Erica Cerulo is Of a Kind’s Co-founder. Erica had a background in publishing before teaming with friend Claire Mazur to form Of a Kind. The company promotes rising fashion designers by featuring their products and the stories behind those products.
Erica shares with Sam’s Dream Blog about finding her element, working with a close friend and daring big in pursuit of a dream.
Sam's Dream Blog: What’s your professional dream? How did your dream originate?
Erica Cerulo: I’d say my professional dream is to create something meaningful that I really care about and that other people feel connected to. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been most excited about projects when I’ve had a sense of ownership and the ability to execute on ideas. Back in January 2010, Claire was applying for a job at 20x200, a site that sells limited-edition art prints. We started talking about how well this would also work for fashion and, hey, why wasn’t anyone doing this for fashion?
SDB: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Erica Cerulo: One of the things I’m most proud of is building a business with a close friend. I feel crazy-lucky that I get to work on something I’m so passionate about with someone who’s so important to me. The reason Claire and I have been able to build this business partnership over the last four years is that we’ve both worked at it and put energy into our relationship.
SDB: What have been the biggest obstacles or challenges to realizing your dream? What advice do you have for others in pursuit of their dreams?
Erica Cerulo: I’d say that the challenge and the advice are the same: You have to put yourself out there. You have to tell people what you want to do or build. You have to cold-call (or cold-email!), and you can’t be overwhelmed by the scariness of failure or rejection or any of that. I think that’s what prevents a lot of people from going for it in the first place - the fear that comes with saying 'I’m going to do this.'
SDB: Of a Kind includes designer stories. What difference does it make to know the story behind the scenes with a brand or with a person?
Erica Cerulo: Well, we think it makes a huge difference! When you get to learn about the people who made something, you feel connected to them - and the bracelet or wallet they designed - in a completely different way. The piece is suddenly special and has a story, and when people compliment you on it, you feel compelled to pass that story along (or at least we do!).
Thanks for reading Sam’s Dream Blog! Learn more about Of a Kind and Erica Cerulo here. Check back with SDB for the next feature on June 24. Leave a comment below about what you would like to see on Sam's Dream Blog!