Every overnight success we’ve seen has been years in the making. And those overnight successes are rarely because of an amazing idea or a stroke of luck. We asked some of our favorite folks from the community about what characteristics are at the heart of their success story?

Austin Moore | Owner and Co-founder of The Squirrel Saloon Trading Company, Active Duty Military

The most important factor behind the success of the Squirrel Saloon Trading Company would be the support of friends that have been there since the conception of the brand. As we have developed and changed over time, from a homemade bar top at our house to an entire branding, we’ve embraced everything from bars and nightlife all the way to being out in nature doing things we love. Unfortunately, the other three founders have moved away from San Diego due to military obligations, leaving myself to keep The Squirrel Saloon Trading Co. afloat. Read more>>

Bryce Cano | Founder

There are 3 major contributing factors to the success of the Hygge Home Rentals brand: 1. Team/Partnerships: One thing that we learned early on, is that this industry is full of companies who are trying to be a “jack of all trades”. They are trying to do everything themselves (full service management), and unfortunately, when you try to be good at everything, you end up being sub-par in at least one area. For us, in-house we know we are best at consulting, Airbnb listing management, and social media marketing for our properties. Read more>>

Julie Fazooli | Multi-Disciplinary Artist

Community is EVERYTHING when it comes to the success of my brand – and it’s also the main motivator that pushes me to constantly keep creating as an artist. When I first started out as a multi-disciplinary creative, I had no idea what I was doing. It took many years of trial and error to figure out how I would have to go about to create a successful business model – and if it weren’t for the incredible support of the community around me, and the amazing connections I’ve made along the way that have encouraged, educated, nurtured, and enlightened me in the various facets of running a creative business, I don’t think I would have made it very far. Read more>>

Amber St James | Drag Performer, Activist, Educator, Advocate

If I were to some up the most important factor behind my success in one word the only word that feels right to me would be FREEDOM. I think that the success of my brand is in the fact that what I represent is the embodiment of allowing ourselves the freedom and permission to be our most free and authentic selves. At the root of my brand ,lives justice and joy and freedom and action. Be it in my makeup and its cultural influences, my presentation and the ways in which I challenge gender norms through my beard, or my performances in the way I incorporate activism, education, advocacy and entertainment, Read more>>

Paulina Delgado | Pediatric sleep and nutrition consultant

By far the fact that I was once in their exhausted shoes as a new MAMA, sleep deprived and with very little knowledge on how baby sleep works and what to expect. I know exactly how they are feeling and this allows me to connect with my families at a very personal and intimate level. I know how hard this transition into parenting is and I am able to suggest simple, practical adjustments that can significantly change their sleep and lives! Read more>>

Lauren di Matteo | Commercial Photographer

I’m an all-in type of person, so when I started my business, that meant creating constantly, spending all of my time and energy being a photographer. Early on, I went through the phase of saying yes to everyone and everything, shooting as much as humanly possible. Going at this pace, I eventually lost steam. The work I was producing was repetitive, and I was run down, spent on passion direction, and creativity. This art that I love lost its luster, and I stopped really growing as an artist. There and then, everything came to a screeching halt. Developing a healthy work-life balance has been a journey, but it’s also been the key to my success as a photographer. Read more>>

Dan Blessing | Design Shark®

There are a few factors I believe are in play here that I attribute to the success of my business and brand. First is that I love what I do. Art has always been a part of my life. Since I was young, creative juices were running through my veins and when I wasn’t eating or watching cartoons, I was creating something, whether that was spending hours building LEGOs or putting my imagination to paper. Read more>>

Hamraj Sidhu | Producer / Mix Engineer

Authenticity is one of the biggest keys to running any business or reaping any success. I’ve had multiple instances where I had to personally check myself for trying to be someone who I wasn’t simply because, it just didn’t feel right. That same ideology can be taken into anything that you do. Being true in every action you take leads for others to feel drawn to you, as it directly reflects on the intentions & care you put behind your business / career. Read more>>

Rakeima Sellars-Pompey | Owner of The Lotus Drip Wellness Suite

I believe the most important part of my success is my tenacity. I’ve wanted to open my open business for years. At first, I thought I’d open it with a group of my friends but that never came to fruition. I even took a class in 2019 on how to open my business. Last year, I decided to stop thinking about it and start doing it. I took what I know from my nurse background along with my ability to shift easily thanks to my Army training and dove into learning the IV Hydration business. Read more>>

Isabel Cortes | Local Business Supporter and Event Planner

Definitely my community! In reality, my brand only exists because of them. The local vendors I support and the brick and mortar businesses that take us in, are what makes my brand successful. Being born and raised San Diegan means that we help each other out. Read more>>