We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Elizabeth Koesler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica Elizabeth, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life. I was pretty young when I established my bridal headpiece design business, my beloved Erica Elizabeth Designs. I was also flying hang gliders back then and flew for over 20 years. It’s a sport that asks you to go right to the edge of risk and what you’re willing to take. You’re constantly having to respond to the elements, react quickly and make decisions. It didn’t always go well, I had some accidents, but I learned from each one and got back up to try again.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The same is true for my business. As an artist and designer, I find risk is a key part of the creative process. I am mindful of taking risks in my designs as I have to make a living and want my headpieces to sell. My clients and customers give me a quick and direct response on whether I’ve succeeded or not. I will say, one risk that makes me uncomfortable is opening myself up to unhelpful scrutiny. I know larger companies emphasize teamwork as an important part of innovation, but in my process, too much teamwork can kill the creative impulse. I prefer to work alone. Still, I’m in constant conversation with the history of design, looking at the work of great artists, as well as listening and responding to what’s happening in the world. I also hold a deep love and connection to nature. The colors and form found in nature are constantly changing and endlessly inspiring. My design process evolves and sparks from there. The “business” part of it is not something that always comes naturally. This part of my life is where I sometimes doubt my decisions and my risk-taking process. But even the missteps have pushed me in new, vibrant directions. The trick is to work through your fears rather than let them hold you back. I definitely have had more success taking a leap into the unknown that I ever would have playing it safe. I have a life that is full of enjoyment and abundance because I accept there are ups and downs to every business and every life. To break new ground, you have embrace risk.