We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erica, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 This the one right here! This the scripture that I cherish and honor daily. This scripture is my favorite quote/affirmation. I love this scripture because it came to me while I was in a dark place. Even when I did not quite understand it, God placed someone in my life to break it down for me. I ran into a pastor at a restaurant one day. I explained to him that I kept seeing John 3:16 in odd places. He looked at me and said, “Erica, God loves you. He’s reminding you of just that every time you see 316.” He said this is what it really means, “For God so loved Erica that he gave his only begotten Son. And if Erica believes in him, she shall not perish but have everlasting life.” From that day forward, I wake up every day with gratitude. I wake up everyday loving myself because he loves me. I wake up everyday going the extra mile to assure I am walking in my purpose. I wake up everyday knowing that I cannot quit even with no help or no support. Because I know now that what I am called to do is bigger than me because of his sacrifices.

Fanesha Fabre

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A lot of people do not know that I am not only an entrepreneur, but I am also a 9 to 5er in Corporate America. Working for a fortune 500 company. I received my master’s in computer science in 2018 from North Carolina A&T State University. If you are reading this and you are an Aggie, Can I get An Aggie Pride! I think that is what sets me apart from others. I love doing both. I love going to my 9 to 5 job just as much as I love working on my business. Was it easy to get here? Absolutely NOT! Grad school almost took me out to be honest. My grandmother was battling cancer and I was going back and forth from Greensboro to Raleigh during her transitional stages and trying to juggle the curriculum until she passed away on March 9th, 2017. Eight months later, my mother passed away unexpectedly. However, even despite the challenges that progressed, I knew that I could not give up. I knew I did not come this far to only come this far. Grad school may have saved my life. I had no time to dwell in sadness. I had to acknowledge it, figure out how to cope, stop sometimes if I must. But I knew I could not quit. They wouldn’t want me to and that’s for sure. I have learned along the way that, it still must get done, Despite hardship & adversity. Even with no support. You still must push through because your calling is bigger that the doubters. Your calling is bigger than the non-believers. Your calling is bigger than the naysayers. I want the world to know that my brand is a safe space for the unsupported. A platform for aspiring/established entrepreneurs. Encouragement for the discouraged. And empowerment for black men and black women.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Whew Chile. This is a tough one. There’s so many dope places in Atlanta. A few of my favorite gems in the city – Ms. Iceys Kitchen 55th & Park Takorea Sky Lounge for amazing views Cru Lounge Dugans Anticos Pizza Mad Italian BQE Georgia Aquarium High Museum Krog Street Market Krog Street Tunnel The God is Dope Store Kabob-ish Edgewood Ave Edgewood Pizza Peter Street The Clermont Atlanta Sky Wheel Chef Robs Simons Sivas Krab Queens The Beltline Find the Little Tiny Doors on the beltline Urban Grind Coffee Slim & Huskies Ubar Slutty Vegan ATL Experience The Village Market 640 West Cafe 10th & Piedmont Piedmont Park Atlanta Botanical Garden I could go on and on. However, I think those places will suffice for a weeks worth of activities. 🙂

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
God, of course. For simply ordering my steps. Protecting & Healing the state of my mental health to even be able to have the energy and mental capacity to run a business. Shoutout to my partner Ari and Family/Friends. Special shoutout to Karis, Brittany, and Ari for listening to my business ideas for about a year before I launched. 😊 Y’all are the real MVPs. I am for certain, I talked you guys heads off. Dr. Eve of FirstGenLounge. LordPhly and BataStudios. Marvel & Ariel Johnson. My colleague Jameila for just hopping on board the moment I told her about my business. Alon of The Beet Box Juice. My SAU & NCAT family. My supporters in Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA. Lastly, the strangers that support me that I do not even know. Thank You for playing an influential role in my life thus far. Thank You for sharing this journey with me. Most of all, Thank You for believing in me even when I don’t believe in myself, sometimes.

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