Through our work we have been constantly amazed at the incredible things people in every neighborhood are working on. What’s even more exciting is that they all have different stories, backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. That there isn’t a single formula for success means that everyone can take their unique set of strengths and characteristics and turn it into a success story. We recently reached out to some folks we admire and asked them what characteristics they feel are responsible for their success.

Julianna Strickland | Owner, Lifestyle Producer & Host

Authenticity is the number one thing that keeps me grounded and moves Space Camp forward. Everything we do is rooted in a genuine love for organizing and helping people. My team and I authentically love the work we do. We are extremely candid and real with our clients, and this ultimately helps them feel comfortable and build trust with us. We make creative decisions that might look different from what other organizers or designers might do, but our originality is what makes the work fun and keeps new clients flowing in. As a person and a boss, authenticity is also what keeps me grounded and helps my team and I to trust each other and work well together. I’m very honest about my weaknesses (and not shy about my strengths haha), and I work hard to make sure all of my team members feel comfortable bringing their specific skills to the table. Read more>>

La Shaunn Spivey-Angeletti

The most influential skill that has created success for me is my ability to relate to people through my since of humor. I have an innate ability to make people feel comfortable. I make people feel safe enough to share how they truly feel. In turn, I honor my gift by creating opportunities for people to be heard and then I teach them how to dream with their eyes opened. In order to cultivate a person’s dreams we have to hear them out. We have to be willing to tune into their unspoken language. Their world knowledge about fear vs. failure, right vs. wrong, to love vs. being loved. I teach families topics such as love languages, learning styles, and even host family boot camps. All of these tools lead people to seeking more out of life. Everything people experience either drives them to or away from their dreams. Laughter is like medicine. Read more>>

Tyler Chase Glass | Photographer & Owner

I believe that the experience I give my clients is the driving force behind my success. I treat all of my clients like friends (and they eventually become my friends!), I’m there for them from when we first talk all the way past their wedding days, and I deliver rad photos! Whether it’s helping my brides pick out their bridesmaids dresses, giving vendor recommendations, or just texting to say what’s up, I love chatting with my brides any time of day (seriously my husband gets annoyed with me because I’m always on my phone chatting with my couples.). I help put out fires before + on the wedding days, I always have eyelash glue on me, and my services go way past being just a day of photographer. I am super laid back on wedding days which helps to reduce stress on my brides! I strive to give my clients a super fun experience while we are shooting. Read more>>

Raychel Espiritu | Community Director

The most important factor behind my success is living by spiritual principles, specifically the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated. I had a great mentor who taught me “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I can’t be a different person in life and business, I’m one and the same. By practicing kindness and compassion in all aspects of my life, I am able to gain true friends and allies. I’m not being kind because I’m trying to get something out of it, rather, I’m genuinely being kind from my heart because that’s how I believe people should be treated. By carrying this belief into my business, I am able to listen when a customer has a complaint, and instead of getting angry and defensive, I reply with compassion and understanding. As a result, the situation dissolves and we are able to come to a resolution. My mentor used to always say “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” which is absolutely true. Read more>>

Jennifer Kahn | Founder & CEO

For me, it was adding a give back component. Finding a non-profit that I am truly passionate about supporting and knowing that my success is shared with them, makes me work so much harder. TDF (Theatre Development Fund) is a dream non-profit partner. The work they do in accessibility for the, and arts education in schools is incredible, and I am so honored that Scenery Bags get to support them. Read more>>

Kevin Minissian | Founder & CEO

Success for Norchem since our beginning has been defined by one sole principle: customer-centricity. All of our products and services were designed and engineered by putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes, experiencing their problems, and trying to resolve them with technology and process. We serve a very niche industry called Textile Services. It consists of large-scale laundry operators that pick up, clean, sanitize, and deliver textiles for the healthcare, industrial workwear, food service, and hospitality sectors. Our flagship laundry chemical programs and water recycling systems are industry recognized for making their workplaces safer, more efficient, environmentally sustainable and compliant, and less costly to operate. Unlike our competitors, we construct all our water recycling systems, chemical injection systems, and other engineered process systems in all stainless steel for maximum durability. Read more>>

