Today, we’re getting to know the creative maker and new mama behind the gothic inspired shop Bones and Guts! So excited to introduce all of you to Candy & her vibrant shop!
First off, let’s get to know you a little! Tell us a bit about YOU!
I am still that goth girl sporting black lipstick, and having a love for things that people might find “too dark” or a bit strange. Don’t let my exterior fool you, though! I am a huge hippie at heart, and also a pretty big weirdo (okay, a dork!). Life is an adventure for me, and I try to make the most of it at all times. However, a big part of me that I have worked in my 28 years to overcome is my anxiety disorder and depression. I can honestly say, I am very proud of how hard I have worked to be fully functioning and able to pull myself out of dark times. When I was a child, I had panic attacks quite regularly, and now I still have them, but quite random and far in between. If you’re reading this and struggle with mental illness, I hope you find what works for you, and don’t let it define you.
When I was 22 I met the man of my dreams who happened to be my new next door neighbor. At that time I was in college working on my second degree in Entrepreneurship (my first degree was in Merchandised Project Development from FIDM), and I was a bit lost with where my life would go. My now husband became my best friend instantly, and we were married two years later.
Our wedding was a fairy tale literally! I had rainbow hair and fairy wings! It was a wonderful day, and two years after that we had a baby boy. I absolutely love being a mother, and can’t imagine my life without him. It is wonderful seeing him grow and seeing my husband become a wonderful father. I am definitely not your typical mom. Being naturally weird has its benefits to parenting. For one, children do some strange things, and I am all for encouraging them or participating. With my tattoos, and when my hair is dyed, I guess I don’t fit the mold of what a mother is expected to look like, or at least what it used to look like.
Where are you located?
I have always lived in Southern California until this year – I will be an Oregonian! The hubby and I will be packing up our three dogs (our first children!), and our son to a new home!
How long have you been painting? How long have you sold your painted creations?
I have been painting for as long as I can remember. Around six years ago, I wanted to start selling my art, and see if anyone would buy it. I used to only paint on canvas then, and still do occasionally. I wouldn’t say that right away it was a business. it definitely took some time for me to decide that I wanted it to be a serious venture. My love for art led me to want to build my business around what I could create and it is a full-time business (besides my other full-time career as a mother). It has been my dream come true to be able to work from home on what I love and see other people ecstatic with what I make.
What inspires your art?
My aesthetic is quite eclectic, so it’s no surprise that my inspirations are surrounded by many different things. My fondness for nature is more than just a passing appreciation, and by the many art pieces I have created it is pretty apparent. I sort of stem the majority of inspiration around it and put my own perspective on it. For instance, I love mythical creatures and adding whimsical nature elements into it. Some other things that inspire me include gothic art and literature, bohemian styles, other cultures, and many different works of literature.
Your shop was open before you became a mother. Did becoming a mother affect how you ran your business, or alter your art style in any way?
Becoming a mother has certainly changed a lot. My first concern was for his safety, and since my shop made a lot of beaded jewelry that I made myself, I decided to stop making necklaces with them. It is much simpler now but works out because the main focus is more on the painting. Selling my art was considered to be my full-time gig, and now as a mother of a one-year-old, I definitely feel like I am a mother first. Don’t get me wrong I am never late on orders or responding to customers, but he needs me more. He does occasionally try to help me paint, and I hand him a paintbrush to play with. I’m still trying to find the work-life balance everyone keeps talking about, and I’m sure it will come soon where I have more of a harmonious flow, but for now, I am okay with it being a bit muddled.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader since embarking on your creative journey?
My husband has always been my biggest cheerleader. He pushed me to start the business, and that he would be there with me to help. He has stood by his promise, and always encourages me to push more. He is an amazing man and best friend.
What has been the most difficult hurdle you faced since launching your small business?
If you have ever run a business, you know how many ups and downs it can have. It can be quite heartbreaking at times because you put so much effort, late nights, and being all consumed in it, and there is no guarantee that it will be enough. My main hurdles in trying to grow my business have definitely revolved around getting my business out there to the right customers. As I spoke of before, my anxiety can be a real b*tch (hope that’s okay for me to say). Sometimes it seems like a business now is a popularity contest, and if you don’t have plenty of friends who will share or comment on your products all you get is crickets. It’s hard for me to be vulnerable with what I’ve created and pushed it in other people’s face that they need it. I know it is something I will always be working on, or at least networking to get support from fellow artists.
What does success mean for you?
Success to me is really two concepts. Stability, and passion. If I can pay my bills, and have enough to still travel, or have some fun with my family that is amazing! Now if I can keep my passion for it and have that stability, that is success to me.
You have a really interesting shop name, tell me more about it!
A lot of people ask me about my shop name. Since I was a kid I always knew I wanted to run a business, but not until high school did I think of the name. Bones & Guts comes from a phrase I would say to people I loved. I would say, “I love your bones and guts.” See, it’s not that scary, right? I wanted to use it as a shop name since a business is a labor of love, and a way to tell my customers and supporters the love I have for them for helping me make my dreams come true.
While we’re talking about names, how did you choose your child’s name?
My son is a little over a year and is the perfect unicorn, faery Prince, and sometimes a monster that anyone could have hoped for. My husband and I went to Ireland back in 2016. It was an amazing trip, and when we returned I realized that the trip was so much fun that I came back pregnant. Our son’s name is inspired by Irish names and my love for rain, which is why we named him Rainn.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I am really into metal, alternative rock, punk, folk music, some dubstep, and random songs in other genres as well. Some of my favorite bands are Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, Awolnation, 21 Pilots, Meg Myers, and Mumford and Sons. I’m sure I have a ton more that at this moment I can’t think of.
What are your favorite ways to unwind & keep your identity as a mother?
Let’s be honest being a parent, a wife, and a business owner can sometimes feel overwhelming. I’m glad I have several hobbies. Some I like to share with others, and some I need some me time for. If you can imagine the one thing that makes you want to do a happy dance when you get to do it, well, reading books would be mine. Reading is a huge passion of mine, and writing is as well. I suppose my love for reading caused me to want to write at an early age. I started writing poetry first, and now I hope to have a second career of being an author one day. I have self published one book, but I hope to get published by a company in the future. I also love nature, and hiking to be close to it! It calms my very being and is one reason why we are leaving California. I need trees around me and not just palm trees! Of course, art, more specifically painting, is a love of mine. It’s more than a hobby for me especially now that my business is just that. My love for art led me to want to build my business around what I could create and it is a full-time business (besides my other full-time career as a mother). It has been my dream come true to be able to work from home on what I love and see other people ecstatic with what I make.
Be sure to check out Candy’s store Bones and Guts, and give her a follow on Facebook & Instagram!