Candy Washington is an actress, writer, on-camera host, influencer, and the founder of Actress with Style, a popular lifestyle brand focused on fashion, beauty, entertainment, and travel that’s geared toward the active millennial, as well as The Billionaire Blogger Society, where she consults creative professionals on how to create profitable personal brands. “Come for the fashion, Stay for the self-care” is her fabulous mantra.
LASM x TDR: Introduction, We have the wonderful, the beautiful, talented Candy Washington
Candy: Thank you so much. I am happy to be here.
LASM x TDR: You stay active. You are out doing reviews. Really Giving audiences great insight on products when you try them out or locations that you go to. . Tell us about how you got started in the influencer world and when you got started.

Candy: Thank you so much for saying that. Everytime I post something, I always go through a thought process. What value does this add to the person that’s going to engage with this content. IF I don’t know what that value added is, then i am not going to post it. I really am about intentionality. I  think that when you have a platform, like regardless of how many followers you have, I think doing it with a certain level of integrity and authenticity is really important. So I started my blog when I was home on holiday, completely bored out of my mind, and I was following all of these fashion bloggers. I thought, “Oh my gosh, I could do that.” So I had this super archaic URL, it was like It was a monster. It was a dinosaur. I didn’t know what I was doing. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I was like “I’m about to blow up.” I didn’t know anything about copyright laws. II was on google like sequin dress, stealing photos. I didn’t know. Right now there is so much more education and rights around digital property. But I truly just manifested it. I would google a sequin dress and I would put on my blog, when I move to the city and when i go to  LA I am going to wear this cool sequin dress at all the cool fun events. Then fast forward a couple of years, that’s what I am doing. It’s pretty fun.
LASM x TDR: Round of applause for that. Where did you come from? How did you land in LA? How has that journey been like?
Candy: I will start from the beginning. I grew up in Syracuse, NY which is upstate N; it is very close to Canada. It’s very snowy. When i was little I thought the world was a snow globe. I thought it snowed everywhere. I didn’t understand that there are places like L.A. that didn’t snow. … And so, I would write poetry and write short plays and this sounds really cheezy but my family would perform them in church.  I would always be in charge of the Easter play. And this is a true story, you can talk to Momma Candy about it. She is real proud. Then I went to Georgetown and studied philosophy and government and was on the pre law track. Then instead of going to law school, I was like i really don’t want to be a lawyer, I think I want to play one on tv or style them. And now my friends who are lawyers hate their lives.
LASM x TDR: Isn’t Georgetown difficult to get into?  I just want to emphasize brains and bronze here. We are women, hear us roar.
Candy: This foreshadows what I am currently doing. I kind of had that intimidation,  Idid not want to be public about the dreams I had. I want to work in entertainment, I want to work in fashion, I want to be an actor. I want to do all that stuff, because I thought, If I speak it then now I am accountable to it. I go out to NY and go out to LA and like what if I don’t make it everyone is going to judge me and think I am a failure. [People say] Oh you went out there and you thought you were going to do your thing and now you are crawling back or whatever. That voice of judgment wasn’t of other people, it was my own voice. Because I would think I was a failure if quote unquote didn’t make it. And if somebody else thinks I am a failure, then that’s their problem and not mine. Another thing that came out of that isn’t quitting, it’s just changing a direction. You are always allowed to change your mind because this is your one life. So you could say you want to do something today, you are more than welcomed to change your mind tomorrow. It does not make you a failure, it does not make you a quitter, it makes you a person that is in-tuned with where you are going. Sometimes you need to course correct. That’s more brave than anything else.
LASM x TDR: It’s us who stops us. Everyone else is just noise.
Candy: So instead of going to Georgetown Law, I went to NYC and got an internship with Louis Voutin in their PR department.

LASM x TDR: That is not an easy position to get.
Candy: And people out there think that you got that internship because you knew someone. But again it goes back to believe in yourself. I got that internship legit because I applied on their website. I didn’t have anytone. I had great writing skills and I think that my cover letter is what got me in, but I think that if you have passion and again back again to intentionality, that comes through, and so I think when you really have a vision and you want to execute that vision, that trumps everything else. Like its nice to have relationships of course, because all industries are built on relationships. People always want to work with people they know, like and trust. Which is why the same group of people work together. So I definitely believe relationships are important, but the most important relationship is the one that you have with yourself. If you know that I am good enough for this, then I am going to make sure that I am good enough for this.
LASM x TDR: I am going to be very cheesy right now. What is your sign?
Candy: I am a sagittarius. Dec. 14.
LASM x TDR: The silver lining within all people is what we love to find that. We can’t do that on Instagam.
Candy: Well who are you following on Instagram? You created the content that you are seeing. If you don’t like what you are seeing, you have the power to change that.
