Hi there, friends! I'm super excited and honored to be introducing you to my sweet friend (and the amazingly talented stylist) Candice Lorraine today!
But first, I want to chat a little bit about something I've been learning recently. While starting this business has mostly been wonderful and so fulfilling, there have certainly been days that I've felt discouraged. It's so easy to get caught in the comparison trap. To look at low metrics and sales and let those numbers define my worth and success. But gratefully, after each of those discouraging days, Beau had the same simple and beautiful response: "remember why you started this business in the first place".
So, why did I start it?
I didn't have dreams of making tons of money or being a famous "instagram artist". I didn't even want this thing to get big enough to need to hire an assistant. I simply wanted to create more. To live out the purpose that I believe I've been given — to create and celebrate beauty in the world.
Beau and I were having dinner with friends the other night and we talked about the motivation behind our work in light of our faith. I've always struggled with this a bit, as my husband and about 99% of my friends are primary care doctors. What about their work ISN'T about serving people and bringing goodness to the world? It's hard to see the inherent value in what I spend my day doing in comparison to that.
But in thinking about my answer to what motivates me in light of my faith, this little blog series came to mind. Every single one of the folks who I've featured so far have said something along the lines of "I'm honored but why me? I don't feel good enough/my work isn't cool enough/I'm not eloquent enough/etc. to be interviewed". And I love that I can respond with, "you are enough and that's why I asked you". The real why behind my work is to affirm each and every one of you that you are enough. That your work matters. That you are unique and that the world needs what you have to offer it.
Whenever you get discouraged with your work (and you will), take some time to remember why you're doing it in the first place. Motivate yourself by things that are more lasting and valuable than metrics and I can almost guarantee that you'll find a lot more joy and freedom in your day-to-day.
Now let's get back to the interview, shall we? Candice and I attended the University of Georgia together and had tons and tons of mutual friends. Even through our brief interactions, it was so evident to me that this girl was a light.
Candice absolutely radiates energy and joy. She is talented, funny, driven, captivating and impossibly beautiful. Not to mention the fact that she seems to make everyone around her come alive in a new way.
She recently started her own company focusing on wedding planning, event design, photo styling and art direction and I couldn't be more proud of/impressed by what she's created so far. I'm certain that even more goodness and beauty are to come and I can't wait to follow along with all of it.
Here's Candice in all her glory (and self-deprecating humor)...
Give us a quick background on who you are and what you do for work.
I attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Education. After teaching for two years, realizing it wasn't necessarily the best fit for me, I started to work for a wedding planning team in Atlanta. After a few years of wedding planning and event design experience. I started to brand and launch my own company. I feel so excited, terrified, encouraged and eager to see where this journey takes me. I love owning my own company, I love the ability to choose the direction of my company. If I want to continue doing weddings then my LLC allows that, if I want to start moving towards photo and prop styling, then my company allows that... there is wiggle room and space for growth, error, decisions, and peace. I want my company to ONLY be doing things that I say "heck yes" to. No settling. This is the time when I get to really pursue my passion with no reins and no training wheels. It is death-defyingly-frightening and absolutely a dream. So throughout all of those jobs and experiences, it all just snowballed into one beautiful story of grace, transition and faith. So my current business now is a mashup of photo styling meets product art direction meets wedding planning and event design. Mouthful? I know. I just feel truly blown away. None of these opportunities I earned, all of them are gifts and great learning experiences. I feel responsible and incredibly privileged to have the job and adventures that I do, I am not worthy, but I am deeply grateful.
What about your work brings you the most joy and fulfillment?
The people, absolutely the relationships. Getting to know local businesses or start ups, watching them build their brand and start to really expand. Knowing so many people and creating working relationships, it is all about people. I really do believe that life is about relationships. Encouraging brides throughout stressful decision making, promoting new vendors in their field and bragging about them to clients, seeking out friendships with companies that you can support and advertise... nothing sour comes out of applauding others. I love that my job is constant interaction with others, that talking and loving up on people TRULY can make a living :)
Who or what is inspiring you right now?
