By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
CHARLTONEIA Deal describes herself as an entrepreneur, avid traveler, and lover of fashion. She is also a passionate advocate for women empowerment and the advancement of women’s rights.
“I love to see women embracing their femininity, living lavishly and indulging in luxurious self-care rituals,” said Ms Deal.
Through her CandiLand brand, an online lingerie lifestyle company, her goal is to celebrate the modern woman in all of her multi-faceted glory. It is her desire to inspire women to unapologetically honour their femininity, boldness, and sensuality, while also promoting a culture of self-care and sisterhood. The brand is founded on the premise that every woman is deserving of a life that is as sweet as candy, she said, which will mean different things for different women.
“We want women to believe in themselves and be confident in knowing that the life they desire is attainable and they are deserving of it. For so long, women have been placed in boxes, defined and limited to only being one version of self when in fact we are extremely multi-faceted beings. We want women to know that it is OK to be sensual, exude femininity, and remain intact and strong. You can be delicate and soft but still be bold and powerful. You don't have to choose, because all of these versions of self can exist in one woman,” said Ms Deal.
She believes women are often afraid to own their sensuality and scared of celebrating body positivity for various reasons, but more often than not, it’s because of low self-esteem.
“In order to increase self-esteem and body positivity awareness among women, we incorporated positive affirmations into our brand and promote a lifestyle that involves self-care, because beauty and confidence starts from within and then transcends outward,” said Ms Deal.
“We want a woman when she wears lingerie from CandiLand Online to feel empowered, sexy, luxurious, and exuding confidence all the time, regardless of her age, profession, body size and type. It’s OK to be a 40-year-old mom of three and still want to feel sexy. It's OK to be a well-respected attorney or CEO of a bank and still want to feel sexy. It's OK to have love handles or back rolls and still love the skin you're in and feel sexy,” she said.
Ms Deal said what makes her brand unique is that it is it's own fashion and lifestyle brand within its own rights, and not a reseller of other lingerie brands. Everything purchased from CandiLand is labelled CandiLand Online. They are 100 percent Bahamian owned, and from the very beginning were adamant that providing opportunities for other Bahamians, be in graphic design for advertising and marketing, in modeling to showcase the merchandise, or in photography to create an online catalogue of the lingerie pieces.
“CandiLand Online was founded during the pandemic and opened for business December 1, 2020. As a young woman I feel honoured and extremely blessed to be able to open and operate a business during this time. It is my desire to inspire women who are afraid or hesitant about taking the next step to follow their dreams to just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? Mistakes will be made, and some days will really suck, but every day is a learning process and opportunity to grow and strategise on how to be better the next day. The gratification received from pursuing your passions and growing your business will be worth it,” she said.
Ms Deal said she is really inspired by international brands like SavageXFenty and Love,Vera, which are both owned and operated by Black women and currently dominating the industry. These brands serve as inspiration and daily reminder to her that the potential of CandiLand Online is unlimited. It is her hope that she will one day be afforded the opportunity to compete with other brands on a global scale.
CandiLand Online can be found on Facebook and Instagram, and on their official website, candilandonline.com.