Beth Muraida | Board Member AWH Non-Profit Organization

My success in life has been the ability to volunteer and give back hoping to make a difference in people’s lives by my service. I have been working with non-profits since I was in high school, understanding the value of hard work and dedication to various organizations that need leadership and support. I serve on 5 non-profits currently. I  started a non-profit Exceptional Kids Organization 20+ years ago offering grants to spec. ed teachers, and monthly themed dances for over 200 a month and 500 guests at our annual prom. I am on the board at Ahead With Horses, a non-profit equine therapy organization for which my son with CP has ridden for over 27 years. I served 25 years in PTA, 8 of which I was a president at a school site. I served as CAC board/chair for the SELPA and lobbied for special education funding. Read more>>

Virginia Fair | Design Artisan

It is worth to mention that after extensive survey, clients preferred to connect directly with the artist, hence the name of our company : “Virginia Fair Studios”. Good communication is imperative in our line of work. We also are very diligent in producing exactly what the client envisions. We collaborate closely with the designer creating samples to insure texture, color, and form is exactly what the client wants! That can be rather tricky when it is not clear the look they are striving for. . Because of the above, word of mouth about us is very high. You can see on our website all the testimonials, and half the time we forget to ask for a testimonial-they arrive unsolicited. The most important factor for our business is to deliver what is promised. This means delivering on time and on budget. If it takes us longer on the job then is determined in the bid we take responsibility for that discrepancy. Read more>>

Lilian Alves | Founder & President

We are a small company, but I do not think that size dictates success. Care is, in fact, the driving force of success. At Beantween Coffee, we are successful because we care. When we create personal connections, when we are authentic, and when we relate to the consumer, that is when we succeed. Our success is measured by two things: customer satisfaction and the overall experience they have with us and our coffee. In the new, virtual world of 2020, we as a community are thirsty for relationships with others– we want to feel validated and loved, even if it is over a phone screen. The key to this is to find brands that genuinely care about you and want to connect with you. Each and every day, Beantween strives to foster these strong relationships with our customers, and I truly feel that it is this level of dedication that makes our company so unique. Read more>>

Wayne Gurnick AIFD | Founder & Creative Director

Change, change and more change… The most important factor behind my success has been my ability to change and grow. Armed with a business degree, I began my career in banking and aerospace. While advancing in my corporate career, I had other dreams of owning a floral design company, which I realized when I established Floral Creations By Wayne. Building the company around what is most important to my clients – trust that I would take care of their needs and look after their best interests. This successful and growing business attracted the attention of an investor leading to its sale. Having designed flowers for events for many years, I identified a need for a knowledgeable and reliable source to ease the stress associated with the planning and production of trend-setting weddings and stylish events… another opportunity for change. Read more>>

Nadine Jolson | Image, Design & PR Firm

As a seasoned image architect, brand design specialist, and PR professional, I consult clients every day on the essential three factors that make up a successful brand. Number one: You must genuinely discover what is unique about you/your product/service that sets you apart and focus on that. Many people want to tell everyone everything all at once. I guide my clients to develop a strong campaign highlighting a clear brand message that spotlights their particular qualities. Second: It is vital to understand the audience/consumer you want to attract for your specific business model AND combined with how to strategically and beautifully represent yourself/your business to them. Thirdly, it is crucial to be consistent in your brand messaging across all platforms, your press releases, talking points covered in media interviews, your website, ads, social media, and all of your marketing materials. Read more>>

