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.

Sophie Felix | Founder & CEO

An important factor behind the success of my brand is definitely the quality and professionalism of myself and the clients I represent and manage. I have personally spent a significant amount of time working with the best talent I could find throughout the world. It’s actually funny because I didn’t really do much scouting. All of my current models and clients were the ones who approached me first to represent them. I think by working with high caliber models who have already been featured in high profile campaigns has given me a great advantage and look. For example I have been managing model Philip Fusco who is based in New York since 2014 and this year I added a few international models to work as their USA representative such as Marek Lichtenberg based in London. Read more>>

Eugeniia Gul | Self-Published Author & Creator

The most important factor of success is self-belief. Success isn’t about the money, not necessarily about connections it’s about that feeling of peace of mind and self-belief that can’t be bought. Read more>>

Dominique Gonzales | Founder

I think it’s important to surround yourself with successful, passionate people who have an open mind. We have a great team who have been with us for years and are staples to our success. I’m continually coming up with new ideas, and they are crucial to making the vision tangible. It also helps that we get to taste cocktails all the time. Read more>>

Andrew and Katherine Trinkle | CEO

We believe that establishing genuine and strong relationships with experts is the most vital aspect behind our success. We build friendship not to expand our business, but to grow professionally and personally. One cannot build its empire on its own. Guidance from successful people from different aspects of the industry is important for growth. They lead you to develop a more efficient process and smarter business strategies for higher quality products, better service and to prevent losses. Team work leads to constant learning, continuous process improvement, which are key factors to success. Read more>>

Amanda Samoyloff | Publicist

Integrity. I think the most prevailing aspect of my success comes from doing what I said I was going to do and doing it flawlessly. When it comes to PR, nothing is guaranteed, but the person that is hired to do your PR should have a flawless work ethic. I don’t have the massive catalogs that some of these larger companies may have, but I have the integrity to give 120% to each client. I care about their success just as much as I care about the success of my own business. I am also candid about what I can and can’t do. If a client comes to me with a proposal that I cannot execute at the highest capacity, I will consult them to go to someone else. I believe honesty is vital in this world, and I would never take anyone’s money just because it might benefit me at the moment. Read more>>

Tensie J. Taylor | Author & Higher Education Professional

The most important factor behind my success is the way I treat people. With every individual with whom I have the pleasure of meeting, I treat him/her with the utmost dignity and respect. Whether the person is the CEO of a company, Dean of a college, or a custodial worker, each person plays a pivotal role in their respective careers and society, and I ascertain they know they are valued. Someone might have more status, money, or a higher position, but that does not make that individual better than anyone else. In addition, I use my manners and say, “Yes ma’am,” “No sir,” “Please” and “Thank you.” I am from North Carolina, and my parents raised me to “mind my manners” and be respectful, part of the southern hospitality. Read more>>

Tara Mont | Podcast Host & Founder

With every decision I make in my life, I aim to be authentic and true to my core values. With that said, I believe that the most important factor behind the success of my work is authenticity. From sharing my own story and thoughts to creating an open space for my guests to do so, I aim to inspire listeners to look within and connect with who they believe they are at their core. Especially when it comes to business, I’ve found that being true to the mission of one’s brand is most important. I do not believe in “faking it ‘til you make it.” Rather, I believe in “being authentic, embracing failure, making mistakes until you make it, and then keep being authentic.” I have never believed in buying followers or collaborating with brands whose mission I do not align with. Read more>>

Monica Alvarez- Lagania | Founder & Managing Director

There is no secret to it but hardwork made it all happen. Putting work day in and day out while having patience and remaining enthusiastic that everything will work out. One of the most important thing too is passion. Without working with your heart, your business will not last that long. Read more>>

Food With Bros Robert Bui & Kha Truong | Food Bloggers

It’s hard for us to say that there’s one clear cut factor behind our success because there’s been so many elements that’s contributed to our growth and success. We would feel bad if we left out any factors that has helped us and not talk about them because without them, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today. Putting in CONSISTENT work was what allowed for our brand to grow to where it is today. Just show up. Looking to improve each and every day is important for growth and that’s what we feel helped get our brand to be where it is today. Even on days where we didn’t feel like doing the work, we did it anyways. Read more>>

Natalie Jambazian | Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

The most important factor behind my business is to bring awareness to our community by teaching self-love in order for people to value themselves as much as they value others. My contribution as a mental health therapist stems from my own inner work. Growing up in an immigrant family as an Armenian American wasn’t easy. My parents came from couple dollars in their pockets and created a business in America for a better life for me. It was then when I realized being successful was so important. I felt the need to make money to become someone in this world. After much self-discovery it had hit me one day that I struggled being successful because I was running after a mindset that wasn’t making me happy. A strong mental Health is one of the most valuable resources you can have. Read more>>

