UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: CANDICE FIELDING


1. When did you start your clothing brand JudahChild Clothing?

l started JudahChild about more than 6 years ago.



2.What is the brand about? Who is your target group?


It’s basically comfort/streetwear. My inspiration came from my time as a dancer, I did hip hop and contemporary dance and the costumes add a lot to your performance and movement. It enhances your vibe so I really just wanted to design a brand for all kinds of people to feel cool and comfy all at once.



3. Was becoming a clothing designer always something you were interested in?


Yes. Very much. I’ve been designing since I was little. My mom was a machinist. So I learnt to sew my own Barbie clothes way back when, but when I was 6 I wanted to be a vet too lol. I did however apply for fashion at CPUT and in the middle of my interview I changed my mind and ended up doing graphic design because I needed to explore my artistic and creative ability more, but the interest in fashion was always there.



4. When was the first time you started designing?


The first time I started designing was the first day of school. My mom left me and I looked around and saw everyone crying. I wasn't impressed with the vibe so my teacher gave me some crayons. I drew a pic of me and my mom wearing boob tubes and mermaid skirts mine was orange and hers yellow. And then every free moment I had growing up I would fill my file with new designs and endless Matric ball dress designs.



5. You have the natural hair blog called ‘Boskop Republic’ as well. Tell us a bit about it.


I was basically trying to touch base with people with hair like mine. In a time, I was at an all-time low. I went through a very dark and depressed stage in my life. So, I quit my day job as a teacher and stayed home to sell my hand painted clothing to make some cash. This was also my escape from the challenges I was facing.


I made myself a tee shirt that said Boskop as some kind of stand up against discrimination and body shaming. It got such a great response that I started the fb page. I wanted to encourage more woman to just embrace their God given beauty in a time where young girls are going to extreme lengths to fit in to society’s ever-changing idea of beauty.


In my pursuit to creating a mentally, emotionally, and physically healthier woman, I shared some of my tips and views on having natural hair and the emotional and social effect it has on a woman. The blog became a brand and ran its own course with me just tagging along.





6. How did starting your own hair salon come about?

Because my advice worked and I knew about natural hair and its ins and out too well I couldn't keep up with all the queries. So, I decided to render a service to help. I wanted to have more of a one on one with the ladies. I can show better than I can tell. So, I started my little salon and I feel so excited every time a client leaves the chair feeling beautiful and informed.



7. Do you feel the pressure of how Coloured people are being treated in this country in the career paths that you have chosen?


I can't say I feel too much pressure as a coloured, but as a coloured woman it can be extremely challenging as we don't get taken seriously. I have to admit though that we very seldom get presented with the opportunity to apply for funding and mentorship in business. It’s always so hush. And when you watch these opportunities presented on TV shows you barely see coloureds.



I can't say I’ve made peace with being an underrated member
of society because of my race but I just won't allow race to limit me. But in terms of being a coloured woman that has been a challenge because the stereotypes attached to us cause much setbacks in business. Sadly, it comes from our own kind.



Coloured woman still need to break the sick social barrier that cause competitiveness with each other. Even though many have paved a path for us to work together there's still a great need for a paradigm shift in the coloured mind that thinks there's not enough place on the sun for us all.



8. In society today especially when it comes to appearances in the Brown communities, do you think you have become some kind of inspiration to Coloured people who look up to you?



I think so yes. I’ve gotten a lot of support from my community with my business even when I thought different. I’ve watched some of the girls I teach start to embrace themselves. I’m hoping that I am a beacon of light to woman everywhere. I’m by no means a role model but try to be the woman I needed when I was a little girl.



I try to keep it 100 as a coloured woman and won't compromise my roots for anything. If I’ve changed one life positively in my journey then I’d be happy to call myself an inspiration.



9. What other talents do you have?

I’m no longer a dancer but I'm still very active in choreography with our school art program. And believe it or not I can sing lol...I was part of a band nogal, but now it’s just preserved for the shower and Instagram videos.



I’m a fantastic cook! And find it extremely fun and cathartic. I can paint, draw, and somewhere in my head I think I can communicate with animals. This still needs to be tested on other animals that's not my own dog Shiloh.




What's next for Candice Fielding?

As for what's next I don't really know. Maybe a salon / boutique / coffeeshop or my own lifestyle show. With me you just never know. I’ve given my course over to my creator because his going to steer my life regardless of what I want. What I do know is I would like to broaden my influence and inspire as many women all over the world to truly, confidently and fiercely love themselves like a candle one lighting the other. If I can do that my job is complete.