Today we’d like to introduce you to Candice Thomas.
Hi Candice, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up with a family full of entrepreneurs. I remember my grandmother making custom clothing as a side hustle. My mom was a hairstylist, and my parents owned multiple businesses from car detailing to lawn care. So even though I followed a very traditional path post-high school, creating a business to serve others has always been a huge part of who I am. I graduated from St. Paul’s School for Girls in Brooklandville with my mindset that I would start my career as a political scientist with a strong emphasis on education reform. I went to college, took my first PoliSci 101 class and decided that path was no longer for me; switching my major to Psychology. I then graduated from Spelman College with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, minoring in Early Childhood Education. I came back home to reunite with my then high school sweetheart (now husband, Joshua) and pursued my Masters’ Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Early Childhood Special Education and graduated just one week after we were married in 2012.
I had my heart set on climbing the corporate ladder in education, first starting as a preschool teacher all the way through to School Administrator, and began making plans to open a string of preschools as a part of what I believed was my lifelong dream. I mapped out the experience I would need a decision to pursue jobs in a very strategic way on to my goal until things were cut short… But even before that, maybe just a few months after our daughter Ava was born in 2014, I felt my heart pulling away from the educational space which I loved but often made me feel conflicted between having to find care for my own daughter while I took care of other people’s children, I think this was when the entrepreneurial “bug” started to bite… although I didn’t respond right away.
I remember very vividly the perfect storm brewing of, feeling like I was called to do more, not being fully fulfilled by the demands of work and trying my best to be present for my daughter – felt pulled in every direction. And I remember offering a really simple prayer to God that if this path was not meant for me, to redirect me. One day later, I was fired from my dream job and found myself at home with a 16-month-old baby girl and nothing but time on my hands. after a few days of sulking and feeling embarrassed, I accepted that this was actually just the answer to my prayers and my creative wheels started turning.
I made the decision a few weeks later to re-pursue a network marketing opportunity I had dabbled in order to make enough income to replace my income and start my new dream business as a birth doula! I gave full effort and fought my way through until I was able to replace my income and then launch my new business supporting mothers all over the country. Now, five years later, I can look back and see just how I was able to take each experience that I’ve encountered and navigated along the way and use it to help build the life my husband and I are creating for our family today!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I personally believe that nothing truly worth having is going to come easy. It has not always been a smooth ride and what I know without a doubt is that with even new level comes a new challenge. But I feel lie one of my greatest triumphs has been learning how to navigate the challenges along the way. Some of my biggest challenges along the way have been, first, the complete fear of the unknown. Every single time that I have pivoted or decided to take a new direction, I never had a clear view of what the wins or losses would be. But for some reason, I’ve always been willing to take the journey and let the paths create themselves. Choosing to find the lessons in the hard moments has always helped me navigate from each point to the next. If I had to share one other challenge I had to navigate along this journey it would absolutely be belief. Belief in myself and my abilities. But also maintaining that belief when people around me and closest to me didn’t quite understand.
It’s easy to let go of your dreams when it feels like the people around you aren’t your biggest supporters. But what I have come to learn is that more times than not, people reject what they do not understand! it’s not our job to make them change their minds, Our only job is to show people what’s possible. Minds are changed when belief is shifted.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a social media influencer and birth doula (both local and virtual) and I specialize in empowering moms from pre-pregnancy through the postpartum period. What makes me most proud and what makes my work so specialize is that I truly work to focus on autonomy and personal choice of the mother in all areas. From how we choose to navigate conception, pregnancy, options for childbirth, the postpartum period and beyond. I believe that motherhood and womanhood, in general, is unique, transformative, personal and delicate processes. And I believe that our power comes most profoundly through our choices and personal autonomy. We lace that with evidence-based information and care, and you have a very powerful individual on your hands. I think what sets me apart from most is my sense of trust in women, in mothers, to make their own decisions on what feels right to them. Regardless of other’s experiences, regardless of other’s opinions. A woman’s ability to navigate and write her story solely based on her choices is one that is truly hers.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I try really hard not to overthink mentoring or networking in general. I think it is all about making true connections with people. That is how you grow an authentic and true network. Full of people that honestly respect you and what you bring to the table. Simply by connecting on belief, and value, and how you can collectively serve others. For me personally, over time, it has become so much less transactional and rigid, too much more fluid and real. Make genuine connections. You’ll find your best people that way. That’s your true network.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.themillennialmatriarchllc.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/themillennialmatriarch
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candice.m.thomas.3
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/millmatriarch
- Other: msha.ke/themillennialmatriarch