A bold designer, Ang frequently uses fabric and hand-sewn details to craft her signature statement necklaces. Her work has appeared in the pages of W, InStyle, and Teen Vogue, and she recently collaborated with Urban Outfitters to create a diffusion line called SuperCandy.
The Fashion Spot: Was there ever a point in your life when you were struggling in your career where you had the opportunity to do another job that was more stabile and safe, but you decided to stick with your passion? What made you stay with it?
Candace Ang: Absolutely! I had just graduated from Parsons School of Design here in New York City and was freelancing at several different design houses, deciding which permanent job to take full-time. I had always planned to have my own company, so the question was – how long would I work for someone else and what benefits would I gain?
Of course I wanted to learn as much as possible, but in the end, I decided there was no time better than the present to do what I really wanted to do. While I was working three jobs, I took what little extra money I had to make a small collection, and shopped it around to showrooms and boutiques. In less than three months I was signed to a showroom in Los Angeles and was selling all over LA and NYC!
By the late spring of that year I quit my jobs and took the plunge 100%. Of course it was difficult, and in making the choice to start my own business I had to leave NYC and move to LA in order to have the space and money to really do it right. However, if you are doing the thing you truly love, you will sacrifice anything for it.
Four years after leaving, I signed a lease on a huge new apartment with a work studio back in NYC, and my company is at a point where I can take it anywhere I want it to. Being true to my dream and staying focused on it has made me happier and more satisfied than playing it safe and working for someone for the last four years and just starting my company now would have. I am really happy I followed my heart!
tFS: Was there a defining moment when you knew this career is what you had to do with your life?
CA: I guess there was no defining moment for me. I have always loved making things with my hands, whether it be art, clothing, or jewelry. Jewelry was just something that I always loved. I love looking at it, wearing it, and seeing how it’s made. Jewelry has somehow come very easily to me. Business is equally fascinating, and I enjoy analyzing all the processes involved in running a company, so when I was old enough to think about making money and getting a job I figured – what can I do? Well I can make these things and people seem to like them, so why don’t I turn that into a career?
tFS: Was there a time in your life where you felt like you accomplished what you have sought out to succeed? When was it, and how has this changed your perspective on your future career goals?
CA: There are moments when you get excited about something you did. Getting your line into a high-end department store, or seeing it in an international magazine is always a general barometer of success. For me though, those things always just lead to higher goals. There is always a new season, a new collection, new stores – that’s just the cycle of fashion. Real success is the process of continual growth and satisfaction in what you do on a daily basis. Sometimes, it just feels good when your mom says, “Oh, I really like that necklace you made.” It’s the little things that count.
See more of Candace’s work.