Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Erica King, a mother, wife, and now entrepreneur, C.E.O & Founder of KEE ESSENTIAL LLC.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey.
My career has always been in the hospitality industry. Currently, I am still a General Manager at Marriott, but as Covid-19 continues to spread, many seasoned hoteliers like myself are stuck with “what's next” as many have been laid off or had to take drastic pay cuts to keep up with financial obligations to owners. Also, as an African American woman raising two daughters in the wake of black lives matter, I felt compelled to give my daughters every opportunity I could for them to be successful. So, instead of me letting the kids stay home being sucked into the online and gaming world, I put my dreams and thoughts into reality and launched my Beauty company KEE ESSENTIAL LLC with both my daughters. The best gift I could give them is my legacy, ownership of their own company, and teach them how to be female entrepreneurs at an early age.
Who are your role models?
My role models are Michelle Obama for her tenacity, confidence, beauty, and authenticity. My husband, Fabian King, for his strength, guidance, courage, and willingness to always elevate our lives to the next level.
What inspires you?
What inspired me the most is being around like-minded people. People that I can engage with, and we share the same philosophy about life. I also have a strong passion for mentoring and development. Being able to pour into someone else's life keeps me motivated.
Please tell us about your company.
My company name is KEE ESSENTIAL. The “KEE” is short for Kayla, Erian, and Erica, which are my two daughters and me. We specialize in providing hair care, 3D mink lashes, 10-12A Brazilian hair extensions, accessories, as well as we have a makeup line in production. We have the KEE essentials for an everyday woman, no matter what race or ethnicity.
What's your most memorable experience?
One of my most memorable experiences is climbing the pinnacle mountain with my family. I tapped into the psychology of the climb. It was a hard incline up, and often I wanted to give up, but I stayed the course and kept my girls going as my husband kept me going. When we got to the top, it was all worth it, the view was beautiful.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
I use Facebook and Instagram. I have a team of people that develop graphic content, manage ads, as well as post on the business page. I have gained more followers since I added a team of experts to help.
What's your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is leaving this earth without a roadmap to success for my daughters.
Looking back, what's one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
Looking back, I wish I would have taken the time to learn hospitality management more before jumping into leadership positions. As I look back earlier in my career, there were definitely mistakes made, rookie mistakes that could have been avoided if I just paid attention to the details.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Strategies I have learned are:
1. Pick my battles; not everything deserves a response. Protect my peace at all costs. Not to allow me to become an emotional leader.
2. Always be transparent and truthful, even with myself. Accept what reality is and walk confidence every day.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
When things get tough, my family and close friends keep me going. Having a solid foundation is “kee” to any one's success.
Any message for our readers.
My message will be to my fellow hoteliers that are wondering what their next move is. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. I feel so re-energized, so alive. This was the best thing I could have ever done.