Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising effects on our lives and careers. We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Where are you from and how did your background and upbringing impact who you are today?

I grew up in Minnesota and appreciate a lot about Midwestern culture. I was raised with an emphasis on frugality, generosity, and self-sufficiency. Work hard to provide for your needs so that you can provide for those of others. From a very young age, there was always conversation about what we now term “DIY” living. Along with this was the idea of owning your education. If you want to learn something, there are resources to teach yourself. Curiosity and desire for growth were instilled as lifelong pursuits. None of this has diminished throughout my life and it is, in large part, the reason I’ve accomplished anything I have. Read more>>

Candice Beasley | CEO of CMBLUXE

I am from the south side of Chicago! Chitown…the best skyline, the best variety of food options (bomb, too!) and not to mention a lot of the greats (musicians, athletes, politicians and more) are from the city. As you can see, I’m super proud of my hometown. It’s where my roots are. Where my foundation was built. My upbringing has definitely shaped who I am today. My parents instilled strong core values that have kept me grounded throughout my life – faith, love, authenticity and integrity. It is the true essence of who I am and what CMBLUXE represents. My values afforded me the opportunity to build a brand that encourages our customers to tap into their true essence through fashion and I could be more honored. I’m grateful for the journey and the legacy it will pass on. Read more>>

Lakesha & Laura Armstrong | Owners of Rainbow Party Rentals

My name is Lakesha “Kesh Monae” Armstrong. I was born in Miami, FL in an urban area called Liberty City. I was raised in the time when integration was re-branded under schools’ “Magnet” programs and kids were being sent to areas miles away from their communities to attend. I was bused 1 and 30mins down south to G. Holmes Braddock High School. Although my school day started at 4:30 am and ended well after 9 pm, due to my involvement with various performing arts programs, I experienced there some of the greatest moments of my childhood. Read more>>

ITSG3! | Musician, Entrepreneur

I’m from Detroit, Mi and I spent most of my childhood here. If you know anything about Detroit, it’s a city of hustlers and go-getters that also has a deep history in music. I think more than anything, the biggest impact that the city has had on me is that hustler spirit. No matter what we’re determined to find a way. We don’t sit and feel sorry for ourselves, we don’t complain, we go out and get it. I’ve never made excuses or blamed anyone else for any shortcomings I just put my head down and grind it out until I get the results that I want. Us Detroiters don’t sit around waiting for a handout we go get it for ourselves. Read more>>

MR. LPD | Journalist, Actor & Entertainment Exec.

I’m originally from Tupelo, Ms. And growing up in North Mississippi was hard. We didn’t have a lot of opportunities that many others had so we had to take what little we did have and learn how to make it work. That had a lot to do with the hustle and grind i have today. Read more>>