We asked some of the city’s rising stars about why they think they have been so successful and we’ve shared their responses below.

Elijah Tyson: Transformation Coach

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is the WHY behind my brand. My WHY has been deeper rooted in the impact that I have on my community as I use my platform to cultivate a mindset within Black & Minority Men to understand that they can sustainably upkeep their physical and mental health while building generational wealth. Read more>>

Noah Brown: Player/Life Development Mentor

One of my good friends, Coach Vaki, said, “It’s not the what. It’s the why.” My why is the most important factor. It’s authentic, genuine and true to who I am; being a servant, passing on knowledge to the next generation and spreading my faith via action(s). Read more>>

Niqo Sama: Artist

The most important factor has to be a mix between trusting myself and working hard. Trusting myself to bring my own uniqueness and originality to the world through my work. Trusting that if as long as I align my actions to my goals, eventually they will meet up. Which has alot to do with working hard, I think of it like building something, it takes a lot of little steps to create the whole end result. Which also takes consistency , that in itself is hard work, so to me those are the most important factors of not just my success but sort of the blueprint for success in general. Read more>>

Cara Heard: Artist, Art Instructor, Entreprenuer

I believe that the most important factor behind the success of the Lush Art brand is the people. This is a business designed for the people. My drive was to make art attainable for all, to help people feel seen, to build confidence and community. And I did that, with an amazing group of employees over the years. I love providing a place for my instructors to make money on their talent. Artists don’t have to be starving. I also know that being relatable, sharing the funny I Love Lucy moments of my life, the ups and downs make me easy to approach and makes people feel comfortable. Basically we strive to make people more comfortable with our awkwardness and relateability. Are you anxious? Great, so are we. Are you depressed? Great, so are we. Are you socially awkward? Great so are we. Regardless of who you are, we want you to feel special and not alone. Read more>>

Brian Yount: Music Producer/ Audio Engineer

Consistency I feel like if you have the ethic you’ll see the improvements talent was enough when I was just getting started but when you really in music you’ll see you gotta learn to become consistent / dependable immediately. Read more>>

Jackie Davis: Founder & Chief Wellness Officer

Authenticity. Our business, Jubilance Juice, was developed almost by happenstance. I’m an active duty military soldier, so health and nutrition are a consistent part of my regular routines. I’ve meal prepped and juiced for my family for years because I believe when you feel good on the inside, you look good and perform well on the outside. Being surrounded by soldiers at work each day, they noticed the various blends I was drinking and began to ask questions. So, of course, I shared my juice with them! A sample here and there turned into requests to place their own orders. What began with 12-20 bottles each week for my close co-workers turned into requests of 200-300 as they began to share their experiences and word of our product and its quality spread. From there, we began to develop our brand, design our website, and share our vision with the world beyond our close friends and family. Read more>>

Antoinette Johnson: Celebrity Fashion Stylist, Author & Serial Fashionpreuner

The most crucial aspect of how I have my business so successful today is that I have never given up on achieving the purpose of my business. As a first-generation entrepreneur and a person of colour, I’d realized quickly how much work I had to put into making my business as successful as it is right now. And during this journey as a creative entrepreneur, I went through downfalls in my personal life that I didn’t think I would ever bounce back from (like seriously, rock bottom downfall). What motivated me that still kept me going was my business. My passion for fashion and creating a safe space for all individuals to be stylish and confident is the reason why I still haven’t given up yet. They’re going to be parts of your business journey when you feel like that your not worthy, not getting anything right or something personal that out of your control that can mess you up. It’s important to realize that your dreams and passions are more significant than what you’re going through. So keep persevering even when you don’t see the light under the tunnel. Read more>>

Delvon Jae: Art Designer

Firstly, for whoever wears Checkmate x DelvonJae, I want them to be confident and comfy all while letting y the pieces speak for you—Checkmate, game over! My garments have made me feel this way because I, too am working being more confident and ultimately love to be comfortable while knocking down these barriers. Secondly (here’s where my hippie side comes out lol), to make the world a more beautiful place. I make pieces that people can hold on to with longevity and sustainability. This helps with nurturing the world. Lessen the damages of Fast Fashion in the landfills—which causes ruptures in the ozone layers and it ends up right back at us. Why not take care of yourself by taking care of your atmosphere?. Read more>>