Ivo Peshev | Mixologist & Cocktail Catering Company Owner

Stating the obvious here, but I believe that success comes to those who are persistent, hard working and ready to sacrifice. I played club soccer since I was 7 years old back home in Bulgaria and I know that growing up in an environment that demands consistent improvement, results and hard work had a major impact on developing my competitive edge and work ethic. Hard work and competing with oneself are definitely the foundation of success (at least in my experience). If you ask me to look beyond the big picture and focus on specific trades that made me and my business successful, I couldn’t single out just one, as entrepreneurship demands a lot – charisma, knowledge, tenacity, good communications skill, creativity, etc. However, I would say that my thirst to learn new skills has been the most important attribute that helped me establish and sustain a successful business. Read more>>

Alexis Bolter | Head of Retail

For me, success is truly about having a workforce that feels supported and happy to be at their job. This has been unusually hard during the pandemic but it quickly brought into focus the importance of concentrating on the safety and well being of the team. I was attracted to the coffee industry because of the creative people who find their way into the space whether it’s as a customer or as a barista. When you think of a customer facing business like hospitality and food service, a happy and fulfilled crew of baristas will pass that on to their customers. It is my job to make sure my staff is protected and equipped to handle the environment they face everyday. If they’re excited for their work journey then the people who come through the door will feel that energy and they’ll return. Read more>>

David Ibrahim | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Trauma and Addiction Specialist & Yoga and Meditation Therapist

Most important for me is that my patients either heal, are on the path to healing, have complete remission from their symptoms or are on the path to complete remission from their suffering. That might seem like a high bar for some Psychotherapists but I’ve spent years training with top clinicians and have studied many forms of somatic therapies and spiritualities, and therapies in general and feel its’ very doable. I do feel a lot of the challenge is on the Therapist to continue growing and evolving with the pace of our modern technology and transformative therapies. And to do the immense work on themselves in Therapy and elsewhere to be as clean a channel as they can to provide healing for patients. And also on the Therapist to learn and have the tools to motivate and assist patients in activating parts of themselves that are driven to get well so they can go to completion of the work. Read more>>

Kim Nguyen | Celebration Specialist & Owner

One of the most important factors behind the success of Kaden and Mimi is that I don’t see myself above or below my clients. We are partners in creating the celebration and I am 100% upfront and honest with them. This creates the feeling of partnership and friendliness. I’ve been so lucky to have really connected with my clients and these factors put an ease to communication which then creates an ease to planning – which often can be pretty stressful. Read more>>

Laarnie Barcelon | Costumer, Stylist & Creative

Individualism. I definitely believe that my individualism has helped me find a healthy balance between my needs as a creative that is oftentimes working in the industry while also still working for myself. Maintaining my individualism has helped me maintain important aspects of my personality and character in ways that is oftentimes easy to overlook and unintentionally subdue. As with anything, there must be balance between all factors in order to be respectful to yourself and those around you. I owe my success to those who saw something in me; who continued to respect and find an affinity towards me, my interpretations, my style, my personality or character, and an individualistic way of being particular to myself. Read more>>

Brent Geris | Magician, Small Business Owner, Consultant & Teacher

There are quite a few different factors in why I think (and I hope) my business has been able to stay open for 17 years! I LOVE magic and have since I was a little kid so there is a love of what I do that helps me unlock the doors everyday. I am not just a person that is selling a product but an actual performing magician that TRULY cares about the art and the secrets of magic. There are often times that people come in to my shop that just want to learn a quick trick or two to pick up someone at the bar or just to impress some friends and I know exactly what to sell them. I am not looking to sell these types of customers a book, or a 3 hour DVD or some intense sleight of hand magic, but for about twenty bucks, they will get a few great close-up (and easy) tricks to perform for their friends. It is my hope, that after their first visit, and there first “performance,” that these people come BACK to the shop and continue to buy magic and maybe.. Read more>>

Addison Brasil | Co-Founder, Producer & Conscious Real Estate Connector

When I look at what has lead to the most success for me and the brands I have helped build in my career – it all centers around the importance of connection. Both personally and professionally, I am most proud of my ability to see others as they are, seek to understand them and help them to feel less alone. Over the course of my career, this has been the special ingredient that allows me to be a conscious multi-hyphenate in a world that wants you to choose one thing and do it well. Cultivating relationships that are balanced and boundary driven are the cornerstone of my what I consider true wealth – my relationships. Both the conscious concierge I founded and tethr (a men’s mental health and wellbeing platform) seek to connect and align. Getting to know members on a deeper level allows me to focus on what matter’s most when making brand decisions – what will create the most impact? Read more>>

