Erica Lee Schlaikjer

who i am


nice to meet you

a few things you should know about me


“Brand strategist” is an accidental profession. In my heart, I’m a truth-seeker and poet. Turns out, I have a talent for connecting analytical insights to creative ideas. I’ve been lucky enough to find people to pay me for it.

Someone once told me that I “see stars in people.” I think that means I’m skilled at identifying untapped potential and believing in the goodness of others.

In 2007, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and international studies from Northwestern University—one year after Twitter was invented and one year before the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression. History forced me to be open-minded and enterprising with my career path, which has been zig-zaggy, not linear.

My mother dreams I will become the next Oprah. My father secretly wishes I were a scientist. I think I’d be happy as either.

My superhero name is “Benevolent Media Creator.”


In 2019, I deleted my Facebook account and now spend an average of 71 minutes per day scrolling Instagram and LinkedIn.

Occasionally, I write things. You can find my occasional musings on Medium. A lot of my stuff is related to social impact (like this piece about the “trifecta of goodness”); some of it highlights cool people and things that I personally love (like this list of 52 mission-led, female-founded startups); and the rest is creative rambling (like this letter to myself.)


I once asked 100 people the same question: “What makes you feel at home?” This is what they said.

As for me, I’m comfortable shape-shifting and navigating between communities, probably because I’m accustomed to being an outsider, neither here nor there. I grew up as a mixed-race “third culture kid” in a U.S. Foreign Service family. I have lived in 12 cities on three continents, and if my math serves me correctly, I’ve packed and moved my boxes into new spaces 31 times (and counting!)

Change doesn’t scare me—stagnation does.