We asked folks what they felt was the most important factor behind their success. For us, success is about accomplishing your mission. For some, that mission might be changing discriminatory practices within their industry and for others it might be building a sustainable, profitable business to support their family. Regardless of your mission, we want to equip you with wisdom and knowledge from the community in the hopes of increasing the likelihood that you are successful in your mission.

Lauren Oliver | Owner of The Oliver Baking Co.

I think that I’d attribute my desire to love others, and wanting to make people feel special, as the reason for my success. From the beginning, I started baking and gifting sweets to family and friends because I could literally feel their happiness as they received goods that were baked and packaged specifically for them. I wanted everyone to feel that. I wanted everyone that I came in contact with to feel that sense of love. If I can make people feel appreciated, thought of, and recognized, then I’ll never stop baking! Read more>>

Lacey Phillips- Youngs | Portrait Photographer

I have always seen beauty in ordinary things. Being able to take the ordinary and reveal the magic in it is where my success comes from. There is nothing I love to photograph more than human connection and authentic emotions. As long as I keep seeing the beauty in the little things, I think I will continue to be successful in my craft. Read more>>

Dr. Kelly Lupo | Naturopathic Doctor

The most important factor behind the success of my naturopathic medical practice is my authenticity. Through my social media outlets, I openly share my story of how my medical concerns were dismissed by previous practitioners and naturopathic medicine changed the game for my own health. Through my own personal experiences as a patient, I’ve learned the importance of educating others so they can make informed decisions about their health. Read more>>

Jeremiah Gratza | Owner of Thunderbird Lounge

Community, 100%. If it wasn’t for our wonderful Melrose neighbors we would not be as successful as we are. When one of our security guard’s daughter needed brain surgery, the community came together to help raise over $5,000 for her surgery! In turn we try to give back as much as we can as well. Last November we hosted a Drag Cornhole Tournament where we were able to raise $1,500 for the Human Rights Campaign and when we were forced to close our lounge we deiced to offer free toilet paper with every to go and delivery. Read more>>

Liz Price | Licensed Esthetician

Hands down – our guests! We’ve been so blessed by the hundreds of women and men that spend time with us each month. We’ve grown from a single esthetician studio to a talented team of three because our clients continue to refer their friends and family. For them, we strive to provide an inviting atmosphere that’s both comfortable and clean. Every single service we offer is customized to meet each individual’s need. Read more>>

Mallory Soule | Private Chef & Cooking Class Instructor

The most important factor behind the success of my brand is building genuine relationships. These genuine relationships are built with purveyors, the community, my team, and my clients. Read more>>

Stephanie Cahill | Mental Health Advocate

If I were to give one piece of advice, it would be ‘never underestimate yourself’. Through my work, I have learned you can do what seems like the impossible. The secret behind doing the impossible, you ask? It is constantly reminding yourself, that no matter what, there is another way. At the beginning I failed constantly. I was told no a thousand times before I was told yes. But my biggest inspiration was my mother, who somehow could always think of a new way to try. Read more>>

Kimberly Perez | Owner of My Comadre’s Kitchen

Definitely the quality of production. I bake fresh everyday to make sure my customers receive the freshest cupcake/cake. I know other bakers will bake in advance, and freeze the cupcakes but I just can’t get myself to do this. I’m not saying anything is wrong with it but it’s just not an option for me. Read more>>

Maura Dixon | Illustrator

By far the most important thing is staying true to myself and my style. It has been a long and difficult journey developing my style and allowing myself to tell my stories through my artwork. Now that I have developed a unique style and voice, I can produce work that I am happy with, that shows the skills I’ve learned through my education and continuous drawing practice. If my work didn’t mean something to me, it would not be worth all the hard work. Read more>>

Nazila Sawhney | Fashion Designer/Philanthropist

Nazila Couture’s approach to fashion is more than just beautiful clothes. It’s about sharing a feeling, and an experience. The clothes should make one feel excited, powerful, confident and above all a feeling of belonging in a tribe of women who uplift each other, and create opportunities where not possible otherwise. NC is a brand that goes beyond selling products, every garment is made with a purpose and an actual story. Read more>>

Kyle Auga | Kinetics Sculpture Artist

The thing that has made me grow and succeed is the fact that I simply love making NEW things. I have an itch to make new and creative things. It’s satisfying to make something new and sit back and look at it. But shortly after it’s made, I get the itch again to make something new! I don’t care whether or not it “will sell” it’s not a concern to me. My concern is the challenge of the new and people recognize that and usually someone comes forward that likes what I made! Read more>>

Katie Gamero | Interior Designer

I think the most important factor behind my success is authenticity. I want my designs to feel authentic to the client, to feel authentic to what I believe in and preach as a designer, and authentic to the underlying purpose of the space. Part of my process with every project, large or small, is asking myself questions along the way: Would this piece hold up in my house with kids and a dog? Would I be happy with the quality of this piece over time? Would I pay this price for this item? Read more>>

Michela Longo | Business Owner and Client Care

Having the right attitude. Letting fear go and making decisions with love. Trying not to have too many expectations, I accept the task at hand and have gratitude for the outcome no matter what the outcome, because it’s all one big learning experience in how you play the business game. Read more>>

Karely Badillo | Permanent Makeup Artist

The most important factor in the success of my brand I would say is me. My main goal in my business is to provide the utmost best service possible while still being my genuine self. I am a very proud latina and I like showing my true self to my potential clients. I feel that when someone books with me is because they love and trust my work all while vibing with me. If I have to alter myself to get clients than that is me not being my true self. Being genuine and honest in everything I do is my priority. Read more>>