Candice Luter is not your average home decor artist. She is a single mom, a self-taught designer, and a successful entrepreneur who has created a unique brand of wood and fiber art that has caught the attention of major retailers and customers across the country.
In this article, we will explore how Candice Luter started her journey as a hobbyist, how she overcame the challenges of being laid off during the pandemic, and how she grew her business with the help of her community and online platforms.
From Hobby to Business
Candice Luter has always had a passion for creating beautiful things. She started making furniture and decor from remnant scraps of wood and fabric in 2014, as a way to express herself and decorate her home. She sold her creations locally at farmers markets and online on Etsy, where she received positive feedback and encouragement from customers.
However, it was not until 2020 that Candice decided to turn her hobby into a full-time business. She was working as a sales manager for a furniture company when she was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of giving up, she saw this as an opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming an independent artist.
She launched her own website, Candice Luter Art + Interiors, where she showcases her original designs of custom furniture and home decor. She also expanded her product line to include commercial art and installations for hotels, restaurants, and offices.
Finding Her Niche and Style
Candice Luter’s work is inspired by her travels, family, and life experiences. She skillfully blends mid-century modern, art deco and minimalist styles to create stunning pieces that add texture, color, and personality to any space.
Her signature product is the Aria Svara, a wall hanging that features cascading ropes in various lengths and colors, mounted on a wooden plank. The name means “melody” in Sanskrit, and reflects Candice’s love for music and harmony.
Candice also creates other types of wood and fiber art, such as mirrors, headboards, shelves, tables, chairs, and lamps. She uses natural materials like cotton, jute, wool, leather, and wood, and dyes them with eco-friendly pigments. She often incorporates geometric shapes, fringes, tassels, knots, and braids to add dimension and movement to her designs.
Building Her Brand and Audience
Candice Luter’s talent and hard work have not gone unnoticed. She has won several awards and recognition for her artistry and entrepreneurship. She won Etsy’s 2021 Grand Prize Winner for the Design Awards, which celebrates the best of Etsy’s global community of sellers. She also has a line in West Elm’s Local Artist Collaboration, which features products from emerging artists across the country. She was featured in Target’s Black History Month collection in 2021, where she created exclusive designs that celebrate African American culture and heritage.
Candice has also built a loyal fan base on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and TikTok. She shares behind-the-scenes videos of her creative process, tips and tricks on how to style her products, and testimonials from happy customers. She also engages with her followers by answering their questions, thanking them for their support, and inviting them to join her online workshops.
Overcoming Challenges and Giving Back
Candice Luter’s success story is not without challenges. As a single mom of a teenage daughter, she has to balance her personal and professional responsibilities. She also faces the difficulties of running a small business in a competitive market. She has to manage inventory, shipping, marketing, accounting, customer service, and more.
However, Candice does not let these obstacles stop her from pursuing her passion. She has learned to delegate tasks to her team of 15 part-time employees who help her with production in her warehouse workspace in Hiawatha, Iowa. She has also invested in tools and equipment that improve the quality and efficiency of her work.
Moreover, Candice is grateful for the support she has received from her family, friends, mentors, customers, and fellow artists. She believes in giving back to her community by donating some of her profits to local charities that help single mothers and children in need. She also mentors aspiring artists who want to follow in her footsteps.
A Role Model for Single Mother Entrepreneurs
Candice Luter is more than just an artist. She is also a role model for single mother entrepreneurs who want to turn their passion into a profitable business. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 11 million single-parent households with children under 18 in 2019, of which 80 percent were headed by single mothers. Many of these single mothers face financial hardships, social stigma, and limited opportunities.
However, Candice Luter proves that it is possible to overcome these challenges and achieve success. She has shown that with creativity, determination, and resilience, single mothers can create their own opportunities and make a positive impact on their families and society.
Candice Luter’s motto is “Dream big, work hard, stay humble”. She hopes that her story will inspire others to follow their dreams and never give up.
Today we celebrate Candice and all her ‘sheroics’. You are such a talented and truly amazing lady. Keep pushing higher and higher and redefining what is possible. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
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