Grab a pen and take notes!
Need help navigating today’s new media as a writer? Southern Styles & Steeds has become a digital gateway that fuses southern style and tech by way of country gal, Candace Dantes in McDonough, Georgia. She’s snatched great interviews and a built a space where she wants to encourage the next generation. Did we mention she’s KAYCUTE! Her boots and western style is memorable and timeless. Guess we can call her a real O-G! It’s been a 5-year and well worth it journey for this award-winning journalist. Grab a pen and take notes! Meet the Queen of Media in the South!
What inspired you to start your business and why?:
I've been a professional journalist for more than a decade now. Telling engaging, educational stories that motivate readers to take some sort of positive action has been in the fabric of my creative writing soul since high school. Throughout my editorial career, I started to realize friends, colleagues and sources were increasingly interested in my lifestyle as a fourth-generation farm girl, especially since my physical appearance doesn't match societal norms concerning the American West or rural living. This curiosity became the impetus for me to develop an online space that shares my country Western world growing up as a Georgia-based cowgirl. Also, knowing there are a lack of mentors in my neck of the woods for African-American girls who aspire to become journalists, editors and digital content creators, my site is a platform to help them navigate today's new media arena as a 21st-century writer. Since my site's inception five years ago, Southern Styles & Steeds has become my digital gateway to collaborate with influential individuals and international brands both home and abroad as well.
What does your company stand for?:
Southern Styles & Steeds stands for diversity and inclusion within the American West and print/digital media. It purposefully interjects the American-American experience and black beauty back into what country Western traditionally reflects in mainstream media. African-Americans have and always will contribute to Southern, country Western and rural culture. I grew up horseback riding, cultivating the land and participating in national rodeos with my family, so it's important for me to continue to celebrate and bring awareness about African-Americans' place inside this particular genre and throughout history.
How do you create the life you want?:
I'm an award-winning journalist, internationally published brand blogger and creative writer. It's apparent: I love to write. Because of my affinity for the traditional and digital pen, I've carved this creative niche online that reflects my personal life as a cowgirl. Simply by sharing my background and current lifestyle as a professional journalist and lifelong farm girl through storytelling, I've opened international doors to travel virtually and physically to places I would have never imagined. The stories I research, report on and write about are genuine, informative and life-changing. Because I enjoy creating valuable content, I'm able to merge my everyday life into my profession.
Where do you find inspiration?:
Most of my inspiration comes from my family farm, which is utterly breathtaking in Middle Georgia. I pull from coming-of-age memories from the farm, along with lessons learned from watching my country-loving grandparents/parents, working as a community newspaper reporter and spearheading national campaigns and projects as an editor in higher education. I often interview some of Small Town USA's most interesting residents, so they too give me more than enough incentive to craft thought-provoking content.
How has your business made you a better person?:
I'm bolder with sharing my experiences as an African-American woman in media and Southern cowgirl. Producing relevant content and earning once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to collaborate with big brands has invigorated me to pass down my knowledge to the next generation of African-American storytellers and those who have similar backwoods backgrounds as mine. Southern Styles & Steeds has become an awesome launch pad to make connections in unconventional areas and take risks in my writing. I've successfully turned these risks into money-making opportunities that others can incorporate into their editorial journey.
What makes you HUMAN?:
Once I'm on the family farm, that's as human as Cowgirl Candace can get. Wandering the land, breathing in nature and bonding with our horses puts me at peace. I always think clearer and more creatively when I'm roaming the countryside. It also reminds me of all the simple yet magnificent gifts God gave us.
Social Media Handles: @southernstylesandsteeds