We asked some of the city’s hidden gems to tell us about what they feel is the most important factor behind their success.

Candra Yarbrough | Owner & Founder Of LadiOfPearls

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand was understanding that I can’t do it without consulting God FIRST! Allowing God to order my steps in all that I do within my business and my brand. Read more>>

Sarah Moliski | Actor | Host | Reporter

When I first started working in Film & Tv as an Actor, I would always try to mold myself into something I’m not in hopes of being more “castable”. I had insecurities of feeling like I was too basic, not funny enough and baseline average in the looks and talent dept. This actually bled into my acting training at the Maggie Flannigan Acting Conservatory in Manhattan, New York. Read more>>

Cierra Lynn | Empowerment Artist Cierra Lynn

I believe that the most important factor behind my success is my work ethic. Actually putting in years of perfecting my gift, staying consistent and always staying authentic has played a significant role in my success. Read more>>

Reilly Anspaugh and Geoffrey James | Comedians & Hosts of Review Revue

REILLY: Never thinking that there’s a “there” to get to. A lot of people think that being “successful” is reaching a certain point: “Once I ‘make it’ then I’ll be done/happy!” I couldn’t disagree more! I love the fact that in my work/art/life, I’ll never be “done” — I’ll always be evolving and learning and growing, and I’ll be able to bring that growth into every area of my life. Read more>>

Lexi Sisk | Assistant Location Manager

I think the most important factor behind my success is that I do it purely for the love of it. I have worked in film for almost a decade now and have never tried to have this extraordinary career in the industry or tried to be this big famous person. I love all aspects of it and the history that was created from it. Read more>>

Giovanna Tomiotto | Controls System Engineer, Bodybuilder Competitor, Metalhead, & Aesthete

Always pushing above and beyond my comfort zone. Nowadays, and specially in the land of opportunity, the United States of America, it is easy to get comfortable. So instead… I learned to embrace discomfort. Read more>>

Katie McGhie | Singer, Songwriter & Actor

Authenticity. It’s something we all have to work on every single day especially now, but when I really started to check myself on the authenticity of my work is when it really began to thrive. In entertainment, you’re told, whether directly or simply by observation of what’s ‘cool’, who, what, how you should be. I believed to be successful, I’d have to be a certain way, write a certain type of music, look a certain way as an actor. Read more>>

 Joseph Ehrenpreis | Guitarist

In any artistic practice, wisdom becomes the collection of new ideas relating to old ideas. Like a callous, it becomes dense, strong, yet amiable when needed. I came to realize for myself, the retention of child-like wonder in my practice and approach brings me more joy, and allows me to express untold truths to my audience and fans. Read more>>


First, I am thankful that Shoutout LA is asking this question and very appreciative for the opportunity to be included. For me, it is a challenge to define the success of a (your) brand without first defining success itself. I believe we must ask ourselves, is success financial security? Monetary reward? Or, is it changing the world or contributing to society? Is success supporting your family or that everyone knows your name? And so on… It is so individual to each person. Read more>>

Denecia Jones | Professional Life Coach & Insurance Broker

What wakes me up every day and makes me tick is being of service to others. I enjoy working with individuals who are seeking a way to change their lives for the better, or simply want to create new, enriching experiences in their lives. When I was a child, my mom asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. She was a bit puzzled when I answered, “I want to be an attorney or maybe I’ll be a teacher.” Read more>>

Sitavy Thorng | Co-owner of Meccha Matcha (Artesia, CA)

The most important factor to the success of Meccha Matcha is quality. From the quality of our matcha to the quality of our team. We ensure that our standards are met and we can verify that by the positive feedback from our returning customers. Read more>>

Saori & Paul Russell | Graphic Design & Branding & Art Direction

Over the years of working in the graphic design industry, I started to understand more and more of the type of projects I most enjoy working on. Even before the hype of being eco-friendly or eating well, I’ve always had the passion for food, healthy lifestyle, and finding new exciting products to try. Read more>>

