March 10, 2017
Erica Taylor On Running A Business, Disco Ball Shoes + That Time Her Dog Was A Flower Girl
Who: Erica Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer of Tinsel and Twine, Wedding Whisperer, Connoisseur Of The Sequin
Why She’s Foxy: As one-third of the dynamic trio that comprises the Brooklyn-based experiential design company Tinsel And Twine, this former artsy weirdo-turned-entrepreneur is the master of making magic happen.
On Growing Up: “I am a southern girl. I grew up in Virginia. I was that weirdo kid always walking around with a notebook sketching clothes. When I was in preschool I wanted to be a artist, by kindergarten I wanted to be a dancer, and then I wanted to be a fashion designer. I went to school in DC. That’s where I met my two business partners. I studied Communications and Sociology, but didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I only knew I that I liked words and people.”
On Her Parents: “They met when my mom was 25 and my dad was 33 and they’re still together. My dad was working in finance, and now he takes photos and sells them to galleries. My mom was also in finance and a stay-at-home mom. Now she self-publishes poetry books. It’s in our blood to fuck around and find something to do.”
On Style: “I only wear leather, sequins, and tassels or fur, things that bring me joy. I’m like the kooky old lady that wears pink sequins for no reason. I also like to mix up my hair. Last year it was pink, recently it was blue. Sometimes I have braids.”
On Marriage: “My husband and I have been together for 8 or 9 years. We met in New York. Neither of us are particularly religious so we wanted our wedding ceremony to feel more like an ode to our life together, versus a scripted ceremony. Our dog Mayhem was a flower girl. I wore head-to-toe sequins and Keith wore what he called his midnight blue ‘007’ tux. The reception was like one big house party. Lots of drinking, dancing, and enough tacos and root beer floats to go around.”
On Starting Tinsel and Twine: “I used to sing with my now business partners in an acapella group in college. We all moved separately to New York, and we would go to happy hour bitching about our day jobs. I was spending my day doing spreadsheets and I thought to myself: “if this is my life for the next 40 years, I would jump off this building.” It just wasn’t fun or creative. So we were just sitting at happy hour, thinking to ourselves that we should just start a business and it all started from there. We did everything nights and weekends. About two years later, I got laid off. There were about 50 of us in the company and in a single day they let 45 people go. It was Election Day 2012. I got called into the room and I realized I had never fired, so part of me was a little bit stung, but I still was like ‘fuck yes’ because I was going to quit soon anyway.”
On The Evolution Of The Business: “We’re now six and a half years old. We’ve changed from offering services for weddings exclusively, and have moved more into the corporation space. At this point, the more business, the better. For weddings, we only do stage designs. There are always challenging clients. I get called in to defuse the bomb a lot. Once a client called me screaming because of pricing, so I helped her blow off steam, calmed her down, and told her not to worry. That took 45 minutes. I have gotten to the point where I know how to handle working in this industry and make a personal relationship without taking it personally.
Favorite Book: “‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ by Jonathan Safran Foer made me cry.”
Favorite Song: “‘Heart It Races’ — it’s a Dr. Dog remix. Every time I hear it, I feel a good buzz.”
Fantasy Wedding: “Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Stevie Wonder would perform and I would wear a tall skirt sequin top and disco ball shoes. My husband would be my date.”