We asked some of the city’s rising stars about why they think they have been so successful and we’ve shared their responses below.

Christine Baker | Realtor

As a successful residential real estate professional/advisor, I firmly believe that commitment to the client’s goals, offering an unwavering high level of personal, consistent service is essential. I truly care about my clients financial livelihood and guide them toward making a good investment decision whether it’s to purchase or sell a property. We discuss the process and financial implications every step of the way. My clients rely on me and my years of experience to guide them through one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. This is how you develop and cultivate lifelong relationships and loyalty. Real estate, like many other businesses, if extremely competitive but you CAN set yourself apart from a lot of the competition by being real and caring about the client more than the deal. 80% of my business is from past clients, personal referrals or agent referrals. Alway be a professional and take the high road – all we have in our business life is our reputation. Build your and protect it. Read more>>

Traci Taylor | Interior Designer

It’s really important to stand out and stand for something. I think a big part of our success has to do with living by our values in and outside of work. Quality and integrity have always been principles that are important to us and our team. From design to interaction with our clients without both of those in play, we are not living up to our end of the agreement. Through quality work, honesty and being authentic we have created a reputation for great work and being an advocate for our clients. We enjoy the privilege of working with people in our local community and that comes with a high level of responsibility and relationships are a big part of great design. If doing the right thing isn’t enough on it’s own, knowing that the likelihood of seeing a client out in the community is pretty high certainly will keep you accountable. Read more>>

Deborah Miller | Founder, YNG Studios

The most important factor behind the success of YNG Studios has been consistency in bringing our brand to life and creating a team that supports that vision. We strive to under promise and over deliver in order to build confidence in our brand. We’ve curated an amazing team of instructors who are passionate about providing a first class experience for members. We believe in cultivating community and are committed in giv’yng back to support causes that are creating real, positive impact on a local and global level. Read more>>

Allison Shamrell | Pet Photographer

Have you ever heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”? I believe the most important factor behind my success has been my willingness to specialize. I’m not a wedding photographer, or a newborn photographer, or even a family photographer. I am a pet photographer. And beyond that, I have a distinct style that I really don’t deviate from: my images are natural, playful & soulful. If you want formal, posed portraits of your dog, you’re better off finding someone else. If your style is vintage and old-fashioned, I’m probably not who you want behind the camera. But if you want real emotions and un-posed moments, I’m your photographer. My clients play fetch and run around on the beach! And that spirit is exactly what you’ll find in my images. So I’m not only a pet photographer: I have a distinct style, and that’s what my clients have come to expect & love. Read more>>

Chris Craig | Fitness Genome Owner

Most important thing I’ve done for my business is to give the first 10% of every dollar made in the business to God. My number one goal in life/business is to grow closer to God and become more like Jesus every day.
Jesus spoke a great deal about money as a indicator of where a person’s heart is and I’ve taken it to heart personally. I do believe it’s true one can’t serve both God and money so it’s been important for me to stay on track by tithing. Without a doubt I know He has opened doors for the business and supernaturally kept the business growing despite any circumstances. Read more>>

Nate Khouli | Designer and Entrepreneur

The most difficult decision was to end my first brand, Damascus Apparel. I started it in 2008 as a passion project with my business partner and after 9 years we found success as a futuristic streetwear line selling direct to consumers mostly through shopify. Unfortunately as business partners we couldn’t resolve our differences, even though the business was having it’s best year and growing quickly. Having to accept that it was time to walk and I would have to start over was devastating…especially after putting my heart and soul into building something that I was truly passionate about. Swallowing my pride and admitting I failed was very difficult. Read more>>

Josh Makler | Founder & Brewmaster

The most difficult decision I have had to make recently was to jump out of my comfort zone of a comfy job and work with my previous company and decide to make the push into starting my own business. It is such a leap into the unknown with the new task of placing every single hat and role onto your own plate. Amazing freedom comes from the ability to make all of the decisions and control the process, but this comes with the scary fact that you are going to be the one who will also make mistakes and fail. Read more>>

Erica Mer | Wardrobe Stylist / Costume Designer

I’ve become a pro at saying yes to everything, without any hesitation. The difficult decision to turn work down is something I’m still working through. As a freelancer, you are engrained with the mindset that if you say no, you won’t work again or you will be forgotten about. Instead, I have realized that by saying no, I truly value my work and put this energy out into the universe. The difficult decision has turned successfully into a positive decision. Read more>>