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.

Andrea Rivera | Exclusively Designed Tooled Leather Bags and Accessories

I couldn’t do what I do without the support of “my village”. My parents are the foundation of that village and support me in multiple ways. Besides being entertaining, they provide endless encouragement and work every event with me. They’re also my shipping and receiving department, my couriers and my warehouse. I truly couldn’t have started this entrepreneurship journey without their help, especially since I have a full time day job. As crazy as my days are, I truly enjoy the time we get to spend together and value the memories we are making. I’m so very grateful they wanted an active “retirement.” Read more>>

Iyanna Goodall | Dancer & Choreographer

The most important factor behind my Success is to never lose sight of what’s important and that is to always be a servant to others! My success is not only my success, it is driven by the improvement of the dancers that I teach and choreograph for. The success of my brand is driven by the word of God, which I believe is the reason why I am so blessed with the opportunities that I’ve had this far. “The Lord is my strength and he will make my feet like Hinds’ feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places.” Habakkuk 3:19 KJV. I implemented this Bible scripture into my business because it’s important to me to not only serve others but lead and teach them the things that I know about God’s love and Dance. Read more>>

Lesley Lewis | Real Estate Agent at COMPASS

I believe the main reason behind the success of my business and brand is how loyal my clients and friends are. I’ve worked really hard to perfect the buying and selling experience for my clients so that they receive the best representation possible. I want to make sure they are being advised correctly on the current real estate market, guided through negotiations, receive access to me 24/7, and have a stress-free seamless experience. I work really hard to make sure my clients are happy and their interests are protected not only now but long term. Anyone who has worked with me also knows they can reach me any day, at any time. When my clients are happy and have had a great experience they become repeat clients and also send referrals. Read more>>

Bernette Turbinton | Owner and CEO of Catering and Events

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand began with me doing my homework, researching the industry, along with having a hustle and entrepreneur sense of business. This was was all critical in getting started. The pandemic pushed me and my family into a mode of survival, creativity and exploration. We knew we had purpose and it had to begin with investing in our “unknown” future (whatever that would look like). The Hibachi business has generally been a male dominant industry. I wanted in and I knew I had to go hard in order to make my mark. We decided it would be not just catering but Hibachi and “With A Twist!”. In doing this we created alternative menus, a signature “Twisted Tea”, which is an adult beverage, a champagne toast, a homemade Asian Spiced Gumbo and our in-house prepared garlic butter, which are all complimentary with our services and have all received rave reviews. Read more>>

Tasha Gant | Realtor/Property Locator

The most important factor behind my success is having the ambition, drive, and hustle mentality to keep moving forward. The real estate industry is a tough market. However, in order to be successful. You have to eat, sleep, and breathe real estate. The thought of not making it is not an option. My only goal is to make my clients happy and for them to remember my name. Read more>>

Dr. Darlene Allen Nichols | Executive Consultant

The most important factor behind my success is definitely my relationship with God. My spirituality serves as the driving force to keep me encouraged, grounded and strengthened as an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Shatera Clarke | Balloon Stylist

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my business has been my desire for constant improvement in every aspect of entrepreneurship. My focus and goal of each event is to continually provided better designs than the last. What has helped me to achieve this has been my ability to evolve in my business knowledge, production, and presentation. Another important distinction with Posh Balloons, LLC is that our clients are heard and even when they may not be certain on their complete vision, we are able to connect the gaps and provide the results they envisioned. Read more>>