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Life at Parachute

Get to Know Erica A., Founder and CEO of blended and Our New Home For Dreams Grant Recipient

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What started as her own beauty and wellness journey, has become a full blown business venture for Erica A., Founder and CEO of blended. After years of working on behalf of other brands, Erica launched blended, a lifestyle brand that makes self-care easy and accessible for everyone. 

Home for Dreams is an initiative Parachute launched in the fall of 2020 to support Black-owned, product-centric businesses with capital, advisory meetings and brand amplification. The six-month program includes mentorship from our Founder, Ariel Kaye, access to the entire Parachute team, coverage across marketing channels, and a $25k grant to invest in the recipient’s business. 

We chatted with Erica to learn more about her journey to start blended and what she's most excited about being our newest Home for Dreams mentee. 

What inspired you to launch blended?:I say it often, but blended is truly the offspring of my own self-care journey. I started going to therapy, I dove into books, I got my curiosity back, I got my creativity back and I felt it was time to create the brand of my dreams. I didn’t want to watch others go after what they wanted and not be brave enough to go after what I wanted too. And that was to create a brand that truly impacts your lifestyle, not just in a cute aesthetic way, but in a way that changes your perspective and outlook about life and the way you are caring for yourself. My inspiration for blended was the change I saw in myself when I started to prioritize taking a moment for myself each day.

What are your goals for blended?:I look at blended as my child and as a parent you have high hopes! I would love to build a massive community of people who are showing up as their best selves and prioritizing each element of self-care: physical, practical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. I also hope to see blended in retail chains like Sephora and our own flagship stores in major cities. Short term, my goal is an exciting package relaunch and some new product additions.

Erica A. of blended

How did you hear about Home for Dreams?:I like to keep up with the grants that are offered to black owned businesses and so does my mom. She is blended’s biggest fan and #1 tester. She loves to send me IG reels highlighting these grants and Home for Dreams was one of the ones that caught her eye. Home for Dreams is the first grant and mentorship program I have ever applied for and I was so nervous yet excited about the opportunity. I almost talked myself out of applying because blended is still growing, but I believe when something is meant to be fear has a way of exiting and fate enters the chat haha. 

What are you most excited about experiencing during your time in Home for Dreams? :I am a woman of research and when I saw the team that would help and guide me over the course of the next six months I was beyond excited. As a business owner if you can avoid costly mistakes by learning from someone who is an expert in certain areas you have struck gold! I am so excited to learn from the team, I am so excited to also get to know the people behind such an amazing company and I'm so excited to receive guidance across every aspect of my business.

What are you hoping to learn from the Parachute team?:I am really looking forward to learning how to scale properly diving deeper into fulfillment, logistics and retail planning. I am really excited to learn more about building out the customer experience, community building, product development and growing our digital presence.