Something Meetha | Bakers

We’d have to say the most important factors behind our success is perseverance and faith. There have been lots of times throughout our journey that we may feel disheartened due to lost opportunities or finding out about others wanting to replicate our work. Read more>>

Michael W. Streed | Forensic Facial Imaging Consultant/Certified Forensic Artist/President-CEO

Treating everyone like they are important. I often come in contact with people of all ages, income level, education, health, rank, etc. I think you get the picture. Each one of them have a unique perspective and a story to share. Whether they represent a large company, small company or are individuals, they ALL receive the same treatment and level of respect. Read more>>

Meet Carmen Grillo | Musician/producer/engineer/songwriter/educator

My recording studio is successful for a lot of reasons. Treating all people equally and taking care of their musical needs is of the utmost importance. Knowing my clients needs and meeting those needs is essential to my success. Having the proper tools of the trade and the experience I have using those tools has brought me many high end clients. I do not advertise. All of my clients have been referred to me by other clients. Read more>>

Anthony Paparelli | Drag Persona and Artist

To me, the most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is being different. Being true to myself and being a unique artist. It is taking all the “rules” and what society accepts as “normal’ and throwing it out the window. I have only made it this far because I knew I was different but I didn’t let the world tell me I can’t because of that. Read more>>

Paola I. Neri, Esq. | Immigration Attorney – Neri Law Offices

Being proactive. When you start your own law office you are now front and center. I opened my business in February 2020 before the pandemic and being proactive has allowed me to brand myself efficiently, connect with others to expand my reach, and continue to push for continued success. Read more>>

Colleen K | Wedding & Boudoir Photographer

The most important factor behind my brand and my success are my clients. I wouldn’t be able to do this without them. They come back year after year, share posts on their social media, refer me to their friends and family, and just genuinely support everything I do. Read more>>

Sarah Lange | Owner & Delivery Driver

Contrary to popular belief, not all granolas are created equal. I see it in people’s eyes when they walk by our stand at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market–“oh, it’s just granola….” But if you happen to take the time to try our products, you will find that we’ve got something special going on. I come from a pastry background, so flavor is everything. I don’t formulate recipes to cater to a hot trend or to maximize margins. Read more>>

Burgundy Blue Photography | Fine Art Photography + Videography Team of Creatives

The most important factor behind the success of Burgundy Blue is the team’s devotion to and passion for each and every event, family, couple, child, and project captured. Each team member has been incredibly mindfully selected and takes pride in every opportunity given! Read more>>

Crystall Boatwright | Beauty, Style, Lifestyle & Creative Consultant

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is being consistent in offering great experiences. Like attending a great restaurant or any business that you patronize, you expect to have a good experience. I strive to embody the same feeling you would get from any luxury-based business. I believe the experiences that my clients have should be stellar from start to finish. Read more>>

Juan Dussán | Composer for Film and Media

I would say that there’s nothing more important to me than having great communication and chemistry skills with my collaborators – filmmakers, composers, musicians, etc. That’s so essential in order to make an effective piece of music that can speak to an audience both emotionally and narratively, but it’s also key to keep things organized within my own workflow. Read more>>

Chris Urquiaga (JChris) | Singer-Songwriter & Producer

I think that the most important factor behind my success was building the right team around me. Without my team, I would not have been able to create the polished, edgy songs and videos I released. Read more>>

Prince of the Ghetto N/a | Artivist

Love. Read more>>

Sukchan Lee | Sound Designer & Composer

The most important thing when I work is to focus on details. Since the goal of audio in video games is to give a memorable and immersive experience to players, it is crucial to support the story and make it authentic. For instance, let’s say there is a door opening scene. Depending on the squeaky noise of the door, it can be comedy, drama or horror. To make the right choice, it is necessary to have information as possible since every door has different size, weight, materials, knob and hinges. Moreover, the emotion of the character such as Is he or she happy, sad or angry? Why is he or she opening this door? Sometimes I need to bother game developers or film directors by asking too many questions. However, we all know that little things can make a big difference. Read more>>

Fred sokolow | musician, music teacher, author of instruction books & videos

I think diversity has helped me survive in music. I perform, teach private lessons, teach classes, do recording sessions, teach and perform at music festivals, write instruction books and videos, and play a number of different instruments in a number of different styles. Read more>>

