We asked some of the city’s hidden gems to tell us about what they feel is the most important factor behind their success.

Veronica Powell | Photographer

Conventional advice for photography typically includes many rules on composition. While composition is definitely important, I disagree that composition should be confined or limited. The root of the word composition is compose. To compose means to combine elements to make a whole. I like to use what I have around me to capture a whole moment. Read more>>

Brandon Poser | Custom Bicycle Maker

I’d say that I have a bit of OCD. If I see something that has a bit of dirt on it, or if it the picture on the wall isn’t quite straight, I’m going to clean it or straighten it. It just must be right. Certain things might take me a bit longer to correct, but I’ll eventually get to them. It sometimes depends on how large of a project the correction will be. Having a bit of OCD isn’t really a habit, but it’s helped me make sure things are done right. I’m also a bit of a neat freak. I’m constantly trying to keep things as clean as humanly possible in everything I do. Read more>>

Lethabo Mathatho | Author

It is only now that I realize that I have adopted habits that helped me succeed. I started by reading articles about anything that is happening in the world, which lead to watching documentaries about global issues. This became a norm that every morning on my way to school I’d read an article and in the evening before I sleep. Reading articles paved a way of me reading books. I started listening more when I’m around my friends and did less talking. I started asking more questions about anything I did not understand. Those are some of habits that helped me succeed. Read more>>

Jed Thomas | Visual Artist

Never waste your time and always fill your time with something productive and never ever procrastinate to get the task done. I’ve always have a good mindset with discipline and use every moments I have to do something productive or valuable to myself, my business or my art as well as growth as a person.
I never procrastinate and get the task done as soon as possible. That is a great habit if you want to achieve success and don’t be afraid to step forward. Read more>>

Zayas Lanier | Visual Designer & Actor / Model

Networking , and how most people who go about this have a very performative and transactionary approach about it, which in turn poisons the culprits and industry that we work in. I do believe that ethical navigation can and should happen in the industry, but it’s our jobs as individuals to normalize this behavior. Read more>>

Ashlee McRae | Self-Love Coach & Manifestation Guide

Oooo I actually have so many of these! Here’s one of my favorites though: That you have to hustle to be successful. I believe the hustle culture has really gone too far and the collective is craving rest, relaxation, and a sense of safety in just “being.” There is a quote, I don’t know exactly where it came from but it’s “We are human “beings” not human “doings” and I just love that so much! I believe that we are all here on Earth to experience this life through moments of being, of purely existing in the moment, however, the opportunity to just exist has been robbed from us as we have been conditioned here in the United States to work. Work to live. Read more>>