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.

Allison Schneider | Co-Founder & COO

The people who work here. Every person that works with or for our organization acknowledges the value of our expertise and the way we do things. The approach we take to our work with families is based in complete acceptance and absence of judgement. Each and every one of our mavens, IBCLCs, teachers, and yogis understands we approach families and meet them where they are in a kind, funny, caring way. As a team we have been able to support families from all walks and build a successful business because we have incredible people supporting the vision, mission, and day to day operations. Read more>>

Jennifer French | Cookie Boss

Prioritizing relationship building in my business has been the most important factor behind my success. Anyone can have a good product or service but customers want to see that there is a person behind their brand. Being able to share my story and speak to people as if they were my friends or family really allows trust to build and a relationship to form. This gives meaning to my product and customers are buying from someone whom they feel a personal a connection with. Read more>>

Christian Mills | Financial Services Professional & HECM Loan Specialist

To me, the most important factor for success is patience (I’m still working on this). Additionally, I believe success comes when you’re willing to listen with an open mind. In the financial planning space—and beyond—it’s important to remember that every client has a different life experience. There is always a deeper reason behind the stated reason that clients give you when they want to work with you. I try to make my business interactions more successful, by asking more questions and letting the other party do more talking. I also focus on is trying to add positivity to my environment. Small, daily efforts go a long way toward making people feel supported and appreciated. Read more>>

Krisleen Jones | Boudoir Photographer

That I come from a place of understanding that all women have self love issues. Whether it is from society, or childhood or an abusive partner, we are all damaged to a certain extent. Then we get caught up in our day-to-day routines, household tasks, taking care of the kids and managing our careers. Over time our lives get away from us and we never seem to leave time for ourselves. It seems as if we keep making excuses for how we neglect ourselves. The factor that has helped my brand become successful is a shared experience. I empathize with women, and understand the all too common feeling of low self esteem and issues with self love. Read more>>

Tim Zach | Country Music Artist

I would say the most Important factor behind the sucess Ive had as an artist is being a genuine person and showing appreciation to the people on my team. In the music world you put alot of trust in the people you suround yourself with and over the years I’ve been blessed to develop good relationships with several very talented hard working people. Read more>>

Nicholas Crandall | Professional Wedding Photographer

The most important factor behind my success is by far my relationship with the creator, God. I am inspired constantly by the beauty of His creation. Both nature, and the subjects of my shoot. Seeing the bond between two humans and being able to bring that to life in the art form of photography is extremely important. Being able to rely on a hope that is provided by something other than this world allows for me to be able to take risks and expand my creativity in ways that would not be possible without that hope. Being able to rely on God when times are tough as a business owner is extremely important to my success and drive as a photographer. It also allows me to relax and focus on what God has created in front of me. God blessed me with the creativity that I have so I strive to showcase his goodness and creativeness through every shoot I do. Read more>>

Mickey Fain | President & CEO of Stoneside Blinds & Shades

The most important thing we did was to identify a segment in the market that was not being served well and focus on serving that segment – better than anyone. When we started Stoneside, we identified two types of competitors. 1. Online blinds and shades companies leveraging technology and the internet to sell to “Do-It-Yourself” customers 2. Low tech, independent retailers selling to “Do-It-For-Me” customers, providing in-home design and installations service but with mediocre customer reviews Read more>>

Karla Hernandez | Social Media Manager & Strategist

Perseverance has been key throughout my entire journey. Each time I thought about giving up but didn’t is when I really saw significant improvement and felt the most accomplished. That’s still the case and I’ll make sure to push through and overcome every obstacle as they come. Read more>>

Sarah Dembkowski | Tie Dye & Batik Artist/Teacher

I believe that my own motivation and perseverance are the most important factors behind my small business’ success. I wake up everyday with the desire to create and continue my journey of sharing my art with the world. It has been a lot of hard work, but I am my own self employed artist and that to me is the most important aspect of it all. I’m my own boss and I hold myself accountable everyday. Read more>>

Steve Chapman | Owner/Tour Guide

Success in any business is like a stew–many individual ingredients come together to form a finished product. The overarching commonality in the success of Salida Walking Tours is in our training motto–Serve the Show. Everything we do is geared towards delivering a fantastic experience for the guests. Our team is dedicated to constant improvement and guest satisfaction, from an easy-to-use website to informative, entertaining tours to follow-up surveys. If it doesn’t “serve the show,” we tweak it, change it, or delete it. Read more>>

Robin Schneider | Professional Photographer, Curator & Manager of Art Galleries

I feel it is having a genuine love for what you do. I love the arts, photography and helping others so it has transpired naturally for me to be a professional photographer, a curator and a manager of the arts and galleries. I realized a while back that if I put the same effort or energy into my dreams as I was working on someone else’s dream or corporate work, I could actually make a living doing my own. A big mistake I see in most is they don’t treat their own business with the same respect they want from the businesses they shop at. Your effort and self discipline is key to making things grow. The bigger the effort the bigger the growth. Don’t just work eight hours a day on your dream. Spend every waking moment trying to find a way to do it better. The energy you spend is an investment in yourself. Read more>>

Laura Smith | Family and Portrait Photographer

Learning to follow my intuition has been essential to the success of my business. I am continually taking classes and workshops to improve my business and my art, which leads to a barrage of new-found information and ideas. Before I consider implementing changes into my business, I ask myself a few simple questions: Read more>>