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.

Renea Ash | Professional Photographer & Business Owner

The most important factor behind my success as a photographer is solving problems the client doesn’t know they have. These problems are often identified during the discovery call where they indicate the purpose for the photos which sometimes doesn’t line up with the type of photoshoot they are seeking. Read more>>

Ja-Harry Edwards | Super Entrepreneur

Consistency..consistency…consistency. When you are consistent in a certain area you are bound to get results. Giving up or being lazy is never an option if you really want to see success with your brand. Look at companies like Micky D’s. You shop there because the business the service the burgers are consistent. Consistency is like a cousin to reliability. If your are consistent in business people tend to rely on you. Read more>>

Guillana Socorro | Social Media Influencer, Photographer, Pre-Med Student

One important factor behind success in my life is my authenticity. I have learned that embracing myself, my values and my imperfections allows me to know myself and learn how to grow to become the best version of who I am. Rather than living for others or living to be like others, I have grown to fully love who I am and the journey I’m on for self-growth and fulfillment. Read more>>

Tai Caldwell | Tai Caldwell, Resilience Coach & Storyteller at Write. Speak. Inspire.™

God. I know it sounds so cliché but it’s true for me. I never knew as a child that my pain had purpose, that I would grow up to utilize my lived experience as I walk alongside others, simulaneously encouraging them on their wellness journeys. God had a customized plan for my life; I definitely did not have one for years. Read more>>

Monique Kilgore | Author & Food Blogger

It may sound a little eccentric, but trusting my creative intuition has significantly influenced my success. My gut impulses have always kept me in my lane and guided me in the right direction, so I have fun, create, and go with the flow. Read more>>

Catrina Alexandre | #BlackWomenInConstruction

Most important factor towards the success of #BlackWomenInConstruction is being authentic & speaking the truth about the journey in the industry. I pride myself on being true to myself & others in all situations. In the beginning of working in construction; it was hard finding a job, hard to find a mentor or apprentice opportunities. Read more>>

Brianna Knight | Singer & Songwriter

Community. Every opportunity I’ve received was because of someone referring me and encouraging me. I make sure every room I’m in I open myself up to genuinely connecting with people and asking “How can I help you?” I’m always willing to encourage or refer resources to people I support because I know when they have the chance they’ll do it for me and 9 times out of 10, it’s happened. Read more>>

Marla Hale | Owner and Creative Director of ROCKIN JEWELS and Co. LLC

My ability and love for being creative. You have to be able to stand out and creativity is my way of standing out and capturing the attention of my perspective audience. You have to be comfortable in being different. That is what will set you apart from others. I have always been confident that my creativity along with hardwork will allow me and my brand to grow and have long term success. Read more>>

Bred Hampton | Photographer & Filmmaker

The most important factor behind my success is Sacrifice. You have to be willing to give up things you like for things you love. Every sacrifice brought and still brings me closer and closer to my goals and dreams. Read more>>

Andrew (Drew) Ochran | Tour Manager & Creative Director

I think the most important factor behind my own success; if you want to call it that, and the success of Mighty Gang, is the fact that we don’t get complacent. We celebrate success with more work! Just 2 months ago Haviah Mighty won the JUNO award for Best Rap Album of The Year in a stacked category with Toronto heaters Smiley, NorthsideBenji, Pressa, Belly and Nav. The afterparty was lit… but I was with Haviah in the studio the next day while she was recording her Churchill Downs freestyle and other records for what she has coming up. Read more>>

Asé Selah | Artist, Visionary and Curator

The most important factor behind my brand is when inspiration and emotion are reflected in my works. Read more>>

Breathless aka Honey B | Recording Artist, Songwriter, Performing Artist, Voice Over, Curator

I believe one of the most important factosr behind my success is my ability to allow my authentic self to be the muse of my stories. Every song is a sincere expression of an emotion or thought or vibe in a moment in time. Read more>>

Aishatu Ahmadu | Lyricist, Artist, Healer, Alchemist, Mystic, Writer, Author, & Influencer

“Unleash The Goddess Within” This is the most important factor behind my brand. Being a Goddess/God is fully embracing, and deeply accepting all parts of your self; celebrating all parts of who you are. It’s the understanding that you are valid everyday you open your eyes. Unleashing the Goddess within is walking in your power, and being the fullest version of yourself. Read more>>

Melinda Cassiday Jacques | Owner, En Pointe School of Dance

It sounds corny, but I think the most important factor behind the success of En Pointe is the love I have for all the dancers and my passion for teaching. While we could choose to focus solely on teaching incredible technique or having the best choreography, instead En Pointe focuses on the entire dancer, as a person. Read more>>

Shilaken | Artist & Fashion Designer

Being me! Being authentically me in every aspect has helped me create success for my image and my brand. Throughout my whole journey, I have found going with what I believe is best for Shilaken and everything else that comes with it and maintaining a high level of positivity and confidence is the key to my continuous success. Read more>>

Chef FLAVA P | Culinary entertainer

Being fearless, Innovative and leading with love! Those are some of my core values that I promote through my brand everyday. Read more>>

Stephanie Richardson | Kingdom Specialist

The most important factor behind my success is trusting God who order my steps daily. I live by a motto I heard a long time ago by the great Coach and basketball legend Phil Jackson. Read more>>

Stephanie Cartin | Co-Founder & CEO of Entreprenista Media

One word: community! Read more>>

Miranda Webster | Entrepreneur

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is impact. I’m not just in the business of selling skincare. My skincare brand promotes self-care as it pertains to mental health. My intention is to provide my products and resources, such as my blogs and eBooks, to allow people to utilize those as the reason they either get started or push though even stronger on their journeys of self-care and self-love all in efforts to create a mental space they love. Read more>>

Jehan Muhammad | Actress and Artist

The most important factor behind my success is embracing solitude and independence. I’ve always been an introvert and loner and I spend a lot of time alone. It has helped me to listen to my inner self and not be influenced by the opinions and suggestions of others. I think that’s honestly one of my best characteristics, being able to think for myself. Read more>>

Kayla Bumpus | Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Attorney

Remaining humble . I believe that by being humble it allows me to continue you learn, grow, and be relatable. Also, being humble opens doors that you could never imagine. Read more>>

Trey Wilson | Photographer & Videographer

I think the most important factor behind my success is myself and the people around me. I cannot speak enough on how important you and the people within close proximity are to succeeding. Mostly up to this point so far, I have done nothing but tried to stay 100% confident and bet on myself every single time possible. Read more>>

Clarence Chef Jai” Johnson

In terms of social media, what matters most is creating engaging content that will reach multiple audiences and help push the growth of the business. On top of that we want to build connections, tell our story and create a platform that represents something of positive value. We always want to ensure that the information on all of the social media platforms is accurate and up to date. Read more>>