In a room with big windows and walls decorated with bright pinks and purples, Erikka Franklin gets to work on her sewing machine. Crafting supplies and stuffed animals fill the area surrounding her. A pet hamster runs on an exercise wheel in a corner.
This is the space where Erikka runs her business. It's her bedroom, her school classroom and the studio for all of her latest designs.
And business is thriving for the 14-year-old.
Erikka started sewing when she was 6 years old with help from her grandma and parents. It started with sock dolls that Erikka sewed on her own, and her mom helped her sell them in booths at Findlay Market.
Now the teenager has her own brand of fanny packs called fannysofab. She's also recently began selling bedazzled face masks and custom designed sweatshirts.
Why fanny packs?
"They're such a good accessory; I put my phone in there, my lip gloss in there," Erikka said.
It started for fun but Erikka says she's gotten a lot of support. When she saw fanny packs were making a comeback, she started creating her own bright and sparkly custom designs.
"This is something I want to do, this is something I want to create differently."
Like a lot of Gen Z kids, Erikka teaches herself how to make clothing by watching videos on YouTube.
Erikka runs her business out of her family home in Cheviot. It's not only where she sleeps, designs and learns, she also makes videos and photos for her Instagram and YouTube channel.
Fanny packs, but make it fashion
Erikka describes her fashion as "a lot."
She loves bright colors. It's not uncommon for her to have pinks and blues in her hair. Most of the fanny packs are gold, silver, hot pink and, of course, sparkly and designed with statements, stars and other graphics.
"I'm so open-minded in what I wear. One day I might wear a sweat suit. And the next day I might layer a little bit, maybe put on a turtleneck and a T-shirt, maybe colorful jeans," Erikka said. And that's the way it's been since her mom started letting her dress herself in kindergarten.
The pandemic has given Erikka time to focus on her craft, creating more this past year than ever before, especially with the help of her mom and dad. The ninth-grade student has an Etsy shop now to sell the fanny packs and masks.
Each fanny pack costs $25. "Whatever picture, or hobby, even if you want to put your name on it, I can do that," she said.
These designs have taken her across the country from Los Angeles to New York. Her fanny packs have also reached celebrities, such as fashion influencer Taylen Biggs, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kandi Burruss and singer Kehlani.
'When I'm not sewing and crafting'
Erikka's brand is about more than the things she makes. She posts inspirational quotes, hair positivity videos, dance videos as well as how-to make and upcycle clothes of your own.
If she's not promoting her own work, Erikka is known to give shout-outs to other designers and entrepreneurs on her Instagram.
"Other people might not understand where you're coming from and your dream and that's OK," Erikka said. "If you believe in yourself and say, 'Oh yeah I can do this,' it doesn't matter what age you are."
But Erikka sees herself designing for a long time, even if it's not her full-time job when she grows up.
"I don't know what I want to do yet, I just want to keep on crafting."
Visit Erikka's Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/fannysofab.