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.

Katrina Leatherwood | Entrepreneur & Baker

I am from Pensacola , Florida. I come from a long line of bakers and great cooks. In my family you are taught very young how to cook so naturally when I started my business I had tons of free training that started at the age of eight years old. My upbringing impacts my product everyday because I always put tons of love in my orders. I was taught that cooking with love makes everything taste better. Read more>>

Imani Aldridge | Beauty & Wellness Product Photographer

I’m from Atlanta, GA (more specifically, the southside, Riverdale). I owe my creative eye and love for esthetics to my mom and grandmother. My mom always tells me stories about how they grew up in Camden, New Jersey. My grandmother always kept a lovely home, spoiled my mom, and kept them both in the latest fashion. She instilled those traits in my mom, and my mom passed them to me. My mom loves decorating. She’s always updating something in our home; her latest project is installing new light fixtures in the kitchen and dining room. From watching her, I learned two things: inspiration is everywhere, and you can do whatever you put your mind to. I incorporate these lessons daily and have found them extremely useful for my product photography process. Read more>>

Dana Roberts | Co-Founder and the Heart of RedDrop

I’m always super excited to represent that I’m a native of Atlanta. BORN and RAISED. My mother was the first single black woman to adopt in the state of Georgia, that was in 1973. It was just me and her and it impacted me greatly. She was and is one of the most important reasons that RedDrop is here. She taught me hard work and independence. Honestly, it took me a while to get there to believe I was worthy of all of this, but I am. Being an Atlanta native I was able to know and grow under tremendous influencers. A proud product of Atlanta Public Schools, I had some of the most outstanding and intelligent black women who demanded excellence of me and held me to task. Read more>>

Cliff Robinson | Photographer x Style Enthusiast

I am originally from Southeast Georgia. I was born in Augusta but spent most of my childhood 30 mins south in the rural area of Burke County. City boy gone country! Unlike most of my peers, I grew up living within walking distance of my grandparent’s farm. For most of my life, my daily schedule consisted of getting up, eating breakfast, going to school, after school activities, farm chores before sunset and eating dinner… repeat. At a young age, I could not understand what integrity and work ethic were nor the important role these characteristics would play in my future. Both of my grandfathers were their own men. My father’s father owned his own roofing company for 23 years with a 3rd grade education. My mother’s father left school in the 8th grade to help his family. He eventually became a sharecropper who bought land that’s been in our family for over 100 years. Where their lack of formal education ended, their integrity and work ethic took over. They both left some type of legacy for their grands, great grands, and great-great grandchildren to follow. Read more>>


I’m a southern gentlemen of color born and bred in the ATL. I’m proud to be from Atlanta as a child of an evolving South that continues to strive to create opportunity for people of color. The legacy of the men and women who marched through these streets as giants were true patriots to the American ideal as it should be, beyond what the founders of this nation could even begin to dream. Knowing this truth is what made me what I am today. I stand on the shoulders of these giants, as do all of us Descendants of the Emancipated. This is what informs the person I am today: a thinker, writer, innovator, always aspiring dream maker. Read more>>

Jayna Elise | Singer/Songwriter

I am from anywhere and everywhere but most recently DC. I moved around a lot as a kid and I feel that that made me very adaptable, almost like a Chamaeleon. Now, I am able to adapt to almost any situation and be able to make the most of it. Read more>>

Alan Smith | Filmmaker & Photographer

How I was raised has everything to do with why I’m a filmmaker and photographer. I’m from LaGrange, Georgia, a small town southwest of Atlanta. Being raised in a small town really gave me an outside-looking-in perspective of how to view the world. Filmmaking, photography, and hard work ethics have always been in my family. My grandfather was a professional filmmaker and photographer, and my father instilled in me a love for photography and film at a young age. When I was a kid, I would often look over to find my dad crouched down to photograph a flower, or moving around to photograph us playing at the lake. He was very patient with his photography. Both of my parents would always say “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” So, naturally, growing up I was always snapping pics and creating films – but it was just as much about the process of creating it as it was the end result. In LaGrange, we had to find beauty in the day as we rode our bikes down quiet roads, watching the light gleam between the trees, or as we roamed the lake shore for hours. Read more>>

Randy G. Howell Jr. | Truth Coach

I am from Huntsville Alabama and growing up in a household that had heavy boundaries did not allow me to experience many things growing up. This method actually had me questioning how I would be as an adult due to a lack of preparation. I truly believe that growth comes from mistakes and being in an environment that attempted to eliminate the mistake factor pushed me to live a false reality for a long time. This false reality created a heavy layer of bitterness that I carried for years and it would always come out in the ways of excuses if I ever found myself backed into a corner. As I grew older, I realized that I could not continue to live in the past and I need to own up to my truth in the situation realizing that the path that will be taken from this point moving forward may not involve everyone around me but it was important for me to be happy with myself without the pressure and guilt of what others might say. This is the moment when I came up with my Mantra: Don’t find comfort in the Lies, instead seek freedom in the truth. Read more>>

Keyon Clinton | Execution Coach & International Speaker

I am born and raised in Detroit Michigan. From the infamous zip code of 48205 that is known as one of the world’s most dangerous cities in the world I am not a statistic. I come from a neighborhood where gangs, drugs and violence impacted majority of the people living there. My lack of mentorship and access to resources influenced my growth in some areas that taught me some hard lessons as a child. Growing up in poverty, I had to learn how to make tough decisions early, pay close attention to detail and adapt to any situation that life threw at me. My background gave me the tenacious mentality and mental fortitude to persevere through adversity in life today. I am extremely grateful for my upbringing because now I am smarter and more inspired to reach all of my goals in life. Tough times don’t last, tough people do! Today I am polished enough to walk in any room with confidence that I belong in it and it’s because of the things I’ve been through. No matter how dark your past is, you have the ability to make your future as bright as you want it to be. Read more>>

Carlos Cannon | CEO & Owner of Fuel Coffee Bar

I’m from a small town called Newnan, about 30 miles south of Atlanta, Ga. Unfortunately, I didn’t hail from a lineage of entrepreneurs. I think that’s what really fueled me to venture into business ownership. I started Fuel Coffee Bar with my three kids in mind. I wanted to create a place for them to call their own. Read more>>

Chanel Plummer | Data Consultant by Day & Lifestyle/Motherhood Blogger by Night

I’m originally from Waterloo, Iowa. My grandparents migrated from Mississippi and one from East St. Louis to sow seeds in the Midwest. Family has always been at the center of who I am. I come from two very large families that love hard. For this reason, my heart is huge and I’m extremely compassionate. More than anything, my upbringing made me appreciative for everything I have and has taught me to work for the things I want. I grew up watching my older cousins work and save for things they wanted and I was no exception to the rule. In our family, nothing was simply given to you. You had to work for it in some shape, form or fashion with guidance from our parents along the way about the best way to do so. And I’m truly grateful for having learned so much about myself during those times. I’ve been working since I was 14 and putting plans in place to live the life that I desire. With my faith and the support of my family I have accomplished amazing things and continue to set goals to challenge myself. Read more>>