Candice Mathis, the creative mind behind lifestyle blog Collectively Candice, started her journey through an honest interest in healthy living. Not just healthy eating, or working out, but keeping everything healthy about life – from maintaining your style to finding great deals.
When Candice and her husband moved to Phoenix, Arizona from San Francisco two years ago, she decided to maintain her blog full-time and make it solely her career. Candice told us that “every day is about growing” for her, as we found out more about her lifestyle as a blogger, her pregnancy journey and the changes about to happen now a little one is on the way…
“That’s the whole thing about blogging – the harder you work, the more you grow. People sometimes think that blogging is over-exaggerated but I disagree – there is room for everybody. Everyone is unique and has their own image.” – Candice Mathis
Taylor Magazine: To get started, tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
Candice: I moved to LA in 2010, where I met my husband and we moved to San Francisco, lived there for five years, and then moved here to Phoenix two years ago! When I was in San Francisco I worked in the marketing team for a technology company and while I was there, I was really interested and had a passion for nutrition and healthy living in general. So, I started a blog just as a creative outlet, but it was doing really well, even though I was (kind of) half-assing it because I was working so much!
When we decided to move here and I was looking for jobs, (which were similar to what I was doing before), the pay was lower and I knew that I didn’t want to do what I was doing before for any less so I decided to re-brand, and make the blog a full lifestyle blog! I thought if it’s not working, if I’m not making money in a year, then I can re-visit the whole thing. But, luckily, it went really well!
I came from San Francisco, so I had this crazy work ethic – I went from literally working every hour, to working on my blog every hour throughout the day. It really just took off – it grew bigger in the last two years. It’s a full lifestyle blog so I’m a blogger and influencer (which is what they like to call it – I don’t really love that word). I also work for Bumble, which started out as a dating app, on the BFF and Bumble Bizz articles. It’s a great way to network and make friends.
Taylor Magazine: What is it about your blog that you think people resonate with?
Candice: I think for me, I want to always stay really relatable. My niche is that being healthy is a full-lifestyle. It’s not just about eating healthy and working out – it’s about the way you dress, or finding the best deal. I overshare, but that’s been really good for me. I share the good, the bad and the ugly and that is definitely relatable to people.
Taylor Magazine: How has the blog changed since you fell pregnant?
Candice: It’s been tough, because I don’t know how to incorporate the mum stuff in just yet! I was thinking about it too much when I first fell pregnant, especially how I was going to transition it over, but I’ve realised now that I don’t really have to transition anything over. My audience is evolving with me and a lot of the people that follow me are my age and are going through the same things, or will do in a few years. It’s been about me evolving and sharing things as and when they come up. I don’t make it solely about the pregnancy or becoming a mum, but that is a big part of my life right now, so I share a lot of that. I still stay true to the side I’m passionate about too, which is just about being healthy in general. I did share the ugly side of pregnancy too, because I had a really rough first trimester. People relate to that – I wasn’t sure how it would go – but I have brought in a bit of a different audience because of it.
Taylor Magazine: When you look at social media now, how its developed, helped you reach out and connect with people – did you always think you would use social media platforms to boost your blog, or did you think your blog would stand on its own?
Candice: I actually had Instagram first, and because I was living in San Francisco, I pretty much had it before anyone else in the US! I honestly didn’t know what it was, I thought it was a photo editing app. I had taken this close-up photo of my friend, so the first photo for the first year on my Instagram was this close-up photo of my friend’s face. Anyway… that’s beside the point! I had Instagram first and I was mainly posting healthy living stuff, and even though my photos were so bad, I saw it growing and becoming popular, but there were so many other things I wanted to incorporate into my feed. Where I’m originally from is quite an unhealthy community, so I would often get so many questions about healthy living. I decided to write all the answers to the questions I was getting in one place, that way I could just send people a link to all the information they wanted. There was never a time that I focused on one or the other, they both just grew together.
Taylor Magazine: Separate from being a blogger – what is your down time? What do you like to do to chill?
Candice: It’s so hard to not work, but I would probably go to the spa to just switch off and unwind. But, I would make them take my phone away because I’d probably be trying to take photos of the massage chair or something! It’s so ingrained into my mind now. I really like to disconnect from everything, but it’s hard when your work is at your fingertips. All of my work is done from home now, so it’s not super relaxing for me!
Taylor Magazine: Who are some people that inspire you?
Candice: Good question! I’m constantly inspired by bloggers or influencers all day on Instagram. I know myself how hard it is, so that’s inspiring to see how hard they work to get where they are. I really like the blogger Something Navy, I think she is so down to earth and natural. For the time being, right now, she is someone I am looking up to. She just got her own office in New York and I was like… those are my goals!
“My husband and I knew that we wanted kids, but we didn’t think that we were in the position to do it right now, so it was sort of a surprise! We’re just evolving and letting life happen.” – Candice Mathis
Taylor Magazine: What do you see for yourself in the next couple of years? What is your short-term plan?
Candice: This whole blogging thing was never a plan, so maybe it’s good luck not to have a plan! My husband and I knew that we wanted kids, but we didn’t think that we were in the position to do it right now, so it was sort of a surprise! We’re just evolving and letting life happen. Every day is about growing.
Taylor Magazine: How do you think your pregnancy will change the blog?
Candice: I’m still thinking, but I don’t feel super comfortable sharing the baby, or the thought of that right now is scary to me. I’m having a little girl, so I’m probably going to be obsessed with her and it’ll be hard not to share her to everyone every day, but we’ll see how I feel when the time comes.
I have also secured the Collectively Baby Instagram, just in case! Potentially, I’ll keep it for baby products and items, not necessarily just her. I don’t want my blog to just be about babies – I want to keep it separate, but there will be a section on the blog dedicated to it.
Taylor Magazine: We’re focused on simplicity and minimalism and taking the best care of yourself. When you’re having a rough day, how do you cheer yourself up?
Candice: I always take a Vitamin D, make some tea, try to disconnect. I do meditation, or sometimes even nap meditation – it’s so peaceful. You wake up and you do feel a lot better! Little things like that.
Taylor Magazine: What is your favourite book or movie just now?
Candice: Well, I’m reading a lot of pregnancy books right now – I’m reading one called ‘Bringing Up Bébé’. It’s about this American woman who is bringing her kids up in Paris – she realises that her children are different to the French children and so she did a lot of research, educated herself on why her kids were bad and French children were so good. I love the whole approach to French parenting, so I’m loving that book right now! I am a huge Ernest Hemingway fan – not necessarily of his writing, more of his life, it was the ultimate love story! I don’t watch a lot of movies but I do watch a lot of TV since falling pregnant! I watch Homeland, it’s so good! If I’m really lazy, I’ll watch old 90210 re-runs.