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

Robert Reed | Vision Consultant

My habits that help me succeed is taking care of myself first spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically. Read more>>

Devon Stoebe | Fine Art Photographer

I am a person of routine. I start something, critique it each round on how I can make changes and then make it better for the next time. I do this naturally with all things, but when it comes to my business I believe it has been the true key to growing success in my business by getting returning clients again and again. I have a beginning, middle and end process from when a client inquires to when I complete and deliver their gallery creating a sense of trust so that they come back knowing exactly what to expect from me each and every time! I try to make it flow consistently with each and every client so that they feel valued, informed, and have a set expectation from beginning to end without ever feeling in the dark. I also like to make sure that everything I do eliminates as much work on their end as possible so it’s enjoyable and a true experience when they invest in my business. Read more>>

Ashley Richards | Founder and CEO of E Squared Marketing | Digital Marketing Expert

I removed any habits that did not positively change my life a long time ago, giving me more time to do the things I love, and more time to commit to my business and my family. For example, I do not watch any TV. For me it did not give me joy, just sucked time away. When I first met my husband in 2009, I did not even own a TV! A habit I formed is trying to do something for my self every single day, whether it is listening to a podcast, taking a bath, or reading a book, something that fills me up personally. I also recommend sticking with a routine. Consistency always pays off. Read more>>

Kendra Sollars | Artist and Maker

Growing up in the competitive sport of Artistic Swimming (formerly called Synchronized Swimming) has had an immense impact on the habits I’ve developed. At an early age, I developed a goal oriented mindset, a dedication to developing a skill and craft, and the ability to collaborate with a team. I went on to swim for one of the top teams in the country at The Ohio State University while pursuing my art degree, so I quickly learned important time management skills to balance my sport and my education successfully. These skills and habits have been instrumental in my successes in my art career. I still balance a full time day job with my art career, so time management skills continue to come into use every day.

Sandra Neumann Wilderman | Teaching Artist

I feel the habits that helped me succeed as a teaching artist include being well organized and adapting my lesson plans to keep the class interesting and challenging for those who have been taking my classes for years. Also, my adaptability to teach in my home, in my students’ homes, in a retail store class room, at a senior center and at an adult recreation center. Being able to share my experiences and knowledge, as a professional artist, with my students. I feel my enthusiasm for creating art is contagious and I enjoy seeing students get excited about a successful painting or when they have an “aha” moment. And last but not least, I tell my students I do not want them to paint like me and encourage them to develop their own style. Read more>>

Elena Makansi | Illustrator and Writer

I’ve always walked regularly, but after adopting my rescue dog three years ago, it became a daily necessity. Walking is an active meditation. It activates the body in a stimulating but gentle way, and it activates the mind through observation, focus, and perception. Suddenly we’re not just living in our head, we’re out in the world, interacting with the other living beings that surround us: other people, pets, plants, insects, birds, and so on. The practice of walking is hugely inspiring for a visual artist, as there are myriad things to look at and learn from. The texture of that peeling plaster, this color combination, that yellow flower, the way someone in the park laughs. Read more>>