Heidi Hazen | Hypnotist & Human Design Guide

I really had to “go first” in doing my own healing work in order to help others do theirs. Because I’d been hell-bent on getting out of my own way and had leaned into so many healing modalities over two decades, I found my way back to myself and that’s how I’m able to walk beside others in their journey home to themselves. Read more>>

Walter Morales | DJ/ Producer & Co-Founder of Low Freqs LA

Looking back from the beginning I believe that the most important factor has been the determination or hunger that I’ve built to keep going. Really wanting to not give up and keeping an optimistic attitude every step of the way even in the face of adversity. I would tell people that I can’t see a closed door ever as long as there are windows to get in. Read more>>

Marcie McGovern | Founder & Creative Director for ANGELEI™

I think the most important factor are the people who I work with that help me every day. They are some of the most hard working individuals. In addition, it’s their integrity and honesty that helps me guide ANGELEI™ towards the success we have had. Read more>>

Tansu Philip | Boba Shop Owner & Actor

Community engagement has been the most important factor behind the success of Viva La Boba. We are forever grateful to the local San Bernardino community for welcoming us with open arms! We try and host community events as often as possible, including (but not limited to) hosting fundraisers, displaying local BIPOC artist’s work monthly in our store, opening a Little Free Library, hosting art walks and open mic nights, park clean-ups, and more. Read more>>

Jesse Daley | Actor and Writer

Twelve years ago I moved to Hollywood, California to pursue a career as an actor. I spent most of my twenties living and working in this fascinating city, and the lessons I’ve learned about the entertainment industry and the craft of acting have been profound. Ironically, the most powerful lesson I’ve learned in my journey to becoming an actor is to never act at all. Read more>>

Ava Bianchi | Actor

I think it is so important to keep studying and learning your craft. I think if you just focus on ring the best actor you can be and not worry about “making it” the pure work is all that matters. I have a love for acting and just being able to have opportunities is a win in itself. Read more>>

Rose Buado and Jennifer Redondo-Marquez | Co-Founders and Co-Authors of In Her Purpose

The most important factor behind our success is people. In Her Purpose initially started out as a book that we sought out to publish and share stories of successful Asian women who are redefining success on their own terms. Though, it’s turned out to be so much more than that! In Her Purpose is more than just a book, it’s the foundation.  Read more>>

Baldwin Chiu | Film Producer and Music Artist

I think the most important factor to our success is building strong relationships with people and organizations. We cultivated a relationship with our audience so that they were excited to our films and other projects succeed. Read more>>

AMANDA MAY | Movement Artist

My belief in God. I grew up in church my whole life, but it wasn’t until my early 20s that I truly formed my own personal relationship with Christ. Movement is the way I worship, give thanks, connect with my deepest spiritual centre. I would be nowhere and nothing without God. I fall short all of the time, but His love, guidance & protection is what keeps me. He deserves ALL the glory. Read more>>

Brigiite Valadez | Producer & Content Creator

The most important factor behind my success is my ability to maintain a positive attitude! I believe that people absorb and transfer energy to each other. Positive energy = happier, more productive people Read more>>

Bailey Marie | Singer/songwriter

The most important factor for me is being persistent! Although I’m still young, I try to make my work ethic a priority. Read more>>

MARTHA MORAN | Sculptor, fountain, shower and furnishings designer

When I first moved to Ojai, I loved coming upon random rockstacks along the trails. But I thought they’d be far more interesting if they weren’t made from monochromatic sandstone. That simple thought was the genesis of Ojai Rockstacker. Read more>>

Jaslyn Loftin | Songwriter & Producer

The most important factor behind the success of my projects is making sure that I am well prepared. As an independent singer-songwriter, I always want to get a head and be proactive with the prep/promotion of our song releases. Read more>>

Anna Cordova | Producer of media content, post producer

The most important factor behind our success is consistency on quality and meeting a client’s deadline. Honesty is important in building a long lasting relationship. Read more>>