Bianca L. Rodriguez | Holistic Psychotherapist

Learning to trust myself is the cornerstone of my success and what I teach others to do too. It hasn’t been easy to learn due to the childhood trauma I experienced. At around 4 years old I developed severe asthma. Some of my first memories are of gasping for air thinking that I was going to die. This installed the belief that I was never in control or safe which fueled massive anxiety that I attempted to control with an eating disorder, perfectionism and eventually alcoholism. My process of recovery and healing required me to give up all power to Source and acknowledge that the Divine exists within me. Knowing that I am complete and have the answers within is my salvation. Now I consider Source to be my life and business partner. It’s ironic that turning your power over to a Higher Power actually ends up allowing you to be completely empowered. It’s one of the mysteries of life! Read more>>

Phoenix Nic | Head Bartender

The most important factor behind the success of PBK Bartending is simply being myself. I put myself in the mindset of a customer. Whenever I go to a bar, I want the bartender to be creative. Even though I know what type of drink I would make for myself at home (Mint Julep or whiskey and ginger), I want something different, especially if I’m going to be spending money on it. As the bartender, I want you to feel like the drink I make you is special and cannot be duplicated. Oftentimes, I come up with something on the spot. This is what makes having me as your bartender an Experience. When I’m behind the bar, no two drinks are the same. But I can guarantee that they’ll be delicious! Read more>>

Monique Hale | Founder & CEO

I work hard and never give up. I pour my heart and soul into my business, put my customers first and I think that contributes to the success of my business. Healthy hair starts at EBLA, we take pride in our work and ensuring and educating our clients on how best to care for their hair. Extensions have always gotten a bad wrap as not done correctly they damage your hair. At EBLA we believe that if extensions are done properly with one of our proprietary techniques you can grow your hair and make it healthier, while looking amazing. Read more>>

William Mullan II | CEO

The most important factor behind the business is the product (firearms) coupled with our strong belief and understanding of our second amendment rights. We have the right to bear and keep arms- may it be for sport or self defense. This year in particular there has seen a significant increase in the demand/sales of firearms- this increase is primarily driven by our community’s desire to properly protect and defend themselves. Read more>>

Dr. Stace Nelson-Hicks | Doctor of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

There is no one success factor, but there are a few factors that make my practice unique: Underneath it all, I’m a medical geek. I went from a career in the entertainment business; first as a publicist and then as a segment producer. The glamour was exciting, and I still have great cocktail party chatter, but in the end, helping clients get onto the cover of a magazine or a slot on a talk show felt shallow and was definitely not intellectually stimulating or fulfilling. My last job in television was my last job in the industry. Surrounded by other producers I can now label with DSM-5 codes, I was handling all of the medical segments. The more I spoke with the doctors I was readying to put on air, the more I realized that I wanted to be the one answering the questions, not the one asking them. After several harrowing incidents that would now be lawsuit fodder, I quit. I knew if I stayed, I’d feel like a sell-out. In order to save my integrity, I threw myself headlong into studying medicine and ultimately, my own healing. Read more>>

John & Lynn | Super Gems Jewelry

I believe one of the most important factors behind our success is the calculated risks we take. I remember taking the risks needed to grow to where we are today through trial and error. That said, not every risk we took came back with positive results. In those cases, we learn from our mistakes and continue moving on. Another important driving factor would be my kids. Without my kids, I can say the company would be very different than it is now. Read more>>

