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 and created a successful branding program (Hustle Baby Hustle). And I have been building ever since, adding a jewelry business and real estate investing to my portfolio. 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!”