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.

Tyler Ellison | Creative Director, Photographer and Commercial Videographer/Director

I grew up in Quitman, Tx. My parents were always huge supporters and encouraged me to dream and pursue my passions. My Dad had his own business as a florist and restored antiques. He also played music at the church. He and my mom were always very thoughtful in decorating their home and showed me the importance of intentionality in design and aesthetics. Read more>>

Lawrence G. Norman | Legendary DJ & Senior Graphic Designer

I am originally from New York, born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens where I was fortunate enough to be a part of and experience the birth of hip hop. From dee-jaying, rocking the mic, breakdancing & graffiti writing I have always had a love and respect for the culture. Read more>>

Vikter Solis | Tarot Consultant, Spiritual Life Coach, Reiki Master & Teacher, and Yoga Instructor

I’m originally from the Rio Grande Valley, specifically Pharr, Texas. I moved up to Denton to pursue a doctoral degree from Texas Woman’s University. I had a pretty traditional upbringing where I was blessed to have spent time with both my maternal grandmother and maternal great-grandmother. Read more>>

Mike Wojo | Tattoo Artist

I’m originally from a small town called South Hadley in Western Massachusetts. Growing up I’d say I was pretty oblivious of the things going on around me since I was very family oriented. Then one day my parents divorced and that changed everything for me. Read more>>

David Salumu | Influence

David Salumu is a Congolese-American actor, model, and wardrobe stylist; he currently resides in Dallas, Texas. Life didn’t give him a chance to grow up beside his parents. At the age of 12, David was compelled to flee his home nation due to its unjust administration. Life taught him to grow up before his age. Life was never easy for him growing up without his parents. However, he’s so thankful for the lesson he has learn and so proud of the man he has become. Read more>>