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.

Molly McCormick | Nature & Wildlife Photographer

The most important factor behind my success is my love and passion what I do. For me, photography is not just a job, it’s a way of life. I absolutely love capturing beauty around the world. Some of my best shots are one’s that come totally unexpected. If you do not love what you do, it shows in your work and one thing that has kept me successful is never allowing myself to mold my love photography into a job. It helps me stay humble and love what I do. Read more>>

Andy Mallen | Custom Pet Portrait Artist and Marketing Professional

I would have to say that my overall love of animals is the most important factor for me. I love animals, art and cultural travel in equal parts. Until 2010, I’d never done artwork myself. However, my mother was an artist and I spent over 30 years in advertising and marketing working closely, hands-on with various creative teams and understanding how to convey a deep-rooted meaning behind a logo or any marketing message. Most artists do not have a major business background, so that helped me design and develop my brand, Canvas Canines. I had business cards, brochures and displays for use in silent auctions that benefited animal rescue organizations. Little by little I achieved “referral power” through these events and so my business developed and grew. Read more>>

Ty Gallaway | Lead Vocalist/Guitar and Song Writer for Shady Oaks

I get asked this question a lot when talking with other musicians and bands. I think everyone gets so wrapped up in social media, making a “brand” for themselves. Everyone dresses to a certain style to help the audience perceive who they are without even listening to their music. It can be toxic and disheartening to rely on likes and shares for success. Social media is a factor but the truth is, community is what drives our success. Read more>>

Stephen Pamas | Musician and Engineer

Consistency. There are so many steps to be taken and many of them seem small. A lot of times it feels as though you need to take them all at once but the key is to stay consistent. Many small steps turn into miles before you know it. Read more>>

Sean Oblizalo | Colorado Elopement Photographer

I think the most important factor in my success comes from being passionate about what I’m providing and creating an irresistible brand with it. I knew that I wanted to create a brand that resonated with adventurous couples. Spending my time outside in nature is something that is very important to me, so I wanted to incorporate hiking and backpacking as much as possible into my business. I took a deep look at the elopement market and looked at areas where I could provide value while carving out a niche. My success comes from being able to differentiate myself from competitors in the market, while creating value for couples looking to elope! Read more>>

Greg Sakowicz | Outdoor Enthusiast and Web Developer

I think being honest and consistent is the most important to my success. My goal is to educate and hopefully inspire people in believing that they can enjoy the outdoors even if they don’t have that confidence yet. I have been lucky enough to have so many people reach out and tell me that I have helped them on their journey to a better being but if someone reads my advice and I haven’t been honest with them, I could not only damage my reputation but worse, I could set back their journey. I want to help as much as I can and I can only do that if people can relate to what I am doing and believe in the idea as much as I do. If I lose that then I lose any hope of helping anyone. Read more>>