Twenty-Something Tycoons: Erikka Yvonne’s EYCO Agency Is Home to Top-Notch Digital Branding Services

For the month of May, the Twenty-Something Tycoons series will focus on twenty-somethings who are heading their own businesses in honor of the 10-year reunion for Detroit’s Renaissance High School, class of 2008.

In today’s social media and internet driven culture, making a company stand out amongst the crowd can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. Detroiter Erikka Yvonne launched EYCO Agency, a full service branding and advertising agency, to help solve this problem. Erikka and her team are putting their creative skills to work to provide memorable and noteworthy online branding and design services.

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Here’s what Erikka had to say about EYCO Agency:

Tell me about your business.

EYCO Agency, Home of the Creative M.O.B., is a full service Creative Agency that provides branding and advertising strategy services. We work with brands to attract the right audience and create a lasting impression. We help to craft the message and elevate the experience. We believe insight, strategic vision and impact are the core of every life-changing brand.

How did the idea for your business come about?
During my undergraduate career at Grand Valley State University, I found myself being the creative mind behind events and graphics for all the organizations I was involved in. Once I graduated, I found myself facing rejection after rejection for agencies in the metro Detroit area! After some time, I decided I wanted to create a home for young creatives like myself to do what we love most- create!

What separates it from similar businesses?
My team is comprised of young creatives in similar situations like me. After college, they lacked the needed experience agencies wanted. Our team has both the passion for our clients and the drive to see them win!

Describe your business in three words.
Creative. Transparent. Human.

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Where do you see your business in the next 10 years?
In 10 years, I want EYCO Agency to have pop up locations in other major cities! I want those locations to not only house the staff but to be an off-site home to teach high school and college students graphic design, branding, social media assistance and more!

Who is your target audience?
Innovators- The people who tell stories or share content that is important and special to you. This includes authors, bloggers and even vloggers!
Creatives – This includes visual and fine artists, graphic designers and web designers!
Lifechangers – The people who want to connect deeply with the hearts and minds of others to spark something good. This includes nonprofits, philanthropists and motivational speakers.

What advice do you have for high school students thinking about starting a business one day?
Just go for it! Don’t let the unknown or fear of failure stop you. You’ll never know what you can accomplish if you don’t go after it!

How have you grown or changed since joining the entrepreneurial world?
Man, my faith in God has increased tremendously, as well as my confidence in myself! There’s a certain level of comfort I had in life when I was working a 9-5 and that all changed when I became a full-time entrepreneur!

For more information on EYCO Agency, visit the website or email Erikka at erikka@eycoagency.com .

For more interviews with interesting twenty-somethings, click here.
With hope,
Stevie

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Twenty-Something Tycoons: Breana Curry Is Disrupting Financial Illiteracy in Urban Communities

For the month of May, the Twenty-Something Tycoons series will focus on twenty-somethings who are heading their own businesses in honor of the 10-year reunion for Detroit’s Renaissance High School, class of 2008.

The costs of financial illiteracy are high. Poor money habits equal a bad credit score. A bad credit score equals a higher price tag on the cost of living. It’s a vicious cycle of poor money management. In America, families of color fall behind in building wealth compared to white familes. For example, in 2016, black families made seven times less than white families.

Detroit native Breana Curry wants to change the game of finances for the black community. Breana works to help urban families make better money decisions through her company, Curry Financials LLC.

The financial coaching company is on a mission to empower young people and adults with the necessary financial literacy to build their personal wealth. At it’s heart, Curry Financials seeks to disrupt long-established cultural and social systems that cause African Americans to fail by teaching them money management.

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Here’s what Breana had to say about Curry Financials:

Tell me about your business.

Curry Financials’ mission is to educate young adults on the basics of credit, budgeting and saving. The vision is for families to embrace financial literacy, end generational poverty and establish generational wealth.

How did the idea for your business come about?

When I moved to Atlanta in March 2016, it was a leap of faith. I didn’t have a job or a place to stay, but one thing I did have was a plan. After submitting what felt like a million applications from March to June and not hearing anything back, I was finally connected to the United Way of Greater Atlanta, a nonprofit I genuinely wanted to work for. I became a financial coach for the their veterans program.
I thought it was just an opportunity to get me in the door and help pay the bills. I had no idea it would turn into a business because finances was not my thing. Nevertheless, I grew to love it. I helped formerly homeless veterans increase their income, repair their credit and learn how to budget and save. After working with them and hearing their testimonies, I was able to see the difference it made when a person learns the art of money management. Check out a few of the testimonials on CurryFinancials.com.

What separates it from similar businesses?

Curry Financials is different from similar businesses because we focus on educating our clients. Companies with similar business models, especially those with a credit component, focus on “fixing your credit.” I’m not a credit repair lady. My mission is to educate you on how your credit score is calculated, how to make it increase and what will make it decrease. After we’re done, you will know how to fix credit yourself.

