Let’s talk for a moment about crafting a career. Sure, maybe Erica Domesek founder of P.S. I Made This can pom pom trim the pouf out of a hat (and best believe, she did), but how did she turn it into a business? One, years of hard work. Two, the simple act of being a good person-- something, we’d like to note takes zero DIY "skill."
Crafty since she was a kid, Erica says she always had a paintbrush or crayon in hand and was constantly creating. “I was blessed to have people around me who were also interested in moments of creative living,” she says, “and I got that DIY in my DNA early on. But DIY isn’t necessarily about picking up a glue gun, it’s a way of life and living creativity.”
“I believe anybody can craft the career they want,” Erica says. “Not to sound cheesy, but I truly believe it.”
After graduating from school in Florida where she studied business and fashion merchandising, she set out into world. “I had a jewelry line before I could even have an adult beverage and I was doing trunk shows at Saks Fifth Avenue and all over the Eastern seaboard,” she says. She didn’t necessarily know that she would be a “serial entrepreneur,” but she knew she “enjoyed makings things and making people happy.” That, and the entrepreneurial spirit of trying new things. “I didn’t have a roadmap, I met nice and interesting people and I believe when you’re nice and like to help people, well, it’s called karma.”
From helping out the fashion director at Golf Digest when she was in college to then meeting “every editor at Condé Nast when I was 21 years old,” Erica was naturally curious and had a willingness to get involved-- to work. She wanted to learn. She wanted, to do-it-herself. These are all traits that helped her along that unpaved road.
“It was a very different world when I rose up,” she said, “but you can’t compete with being a good person.” Her career moved in the direction of prop stylist and design consultant, which allowed her to work with brands like Kate Spade, Anthropologie, and Bloomingdale's, as well as major fashion magazines. It was during a moment when she was creating wire sculptures for Anthropologie that she realized, “I was just happy-- I was happy making and creating, but ultimately I knew that there was a goal from the business side.”
P.S. I Made This launched in 2009. Shortly thereafter, Elle deemed Erica “Fashion’s Queen of DIY.” She did some "heavy lifting" in the DIY space, spending 11 years in New York, the city where she says her hustle “sparkled and shined.” Coming off the hamster wheel of the city however, she knew she had to ask herself, ‘Wait, where do I see myself in five years?’”
She doesn’t have a specific answer to that five-year question, but is looking into how virtual reality will play into her work. “I’m really interested in VR,” she says. “I’ll always be a storyteller, but pressing on to find the next round of innovation is always going to tickle my curious bone.”
She knows that “Gen Z is going to be the power user,” so she’s thinking about how they will interact with tech and what that side of the business will look like. She also knows that there are key ingredients for success, those that don’t shift or change even as tech does. “Hustle, confidence, desire, keeping true to your integrity and being a good person along the way,” are her standouts.
Having grown up in the business pre-social days she says “numbers don’t define you. I think people are so focused on a number. Social media is a blessing in so many ways, but self-worth is not based on the number of likes received on a post. I was definitely conflicted about the ‘we’ vs. ‘me,’ and the ‘I’ vs. ‘us.’ I was torn what to share-- the narrative was confusing and I struggled.”
This is not an uncommon feeling among bloggers juggling platforms, what to share and what not to share. (That is the modern question.) To alleviate part of that stress Erica has a personal Instagram account for friends and family, what she calls “a small, private space on the internet.”
She advises young entrepreneurs to do the same. “Find a place on the internet-- should you want to,” she says, “that’s just yours.” It’s how to believe you can attempt balance in the midst of the hustle. “I give advice to a lot of people and I think it’s really important for younger generations to have separation,” she says. “If you want to craft the career you want, you have to be happy inside. And that’s the hardest DIY project in life.”
“If you want to craft the career you want, you have to be happy inside. And that’s the hardest DIY project in life.”
Erica’s current hustle depends on the day. When we talk she’s in the midst of prepping for multiple shoots the following week, as well as joining us on stage at our Beverly Hills #CreateCultivatePopup. She tells us, “I’ve always gone for what I’ve wanted and always took the road less traveled.”
In addition to her blog and brand, she has a new TLC series, “Erica in the House,” where she's sharing her DIY and lifestyle expertise with viewers. In a video introducing the series Erica says, life is “like the monkey bars, you gotta let go of one to get to the next.”
Last year Erica let go of New York and headed west to Los Angeles. Since moving the entrepreneur says she now “cooks more than she crafts.”
“I love entertaining and having people over-- doing things where I’m able to put my phone down. I might pick my phone up and Instagram a pretty plate but weekends are not about work for me. I had to make a separation because I did hustle so hard.”
“I think hustling is great,” she adds, “but it’s also great to be able to enjoy life.” She quotes friend (and fellow TLC-ite) Stacy London, saying, “One of her favorite words is ‘almost.’ She loves it because it means that we haven’t arrived, that we can always reach for more.”
“We’re still evolving. Everybody who says they’ve figured it out, is wrong. They’re lying. We all have that 'almost' inside of us.”
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