Running a thriving business takes drive, determination, and a whole lot of hustle! We’re spotlighting seven savvy entrepreneurs whose immense success proves how a little belief and a big leap of faith can land you a leading role in your own life. Looking to recalibrate your career path? Let their accomplishments be your compass.
New York, NY
LOTTYLUXE LLC & VENUS CONJURE
MY BUSINESS: The services I offer are psychic readings, angelic reiki, and ceremonies for love, healing, cleansing, etc. The products I offer are sprays that use various herbs intended for bringing love, confidence, protection, and much more. Candles will be coming soon.
IN THE BEGINNING: I have always loved watching celebrity psychic predictions and felt I would be able to do them myself on YouTube. I waited a couple years since having this idea and started when I was no longer working a full-time job.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Being consistent, always posting on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. I think my growth was organic and came with time.
FOUNDER & CEO
MY BUSINESS: At Natrabliss, we focus on helping people discover a simpler lifestyle, while at the same time minimizing waste. It all started 20 years ago with me making soap in my kitchen. The company quickly evolved and recently launched its cacay oil skincare collection. I am a clinical research scientist working in the field of oncology. My background allows for curiosity to remain constant, while at the same time ensuring that compliance and safety are met in all formulations.
My company’s focus will always remain mostly on the ingredients and not so much on the packaging. At Natrabliss we don’t use soap boxes or plastic bottles. For our cacay oil soap collection, we sew our own compostable soap envelopes, made of bamboo fiber, also known as “bamboo unpaper.” Our bottles are either glass or aluminum, and we even go as far as selling coconut half shells for multiple uses, especially intended for those who like to make their own skin or hair care concoctions at home.
Natrabliss guarantees you’ll enjoy the bliss! Additionally, we plant one tree with each online order. My motto is: “The best skincare secrets aren’t new. They are simply overlooked.”
IN THE BEGINNING: I was walking around in a Colombian mall while studying abroad. There
were some gorgeous transparent soaps adorning a small table inside a furniture store. I could not believe how lovely they smelled, and they were so appealing to the eye. I bought them all and went straight home to research how these were made and where I could find the ingredients. By the time I arrived back to the states, I knew exactly what needed to be done. I made my first batch, and my friends and family were amazed. They insisted I needed to sell the soap…the rest is history!
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Get rid of the “fear” that blocks you from reaching your dreams. Don’t stick one foot in the water…just jump in and enjoy the swim!
OWNER AND CEO
MY BUSINESS: Nashelle is beautiful, handcrafted jewelry that uses high-quality, recycled, and ethically sourced materials. Each piece is created with beautiful intention and care by our amazing team of jewelers. We have raised over one million meals for children and families
who suffer from food scarcity through our partnership with Feeding America. For every purchase made at Nashelle, one meal is donated.
As the CEO of Nashelle, I oversee all aspects of the business while striving to meet the short- and long-term goals that my team and I have for the company. I am proud to be a woman-owned and led company and I hope to be an inspiration for other women to chase their passions.
IN THE BEGINNING: I have always been excited by jewelry and fashion. I worked in the fashion corporate world for many years, which allowed me to build the skills and knowledge to eventually lead my own ventures. As an investor and entrepreneur, I am always looking at new opportunities and envisioning what is next. When I was presented with the opportunity to invest in Nashelle, I knew that my expertise could help turn the business around and make it profitable again. I absolutely love the product, so this challenge was right up my alley.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: I am really passionate about my work, and I love what I do. I think that is reflected
in what I produce and the people I work with. Enthusiasm and positive energy are contagious.
New York, NY
FOUNDER, CEO & EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Blondeandco.com
MY BUSINESS: We call it the ‘House of Blonde’ as we are a multi-divisional creative, production, and creative management agency. Our Nomad-based Blonde Studios is where we call home and is very much an open house for our team, clients, and friends.
I guess you could say I am the “matriarch” of the Blonde family! Every day is different for me, and I wear a lot of hats, but I am at my peak when behind a camera directing or shooting. Our focus is beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, and our mission is to help make the world a more beautiful place by bringing beauty to our clients’ work, by inspiring people to help our planet in this environmental crisis, and by aligning with causes such as LGBTQIA+ and animal welfare.
IN THE BEGINNING: From an early age in Australia, I loved being behind a camera, but I didn’t consider it a possible career path. I spent years in a corporate role in the beauty industry in Australia, which ultimately brought
me to New York City in the late 90s. Right after witnessing 9/11 and having an existential moment, an opportunity came to work on a film in Prague, Czech Republic. It was exactly what I needed to clear my head and get my feet wet in film. When I came back to New York, I manifested my dream job by combining my passion for beauty and my love of film and creativity. It all began from a chance conversation in the lobby of L’Oreal’s NYC headquarters.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Success is subjective, but I think becoming—and surviving two decades as— an entrepreneur has a lot to do with having the guts to do it! Then it’s hiring people who have potential. I believe you can train skills, but it’s much harder to train attitude. If you get both, that’s a bonus!
I started my business with minimal funds and reinvested every profit back into the business. I avoided loans for many years until we had a solid foundation and wanted to expand. Now the business is so much more than me—it’s got its own heartbeat—and it’s being pumped by an extraordinary team!
