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.

Christine Luk | Interior Designer & Creative Entrepreneur

I was born in Hong Kong and raised in Los Angeles. Hong Kong is a young and restless city surrounds by skyscrapers. The Hong Kong Bank of China Tower is one of my favorite buildings. It was design and built by Mr. I.M. Pei who also designed the Louvre’s inverted glass pyramid in France. The reflections of glass, elements of lines, and ample use of natural lights are fascinated. In 1993, my family moved and settled in Los Angeles. I’ve witnessed famous hotels from different parts of world-built Las Vegas from a desert to a paradise. It is amazing to see how Las Vegas transformed to a live city. When I was 14, I visited the Bellagio hotel which was one of the newest hotels in 1998. Once I have arrived at the lobby, there was a massive colorful hand blown glass flowers at the lobby ceiling. In the hospitality design world, your creativity makes everything from impossible to possible. Read more>>

TarantisT | Iranian Metal Band

This band originally has been formed in basements of Tehran, Iran during an underground movement in Iranian music. As you may know freedom of speech is banned in Iran and artists are getting pursued and executed if they express themselves freely. So we were playing Heavy Metal music in closed-size basement two-three stories under the ground, SECRETLY but LOUD! And putting out content on the internet. That brought us international recognition, lots of media coverage all around the world including BBC, CNN, MTV, NHK, SAT 1, VOA, Metal Hammer, Kerrung, Rolling Stones and so many more. Then here it comes invitations from international music festivals like SXSW and more… Read more>>

Autumn Tyler | Designer/Founder

Growing up, we lived a very nomadic lifestyle. My parents, still to this day, have never liked to settle down or commit to any one place for too long. We’d often travel with the few things that we owned, searching for the elusive place called “home” where we’d unpack and set up our little homestead. We’d have gardens half an acre in size, canned our own vegetables, made root beer, and raised our own chickens. We lived in different places all across the country, starting in Hawai’i, and always ending up back in Hawai’i. Some years we lived so remotely, that my parents just found it easier to homeschool us, which I feel, collectively, has had a huge impact on who I am today. Now as an adult, I’m able to carry on this lifestyle for a creative, slower, and more conscious way of life. Read more>>

Maritza Aguirre | Owner & Creator

My family is from El Salvador, Central America. I am 3/4 Salvadoran and 1/4 Guatemalan. My family migrated to the USA in the 70’s. I was my parents only child to be born here. Since I am a first generation immigrant, I learned as a young child that i had to work hard and hustle to be successful. I saw first hand that the American dream is not given to you. My parents dedicated and worked hard for us kids to make it. My parents were adamant with chores, making and saving money and being career oriented.. Growing up one of my several chores was to take care of the yard, the plants, our pets, etc. To be honest, I loved taking care of the plants as a kid. It was so refreshing and meditative. Being that I was the youngest of 3 children, I always had to prove myself and that truly made me have higher expectations of myself. To this day I still want to make my parents, my husband, kids and the Latino community proud. So if you dream it, work for it (don’t take any short cuts), then you can achieve it. Read more>>