Linda Mariano | Hair Color Expert & Stylist

Saving Grace is truly what my clients have called me. My business was named pretty naturally. I am a hair color specialist and stylist with over forty-three tears in my industry. I have spanned over four decades of cutting edge and contemporary styles. when people say what I do is an art, I respond “it is an art, a science, a psychology and an amazing study in sociology”. I have seen so much in style and social trends. I have a long established clientele that predate the internet and over the last 16 years many that have come to me via web searches for hair color creations and corrections. I have offered my services in a private suite, inside Salon Republic. Clients Love the care and comfort they receive in the privacy of my studio. I provide luxurious hair color and cutting services combined with exemplary sanitation stands. At Saving Grace Salon my guests have faith and trust in my work. Read more>>

Namu Williams | Photographer

I have a particularly useful skill – it’s the ability to connect with clients in a way that makes them comfortable. You probably thought I was going to say I was good at tracking people down. Nope. But when a client is comfortable, they relax, and when they relax you get great images of them. Read more>>

Marielle Wakim | Writer & Editor

In terms of my career as a writer and editor, I attribute most of my success to having a number of mentors who graciously and patiently nurtured my editorial instincts, my reporting abilities, and the way I think about storytelling. I would never be where I am today or have the bylines under my belt that I have if it hadn’t been for those brilliant people. So, step one: Find a bomb mentor, and, more importantly, listen to them. But I will also admit that I hustled—hard—in the early years of my career: After graduating with my masters in writing, I had five different odd jobs (from a gym receptionist to a freelance writer) plus an unpaid internship. The latter eventually led to my first full-time position, and it was at that job that I learned at the feet of those aforementioned mentors. Step two: Don’t hate on the hustle. In hindsight, there’s something romantic about it, especially in a city like L.A. Read more>>

Debra Hart | Owner & CEO

Without a doubt, there is no substitution for integrity, honesty, and dependability when running a business. Lots of people can learn a skill set and do a job, but our company could run on the handshake theory. That plus the golden rule is a recipe for success. Another rule is to run your business from the ground floor and not as a bystander. We have a wonderful Clambake catering crew, including several who have been with us since day one. But as events go, over the past 10 years in business, I don’t think I’ve missed more than two. It is my business and no one cares more about it than I do. Plus, everyone refers to me as miss detail. Someone’s got to do it. Read more>>

Santa Geoff | Professional Santa Claus

The personality match of my own gregarious and jovial spirit is directly in line with the requirements of being a Santa Claus. Loving children and being a personal fan of Christmas is key and the real beard and belly don’t hurt. Ho ho ho. From a business perspective going to Santa Claus School gave me a clear understanding about the business of being a proper Santa. Read more>>

Terri Accomazzo | Executive Editor

The most important factor behind our success is the passion our whole team brings to every project at Angel City Press; we publish a relatively small number of books each year, which allows us to focus on every detail, ensuring that every page and spread in the book is exactly how we’d like it. All the books we publish are books we’d personally like to own—we don’t take on projects unless we’re excited and inspired by them. We sign books by authors who have spent nights and weekends researching topics, digging in archives, and unearthing photos that have never been seen in print before. I think all of this dedication is visible in our books, and really comes through for our readers. Read more>>

Daniel Torres | Tortilla Owner & Maker

The Success of our brand is Really quite simple: Quality, passion and tradition. When our clients taste our tortillas, We want them to taste the pride, taste the authenticity and more importantly taste the history. We pride our selves in using the highest quality ingredients and rely on years upon years of family tradition to ensure the best tasting tortillas possible. When our clients buy our tortillas, we want them to feel apart of our family. We want to feel like there right there with us making the tortillas from scratch so they can enjoy them in a way no other brand can offer. Because when you buy from us, your family as you welcome us into your business and home. That’s what makes us different. That’s what makes us successful. Read more>>

Gloria Flores | Integrative Energy Healer & CranioSacral Therapist

The most important factor behind my success are the results that my clients experience from a healing session with me. When my clients are happy with their results they return over and over. They recommend me to their family members, friends, and work colleagues. I am compassionate, caring, and results-oriented. I truly care about helping people so I make sure that each client is happy with their results. Read more>>

