Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Derest Craig | Music Producer and Entrepreneur

I’m from Dallas TX, born and raised. I come from a large, religious household where my parents were co-pastors – but my parents always taught us how to live out our faith rather than force it on us. Education was also a huge factor in our family, as we were encouraged to be the best version of ourselves and pursue as much higher education as necessary to reach our goals. Lastly, our family is very musical: we would often gather around the piano and sing songs during family gatherings, and many of my family members served in a musical capacity at my home church. Music is very much in my blood. Read more>>

Eric Redman Jr. | Hip Hop Artist/Songwriter/Public Figure

Born and raised in Chicago, IL. My biggest impact on my life has always been my Uncle “Bryan Willis” a.k.a “BT”. May he rest in peace. More details later on this interview. Read more>>

London Porchia | Photographer

I am from the small city of Little Rock, Arkansas. I grew up in the heart of the city with my loving mother, as an only child. Growing up in a single parent household with no other siblings was the perfect recipe for an active imagination. I’d find myself trying many different things and exploring creative outlets in order to keep myself entertained. My mom was super supportive of whatever I tried big or small, which led me to my now true love and passion; photography. Although having free range to explore and come into myself seems pleasant, I was forced to grow up a lot faster than most children my age. I started working at a young age and became more independent, in order to support my mom and teach myself the things she couldn’t do on her own. Read more>>

Regina Brown-Jackson | Salon Owner/Stylist/ProMUA

I’m from a small-town in Missouri called Sikeston. It’s mainly known for it’s restaurant called “Lambert’s “Home of the Throwed Rolls”, and the Jaycee Rodeo. My background impacts me as it molded me to be the businesswoman I am today. Our family has always been one where the women were “strong minded, go-getters”. We didn’t wait around for things to happen we faced opportunities head-on. I’ve been fortunate to be in a family with women who either own businesses or currently in positions that have them with managerial responsibilities. Read more>>

Rochester Brown Jr | BBQ Enthusiast – Actor – Musician – Renaissance Man

I am originally from Michigan a small Midwest town called Three Rivers. I was born in Kalamazoo. I am one of 7 kids that was born into a 2 parent home. My father was an engineer and and was executive for General Motors. My mother was a working mom that for the majority of my later childhood was a stay at home mother. My mother’s influence on various dishes and the southern flavors resonated with me at a young age. My grandmother was a chef so cooking has always been a part of my heritage. Food was always an important part of everything we did from family gatherings to holidays to community functions. As a matter of fact because I had so many siblings my parents did not want to buy individual gifts for birthdays so my dad came up with a brilliant solution. Read more>>

Scott Fowler | Actor

I’m grew up in a small railroad town in Maryland called Brunswick watching Hulk Hogan bodyslam giants as the WWF Heavyweight Champion. In between WWF shows you could find me in my Grandmother(“Nanny”)’s backyard with a makeshift camera pretending to shoot the latest & greatest Hollywood blockbuster in which I, of course, was Director & Star. I remember being very proud of my “Terminator 3: D-Day” project I “worked on” for about a month lol I dabbled in baseball a little and still love watching and going to Washington Nationals games, but my true passion is in creating/the arts. My family was mostly into auto/dirt track racing so I certainly stepped outside the box with my path. I’ve been successful enough in my own right however and they respect that. Read more>>

Starr Henderson | Accounting/ Podcast Blogger

I was raised and Born on West side of Atlanta Simpson rd and The Bluff. I came from a family who had the bare minimum. My Mother and Father worked hard for the things they had but as humans we all make mistakes. I learned from their mistakes. I always knew my name had meaning Starr…. I was constantly reminded Daily how important it was to make it Read more>>

Hope Sims Sutton | Master Coach for Women of Faith & Ordained Clergywoman

I am from Atlanta, Georgia. My background and upbringing impact me daily. I have always loved Atlanta. The rich culture, the influence of the Civil Rights movement, and the way women show up in government and in the market place made and still make a significant impression on me. I attended school near Ebenezer Baptist Church and I was able to see Auburn Avenue and the Boulevard through a child’s eye. There were so many thriving black businesses on Auburn and I appreciate the influence those risk-takers took to show me and other young people (at the time) what was possible. There were several churches that lined that corridor as well. Walking up and down that one street was as if each business and church was making a deposit in my spirit as I passed by going from school to downtown. Today, when I think that I can’t do a thing, I create the flashback, the necessary memories to push myself forward. The spirit of possibility was right before me. Read more>>

Jill Williams | Licensed Esthetician, Number one Body Snatcher and Brow Slayer

I am from Gainesville, Florida. I was born to two Entrepreneurs, My Mother and Father. My Dad still currently own and operate James Janitorial Service and My mom who is in heaven and is now my guardian angel was a hair stylist and owned her hair salon called Flo’s Beauty Salon, She specialized in everything beauty and loved fashion, I remember she had a makeup line of eyeshadows and lipsticks by Vera Moore that I played in on a daily basis which inspired me to launch my own cosmetics line Jay-Jill Cosmetics. I had the opportunity to meet Vera Moore in NYC and told her my story, I told her she was my moms favorite makeup. Mrs. Moore was very encouraging and told me to never give up my dream. As for the fashion, My mother had the opportunity to style hair for the Ebony Fashion Fair Models when they would come to Gainesville and my best friend and I had the opportunity to meet all of the models, play in their clothes and shoes, This triggered my love for modeling. I love a good fashion show. Read more>>

Brittany La Bella McCoy | The Hair & Beauty Artist

I am from Rochester, NY and I moved to Buffalo, NY at the age of 17. I began my business there, so I stayed to nurture and grow it. Growing up, I was blessed with alopecia areata. At first we all had no idea of what it was or what it meant for my future but we were determined to overcome it. I was diagnosed at the age of 6 and once I was able to contribute, I started a beauty business that empowers women to let them know that they do not need hair to be beautiful and to build confidence. Read more>>

Terrell Barnswell | Baker and Chef

I am from a small, southern town called Ambrose, GA. I come from a religious background where family and love was very important. I come from a hard working family where we didn’t have much but we made what we had work. My family was very hardworking and this definitely helped me be the person I am today. I learned that in order to be successful, you have to ignite the fire under your own self. As I reflect back throughout the years and watched how hard my mom worked to provide for us, this taught me to work even harder and made me want to become successful so that I can sew back into her what she sewed into me.. This is what impacted me to be where I am today and to have an successful business. Read more>>