Erica Sara is the definition of tenacity. After going through a divorce in her 20’s she left her lucrative position at Coach to pursue a degree in nutrition and started designing and creating jewelry at the kitchen table of her NYC apartment.
Today she’s the owner of Erica Sara Designs, featuring beautiful, timeless, customizable jewelry that’s graced the pages of publications including Runner’s World, Women’s Running. Glamour, and Better Homes and Gardens, just to name a few. And if you haven’t seen her work there, chances are, if you following women’s running, you’ve seen it on many of the pros, including Alysia Montaño, Colleen Quigley, among others.
In this episode she shares the twists and turns she took on her path to pursing a dream she’d been carrying since childhood; Erica discovered her passion for jewelry design at just 10 years old, using scraps of leather to craft fabulous leather pins, earrings, and hairpieces for her family and friends. (This was the 80’s!).
When she’s not creating jewelry, Erica spends her time running, cooking, and hanging with her husband Robert and their two kids.
We talked about…
- Being picked last for every team as a kid, growing up as a dancer and later becoming a runner
- How rowing laid the groundwork for becoming a runner
- How running became part of Erica’s mental health toolkit
- Her path from the NYC corporate fashion world to starting her own business
- How watching the NYC Marathon finish line changed her life
- How the NYC running community embraced her with open arms after her divorce
- How she (probably illegally) converted her NYC apartment into an art studio
- How she went from working at her dining room table to designing personalized jewelry for elite runners
- Why she’s such a saver- and how her good financial habits have allowed her the freedom to pursue a dream
- All four of her grandparents survive the Holocaust; how her family history has affected the trajectory of her life
- Advice to other people who are contemplating a mid-life career shift
- Why she keeps her social media presence as genuine as possible
- How she ended up marrying a man who wasn’t her “type” – and advice for all the single ladies.
- Taking maternity leave as a small business owner
- How to set work-life boundaries as a self-employed, work at home mom
- On her creative process as a jewelry designer
- Having PPD with her second child
- Prioritizing giving as a small business
- Erica is still seeking the perfect pair of red cowboy boots!
- On wanting a “mom car” as a teenager
- How to drink hot coffee in the shower
- Why Erica never runs in socks
I credit running with bringing me where I am in every aspect of my life
Growing up I was not an athlete at all.
Growing up I was always doing something artistic
I’ve always been someone to figure things out
I basically started my whole life again at 32
Don’t give up
Know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you’re willing to go toward light and work your ass off to get there
I think it’s so easy in the social media world right now to look out and see the stories of all these people succeeding and making it look so easy. It is not easy and if they’re making it look easy they are lying and it’s total BS. It is hard work, people. And if you are not ready to work your ass off don’t bother.
Running is my sanity
The answer is not outside of you. The answer is you
You are your superpower
When I run my brain stops
Just keep going.
It’s nothing you can’t handle.
Believe in yourself.
Stop trying to be perfect. Not everyone has to love you. Not everyone’s going to love you. You are more than your body. You are more than your face. You are more than anything anyone sees. Just be you. If people don’t like it, eff them
Mentioned in this episode…
Alysia Montaño Announces Nonprofit to Support Working Mothers– the article that first “connected” me with Erica!
Ali on the Run Show
Rambling Runner podcast
Brave like Gabe
Nesha V. Frazier’s episode on the Real Fit podcast (another sockless runner!
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