With her new wellness brand, Candace Oliver steps in front of the camera with a new purpose—to share what she’s learned through struggling to feel comfortable in her own skin.
Candace Oliver’s definition of beauty has radically changed through the years.
In her early 20s, she moved from Bellevue to Los Angeles in pursuit of a burgeoning modeling career. She quickly became successful and found herself traveling between LA, Miami and New York working the biggest fashion scenes in the country. On the surface, her life seemed great. She was paid to walk runways in exquisite clothes from dream designers and take pictures with high-fashion photographers.
However, despite all the external signs telling her she was beautiful, she felt anything but. Oliver says she was quietly consumed with low self-esteem, anxiety, self-doubt, self-destructive behavior (including some drug and alcohol abuse) and a struggling marriage.
“There was a very unhealthy stage to my career,” she says. “So much of my identity came from other people’s validation. Was I pretty enough? Was I thin enough? I was desperate for approval. I didn’t know who I was because I formed to what other people wanted of me.”
Her first pregnancy changed everything. Because it was unplanned, she was forced, unexpectedly, to rethink her modeling career, which made her question many things in her life. She was at a crossroads.
“I just remember looking in the mirror and asking myself, “What do I need to do to validate myself? What is the journey to my true identity?” she says. “Before then, beauty and wellness weren’t about being a whole being—mind, body and spirit. I was so focused on the body part that I lost my mind and spirit. As a result, my anxiety rose a lot.”
She chose to stop traveling as much and move home to Seattle to raise her son and embark on a new career and life. However, she had no idea what that new life looked like or what she would do. So she kept asking: what is my purpose?
Even through her toughest times dealing with a divorce and being a single mom, Oliver held on tightly to some healthy habits. She maintained a varied exercise routine and enjoyed eating healthy foods and learning about nutrition. She says these habits grounded her and made her feel her happiest, so she followed her joy. To support herself and her son, she joined AdvoCare, a wellness and supplement company, and experienced a new satisfaction in sharing a healthy lifestyle with other people, especially women. All the while, she still had a foot in the beauty and modeling industry, but with a much different perspective and objective. Her time at AdvoCare shifted, but she knew focusing on wellness was the right path to her authentic self.
“There is a dream seed in all of us, desires we all have, and building my own wellness brand is that for me,” she says. “I feel a strong desire to impact people, call the best out of people. To see something shift in someone—it doesn’t get better than that.”
In 2018 she took the first steps necessary to make that dream come true. She started a blog, vlog, and YouTube channel, all posted on CandaceOliver.com. The purpose is to share all the wellness and beauty tips she picked up throughout her career. This includes everything from makeup tutorials (one of her specialties) to skin care, from fashion inspiration to fresh-ingredient cooking segments. Since remarrying and adding three more kids to her brood, she also shares plenty of sanity-saving advice for families.
“The reason I felt so bold to start a blog and YouTube channel is because for the first time in my life I truly felt beautiful,” she says. “I began to journal and something inside of me said, ‘Share this! You are not the only one who struggles in these areas. You are not the only one who feels insecure, stuck, overwhelmed . . . fill in the blank, we’ve all been there.’”
The content she currently creates is only the tip of the iceberg. In the future, she sees her brand expanding into a line of affordable, clean beauty product lines and beyond.
“I love speaking to large groups of people, preaching, teaching, inspiring, equipping and traveling, and I see myself doing that while pairing with different brands, external and internal,” Oliver says.