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.

Debra Vicik | Realtor & Business Professor

There is something very sweet and ethereal about entrepreneurship. It is your baby. You grow it, cultivate it and help it to thrive with every effort made. Coming from corporate sales, marketing and academic success, I always wanted to take my knowledge and skills and make it work for my own brand. I know I made the right choice. The key is to treat each interaction as an opportunity to exchange ideas and to leave them with a small gift whether a physical or knowledge based. That first impression is sometimes all you will get. I always choose to make it count. Read more>>

Aimee the Medium | Psychic Medium

In an industry with a reputation for promoting gypsies and charlatans, I started my business with the goal of breaking that stereotype and helping as many people as possible. I was lucky in to find a mentor who is extremely well known and respected in the industry. She taught me YOU are the most important part of your brand, and that the most important thing to guarantee success is to stand behind your own ethics and integrity. Read more>>

Shikira Gilbert | Silk Press & Healthy Hair Stylist

NEVER GIVE UP! No matter what obstacles have been thrown my way I’ve always believed I can achieve whatever my dreams and desires are. I’ve worked hard, been patient and trusted the process to achieve my goals for my brand. Read more>>

Jaclynn Brennan | CoFounder of Fyli & CEO of Creative Duality

The biggest factor behind my success boils down to taking big risks, not being afraid to fail, and believing in myself. Taking risks actually takes some practice. You have to have a belief and trust in yourself, and you get better at it over time. Using critical thinking and a mix of following your own intuition is key. As an entrepreneur running a start up, taking big risks becomes part of the DNA. It encourages innovation, opens the doors to new opportunities, and builds courage. Read more>>

Joan Montreuil | Award Winning Author & Filmmaker

The ability to not take anything persona1! Taking things personally will set you up to suffer for nothing. Our worst enemy is the mind. The bible states; so as a man thinketh so is he. In addition, we should cast down imaginations and every high thing that EXALTS itself against the knowledge of GOD and bring it, gather it, control it, whatever is it to bring those thoughts into captivity. I’ve been writing for over 25 years and I find that writers are thinkers or thinkers are writers. Consider this, writers create personalities for diverse characters in our head, which means, we are prone to overthink things all the time. Read more>>

Kimberly Salmon | Artist & Live Painter

The most important factor behind the success in my brand is the foundation that has been built by client relationships and community relations. Read more>>

Madiha Chughtai | Self-Taught Home Baker

I believe the biggest factor that contributed to my success is my desire to always learn and better myself. I started off making regular cakes for my family, and that ignited my love for baking. I studied the craft of baking and learned how to create grandeur cakes. However that was not enough and I continued to follow my passion and discovered the world of the French desserts. I began learning how to perfect recipe after recipe and put my own spin to it. Constantly challenging myself with new recipes excites me, and every setback just makes me more determined to succeed. Read more>>

Connie Charney | Founder, Food for Thoughts Cards

People want to give back, They want to spend their dollars in a socially conscious manner. They want to do good, spread kindness, and pay it forward. Especially now. That’s the most important factor behind our success. People are actively looking for ways to incorporate giving back into their daily lives. They’re looking for products with purpose. Our greeting cards that give back and feed the hungry do exactly that. Read more>>

Karess The Stylist of Kanvas Hair Bar | Master Stylist, Colorist, and Makeup Artist

The most important factor behind my success / the success of my brand is absolutely A-1 customer service. Creating great service for all of my clients includes; creating an environment for them to relax and feel nothing but good vibes while they’re being taken care of, making sure they are hydrated by offering water, snacks, etc., by making them as comfortable as possible, and them not only being considerate of my time, but me being considerate of their time as well. On top of all of these factors i must add in, being able to deliver the look they are trying to achieve on a consistent basis. When people look good, they feel good. To be able to make someone feel good about themselves, makes me feel great to know that i can put a smile on someones face. Read more>>

Erna Blooms | Character Branding™? Expert, Growth Action Coach, the Founder of Blooming Aces Creative

My character branding and value-adding mindset. I view any potential collaborations as an extension of my purposeful vision, creative expressions, and legacy impact. I’ve been mindful in helping innovative and service-driven entrepreneurs fast-track their vision of creating beautiful and better businesses to bring joy and fulfillment to people’s lives, while gaining significant impact in their own lives, both in revenue and respectable legacy. Read more>>

