Erika Tucker is an amateur model, SCUBA diver, guitar player, cooking vlogger and karaoke singer when she is not writing songs, taking photos or designing websites, graphic art, handbags, jewelry and other accessories. She is mom to 2 black pugs and lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon. This year, in addition, she's starting to write her own recipes for her YouTube Channel: Cooking With Wine.
So, once upon a time, there was a freshman girl attending her first year of school in Bloomington, Indiana. She was flipping through a magazine and saw an ad for a company that sold semi-precious stone beads and other jewelry-making materials. This was before the internet, and the girl was fascinated. She sent off the mail-order form with her first order and delved head-first into the heart-breaking and expensive world of making jewelry. Why heart-breaking? Well, initially, you make the jewelry for yourself. But then, as you are unable to reign in the inspiration and explosion of creativity, it becomes apparent that you cannot possibly wear all of this yourself. So you start gifting it to friends and relatives.
And when their jewelry boxes are over-flowing, you try to find strangers who will BUY your creations. And then, you find yourself paying gobs of money to sit in the heat or the cold or the rain, under a make-shift tent in a parking lot somewhere with all your precious creations laid out for the world to see only to find that there are members of "the public" who will get a cinnamon roll from the end of the aisle and then fondle your goods without cleaning their fingers and their thieving children will just steal your things. And then the wind kicks up and knocks a crystal necklace off the table, shattering it on the pavement, whipping earrings off boards out into the lot and breaking your tent. And you find at the end of the day, you've spent 8 hours sitting there being miserable only to make twenty bucks.
And so you turn to the internet, where every Dick and Jane on the planet is already trying to sell their things, and you struggle to find your place in the world. Enter Etsy, whom, for all their faults, takes over the day to day "sitting in the parking lot", but you have to pay them to sit there. And you wait. And you wait. And you wait, knowing that ONE DAY, the right person will see your precious things and want them enough to buy them. And you will have hope, and you will begin to create again, but this time, you will reign in the creativity, and channel it, and coax it in a direction that speaks to you, so that when you do produce something, it will be worthy of the price you must ask. Because when you spend 12 hours sewing a one-of-a-kind designer handbag, you just can't sell it for twenty bucks.
But years go by, and Etsy does not do their job properly and when someone looks at your pretty things, they show them links for other people's things that are vaguely similar, but priced lower because it's massed produced crap from China, and lure away your customers. And eventually even .20 per listing is just too much money to spend each quarter and you close up shop. All the pretty things sit silent in their cases in the closet waiting for one day when you will have the heart to sit in a parking lot again. So the girl stops making jewelry and handbags and picks up a guitar.
Playing other people's songs fills the void for a while, but one day it's not enough and she wants to create again. So she picks up a pen and writes her own song. And another and another. And one day she wants to share these songs with the world so she finds a place that will let her play her songs and she has a show of all original music. Her story is not over, but this is how it began.
Over the years she did a lot of other great things as well, such as SCUBA instruction and cave diving, major event planning (weddings), makeup artistry, major home renovations (tile, paint, wood flooring), auto repair (oil changes, tune ups, engine rebuild), and modeling.