LASM x TDR: We have journalists and bloggers. How do you feel about the tension between the two worlds coming together.
Candy: Well personally, i would rephrase that because I do not discount blogging as not real journalism. I think that it is a different type of writing. To me, blogging is a different type of journalism. It’s just a subset of it.  I think that there are always sort of a disconnect or powerplay any time you have something that is new and upcoming versus what the establishment has been. I don’t think that either one is necessarily correct or incorrect.  I think that they are both different and both forms have the value. I also don’t think digital bloggers is 100% of the answer either and so I think that there is room for everyone.For me, what I loved about blogging and the digital era, is that it really democratized access. Because before there were only certain sites and certain papers and certain people who were given voices. But with social media, with a blog, with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram there is no excuse to not have your voice heard, and there is no excuse to not seek out different opinions and different voices. So for me, that is what I really love about social media and blogging is that it really democratizes it and opens up the space for all different people, not to just share their voice but to also create a community, because when you think you are alone, and you think its just you, thats when you live in shame, embarrassment, guilt. But then when you can be like, oh yeah, you like that too, I’m not the only dork that likes that Oh my God, now I have a community of people. ,  …Now I have a community of support. I think there are beautiful things about both forms and I think that there is always that tension between the old school and new school. It’s just the new technology right. I mean, people used to cook their food with fire and now we have electricity. This is way easier. It’s just a tool. I definitely get that being an influencer, people judge you and think that they know you. They think they know what you are about. They project their insecurities to you. And you have to, all creative people who in some form put out a form of themself. If you are a writer, you are writing your truth. If you are a singer, you are singing your truth. If you are an actor, you are creating these like characters and really digging into who are. And so especially as creative people, I think in our work, we always put a piece of yourself into it, you always we have to  be really good at protecting that and not letting other people, and knowing who you are and being rooted in that strength and no one can shake you. People say, “Oh, you are on Instagram. I bet you just don’t like do anything. You got all of that stuff for free. Or you are a fake. Or you only care about fashion. You only care about makeup. I am like well you know what, I do get a lot of stuff for free, but I work really hard and I also get paid. What do you do? Like, come on people.
LASM x TDR: I love that vibe that you bring to the space of creators. I hear you have a new book out. Tell us about the book and what inspired it. here we can find it.
Candy: Yes, the book is called “Sugar Pills 10 Days to Awaken Your Inner Power: Manifest the Extraordinary life that’s waiting for you.” And it is available now on Amazon Kindle. I called it sugar pills, 1 because my name is Candy. So that is an homage. It was born out of a series that I did based on Steve Harvey. The book was born out of a series I did on 10 Power Principles that I learned from Steve Harvey. The title was very sensational. It was “How Steve Harvey saved my life.” It was born on the 10 principle on what I learned on him and his career. The power of surrender. The power of perseverance of your circle, who you surround yourself with, having a vision for your life, having a plan for your life. So I really just listened to him because he would have this power session before his radio show started and that would just give me life. Because I don’t think I got to this point in my personal journey in the story, but I had completed my internship in NY and then started doing PR and branding and then blogging on the side. And then that sort of blew up and I decided to quit anything that wasn’t my own content creating or being my own entrepreneur. And then I moved to L.A. by myself.  No friends, no fammo… so when i moved to LA, I had like almost had rose tinted glasses on. Everyone is nice and kind and we all have the same intent for each other and lalalallaall.  WRONG! The world sort blew up in my face. I wanted to have a thicker skin and I wanted to survive here. But I also knew that I didn’t’ want to become cynical and I did not want to become bitter or a person that was unable to trust or believe in the goodness of people. So I thought, what do I have to do to be tougher, mentally, spiritually, physically, all of that, in a very intense sink or swim environment but still maintain my joy and happiness and my smile.  
LASM x TDR: That is wiser joy.
Candy: Yes! Wisdom and joy, which is authentic power. So that is what I did. So I would still write about fashion and beauty and lifestyle and entertainment (which I will always do because I love it) but then I also started writing about the more personal stories. Like, these are the 4 things that I did when I wanted to quit, so when you want to quit, do these 4 things and you won’t quit and you’re going to keep going.
LASM x TDR: Give us one.
Candy: When i wanted to quit, I decided to allow myself to hate what I was doing. Because I had gotten to a certain level, blogging full time, doing social media full time. Which sounds very glamorous …..  however, it’s still very hard work. 22:15 And regardless of what you’re doing, if your doing it on automatic, every single day, your passion and joy can go away from that monotony. But I had fought so hard to get to that place, it was like wait, this is what I had been fighting for so hard for and now I have it, how come I am not walking on roses and drinking champagne. You know what I mean? How come are there no harps playing for me. Why am I still not fulfilled but I had been fulfilled but I think that life is a progression. It’s not like oh I am here, I am fulfilled and this is stagnant. Life is continuous and it moves. So i gave myself permission to hate it. And then I gave myself permission to go a little bit dark, like not really engage in social media that much. I then redesigned my site and I created buckets on my site where there was no content. I made the conscious decision that I wanted to make my site a canvas for the experiences that I wanted to have, rather than like a graveyard of past experiences. So food, and travel and personal stories and all that fun stuff in there, where now I am excited for what is to come.
