We asked some of the city’s hidden gems to tell us about what they feel is the most important factor behind their success.

Betirri Bengtson | Visual Artist

As a visual artist, the most important factor to succeed is to have the right mindset. Within this mindset, there a few important elements that I have to remind myself constantly. These elements are to be patient when things don’t go the way I expected, to leave all my fears behind when it comes to presenting an idea, to keep following your gut and instinct when there are some doubts, and to always stay positive and surround yourself with like-minded people. Read more>>

Ester Holt | Co-owner of Ester Cakes

The most important factors behind the success of Ester Cakes : – Dedication & hard work – Keeping ourself active in the cake decorating community by joining and creating cake collaborations, using our cake combs, with other cake artists – Working closely with our great ambassadors to promote our cake combs – Sharing the creations of my fellow cake decorators using our cake combs on social media – Creating & sharing cake video tutorials on the use of our combs – Consistently creating new designs for continued engagement from our customers. Read more>>

Luis Velasquez | Advertising Photographer, Marketing, Branding, UX specialist, Creative Director

We all come to this life with some talents. Those talents later become skills – and then, a lifestyle. I do not remember the exact moment when I fell in love with what I do, but for sure, at that moment, I also earned the most important ability in whatever journey you could start – Perseverance. For me, Perseverance is the key that opens all the closed doors that you might find around your life/career. Perseverance is persisting in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success, so whatever is the achievement you are looking for, no matter how difficult or hard, it could be the path to get wherever you want to go. Read more>>

Rebekah Matamoros | Owner & Lead Planner

Many gauge success on a dollar amount or followers online, but I gauge my success on customer reviews/referrals. Knowing that my relationship goes beyond that one event being executed. Read more>>

Lauren Battistini | Architectural + Design Color Consultant

Risk taking and entrepreneurship go hand in hand in my color consulting business. As a one-woman show and small business owner, I had to make a name for myself early on to be noticed, so I reached out directly to local and nationally syndicated TV shows and producers. I cold called them with a compelling TV segment pitch and received exposure that way. I also cold called and connected with brands at the local Houston level to collaborate and partner on events. Cold calling, offering something unique and of value, and seeking to create mutually profitable business relationships are the keys to my business success. Read more>>

Britney Crosson | Social Media Consultant & Podcast Host

Without a doubt, the most important factors behind the success of my brand have been authenticity, persistence and consistency. I’m real with my online audience. Who I am on social media is who I am in real life. And over time I learned not to hold anything back. When it comes to building a bold personal brand on social media, you’ve gotta put it all out on the table. Know how to juggle? Good. Do it in a video. Know how to do yoga poses? Great. Do it in a photo. Know how to solve the rubik’s cube? Great. Do it in a video. Read more>> 

Nikki Batagower | Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist

What contributes to my success is learning to give myself grace as I do with my patients. Part of my job as pediatric speech-language pathologist is setting goals for my patients. For example, patient X will attend to his name when called in 4/5 opportunities given minimal prompts/cues. The purpose of writing goals is not for the child to be perfect at the skill but to demonstrate mastery of such targeted skill. Similar to my patients, I set goals for myself; however, I have found that I sometimes hold myself higher, unrealistic performance criteria (5/5 opportunities = 100% = perfect all the time), which is not realistic. Read more>>

Thu Nguyen | Daughter and PT Manicurist, Everyone’s Niece

Montrose Nails was built by two Vietnamese immigrant sisters who felt the need for a smaller salon that would naturally fit into the neighborhood culture of Houston’s Fourth Ward/Montrose. The key factor behind that, and the eventual success of the salon, was the guiding principle to treat everyone like family. Our clients are our family: not only do we care for their nails and skin with just as much attention to detail as with our own children, sibling, or parents, we eventually grow to share each others’ joys and sorrows. The salon has been open for nearly 17 years now, which might be a testament to the strong community that has grown around it. Read more>>

Tara Ames | Owner & Designer at Restoration Marketing

I take pride in the brand I have created with trust and friendship. I treat each one of my clients like family; their success is the most important thing to me. I started Restoration Marketing to assist small business owners in growing a profitable business. There are highs and lows while doing this. My passion is to drive these individuals through the lows and celebrate with them during the highs! Read more>>

Jared Pollard | Wildlife Biologist & President of Wildernex LLC

Customer Service!!! This is the key to our success at Wildernex Wildlife Control! We deliver the best service in our industry and we hear that from our clients repeatedly. We deliver the most professional services and our educated staff certainly knows how to handle wildlife in the most professional to solve your nuisance wildlife problem quickly, effectively, and keep it under control long term; but, the key factor that stands out is our customer service. This is what keeps our clients with us long-term and what drives our clients to tell their family, friends, and neighbors about us! We deliver what I refer to as “old school” style of customer service. Friendly and personal customer service start to finish. Read more>>

Mone’ | Artist

The important factor of my success is keeping my faith, and continuing to grind even when the odds are against me. Also, another important factor is having a team behind me. Not a just team that’s there because they know me, or grew up with me, but people who believe in me & want me to succeed in life. Read more>>