We had the good fortune of connecting with Ericka Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ericka, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand is my authenticity. The ability to show up as myself is not only empowering for me, but it is empowering for other women. They are able to witness a flawed individual who is honest about their shortcomings but still walk boldly in purpose – making meaningful impact – just by being comfortable in my own skin. It’s liberating for myself and for other women to know you can still be powerful in your imperfections. I’m thankful I didn’t have to create a “brand” because I was able to create a community centered on real issues, real people and real stories.
Please tell us more about your work. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Growing up, I didn’t have a role model or an image of what happy, successful people looked like. I had to activate my imagination to take me out of my world into one that was polar opposite of my reality. Being from a broken family with a mother who suffered from mental illness and drug addiction, I experienced and witnessed domestic violence, sexual abuse, negligence and ultimately, separation from my mom. Having gone from home to home, I had to attach myself to something and my something were books. I fell in love with reading and constantly found myself thrown into another fiction book. Eventually, my love for reading grew into a passion for writing. Writing was not only therapeutic for myself but has proven to be therapeutic for other women. My gift of encouraging and empowering women coupled with writing has been my way of helping other women heal. Heal from their own childhood traumas, a broken perception of self, while helping them overcome fear to unlock the greatness within. I use art to regift what has been given to me: true healing and freedom.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My friends and I love all things outdoors! If they were to come for a visit, hiking is mandatory on the itinerary! After hiking, we would definitely have an appetite for Mexican food–patio dining style, of course. We love trying local restaurants and finding new brunch spots for “Sunday Funday.”
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There’s always room to shoutout those who supported me when I wanted to shut down! My husband, Coach Ty Ellis, is my constant motivator and personal coach! His wisdom always steers me right back on track when I have those moments of uncertainty or burnout. Thanks, babe, for always pushing me towards greatness! Of course you have to have a great group of girlfriends to rally around you! My sweet friends, Halana, Lauren, Emma, Enisha, and Estrelita, are always lighting my fire, reminding me that my destiny is greater than my doubts. I love each of you and I’m so thankful for your loyalty and commitment to our friendship.
Marcus Owens: IG: @mo_storyteller