Kat Von D's worked hard to build her empire as a celebrity tattoo artist and makeup maven. Though her life may look like she's got it all now, Kat's early days in Mexico were anything but luxurious. 

Along with her parents and two siblings, Kat grew up in a small town in Montemorelos, Mexico.

photo: Instagram/@thekatvond

Her father (pictured with her above) worked as a missionary doctor, but Kat insists that their life lacked any of the comforts doctors' families are usually afforded. "By no means did we live a life of 'luxury,'" Kat wrote in Popsugar. 

"We didn't have electricity or running water for a long time. And, in fact, one of my favorite photos from our family album is one of me taking a bath in a plastic bucket! Let's put it this way, in this town, you were more likely to see a horse than you would a car.
Looking back, Kat doesn't feel she was slighted in the early years of her childhood for lacking modern day conveniences. 
"I'm so glad I was born there, and wouldn't want to change a thing about it," she affirmed. 

Kat and her family moved to the U.S. when she was just six years old, eventually settling near Loma Linda, California.

photo: Instagram/@thekatvond

The town had a unique quality of its own, boasting a strong Seventh Day Adventist community. A religion she described as: 

"Christianity, with a few Jewish traits. We kept the Sabbath, went to church on Saturdays, followed the ten commandments, and didn't eat any pork or fish without scales." 
Kat grew up in a religious home and much of her life was spent sheltered from pop culture, and was instead invested in the church. It's kind of hard to imagine that a woman who came into our world via a reality show, had never watched MTV till she was 16 because her family didn't even own a television set.

Though her past may be atypical, she appreciates how her unique experiences molded her into the woman she is today.

And nothing will ever change the girl who used to be washed in a plastic tub in a small town in Mexico.

 “It’s important to stay humble and remember where you came from. My name is not ‘Kat Von D,’ that’s an abbreviation for my real name [Katherine von Drachenberg]. I identify more with my truer self than I do with the TV personality, but I’m appreciative of the platform it gave me to do all of these awesome things.”