Le Bleu | Beauty Connoisseur

The most important Factor behind my brand is that I started the business by myself with a dream of helping the community and encouraging all races to accept being beautiful whether you wear bundles Lashes wigs or any of the items that I may sell. Read more>>

Todd Engle | Radio Station Owner / Radio Personality / Entrepreneur / DJ

The most important factor behind the success of our brand is our relentless drive and extreme passion for supporting Independent Artists, Musicians, and their commitment to becoming great in their respective fields. We at InsanelyGifted Radio have assembled a team of like minded individuals that share the same passion for Independent Music. The platform I created is used to showcase a Creative’s talent with few or no restrictions. We play all genres of music censored and uncensored; the only requirement is that the music has to be studio mixed and mastered. We only accept submissions in .mp3 format. You can send a short bio and your single to insanelygiftedradio@gmail.com. Please don’t send us download links. Read more>>

Faith Ajayi | Hairstylist/Makeup Artist/ YouTuber

I believe success is based off of perspective. Everyone has their wok definition of success, some people may see success as monetary and other may see it ass just being able to be impactful to people. I believe success is both. I really started my own brand off the goal of being different in my industry. Showing my clients that not every hairstylist or makeup artist is just out there for your money but to also be someone you can build a relationship with. I started doing hair because I was tired of paying for work I didn’t like and not being able to communicate that to my hairstylist because of the awkward tension, or the fear that I couldn’t speak up because I was too scared to interact with them. Read more>>

Denise Carballo | Furniture Refurbisher

The most important factor for me is a happy customer. After I finish a piece, I want customers to fall in love with their furniture, and smile every time they see it. I also want them to feel thankful they invested in refurbishing it. Their happiness and gratitude let me know I’ve done my job and keep me going to do more. If I can have every client say “I’m so glad we did this, I love looking at it every day.” My work is done! Read more>>

Ebbie Jean | Event planner, Chef & Christian based Influencer

The single most important factor behind the success of my brand is my faith. I stepped out on faith and started The Party Box Events a year ago as a supplement to my income. As a mother of 3 boys, aspiring attorney, and a full-time career in legal I knew in order to change the dynamics of my life it was time to do more. Read more>>

Jimmeh Neidig | Tattoo Artist

The most important factor behind my success would be never give up, always have a goal to achieve. When you reach one goal set another and never stop trying to be a better version of yourself. Once you stop trying to grow success will then be unattainable. Read more>>

Alex Dominguez | Tax Professional

I would have to say that our customer service is one of the many important factors behind our success. Our customers are always received with a smile and we always thrive to provide outstanding customer service whether it be in person, by phone or online. For us the best part of our business will always be our customers. Success is built on trust and we have earned the trust of our customers and because of their trust I feel that Tax Services of Houston has a bright future. Read more>>

Uche Omesiete | Drug Development And Research

Trust Read more>>

Mea Forte | CEO of Canibetipsy and Canibemea LLC

I would say the most important factor or factors behind my success is believing I’m myself and my brand as well as having a team that believes in your brand as much as you do. Read more>>

Yalamba Kamara | Beauty Mogul

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is my faith in God. My ability to trust that I can carry out the tools placed in my hands to achieve different levels played a role as well. Read more>>

Danita Harrison | Photographer

My Sisters! I have 3 who are all very talented. My oldest sister Eugenia deals in sales, second oldest Angie is a pro make- up artist and last my twin sister is a hair stylist. They have all been dedicated to their talented passion’s for years. Watching them for so long gave me the motivation and encouragement to do something I always loved. That’s Photography! So In 2019 I purchased my first camera. Read more>> 

Stephanie Tacy | Visual Journalist

The most important factor behind my success is authenticity. Read more>>

Julie Joiner | Mother, Teacher, Non-Profit Founder and Real Estate Agent

My Family and Friends Read more>>

Ja’von Moses | CEO

The most important factor would have to be Discipline and Consistency. Discipline and consistency go hand in hand. It’s difficult to remain consistent in your actions if you lack discipline. Discipline will weaken over time if it is not maintained. Nothing will assist you in achieving your goals more than repeating the acts that lead to those objectives. In real estate you are constantly calling homeowners and networking with buyers looking for properties. In order to achieve multiple house closings and have multiple clients every month it requires hard work, Calling homeowners everyday until one agree to a price & on the other hand you will need investor clients looking to buy these investment properties . By doing this for years on end that is the reason for the success I have today. Read more>>