LASM x TDR: Like inspiration!
Candy: Yes! How am I going to fill this in now? And now I am excited for what’s to come. So now I am excited about what’s to come and to create these experiences and memories, rather than looking at something and hinking, yeah, I went to that party and that party… so those are some of the things that I did to quit. 24:06 Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling even if its discomfort. Re-energize yourself. Reinvigorate yourself. And really listen to yourself. Just because you set a goal and accomplish that goal doesn’t mean that you have to stay there. You are allowed to say, “I did it. What’s next?” One thing that I love doing is disproving a  limiting belief that I have about myself. So like if I feel that if I am like too fat, or too black or too white or too thin, I am too told, I am too young, whatever your limiting belief is, why I can’t accomplish something. I then do research and find someone who has that limiting belief in what I thought couldn’t be done. So when you see it and it’s there, you really have no excuse not to go for what you want. It goes back to what I was saving about Steve Harvey. I was in his master class of Oprah and he said that he hadn’t done stand-up comedy until he was 28 and hadn’t booked a juicy role until a decade later. And he is one of the world’s most iconic kings of comedy. I say, girl, you’re fine!
LASM x TDR: When are you going to step onto the scene of getting in front of people with classes and mentor people?
Candy: Speaking of that, I have actually opened up to doing self-care sessions with people. I actually just did one with one of my clients. I walk them through whatever goals they have and whatever intentions they have. And I just walk them through different strategies and action plans to get them to wherever they want to be. (story about client What would Melina want to eat or movies.) In March I am speaking at the Altitude Summit in Palm Springs. I am speaking on a guide to personal branding through storytelling.
LASM x TDR: Can you tell us a little bit about you as a performer and the things that you have done?
Candy: I did two shows for Disney Style which was really fun. So  I’ve done some national commercials, I have done some short films. I hosted a 6 episode series for the Beauty Studio. I just shot a music video and i just host a pho documentary with this woman named Granny who is famous on Youtube.
LASM x TDR: Where can everybody follow you?
Candy: You can find me at Candy Washington on all the platforms. You can also head to the Billionaire Blogger Society where I coach people on personal branding. It’s not just for bloggers. It’s pretty much for any creative person who is looking to create a profitable personal brand. It’s funny that you say that about storytelling. Before I moved to L.A., I became really clear on what my purpose was. I was like why is Candy Washington on this Earth. Why am I here? What am I meant to be here for? And I said my purpose is to add value to the lives of others through storytelling. And story telling takes so many forms, which is why I love doing the blogging, the acting, the coaching one-on-one, because that’s all just forms of storytelling…. It’s all energy, it’s all about storytelling…. Through stories is how we share our culture and our heritage.
LASM x TDR: What is your superpower?
Candy: Can it be a two-part? My first superpower is that I listen with the intent to understand. I think the majority of people listen with the intent to respond so actually don’t listen to what the person is saying because they are creating a dialogue in their own head, anticipating what you are going to say. They are just talking to themselves because they aren’t listening. I always try to keep my ears, eyes, and heart open and so I really listen to things and when people say things I believe them. Because they are telling you who they are. Whether it is good, bad or otherwise, so I always listen with the intent to understand. And then my other superpower is that I think I am disarming.
LASM x TDR: Do you see how quiet it just got. She just disarmed the entire room. What happens when you listen to understand but someone has already lied and deceived you?
Candy: I think that someone can still lie and deceive and you can still disarm them. Because I can understand, the disarming comes from a “I see you and I hear you, therefore you don’t have any power over me. Because I am not believing your deception because I saw you. It’s like no weapon formed home boy. Hey Easter Sunday girl!
LASM x TDR: … about God’s got you…
Candy: It’s God’s got you, but also God gave us to have intuition and that gut feeling and discernment. It’s getting intune with yourself, so when you come across someone and they don’t have good intentions, you don’t have self doubt, you believe it. I know exactly what’s going on. And when you know that, it’s not only no weapon formed against me, it’s also, I am a weapon. I have power and what I feel and think is meaningful. No one has the power over you. My peace is non-negotiable. With a period. If there is someone or something that threatens your peace, you have to cut that out. Peace be still.
Get Sugar Pills 10 Days to Awaken Your Inner Power: Manifest the Extraordinary Life that’s Waiting for You. Photo Credit: Michael Roud Photography


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