Brene Brown & Amy Poehler are two heroes of mine for two very similar reasons, they both preach lessons of knowing oneself. They both appreciate and applaud women for being exactly who they are and not apologizing for it. They both empower others to live life fully, loudly and without regrets. That is something I have been personally journeying with in 2015, knowing myself, and not only knowing, but loving. I think I can be incredibly accepting of other people, so easy to give out grace and encouragement... and then INCREDIBLY tough on myself, viewing lowly of myself, critiquing myself... it's not healthy at all. Both of these women have through comedy and psychological studies shown me the importance of embracing who I am and accepting it. God made me JUST the way I am, he knew the flaws, he knew the mistakes, he knew the quirks... and he still chose to create me. I cannot harp on my imperfections and waste time not thanking God for the qualities that are beautiful and representative of Him.
"I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody's passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn't mind leading." Amy Poehler
"Why, when we know that there's no such thing as perfect, do most of us spend an incredible amount of time and energy trying to be everything to everyone? Is it that we really admire perfection? No - the truth is that we are actually drawn to people who are real and down-to-earth. We love authenticity and we know that life is messy and imperfect." Brene Brown
What has been difficult lately?
SAYING NO. I AM THE WORST NO-SAYER EVER. Seriously, I say yes way way way too much. I just get so excited about everything! I want to do everything! I figure I can sleep when I am older and bored, but now I am too excited to get enough sleep because there are so many fun things to do! I need someone to create a day that is 30 hours long, so that I can sleep those 6 extra hours and work the other 24!
What makes you different from everyone else in the world and how does that uniqueness manifest itself in your work and life?
Oh goodness, I don't think I am doing anything new or innovative. I think my attitude and intensity is relatively unique. I don't think many people in this industry (or in the world, for that matter) have the amount of caffeinated energy that I do.
Here's where I usually ask the interviewee to choose 1 out of 10 bonus questions to answer. Candice is awesome and answered all of them. #Overachiever :)
What's the most embarrassing thing in your google search history?
"How to Nay Nay"
"Was the moon landing really fake?"
What's your spirit animal?
Puppy, seriously. I respond well to physical touch, I am super energetic, and I love to jump on people.... nuff said. woof woof.
What's your Meyers-Briggs personality type?
ESFP - duh, like anyone couldn't call that from a mile away.
Tell us a joke.
A group of blondes were in a bar ordering rounds of drinks. They kept cheering "51 days! 51 days! 51 days!" over and over again. Finally, after around 5 rounds of this, the bartender goes up to them and asks, "Hey ladies, not to bother, but what are we celebrating? What happened in 51 days?" The lead blonde walks up to him, flips her hair and says "WELL, most people think us blondes are so dumb, but we just finished a puzzle in 51 days and on the box it said 2-4 years".
Tell us about an embarrassing childhood memory.
Oh easily. Not even childhood. 18 years old, first college spring break. Pooped my pants in a grocery store, thanks Master Cleanse Detox Diet :(
What's the longest amount of time you've gone without showering?
One week, in Africa. Not too embarrassing, serving the poor, you can't get mad at me for that!
What's your guilty pleasure?
.....pretty little liars.... the tv show.... I know, I know, I am a 12 year old tween, but you know what?! I DONT CARE! I WATCHED THAT SHOW ON ACCIDENT AND FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. THAT IS SOME GREAT SUSPENSEFUL CINEMATOGRAPHY RIGHT THERE!
Which Monopoly game piece was your go-to?
The thimble. I just liked how it never fell over because it had enough of a wide base to keep it standing up, the dog ALWAYS fell over, thimble... not so much.
Do you have any weird quirks?
Oh besides everything that I naturally am? I hang up my shirts inside out ALWAYS, like seriously, never hung the right way. I have this voice I let loose sometimes that has a lisp, I definitely use it a little too often to be politically correct. I am incredibly vocal about my bowel movements (see bonus question #5). I enjoy popping other people's pimples and picking scabs on sunny afternoons. And I don't think Bill Murray is funny, which to my close friends is a sin that is condemnable to hell.
If you owned a food truck, what would you serve and why?
Oh easy, a boozy ice cream truck. Yeah, that's right, kids don't get to have ALL the fun.
Candice, you crack me up and totally inspire me in so many ways. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your story on the blog today! :)
Love & Respect,