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.

Laura Aranda | Painter

I was brought up by a catholic middle class family from Mexico City. Even though I have always loved expressing myself through art, growing up in such a conservative community, made me dismiss art as a career, so I studied Architecture instead. That was when I realized that I was deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. I dropped out of school and started painting in different workshops. It wasn´t a continuous situation, since I had to work and pay my bills. After a few years, I finally got to a place where I could balance my job with my art production, I finally had my first solo showand hadn´t stopped producing what I love, ever since. Read more>>

Eda Tegethoff | Pole Dance and Fitness Trainer

I’m from Saint Louis, MO. I come from a family that didn’t have a lot. We grew up on food stamps and taking donations from the church. My dad owned his own business and employed myself and my siblings to help him. Naturally, we all learned what it took to run a business and persevere through what life threw at us. My dad struggled with alcoholism and unfortunately passed away on December 22, 2011. Our mom worked night shifts to eliminate the need for a baby sitter since one parent would be home during the day and at night. As I grew up, my dad said to me after I took my first promotion, I called him crying, “Eda you have a choice. You can give up or go back to work tomorrow to learn everything you can to excel in your career. Read more>>

Racquel Veals | Owner of C’est Si Bon

I’m from Baton Rouge, Louisiana better know as “the boot”. I would say my background and upbringing molded me into the person I am today. Growing up my mom had 5 kids ( I’m the fourth) and she was a single parent and worked very hard to provide for us so we never really went without things. Growing up as a kid was very fun. Our house was considered the party house. In 1998 we moved into a house where we called it the ‘BLVD’ because we stayed on the Main Street. Read more>>

Jessica Baker | Lead Photographer at Jessica Lee Ann Photography

I am from a small East Texas town named Wills Point. I usually just describe how I live as just a hour east of Dallas, because everyone knows where Dallas is. I was raised in Wills Point, graduated from there, and still reside there. My family was a small one just me, my parents and one little sister. Our father passed away when I was 13 and since I was the oldest I was assigned the one to take care of my mom and my sister. I have always loved nature, it is very peaceful. I can take a walk and just listen to the leaves and birds all afternoon. Every once and awhile a pretty flower or gorgeous tree would catch my eye and I would stop to take a photo of it. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money so most of the time it was normally with a disposable camera. Read more>>

Aimee Bell | Piercer & Jewelry Curator

I’m a first generation Ecuadorian American from New York City. The city tends to be a highly competitive place and being a first-gen made that even more apparent. I was always pushed to do more and learn more in order to live a fulfilling life. In addition, living in one of the fashion capitals of the world exposed me to varying methods of adornment. This combination drove me to choose a life long career in piercing using high end, quality jewelry. The piercing industry is highly competitive and requires continuous learning in anatomy, updating techniques, and knowledge in jewelry. I love piercing because it is an alternative method of styling and can be done to look classic, chic, or literally alternative. Curating my clients’ ear piercing collection is one of my favorite aspects of my work. Read more>>