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.

Oryan Latin | Personal Chef & Caterer

Coming from Hiram Clarke, one think I learned was to make the most out of what I had. We didn’t have any solid food spots close by, so I had to learn to cook. I didn’t have a car, so I was forced to travel by foot if I didn’t have a ride. I didn’t have any money, so I learned how to survive with less. There were no activities in the neighborhood, so the local parks became my playground. In the end, all of this created the person I am today as it helped me to be humble, innovative, creative, and allowed me to develop a strong work ethic. Making the most out of what is in front of us is an important aspect of life and is a HUGE part of African American culture. And THAT is one of the many things I plan to display through my business. Read more>>

Ariel Atkins | Tattoo Artist

I’m originally from Shreveport, Louisiana the big 318 also known as “ratchet city” where talent is given at birth. Everyone out there has there own thing wether it’s music, art, sports, fashion, etc. Being surrounded by talented people whom either use it or don’t made an impact on my upbringing because everyone has their own struggle if you’re hungry enough you’re going to make a way by any means and The younger me saw too much potential not being used, & i personally struggled a lot out there so by any means i was gonna find a way but all i knew was art and drawing. Read more>>

Ashley Perry | Entrepreneur & Creative

I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, the youngest of 4 girls from a working class family. Growing up, my parents instilled in us the value of education and hard work, and that nothing is given to you; you have to earn it. It shaped my drive and ambition; it pushed me to work hard and persevere through anything, that no matter how many times I fall, to get up and keeping going. Read more>>

Angela Rose Walling | Artist and Fashion Designer

Born and raised in Houston. My mother is an artist. She has an Art and Educational degree. She would take us to the art museum when we where little. She is the reason for most of my creativity. Read more>>

Armeisha Gauche | Realtor ®️ ,Serial Entrepreneur, Business & Mindset Coach

I am from Houma, La. a city about 58 miles south of New Orleans, LA. My beginnings were humbling. It’s crazy, because my kids believe that we are this super rich family and I actually feel good about that because growing up I knew we were poor. LOL. Now, I didn’t have the worst childhood. & this is no disrespect to my mom, because growing up, becoming a woman and a mom I’ve learned to extend grace to my mom. Read more>>

Victoria Lalinde | Personal Trainer

I’m from Htown, born and raised! LOL, I was born precipitously at my grandfather’s house. I guess one could say I marched to the beat of my own drum since day 1! I’ve always been a bit feisty. My mom put me in an after school gymnastic class to help me learn to focus, and to burn off energy. I really liked having “dominion” over my body and feeling strong and powerful. Eventually I joined a gymnastics team, though I really disliked gym “meets”. Read more>>

Jackie Schwartz | Producer, Writer, and Activist

I was raised in Livingston, NJ, a town 40-minutes outside of New York City. I think it was a relatively normal upbringing, except for the fact that I’ve been plus-size my entire life and that has had a direct impact on who I am and what I do today. Like most plus size kids and teens from the 90s/early 2000s, I grew up around words like “thinspiration” and “heroin chic.” Most of the girls and women in my town had perfectly straight hair, matching Juicy Couture outfits, and a fixation on being slim. My mother being one of them. I was fat and had wild curly hair. My only options for clothing were Lane Bryant, which made me look like a middle-aged corporate woman on every school picture day. There was a lot of fixation on my weight by my family, teachers, and my peers. Read more>>

J Puff | Musician/Audio Engineer

I am from all over I was born in Indiana then moved to Wisconsin lived there till I was 10 then moved to Maryland where I lived until I left for North Carolina to be homeless pursue music and from there I slowly made my way down to Texas I been through a lot from instability and trauma and stress that built up over time and ran my depression, that’s why I make the music I make, I learned to put my emotions in my songs and try to help others not feel how I have felt , Read more>>