Finding Your Voice with Content Creator, Candace Molatore - rachelleslie.co

Finding Your Voice with Content Creator, Candace Molatore

It’s no secret that spending time online isn’t always the best for our mental health. But what if it’s your career as a content creator? 

For our latest in our Beyond the Brand interview series, we got the opportunity to chat with Candace Molatore, the content creator behind @hey.candace. We talked about building an online presence and the challenges and opportunities that come with it. 

We’re so grateful for Candace’s vulnerability and transparency and are so inspired by her and what she’s creating. You can dive in and read her interview below.

1. I’m soooo excited to chat with you in this capacity! For those who don’t know you, tell me a bit about who you are and what you do?

Of course! My name is Candace Molatore, and I work in the digital marketing space, social media, photography/content creation, branding and the like. I’ve worked in this space for the last 7 years or so.

2. We’re suckers for stories here in the studio. Can you share a bit about your path as a content creator and @hey.candace?

It’s a bit of a windy road. Essentially, it all started with a passion for photography when I was really into Tumblr after high school and loved the unique images I’d see on there. I wanted to know how to create content like that and after getting a camera, I explored many different types of photography and editing styles.

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Getting really into concert photography it led to a bit of journalism and story-telling and I would share a lot of that work on Instagram. Eventually, I began showing more of my face on my Instagram page and people seemed to love that! I gave more and more insight into who I am and what I stand for until it evolved into what my page is today.

3. We all know how isolating working for yourself and building a business can be. How have you found support and community (near and far) as you’ve built your brand?

I’ve found the most support in fellow creatives who know exactly what our line of work really entails and we can be creative and bounce ideas off of each other. I also get a lot of support from my friends who don’t work in this industry at all, they help me take much-needed breaks away from the phone and the Internet because there’s still so much life happening outside of it all.

4.  You’ve been really open about your mental health on your platform. Was that something you ever hesitated in sharing or did it come up naturally?

It’s definitely a sensitive subject and one I debated on sharing and still hold back a bit on oversharing. However, it feels really important to me and appropriate given the current state of the world. I think we’re all feeling pangs of anxiety or depression, some of us for the first time, and while we navigate those feelings it helps to know that we aren’t alone.

5. Jumping off of that, social media doesn’t have the best reputation for being a positive thing for our mental health. How do you manage the stress and pressures that come with being a public-facing person and social media being your chosen career?

It can sometimes be really hard. Social media has opened up my world in a way I couldn’t have imagined. It’s given me a career, it’s helped me connect with different people all over the world, it’s encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone physically with things like travel and mentally with how I feel I’ve grown. But I don’t want to sugarcoat things and pretend that it’s perfect either. 

There are days when you just don’t feel like sharing or there are times when others’ negativity impacts you more than you’d like. I think the important thing to remember is that boundaries are essential for longevity online. I’m becoming less afraid to take breaks online, I’m also mindful of how much mindless scrolling I’m doing vs. using my time online to connect or spread something positive. It’s all about awareness for me right now.

6. In so many ways you are your brand. Can you share a bit more about how you deal with that and what the benefits and challenges can be to building a personal brand?

Similarly to the last question, it becomes hard to separate yourself and your feelings from the online world when so much of you is wrapped up in it—but boundaries are crucial. I love that my community feels connected to me in different ways and comes to me for advice or to share parts of their lives as well. I do try and make it clear what I do and do not feel comfortable sharing at different times, I’m lucky to have a community that really respects that.

7. Okay I know we just got down to the nitty gritty, but what about the good stuff? What are your favorite parts of the work you do, what’s on your “highlight reel?”

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I love love love creating. I love making content that feels fun or important to people and it becomes even more fun when I get to work with brands I love. Getting to do stuff with Google or Doc Martens is incredible! It’s something I never take for granted and hope I get to continue in the new year and beyond. I also love the travel aspect, the flexibility of my job allows me to take fun trips or even work with travel companies to show different experiences and adventures. Those are definitely my favorite kind of partnerships!

8. Here at the studio, we’re passionate about working with mission-driven and purpose-focused brands. You’ve been vocal on your platform about causes and topics that are important to you, can you share more about the “why” and mission behind that advocacy?

“I think in this day and age if you’re a creator online and you’re not also showing what you truly value in this life, you’re sort of missing an important piece of your content.”

It’s all about values….That’s not to say if you posted food content that you have to become a full-blown activist online. I think it’s hard to talk about food or fashion online these days without also educating yourself and being transparent with your community about food disparity or the overconsumption of clothes. I think communicating with your community that you are aware of the full experience that comes with your content niche only shows how much more of a resource you can be to people and builds trust between the creator and their audience.

9. What’s coming down the pipeline for you? What should we be keeping an eye out for?

So I’m really excited to announce that I’m diving into being a content creator full-time this year! My hope is that with more focus on this, I can develop even more as a creator and explore different avenues and platforms to grow on! I’m especially excited to do more video content this year—so keep an eye out for me on Tiktok!

10. We’d love to know, how do you stay inspired and creative in your business? If you have any book or music playlists, we’re all ears!

I make some fun creative Spotify playlists to convey different moods. I’m always listening to music so that’s a big one for me! I also love Podcasts like Armchair Expert and How I Built This!

11. Lastly, let us know where we can find you and stay connected!

Yes! I’m most active on Instagram and TikTok these days. You can find me @hey.candace on both platforms.

To read more of our Beyond The Brand Series guests, check out last month’s interviewee, Bree McCool, owner of The Artful Archive.

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