IS THIS MIC ON CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER: CANDY SMITH
we recently spoke with CANDY SMITH OF CANDY'S SIGNATURE COCKTAILS to learn how she is amplifying her voice through her brand.
My voice deserves to be heard because....
My voice deserves to be heard because I am on the side of Love. I have chosen sides. As people who have decided to support and inspire the stranger next to us, without judgement, for only the motivation of creating an atmosphere where love lives, I want to be heard. I am on a journey to build a brand that literally inspires and toast to women, entrepreneur's..etc..who are on a like mission. We must be mindful and protect those on the margins - those who are in deficit of opportunity. I am the human hearts super fan! And yes, my heart has been broken and stitched back together more than a few times and some how I am still here...BOOM.
“You would be amazed how much you can connect to people when you value what they have experienced..”
What does finding your voice mean to you?
I have always known what I have wanted to say but just not acquired the confidence, words or position to be heard. The majority of my life I made sure I navigated close to all things art. I molecularly change when I listen to music; I want to dance and discover the cultures that make beautiful notes. Art in all forms was my permission to discover the world and its people. My passion became culture. You would be amazed how much you can connect to people when you value what they have experienced. What I know now is how alike we all are. We all want to connect on some level - I want to connect. The question to myself was "could you build a brand that would be different, mean something, provide an excuse to love?
Did your upbringing shape who you are today?
I grew up in an f-ing Disney Land environment. I was the fifth of five girls to parents whose love for family was evident every moment of my life. My gratitude to my parents, who showed me love and how to love, could never be reciprocated. It was a bit shocking as I entered the adult world and discovered that my experience seemed to be more the exception more than the rule. I was that girl that excelled in every sport and was fiercely competitive with a whopping C grade point average.The stage and I have always been great friends. I frequented every musical I could get to and from the ages, 14-25 sang in bands from the age. It is the collection of my parent's love, acceptance, and friendship that allows me to be brave when life's metaphorical dodgeball game gets rough.
Describe your journey? What was your defining moment?
As a child and young adult, I had the art of entertaining down. With my twin sister, I created my first company C&C Productions that specialized in producing commercials for large advertisers and live events for large brands. One of my clients was Brown Forman, the brand house for Jack Daniels. For 12 years C&C Productions created and produced The Body Art Ball they that provided live experiences in 22 states and Canada. I was honored to be the emcee of this show. This is where I fell in love with the business of all things Spirits. At the end of that 12-year journey, I found myself with a surprise divorce and became a single mother to my then precious two-year-old daughter. This is when life got REAL for me. The vision I had of the type of mother I would be, the future women I would be in this new season of my life, was no more. In retrospect, this time was my defining moment, my biggest blessing, but at that time you could not have told me that. As a single mom, who was dipping into my saving to create my next play, I struggled to find the creativity and energy. Nothing I thought about creating was small, without risk, or easy. But, when you have a daughter that you have vowed to raise as a strong, funny, creative and independent woman, you only option have one option and that is to try. Succeed or fail, I was going to lead by example and she has been with me to witness every step of this crazy adventure. Look how cool God is…total set up!
Advice to someone in search of finding their voice in the entrepreneurial, influencer and creative space.
Find a partner that shares your vision and is good at everything you’re not. Break up with every relationship that drives you crazy or sucks energy out of you. Understand it will take three times the amount of money you think you will need just to get started…and then know you will need more. Learn everything you can about your industry. Educate yourself on the language of business as it’s crucial to your long term objectives. But, really, here is the deal. My advice to anyone thinking about entering the entrepreneurial space is have a place of unconditional love that allows you to make the best decisions for you business and personal life. Because when you get into the thick of it, the down and dirty of being a start-up, you’re going to sacrifice more of your time and energy than you knew you had. You will be lonelier than you ever knew possible. You will lose relationships and quite possibly your mind. You will question your worth and internally fight to block out the naysayers and haters. And just when you think you’ve made it, you will have a set back and be forced to find a place deep within you to get back up and keep going. But when you succeed, and you will, remember to treat everyone you met in the process with gratitude and grace because good or bad they were part of your journey. Oh, and if you get to that spot where you find you need a warrior to pray with you, call me…cause love!
I put my name on every bottle so that every woman who also shares a name similar to those of strippers or has been asked "So what flavor are you”, could have redemption. I kid. In all seriousness, Candy’s Signature Cocktails is a line of multi-functional premium spirits, liqueurs and prepared cocktails that have been designed to be 100% stress. But if you ask, Who is Candy, it is WAY more than that. To me, Candy’s is personal. It is the women who don’t need permission on who or how to love. It is the best friend waiting on your doorstep, Candy’s Lemon Drop cocktail in hand, saying “Girl, start from the beginning”. It is the single mom who wants a really great cocktail at home, but without the hassle. It is the hostess (we all long to be her) that spent an entire month preparing for her annual holiday brunch. It is listening to your grandmothers wise, inspiring voice over Candy Cane spiked coffee. It is a spirits brand that celebrates every woman for exactly who she is! Oh, and she might know all the words to every Prince song recorded...just sayin.
How will you continue to amplify your voice?
This is a big year for the brand. Our new decadent flavor Candy Cane is slap your mamma good. White chocolate, fresh peppermint, caribbean rum and premium vodka infused with real dairy cream is the mix of our holiday Shero. This innovative blend of flavors is our way to allow you to celebrate your new favorite holiday cocktail and perfect gift. We did a test market in Dallas in 2016 and could not keep it on the shelf. If we prove successful we will open additional territory, expand our flavor line and continue to raise a glass to all things love. You will find our brands toast on the back of every bottle. It reads...
My great ladies, I would like to make a toast to you!
Fall Deeper in Love
Go Higher in Spirit
Listen to your Heart
Respect your Mind
and let your dreams be endless