Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Dalaza.
Erika, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was younger, around 13-14, I was so eager to work and start making my own money. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and I was around so many hustlers that it was impossible not to become one too. Obviously, at the time, I was a little too young to have an actual job. So, I first started making my own money by reselling my shoes. Jays were so popular at the time (and still are) so it was easy for me to get them off my hands and make a profit. I was always a little tech-savvy, so I knew how to work those reselling sites at a young age and with the help of one of my best friends, Myron, we discovered a consistent way to make money before being legal enough to work. This was the start of my passion for entrepreneurship and I hadn’t even realized it yet.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I move to Houston in 2015. By now, I’m old enough to work a part-time job while attending school. As I mentioned earlier, I have always been tech-savvy. 2017 rolls around and I begin my YouTube channel because I wanted to have a platform to influence young girls of this generation to be fearlessly confident in their own skin. I believe everyone is beautiful in their own special way.
I have always been aware of my artistic ability to do makeup on myself fairly well, but the thought of monetizing my talents and contributing to the community hadn’t occurred to me until three years after in 2018. Makeup to me came so naturally. It was an outlet I had to clear my mind and just be completely free. My life is so fast-paced, and the feeling of just being able to sit down, relax, do my makeup, and have music playing in the back was enough to turn the worst days around.
It wasn’t until January 2019 that I made a very big decision to start my own brand of eyelashes. It was a small spontaneous thought that turned into reality and incorporated itself into the small empire I was already building. I later realized that I wanted to go further and focus on the platform I wanted to have for younger girls and put my part-time Makeup Artist job on hold.
The rest is history…
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
To keep it a buck, it has been the complete opposite of a smooth road. I feel like this generation puts so much pressure on young adults to have everything together at such a young age that it affects us in ways we sometimes don’t even realize. Being a full-time college student, working multiple part-time jobs, all while trying to fit in friendships, relationships, and family has been very challenging.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it was not for God. Even in the most difficult situations where I feel like giving up, He places me in positions and reminds me that I need to keep pushing.
My advice for those who are just starting their journey is to know who you are as a person before anything. Take some time to analyze yourself and become aware of your likes and interests. Where do you gravitate towards? What makes you feel good? All of those play a factor in the equation we call life. Don’t be afraid to try something new. There is not one person in this world that is like you, use your uniqueness to an advantage.
Tell us about your business. What do you do, what do you specialize in?
I’m a Beauty Influencer. I specialize in the knowledge of different makeup brands ranging from both high-end to drugstore. It’s my job to teach my viewers about different products so they have a better understanding of what they’re walking into when they step into any Sephora or Ulta or even the makeup aisle in Target.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
My mom has inspired me to be the best woman I can be. She planted a seed in me that is being watered ever so gracefully just by being in her presence. She is the epitome of class and poise. She has taught me to never depend on anyone for anything and that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. She leads by example and I wouldn’t trade her for anything in this world.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/erikadalz
- Twitter: twitter.com/ebabyy_
- Other: youtube.com/EBabyy
All photos taken by Erika Dalaza