Every girl loves trendy and eye catching accessories for her favorite smart phone, laptop, and fashionable shoes. Erika Butler, owner of BDazzled By Erika Traquel and creative mastermind, has manufactured some of the hottest pieces to dress up just about any product imaginable!
IP: Start by telling us more about yourself and your business (educational background, hometown, age you started your business, how business came about, etc.)
My Name is Erika Butler and I am from Washington, DC. I am the owner of Bdazzled By Erika Traquel (TraQuel is my middle name). I am 21 years old, and I started my business at 19, while a sophomore at Morgan State University. Popular to contrary belief I am not a fashion major. My major is philosophy. I started my business after one day just playing around with glue and glitter. After I Bdazzled one case for myself I knew I had a product that would sell.
IP: Quote that keeps you motivated?
“Give yourself back to the world each day”. I don’t even know the origin of this quote but I have it up on the wall in my room and I read it daily. I am huge on helping people. I figure that my life’s value comes from the impact I have on others.
IP: What has been your biggest obstacle being a young entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
Most of my clients are older adults. When I first started I believed that people took my age as a weakness for me but it was not. I am very savvy. I overcame that obstacle by practicing professional customer services techniques but also remaining thorough in my affairs. People do try to take advantage of younger people.
IP: How has age factored into your success
A lot of people are drawn to me because I am young. I am cool, I am hip and I am fashionable. I believe that in business you have to be like the product you produce.
IP: Describe a day in the life of (company name)?
I am a full-time student so my first job is my school work. Once that is done I have to check a large influx of calls, emails, text and Facebook messages from customers. One day out of the week I actually complete orders. Once the orders are complete I have to take pictures, upload pictures, and ship the cases to their perspective owners.
IP: Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?
Honestly, I am not sure! Hopefully still relevant! Technology moves so fast and my business is based around technology so we just have to wait and see.
IP: What advice would you give up and coming entrepreneurs?
Be ORIGINAL!!! Don’t start a business because of something you saw somebody else do. People enjoy originality and if you have that you will make money. If you don’t, your business will be identified as a knock off. Do what you enjoy, if you have an idea, go for it.
IP: What blogs and publications do you read to get guidance as an entrepreneur?
Honestly I don’t. I just go with the flow.
IP: If you could pick a celebrity to be the spokesperson for your company/brand who would it be and why?
Hmmmm. I would have to choose either Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry or Nicki Minaj and that’s interesting because I am not a fan of either. I do respect how their names alone keep consumers intrigued.
IP: Outside of your business, what are your other interests?
I do a wide arrange of things! Baking is my favorite and I often sell cupcakes! My ultimate goal is to own a really chic and trendy restaurant with AWESOME food.