Erika Peña has always aspired to be a jewelry designer, stating to her mother shortly after graduating high school that she was prepared to move in order to pursue her dream.
At the tender age of 18, the Florida teen the made her way to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design with a full scholarship in tote. Interning for Donna Karen and Josie Natori upon graduation proved to the ambitious 22-year-old that her dreams were undoubtedly in reach. Now, at the age of 36, Peña has successfully launched her own jewelery line which sells in nearly 300 stores worldwide. She has worked with celebrities such as Fergie, Nicole Richie, Evelyn Lozada and most recently Beyoncé, which garnered a swarm of internet buzz once the “Dance For You” star was spotted in Peña’s “Obama” earrings.
Vixen caught up with the Latina designer to chat about B’s first reaction to the earrings, the Romney-Obama election and what’s next on her fashion agenda.–Vicki Valery