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.

Nayendi Santos | Financial Wealth Educator & Entrepeneur

What is the most important factor behind your success / brand? There have been many important factors behind my success within this organization. One of my most important factors is me being an African American Hispanic Garifuna Women. I speak and write in Spanish and I am very proud to say that I am the first young entrepreneur in my community. I started part time with UWE while I was working full time as a manager for a financial corporation. My past leadership and skill played a major part in my management role with this organization, but like we all know corporate America will always have it’s obstacles. My salary as a Manager was only $18hr, and that was considered a “good pay”, because I was in charge of the What is the most important factor behind your success / brand? Read more>>

Jason and Kellie Sartain | Custom Wood Shoppe

The single-handed most important factor in our success has been our faith. We prayed for God to lead us through the entire journey and we held loosely to the journey itself. We put this business in his hands from the start. He continues to lead the way today and guides us every single step. Read more>>

Adrià Voltà | Illustrator

I think success is something very personal, different in each person. In my case it is to consolidate my own style and that this style can be of some use to the world. I keep working to achieve it and I see that it is a challenge, because the process requires all your attention to allow that irrational part of you to express itself clearly and at the same time to be presented in an orderly and coherent way, serving the function of illustrating an article or whatever. Read more>>

Leonard Massey | Musician / Artist

I believe that the commitment and sincerity I have towards my work are the main reasons for my success. I never stop the learning process. Read more>>

Daisy Arteaga | Airbrush Tanning

The most important factor in my success are my clients. Providing them with a beautiful glow gives each and every single one of them an instant boost confidence! I know this first hand because I can absolutely relate with them. Connecting with my clients in our sessions is very important so that they can feel comfortable with me, I strive for customer satisfaction because if they love their tanning experience than I’ve done my job! Read more>>

Dominique Crawford | Marketing Director

I would definitely have to say the art of staying in your own lane. By doing so, I’ve been able to grow rapidly at an unexpected rate! I picked my niche, focused in on it, perfected it, and then narrowed it down even more. The quickest way to grow is to do what you know. If you try the whole comparison thing and start doing what others do because you’re starting to feel like you’re behind, you’ll end up behind. Instead, embrace originality & vulnerability. Remain steadfast and really zone in. When you swerve into different lanes that do not belong to you, you’ll crash. Read more>>

Kersten Morrison | Photographer

As cliche as it might sound, putting the client first has been the most important factor for my success. I create an experience that lets my client know their business is valued and appreciated. Anyone can press a button on an Iphone or camera but curating a memorable experience for the client along with quality professional pictures really sets me aside from my colleagues. Read more>>

Patrik Kabongo | Rapper/Songwriter, Creative Director & CEO

That woul definetly be my relationship with God. It’s the most essential part of my life and is a major part of who I am. It’s helped me with everything in relation to my success and my brand’s. Wether it’s decision making on who to collaborate with, wether to accept a certain opportunity, where to spend it all has some attahcement to my faith. To trust God with the littlest of things has helped me trust him with the more important things and in such I feel He trust me with responsibilities . Read more>>

Zack Taylor | “DatKid Smoove” Founder of Hard2Reach Entertainment

Our brand, Hard2Reach Entertainment (founded by Zack Taylor aka DatKid Smoove) finds its success in focusing on the independent creatives within each community and putting their work on the frontline. The industry has become so saturated and diluted that we aim to do a flip on it and focus on the independent creatives with quality + a story filled passion that deserve to be heard. Read more>>

Gabrielle & Jasmine Simmons & Staten | Party Stylist/Event Curators

God is the most important factor behind the success of our brand! We want our clients to know with everything we do we put God first. Event planning can take your anxiety and mental capacity through the roof , and so many things are out of our control at times. We know that God will always work it out if we put forth the work and give our absolute best . It also allows our light to shine through our work which has allowed us to service clients through all walks of life who have turned into life long friends. These relationships have taken our business to new heights that we could have never imagined, and our name has entered rooms we never though we were for. Read more>>