We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Monica Wood | Light and Airy Photographer

A lot of factors played a small part in the decision process. The most important one of all, was leaving a stressful 8 to 5 job because of the health conditions it caused. My health and state of mind were important to me and my family. Read more>>

Chioma Adure Nwogu – Johnson | International Event Planner/Designer

The single most important decision I made that contributed to my success is that I will always wake up DOING WHAT I LOVE. Bringing my clients’ visions to life and creating lasting memories through my productions’ ignites such a passion in me. A passion that I never had working for anybody else. Actually, it’s my passion that is the key ingredient to my success. This doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There are many ups and downs that come with the territory. I hold a huge responsibility in making my clients happy, continuing to thrive in my business and maintaining integrity in my work. It is HARD but I still love what I do and that makes it all worth it. Read more>>

Matt Manalo | Artist & Community Organizer

Typically, an artist works by himself in his own studio. You get involved in the pieces you are working on mentally and emotionally. There would be moments where my family would peek in but that was it for the most part. That creative solitude brought me to realize I did not have to work alone on my projects. In 2019, I started making social practice as part of my process. I realized the power of community. With the help of Asia Society of Texas’ Curator and Director of Exhibitions Bridget Bray, we formed Filipinx Artists of Houston: A collective of Filipinx Visual, Performing, Literary, Culinary and Multidisciplinary Artists in Houston, Texas. Read more>>

Connie “Truluxx” Island | CEO of Truluxx & TheClothnection

Cutting off dead weight was a very important yet bittersweet decision. We tend to hold on to things and environments that no longer attributes to our growth. Once I realized the things I outgrew the more I could focus on the bigger picture which was my brand, and the more I could focus on my brand the more growth & achievements began to flourish. As small as it sounds it was one of my biggest contributions I could put into my business. Read more>>