Nikko: Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist & Visual Creator

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is God. My belief and faith in Him is the main reason I keep going. I work everyday to make sure that I am living and operating within my purpose. I’ve been blessed with many gifts and talents and it’s my duty to use them all. I simply follow God’s lead in all that I do. Read more>>

Dr. Torian K. Salary: Minister & Life Coach

The most important factors behind my success can actually be found in a few things. First and foremost, it is my relationship with my almighty God. Success begins with a plan, a plan begins with a vision, and the vision is provided by God. When you are operating in the space that God ordained specifically for you, you can’t help but succeed. Following my relationship with God, the next factor is my family. My wife is very supportive of whatever crazy dream or goal that I tell her. She smiles and says “Do it, baby!” It’s like having your own constant cheerleader on your sideline of life. Finally, another important factor behind my success is the fear of mediocrity. I’m a strong believer that if you are going to do something, you might as well do your absolute best… especially when you are serving others with your gifts and talent. If you are not going to give your best, you are not only wasting your time but you are robbing your audience of your true potential, and I don’t believe in doing that. I look at it this way. Read more>>

Richard Almes: Corporate Video Producer

While there are many production companies who offer camera, lights, sound and editing, we also offer, not only the dedication to the client and their needs, but an assimilation to their culture and brand. We become the ‘trusted employee’ who doesn’t just show up on time and produce content that reaches and affects their audience, but one who practices great discretion with their projects and internal information. We almost never post behind-the-scene photos, talk about the projects or ask for credit. That seems to resonate with our clientele and is part of the reason they have kept us ‘around’ for many years. It’s never about us. It’s always about them. Read more>>

Mama Jan Smith: Music & Vocal Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Musician

I used to think the most important factor behind success was success itself … meaning, that in the eyes of the world you had achieved some kind of benchmark that set you and/or your business apart from the pack. What I now know to be true is that success is a journey, not a destination. One never truly “arrives” at success, rather “being” successful is in the achieving of goals and benchmarks. In the eyes of the world, I am successful and have achieved a certain reputable status in my industry. But I see myself as a “working girl” continuing to grow and achieve, dream and expand, live and learn. If you stop learning you die. If you think you’ve arrived, your destination becomes the point at which your growth and success is limited. I hope I never stop growing and learning and doing whatever I can do to keep “being” successful. Read more>>

Logan Simmons: Professional Travel + Wedding Photographer

The most important thing – no question – is the importance of staying true. I have learned over the past 10 years that I’m just not physically able to walk into a room and be someone else. The mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is allowing the comparison of others’ success to mold their personalities into what they “think” they’re supposed to be. Now, in a world that is ran by social media, the stakes are even higher. We have to “one-up” everyone, because we can see they have more followers than us, are producing more content than us, are working with more popular people than us, are booking more clients than us, etc. We lose the vision that made us want to wake up and do this job in the first place. Read more>>

Miguel: Anthony Ortiz | Fioto | Co-Founders of TheTelly

The most important factor behind our brand is making original content with original people. We aim to amplify the voices of those who have something interesting to say or a unique perspective on a topic and support their voices with an innovative take on storytelling and filmmaking. We believe the success of our brand comes from this genuine relationship between content creator and distributor. Our viewers are attracted to our niche and aesthetic, giving us the liberty to push our creativity in non conventional ways. Read more>>

Shawn Shepard: Wedding Photographer

God! Having faith in him is what started my business and what has kept me going. There was a time in my life when I didn’t know where my next paycheck was coming from and blessings and opportunities would appear. I don’t believe it was magic, coincidence, or my own will that had that to happen. It was God!. Read more>>

Jaydash: Millennial Entrepreneur + Inspiration

The most important factor to me, is being consistently persistent. It’s one thing to have these great ideas, be excited about them, plan them out even. But that could just be motivation. The key is to execute and stick with it. People respond when things are constantly in front them and it’s relatable to their situation. So being consistently in front of their face, opens up alot of doors to success. Read more>>

