Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Erika Bracey, is one of Chicago’s most celebrated entrepreneurs and creative engineers. From her creation of hand whipped spa products, “Butter Kup; to her latest passion, “Blest Bracelets,” which were created to raise much needed funds to help individuals fighting cancer.
Launched in February 2012, Blest Bracelets has been featured on local network television stations: ABC-7, NBC Chicago, WCIU, FOX News, and FOX 50 Perspectives. Bracey is a Barbra Bates “Knocking Out Breast Cancer” model, and has graced the cover of USTYLEU Magazine as a Breast Cancer Warrior. She received the Chicago Defender’s 2012 “Women of Excellence” Award, the 2013 “Crown Jewel” Award from Top Ladies of Distinction, ComED Neighborhood Hero Honor, the 2014 Leading Lady Award, 2015 Status of Women Award, 2016 Common Ground Foundation “Spirit of Giving” Award, the 2016 Nazr Mohammad Full Court Press Against Cancer Benefactor Honor and the 2017 Cook County Clerk – “Community Treasure” Award. She was also featured on the Reuter’s/NASDAQ billboard in New York City’s Time Square as the new face of cancer symbolizing awareness and empowerment for breast cancer fighters, survivors, and all those touched by the disease.
Erika’s notable accolades have not come without major obstacles, in 2010, Bracey, a youthful, energetic, and vibrant woman was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although her belief is that the primary challenges are behind her, as a survivor, she felt compelled to become an active participant in the fight against cancer.
From diagnosis to treatment, mental and economic hurdles, Bracey is determined to fight for others who suffer from the debilitating effects of breast cancer.
During Bracey’s research, she realized the compelling disparity in the mortality rate of women of color and other individuals with inferior resources. To that end, she established a newly formed philanthropic effort, Different Shades of Pink (DSOP). DSOP seeks to serve the RIGHT NOW needs of patients and families affected by breast cancer (cancer). In addition, she educates and empowers young women to practice preventive measures and be proactive in their pursuit of healthy lifestyles. In 2013, Bracey began a nationwide “BRAVE CHICK MOVEMENT”, where she travels the country and abroad promoting communal advocacy, global inclusion, nondiscriminatory healthcare benefits, and hope. Don’t be surprised if she pops up in your town on a black opts Brave Chick ambush. Through her movement she has personally impacted the lives of over 400 individuals and thousands via social media. In the fall of 2019, Erika will be releasing her first novel, “Brave Chick – I didn’t wake up like this”.
Armed with the support of her family and friends, Erika presents her testimony of transformed lifestyle choices from healthy eating, faith, and fortitude as the new face of breast cancer in a different shade of pink!
Erika holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Clark Atlanta University (1993) and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Governors State University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, and sits on the Board of Directors of Common Ground Foundation. Bracey is President of Different Shades of Pink Charity, Director of Tailored Beginnings 2 Pre-School, a motivational speaker, blogger, and mentor angel for Imerman Angels.