Tracy Kiggen | Face Painter & Artist

Branding! I consistently have my business name all over the internet. Wherever I create an account that is not personal I use the name ARTovator. I make sure that everyone knows the name, and that it has become synonymous with party entertainment. I also make a point of mentioning what I do for a living whenever I meet new people. For example, when I am at the grocery store and someone asks how I am doing then I steer the conversation towards my art, and ask them if they want to see what I have done. Then I show them one of my faces that I painted and give them a business card. When I am on social media I make a point of hash-tagging my company name on all my photos that I submit. I also use watermarks of my company name on all my photos. Read more>>

Jose Roberto | 3D Photographer

We believe in thinking differently! By using technology, we inspire homebuyers to write their families’ next chapter. As a Real Estate marketing company, we use state-of-the-art 3D technology to tell the story of a home. We quickly and accurately create and publish a digital twin of any space helping homebuyers find their next home while shopping online. Read more>>

Jill Pearson | Shop Owner & Designer

I think it’s hard to say what one factor is behind the success of Homage but a few things that come to mind are passion, tenacity and authenticity. I think passion is the all-important, organic motivator that drives an entrepreneur to do their absolute best to achieve success. If you love what you do, it’s only natural to want to do the best you can. It’s not something you can turn on and off. If you live your passion, you are always excited to do more and do better. Having tenacity is a good catch-all phrase to describe the willingness to overcome the everyday challenges of being a business owner. Every day is unique and being able to respond and be fluid with a situation vs playing by the same set of rules every day, allows for creative problem.solving. I think the end result of combining your passion and tenacity is a level of authenticity that people recognize and are drawn to. Read more>>

Rebecca Dmytryk | Wildlife Control Professional

Integrity, absolutely. I, we – the brand, do business under a certain set of moral principles. And, oddly enough, our first commitment is not to the customer, it’s to the animals and the environment, and you’ll see why that’s important in a minute. Humane Wildlife Control Inc. is committed to doing things right, for the animals = a mother raccoon in an attic, a skunk under a house, a rat in a wall – we’re going to come up with a solution that will resolve the issue, permanently, with the least amount of harm or distress to the animal. I think our commitment to the environment and humane treatment of animals is what draws people to our business. They know we’re going to resolve their wildlife problem in the best way possible. We’re not going to compromise our values for anyone or any thing, and I think that integrity is what’s important to people, also because they can feel confident we will be respectful of their home and property. Read more>>

Rogelio Bernal Andreo | Astrophotographer

Based on what I’ve observed and the feedback I’ve received, the one thing that caught people’s attention the most when looking at my astroimages was that, unlike most other astrophotos at the time that seemed to be mostly “catalog images” (one celestial object in the center, nothing else), many of my images had a very strong compositional element. Rather than images of individual objects, they presented complete stellar landscapes. This is something that I pursued deliberately, not to create different views but to actually SEE them. Read more>>

Greg Jenkins | Partner & Event Planner

There are several factors that are important. Foremost, is developing and building trust and confidence with our clients, suppliers, production team, staff and all entities we establish relationships with each day. There’s also hiring the best talent to develop partnerships with in the selection process of vendors and our production team. When you hire the best talent, it also means that you allow them to do what they do best, without any micro-managing or second guessing. There’s an opportunity to learn from them. When you hire them for a reason, get out of the way and let them carry out their job for you and your client. Treat your entire team as an important part of your team. We are all there to serve the best of interest of the client and the primary goal is to put on the best possible event that will allow them to shine. We may under promise and always over deliver. Read more>>

Cara Kleinhaut | Founder

As a business owner (AGENC Experiential + Digital marketing agency) and Mom of 2 girls, the most important factor in keeping everything going successfully is not giving up, no matter what. Life throws curveballs, and as we have seen this year especially, some we can not really plan for. But always having the confidence and faith that we CAN figure out a solution, that we always have options and choices, gives me the courage to keep going. My job is to calmly just take the next right action in front of me, even if I don’t know what the results will be. Read more>>