I grew up in a tiny town in rural Missouri called Blue Eye. From a young age I loved music. I was constantly singing and imagining myself up on big stages in front of thousands of people. When I was 15, I performed a few songs with a live band and fell in love. I decided to teach myself how to play guitar. A few months, (and a lot of practice), later- I could play a few songs. I went to every open mic that would have me and sang my heart out. Being so young and inexperienced I was naive to how much work being a live musician is, but that didn’t stop me. A few of the venues that held the open mics gave me the opportunity to play my very own show. I was thrilled, but knew I had to learn a lot more material because live shows were anywhere from 2-4 hours long. I formed a duo act with a family friend and talented drummer-Dan Stricker. We performed every week, sometimes 4 shows a week while I was finishing high school and college. It was difficult to juggle school work, shows, and a part time job, but I loved music so much I kept at it. I finished college in 2017 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Management.
Upon graduation I got the opportunity to work at the school district in my hometown. I come from a family of educators, and while I initially resisted the idea of becoming a teacher. This opportunity opened my eyes to how much I loved it. So while still playing live shows, I went back to school and got certified to teach. Currently I have been teaching for 5 years, and I love it. I will graduate with my master’s degree this summer.
For the last 4 years I have been playing and writing music with my sister, Alli Butler. She has been pivotal in achieving the sound I’ve always wanted- the smoky, gritty, mountain music I love. We released our first album in the Fall of 2021. We are working on our second album right now, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
While I love singing and teaching, I can’t ignore the biggest piece to my story - my family. My mom and dad have supported me in every way imaginable, and have always encouraged me to crush my goals. My husband keeps me focused and driven. He is my steady. My son is the best thing to ever happen to me. He is a constant reminder of love and I am forever grateful I am his mom.
I’ve learned many things on my journey, treat every show as if it’s the last one you’ll ever play. Don’t get discouraged by empty rooms or empty promises. Don’t let people try to put you in a box. Music and life have a lot of things in common - lots of highs and lots of lows, but the highs sure do outweigh all of the lows. I know I will always stay driven and humble. Always patient and thankful no matter what life throws my way. I will love big and stay stubborn.
So from a 15 year old hoping for the chance to sing a few songs at a bar in my town, to now, almost 12 years later about to embark on my very first tour- never stop dreaming and never stop working. - @maddiwarrenmusic
Society has a lot of pitfalls. We're often forced into something that isn't working for us under the guise of it being the "norm." It made me feel mad, insane. As I got older I just didn't feel like I fit in, the 9-5 wasn't working for me. I felt constrained, like I wasn't allow to *live* and work.
I want to help artists, people with dreams, musicians, small businesses. I want people to feel like they can do what makes them happy, unconstrained by the "one-size-fits-all." I didn't fit in it and struggled to accept how I could break out and still feel full of purpose.
I found people who felt like me. We started making beautiful things together, putting together ideas. I started running art markets, giving artists a platform to sell their work. I found myself through art, community, collaboration.
It's taken years to recondition my idea of success and happiness. I'm young and I'm only just beginning. I really love it all. I really love you all.-@sweetheartpowder
Growing up where I did, school wasn’t a main priority. I dropped out of high school my senior year [after being sexually assaulted by a fellow student] and it was no big deal to those around me. But I knew I wanted more. I needed more. I did get my GED and then enrolled in community college. I was the first person on both sides of my family, cousins, aunts, uncles, to go to college. I married young and had kids with a man who was abusive, but I persisted. My 4th daughter was born 5 days before my last semester of nursing school started. I was back at school when she was 2 weeks old. My teachers were so afraid I was going to fail boards that they charged me with plagiarism twice! Both times I sat for the academic board and proved my innocence. I won. Then I passed state nursing boards with a perfect score. The day I found out, I left my now ex husband. That was 2014. Since then, I have spent every moment healing past traumas, and letting the woman of honor that lives inside of me, come alive. It has not been an easy journey, but every minute of the fight was worth it to end up where I am now, spiritually, mentally, and professionally. I believe people and situations are placed in our lives to help us learn lessons. Those who have wronged me, I thank you. Those who have stood by my side through thick and thin, I tell you everyday how grateful I am for your love. Those who were passing through to show me who I don’t want to be and who I can be, thank you. For all of you have helped mold me into who I am today, and I have to say, I like her, thank you! But the biggest shout outs go to my four amazing daughters. Everyday I strive to make a better life for us.