I am passionate about disrupting systems that are put in place to make African Americans fail. In order to disrupt these systems, we have to educate ourselves. The financial system was never set up to benefit us. Did you know the history behind Wall Street’s name? It is called “Wall Street” because there used to be an actual wall built by slaves where snipers would shoot slaves who tried to escape from being sold. We were the first commodity sold on the stock exchange. Clearly, we have always been valuable. Today, Wall Street is known as one of the most influential financial districts in the world. If the economy has always depended on us, then why are so many of us still poor? One reason we remain in poverty is lack of knowledge about our history and the basic rules of money management.

If you have poor money habits, then you probably also have a bad credit score. If you have a bad credit score, then you are literally charged more to live your life. You pay more for everything: from the type of house/apartment/car you can afford (because your down payment and security deposit depends on your credit score), to how much you pay when using a credit card (low credit score = high interest rate). Essentially, this is another form of control because you are only allowed to do so much. They’ll offer you credit cards galore, but no one ever teaches you to never go above 30 percent of your credit limit. If you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit, then you should never spend more than $300. Understanding simple facts like that and knowing how to manage your money can change the trajectory of our livelihood. They want us to continue to drown in debt, stress ourselves out and live paycheck to paycheck. They know how powerful and valuable we are, which is why so much effort is put toward the continuation of oppression. We must disrupt these systems by educating ourselves, strengthening our legacies and passing down healthier habits.

Describe your business in three words.

In less than three words- Financially Lit (lol)

Where do you see your business in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, Curry Financials’ curricula will be implemented into school systems across the country. It will include unique lesson plans for students in elementary all the way to college. It has already been created, but I’m taking these next few years to learn and become as solid as possible mentally, spiritually and professionally. This way when it’s time for me to steer the ship, it will sail forever.

Who is your target audience?

My target audience is young adults ages 16-24. I am dedicated to making the information relatable, fun and easy to understand. Young people are our rising leaders, and they need to learn about financial literacy at an early age. Eventually, they will know it so well they’ll inevitably teach their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and, most importantly, their future children.

What advice do you have for high school students thinking about starting a business one day?

Put your thoughts on paper. Goals in your mind are just ideas. You have to write them down to call it a plan. Once you write them down, keep them in sight. Write on Post-its or write on your mirror in erasable marker. Stay organized. The more you see it and the more you talk about it, the more likely it’ll come into fruition. Somebody has to do it. Why can’t that somebody be you?

How have you grown or changed since joining the entrepreneurial world?

I’ve become much more responsible. I take pride in my brand, and I understand I’m accountable for how my business operates. Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When people encounter Curry Financials I want them to feel love, compassion and genuine concern. I believe whatever you do, you should execute with excellence. Don’t waste your time or energy being mediocre. Give it all you’ve got.

For more interviews with interesting twenty-somethings, click here.

With hope,
Stevie

Twenty-Something Tycoons: Detroit Native Dominque Collins Is Levitating the Fashion World

For the month of May, the Twenty-Something Tycoons series will focus on twenty-somethings who are heading their own businesses in honor of the 10-year reunion for Detroit’s Renaissance High School, class of 2008.

There’s a worldwide trend in today’s twenty-somethings (or Gen Y- people born between 1985 and the milennium), they want to call the shots in their careers. According to an University of Phoenix study, 63 percent of people in their 20s either owned a business or wanted to in the future. Of those who weren’t already entrepreneurs, more than 55 percent of American adults in their twenties want to start a business.

Levitated Conscious is an apparel company founded by Detroit native Dominque Collins in 2016. Based in Ohio, the brand is a thought-provoking, edgy and fashion forward line that is redefining what style looks like.

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Here’s what Collins had to say about Levitated Conscious:

How did the idea for your business come about?
I started Levitated Conscious because I wanted to be a voice for our culture, the voice that makes you think about the bigger picture of life.

What separates it from similar businesses?
Fashion is such a dynamic outlet. So we decided to disrupt the minds of others through what we call statement pieces. We use the word disrupt because society embeds in our brains cultural norms that we begin to believe. Our goal is to disrupt every negative notion that society has placed on us as a people.

In order to truly be Levitated, you have to open your mind on a grand scale. This pertains to your well-being, relationships, money as well as your biases and prejudices.

Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is African Americans between the ages of 20-38 years old.

What advice do you have for high school students thinking about starting a business one day?
Listen to your heart and focus on what you love because that is important. Read lots of books on communicating with others and finance. Learn about budgeting for your personal life first.

Take chances on yourself because no one will believe in you before you do. Pray and meditate before making impulsive decisions. Entrepreneurship is hard, but it is also rewarding with hard work.

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For more on Levitated Conscious, visit the wesbite or catch the line on social: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

For more interviews with interesting twenty-somethings, click here.

With hope,
Stevie