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.

Doug & Elizabeth Simpson | Co-founders of Tenderfoot Natural Dog Training.

Authenticity. We love what we do, and we do what we love. It shows. Many of our clients are tired of having to use food to get their dogs to listen, or being told they must use a harsh device on their precious dog in order to make them obedient. We have been called the missing link in dog training. We developed our own technique of dog training that appeals to people who don’t want a relationship based on food, fear or harsh devices. Read more>>

Jennifer Mathiesen | Tattooer

This question is very similar to the question, what value or principle matters most to you and why? In the regards to the answer. My values and principles are some of the most important factors behind my success. I draw things on people. But it is much more than that. I love my job because I get to draw things on people, but the importance of those things to those people is why I take my job seriously and put everything I have into producing exactly what each client wants to wear of their body for a lifetime. Read more>>

Jessibella Vigil | Licensed Aesthetician & Medspa Owner

I would have to say the most important factor behind the success of my business is passion for what I do. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in which I genuinely loved doing. Life is too short to not do something you truly love. Aesthetics has been one of the most rewarding careers for me. Making others feel confident in their own skin is what I am passionate about, and my passion for this industry is truly the reason I am where I am today. Read more>>

Dusty Jenkins | The Conversation Architect

The most important factor behind the success of our business is easily the relationships we’ve made along the way. We simply wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the trust our partners and customers have given us. Read more>>

Brian Radford | Special Needs Consultant & Neurodiversity Expert

While there are many different ways to define success in business, my specific business defines it quite uniquely. Success for me is defined by my clients, who often happen to be special needs individuals, and how well I’ve been able to assist them in reaching their specific goals. Read more>>

William Whelan | Sommelier and Executive Vice President of Winestyr

To carve out a successful career in the food and wine industries, you have to be uncompromising in your embrace of the hustle. These are not career tracks for people hoping to make a glamorous lifestyle change, who think it’s all about vineyard tours and lavish dinner parties. Sure, many people who found themselves in food and wine industries did so because they wanted to break off from other traditional, 9-to-5 work forces. Read more>>

April Arnold | Wedding & Event Planner

There are two things I say to my team on a regular basis: work hard and be nice. I think those two tenants really serve as the backbone of my business and have been a huge factor in being able to grow from a single owner/operator to having a team and expanding the business and brand in other directions. Those two tenants manifest in multiple ways. To my business, working hard isn’t just working a lot. Working hard is all about putting in the time to prepare, Read more>>

Jason Reschka | Professional Photographer & Digital Marketing Consultant

The most important factor of my success is the love and effort put in each and every day. If I needed a word to describe it all, I would say it is “Love”. I have to love what I do, without compromise. It is the only thing that fulfills and drives me forward in life. In the past I had worked in sales for some not so savory corporations that would kill my soul for a quick buck. It was always about what I was doing for them lately, and if I didn’t make their monthly quota, Read more>>

Brook Huffington | Shedding Shots Photography

The most important factor behind my success is staying in my own lane, not getting sucked into comparing my work with other photographers, be present each shoot and listen to my clients. I truly love when I get behind the camera and the session unfolds, and after I deliver their gallery’s and get messages from them how I captured their family perfect. Read more>>

Nick LaGorga | Owner of Yampa Valley Entertainment

I think the most important factor is my love for live entertainment. We have all heard someone say, “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”. Well I love setting stages, I love creating artwork for advertisements, I love running sound, I love using stage lights and I love seeing people enjoy the experience. It keeps me motivated and when I’m motivated, the ideas just flow. Read more>>

Lindsey Foy | Artist specializing in Tattooing, Photography, and Painting.

I believe the most important factor behind the success of my business is my ability to be personable with my clients and to be able to make adjustments based on the needs of the client while at the same time keeping in mind the artistic integrity of the design. Another important factor for myself has been having a formal school background in art. Many of the principles, design styles, and processes cross over and translate into the way I tattoo. Read more>>

Syann Williams | Chef & Owner Of Kravee Kitchenz

The Important factor Is me never giving up. Becoming your own boss Is not for the weak. It has its ups & downs, days you make money. Days you do not make any money. No matter what happens, Dont quit. Read more>>

Kimber Kelley | Wife, Mom, Beauty Educator & Content Creator

Success can look different for so many, and deciding what that looked like for me was important especially when we live in a world where we can easily have a front row seat into people’s lives thanks to social media. This often brought on comparison, feeling like I wasn’t “successful” enough compared to others in my same line of work, and I’ll be the first to tell you comparison is a thief of joy. Although I didn’t start out perfectly in this area when I first began my career as an entrepreneur 7 years ago, a few things come to mind when I think about what the most important factor behind my “success” has been. Read more>>

Naomi V. Dunsen-White | Author, Editor, BIPOC Advocate

I believe the most important factor behind my success is the deep passion and commitment I have for what I do. I am a writer, an editor and an author. So all I do focuses on writing, but my passion and calling is to use my words to speak into the lives of children, Black and Brown children in particular. That is a great blessing and opportunity, but it is also a great responsibility that I do not take lightly. Read more>>

Karl Robinson | Owner of Livin’ Decent Lifestyle

The most important factor behind our success comes in two factors: The support of the city which is Denver, Co. and the belief in the vision mixed with the grind to make it happen. Its a few other supporting elements but these two to me plays an important part of the success. Read more>>

Jessica Cowden | Wedding Planner

Dedication and Commitment. Read more>>

Katie Storey | Interior Designer

Showing up and being transparent. Starting a business requires you to wear so many hats, and to become an expert in your field. But, it takes time to acquire the knowledge, and patience to learn all the details of a detail-oriented industry like interior design. At the beginning there’s no way you could know everything. When I was first starting out, and didn’t know as much as I do now, it was hugely intimidating to not have answers to every question, Read more>>

Lauren Ritchie | Co-Founder of Yugen Vans

AUTHENTICITY! From the very beginning, our business started from genuine passion and a commitment to family. The story goes- For years, I fantasized while working my corporate 9-5 about a dream of buying, converting, and living out “van life”. I took PTO and went to Europe with my boyfriend and another couple where the 4 of us lived in a van for 3 weeks while driving down the coast of France, Spain, and Portugal. It was 2 weeks of serendipitous adventure and a feeling of freedom. It was LIVING; Read more>>

Jon Eisenberg | Owner of Blackspy Marketing

The most important factor behind the success of Blackspy Marketing is our community. The integral and essential nature of street team and grassroots promotions. Communities are key to brand loyalty, awareness and overall success and we’re grateful to work with street teamers, promoters, talent buyers, festival producers and marketing teams around the country. The passion we have for street team promotions and ensuring gigs are on local radar is another key element. Read more>>