Actress, blogger, on-camera host and social media influencer Candy Washington took time out of her hectic schedule to chat with Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge about the key to her success, having an entrepreneurial spirit and more.
Q: I found this interview difficult to prepare for because you are up to so much! Do you feel that having a diversity in interests and influence is the key to finding success in the modern age of social media?
A: I think it really depends on the person. It depends on what your personal passions are and what your capacity level is to give to your professional endeavors. For me, I’m a storyteller and content creator. So everything that I do is just an extension of that, whether it’s acting, hosting, consulting, or doing social media campaigns.
Success, to me, is just deciding every day to do what you’re passionate about, regardless of fear. I think to have success in the age of social media is to not let social media define you or determine your self-worth, but to use it as tool to build your brand and to create a community.
I also believe that we’re all influential, just some people have bigger platforms, so we should all be mindful of what we’re putting out there, because all of our voices are valuable.
Q: You started off as a fashion intern at Louis Vuitton. Can you talk more about your background and the grounding it gave you?
A: Yes, I started my professional career as an intern at Louis Vuitton and it taught me the power of relationship, storytelling, visual aesthetics, and pitching. Fashion is all about creating a statement without saying a word, so it important to tell a story through visuals and styling.
I also learned that cultivating relationships with the press was imperative to getting my job done and creating a pitch that would get us top placements was super important.
Another thing that I learned was to have a thick skin. It’s a job, not a sleep over party, so everyone isn’t going to be your friend, but that’s ok, because the work has to come first. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and check your ego at the door.
Q: What led you to transition out of a big company and into the more entrepreneurial route of creating ‘Actress with Style’ – your own personal brand?
A: Becoming an entrepreneur was just the next natural step for me. In my corporate jobs, I learned about building profitable brands, generating press, and fostering relationships, which is the foundation for anyone trying to create their own brand.
I knew that I had a vision for my own life and a brand that I wanted to build and I decided to take the leap and go for it rather than stay stuck on the corporate ladder working to make other people rich and fulfil someone else’s dream.
I also wanted to live my life on my own terms and the bureaucracy that comes with a corporate job wasn’t a fit for my free spirit. Additionally, I knew that my voice was meaningful and I wanted a platform to share it that wasn’t dependent on someone else deciding that I what I said had meaning.
Q: You have a quote from Audrey Hepburn – who I feel would have been a huge success in the modern age of social media – on Actress with Style. Who are your biggest influences at the moment?
A: I really love Brene Brown, Alex Elle, Oprah, Arianna Huffington, and Gabrielle Bernstein.
Q: I imagine having your own personal brand makes it difficult to separate work from leisure time. Do you ever allow yourself to switch off from work?
A: Of course I allow myself to switch off from work, but it’s definitely a conscious choice that I’ve made to make sure to make time for my self, my friends, and my family that’s not about work. I also create a boundary to not discuss work or social media tips when I’m trying to just connect with people on a human level.
You have to create boundaries for your self and for others in order to protect your energy. If you don’t you’ll get depleted and burnt out and then you’re not capable of truly being productive. I like to keep things sacred in their moment, so I really try not to eat while working or relax while working and just be present in what the true task at hand is.
Q: On The Billionaire Blogger Society you have talked about working on your inner self (self-esteem, happiness etc) to improve as an influencer. What parts of your self have you had to work on over the years and what would you still like to improve on?
A: The biggest thing that I had to overcome was feeling the need to always “be on” and “be busy.” It was hard for me to take breaks and not feel guilty for not pitching, working, emailing, posting, etc. I had to learn how to slow down, be intentional, and allow myself to enjoy the flow of life.
I also had to learn how to harness the power of, “No.” People will try to get you to work free, especially in the social media sphere, but if you want to be a professional, you can’t work for free. I learned how to say no without worrying about the other person thought.
I think that we’re all works in progress, so I’m always looking to improve, learn, grow, and share.
Q: I believe you have just finished writing your first book. How was that experience and can you reveal anything about the book itself?
A: Yes, I just finished my first book. It’s more a guide on unlocking your inner power and potential. I’m really excited to share more when I can.
Q: You’ve done great presenting work with Disney Style and Varo Money. What type of on-screen projects excite you?
A: Pretty much all on-screen projects excite me! I’m always grateful and humbled to get paid to play on-camera. Creating characters, even when I’m hosting, is so much fun and really allows me to tap into humanity and what connects us all. Storytelling is really my passion and purpose.
Q: I saw on Instagram that you recently acted in a music video. Can you tell us about that and any other upcoming projects you have?
A: The music video was for a really cool female artist. I got on-board because the producer is a friend of mine and it’s always great working with people that you know, like, and trust.
I’m excited for a series that I did with The Beauty Studio to launch. I’m also presenting on, “A Guide to Personal Branding Through Storytelling,” at the Altitude Oasis Summit. People can use code “BILLIONIARE” for $50 off of tickets.
Q: Lastly, what direction do you want to take yourself and your brand towards in the coming years? Do you have an ultimate goal?
A: My ultimate goal is what I’m doing right now. Enjoying my life and my career while adding value to the lives of others through storytelling. So it’s my hope to continue to do this and do it on a bigger scale.
In addition to my other endeavours, I’ve also started taking on private clients for 1-On-1 Self-Care Sessions, to join me, you can visit here.