I was a "troubled" high schooler. Always cutting classes, making trouble, and being the "class clown." I have always craved making an impact on those who I was around, it just took me a little while to realize it feels better when it's a positive impact vs a negative one. After barely passing high school and trying one semester of college, I realized that route wasn't for me. I enlisted in the US Navy in 2014. I craved the structure and leaned into it. However, bad habits die hard. I still wanted to "be bad," and I had not learned habits that would help me reframe my mindset toward positive impact...yet. I worked my way up the ranks in my 5 years on active duty and ended up being the leader of my division in two years. Through this process I learned a lot about myself. I was in an organization called "CSADD," Coalition of Sailors against Destructive Decisions. We helped give other options to junior sailors, who, like myself at first, felt there was no other place to turn except toward destruction. During this process I found a mentor who helped me reframe that mindset within myself. Shortly after that I became the Vice President and then President of CSADD, mentoring others to become positive impacts on this world. This is where I felt fulfilled and had the biggest impact. I was dealing with some domestic violence trauma that I encountered in 2018, and shortly after that I went on deployment overseas for 9 months, finally embracing my sexuality, and realized that I was living a lie of being straight to adhere to society norms. Then I ended up transferring out of the military, moving my life back to my home state to acclimate to being around the ones that I had left for 5 years, and starting a new job in the corporate world as an engineer. Needless to say it was a LOT all at once. I was deflecting my Domestic Violence trauma that entire time and finding anything else to focus on. When I got settled in a house and in the first couple months of my new job, I finally had time to sit with myself and unpack what I had just been through. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I was mentally, physically, & spiritually unhealthy. From 2018 to 2019, I gained over 50lbs. With the space I was giving myself, I realized I needed to channel my energy toward something, I started going to the gym. I was in a good groove, feeling better physically but still mentally carving my way out of my own way. I was drinking a lot and partying with my old friends from home that I had left all those years ago to join the Navy. I started to see progress in myself and learn more and more about physical health and decided to shape up some more. I dove head first into learning as much as I could about human body movement. I was pushing myself harder in the gym, then COVID-19 lock down happened. I had a choice here, use it as an excuse to crawl back to my comfort zone or push through and come out stronger. I chose the latter. I bought a pair of dumbbells online for a crazy COVID-19 price and continued my journey toward health and fitness. Long story short, I built a home gym in my apartment during the pandemic and never missed more than 3 days a week of working out to date even while taking care of my mother who suffers from MS and was having a year full of MS attacks, working full time as an engineer, starting my online coaching business and breaking off a marriage engagement. Here we are in 2021, I am 50 lbs of fat down and 10+ lbs of muscle up from my starting weight. I am mentally and physically healthier than ever before and getting more fit every single day. In March of 2019 I started my own online coaching company, guiding women like me to tap into their inner badass and learn to change their own lives in a sustainable way! I believe that changing the world starts from the foundation up. Changing people's lives through health and fitness not only changes their bodies but mindsets. That helps people create space between thoughts and response, this in turn changing the culture in their own lives which is infectious. My goal is to create a culture of positive influence all over this world. I have helped over a dozen people achieve sustainable lifestyle shifts through health and fitness, and I'm just getting started. I still currently work my 9-5 as an engineer but my goal is to be a full time online fitness coach in the next 2-4 months! I want my story to be a positive light for those that feel STUCK in their minds and bodies that aren't serving them in positive ways. -@alexgr.fit
I grew up in a little Texas town, where I was reared by hardworking parents. After high school, I moved to Houston, Texas, and started a new life there. My philosophy has always been to live life to the fullest. From traveling whenever I could to taking on new challenges in my job path, I've done it all. I've had several setbacks along the way, but I always get back up and keep going. - @jamikay1
Hey there! My name is Patrick Newell, also known as @thebostonbeerguy. I'm an outgoing, honest, and kind individual that makes friends with everyone I meet. But, there is always a backstory of how we each grew up. For me, I had two amazing parents and two incredible brothers that I loved so much but ever since before I can remember, my parents were divorced. It was hard growing up in a split household my entire life but we all pushed through and went on to do big things. My two brothers and I lived with our mother and saw our father most weekends. My mother worked three jobs just to put food on the table and shuttled us to games and practices every single day. I'm not sure when she slept! Seeing her be so strong and hardworking while growing up has driven me every day of my life to want better and to work my ass off. I've gone on to get my Bachelors degree and MBA and continue to learn every day. I have started multiple businesses on my own and have an entrepreneurial mindset that makes me want more and more everyday, sometimes too much. I've suffered from anxiety for years and used to need to be busy at all hours just to get through the day. I finally admitted to myself that I couldn't do it anymore and went and got help. The anxiety medication that I'm on has literally saved my life and I feel blessed every day to be alive. Over the past ten years, I watched my father slowly dwindle away fighting depression, anxiety, and multiple physical issues until this past year when his body couldn't hold on any longer. Even though we all knew he wouldn't live much longer, it still hurt to see him pass away at the young age of 58 knowing that we could never talk to him again. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, my wife and I bought our first house on the south shore in Massachusetts. My wife Amber has been my rock for the past 8 years and so far, we've traveled to 15 countries and 40 states together. Every time we travel, we engulf ourselves in the countries culture so that we can really learn and appreciate the country for how they live. In November 2021, our travels stopped and we were blessed with our first child, Wayland William, who is the cutest little boy ever. I didn't know you could love someone this much until he was brought into our lives. Now, everything I do is for you Wayland. One of my main passions besides fatherhood is trying new craft beers from all over the world. I am approaching 2,000 different beers tried and love everything about the beer industry. My dream is to eventually open a brewery in Massachusetts and obviously to have DREAMS AREN'T THIS GOOD chips and salsa in the taproom. Make sure to keep an eye out for my future brewery and I hope to see you all in my taproom someday! - @thebostonbeerguy