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.

Leah Talbott | Design-Led Remodeler

I owe all of my success to those around me. You know the saying about us being the sum of who we surround ourselves with? My family, friends, team, and clients have all been instrumental in the trajectory of my business. I don’t believe in separating business and pleasure. My work brings me joy, and my circle supports my craft. I try to integrate family, fellowship, and my love of home into everything I do. Read more>>

Seema Desai | Author, Certified Professional Coach, and Speaker

Authenticity. There are a million other professionals who may do similar things to you. For me, there are so many other coaches, authors, and speakers out there. But none of them can offer what I do, because I bring my whole and authentic self to my offerings. We can support and celebrate each other’s authenticity and gifts, rather than view them as competition. Learning to do this and trust myself has been a process–yet so liberating. Read more>>

Seynabou Sow | Owner of NFA Boutique

I believe it is my intrinsic motivation. I love seeing my customer satisfied with my products. I always take my time to explain them the origin and the meaning behind each product. Read more>>

Philip Cross | Dj Feel

For me I believe it’s because I’m unique and I can play a wide range of music. I grew up listening to all genres of music from classical orchestra, hip hop, Funk, r&b, classic rock, and later started listening to House, Reggaeton, & Afrobeats. So knowing music is extremely important. The more music you know the more opportunities you will have down the road. Read more>>

Erin Burton | Sugar Artist

I think there are many nuances that play into a company’s success-but for ME, if I had to choose just one, I would say its a combination of integrity and passion. It was important to me that my products be at a professional level before I began selling them to clients. It took me over 10 years to get to that place, and once I was there, there has never been room for complacency. I have a passion for creating desserts that are both works of art AND that taste amazing! That sense of integrity and that passion constantly fuel my desire to grow, as a person, and as a business. Read more>>

DaJuan Forstall | Owner / CEO

Hard work and determination! Those are the two key factors to having a successful business. Read more>>