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

Thorn Daniels | Film Director

Jean Luc Godard once said “everything is cinema”.
A year and a half ago, I made the life change decision to sober. I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. When I look back on it, I’m surprised I was able to create. I think it was true my own unhappiness that drove me to use. Rather than the excuse, I’d say, I work so hard on projects I need to blow off steam. Junkies will always come up with excuses, and I was no different. My old routines when it came to my creative process were a cylce of self-destruction. My work is extremely personal, and I believed I had to stay in a dark place to create, thinking completing the next project would make me happy or fill some hole I have in me. I’d start by smoking weed, then maybe some Adderal or coke to get me into an almost manic creative state. If I got anything done. Read more>>

Juan Calderon Cabal | Composer and Guitarist

Perseverance and sticking to a routine. At the moment I set apart two to four hours of the day to composing and playing guitar and I spend an hour on each aspect of a particular project such as sketching ideas, notating music and transferring from notebooks to a publishing software. I try to balance having creative time and time to work on the technical aspects of putting together a piece of music. I find it more natural to write on paper and then to transfer the music to a music notation software in order to clean it up and make it readable. I set two hours to practice guitar and about 20 minutes to improvise, then I set an hour to either study to musical scores, research new opportunities for performances or to read. Everything is done with a stopwatch so that I can organize my time efficiently. I have been working since about 2014 on an absurdist opera project called “The Apthorps,” which is meant to capture an atmosphere of rarified upper class New York life from the point of view of an outsider. Read more>>

Enase Previlon | Event Designer and Coordinator

You cannot succeed in life without achieving personal growth, demands a willingness to accept and overcome difficult challenges. I faced many challenges but along the way; those trials made me a better boss and person in general. I also accepted and worked on any and all constructive criticism that I received. Most of all I created and followed a strict morning routine which consist of praying in the morning, breakfast, fixing my bed and listening to anything motivational. Read more>>

Minnelli Lucy France | The Orchid Artist

Having a strong work ethic and maintaining solid consistency in my work; it helps to have a “keep at it” mentality. Read more>>

Sandra Daulton Shaughnessy | Clay Artist, Clayhouse Pottery

Persistence, desire and the need to create! I have always worked with my hands and explored the many facets of making. My chosen material of clay was not always a viable option throughout my life so I would turn to professions in the arts that involved making with a variety of materials. The desire to create using fabric, airplane glue, paint, wood or metal kept my persistent need as a maker ongoing. I surrounded my self in professions in museums, art centers, sometimes as an administrator or as a technician as a way to pay the bills and still create , even if it was not in clay! Now, as I am able to work mainly in clay the past materials, processes and relationships I made in the arts inform the work I am making. The approach I take to organizing myself also relates to past lifestyle I had in my persistence to create!. Read more>>

Bertha Baum | Board Certified Dermatologist

Discipline, dedication and perseverance. Obvioulsy most importantly is to select something you truly love and are passionate about in order to apply these principles on a daily basis. Read more>>

Brian Greb | Caterer

We completely changed they way normal catering companies are run and operate. We committed to building long lasting relationships with both our corporate and private clients. With our focus on building relationships over profits we built a large base to build our success off of. Read more>>