Interview: On Developing a CREATIVE Vision with Candice VanWye

Recently, I discovered the Instagram account @monday&co and I was instantly intrigued. Once I checked out the feed, I realized it was the account for a coworking space in Atlanta, specifically for women who look like me. I’ve dreamt of such spaces existing here in Minnesota, and while we’re not quite on this level, we’re making moves with coworking spaces like The Coven who serve women and non-binary individuals and Scout Workshop which created an innovative, design-focused approach for coworking and community vibes.

Naturally, after I was done creeping all over Monday’s account, I quickly ended up on Candice’ account; she’s the CEO & Creative Director behind the brand.

Whenever I come across a person who inspires me, I’m always interested in asking questions to gain insight on their individual perspective and journey through life. Lucky for me, when I reached out to connect, Candice agreed to an interview. This is my first of what I hope to be many FMYH interviews. Feast your eyes below if you want to understand the inner workings of Candice’s creative’s passion project turned real life dream come true.

Q: Where did the idea for Monday & Co come from?

A: In 2014 I met a woman who owned her own coworking space and it was just inspiring to me. I loved working from that office but I noticed there weren’t a lot of black women. I remember thinking I’d love to have a coworking space marketed to us so that we could have this same experience without feeling ostracised or like the “only one.” I wanted a space where we could talk about issues that relate to us and listen to the music we like. I’ve also been running Brown Girl Bloggers since 2014 and I felt the space was needed because of the inquiries I get from women regarding events and being a black creative.

Q: What are your goals for 2019?

A: I want to grow Monday & Co. I don’t have a huge membership goal but I’d like 80 members. I would also like to help 100 black women with something this year. It can be professionally or personally but I hope to make an impact on their lives. In regards to Brown Girl Bloggers I want to work on more campaigns with large brands. I love helping the women signed up with us make money from their craft so I hope that continues. In my personal life I want to start speaking nicer to myself. I realized that the language I use to talk about myself is negative. I also want to be a more active listener. I tend to get very excited in conversations and cut people off. It’s not cool and I don’t want to be that girl anymore.

Q: What’s something you wish more people in the world knew?

A: I wish most people knew that no matter what we’re all struggling and all of our struggles are valid. Sometimes people are so focused on other’s successes and highs that they act like those people don’t have problems. We all worry about relationships, money, health, etc. Give people some grace.

Q: What are your thoughts on social media?

A: I think social media has helped the world a lot. It’s exposed us to cultures and people we may have never seen and it’s made the world a smaller place. It has also helped bring more justice into the world. On the other hand I feel like too much time on social media can be detrimental. While we should be able to look at other people’s lives and gain inspiration we should get out and live too. We have to remember that everything is exaggerated on social media and it will never replace real life experiences and interactions. It can enhance them in a lot of ways but social media shouldn’t be something that takes over your life.

Q: Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

A: I don’t really look up to people so that’s a hard question for me to answer. I guess I’m inspired by women who I think are smart and beautiful but I don’t look at anyone else enough to say that they inspire me above others. I know that I’ll never know the full story of these women’s lives so I try to keep that in perspective.

Q: What’s your go to self care regimen?

A: Getting a facial. I don’t like massages that much but I love a good facial especially with extractions because my skin looks so good afterwards. I have really oily skin so I’m always dealing with clogged pores. Nothing makes me feel better than smooth glowing skin.

Q: What gets you down?

A: Being stuck inside all day is really depressing. We all have days where we have to work or we don’t want to leave the house but whenever that happens to me for too many days in a row I get really depressed. I have to spend a couple daylight hours out and about which is why a traditional 9-5 doesn’t appeal to me.

Q: What lifts you up?

A: Having relaxing mornings that don’t start with an alarm clock, cleaning, going for long walks in a beautiful city, eating new food, and hanging out with my husband and my family.

Q: What advice would you give to WOC entrepreneurs?

A: Go for whatever life you want. The playing field isn’t even and life isn’t fair to us. Our ancestors have had to settle for so many years and we should break that cycle. I know there are real life consequences for going after your dreams but I think they’re worth it. (I’m speaking primarily to Americans here as that’s my experience.)

Inspired and interested to follow along with Candice VanWye?

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Ashley OchiaghaComment