Karen Beaches | Dragartist

My success is finding a creative team that I trust and enriches in my artistic growth. It is important to surround yourself with individuals who understand and support the same vision. Living in the city of angels, I am fortunate enough to be exposed to a wide variety of artists that inspire me daily. Countless people proclaim “it takes a village,” but when it comes to the art of drag “it takes an army.” Read more>>

Jason Lee Bruns | Drummer, Producer & Bandleader

The most important factor behind by success and brand is that I did my own thing. I did this by not trying to mimic everyone else and “fit in” but rather to just follow my heart and passions and do it my way with how I wanted to do it. Then to make it happen, I put together a very talented team to bring my vision to fruition in the best way possible. So basically a unique idea + a solid team = success. Read more>>

Cynthia Igne | Creative Baker

The most important factor behind my success is my why factor. When I started my business, I had no other options. I literally had no other choice to make this business work, or I was going to lose it all. My business not helped me get back on my feet, keep my home and get back to work, but it made me realize what I am fully capable of accomplishing with just some hard work and dedication. At this point my dreams and goals have exceeded way beyond, just a side hustle. Working in the social services field for the past 13 years there are things I have never and will never accomplish if I continue working for someone else. Read more>>

Julia Layton | Fashion Designer with Engineering & Art Background

I think the most important factor behind my success is my ability to easily switch gears between creative and technical tasks. Coming from an art and engineering background, I have taught myself how to categorize my tasks at hand into either of these categories. I simply see it as two different modes of thinking, and I believe that we can teach ourselves to incorporate both ways of reasoning to optimize our work. A more scientific way of thinking about this is distinguishing the difference between convergent and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking is like problem solving, when logic is used to eliminate other potential answers and arrive at the single best solution. Read more>>

Ricco Burris | Fashion designer & Entrepreneur

My ability to learn from others and my obsession with learning. You have to be willing to be a student. I read, study, gather as much information about your industry, marketing, advertising, etc and apply it to my business. Also, falling in love with the process and using “failure” as a learning experience. Read more>>

Edwin Johnson | CEO

The most important factor is the fact that I understand a lot of the challenges many of these youth are facing, because of my past so I have been able to use my life experiences and my skills to help empower youth in the community. This is important because my back story and passion give youth the understanding and the trust in because I have walked a similar path and was able to overcome many of these challenges. Another important factor is that I live my purpose every day by helping these Youth and that grounds and fulfills​ me and keeps my brand alive and kicking. So everything I create under my brand is apart of my purpose but I’m just getting more and more creative with it. Read more>>

Amanda Castilone | Self Love Coach & Breathwork Facilitator

The most important factor behind the success in my business is my mindset without a doubt! I’ve noticed that when I’m worried or anxious, caught up in the small details or the things I don’t have (lack), things do not flow as easily in my business – or my life! But when I’m doing the work to create a positive, supportive and compassionate mindset, I’m able to see things for what they really are, not for the story that my mind makes up about them. In addition, something that I notice many entrepreneurs (including myself) struggle with is money and feeling like they don’t deserve to make good money for their work. Read more>>

Alexis Alegre | DTLA Residential Real Estate Agent

Meticulous attention to detail in regard to knowledge about our local DTLA real estate market: Analyzing property values/trends, knowing differences between neighborhoods & buildings, creating and streamlining processes per each client, understanding and being able to explain contracts, and dedicating hyper-focused attention on client needs/wants while moving toward that goal (maybe even a shifting goal) together. Read more>>

Kristel Arabian | Founder, Leadership committee- Independent Restaurant Coalition, Hospitality United Alliance & Independent Hospitality Coalition

I think the most important factor behind my brand and company is authenticity. There isn’t a larger “strategy” or master plan behind Kitchen Culture; we don’t have consultants in our back pocket with a “vision” for us. It’s just a lot of passion, hard-work and care. We love the hospitality industry, we love linking people up together and we love helping people + companies reach their goals! Authenticity makes things simple; we just do what comes naturally. We aren’t out there chasing a certain type of client to “make a splash” or “hit numbers”. Things develop organically and that way we work with like-minded operators… which we enjoy. Read more>>

Ohla Kristina Gainey | DJ

I’d have to say my eagerness to invest in myself. I’m talking all the way from the beginning to now. Any time I’ve taken that extra step (I.e., paying to gain more knowledge to further my skill set in my field), it’s always paid dividends. Read more>>