“We exist to help girls and young women feel seen, heard and accepted.”

Having experienced an ongoing pandemic that has resulted in us having to focus more on ourselves and our healing, founder, and CEO of Everything She Is Co, Candice Jones, has pretty much dominated the social scene of entrepreneurship while creating a lasting community for young Black women and women of color to tackle their mental health and overall wellbeing. 

The Florida native has taken matters into her own hands after noticing vast disparity within the mental and self-care spectrum throughout the Black community. As a result of seeing and identifying the common mental health issues Black women and women of color face, Jones wanted to create a space for millennials to feel seen, appreciated, and heard, through her own digital platform entitled, Everything She Is Co. 

“We are community-driven platform that exists to help girls and young women feel seen, heard and accepted. We are simplifying self-love to help them embrace who they are now, to create a healthy and long-lasting relationship with who they’ll become," she said. 

We had a chance to sit down with Candice directly to unpack the importance of creating a safe space for Black women to express themselves transparently, while addressing the pivotal aspects that  mental health and self-love play within the healing journey. 

Gabriel Tazewell: What made you start your brand, Everything She Is? What are some of the pivotal lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur and as a leader within this industry?

Candice Jones: I was raised by a mother who sacrificed everything she was to herself to be everything she needed to be for her family. Running through my veins was strength: the cornerstone of Black womanhood but even then, I knew nothing of how the journey from girl to woman would test me. With every instance of trauma, I layered on another layer of armor and by the time I graduated college I had so much built up, I could barely recognize myself. 

I wanted to release the baggage but no matter how many bubble baths I took, how many positive quotes I posted to Instagram, I hated who my past told me I was. At the time I had no health insurance and no money for traditional therapy so I scoured the internet for answers. When nothing resonated deep enough to get to the root of my pain, I did the research and created it for myself. Since then, my passion project has turned into a full-blown business, Everything She Is Co. and while it’s rewarding, it is also trying. I’d have to say my biggest pivotal lesson has been to stay teachable. I’ve learned that it's okay to not know all the answers and to figure things out along the way.

GT: Now that we are embarking on a time more prominent for seasonal depression, what are some ways we can help combat that natural urge to fall into a slump? 

CJ: Seasonal depression is so real! It took me a while to tune into my cycles and realize what it is I needed as the seasons changed but one thing I have started to implement is a yearly mental health hiatus. I use the winter months to sort of hibernate by limiting my accessibility and spending all of my free time doing things that pour into myself. This year I’ve been loving sunbathing while working in my self-love workbook and doing frequent reflections as I rest and recharge for the year ahead. By creating a routine that prioritizes me, I get ahead of the seasonal “slump” and resist changes the seasons can bring. 

GT: Can you tell me a little about your background? Where did you grow up? Were there any key experiences that you’ve been through that have resulted in you being here today?

CJ: I grew up in Miami, Florida and throughout my adolescent years, my parents instilled the importance of hard work and determination. This led me to attend The University of Central Florida majoring in Biomedical Sciences. However, I knew that the path I was heading down wasn’t my passion. My self-discovery birthed community-driven lifestyle platform, Everything She Is Co. Rediscovering and redefining myself helped me create this digital safe haven for young women to overcome shame, guilt, and uncertainty. I am inspired to have a life that encourages young women to unlearn concepts that don’t align with their beliefs and the importance of forgiveness and gratitude to break the barriers that keep them from being their authentic selves. 

GT: If you could speak to your younger self, what would you tell her? 

CJ: If I could speak to my younger self I would tell her to show up as herself no matter how uncomfortable it may be. It’s important to be comfortable with sharing your thoughts, ideas, and passions freely. You never know who around you is inspired by your authenticity. 

GT: What (if any) is some advice you can give to those deeply struggling with their mental health right now? Especially Black women and women of color who are always put on a pedestal to get things right? 

CJ: My first bit of advice to those struggling with their mental health is always to invest in therapy. Finding a therapist that aligns with you and what you wish to achieve is invaluable and definitely a step in the right direction. However, if therapy isn’t an option for you right now, here are three things I remind myself to do when I’m feeling low.

1. Resist the urge to escape your heavy emotions with short-term solutions like drugs and alcohol. Feeling your feels is always better than burying them.

2. Invest in a self-help tool like The Self-Love Workbook by Everything She Is Co. that helps you work through what you're feeling and find ways to unravel it. 

3. Have grace and allow yourself time to figure it out. Not functioning at 100% can be frustrating but we aren't robots. Dealing with yourself with loving patience creates a space of safety within.

GT: What does self-care mean to you? How long did it take for you to truly understand the concept surrounding self-care? 

CJ: When I found myself at the lowest point of my life, I rewarded myself with “ideal” self-care practices such as bubble baths and IG quotes, but to no surprise, it didn’t help. I needed something that would fulfill me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and it wasn’t until I started to slow down and ask myself questions about who I wanted to be, that I understood how I should practice self-care. For example, for me, self-care can be as simple as being present and attentive. It doesn't matter if it’s during my nightly skincare routine or as I am washing the dishes, being present and in my body feels like a self-care practice to me. By allowing myself time to slow down and be in the moment, I give myself space to just be and not be anxious about the future. 

GT: Why is Everything She Is a gateway for bringing young Black women and girls together? It’s really like you’ve cultivated a self-haven for them, a sense of belonging and community. 

CJ: I wanted Everything She Is Co. to be a haven and gateway for bringing young Black women and girls together because embarking on your self-discovery journey can be intimidating. When I finally emerged from what was holding me back, I realized that I wasn’t the only one struggling with the transition into womanhood. The tools and resources provided are a way to let them know that they are not alone and feel a sense of belonging as they reaffirm and redefine who their authentic self is and how they want to show up in the world. 

GT: How do we start to build a home and relationship with ourselves? What does that look like to you? 

CJ: Building a home within yourself starts with intentional time with yourself. So much of our time is consumed with doing, whether it is work, school, socializing, etc. we have become accustomed to occupying all of our time instead of just being. When you carve out intentional time to be with yourself, no TV, no social media, not only do you become more familiar with your home frequency, you gain self-awareness. For me, self-awareness and quality time are the keys to my self-love.

Before you go don't forget to check out Everything She Is Co, and be sure to follow Candice on Instagram!