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.

Jenny Perez | Artist & Yoga Instructor

Authenticity is the 1st contributing factor . After that, I believer my success is relative to my state of mind . When I am happy with the work I do, when I am excited and continuing to share that excitement, the world responds positively. Read more>>

David Diaz | Filmmaker and Video Production

I think the most important thing is trust yourself. The you start anything, you are going to have 10 people who say go for it, and 20 others who think you’re crazy. At some point you have to block out the noise and believe in yourself, and your craft. As an independent filmmaker, I have to work 10x as hard to get my films off the ground. I use every asset I have at my disposal and have to trust my gut. These short films I make, have no budget really. I don’t let that discourage me and tell the story the best I can. At the end of the day, the story in film, is what matters most. There’s been great shorts that were shot on an iPhone. You don’t need a RED camera, just go out and film your story. Read more>>

Alejandro Lista | Entertainment Director Faena/ Creative Music Curator

The most important factor is to be persistent on your own methods and always been a step ahead to what could happen unexpectedly. Read more>>

Jay Britto and David Charette Jay Britto and David Charette | Founding Principals of Britto Charette

Multiple factors have helped us become successful, but the most important are discipline and meeting timelines. There are a lot of designers out there–people with really good ideas. But what sets us apart is our ability to follow through and make the final design happen. We take pride in being responsible (and personable) and our clients want to do business with someone who is serious about what they do. Read more>>

Melissa Sweredoski | Photographer & Publicist

The success behind Moments by Mel is fueled by my passion for people. In all aspects of my life, I connect with people. I don’t see any of my jobs as work, rather an outlet for my skills and natural personality. I have been working in communications for nearly a decade and when I am with a client, they get all of me. Moments by Mel highlights my ability to not only take a good photo, but to understand a human to their core and capture their essence in a still image. Whether you’re looking for branding or a family portrait, there are little “moments” that I capture which set clients apart. My success comes from connecting and understanding this on a deeper level, so I can help them reach their goals. Read more>>

Takarra Woodson | Owner of Hot Sauce Shero

The most important factor is that I do not give up. I hit my personal rock bottom in my start up stage. I had invested so much money into my business, I wasn’t seeing a return and I felt defeated. I really did not want all of my investments to go to waste by giving up, but I didn’t know what else to do. I’m not religious, but I do believe in God so I called my sister and cried and she prayed with me. Shortly after, my cousin reached out to me and gave me some well needed guidance to help me turn my business around. I learned something extremely valuable that day: NEVER GIVE UP. Read more>>

Cheryl Derricotte | CEO & Visual Artist

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is authenticity. People trust me to be open and honest–even when dealing with difficult topics in my art. I am known for welcoming people into conversations and helping them identify their voice as art collectors and engaged citizens. Read more>>

Alejandra Romero | Dj and Beat Maker

believe in myself and being honest. Be open to possibilities and not just depend on playing it safe. Thinking outside the box allows us to expand our creativity and get closer to what makes us unique. It is important to discover what we are and not end up imitating what people consider “The standard” For me, listening to people is important to understand their space. In this way, my shows are an open invitation and not an imposition. At the end of the day, entertaining is a proposal of love for what you believe in. If that makes others fall in love, I will have accomplished my task. Read more>>

Nina Arce | Makeup Artist

For me, it’s the relationships and networking. When I first started doing makeup I was an introvert. I knew, if I wanted to be successful, I had to step outside my comport zone and make myself more social and network with everyone. You can be the best makeup artist in the world but you also have to know how to get your clients; your network determines your net worth. I make friends with all my clients and water my relationships so the majority of my customers are always coming back. Read more>>

Bridget King | CEO, Home Staging Expert of Captiva Design

We pride ourselves on creativity, honesty and integrity. Our Branding is personal. We make every effort to make clients feel like they are a part of a community, building on-going, long-lasting relationships. One of the keys to our success is our ability to communicate with our clients, and our collaboration with some of the best trades in the design business. Read more>>

Robert Caldwell | Cigar Manufacturer

My brand’s success has been driven largely by breaking from the norms of the industry. I came into an industry that has been dominated by pedigree and tradition. I had neither when I came into this industry. I had different approach, which centered heavily around contemporary art, yet maintained tradition in my manufacturing. Prior to my company’s arrival, very few risks had been taken (in regards to packaging, design and direction). We delivered a product that immediately competed in terms of quality, but also struck a chord with consumers due to it’s approach. Read more>>

Guy & Brenda Hoffman | Artists & Designers

The most important factor in our success is hiw we approach our crystalnart with authentic and loving intention. For us, this is a spiritual process. Our intention is to make art that carries the energies of love, courage, hope, nurturing, soothing, and many other energies of the healing kind. Its our dharma to make art that vibes high, means something powerful when its gifted, and most importantly, art that is an expression of pure love and is felt as such. This is one reason clients return again and again for special gifts for themselves and loved ones. Read more>>