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.

Chelsea Ledbetter | Chef & Network Engineer

My name is Chelsea, I’m 29, and from the northeast side of Austin, TX. I come from a long line of cooks, with my own 20+ years of experience with baking and cooking I have re-created generational recipes and have created my own to add to them. Cooking has always been a huge part of my life, my family used it as a means to make peace, lift those who are grieving, and to come together. Growing up I admired how eating together brought so many smiles, especially during trying times. I have thoroughly enjoyed using my talent of cooking to help others by helping with catering repass for families, meal preps for cancer patients who are recovering from surgery and/or radiation, and cooking for family events to share that Sams love and joy that my family and I shared over a great meal. For this reason cooking is and has always been a passion of mine. Read more>>

Payton Fortner | Guitarist and Front man of local band, Party on Mars

While some of us were raised in other towns such as Lufkin or Euless, our band wholeheartedly represents Midlothian, Texas, which is a small town just south of Dallas. While small towns usually have the disadvantages of lack of resource and support, we at Party on Mars are entirely grateful to Midlothian’s many creative local businesses and its loving community. Local businesses such as, Stage Volume Entertainment, a music school where we all met, and Lighthouse Coffee, a music venue that gives us platform to the community, were essential to positively impacting our lives forever. We all believe that local businesses are the soul that inspires upcoming artists and creatives to pursue their passion no matter how ambitious it may be. Read more>>

Taylor Coleman | Artist & Designer

I’m from Dallas. My upbringing had a major impact on the person I am today. I credit a lot of owning My own business to my my great grandmother , Ruby. There was nothing she couldn’t do. Watching her taught me so much. She packed and sold her own preserves. She even created her own healing medicine that our family still uses to this day. Read more>>

Tiffini Adams | Plant-Based Foodpreneur

I am so proud to call Arlington my home, but Dallas is the city that I’m from; more specifically South Oak Cliff. I am a product of Dallas ISD schools and spent a great deal of my education on either campuses that were geared towards project-based learning practices or research. So, I had the privilege to implement what I learned into real-life experiences. So, it was only natural for me to take a similar approach to entrepreneurship. I’m not too certain if growing up by a single mother had a lot to do with it, but definitely the experience of having limited food supply as a youth may have contributed. Read more>>