I had the opportunity to work with Ericka a few weeks ago to bring a fresh session to her modeling portfolio. Ericka is down to earth, kind, and very sweet! She is also a wife and a mom to three beautiful children! I wanted to hear her story, and share it with all of you! Being an entrepreneur can be mentally and emotionally tough. We face a lot of rejection, balancing time with families or a full time job. We both hope you are encouraged and inspired to pursue what you love.
Ericka, tell me about your journey with modeling and acting. What are some of your highlights that have shaped your career?
Well, there are a couple of shows that were really memorable for me!
I did a show back in 2013, for Republic of Couture ("ROC") in Midtown, and Peachtree St was actually shut down for the event! Walking a runway in the middle of a busy city was for sure a highlight of my modeling career. My passion is definitely runway. I get such an adrenaline rush as soon as my heels hit the stage!
I was privileged to walk twice for designer and entrepreneur, Lisa Nicole Cloud, star of the hit reality series "Married to Medicine". The first time I walked for her was actually filmed and aired on Bravo, which I did get a few seconds of screen time! The second, my husband and in-laws were able to attend and I managed to have the most ticket sales, which won me a signature gown!
Hair shows is also something I absolutely love to do, because I not only get paid to get my hair done, but then I also get to walk the runway as well! Best of both worlds! My most recent hair show was with Wella/Sebastian, and I also recently walked in an awesome Toni & Guy show where I got to portray the modern day Rosie the Riveter!
Acting has also been an aspiration of mine, and I have been fortunate enough to air on several TV shows and even a few movies. A couple movies that were amazing to work on, were Hunger Games Catching Fire (as a Capitol People) and Mockingjay Part 1 (District 5). I began acting when my oldest was just three months old, where I did first extra gig on Drop Dead Diva.
The best screen time I ever got was in American Reunion (American Pie 4), and I even got a photo with Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott behind the scenes!
When did you get into modeling, and what has made you continue to pursue it?
My entire childhood I was told I should model, but it wasn't until I moved to Georgia after I graduated high school in 2007, that I began to pursue my dream. I love getting into other characters and being in the spotlight! Fashion has always been an interest, and getting to wear amazing designs and pieces is so fun and each show is a new experience!
Dabbling in acting in high school (by doing theater) was great prep for being in front of a camera.
Even though I am a wife and mother of three, I will still try my best to continue with my passion and balance my family life with my career in this industry. I want to show my kids that anything is possible, and if you dream it, you can do it!
Did you ever have a moment of fear/doubt during an event? How did it go? What did you gain from that experience?
There was one particular fashion show where I was walking for roughly 10 different designers at City Hall in Atlanta. During rehearsal, I tried on a dress from a designer that, at the time, fit well and looked great! During the middle of the show, as I was putting that same dress on to get ready to walk in, I realized that the backstage lighting was way brighter at that time than when I initially tried on the garment. Let's just say that it showed way more than what I was comfortable walking in front of hundreds of people with... I quickly explained to the designer that I was no longer willing to walk in his piece. Unfortunately, this is not what he wanted to hear! He began to go on and on, yelling, telling me, "you are a model" and "this is what models do." I'm sorry, but maybe there are some models that would have been perfectly fine walking in that dress, but I am not the typical model, I guess. My morals are always tested when working in this industry. It is very important that I stay true to myself, and remember that I am a Christian, a wife and mother, and that I want to be a positive role model for all the aspiring models out there!!
You are a Younique Presenter! Tell me about why you love Younique, and your favorite product.
Yes!! I LOVE Younique! I began selling Younique after my cousin (and sponsor) continued going on and on about how amazing the products were, specifically the 3D mascara! Also, that she was able to make money on the side, to help with her family and getting to do special things for them. After I became a Presenter, I was hooked! Not only are the products phenomenal, but the company and women who are a part of this Y-Sister community, are incredibly inspiring! After attending my very first Younique convention this past September, I learned more about the company and discovered why I was called to do this. Their mission is so amazing. "Younique's mission is to uplift, empower, validate, and ultimately build self-esteem in women around the world through high-quality products that encourage both inner and outer beauty and spiritual enlightenment while also providing opportunities for personal growth and financial reward." SO many women have found their confidence and are the better versions of themselves, thanks to this mission. I love to say that I am now a part of building women's confidence!! I love being a Younique Presenter! Owning my own Younique business allows me the opportunity to work from home, choose my own hours, and decide how hard I want to work my business, on MY terms.
It is terribly tough choosing just one product I love most, but one of my personal favorites has got to be our new SPLASH liquid lipstick! It is as soft and fluffy as a mousse, and seriously is so long lasting it's ridiculous. Offered in 10 different colors, there is definitely a shade for everyone! I love it in the color Soulful!!
Check out Ericka's website and more information on what she does and Younique at www.TheMakeupMomdel.com She also posts live video on her Facebook on makeup application and info on Younique's products.
You are a wife and a Mom of three. You have such an entrepreneurial spirit! What advice would you give to a Mom who's also building a business?
I feel like I could always use advice myself, but I would first say that there are no excuses. "I am not salesy" or "I don't have the time" or "I could never do what she/he does!" There are so many different scenarios of women and men on this journey. If we can do it, so can you! Don't give up! BE CONSISTENT! I'm sure you've heard this before, but consistency is key. I often fail to do this myself, but I notice a big difference in my business when I am consistent.
It is also important to remember "why" you are doing it. Is it to support your family? So you can go out for ice cream or go to the movies without having to check your bank account first? Or maybe you want to retire your hard working husband or help with medical bills? There could be countless reasons as to why you are working your business, but always remind yourself why. It is easy to get off track and slack. Know that you are capable and anything is possible!
Thank you so much Ericka for sharing! You are talented and inspiring. Show Ericka some love by posting in the comments, and follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/themakeupmomdel/