In March of 2019, Erikka Franklin began designing custom fanny packs at the age of twelve. Not long after, she began selling her designs on Etsy. Today, at the age of fourteen, her business is currently thriving and she has expanded it, now selling custom made face masks for those looking for a special touch to their needed protection during the pandemic.
We were recently able to chat with Erikka about her journey to Etsy and her design inspiration.
Cincinnati Refined: What makes you passionate about fashion? What drew you to the industry?
Erikka Franklin: What drew me to the industry was crafting. I’ve loved creating, painting, and sewing ever since I was younger. My mom gifted me with a sewing machine for my ninth birthday and ever since then I’ve never stopped creating. As I got older, I started to evolve and be more serious about fashion.
CR: When and how did you start your business?
EF: I started fannysofab in March of 2019. I created an Etsy shop, the same exact one that I still use today. I did my research on what products to use. I went to the craft store and I decided to get to work! Thankfully my family and friends were extremely supportive.
CR: What do you design and what is creative or unique about your products?
EF: I design my own fanny pack line, fannysofab. What's unique about my line is that the majority of my line is custom made. That means that you choose what you would like on your fanny pack based on your likes and interests, such as sports, hobbies, your favorite city, colors, and so much more. It's an amazing fashion statement. It fits your style and it's so much easier to keep up with things because it stays by your side!
CR: Do you have any designer’s that inspire you?
EF: The designers that inspire me are Frankie Lewis of Project Runway and designer Daniel Day, also known as “Dapper Dan” of Dapper Dan’s Boutique.
CR: If you could design anything for anyone, what would it be and who would you design for?
EF: Rihanna, Tierra Whack, Jojo Siwa, Dapper Dan, That Girl Lay Lay, Michelle Obama, and so many more. My goal is to have as many people as possible wearing my designs.
CR: Has the pandemic affected your business?
EF: I feel as though the pandemic has given me time to work on and better my business, such as, developing new marketing strategies, finding ways to reach new customers, and designing more fanny packs.
CR: Where can people find you? Where can they buy your products?
CR: What advice would you give to other teens looking to create their own start-up?
EF: Do your research. Stay consistent even when traffic may be slow, because after the rain there is always a rainbow. And most importantly believe in yourself!