We asked some of the city’s rising stars about why they think they have been so successful and we’ve shared their responses below.

Rachel Thundat | Actress, Writer & Producer

I think the most important factor behind my success, and success in general, is being true to yourself. People resonate with authenticity, and the truer you are to you, the more people will resonate with and respect you. Never try to cater to what you think others want or expect of you. That won’t make you happy in the long run. Once you start trusting yourself, and trusting that you are unique and that you are enough, whether people agree with your ideas or not, you’ll be able to truly and authentically express yourself. Things will start to fall into place and you will find more freedom to live your life the way you want to. Happiness is all relative. We can’t focus on comparing ourselves with others. We each have a unique journey and timeline. Patience is key. But, patience with persistence. You have to believe in yourself and your goals. You have to work hard and push the envelope. Read more>>

Kara Bertok | Karaoke Host & Emcee

I would say the most important factor behind my success is my faith in myself. As a leader you have to recognize strengths in those around you, on your team and, most importantly, in yourself. I’ve worked hard to learn from my mistakes, take advice from others and strive for improving every step of the way. I absolutely LOVE what I do! But, it’s never about me – it’s about the audience. When I keep that at the forefront of building my business I know I’ll continue to succeed. Read more>>

Theresa Cheng | Female Entrepreneur & Music School Owner

The most important factors behind the success of Opus Music School are our ability to make learning music fun, and the creative opportunities we provide for our music students. Whether it’s our use of custom educational games to teach music, or a performance opportunity at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Opus Music School is unlike any other local music school because of our unique way of inspiring kids and adults to learn music. We also focus on the diversity and inclusion of our staff and students. In one of our teaching rooms, we have a banner that says “All Are Welcome Here.” We believe music is a universal language that can bring together people of various cultures and backgrounds, and we look forward to welcoming all to our school to learn music. Read more>>

Betsy Uhler Colombo | Dance Company Director

Without a doubt the most important factor behind the success of our brand is the incredible people that participate in LA Unbound as dancers, choreographers, and volunteers. Participants are drawn to our company because we provide the unique opportunity for adult dancers to have performance opportunities in a welcoming and non-competitive environment, but what encourages them to stick around year after year is the wonderful people they meet throughout the process and friendships that are formed. LA Unbound dancers become fast friends and frequently develop relationships that extend outside of the rehearsal studios. We are cast mates, friends, support networks, zoom chat buddies, and group text commiserators. Read more>>

Shea Welsh | Guitarist, Composer, Producer & Educator

The most important factor behind my success I would say is tenacity. I have developed the ability to persist, stay consistent and remain focused and determined through all of the highs and lows of the music business. There is a certain amount of natural ability or talent that is necessary to participate as a performer and creative in the music business but after you rise into that 90th percentile, you then need the ability to continue to get up every day, work on your craft including practicing, songwriting, promotion, touring, teaching, arranging, producing etc. while also taking care of your personal relationships and your relationship with a healthy mind and body. This process is constantly in flux and ever evolving as technology, societal tastes, life circumstances and factors beyond one’s control such as the recent pandemic present themselves. Read more>>

Holly Eve | CEO, Founder & Creative Director

Resilience and kindness are two key factors behind my success and the success of Madame Lemy. I have overcome a lot of adversity in my life, including an addiction. Today, I am 10 years sober. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come during my entrepreneurial journey: a heartbreaking divorce and severe accident that almost paralyzed me. Both occurred within the year I was launching my business. These experiences caused me panic, depression and extreme anxiety. Luckily, the grit I attained over years of surviving trauma and hardship helped me cope and build what I have today. Healing from trauma taught me two seemingly contradictory lessons, how to excel in chaos and when to slow down and be gentle. Today, Madame Lemy is thriving. Read more>>

Rembrandt Flores | Founder, Investor & Advisor

I think one of the most important factors behind my success is my ability to reinvent throughout my career. Our world is constantly changing but the pace of change has increased exponentially. The way we adopt and adapt to new technology far outpaces 10 or 20 years ago so if we don’t change with it, then we will just get left behind and become obsolete. I choose to NOT be obsolete! Read more>>

Rochelle Jaleh | Business Owner & Executive Director

Archive Rentals is a small business that thrives because of the company culture and the team behind the brand. Although Archive has 3 branch locations, 2 in the United States (San Clemente, CA and Austin, TX) and 1 in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico we are all extremely tight knit and are constantly communicating. When one branch is facing a hurdle, it’s communicated with the other locations to see if similar circumstances were overcome and how. We fight as one group for the greater good of the company as a whole and lend a hand where it is needed. We’ve also instilled an environment where successes are cheered company wide. When morale is high, we believe our customers reap the most from our creativity and our willingness to go above and beyond. We celebrate milestones with our team like new baby arrivals, birthdays and home purchases. Read more>>

