Toppings Baker for Mother’s Milk Truck

Since the age of 8, the now co-owners of Mother’s Milk Truck have been brainstorming business ideas together. In a small notebook, with childish handwriting, are lofty ideas of record stores, movie theatres, restaurants, and millions of other entrepreneurial aspirations. The only common theme among these ideas was that Kati and Devan would do it together, because owning a business with your best friend is the ultimate goal, regardless of what the business would become. Success in life doesn’t mean being obsessed with your job, it means being content with your life and work balance, contributing something unique to the world that you yourself created and are proud of, and being able to have a smile on your face while you face all the hardships that go along with the insecurity of small business life. Mother’s Milk Truck’s mission statement is to use high quality ingredients with sustainability and customers in mind. Read more>>