Expanded x Ep. 03 - Erica Chidi Cohen, LOOM
On this episode of The EXPANDED Podcast with Lacy Phillips, join Erica Chidi Cohen, author of Nurture, doula, co-founder of LOOM and a champion of women’s rights and reproductive health. Erica discusses how her diverse background of culinary training and studies in art history and media led her to become a successful entrepreneur and educator, supporting and empowering women from family planning, birthing support, reproductive and hormonal health, and menstruation. She also shares with us the self-tools she uses to find clarity and navigate the murky, confusing times we all encounter on our paths.
Read the Interview
Click here to download the full transcript of our interview with Erica.
Words from Erica:
"I think it's choosing to do things that you love, so that your ability to assess enjoyment is easier. For example, if you love to cook, but you are still learning your way around that craft, just making something that you know you can make well that isn't super complicated, and doing that really regularly as opposed to trying to do more complicated recipes every time they're in the kitchen and putting yourself in a situation where you know that you probably are not going to thrive."
"It's important for people to look for their own expanders, because I think my coming out journey being much later in life, it took me seeing a couple of people both nearby and far away doing it, and succeeding, and thriving, and living that made it easier for me to do that. If you can't find that expander easily, don't put pressure on yourself to do it before you're ready."
"I think you being clear makes a really big difference. I think we were always pretty clear on what the offering was going to be with LOOM, and just for me as just a solo provider before LOOM even opened. I think if you feel clear and you build it, then people will come."
"When I started doing the work, I noticed how much it didn't feel like work. I was like, 'This is a good sign.' I was also, I was making money from it as well, and so there was this meeting of comfort and then financial enumeration for that comfort. That to me really equated that this could be a vocation. I just kept leaning into that as opposed to leaning away from it."
"The thing is when you are in that creator space, like function takes over. If you just let it do that, if you've laid all the architecture correctly, you just go in and you get it done. You complete the puzzle as opposed to letting your intellect really get into the way. Just really becoming a builder like brick, mortar, brick mortar as opposed to like, 'Is that brick in the right place? Can someone come check this?'"
In this episode, we talk about:
LOOM, Erica's space that provides education for reproductive empowerment through pregnancy and parenting
Inclusivity in the health education and clinical space
Her work with Alliance of Moms and community support
A multicultural upbringing with Nigerian parents, growing up in the states, and then moving to South Africa
Her lowest point after college and being unsure of her next steps
Finding clarity after doing her Doula training and networking
The upward mobility and rigor in the Nigerian culture and how her parent’s reinforcement impacted her self-worth
Social media and existing for external gratification vs. internal gratification
Choosing to do what you love and can do well
Giving yourself small acknowledgments throughout the day
Calling in her partner, online dating, and learning how to entertain herself and find autonomy
Trying the nursing route and discovering the opportunity to become a doula
Overcoming the fears of not making enough money and not having customers show up
Setting boundaries with time and putting her business first
Losing her half-sister and moving through that experience of loss
Launching LOOM and her book, Nurture, in the same month
The influence for her business by her college mentor and working in an art gallery
The importance of your primary relationships
The classes she offers at LOOM
Supported Episode - Vol 7 Reproductive Harmony with Erica Chidi Cohen
LOOM - Modern education for reproductive empowerment, pregnancy, and parenting