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.

Tiffany Dnaka | Custom Pet Portraits

The most important factor behind the success of my business is a combination of having two things. The first, is having a strong support system. I lost my job during Covid, and that is what launched me into pursing my business full-time. I couldn’t have done this without the help of my parents and my boyfriend. From helping with some of the overhead costs, to taking time off on the weekends to help set up my pop-ups would have been impossible without them. The second factor is being genuine. I am the image behind my brand and I just try to be myself, and I think my customers value that. Read more>>

Nick Nguyen | President

The First Responder Whiskey Society sets itself apart in its mission: to support first responders and their families in times of need. Our primary goals are to build camaraderie, foster loyalty, promote responsible alcohol consumption, and fundraise for families of fallen first responders. Every action we take is with the interest of our members in mind. The biggest challenge we face in our field is building the community and providing the necessary leadership to guide others towards a future where it is a given that we take care of each other. Read more>>

Anthony Vogt | President & Co-founder at MIYABI Creative

I’m a firm believer in meaningful, purpose driven content creation. Whether developing an advertising campaign for a brand, or creating photo and video content for social media, there has to be authentic meaning behind the message. What values and benefits can a product or brand bring to society and the community at large? How can we tell a story that resonates with a consumer on an emotional level while providing them with maximum benefits? These are the kind of questions I like to discuss with clients when helping them develop their media advertisements. Read more>>

Courtney Barilec | Nutrition Consultant & Yoga Instructor

The most important factor behind our success has been immersing ourselves into the community. It has been going out of our comfort zone to meaningfully engage with people more often. It’s easy to pass by the opportunity for meaningful interaction with others. However, when we choose to engage fully, cool things happen. This doesn’t mean just talking about our business either. It means building relationships and trust with others, which has been rewarding and fun. I remember when we first started our business I would attend yoga or go to the grocery store and come home with a new partnership, client, connection, etc. I was just “living my life” but was unintentionally “working at the same time.” Pretty cool. Read more>>

Karly Kent | Jump Rope and Fitness Coach

A major factor in my brands success is the reminder of gratitude every time you pick up your jump rope. I’ve always believed that helping you stay consistent and reach your fitness goals, it starts with honoring and appreciating where you’re at now. The reminder of gratitude each time you pick up Gratitude Ropes is what will keep you motivated and thankful to reach your goals. When we aren’t appreciating the effort we put in or always craving specific goals creates a bondage and inability to feel gratitude with your progress. Being grateful for where you’re at now is the key to reaching your fitness goals. Read more>>

Mike and Jenn Edwards | photographer and videographer

It’s The Mike & Jenn Experience. There is no other Mike and Jenn. We know our strengths and we stay in our lanes… most of the time 😉 and that helps us shine. Working together wasn’t always easy but once we figured out what we were best at and let the other person do what they were really good at, it became seamless. Mike is a way better photography, film maker and creative than I am. I very detailed orientated and administratively a boss with an extroverted personality. Read more>>

Tanya Bugbee | Executive & Business Coach

The most important factor behind my success are two things. 1. My grandparents – they came to this country when they were 18 and 19 – got married and started a successful loving life together = and did not speak English. My grandfather’s first job was painting the Golden Gate Bridge and then he started his own painting company/ restoring cars. My grandmother started a Church and raised a family. I could not imagine better role models. Read more>>