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.

Beatrice Solo | Entrepreneur, Stylist & Ento-Taxidermist

I moved to the U.S. about 10 years ago from a rural town in Germany. My mother and father were raised in post-war Germany, by their parents that lived through the war. The war has not only impacted past generations, its influence also affected my generation, and that in itself is so incredible to think about. Both of my parents were strict and expected us to work hard in school, grow up, and start careers. Something my Mom always told us kids, “if we are awake enough to party we can get up to go to work.” Germans rarely sugarcoat things, but that is a part of our culture and I prefer to be straight-forward and honest when it comes to everyday life. One day, long after I graduated high school and studied art and photography, I ran into my third grade teacher; he took a long look at me… young little me, standing there with ripped jeans, tattoos, piercings and black eye make up. Suddenly, the words came out of his mouth and he announced that I will never be successful in life. Read more>>

Danny Carson | Tattooer & Painter

I’m a mid west native, but moved around a lot as a kid. When you move around that often, its harder to build relationships or form lasting friendships with other kids so I spent a lot if time with my grandmother who would sit and draw with me and encouraged me to be creative growing up. Drawing is just sort of second nature to me, its something i have to do. Read more>>

Chris Goff | Crime Novelist

I’m from Colorado, raised in the foothills outside of Denver. Raised an only child, I think needing to learn to entertain myself and learn how to spend time alone really shaped who I am. I read a lot, mostly mysteries and thrillers. I paid attention to plots and words and nuances. At about 8 years old, I started writing down stories. As a teenager, I wrote a lot of poetry. My mother was in broadcasting in Denver and had her own television show. Her influence had me seeking a journalism degree in college. More than anything I wanted to be an investigative reporter. But, life had other plans. I ended up working for some regional newspapers, assigned to the school beat or community interest stories. Finally, after I married, I decided to try my hand at writing books. My first novels were books set in Colorado, in the mountains (like where I grew up) and populated with people who were similar to people I’d grown up around. Later, taking a risk, I decided to try my hand at thrillers. Read more>>

Avery Anderson | Social Media Manager & Local Artist

Great question – it’s probably no surprise I come from a very artistic background. Both of my parents are artists and entrepreneurs. I think that growing up in a bohemian environment that was very encouraging gave me both confidence and curiosity. I’m not afraid to go for it. Performance, visual art, and storytelling were always passions of mine. After studying theatre and performance in college, I knew I wanted to dive into a career that would allow me to craft stories, problem solve, create epic visual media, and work with a team. I’m so happy to have found all of that at Hey Mr. Digital Media. Read more>>

Peter Marcus | Communications Director

Born in NYC and raised in a suburb in Westchester, NY, I grew up with a mom as a prosecutor and a dad as a New York City police detective/lieutenant. My path into journalism and then to the cannabis industry might seem strange from this childhood arrangement, but in fact it significantly impacted who I am today. Following college at Ithaca, I transplanted to Denver in 2004 along with the rest of the country, it seemed. Yes, I’m one of those transplants. In college, I studied journalism, so I sought such a career after my education. Entering the field of journalism in 2004 was brutal. It was a time of great newspaper pain, as many publishers cut newsrooms and infrastructure. But I had a skill for the trade, baked in from an upbringing with inquisitive minds. As a prosecutor, my mom was a trained interrogator. As a detective, my dad was a skilled investigator. Both would become key traits in my career as a journalist. I would go on to land jobs at several smaller newspapers in Colorado — The Longmont Times-Call, the Denver Daily News, the Colorado Statesman, and the Durango Herald. Read more>>