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.

Sammi Study | Cosplayer & Costume Commissioner

I was born and raised in League City, Texas. This area has a lot of ties to the chemical engineering industry which definitely influenced my early choice to major in a STEM field and have my main career in that industry. However, being so focused on STEM and academics to achieve that dream from a young age led me to lack a good creative outlet. I absolutely fell in love with cosplay when a friend introduced me to it at 12 years old. Sewing and creating is what relaxes me and having that creative outlet is very cathartic. I’ve been doing it ever since for the past 8 years. This eventually led me to start my business when I realized that there was a demand for my work. Comments started coming in on my social media posts asking if I took commissions and I had people private messaging me asking me to create costumes for them. Read more>>

Wende Larkins | Owner

So much of my background has impacted who I am today! At The Sugar Cookie, our goal is to bring joy to customers, by creating a well-crafted cookie that showcases their unique personality with photos and motivational messages. We make cookies with a cause! Henry Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage.” Every person that has overcome and thrived knows this to be true. I was born and raised in Seattle, WA., given up at birth and adopted at three months old by a biracial couple. Often times, adoptees experience feelings of loss, rejection and wonder where they truly belong. I was not immune. At age five, my adoptive father passed away and I experienced not only a loss of someone I loved dearly, but a loss of identity. Throughout my upbringing I experienced physical, verbal, and mental abuse, then multiple immune-deficiency disorders and a heart that stopped beating on it’s own at age 25. Read more>>

Tamon Williams | Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Investor & Construction Manager

I am Houstonian through and through. I was born and raised right here in Houston. Houston is a large melting pot of individuals from all walks of life and I like to think I’ve been impacted by most I have come in contact with! Houston is a resilient city and has taught me the importance of being resilient though my life’s journey. Today, I look back over all my experiences, good and bad, and I am grateful. My upbringing has molded my determination, unwavering faith and understanding that I can have anything in life I want with hard work and sacrifice. I believe navigating through difficult situations with a smile aids you and places you in positions to succeed. Read more>>

Kristina Grant | Health Coach & Published Author

I was born and raised in Houston, TX. My upbringing and cultural background played a dramatic impact on the inspiration of my business. 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. Furthermore, being a black woman, I was taught that we always had to be better than the rest and some individuals might not notice my value but, as long as I continued to fight and never give up, I could achieve my dreams. Read more>>

Tracie Momie | Author, Graphic Designer & Creative Spirit

I am from Houston, Texas. I was born in 1970, six years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. My generation is the first post-segregation generation, so the world we lived in and were raised in was much different than the world our parents lived in. And even though racial barriers existed (and still exist), I was raised to believe in opportunity, that I could do more, see more and be more (than those that came before me)- if I just worked hard and got an education. I’ve never let the fact that I was black or a woman keep me from doing anything I wanted to do! Read more>>

Lara Bell | Former TV Host & Current Publisher

I grew up here in Houston and attended Taylor High School. Whenever I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would say a TV Host. I used to pretend to interview neighbors with my makeshift microphone made out of tin foil crumpled around a tennis ball and glued to a empty toilet paper roll. I was too sweet to have the door shut in my face then and everyone was so nice and played into my dream. I’m not exactly sure why I wanted to be a TV Host but I do know, that I have always asked a lot of questions and I’m curious by nature. So much so, my mom use to always say I would either be a good FBI interrogator or TV Host! I also love to tell stories- other peoples stories, whether its the Houston Ballet or Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Read more>>

Pro C | Artist & Entrepreneur

I’m from Dickinson, Tx . Well as we call it “wicked city”. Being from there played a bigger role than what I actually thought at first. I went through and seen a lot of things at a young age. From mother and father having marriage problems, to getting involved in violence at a early age. Even now I see so many things change, this person don’t fool with this person because of this and that. It just showed me a different side of reality that I had to apply to my life and just focus on the better for me. When I started rapping in school I didn’t have a care in the world now that I’m older I see it’s way more to it than just that. Read more>>