Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika McClellan.
Hi Erika, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Hello! I’m Erika, I am 31 years old and a stylist and mental health professional in the St. Louis area. I was born in Dallas, TX, and raised in St. Louis since the age of 5. I went to elementary, middle, and high school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.
All throughout that time, I was a tri-sport athlete playing basketball, softball, and rugby. My passion has always been in connecting with people through physical activity, discussions about mental health, and making the world a more beautiful and creative place.
I found my creative spark in my childhood, however, a trip to New York Fashion Week in 2020 changed my life forever. While I had just planned to go to NYC and be a fashionable social butterfly, I soon realized what potential I had when I owned my own star power! I worked those rooms dressed in my favorite curated thrifted garbs, sipping champagne and sashaying from one conversation to the next. I planned to go to New York City to be a fashionable butterfly, but I soon realized the potential I had when my star power shined through.
I spoke, and people spoke back. I made some amazing connections and memories. I realized, I had something special (at least to me I did). I decided then that my experience in NYC would continue to fuel my passion for creation and connection.
Right on the heels of the pandemic and after graduating from Saint Louis University with my Master’s in marriage and family therapy, I launched my business and creative endeavors. My company, A Therapeutic Slay LLC, was founded on principles of mental wellness, self-care, and family values.
I used my natural-born ability to connect, along with my creativity and education, to inspire and help others put their best foot forward in the world (dressing well and having a fabulous home was just a bonus for us).
I know from my own struggles with mental health, as well as my experience as a therapist, that the way we feel affects how we dress and present ourselves to the world. When we are well, we dress well, and we care for ourselves.
Our clothes and our homes are an extension of us and our wellness.
If you or anyone you know has ever struggled with depression, then you may understand that simply showering, getting dressed, and cleaning the home can be an insurmountable task at times. I knew with the pandemic impending that our mental health and home life were about to matter more than ever.
I used my creativity and social media to keep myself and others uplifted and entertained. I advertise my styles and taught people about mental health, caring for self, community care during the pandemic, thrifting, upcycling, and making the home a loving and productive space (because who knew we would be working from home for 2 years).
Since then, I have made a full-time career of styling and helping others curate their life. And while I set out on this journey to be a creative light for others, more than anything, I rediscovered myself.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Heck no! This road has been anything but smooth! But I am so thankful for my Mom, Sister, and Best Friend Erica (yes, her name is also Erica). They really supported me through this journey and kept my head up during hard times.
Some of the struggles I faced included difficulty with my own mental health, general pandemic woes, caring for therapy clients during the pandemic, being a first-time entrepreneur, and an occasional loss of inspiration and motivation. There were times that I was truly empty from it all.
Staying in the gym with my trainer Juniece, helped tremendously. Physical activity has always been a home base for me, especially when struggling with my mental health, so staying in the gym was a no-brainer. Finally, what always helped me the most was remembering that I was doing this for myself and my life at my own pace.
Staying on my own timeline and staying open to mystery kept me in a position to receive the amazing opportunities I have, such as this one.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My current focus is interior styling. I love creating beautiful interiors that start a conversation. A lot can happen in a beautiful living room full of loved ones. I am known for making wild and eclectic statements with my interiors.
When you see a room created by me, I want you to stop and really take a moment to take in all that is happening. I hope that you see everything from wild prints, to pop culture and vintage decor.
I am most proud of being featured on platforms like @Therapy4Black Girls, @FashionBombDaily, and @WashingtonDC’sGoodwill as well as creative work I have done in St. Louis like The Walking Christmas Carol with STL Shakespeare Fest.
I believe my own unique life experience is what drives my art and sets me apart from others.
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Facebook or Instagram @ButtersMcclellan. You can support me by following, liking, sharing, recommending, and booking me for your styling needs.
- Edesign & Shopping List ($350): The first step in transforming a room with me is by purchasing an Edesign and Shopping List priced at $350. This is a service that includes a virtual meet with me where we discuss the room and any ideas you have for it. From there, I begin creating a virtual representation of the room with curated items and a shopping list to purchase the exact item. From here you now have a custom design by me with actual items that you purchase at your own leisure.
- Room Installation ($350): This service includes me coming into the home and physically styling the room. Edesign & Shopping list must be booked first.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buttersmcclellan/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erika.mcclellan.12/