In Her Own Words…

September 8, 2016
Erial’s journey to entrepreneurship & following her dreams: “I’ve always had a business.  As a child, I would utilize my creativity to sell items to my peers. I would mix up huge bags of kool-aid sugar and sell it.  I made hair clips and stickers and sold them on the bus.  In high school, in addition to the million and one extra-curricular activities AND a job with the School District, I was a traveling nail tech.   I don’t think I’ve ever known a time where I haven’t been working a day job AND building a business simultaneously.

 

I started my first “real” business in 2005 while attending college. Called Metamorphosis Graphic Design Services (later renamed Imperial1002 [ten-oh-two]), it just seemed like the natural progression at the time.  Through referrals I built my clientele significantly.  I continued to work my company through grad school.  A few years down the road, I decided to become a college instructor.  During those years I moved my business to part-time.  I was promoted to Department Chair and there was little time to do much, but I took a projects on as time permitted.  In 2013, I decided I wanted more flexibility to pursue the things that I was passionate about.  I quit my job.  I sold all my belongings.  I moved to Chicago.

And then it was GO TIME!  In four short years I rebuilt my business (Imperial1002) and hired 4 contract employees, started an events company with my business partner (R&K Events),  and created a successful branding program (Hustle Baby Hustle).   Has it been easy?  No.  I have had many challenges, but I am living the exact life I set out to live.  And for that I am grateful.  I can’t wait to see what’s next!”