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.

Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona | Arts Organization

There are many factors behind the success of Arts Foundation. Still, one we will emphasize is our committed team of interdisciplinary working artists and culture workers with first-hand knowledge of what it means to make a living as an artist in the Southwest. Our team of 5-full time employees; Adriana Gallego, Executive Director; Yurika Isoe, Grants and Services Manager; Woods Fairchild, Public Art Project Manager; Wylwyn Reyes, Public Art Project Manager; and Jenea Sanchez, Communications Manager, is complemented by consultancies of 7 women-owned small businesses: Read more>>

Ashley Scott | Ashley Ailene Photography, LLC

I think the most important factor of my business success is the connection that I make with all my clients. I have been so lucky to have built such solid relationships with every person I take pictures of and I think that is what really drives my success. Small businesses thrive on connections, because people want to get to know the person they are hiring and that is what keeps them coming back. Read more>>

Shelley Gerodias | Owner & Photographer Blushing Lens

Definitely my people skills and ability to network. I’m always meeting new people and making connections. I never let an opportunity for good conversation pass me by, You never no who you are going to meet. I pride myself on being a genuine “listener,” I always try to truly listen to people, and not just “hear” them. I love leaving a photo session or meeting leaving someone feeling better than before we met. Read more>>

Heather Kain | Owner & Designer

I didn’t even thing twice about this answer. It’s evolving. Being able to constantly grow with your business and evolve with markets and even aligning with current passions has kept us relevant and going strong for 12 years! Read more>>

Sandelle Johnson | Event Planner/ Decorater and Baker

God First. Growing up in a Christian household has taught me to put God first in everything I do and everything else follows naturally. (MATTHEW 6:33). Passion. There is a saying from Dale Carnegie which goes “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing”. This rings so true and I can’t but agree with him. I go above and beyond for my “clientamily” and in turn receive tons of positive feedback and genuine gratitude from them. Read more>>

Jesse Chavez | CEO & Entrepreneur

Our brands success is due in large to the experience we provide. Unlike most of our competitors we distinguish our brand by bringing in a more relatable and invaluable product. Our product is more about the journey and growth of each individual athlete vs the outcome. The brands tagline is “Love the sport.” Each individual that goes through our facility has a different definition for what “Love the sport” means to them. Collectively our athletes appreciation of the gym shows through and achieves what most programs cannot. Read more>>

Luis Cruz | Financial Professional

I have been in the financial industry for 32 years. As a new advisor or agent, you go out and try to sell to everyone everything that your company offers because you truly think that that is the best way to help your clients. Early on I learned that was not the best way to help my clients, the best way was by first listening (what a noble idea) and many times by leaving them exactly where they were and that was very critical. Why is that critical? Because that is what is behind the success of my company and my brand. Read more>>

Didi Lawson | Writer & Tarot Card Reader

The most important factor to my success is make sure that all the steps I take are done with integrity. As a Writer and Tarot Card Reader there are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of what I say. Its important to me that all the things I put out are as well- informed as possible. The challenge to do things while being more informed forces me to perfect my craft. Putting quality ahead of quantity is most important to my success. Read more>>

Adrian Rios | Celebrity Makeup Artist and Educator

I think for me one of the most important things for me to learn was that the climb to success is not always a vertical move. There will be many setbacks and it’s important to pay close attention to them. These are the moments we learn from the most. That teach us how bad we want something. How to pause, assess, and calculate our next move. People that climb mountains know that you don’t just go straight up. The climb builds strength and requires determination and focus. Read more>>

Alexandria Carroll | Alien & Clothing Designer

The Modern Alien started out as a graphic t-shirt shop, but as the brand has grown It has been converted more into festival clothing. So with that being said, the most important factor behind the success of the brand is how each piece speaks to my customers. My favorite part about selling in person is hearing people say, ” I saw this from across the road and I just had to have it!” These moments are so important because I want my brand to help represent an individual’s creative style! Read more>>

Papikaiser | Latin Urban Music Artist/ Model

The most important factor behind my success and the success of my brand is my team and all our hard work. Read more>>

Meet Amy Long | Home Decor and Lifestyle Social Media Influencer and Owner, Modern Farmhouse Glam LLC

Determination, persistence, and commitment. Starting your own business takes all three of these factors to the extreme. Read more>>