Alumni Feature: Erica Sullivan
From a timid freshman to flourishing entrepreneur, Erica Sullivan credits CWIB with the reason she developed confidence to pursue her dreams of having a start-up company. “I began at Virginia Tech freshman year with very little confidence. I hated speaking in front of a group, never spoke up in class, and always just tried to blend in and not draw attention to myself,” according to Erica. However, after 4 years of being a part of CWIB and climbing through different leadership positions from Design Chair, to CMO and finally Co-CEO, Erica was able to blossom into the determined business woman she is today.
In her time at Virginia Tech Erica majored in Communication Studies with a minor in Dress, Culture and Society. Erica says she was drawn to Communication Studies because “I have always loved writing and creating something out of nothing. I believe that Communication Studies is one of those majors that you get out of it what you put into it.” Erica feels that “the courses in Virginia Tech's Communication program allowed me the ability to be creative, instantly apply what I was learning in the classroom to my start-up companies and other ventures, and meet some incredible people along the way.” Erica was interested in Dress, Culture and Society as a minor because she had studied Fashion Merchandising and Design during summers in high school at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising College in New York City. “My passion then, and still to this day, is to develop my own clothing brand that in turn creates a community for women to support one another,” says Erica.
Erica has been passionate about blogging for many years and started her own blog called “What The Clique”, a budget-friendly resource for those with high end taste. Her blog has different kinds of posts spanning from lifestyle, fashion, and travel. Erica has always loved engaging with her audience and felt like she wanted to do more. In January 2020, she decided to create a podcast called ‘The Innovator’. She feels that everyone has a story to tell and through this medium she strives to share stories of the good, bad, and ugly that lead to success. In her podcast she tells the stories of women entrepreneurs and hopes that ‘The Innovator’ can serve as a resource to budding entrepreneurs as well as experienced business mavens.
Erica is also the founder and CEO of her start-up: L.U.V (Low Ultraviolet), a sustainable, fashionable clothing company that strives to protect from skin cancer using ultraviolet protection factor materials. During her senior year at Virginia Tech, Erica applied for the Apex E-Challenge, a campus-wide, student startup competition that brings together successful alumni-entrepreneurs, industry partners, and students to showcase the best new ventures at Virginia Tech. Through this challenge, L.U.V won the fan-favorite award and seed funding, an incredible accomplishment and stepping stone for the company. L.U.V will be launching on October 17, so be sure to check it out!
But wait, there's more. On top of her own ventures, Erica also works full-time at ChurnZero, a technology startup in DC. Something she’s learned since joining the workforce is that you have to come each day prepared to learn something new, adding that she feels the most important skills in the workplace today are adaptability, empathy, eagerness to learn and corporate communications. 5 years from now, Erica plans to be pursuing her start-up ventures full-time. “I have never been someone who understands the appeal of a corporate career path, I constantly have to be moving, adapting and creating,” says Erica.
Erica wants members to “soak up every second of college, attend as many CWIB events you can, and make true and honest connections.” She says that her best friends and biggest professional supporters came from the CWIB network. Erica wears many hats, and wears them well! She is an inspiration to us all and I admire her ambition to no end. CWIB is proud to have Erica as an alumni and cannot wait to see where all her opportunities take her, as she truly embodies the entrepreneurial spirit. Best of luck Erica!
Go check out and follow Erica’s ventures on Instagram:
By: Lindsay Barnes