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.

Loryn Brooks | Houston hair braider

shaping who you are today?
I live in west Houston with my four siblings (two brothers and two sisters), my mom, dad, and grandmother. From a very young age, my parents encouraged me and my siblings to start and run our own business. I was purposefully raised in an environment where I was able to discover and pursue my natural talents and my love for entrepreneurship. The first business I started was a crochet business with my two sisters. We crocheted slippers, scarves, hair accessories and more! To sell our items, we would set up tables at women’s conferences and special events. This is where I got my start. Styling and braiding hair has always been intriguing to me. My mom always twisted our natural hair, and never introduced any chemicals! As I grew older, my interest in braid styles grew. My parents could not afford to pay $300-$500 every month for me and my sisters to get our hair done. This motivated me to learn how to braid for my self. Read more>>

Vanessa Vega | Licensed Esthetician & Brazilian Wax Specialist

I was born and raised here in Houston, TX. To a single mother and an older sister. We didn’t come from money, we were actually pretty poor for most of my childhood but we never went without. My mom always found a way. She came here at the age of 17 from Mexico to try to improve her life and her future children’s life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but I knew that I had to do something impactful to show my mom that all her sacrifices weren’t for nothing. She taught me the value of hard work, to stay humble, and to never give up. This one time when I was about 4 or 5, my mom left me and my sister who was 9 or 10 in the car so she could go sign a lease to an apartment. It was in a pretty rough area but it was all we could afford. While she was in the office, this guy came up to the car and held up a gun to us demanding money. He took the deposit that we had for the apartment. I can laugh about it now, but it was extremely traumatizing to my sister and I. It was small moments like that, that gave me the drive to succeed. Read more>>

Nadia Tabban | Makeup artist, eyebrow specialists and beauty educator

I am from a small town in Venezuela name Coro, there is where everything started. When I was just 14 years old I found out that being part of the beauty industry was something that I really want to do, so I started preparing for it and the same year I started doing makeup for weddings and quinceañeras. From there everything was about preparation and creating my style. In 2017 a month before I moved to USA I took a basic eyebrow course to expand what I already knew. Eyebrows and makeup go hand by hand. When I arrived to Houston Texas I started working in a hair salon and there one day the opportunity of doing eyebrows appear and I took it. From that moment Nadia Isabel Studio started growing in my mind and in my life. My small town was the place that opened all this doors for me where everything started and lead to the person that I am today, a makeup artista and eyebrow specialist. Read more>>

Jay Gomez | Street Photographer

I was born in El Salvador, my parents fled a civil war and came to the United States in hopes of a better future. Being a first generation immigrant has had a huge impact on who I am today. We didn’t have much growing up, and seeing my parents come to a new country with nothing and eventually becoming small business owners has really impacted my work ethic and determination to be my own person. My father came first in the 80’s and documented his life with an old canon film camera. He would send photos of his day to day home to my mother and brother. I remember picking up his camera as a kid and taking pictures as he drove us around the city. I found film fascinating and that fascination never left me. Read more>>

Unofficial V | Recording artist

My names veronica but my artist name goes by Unofficial V I was horned and raised in the lower rio grand valley in a small town by the name of Harlingen.
Growing up we didn’t always have much and it was always a struggle getting ahead in life for my parents. They always worked really hard to make sure we always had what we needed, but growing up in a less fortunate background always gave me the drive to want more and to do better. The town I live in is very small and everyone always knows everyone’s business so it’s hard to keep things private, not to mention how closed minded people can be. Knowing this and growing up in this everyday always made me want to branch out and expand not only my mind and beliefs but also what I was doing with myself my life and career path. I knew I wanted more than was this small town could offer, and that’s a big reason I made the love to Austin Texas first. That’s where it all began. Read more>>

Céline SAUVET | International certified love and life coach for driven women who want to attract and sustain a fulfilling, ever-lasting love life

I’m French, I grew up in a multi-cultural town near Paris, in a middle-class, hardworking family. I’m grateful my parents gave me opportunities to learn a foreign language when I was just a kid (at the time it was far less common than now) and that they have instilled in me the importance of an impeccable work ethic, the sense of responsibilities and the ability to determine priorities in life. Read more>>

Krystal Bernal | Pastry Chef & Owne

Hello everyone! I am Krystal Bernal, proud owner and pastry chef of Bake It Krystal, LLC. I was born and raised in the southeast side of San Antonio TX. I lived with both of my parents and my older sister. My parents always enforce a never give up attitude, always finish what you started and make good choices type of parenting to us. Although we struggled from time to time and moved a lot, my parents still showered us with all the love they could give. I did not grow up with bakers or business owners in my family. So it was really hard for me to really believe that my dreams could come true. Read more>>

Brenda Cruz Quintanilla | Dancer & Designer (Architecture)

I was born and raised in El Salvador. I moved to Houston to study Architecture. I graduated this past December. I’ve always been disciplined and determined to achieve my goals. Living in El Salvador , helped me understand to never take anything for granted, to be grateful for opportunities. In short, words to be aware of where I come from, helps me move forward to where I want to be. The immigration process is extremely hard, but at the same time, I saw it as a chance to start knowing myself more, understanding that sometimes sacrifices are necessary, and if you enjoy what you do, then everything is worth the fight, don’t you think? Read more>>