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.

Tonia Ajamu | Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner- Board Certified

The most important factor behind my success and brand is compassion. Often times, I have worked with or worked for professionals in this industry who either don’t have or don’t tap into their sympathy for the suffering of the patient. Conversely, I chose this career path because of the feeling that I had from the nurses who treated my mother during her battle with breast cancer. Read more>>

Hope Conley | Aesthetician

Owning a beauty business and being a woman of faith, the most important factor of my brands success is that I get to inspire and encourage the people that God destined for me to impact. When I make decisions for my business, the main question I ask myself is how will this help impact others and am I following God’s will for my business. My craft and business is not my own. I couldn’t be as successful as I have been without Him. Read more>>

Beth Brake | Owner/Lead Agent GoalLine Real Estate Team

I believe the most important factor behind my success in my brand is the fact that I am teachable, always wanting to learn. I trust the process, the systems and the tools that are put into place and look to the successful agents that have gone in front of me. Why would I need to reinvent the wheel or do anything different at all when there’s tried and true ways to do some thing and it’s been proven to be successful Read more>>

Michael Cruz | Physical Therapist, Yoga Instructor & Meditation Guide

The single most important factor behind my success is authenticity. My personal motto/mantra is “aim true and be you,” and I take that with me everywhere I go. I try my best to show up in my life as the 100% true version of myself not only in having an online presence on social media but also more importantly in real life. Read more>>

Ashley Sawyer | Boutique Owner & Retail Enthusiast

I attribute a large part of our boutique’s success to knowing my ideal customer as well as I do. One of the greatest things a business owner ever told me was that “it’s okay to not have something for everyone.” When you create an environment that tries to accommodate every person that walks in the door, it confuses your core customer. Read more>>

Dena Igusti | Author, Playwright, Multimedia Artist, and FGM Advocate

I think the most important factor behind my success is being truly honest in my writing. When I first got into poetry, while I met people who had so many parallels to my ide3ntity, it was hard learning to write about being Indonesian AND Muslim AND queer AND a survivor of FGM AND a born and raised New Yorker affected by gentrification. Read more>>