There are so many factors that affect how our lives turn out, but one of the most interesting is how our backgrounds give us unique strengths and perspectives that affect who we are as adults. We asked rising stars from the community to tell us about their background and upbringing and how they feel it’s impacted who they are today.

Eva & Pepe | Dutch Hippies

We are both from Amsterdam, the The Netherlands. A beautiful magical city that forms and shapes you to a large extend. Growing up in Amsterdam gave us a great foundation to discover other places, to meet new people and have many beautiful experiences in many different countries and especially in the USA. We hold Amsterdam in our hearts where ever our journey leads. Read more>>

Char Norman | Environmental Fiber Artist

I am originally from California, born in the bay area and moved progressively south, landing in San Diego. As a child, my brother and I spent hours walking in woods with our Grandfather and exploring a nearby creek, where we gathered and brought home all manner of flora and fauna. As a family, we camped up and down the coast of California. I maintain, these experiences, from the Redwoods to the Pacific Ocean, had a profound influence on my love of the outdoors and my awareness of the importance of the grandiose majesty of the environment to the minutiae of the natural world. Read more>>

Julie Chung | Hair Stylist & Owner, Jovie Salon

I was born and raised in Paris, France and my upbringing in French culture led to a developed perspective on how art can inspire and intermix with all of life’s activities. My childhood spent in this environment has shaped who I am today. I was always interested in shapes and colors of materials around me and I grew up crafting and making things with my hands. In France, there is a constant explosion of new ideas that shape fashion, music, architecture, and all of the little things that you see, hear, and experience walking the city every day. This experience leads to a greater appreciation of the fine skills and techniques that create the artwork you can find all around you. And the admiration and respect everyone has towards the artisans and craftsmen who create such art makes the dedication and passion that goes into making such beautiful everyday things worthwhile. It makes the pursuit one chooses to dedicate her passionate expression to be one that matters. Read more>>

Bradford Hermann | Creative Mind/Artist

I was raised on a 50 acre horse farm near Athens, Georgia. My Father was a professor of entomology, study of insects, and biology and a scientist at the University of Georgia and my Mother was a horse trainer and riding instructor. Life on the farm was a very freeing experience that led to a deep love for all animals, from insects and beyond. Everyday was nature to the fullest. This upbringing allowed my mind to become very open and created an awareness to more than just human interaction. Read more>>

Joby Jay | Jamaican Recording Artiste

I’m from Ocho Rios, in St. Ann. Growing up I was always a very outspoken and active child. I was very involved in my church and school activities, from singing and dancing to working with children. I lived with my parents and little sister in a small house filled with lots of love and encouragement. My church upbringing has a lot to do with how I am today. My faith is very important to me, it continues to keep me grounded and strong. It is also my constant reminder to treat everyone with kindness and respect, just as you would like to be treated. Read more>>

Suzanne Boyd | CEO, Suzanne Boyd Productions & Co-Founder, Boyd Farms Fresh

I’m from a very small town in North Florida called Monticello. There were just 19 people in my high school. graduating class. My dad was a farmer, so I started working as a cotton scout when I was just 13. I learned the value of hard work very quickly. I also learned that if you were going to work hard, you needed to be putting in the effort on something you LOVED and I didn’t love working on the farm. When I was 14, I won the local Watermelon Queen pageant and was a guest on the local CBS affiliate and I knew from that point on that I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I spent the next 8 years focused on getting into a top journalism school and working and interning at local radio and TV stations to get the experience I needed to go onto a successful TV news career. I left my 25-year career 2 years ago and started my own production company to produce my own shows. In addition to that – recently, my life has come full circle. Read more>>