We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Bowers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was raised in Saint Louis, Missouri which is my Midwest side, but I also have a Southern side as my mother was from Zachary, Louisiana, a small parish in Baton Rouge and I spent a lot of time there too. I feel very blessed to have a mix of both cultures because each city has a richness that has added to my life. As I reflect, I would say the Louisiana portion taught me the value of having manners and being polite. It also showed me how to value everyone and be respectful to all. My Midwest upbringing showed me the value of hard work and how to have integrity. My parents instilled in us that your word should be your bond. We saw our parents work very hard to afford us opportunities they didn’t have growing up. My parents also showed us by action how to love, I mean truly love others deep down in your heart, love so hard that you can feel it in the recesses of your heart. I silently watched my parents always helping others often in secret as they did it from the love in their heart and not for accolades.
What should our readers know about your business?
Building my business has come with many challenges and successes and it definitely was not and is not easy, but I wouldn’t trade the path I have taken for anything in the world. With challenges, I’ve learned to take them for what they are…challenges. My mindset when faced with challenges is that you have to figure it out by any means necessary whether it be through research, education, or even asking for help. This mindset actually came from my parents who always encouraged my siblings and me to think through every challenge we experienced. And in doing that, I have gained so much knowledge, wisdom, and cultivated new relationships with people who were introduced into my life because of different challenges. So Erika’s Elegance is a Full-Service Wedding and Event Planning Company. My goal is to curate one of a kind life experiences for our clients that leave them walking away feeling like their wedding or event was tailor-made just for them and also etches some fond memories into their mental Rolodex. There are so many amazing planners and creators who each have unique qualities. I think for me, it is the experience that I bring from both a creative and a business side as I am an Accountant by trade, so it is equally as important for me to have an amazing design all while being cognizant of the budget my clients have set. And also my genuineness or what some of my friends call Southern Charm, but I simply call it love and respect for others. Building a business takes a lot of work and what I have learned is, as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day so give yourself a little breathing room. I’m speaking to myself too, because we as people, especially entrepreneurs can be so hard on ourselves when we don’t see the progress we’ve dreamt about. And if you’re like me you set some daily to-do lists that are so lofty that you lose sight of truly embracing and enjoying the growing process of building your business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
OMG, how fun is this. So my bestie and I love to laugh, eat, shop, and simply hang out. So we would have to spend one day doing some of what I called the touristy stuff like visiting the Hollywood Sign and Venice Beach. But everyone knows the real fun comes when you go to the unique spots in LA. So we’d spend the rest of the days eating, shopping, and hitting spots unique to LA. We would definitely have to spend time in DTLA perusing the different areas hitting up the Fashion District and of course the Flower Mart. I remember when I first moved here, I would go to DTLA every weekend just to walk around and spent hours. And of course, we would have to experience Rodeo Drive, just for the experience. Oh and we would have to go to the Grove, I love everything there from the shopping to the food. Next, we would hit up some of my favorite eating spots, Harold and Belle’s would be a must-have and I would have to take her to Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken in Culver City. And lastly, we probably do something relaxing like girls day at Glen Ivy or the spa in the Mission Inn or take a candle-making class at Stone Candle Bar in Santa Monica.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have shaped who I am starting with my parents Willie Mae Owens and Charles Owens who instilled in me at an early age the value of having a relationship with Christ and to walk by faith. They also taught me how to respect and love others and to be a woman of integrity. Next my hubby Tony Bowers who is truly my protector fills my holes in, and is my biggest supporter. I also have some strong men and women who have poured into me as I was coming up and still continue to, my Auntie Louvenia who we have so much in common, my Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Norman who were like second parents, My little sister Shawnte’ who is my first BFF, my Aunt Teresa, and my Aunt Vickie. My amazing Macedonia Church family many of who were an integral part of both my husband and my upbringing. My big sisters Linda and Philishea, my little sisters Lezlie and Kim, and some of my dearest friends Shondalette, Leticia, Pam, Carolyn, Donna, Rachel, Patrice, and Keisha who were all there during a very difficult time in my life that would’ve molded me into a different person if it weren’t for their support. I truly believe that every encounter and relationship I have whether short or long has shaped who I am.
BYC Photography Manya Photography