We asked rising stars from the community one of our favorite questions: other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?

Nicole Kreuz | Owner, Bente Vintage

For me, it was being true to myself and committing to a somewhat risky, unique brand voice. There is a lot of competition in the vintage rug market and I knew we could compete on quality, price and style but giving our rugs personalities was the gray space. I had to consciously decide to not copy existing, successful companies, so I embraced my own voice. I wanted to make my customers laugh and I wanted them to enjoy the search as much as anything. So, I created a cheeky brand that is fun and funny and most importantly, different from everyone else. Not only did that help us find success, it also made it fun for me. From headlines on the site, product descriptions, music choices in Instagram stories, to funny posts, everything became an opportunity to have fun and to differentiate ourselves. I am also extremely selective about the rugs we list on the site, I don’t want to “have something for everyone” which I think is the way a lot of companies go. Instead, we have a highly curated selection, vintage rugs I’m excited about, rugs I want to put in my own home, rugs I don’t want to part with…I know what I like in a shopping experience, so I just tried to make my best experience better. Read more>>

Krishauna Washington | Owner of Stylyn Boutique

The most important decision I’ve made that contributed to my success was JUST STARTING!!! I held on to my ideas and the desires of my heart for a long time before I presented it to the world. I can thank fear for that! lol I was scared, scared that people wouldn’t receive my brand the way I wanted them to or that no one would support me. The day I launched my brand, that fear was gone! It feels incredible sharing my gifts. Read more>>

Bettyjean Hoaglund | Expressionist Artist

Once I retired as an executive headhunter, I decided to give my art the same focus and study and planning as my career had. I vowed to learn new techniques and create my own interpretations. Taking risks often leads to wonderful results. My curiosity guides me to learning new ways. Technology gives us a plethora of tools to learn. I start my mornings with coffee and online tutorials. Learning has kept my art fresh. Read more>>