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Daily Inspiration: Meet Erica Wilson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erica Wilson.

Hi Erica, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
The inspiration behind Hope Clay is my two sweet babies- Sadie Hope and Grayson Cole. Before our oldest, Sadie, we struggled with infertility and loss. Those were some of the hardest years of our lives, and we often didn’t know what our future held. It was a time of doubt, uncertainty, frustration, sadness, and sorrow. But as Christians, we could cling to our faith and the hope we had in God. We desired a family more than anything, and wow! The Lord delivered what we prayed for but in His timing, not ours! After months of “trying,” testing, doctor’s appointments, and meetings, we had decided to start fertility treatments. The same month we were scheduled to start our treatments, we got pregnant naturally with Sadie! It was an absolute miracle, and we were completely humbled by the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. Sadie was born in April 2020, and I found out I was pregnant again in November 2020- SEVEN months later! Shocked is an understatement! Grayson was born in July 2021, and he is the biggest and best surprise blessing our family has ever experienced! Now they are best friends, and I can’t imagine my life without them being so close in age.

After having two children during Covid, quitting my job, and transitioning from being a full-time nurse to a stay-at-home-mom, I found myself seeking something that was just for me. I felt like I had lost my identity. Everything I did revolved around being a wife and a mom. And although that was (and still is) my absolute dream come true and my biggest blessing, I desperately wanted to feel like I had a purpose outside of that too. But I had no clue what I was good at, what I enjoyed, or wanted to do. One night, I stumbled across polymer clay earrings for the first time, and I was obsessed! I instantly started thinking, “Hey, maybe I could do that! Maybe I could even have a small business!” So for the next two months, I spent every single second of my free time researching, watching tutorials, and looking up every polymer clay earring artist I could find on social media to learn and gain knowledge and insight into the art of making earrings. Finally, I gathered all my supplies and started making earrings. I loved it. Eventually, I created my small business- Hope Clay. I have never felt like I was a creative or artistic person, but designing and creating earrings has shown me what a creative and artistic person I truly am. I am so proud of every single earring I create and truly love what I do.

I chose the name “Hope Clay” because it has many meanings:
1.) Despite all our trials with infertility and loss, we had hope in the Lord.
2.) It is my daughter’s middle name, and my kids are why I even needed a hobby in the first place!
3.) It is a reminder of my past. I would never have imagined so many years ago that I would ever need/want a break from being a mom. All I ever wanted since I was a little girl was to be a wife and a stay-at-home mom with my kids. My life is my dream come true, and I don’t take that for granted for one second! But this company represents how my life has come full circle- to the point that I need a hobby and something just for me.

God has blessed us with our two beautiful children and has shown us time and time again that He has plans for us that are far greater than our own. I hope that by sharing my story, you are encouraged and inspired to chase your dreams!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a smooth road?
In the beginning, I tried to keep my costs low. After attempting to use two different cheaper clay machines, I finally invested in the higher quality tools, and it was so worth it!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My specialty is polymer clay earrings. I make small-batch, hand-crafted polymer clay earrings in my home in North Carolina. I am a perfectionist, and that translates to my craft. I have thrown away so many pieces because I don’t feel they are good enough for others to wear. When I sell something, I am selling only my absolute best. Rest assured that if I wouldn’t wear it myself, I won’t sell it to you! I strive to also make it a personal experience by writing hand-written thank you notes to each customer when their order is shipped to them.

We’d love to hear about your fond memories of growing up.
My favorite childhood memory is our annual family trip to the Outer Banks, NC. Every summer, my mom’s entire family would rent one big beach house for a week and spend every waking second together. It was 24 of us total- grandparents, aunts and uncles, and all 12 of us grandkids. We were extremely close growing up to the point that my sister and five female cousins were my bridesmaids for my wedding! There was nothing like spending that much time with your cousins, and it created a lasting bond that we cherish to this day.

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