Joie Shettler | Singer, Dancer, Voice Over Actress & Pilates Instructor

I believe the most important factor for success is to do what you love, do what brings you joy and energy! There will often be some no’s and obstacles in your path, but if you lead with your heart and work hard at what you do, success will come! There is no greater joy than to love your work! Read more>>

Therese Allison | Author & Former Businesswoman

As a woman in business, using a Velvet Glove was my signature. Fully aware that I was a woman in a man’s world, I embraced being feminine while also staying firm. My Number One tactic was to be myself. People seemed to naturally trust me when I was consulting with them, and they trusted me more the longer we worked together. I also used humor. Make people laugh (Velvet), but also be smart (Glove). Laughter disarms ego’s, which is an important tool for success when working in a largely male industry. I once heard that the comedienne Lucille Ball was dumb as a fox. Despite her trademark silliness, she was the first woman to run a production studio in Hollywood. When you know your worth and speak up for it, the combination of soft and strong as a woman will take you far in your life and career. Read more>>

Roger Artola | Director & Cinematographer

I think there are many factors for the success of my production company Art LA. I think the ultimate factor would be to simply have fun on set, be passionate about what you do. I feel that when I can have fun on set I can be in a head space of pure creativity. There is no egos involved and I feel that my clients can always feel my sense of excitement and passion, this ultimately gets them excited and keeps them coming back time and time again. So the best advice that I can give is to always love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show because your passion and excitement is contagious and a set full of passion will always lead to an amazing project. Read more>>

Brad Byrd | Musician & Artist

I think the fact that I have maintained a steady stream of content in recent years has resonated and excited my base. The days of me releasing a record every few years is over. I have hundreds of songs and paintings, and there’s simply not enough time to get them all seen and heard! My music and paintings have kind of meshed into one which has allowed for significant positive growth with my followers. I’ve also kind of honed my sound and style so folks are starting to recognize my work a bit more, I think. Other than that, I generally have a message of truth and honesty that is consistent with my art and I can only hope people bond with that. Read more>>

Teri Ryan DeVore | Floral Designer & Owner

My Dad and Mom owned an advertising agency for 30 years and my dad instilled in me that in business the number one most important thing ever is your client and what they need. So answering people right away and bending over backwards to accommodate them is what we do. Flowers are so emotional and can be very important to people as a way of expressing themselves with more than just words. There have been many times we have moved everything around to fulfill requests no matter what and this is true whether its for an A list star or a teacher or a bartender or an 17 year old getting flowers for their prom date. We make sure everyone is equally important. Read more>>

Erik Pampalone | Director of Patient Experience

The patient experience. We have always focused on providing an experience that starts before you arrive and extends to after you leave. We strive to provide a seamless experience that has our patients feeling cared for in every way possible. This means we listen first and communicate what we hear to everyone that touches our patient experience. Doing this means we can customize the experience in unique ways beyond just providing exceptional safety and amazing services and procedures. One thing I love to do is find out what music a patient likes to listen to, and make sure that music is playing in their room during their treatment. Every time the patient comes back, they get to enjoy something they already love. That attention to detail is a key component to our success and give us great joy when we know we have made a difference in someone’s physical and mental health. Read more>>

Matthew Gielen | Digital Video Strategist

It’s a little cliché at this point, but never stop learning. It’s always tempting to revert to what has worked in the past. However, both audiences, and the platforms that serve those audiences are always evolving. Therefore, to be successful, a person must always be evolving as well especially in terms of their understanding of the world around them. Read more>>

Jenette Goldstein | Co-Founder & CEO

The business grew from a burning desire to right a wrong. The simple fact that the segment women who most needed a good bra – a well-made, beautiful, and properly-fitted bra – were the most poorly served. Seems ridiculous, right? When you don’t feel seen (oh, we were LOOKED at) you either become depressed or angry. I chose the latter and decided to create a place for us, the ‘over-developed and under-served,’ that focused solely on D cups and up, personal brafitting service, and quality products. Eleven years and five stores later, we still don’t sell our bras online, holding true to our core values of quality, service and kindness. I mean, what’s the fun in running a warehouse? Read more>>

Nolan Markey | Composer & Orchestrator

I stopped trying so hard to impress other people. It took me a while to come to the conclusion that constantly trying to impress everyone is completely futile, and it’s contradictory to who I am as a person. I’m extremely laid back. Now that I think of it, there are people that I’ve been working with for ~5 years who have probably never seen me wear shoes. Once I started embracing that – working for my own satisfaction and sticking to the more relaxed approach that’s guided me through life – my career really started taking off. Realizing that my personality and this career aren’t mutually exclusive was a huge step forward for me. Read more>>

Jose Montalvo | President & CEO

Always be honest with your clients! Consistency is a huge factor for any business success. Read more>>

Sam Milgrom | CEO

Integrity. Delivering on the promise of what you are offering. Striving to be the best without sacrificing quality. Treating those who work for you and those you serve (clients/customers) they way you would want to be treated. Read more>>