It’s time for our Women Wednesday Spotlight to commence once again. To welcome back everyone, we thought we’d talk about the woman who started it all: Candace Chen, the Founder and CEO of Pink Matter!
Candace had a goal to use globalization as a means to bring positive and amazing things from one country to another. It all started after she moved from Taiwan to the U.S., where she had fallen in love with Mountain Dew (which she didn’t have in Taiwan) and decided to pursue a career at PepsiCo. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in International Business and Marketing, she achieved her goal and began working at PepsiCo as an operations manager. Candace learned how to lead a team and gained so much knowledge in the industry; however she realized she wasn’t happy in her role and decided to pursue a company of her own.
So, Candace decided to: take a year off, travel the world, and discover things we can’t find here in the U.S., one of which was dragon fruit (or pitaya). She describes it as “a beautiful superfruit, full of health benefits. AND IT’S PINK!” That was it for her. Candace wanted to use dragon fruit to create beautiful CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) products, that were also healthy and pink! That was her #GirlBoss moment and started the company when she came back to the states. Candace’s goal was to make dragon fruit drinks available for everyone, and now, continues to support other woman owned businesses.
Although starting your own company is amazing there’s struggles through any start-up journey. Candace was putting in everything into the company and didn’t even pay herself. Her savings started to diminish and she ended up having to pick up side jobs, such as marketing consulting, in order to pay the bills while building Pink Matter.
Candace is strong (obviously) but every Girl Boss has her own lady leaders to look up to. One being the original #GirlBoss, Sophia Amoruso, Co-Founder and CEO of Girlboss. Her other inspiration is Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx. Both of these women are extremely brave and not afraid of failure, inspiring Candace to continue through the journey of owning her own business and their journeys being constant reminders to keep Candace’s head up.
When asked what’s the quote to live by, Candace responded with “‘Support Your Local Girl Gang,’ of course!” which can be found in all aspects of Pink Matter, including on display at our Galentine's Day event.
A huge takeaway Candace wants all of you to know from her journey, and a piece of advice for all of you aspiring girl bosses, is to try your best to pursue your dreams. If you want something badly, don’t be afraid to use every single resource you have to get it. Don’t be afraid of rejections and failures. There is nothing worse than not trying and living life with regrets.