Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

TJ Smith | Artist, Designer & Entrepreneur

I come from the green hills and thick forests of western Pennsylvania. I grew up on the land that was once my great grandma’s, in a house my dad built and where my parents still live today. I know that my early days spent playing in the woods with my sister, helping my dad in the wood shop, or sharing my wild future dreams with my mom has built the foundation I now rely on in my personal pursuits. Playing outside left a love and comfortability for the outdoors that will never pass. Read more>>

Justin Whedon | Graphic Designer, Web Designer/Developer, Digital Influencer

I grew up in Overland Park, Kansas just outside of Kansas City, KS/MO. I got started playing around and coding on computers at a very early age when my parents bought me a Commodore 64. That and my love for art really married during the last few years of high school when my parents owned a cafe… I would design menus, business cards, etc. I loved it. People would come in and ask who did their menus, etc. and they would say me and I would get small ‘freelance’ jobs that way. That moved into Web Design pretty fast after high school. I have been doing graphic design, web design, and digital marketing either full-time or freelance since then. Read more>>

Ikuko Milton | Studio Iku founder/owner & ballet instructor

I”m from Japan, which has a different business culture. I feel that in Japan people work very hard, but are afraid to fail and do not have the vision to innovate, to build something unique, that I see in the US business world. I think that I benefit by being Japanese and being a hard worker, but being a business owner in the U.S with the opportunity to have a vision, to try to build something special without fear of failure, and being able to work very hard toward that goal. I think blending Japanese culture and American culture is the best thing for me! Read more>>

sonia sharma | Manager and Artisan

Where am I from? The short answer would be [then] a small town outside Minneapolis, MN.The long answer is “nowhere”. Nowhere? Or maybe, I’m not from one place. I’m sure many bi-cultural children feel this way. Bi-cultural?? Yes! I have [personally] come to use this term to define myself, a first generation, immigrant child born to parents of East Indian decent, growing up in the USA. I grew up on the outskirts of suburban Minnesota. One of three children of color in our school system, it was tough to find role-models in my community during my early years but I always found a place in the arts. Read more>>