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.

Susie Carder | Profit Coach

Finding something YOU Love!! Then it is never work… something you are passionate about something you would do for free and then monitzie! When you are doing what you love you never work again. Read more>>

Tamiko Lowry Pugh | Author, Life Coach, Speaker & Advocate

The most important factor behind my success is my ability to live my life according to my values, making sure they align with everything that I do. My values are what I believe in, what I stand for, and my convictions about what is most important in my life. Living according to my values, keeps my life and business in balance, allowing me to effectively prioritize my goals and determine the best direction and course of action I should take. I believe that values are the driving force behind any successful life. One of my favorite quotes by Dalai Lama says, “Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.” Read more>>

Barbara MacFerrin | Fine Art Portrait Photographer

I believe being different and standing out is the most important factor. There are so many creative people out there doing amazing things. You have to offer a unique service or product that stands out in order to be memorable. Maybe what you have to offer isn’t for everyone, but the ones who are looking for what you have are going to come to you. Always follow your heart and do what you love instead of following trends to try and please everyone. Read more>>

Becky Dyer | Retail Owner

Good, old fashioned hard work is what our success was built on, and what continues to grow it. My family has owned this retail business my entire life, and my husband and I purchased the business from my parents about four years ago. Retail is in my blood, and selling is my God-given gift, but retail is still one of the hardest, most stressful professions. Being a retailer requires drive and motivation. Recently, due to the pandemic, we were forced to re-think our age-old principles of selling. We pivoted to begin selling on a Facebook LIVE format, rather than rely solely on foot traffic in-store. These weekly Facebook LIVE Sales have become hugely popular for us, which has in turn, created significantly more work for myself and my staff. It is a very fast-paced environment and the only way to success is through hard work. Read more>>

Dawn Mahealani Douglas | Owner

As an entertainer, I have always believed that success depends on how well you connect with other people. This is especially true of entertainers in the live events industry. The entertainers I look up to have the kind of charismatic personalities that draw people to them–that make people want to watch them and engage with them. It’s like magic, and this magic comes from a deep passion for their art and sharing it with the world. I think I became this type of entertainer when I decided to focus solely on the Polynesian performing arts. I started my company performing solo in 2017 and was astounded at booking over 200 shows that year. I have always loved entertaining audiences since I’ve been doing it from the time I was old enough to walk, but I was also educating people about different cultures they may not otherwise be exposed to in this part of the country. Read more>>

Dr. Kim McNair | CEO, Speaker, Executive Producer, Events Expert & Author

First thing for me was perfecting my craft and learning the importance of serving others. Then I knew, I needed to be authentic in all my work and build strong relationships. Once I did that Identified my niche. I made sure I kept God first as I built a team of like minded people to succeed. The most important success of my brand was to be known as the problem solver and exceed the expectations of my clients. When I sit down with a client to discuss their plans and ideas, I have to identify their touch points and how to engage their audience with the brand. Working alongside them to craft and create a concept for an amazing event from beginning to end. But what makes KMP unique is the ability to help them in the area of marketing and promotions. taking their idea to the next level. Once I knew I had a multifaceted brand I was able to succeed. One extra I’m helping our young girls by mentoring them to become successful women in business. Read more>>

Brandy Walker | Certified Fitness Instructor & Health Coach

The most important factor behind my success as an entrepreneur is simple. Self care that truly impact ones’ quality of life. I have come to realize how important physical/mental health and fitness is to maintaining a certain lifestyle. How vital personal wellness is in achieving and adapting to the unexpected. This unexpected that comes with life requires an ability to balance tasks in a way impossible without prioritizing self care. How you feel, how you think, your perspective and how you look inevitably. The mission of SimplyBeFitness is the self improved women. One who defines herself for herself through practices that aid in empowerment through transparency and strength, both mental and just as importantly, physical! Read more>>

Jennifer Norman | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

If I could choose one factor that has contributed to my success for my business and brand it would be friendship. I am a very personable person as it is. In order for me to capture the most authentic moments of my clients I have to connect with them not only as a photographer, but as a friend. I really delve deep into what makes my clients smile, laugh, and have fun! Once the images are delivered I make sure to not lose contact. I check in to make sure they are happy with their them and always ask if there is something I could have done better. A lot of my business strives on word of mouth and that in itself shows me that I’m doing something right. Read more>>

Kosh | Creative Wellness Consultant

The most important factor is probably consistency. Showing up for yourself and following through on your word helps others trust you. When people see you show up again and again they start to realize that you aren’t going away and because of this they will trust you more and refer you to others. The more you show up consistently the more you will have “top of mind” visibility to the people who are in tune with what you do. This helps people consider your services first because they constantly see your work placed in front of them. Can’t forget prayer, I pray a lot. Submitting to God’s ultimate plan. Read more>>