MICHELLE BEHRE PHOTOGRAPHY
BUSINESS OWNER AND LEAD PHOTOGRAPHER
MY BUSINESS: I am a New Jersey fine art photographer specializing in wedding, commercial, and portrait photography. On wedding days,
I provide timeless, editorial photography for fun-loving, joyful couples at their jaw-dropping, sophisticated events hosted in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia. My photographs stand the test of time.
With an eye for fashion and design, I also adore servicing my talented commercial clients at private, celebrity guest events and viewing the talented designers at NYFW and NYBFW prior to those designs hitting their storefronts.
It is in my best interest to create “spread-worthy,” sensational images.
IN THE BEGINNING: Prior to beginning my company and during my sophomore into junior college year internship with the PR department at Montserrat College of Art, I was provided with the opportunity to capture commercial press events with U.S. statewide elected executive officials. These events were published in The Boston Globe, Salem News, and more. From there, my company gained momentum. I began capturing weddings, events, and extended family portrait sessions. Following my graduation, I returned home to New Jersey, where I then branched my company to Philadelphia and New York, blessed to work beside the most talented individuals in the industry.
New York, NY
BELLA MAGAZINE – PUBLISHER,
BELLAMAG.CO – MANAGING EDITOR
BELLA TV – TV HOST
MY BUSINESS: I am the publisher of BELLA Magazine, managing editor of BellaMag.co, and a BELLA TV host. As publisher and managing editor, I oversee, create, and manage editorial content and ensure the flow of the print issue, as well as the website, is organized, consistent, and relevant to our readers.
As a BELLA TV host, I have the pleasure of interviewing various celebrities, entrepreneurs, and prominent figures in beauty, fashion, wellness, entertainment, and more. One of my favorite aspects of BELLA TV is hosting and interviewing on the red carpet, especially at our cover parties. From planning and facilitating the event, to covering the carpet, it is always a proud moment to see it all come full circle.
IN THE BEGINNING: Since a young age, I knew I loved writing, and my mom always told me one day I’d be a writer. As I got older and found my way into modeling and pageantry, I realized being in front of or on camera was where I came alive. I felt empowered, confident, and at home. I love getting to know people’s stories and sharing inspiring and powerful messages—it’s my small part in doing some good in the world. My ever-evolving role with BELLA Magazine has been a dream come true. I have had the opportunity to really cultivate all the things I love doing and learn so much along the way.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: I never give up and never stop fighting, even when the end goal seems completely out of reach. That sounds cliché, but my early years were not the easiest. I faced so many challenges and truly struggled to find peace, happiness, and my place in this world. Despite what could have held me back from following my dreams, or what could have broken me, I promised myself I’d never settle, and I’d go after the big dreams, no matter how crazy they seemed or how much harder they would be to reach.
My advice, though—and I would hope anyone I have worked with in a professional setting would attest—is that no amount of determination and desire to succeed will make you truly successful without humility, integrity, and kindness. Stay grateful for everything you have, appreciate how far you’ve come, and treat every opportunity and every person who has helped you get there with grace and compassion.
NYC Metro Area
MEDIUM BRAND CONSULTING
MY BUSINESS: Every successful business venture begins with a great story. And, while it may seem like a small point or even a cliché, how you tell that story can make or break how others perceive a business and its offerings.
Medium Brand Consulting helps start-ups and growing organizations to successfully navigate “the space between” where a brand stands today and the opportunity to create value tomorrow. We do this by telling stories in a clear, concise, and compelling way, and by employing a proven brand alchemy to building marketing strategies, organizations, processes, and teams. Our offerings include brand strategy, communications strategy, writing and editing support, and fractional marketing leadership.
IN THE BEGINNING: Like for many others, the pandemic provided the impetus to reflect on my career and what I enjoy doing most. I realized I love—and am quite skilled at—creative, strategic, transformative brand initiatives that help to not only raise visibility and improve an organization’s image, but also employ an integrated approach to accelerate revenue generation.
In my most recent role, I led an award-winning brand refresh for a global advisory firm, which positioned it for significant growth. Since it was so successful, I thought, why not seize the opportunity to undertake similar assignments for other organizations? I left the corporate world and launched Medium Brand Consulting in July 2021.
As the “Great Resignation” continues and many organizations face uncertainty around budgets and in-house resources, I believe there will be increasing demand for brand strategy, as well as marketing and communications expertise, which Medium Brand Consulting is well-positioned to provide on a fractional and flexible basis.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Having spent decades as an in-house marketer with consulting firms, I always advised my internal “clients” on the importance of staying in touch with their networks. Now that I’m on the other side of the table, I am walking the talk. Consulting is a relationship-based business; maintaining strong connections with clients, contacts, former colleagues, and others in the industry who often serve as referral sources is absolutely the key to success.
Ironically, my training as a journalist was the perfect foundation for a marketing career—I learned how to communicate and present well, but, more importantly, to ask the right questions, which is a skill I rely upon every day. My ability to connect with people, “read the room,” and quickly identify the “story” that will capture the audience’s attention have also certainly been influencing factors. (Now you can see why I had to call my venture “Medium!”)
LIVE YOUR MOST BELLA LIFE!
BELLA Magazine is a national subscription- and newsstand-based lifestyle publication offering a curated guide to fashion, beauty, health, philanthropy, arts and culture, cuisine, celebrities, and entertainment.
At BELLA, we spotlight the ideal that Life Is BEAUTIFUL!
Don’t miss a beat! Subscribe + #follow @bellamag.co!