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BravoTV.com: Are your mom and Chris close? How does he feel about her popping up at the condo?
Candiace Dillard: They say you kiss a few frogs before you find “THE One.” I feel like (for the most part…we all make mistakes, chyle) my dating choices have been pretty stellar if you line them all up and have a gander. For some reason, though, my mom has had a side eye, a scowl, or a palm tree of shade for EVERY man/boy I’ve ever dated. She was always nice and polite and respectful and made them feel welcome in our home (IF they made it that far) but there was always this light cloud of doubt hanging over the poor chap and I never understood why. I remember one year, I spent a whole Christmas at home in Atlanta with an old boyfriend; we had opened gifts, he had helped us cook, keekee’d with the whole family and all. My mom put on a good show! But as soon as he left she hits me with “Mmm…I don’t know Candiace, I think you should date other people. I just don’t feel like he’s the one.” Girl, what?? You’ve been smiling all up in this boy’s face! You made him breakfast! You gave him a Christmas gift! I’ve been with him forever! Now you want to pop up with your predictions? At various points in my few long-term relationships, she would pop in with her unwarranted, untimely opinion and drop the bomb: “He’s not the one.” And as for as much as I will never say it to her face, that lady was right. Lol. Chris was the first man I ever dated or talked about that she full on said she liked. Even when I told her he was divorced with children her response was “Well, that’s very common. People get divorced.” Wow. Now, they’re regular buddies whose favorite pastime is ganging up on me: I’m a diva, my mouth is too smart, I need to do this, I need to do that. Chris usually backs me up eventually but they just love to rain on my parades of fabulousness with their commentary! I see the soft spot my mom has for Chris. She loves and respects him. She has accepted him into our family and I am grateful because she’s not an easy one to crack. She even defends him against me! It’s crazy.
Chris has always been all about family. He comes from a big blended family himself and understands the dynamic (something that I knew made him right for me) that comes along with that. He doesn’t mind her popping up at any and all the times. It’s usually ME that’s rolling my eyes.
BravoTV.com: How did you decide to start a business with your sister? Has your mom taken a step back since then?
CD: Prima Hair Collection has always been a business that belongs to the three of us: myself, my sister and my mom. I can remember growing up and not ever wanting to be an entrepreneur. When my mom was starting her practice, she hired me to work in the front office and I witness firsthand how hard it was. I saw all of the challenges of managing staff, juggling multiple budgets, licenses, insurance, keeping patients happy, meeting with all of the reps that would stop by for face time with her at a moments notice. My stepdad, Ronnie was starting his practice around the same time and they actually shared an office space so I got to see how he ran an endocrinology practice at the same time. My mom was a machine. At any given time, she had her practice, a dress boutique, flipped houses and still kept our family in line, fed and clothed. People would ask me if I wanted to have my own business one day and my reply was always, "Heck no!" because I saw how arduous it was.
HOWEVER, what’s in the blood is in the blood and I eventually couldn’t deny my sheer love of the challenge and the rush of adrenaline as well as the pure satisfaction I got from being my own boss, making my own mistakes, putting out my own fires and ascending to the ever-evolving plateau of girl bossdom that is entrepreneurship. Prima Hair Collection is all of that for me. It’s like my little child that grew from a mustard seed into this evolving business that I am so proud of. When I realized my calling was to empower women, the idea of a hair line excited me because I knew I could use it to help women create a space and a lane for their own individual standard of beauty. Throughout the entire “birthing” process I kept going back to that idea: I want Prima to be about celebrating women and lovers of the beauty industry by their own measure. For so many women, our hair is our glory (thank you Maya Angelou!). I wanted to perpetuate the idea that there is no ONE way to be beautiful and bottle that up in a package of superior quality, well-priced, diversified hair extensions for the modern and classic purveyor of glamorous hair. Coming from the pageant industry didn’t hurt either. You go through SO MANY hair extensions from wefted hair to clip ins to halo’s and everything in between. Like kissing frogs to find a prince, I “kissed” a lot of froggy hair in my pageant hay day, girl! Those experiences showed me what I wanted in the right kind of hair extensions and as a result, Prima Hair Collection is trusted by many state and national pageants to provide hair extensions to their delegates and titleholders.
It has been a long journey and working with my mom and sister has made it sweeter (and bitter at times because, girl…). Working with your family enriches the pot in entrepreneurial success because you’re climbing to the top with people you trust. Having my mom not only as our initial investor but as a mentor and supporter has been invaluable. While my sister and I do neeeeeeeeeed for her to step back and trust our judgment and acumen, I will still always need her support and input. She is definitely loosening the rope as time moves forward but I don’t expect her to ever be far away… hovering… lurking… bossing me into a corner… #fixitJesus
CD: I tell you…I try to reserve judgment on some of these ladies (especially the ones I have yet to meet) but y’all make it hard! This Karen/Gizelle lunch moment has me a’squinting and a’pursing my lips in doubt. I maintain that Gizelle’s t-shirt was too premeditated and thirst-ridden for my soul to bear. I’m surprised at Gizelle’s apology to Karen as she doesn’t strike me as one who grows much humility in her garden but the Lord provides miracles. Watching her apologize to Karen was like watching Sherman eat that strawberry: a feat of struggle-bus proportions. Like pulling teeth… or combing through a bad wig: ’tis all painful. I don’t know if one can really even call it an apology. It’s more like a "meh" ‘pology. Just real regular and haphazard-like.
I feel like the only thing holding this "friendship" together is the twelve-year history. Anything less and if I were Karen, I would have had profane words with Gizelle and dumped her and her wig at the nearest corner.
BravoTV.com: What is your take on this ladies’ luncheon, and Robyn Dixon’s clash with Ashley Darby and Monique Samuels?
CD: Y’all just can’t get right! Kudos to Gizelle for pulling out her First Lady hat for the congregation. The saints and ain’t’s are here for it I am sure! The ladies were really eating on this day! Hollering and carrying on with FULL mouths. Whilst we are on the subject of full, let me say that I am fully finished with Ashley’s bullying moment. I’m not mad at Robyn at all for giving Ashley a whole mouth of salmon croquet's, fork jabs and screams. Girl!!! Just let Robyn ‘lone! Ashley’s meddling is unbecoming and tired, to say the least. You don’t know this woman. You don’t know her situation and furthermore, you have too much time and energy to pay mind to her trials and tribulations when your whole house is in disarray. Just clutch your own pearls girl! They are yet rolling all over the floor. It feels almost like a coping mechanism. Focus on someone else’s issues, project your coo-coo onto another woman and then you don’t have to deal with what’s happening in your house. It’s very disheartening.
I am yet screaming at this book reading!! I can’t half listen to the plot of this tale whilst this girl stumbles and trips over all these words. No audiobooks for Gizelle. You read it here first.
As for Robyn and Monique, I’m ready for them to both go to bed. I am WEARY just listening to this exchange. They both have valid points: now that I know about Monique’s apology to Robyn and Juan for being a mean girl, I can see why Robyn is wary of Monique. Just as Robyn is getting settled in with Mo’s apology, here comes another (minute) hit with this stupid meme. Plus, I see why Monique is trivializing the whole thing: because being mad about a meme is STUPID. My empathy for Robyn runs dry, though, because she has ridiculed Karen with the same tired bullying that she complains about from Monique. I don’t even have the energy to talk about it anymore. The horse is dead. Get over it. Good night.