We had the good fortune of connecting with Candice Douglas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candice, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
During the pandemic I was riddled with anxiety and looking for something that would allow me to channel my energy and tap into a creative outlet. As a waistbead wearer for some time, I wanted to get a new strand to symbolize the work I was doing on my personal healing journey. But due to COVID I wasn’t able to get them from my usual source so I decided to make my own strand. I made one and it sparked that creative bug. I started to create even more and posted my work on social media. I made some for friends and a few people reached out to inquire about purchasing. So I decided why not turn this into a way to make the joy of waistbeads available for more women like myself?
Waistbeads for me serve several purposes that I enjoy as well as other women. Some include helping monitor weight loss/gain, they are adornment of the body, can symbolize important life moments, and enhance feelings of feminity for the wearer. I initially started out with an Etsy store and then moved to create an actual Shopify store as I plan to grow my offerings and services to help women on their journeys of discovering who they are and healing beautifully on their individual journey of Getting Back to Me (BKTUMI).
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
BKTUMI was created as an entity in 2019. I started my brand and business as a creative outlet but knew that I would want this to become something much bigger so I took steps to create my LLC. This business and brand is my first entrepreneurial venture along with my 9-5 job.
Balancing my own business and a full-time position in healthcare information technology is a challenge at times. My day job can be very demanding of my time along with personal responsibilities, so learning to set time for my business is key to success. I have a network of fellow entrepreneurs who offer support and guidance to help me along the way which helps a lot. They also motivate me to keep working on my goal of transitioning from Corporate America in the near future.
What I want the world to know about BKTUMI is that as a community of women we have so much in common. There is so much for us to learn as we grow in life, and as a business owner I am excited about the community I am creating and the impact it will have on women in becoming the best and most beautiful versions of themselves.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Whenever family or friends come I have so much anticipation. I am a transplant to the Bay Area so I know how it feels to see this city for the first time. I’m all about showing them a great time filled with must see spots like Pier 39 in San Francisco. That’s one spot where you see and do so much. There’s shopping, views of the water, lots to eat and the best view of things like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. I also have a sweet destination I discovered for great photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, beach trips are a must. Everyone should experience the beaches here. And if it’s warm out, I even make the quick drive to experience Santa Cruz. The boardwalk is always a hit. And finally for food – the options are endless. I love to share restaurants that my family friends wouldn’t normally experience. In a nutshell I include lots of food, fun and opportunities for memorable photo ops to create lasting memories.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to thank the beautiful sister duo Breezy and Bobbi. These ladies are the powerhouses behind Free the Cheeks in Richmond, CA. They introduced me to waistbeads and also to the importance of owning and reclaiming the beauty of all that you are as a woman. And that is a huge part of BKTUMI and what I believe in. Women give to others more often than themselves. We deal with a lot of traumas that lead to a healing journey that can be very lonely. But together as a collective we can support and encourage each other and heal beautifully. And it can start with one waistbead strand at a time!