NAME: Erika De La Cruz
CITY: San Diego + Los Angeles
HOMETOWN: Los Banos, CA
INDUSTRY: Entertainment + Broadcast Media
Tell us what you do!
I’m a radio personality. I serve as Promotions Director and Video Entertainment Host for Easy 98.1 FM. I also just wrapped hosting the Fashion Week San Diego Spring Showcase. What’s sleep?
Did you go to college? If so, where?
San Diego State University — #GoAztecs!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Peter Pan’s girlfriend! Aside from those aspirations, I wanted to “put on shows for people,” and often subjected my family to theatrical narrations, dances, and rap routines.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
I grew up in a really small town — Los Banos, CA! When it came time for college, I attended SDSU. After a ton of “different ideas for majors,” I got my degree in Communication & Media, with an emphasis in public speaking & interview. Along the way, I picked up as many internship/volunteer opportunities, and went to as many office hours, as possible to integrate myself into a community of people I wanted to learn from, in industries I wanted to learn more about. I started working in LA doing some red carpet correspondence on the weekends and fell in love. Then started working on a Morning Show in radio in San Diego, which I also loved, and eventually found that — in this industry — fashion, pop-culture and all the other stuff I love are often part of the deal! I love this multi-media world.
Any obstacles along the way?
I definitely experienced some set backs, like the economy circa 2009. That lovely economy threw a few huge hurdles my way — financial aid, foreclosure, loosing a few loved ones. But from that, I think I developed skills that, to this day, are the reason I’m pursuing what I love. I feel like sometimes there’s an expected “surrendering” reaction when drastic, unexpected things happen (the easy route), but instead I reacted with, “Nope, I’m going to maintain every last detail of my life, thank you very much.” I think the obstacles can push you to really fight to stay in what I call the “Winners Circle,” (optimism/drive/accomplishment.) Sure, you have to fail at things sometimes, but I think aiming to stay in that circle gives you a consistent target!
Who is your idol?
Keltie Knight really inspires me! Her positive energy and instinct to lift and encourage other women is contagious. Ellen De Generous, Ivanka Trump, and Will Smith are pretty amazing, too.
What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?
-Belief meeting Behavior (Praxis)
-JU JU ☺
Where would you like to be in five years? On your television.
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
She pursues her passion, and puts her strengths into killing it every day. She inspires, and lifts others, and has genuine desire to “tag team it” with like-minded individuals. She trusts her dream and aspirations, and that’s what makes her tick. I’ll credit Marie Claire for the term “Passionista,” which I’ve taken to heart. I literally have it taped to my wall; it embodies the #girlboss for me.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
Classic. I gravitate toward pieces that are flirty, but still elevated. I really enjoy bright solids, and have an unexplained weakness for jumpsuits.
Favorite brand right now?
Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?
Topshop basics. All of them.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Go-to nail color?
French Tips. Like to keep it classy!
Café au lait (fancy for: coffee with frothed milk).
What makes you feel beautiful?
Getting dressed up is fantastic, but I’m a sucker for a cute pair of PJs while your hair is still done! Slipping into a pair of “matchies” or a “nighty” after a show makes me feel super cozy, cute and HAPPY!
What makes you feel badass?
Nailing a project. There’s no better feeling than doing the prep work for a segment or event — and killing it. I feel like I’m great with the “idea” portion, but the will power comes in the research and leg work for me. After the follow-through, I feel pretty #badass.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
Project Runway. I will sit forever, unproductively lost, in that show.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
Can Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran just form a band? I feel like it’s possible.
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
“Blank Space” by T-Swift.
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
There are so many! Here are a few I really like: “Belief does not sit on the couch and wait for success to show up.” –Bob Proctor “You can fail at doing something you don’t want to do, so you may as well go for your dream.” – Jim Carrey “You can never be over dressed or over educated.” -Oscar Wild
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
When I started working in-studio for the very first time, I had an amazing morning show host guiding me — “Lenny B” of More Music Mornings. I stepped into my first “big conference room” meeting with the rest of the company department reps, and I was a little bit intimidated, not wanting to stand out for having a bright PINK laptop cover and a glittery violet phone case. I was already the youngest and one of the only females in the room, so I took off both before the meeting so I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. But afterward, Lenny asked where the heck my “Erika” stuff went? And reminded me that I had gotten there because of being me, and to never be afraid of that. *Maintain Authenticity. That’s what I learned. It applies to so many situations and decisions that have come along since. You can’t really connect with people until you’re comfortable in your own skin. And for interviewing, that’s especially important.
Advice to future girl bosses:
Don’t let challenges scare you! See them as opportunities. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, and are on your team, because you eventually develop the same mindset and habits as them. Get as many internships as you can. And be nice to everyone — it will come full circle!