Through our work we have had the good fortune of seeing firsthand how success comes in every shape, size, color, faith, and orientation. More importantly we’ve learned that success is often the result of people embracing their unique backgrounds and so we’ve asked the community to tell us about their background and how it has impacted where they are today.

Tracey Williamson | Fashion Content Creator/ Blogger & Designer

I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. As a southern girl, I was directly impacted by my environment and all the south has to offer. My upbringing allowed me to learn how to sew and become the creative I am today. The women in my family played an integral part of my creativity and helped spark my interest in sewing and fashion design. For my family, sewing was a natural progression into woman hood. It was a regular occurrence in my family to have a new dress for Sunday service, handmade on Saturday. As a teenager, I would assist my mom as she constructed garments for church and other events. Read more>>

Johnnie Winston III | Celebrity Event Designer & Master Chef

I’m originally from Jersey City, New Jersey. My parents separated in 1995 and my mom took my sister and I to South Carolina. Going from the city life to the southern life took some adjusting, but I believe it helped for the better. If I stayed in NJ I’m uncertain if my current career path would be the same. When the environment changes so do you. I wholeheartedly believe having the southern influence impacted the southern and well mannered gentleman the world get to see today. Read more>>

Yathegod | Recording artist, Supermodel

I am from the Bronx, NYC -home of Hip Hop and the New York Yankees. Bronx culture has influenced me creatively 100%. The diversity, the influence of hip hop, and the adversity that can come with living in an inner city- an impoverished county. All of these elements made me tough, quick witted, and incredibly cultured. I was exposed to music and fashion. And grew up alongside many other very creative, talented people. Read more>>

Farzana Zerin | Content Creator and PhD Student

I am from a beautiful country in Southeast Asia called Bangladesh. It is a small country with big flavors. Culture, traditions, food, people, and all in all filled with a zest for life. Add to that the love of my family and their inspiration, molded me into the person I am today. However, if I must be specific about the origin of my outgoing nature and love for the new, then I must give homage to all the restrictions and social expectations I faced while growing up. Counter-intuitively it was the lack of freedom that made me love it so much. Read more>>

DeJuan Boyd | Music Producer | Composer | Graphic Artist

I’m from Atlanta, Ga….Old Atlanta…before we were on the map as we now know it to be…when we were still being called country. I think Andre 3000 summed it up in the 1995 Source Awards when he poignantly said…’The South got something to say!’ I think there’s a part of us that had something to prove and we strived for that respect. That never leaves you because there’s a drive that’s attached to that…you wanna let ’em know that you you’re just as dope if not doper. Read more>>

Lydia Magnoli | Online Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

I was born in Brazil and grew up in Westchester County, New York. I grew up in a large family with 5 sisters and one brother. I felt an affinity for music and dance from a very young age. I was also very driven and recall using my passion and energy to create dances even at the age of 7. My family did not have the financial means to sign me up for formal dance classes, so I used my creativity and determination to learn and practice. Read more>>

Sheri Howard | Entrepreneur & Candler

I was born and raised in Philadelphia… West Philly to be exact. I come from a small tight knit family, and am the youngest of my siblings. I have always had a passion for home decor. Since I was a little girl, playing for me consisted of redecorating spaces in my house, or rearranging my room to look like pictures I saw in magazines. Home was always a safe haven for me as a child. It was the space I felt the most loved, protected, and seen. A major part of those feelings came from my mother and the love she put in our home- both through it’s appearance and how she showed up for her family. Read more>>