Candace Marie Stewart - Stepping Outside the Comforts of her Zone to Pursue her Dreams

Candace Marie Stewart, Creator of Marie Mag who lives by the mantra 'the best is yet come', has worked with some of the major news and media houses in the fashion industry such as Vogue, Essence, Lucky Magazine and now People Magazine. Candace who is determined to make her mark is a tenacious and passionate 20-something-year-old, who knows the value of stepping outside of her comfort zone to get what her she wants.

Here, Candace talks about her personal journey to pursue her dreams in editorial and fashion, valuable lessons learned, stepping outside of her comfort zone, how each experience has built her character and how she stays focused.

You have been transparent about your personal journey in pursuing your dreams in fashion and editorial, how has that experience been and what would you describe as your challenging moment?

Being transparent has been very therapeutic. Things I kept bottled up inside and thought that people would have a hard time comprehending; I was able to let all of that go.  The challenging part was initially being vulnerable, however, the great part was that I found out that there were many other people that could relate to my story and were so supporting.

One of the most profound messages you have shared about your pursuing your dreams was about 'leaving the comforts of your zone', how exciting yet frightening was that experience for you to leave home and move to totally different state to pursue your dreams?

My best friend and I used to visit New York during the summer, so I knew already that this was the place for me so it wasn’t as frightening.  But I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone without knowing anyone or exactly how I was going to make things work but I had faith that it would work out.

You have worked with some of the major news and media companies in fashion, how has each of those experiences built you into being the woman you are today?

I have learned from each experience the importance of hard work and persistence.Being lazy will never get you far.  Even if you work hard without being persistent you will never see any rewards of your labor.

What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned about 'stepping outside of your comfort zone'?

The most valuable lesson I have learned is that you never know until you try.

Tips for women trying to break into the fashion industry

Believe in yourself and have faith.  Don’t give up.  If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

What has been the best advice you have ever received, that always stay forefront of your mind?

Hard work pays off.

The journey to success can be quite distracting and daunting at times, how do you stay focused and motivated?  

I surround myself with like-minded people.  I need someone that is going to uplift me when I feel defeated not someone who is going to just agree with me. I need people who build up my character and are able to tell me the truth no matter what.

See Candace's awe-inspiring video about her personal journey

Congratulations are also in order for Candace who recently won My Life in Vogue contest - which featured a number of brilliant women who shares a bit of their lives and the truth of their realities.