Taylor Owings: Owner & Co-Founder

I think being gluten free ourselves, we really understood what we wanted Sally’s Gluten Free Bakery to be about. From digital to physical, having an informative website showcasing what we make and then having locations around town where you can just walk in whenever you want, choose from a selection of gluten free baked goods made fresh from scratch that morning, and enjoy them back home or on the go, just feeling like you’re able to live your life a little more normally even if you have food sensitivities. Read more>>

Brandon Pippin: Scream Rapper

One of the most important factors behind my success and my brand is my willingness to sacrifice everything for it to stay alive. I’ve lost relationships with friends, families, etc while building this brand of “Crewsont” and the IDGAF attitude I maintain in my life and my music has helped it grow and develop into what it is today. Read more>>

Paige Moore: Chef and Young Entrepreneur

When it comes to Chef Paige’s Kitchen, I believe the most important factor behind my success is my ambition. I’ve always been driven and always will be. My ambition is driven by the success that I hope for in the future. Being a Christian, I know God has a plan for me and he has great things in store for me. Read more>>

Brittany Bryant: Master Cosmetologist

The most important factor behind my success is my spirituality. Before I even began in my field, I had to first acknowledge what exactly it was that I wanted and next came how I was going to obtain it. Since then, everything else has fallen into place. I can honestly say that since I’ve been in the field of cosmetology, I have had a day where I’ve dreaded going to work. From that alone, I know that I love my career and can truthfully say that it is my passion. Read more>>

Tracy Roberts: Chef

The people that I surround myself with have been the biggest influence with my business. My circle pushes me hard, holds me accountable, and will not allow me to become complacent. When they see an idea or something dope, they send it my way as a source of creative inspiration! I am constantly encouraged to get myself out there more to make my presence more known. My village is always there to help me at a moments notice with no questions asked because they know I’m so driven and hardworking! I am so blessed to have them because I would not be where I am without them. They are the type of people that want to see me win and that is essentially the secret to the current success of my business!. Read more>>

Mary Goodwin: Owner

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is staying true to our mission. And, that is providing classic, fun and even trendy clothing to moms who wish to dress their kids like kids. I’m not going to get entangled in the common theme of doing just any ‘ole thing for a dollar. I desire for my brand to clothe generations and families of babies and kids for many, many years to come. Read more>>

Pamela Peynado: Atlanta Immigration Lawyer

The most important factor behind my success is my team. Whether it’s with my law firm, Lee & Peynado Immigration Law Group, or my nonprofit, The Love Project 404, having a team around me that is equally as passionate and ambitious has made all the difference. Read more>>

Kxng Blanco: Recording Artist/Hip Hop Artist

I’d say I have a few key factors behind my success honestly. The first one I would say is the fear of failure, I’m from a city where a lot of people have been at the door when it came to success with this music junk but it was some people who kilt their careers from having a small town mindset. My second factor to my success is my authenticity, like my fans and supports see the hunger behind every verse,video, and performance I do, they see I’m not putting on a front for likes and support it’s some shit they can really feel. The third factor to my success is God, it’s been times opportunities have just fallen in my lap for me to capitalize and rise and I can’t give that credit to no one but the man upstairs. Read more>>

Timothy Baker: Portrait Photographer

Hard work, Dedication and having a passion for what you do is the 1st thing that comes to mind when I think of the success that I have had thus far. I literally found this passion as a kid and I put it down to focus on life and what I thought would be best for my family. I was going to school and working but I felt so unhappy then I picked up a camera that I have had since 2014 and the passion came back all at once. But success doesn’t come from passion alone I had to put in the work and fully dedicate myself to where I saw myself being and then I had to learn what it took to get to the level that I want to be at and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I can do with a camera. Read more>>

Jennell Davis: Owner, The Royal Sunflower

For me, the most important factor behind my success is my awareness that whatever success I obtain is not about me. I have five children, a husband, two sisters I raised after our parents died, and a host of other people who depend on me. I do it for them, to show them it’s possible. I do it for the legacy of my parents. I do it for the people who will be changed or inspired by my story. That is what success is to me. When all is said and done, I want my life to be about service. Read more>>