Erica Dias discovered a love for fashion and helping others even before becoming an adult, herself. By 17, Dias was well on the road to success. She’s worked in the fashion industry for over 13 years. A native of Richmond, CA, Erica’s motto has always been “FAILURE is NOT an OPTION”. While interning at BET & VIBE magazine, Erica learned a lot! Soon thereafter, she began freelancing; providing wardrobe styling & makeup for commercials such as Microsoft, Doritos, FUSE TV, COMCAST, Haagen-Dazs. Dias then decided that she wanted to expand her brand and along with her sister, Ashley, and together they stared a Public Relations Firm, www.TheBFirmPR.com, also becoming the owner of her very own vintage clothing boutique, called Vintage and More 101.
Dias considers her late grandmother, Helen Dias, to be a great inspiration for everything that she has accomplished, and truly believes without her grandma’s unconditional love and faithful support, she doesn’t know where she would be. “Everything that I do now, I know she is watching over me and showing me the way.”
I had the honor to catch up with this renaissance women, and here’s the 1st part of our great conversation:
Kiel: It’s a pleasure to speak with you Erica.
Erica: Mine, as well.
Kiel: I’m a little familiar with your work and company, which is something out of a novel or Lifetime Movie, but, tell our readers about yourself and your company?
Erica: Sure. But first I just want to thank you guys for even, inquiring about and interviewing me. Where we started and where we are now, first I’m from Richmond California, I’ve been in Atlanta for six years. I started my career in the fashion industry, as a wardrobe stylist. I was doing wardrobe styling for commercials for companies like TiVo, Comcast, Doritos commercials, football commercials, and different things like that, where I was really excelling in the field of wardrobe styling, however, I always had a passion for helping others in general with their businesses and individual personal brands. And I was secretly, on the low, assisting my sister with different projects and PR campaigns, that she was doing throughout her career, and she was working for another company. So, while I started doing wardrobe styling, I was living in San Francisco and L.A., and my grandmother was the one, who wholeheartedly believed in my wardrobe styling career (chuckle). She was like helping me with my projects, some of my styling, it was just like a duo. And unfortunately, God had other plans, and my grandmother passed away from liver and lung cancer.
Kiel: So sorry to hear that.
Erica: Thank you. Yeah, she passed away from liver and lung cancer. And, a month before she passed away, I said, ‘Grandma, let’s go visit Atlanta.’ She was like, “Okay.” And I told her, ‘you have to get better, so we can go.’ And like I said before, God had other plans unfortunately, and she ended passing away before we could go. And I remember on the night of her funeral, I found myself in like a really dark place; very sad; very mad, because my best friend had just passed away. And I said, ‘You know what, God…I can either be here mad and angry or I can do what me and my grandmother talked about and just go to Atlanta. And so, the night of my grandmother’s funeral, I got on the airplane and I came to Atlanta with like two suitcases and some money in my saving account, and I didn’t know anybody when I first moved here. Actually, I did know one person. She was a flight attendant. She was a childhood friend, who gave me some pointers on where to live when I moved here. So, I found me a place; thought that I was in good hands, renting a really nice place downtown in Atlantic Station. I was in there for like the first six months of being in Atlanta. Found out that young lady I was renting the townhome from, did not really own it, and she was a con-artist. Anything that could happen in that first six months of me being in Atlanta did happen, when it came to my stability and living situation. And it was really, unfortunate, because that put me in a tight spot, because when I finally met the owner, he was really charging double what I was paying. It got a little bad after that, where I had to move into an extended stay motel, because I had no recourse from the young lady, and we had to press charges. But despite it all, I went to work every day and kept my problems to myself and persevered, and didn’t have to stay in that situation for long and quickly later found another apartment downtown in the city, and soon thereafter began working on the set of “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta”, when it first started and my job was to hire hair and make-up people, in which I did for two seasons. It was a great opportunity, but wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Sometime after that, my sister and I began talking about starting our own PR firm, but she wasn’t quite ready to leave the company she was working for, yet.
But she was fully supportive of me. Cause my sister is a realist. She’s not one of those people who’s going to just step out, like I am. And I was like, ‘hey, my back’s up against the wall…I have no options, and if I leave this job, I have to make the next venture work.’ And truthfully, I’ve always been a go-getter, and an entrepreneur since freaking 11 years old. I sold candy, cupcakes, oatmeal cookies, and was always just adaptable in life, and very ambitious at a young age. So, my sister was in support and she was more of the business and I was the visionary. I had the marketing plan. I had potential clients and was just ready to go ahead and leave the show step out on faith. So, I did just that and started B Firm PR.
We just celebrated six years in business. My first clients were athletes, and we went on to fashion and beauty brands. Then we started getting into like NASCAR, entrepreneurs, non-profits and things of that nature. And because I did not give up and I set my sights upon myself and realized my best investment has been, me. And even when I had only a hundred dollars to my name, I still didn’t give up. I kept my focus and my drive. And I remember working on that particular show (LHHATL), and a girl working with me on it, was like, “You here in Atlanta now…You gotta fake it ‘til you make it.” And I was like no, “I’m gonna faith, ‘til I make it.’ Cause faith is going to get me to where I want to be. Not on a materialistic level, but on rather a spiritual, mental, financial and a level where God wants me to be. And I remember writing ‘Faith It, ‘til You Make It’ on my vision board, and every day I would like at that and repeating it, ‘Faith It, ‘til You Make It’, and just kept speaking things like that over my life and putting positive affirmations and positive quotes, people and things around me, and kept that as my tunnel vision, and I would come to God in secret and He would make things happen for me. I knew that whatever I put into this career, it was what I was going to get back out of it. I knew that I couldn’t say I wanted this entrepreneurial life and only put ten percent in it. And I knew that if I wanted to be someone as a force to be reckoned with, in the PR industry, I knew I was going to have to do things differently, and diversify and not be just a one trick pony. So, with my sister and I, along with the small team I have, we’ve been able to stay in business and create opportunities for other men and women of color, and create other opportunities for ourselves, that have opened other doors.
I wrote a book, I have a vintage clothing store, and I’m constantly thinking of other ways to work smarter, not harder. We do a lot of philanthropy initiatives, such as going into women’s shelters and sowing seeds into the women, who are in transition, because I realize that could have been me, in a women’s shelter. Thank God, I had a little bit of money to get an extended stay, but that could have been my story. And because that reality was so close to me, it’s so important to me to give back and be a face to let women know, the sky’s not even the limit to the things you can do if you put your mind to it, and with faith over fear, God will get you through whatever.
Catch up with us here at, Empower Magazine, next week for the second half of my great conversation with Erica.