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.

Lauren Holub | Houston Newborn, Children, and Family Photographer

I’m originally from Belton which is a small town in central Texas. My dad owned a livestock auction business in Milano and my mom was a stay-at-home mom. From an early age both parents taught us to always work hard and go after what you want. Basically, hard work pays off. I would say that drive and work ethic from an early age truly has carried over into my business mindset today. Also, with my dad being a business owner I saw first hand what it means to be hospitable and communicative and kind to those who bring you business. Read more>>

Kristina Grant | Author & Wellness Coach

I was born and raised in Houston, TX. My upbringing and cultural background played a dramatic impact on the inspiration of my business. Being black in America, the odds are already placed against you and you have to work two times harder just to be considered equal. Being the youngest of four, I had the opportunity and privilege to watch my older siblings thrive and achieve in their endeavors by means of hard work and dedication. In a way, I think it was in my blood due to my father being an entrepreneur and continually motivating me to push towards my dreams of creating a business, despite the obstacles I would face. I was told several times i would not be successful running a business, that I couldn’t write or even publish a book that others would read; however I own and run my business successfully and i am a publish author. Read more>>

Marisa Avelar | Graphic Designer & Mixed Media Artist

I was born and raised in Houston, TX. I am the daughter of an immigrant from El Salvador – who has a Masters in Theology and is a very political, well read, poetic, and deep thinking man – and a Mexican American mother who was into music and the arts, and who has a lot of charisma and dynamism. Both were teachers. They had a big impact on how I see the world and they taught me to look at it differently. I also grew up between two cultures; I learned to be proud of and embrace my Latino culture as well as growing up an American. This background has helped me to get to know myself and the strengths and struggles of my ancestors, making me the strong, unique person I am today. Read more>>

Bre Harris | Entrepreneur

I was born in Houston and raised in Kansas City. Kansas City is a very rough place. The inner city is filled with lots of crime and poverty. I grew up not many blocks from the projects and a few crack houses on the block that I lived on. I grew up in a two parent household up until the age of 16/17. During my senior year while my parents were divorcing, it was my senior year of high school; we lived 6 months without electricity. I knew that I had to go to college and leave my surrounding or I would be just like the people I saw in my neighborhood growing up. My upbringing has impacted my life today in good ways and some bad ways. I wasn’t taught good money habits growing up and knew that working pay check to pay check is something that I did not want to do. Because of that. I learned that I need to make my money work for me. Read more>>