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Seven years ago, Dulce Candy Ruiz was a military woman creating her very first YouTube video in hopes of making friends to talk makeup and fashion with. Today, the 28-year-old Dulce Candy has become one of the most influential beauty vloggers on the planet. With close to two million YouTube subscribers worldwide, thousands of young women view her videos daily seeking tips, inspiration, and above all, a way to connect with their idol. This month, her fans got a chance to take a step further into Dulce's life with the release of her first book, "The Sweet Life."
We caught up with Dulce before she set out on "The Sweet Life" book tour and got a chance to learn a little more about the book, how her culture has influenced her career, and what it's like to be an entrepreneur mom.
Q: Congrats on the book! Tell me a little about what it's about and why you chose to write a book now.
Dulce Candy: Thank you! The book is an inspirational book for the first half and for the second half, I kind of dive into more things that I've learned along the way that helped me build my brand. Also, some beauty tips and some fashion tips. I'm really proud of this book because I was able to dive within myself and learn a lot of life lessons, and share them with young adults. I hope that they can get something good out of this because it's really just about finding your passion and how to turn that into something that you can do for the rest of your life.
Q: Your story is incredible. You were in the military and you were a mechanic, so you started beauty vlogging for fun. At what point did you realize you could make it a business?
Dulce Candy: When everything started, honestly, it was just a hobby. It was a way for me to connect with other girls who wanted to talk about makeup and fashion. Also, it was a way for me to have girlfriends because in the military, most of the people I worked with were guys, so none of them wanted to have conversations about things that had to do with makeup. But I realized that this was more than just a hobby when I started to make a great living from doing it, from doing what I love. It probably happened about three years ago, and I see myself as a business now; as a brand. It's been great just doing what I love. That's everyone's dream.
Q: You have to love it, you are so busy! You are a video blogger, a writer, a mom, a wife, I get tired just thinking of it! What is one thing you do for yourself to hit the reset button?
Dulce Candy: I have two things: I go see my family — I go to my mom's house and don't talk about work, I just want to be with my sisters. That totally resets me and puts me in a better mood. Or, if I can't go see them, I love to go hiking or walk. Just a walk around my neighborhood, just be with nature and air, it's so soothing for me.
Q: When you were expecting your son, you shared your pregnancy and birth experience via your vlogs. In fact, "I am a Mommy" is one of the first things I read on your site. How has motherhood impacted your career?
Dulce Candy: I feel like I like to keep things to myself a little more. I don't express every single feeling or expose my family so much anymore. I value my family more than anything in this world; they are No. 1. I tried to do, you know, baby vlogging, and blog about my life as a mom and a wife, and I realized a lot of people criticize you and that was negative, unwanted energy for me. I don't have to show everyone every little detail about my life because it's sacred.
Q: You've spoken about how your family came across the border from Mexico when you were a child. That part of your story is so similar to many young Latinos and many Latino families today in the U.S. How has your culture impacted you?
Dulce Candy: Well, you know, I realized how hard my parents had it. My parents, they came to the United States for a better life for us. My dad had a really good job as a banker, making decent money, they had a nice house in Mexico, and they left that all behind to come to the U.S. and work from 5 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m., working really, really hard in the fields so that we could have the American dream. So, I never want to disappoint my parents. I always try to push myself to make sure that all the hard work that they have done is worth it. I think, to them it's always going to be worth it just for us to be happy, but I never want to disappoint my parents.
Q: What's been your biggest struggle in becoming an entrepreneur and a working mom?
Dulce Candy: I guess finding balance! I love spending time with my family and sometimes I commit myself to too much work and it becomes overwhelming. And then I'm not happy because I'm not spending time with my family. So the biggest struggle for me has been trying to adjust to that and realizing that you do have to breathe a little bit to be successful.
Q: Success is paying off, your fans love you! The majority of your audience seems to be young women, who truly adore you. What message do you want to get across to your fans, either by reading your book or watching your vlogs?
Dulce Candy: I think we definitely have a connection. I think it's because they see themselves in me, they can relate to me a lot, like not having a lot or being a Hispanic-American or seeing past their current situation, and I think they see hope. They see hope because they can relate to me, and here I am with a book! ... If you had told me [back then] that I would have a book and I would be a beauty and fashion influencer, [I wouldn't have believed it] because I didn't see past my situation. We all have a different path, and we can't compare ourselves to other people or expect things to come right when we want them, you have to have faith and just keep working hard every single day for that dream. Everything comes when it's supposed to come.