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.

Susie Peek | Violinist

I grew up in a town full of scientists- Los Alamos, New Mexico. The scientific laboratory was the only big employer. We were up on a mesa, isolated, surrounded by canyons and mountains, at 7300 feet elevation. Lovely weather, fantastic schools, safe town. The major impact I see from this is that I grew up among people who were extremely well educated and who valued education and knowledge. I’m betting we had more than the normal amount of super-achieving students in our town of 13,000. So I grew up thinking that working hard and doing well was normal and expected. So I did well in school, went on to college with merit scholarships and, am having success as a professional violinist, which is a career that takes a ton of hard work and perseverance! Los Alamosans also valued music, and so the public schools began instrument classes in 4th grade. Because of this, I was able to start the violin. Read more>>

Rebecca Grant | Beauty Photographer & Director

My affinity for faces started early. Beginning around 7th grade I was granted the right to take NYC public transportation…. by myself. So I did, a lot. It is kind of like a New Yorker’s right of passage. Most kids that age are getting permits and cars, I got a metro card and a flip phone. At the time I lived in South Brooklyn, the last stop on the R train. I went to school along the B/Q train line and had friends all over the city, in Brooklyn, and beyond. If I wasn’t using the subway or buses to get from point A to point B, I was riding them as a “people watcher.” People inspired me and man was I in the right city for that. Every face you see there has a different shape, color, age, expression, and profile. With every neighborhood and every stop you pass, the faces change. That’s the beautiful thing about New York, all the different neighborhoods come together to create a diverse mosaic of people. Growing up in Brooklyn was challenging, but rewarding and has most definitely impacted my career. My parents filled my life with arts, music, and culture. Read more>>

Angilina Taylor | Footwear Designer/Founder

I am from Santa Barbara, California. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My great grandfather Douglas started a hardwood floor company in 1928, that my grandfather then took over, then my father and uncle, and now my cousin. We grew up on Douglas Lane, when the road was paved they named it after my great grandfather. We lived together, all on the same street, worked together, played together, for good or bad, thick and thin, it’s always been a family affair. I think being brought up around that environment I always wanted to start something of my own. You see the freedom in it, time is yours, yet the struggle in, every problem is yours, but regardless it is yours. I always struggled with corporate life, it just wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Carrie & Andrea Dietrich & Foro | Co-Chef/Co-Owner Mod Nosh LLC

Carrie – Raised on a farm in Iowa, it was second nature to eat off of the land. It was an easy segway into becoming a personal chef for clients who desire whole foods. My family and small community values hard work, so the drive to succeed has been a constant in my life Andrea – Grew up in snowy Duluth, Minnesota. Similar to Colorado, life was teeming with outdoor activities like camping, canoeing and x-country skiing. This environment requires simple nutritious meals on-the-go. Creating quick and healthy recipes turned out to be the impetus that brought me to co-create Mod Nosh. Read more>>