I was born on March 22, 1977 in Jacksonville, Florida to loving, hardworking parents. My father, Jerome Alexander (deceased), retired from BellSouth (currently AT&T) and then joined the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as an Investigator. My mother, Eara Alexander (now Eara Alexander-Simpson), was a bank officer who then became an event coordinator. My father was an Elder in our church and my mother is currently a minister so I "grew up in the church." I have two biological sisters, Kathy and Terri (deceased), one biological brother, Earl (deceased), and four god-sisters.
As a child, I had an intuitive conviction that I was going to be successful in life. I excelled in education and loved participating in extracurricular activities outside of sports. I danced, was on the step team, acted, sang, and even clogged. I also participated in every student leadership and future leader of America activity. I ran for student office and participated heavily in the Student Government Forum. Even though I was a child, I knew I HAD A VOICE!
I graduated from Edward H. White Highschool in 1995 and was the Senior Class Vice President. While in high school, I developed a love for football. I attended all our games and then became an FSU (my father's alma mater) and Dallas Cowboys fanatic.
I attended Florida A&M University my freshman year in college and later moved to Pine Bluff Arkansas, where I received my B.S. in Marketing, with a minor in Management from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.
The Real World
After graduation, I relocated to Tampa, Florida for three years. There, I worked for two financial institutions as a Sales Representative and later began my training career. I obtained an adult learning certificate from Langevin Learning Center and a Project Management Certificate from Villanova. I was then offered an opportunity to manage four banking centers in the New Orleans area as the result of a merger. It was a huge promotion and happened just as I was going through a divorce, so it became the perfect opportunity for me to "start over." I said YES!
I traveled back and forth from Florida to New Orleans for over a year and finally relocated to New Orleans in June 2005. Well, do you remember what happened in August 2005? HURRICANE KATRINA! After months of asking God 'why' and finding myself at my lowest point, I decided to pull myself together and accepted an offer in Ocala, FL as an Area Manager. I was miserable there but thankfully, my mom and stepdad, Marvin Simpson (now deceased) were there to support me through my transition. While I welcomed and appreciated their love and support, something was still missing. I had to find myself. I still needed MORE!
So I thought to myself "What does one do after a divorce and losing everything?" They move to Atlanta, GA! That's right, once more I was on the move. I decided to take a demotion and accepted a position with an Atlanta-area credit union as an Assistant Branch Manager. I knew that once my foot was in the door, I would be promoted quickly.
After being with the credit union for eight months, my lending skills were recognized as a great asset to the organization's bottom line. It was the largest lending growth they had ever seen. I was asked to move to the corporate office where I managed the Staff Development training program for all employees. The following year I was promoted to Director of Staff Development and was a part of their Senior Leadership team for a little over three years. During this time, I married my best friend, Brian Cole, whom I met when I moved to Atlanta. I became a stepmom to the coolest kid I had ever met, Bricen. The two of them took my heart by surprise so I took a break from the credit union and opened a wedding chapel with two of my best friends. We quickly realized that although decorating and creating a memorable experience was fun, dealing with emotional brides on a daily basis was not for us! After a year, back to work I went.
I accepted a position to start a lending training program with another financial institution in Atlanta. After a year in that role, I was asked to manage the mortgage department, in which I had no prior experience. But of course, Earica loves a challenge! I accepted the offer. It was quickly identified by leadership that I had the skillset and passion needed to do more in this role. I was promoted to Director of Mortgage Operations and worked closely with the Executive team on several initiatives. After four years in the role, and with constant regulatory changes in the mortgage industry which left little time for a healthy "work life balance," I decided it was time for me to do something different. But what was it?
Finding My Purpose
I had been watching one of my best friends on social media selling $5 jewelry and it looked like she was having so much fun! I remembered what fun looked like and needed it back in my life. After eight months of contemplation, I decided to join her team. I became an Independent Consultant with Paparazzi Accessories on February 20, 2017. At this point, I was also in negotiations with another financial institution in Alabama to join their Executive team. It was my dream job, but my family and I would have to relocate and that was a tough decision. After months of consideration, they tailored the offer to benefit our needs and all the pieces fell in place. Just as my Paparazzi business began to soar, we were now making plans to relocate to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
I became an Elite Consultant with Paparazzi in less than 5 months. I observed when I became a consultant that there weren't many facilitating trainings. How could people learn this business and what people do to become successful in this business? I decided to use my professional experience and training background to train my team. I noticed some consultants taking an "I got mine, you get yours" attitude toward the business and was disgusted by it! Let's be honest, it's network marketing. You can't get anything without the work of your team and their contributions. That attitude infuriated me and gave me the motivation to push harder, train more, and build fast! Oh, and did I mention I'm a tad bit competitive? Yeah, just a little!
My team begin crushing so many goals. We were rapidly growing and honestly, I was blown away. I was building a brand, business, and team by way of social media. But the best part, I was having so much fun! Yes, I got my FUN back! Plus, I was earning extra income which is always appreciated! My team continued to grow, and I was ranking up just about every month, as were my team members. My husband and I were amazed each month. This must be a fluke, right? This can't be real? Have I surpassed my annual income with my "real job" in a matter of mere months with Paparazzi? It's going to slow up, I am certain of it. Let's go ahead with the move. The real job is more secure, right? This was us talking to each other and ourselves, trying to justify the craziness. We moved to Alabama in October 2017. I loved my job and was getting to know some great people. But how was I supposed to manage all of this? I now have thousands of team members. But I'm superwoman so I can handle it….I can handle anything……
The Turning Point
In February 2018 I hit the rank of Jetsetter. This was an incredible accomplishment. I had two Elite team members in less than 11 months. How does this happen? What does this mean? How can I continue with my corporate job because now Paparazzi is my "real job," my real PASSION! My husband and I began to have conversations about a possible retirement date at the end of the year if things continued to progress. Of course, they did! My team comprised of over four thousand, with eight Elite leaders, by the end of April. We all headed to our first Elite retreat in Salt Lake City, UT. This is when the conversations began to increase, and we knew, I couldn't continue managing both responsibilities. Not if I wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labor. We made the tough, but necessary, decision for me to leave corporate America after 18 years to pursue my passion of training and developing women and men. I now get to coach and motivate thousands of entrepreneurs across the US every day. I am truly living my best life and I thank God every single day for this opportunity!
The Best Is Yet To Come
I now hold the highest rank within the Paparazzi organization, the rank of Iconic Impressionista, In 2020, I was introduced as a seven-figure earner. During the COVID-19 pandemic, my team, The $5 Bling Bosses, collectively averaged purchasing power of over 7.5 million monthly. We achieved massive growth during a global pandemic and economic recession.
Because of Paparazzi, I have now concentrated my financial resources to developing my philanthropic projects. I have established J. Alexander’s Foundation, LLC to assist children and young adults who have been diagnosed with Sickle Cell. Our main priorities are providing funding for programs that support educational, social, and charitable activities that benefit underserved communities.
At the end of summer 2020, I launched ‘Kids are Counting on Us,’ a Math Tutoring program developed to assist elementary through middle-school children affected by pandemic-related school closures. The program relies on the assistance of certified teachers to provide their time, expertise, and resources for a very worthy and much needed Math Tutoring Facebook Group – provided free of charge to all participants.
Additionally, I will continue to offer support to children and families in need by way of financial assistance, clothing, food, laptops and text-books, holiday wish-lists and educational assistance.
There are so many more chapters to come, some of which haven't even been written yet! But I am eagerly anticipating all that they will entail! Stay tuned! The best is truly yet to come.