Who Am I ?
1: Who am I?
I am a mother, a wife, an author, a lecturer, a television performer, and a beauty junkie.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I am an author and I love to talk to moms about how they can use beauty as a way to connect with their tween daughter. Beauty is not just about good hair and pretty makeup; it is also how you carry yourself, your hygiene, and your self confidence. I try to show moms they can get their daughters talking to them when they are young by pampering them. Instead of just cutting her nails, make it special with a little moisturizer, a hand massage, and some sparkly polish. While you do this for her, make her feel she can talk to you about whatever is on her mind. I lecture on the subject and am working on putting together a TV show that focuses on mothers and daughters.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
I was raised in New York City and studied abroad in France and Spain. I am going to take my message beyond the U.S. one day. I speak fluent French and Spanish, and I would love to travel to different parts of the world to meet moms and daughters from different cultures. It would be fun to do a segment on Spanish and French television and talk about Bonding Over Beauty completely in Spanish or French. My book is available worldwide and I have Facebook fans all over the world. I want to meet them all.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
I have always admired Estee Lauder. She was innovative and ambitious. She said, “I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.” She was always hands on with her customers. When I talk to a young girl and I help her with something like acne or her eyebrows or when I teach a mother how to make her daughter feel special, I am not working. I am selling what I believe in. My mother and grandmother gave me the gift of self esteem and that is a gift I want to impart to others.
5: What book is your bible?
I love the Garden of Eden by Hemingway. He creates a mood with his simplicity. He is the Matisse of my literary world.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I love everything French and have always been a Francophile. I love the way the French tie a scarf, wear a blouse, or put together an ensemble. When I was sixteen, I went to Monte Carlo as a student. I was broke but was determined to buy something from Chanel. So, I bought a lipstick. I still have it and have never stopped my love affair with makeup by Chanel. I hate mascara that ends up under your eyes after an hour, chipped red nail polish, and more than two inches of roots–especially gray roots. I love when my daughter plays in my closet and puts on my heels and fancy dresses.
7: What is your raison d’être?
Before I wrote my book, I was always looking for it. I loved to dance but I was never good enough to become professional. I liked yoga but really was not a yogi. I have had this book in me since I was fifteen. I love talking about beauty and how it bonds women together. I love showing a woman how she can feel better about herself with just a few simple beauty tricks. In high school, I was always plucking my friends’ brows, coloring their hair, and doing their makeup. I love making people feel beautiful. That is truly my passion.
8: What is your favorite color?
Pink, pink, pink.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
11: What turns you on?
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be?
Erika Katz is the author of Bonding Over Beauty: A Mother-Daughter Guide to Self-Esteem, Confidence and Trust (Greenleaf Press, March 2011). Erika uses her beauty expertise to help moms bond with their ‘tween daughters. A former child model and actress, Erika appeared in over 100 commercials, print ads, and films. As the mother of a ‘tween girl, she now writes a popular beauty blog for mothers tackling the drama of the ‘tween years . She has been a guest on the Today Show, and The Doctors. She is a frequent guest on WPIX 11 New York where she makes her own beauty products as well as on Fox News where she discusses beauty and parenting related issues in the news. Erika encourages mothers and daughters to strengthen their relationship through fun beauty activities. She also helps moms navigate sensitive topics from dealing with unwanted body hair to menstruation and everything in between.
Before college, Erika interned in the beauty department at Seventeen magazine. Using her experience at Seventeen, cosmetology classes, and lessons learned through her extensive work in television and modeling, she created a beauty guide that served as the foundation for Bonding Over Beauty. Though the guide initially targeted young women, after joining several parenting groups Erika soon realized many mothers were unsure of how to bridge the generation gap when dealing with the beauty and hygiene issues their daughters faced. Believing that a parent’s job is to nurture their children’s self-esteem, she turned her beauty guide into a valued resource for moms that contains advice and numerous bonding rituals that can ease the difficulties faced by young girls growing to physical and emotional maturity.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Erika lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Meaghan Coffey
Photography by Albert Elmazovski
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
, New York, 2011, Photography by Albert Elmazovski