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Work & Life with Erica Carter

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Carter.

Erica, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Growing up, I have always been fascinated with the unique facets of hair. In the African-American culture, hair is a form of an expression, a connection to our ancestry and binds us together as a community. Being the youngest in a family of four girls, I always looked up to my mother and sisters by watching them. As I grew, I began to take on my own style which was not always met with great criticism.

As I grew, I began to embrace the notion of being different. At first, hair was just a hobby and form of expression. As I got older, I realized that others began to express interest in my craft. In the beginning, I didn’t consider what I did as “artistic”. But I feel anything you put your passion and creativity into is consider your art. My fascination for hair started at the early age of 12. It started off as me experimenting with my own hair and eventually teaching myself how to cut, style, braid, and install sew-in weaves. In order to earn extra money for myself and mother, I turned my small hobby into a side business.

Can you give our readers some background on your work?
I sell Brazilian hair Bundles, craft Custom Wigs Units and produce a natural hair product called Buttered Up. It is made with 100% natural ingredients and enriched with essentials oils to moisturize your hair and body. There are a lot of products that are marketed to the African-American community for our natural hair that contains harmful ingredients that may dry out our hair. That is why I decided to make an alternative product. In the beginning, I was sewing wigs by hand which took me up to 6 hrs. After learning that I could make wigs using a sewing machine, I first taught myself how to use one and then began constructing my wigs using the machine. When you buy wigs from beauty supply stores, they are often ill-fitting and do not give a realistic look. For some people who suffer from alopecia or suffer hair loss due to other diseases, wigs are an everyday reality for them so they should be able to have realistic options. The units I make are custom made to fit the circumference of my clients head. Wigs are also a great protective style for individuals who want to try different cuts and color without damaging their natural hair. A takeaway from what I do is that people recognize we are not our hair, it is simply a crown and we can switch it up whenever we want! Versatility is key.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
Invest in yourself self. Save a little money (if you can) from every paycheck. Network with others and try to create avenues to create capital for your venture. If you believe in what you are doing, you have to chase it. Dreams don’t work unless we do. If you’re working at a job that you’re not passionate about, make sure you’re putting in the same amount of time/hours into your craft. Pursuing your craft is not easy, but it is worth it when you are able to produce and share something you’ve put your time and creativity into.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work is displayed on my Instagram page @craftedbyerica where I post new creations weekly or my website www.craftedbyerica.com. They can subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Crafted By Erica where I show beginners easy tips and tricks on how to not only apply my custom wig units but any wig they may purchase. To support my work people can repost or share my creations with their friends or family. They can also follow me on my social media’s. In addition, if they know anyone looking for great quality wigs, they can send them my way.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photographer: Nicholas Lance Bradley

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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