Denise Williams | Real Estate Broker & CEO

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is putting my team first. I am so passionate about seeing my team win! I am not one of those people that want all the glory. When people know that you genuinely care about their success it helps to build loyalty and trust among your group. As a result, your retention rate is high and your income will continue to increase over time. Read more>>

Marissa Jones | Founder & Social Worker

Tea and Girl Talk (TAGT) was a vision that God placed on my heart many years ago as a young woman navigating life. With time, dedication and diligence, that vision was executed when TAGT emerged as a life group through, The Outlet Community church. Through this partnership, TAGT is able to offer an opportunity for women of all walks of life to have a safe place to converse, network, inspire others and walk away feeling empowered to serve our families and communities. Each month, TAGT is able to reach on average 25-30 women, ranging in age from 18-40 through our various outlets of communication (i.e. TAGT newsletter, social media IG: @TeaAndGirlTalk, and our popular monthly events). The unique quality that TAGT brings is that, we offer a cost-free creative event for each month, with past themes such as “Vision Boards and SMART Goals” “I’m Every Woman “and our fan favorite, “The Talk” A Co-Ed event. Read more>>

Jasmin Robinson | Entrepreneurship & Entertainment Attorney

I’m changing 5% of lawyers being black: I’m a force of nature and goodness for my community. When I share my story and work with my future law students, I see a weight lifted off their shoulders: more goodness. Accordingly, I will continue working day in and out to ensure our voices are heard and systematic oppressions are dismantled. The unjust treatment in black and brown communities drives me to change millions of lives. Accordingly, I must remain focused on my mission: helping thousands of black men and women become lawyers that make the justice system better. Read more>>

King Slick | Actor, Radio Show Host & Blogger

I would say the most important factor behind my success would be my ability to adapt and evolve, while staying true to my brand and my audience. There’s so many blogs, podcasts, radio shows, YouTube channels, etc. out there that you have to find a way to stand out. Because many content creators are making it by concentrating on negativity, messy gossip and “Shade,” I stand out by keeping my content positive and for the betterment of the community. Now, don’t think we don’t push the envelope at Slick Talk with our shows and content. We just try to find universal topics that everyone can relate to, while not cutting anyone else down. This is who I am as a person. This is who we are as a team. These are our values and we make sure the brand reflects that. Read more>>

Audrey Jones | Certified Wedding & Design Planner

The most factor behind my success/brand is that my company name (Georgia TLC Events defines how I take care of my clients. We always put the Tender, Loving, Care in all we do from beginning to end. Read more>>

Jessica Levin | Digital Strategist

Listening to my clients and truly hearing what they are saying. It is one thing to take a meeting with a new client or even an existing client and think you are listening to really be thinking about what is the next great idea or suggestion you want to give. I believe that everyone on the team has a voice and I treat everyone with respect. The biggest respect you can give another person is to listen to them and really hear what they are saying and take it in. Read more>>

Melanie Torteli | Owner & Artist

The most important factor behind my success is being confident enough to push past my comfort zones and to know when to step back and relax. Read more>>

Richard Glenn | Music Producer & Musician

The most important factor behind our success is, not giving up. Through continued efforts you will bear the fruit of your labor. Read more>>

Renate Simpson-Trussell | Zumba® & Mixxedfit® Instructor

The most important factor behind the success that I’ve had so far has been my PASSION. Oprah Winfrey quoted, “PASSION IS ENERGY. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” For me, my passion of dance is what excites me. Assisting people to become healthier and a better version of themselves means the world to me. Read more>>

Ludmila Harrison | Artist

Drive to perfection! I suspect answer lies in the idea of continual learning . You have to love what you do and put your whole heart into it, all your creative fantasies and God given abilities. My perspective is that without growth, without forced transformation, we experience stagnation, and it prevents us from living a full and rich life. I always love to create something new, painting, drawing, writing short stories, knitting… learning new Language, new challenges, maybe because of that I loved Mathematics in school and University when I attended. Also I love to travel! Read more>>

Toyosi Fatoyinbo | 2nd year Medical Student

Determination, Focus, and Purpose. Success does not happen overnight, in fact, you will have many failures before reaching “success” but the goal of making it is never giving up, being determined, and focused on your purpose. I certainly believe the path I am on is meant for me and will lead me to my purpose in the future. These are honestly what keeps me going, what makes me get up in the morning, what motivates me to put in countless hours into studying. This is also my passion which doesn’t make​ being focused that hard. Read more>>