We had the good fortune of connecting with Candace Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candace, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Right out of college, my career goals revolved around financial success and freedom. In addition to my corporate marketing roles, I was ambitious with a side hustle in graphic design to fulfill my creative energy. Somebody had to pay for all those Sunday Fundays! With my dad as an entrepreneur and business owner, I often dreamed about turning this contract work into a full-time business of my own. Once I became a mother, my desire to take on the role of business owner shifted focus. After several years on the grind, I felt like I was breaking – from mom guilt to pressure from bosses and coworkers, my own happiness was non-existent. I had to make a change. You know what they say, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. My goals took on a bigger purpose that still drives me today – mental health. I quit my steady income job with great benefits to take a chance on Big Bunny Creative, a branding and promotional agency. I put in the work to live a life with the freedom to put my son first and take care of myself in addition to growing as a businesswoman and a designer. I am proud to own a company that fuels my passion for marketing and allows me to grow without restrictions. My hope is to share this dream with others on the journey towards balance and peace in their careers as we expand in 2021!What should our readers know about your business?
Big Bunny Creative is a branding and marketing agency. We are passionate about growing strong brands through design consistency and brand awareness using our unique promotional product strategy. What makes Big Bunny different is our relationship-based approach to marketing combined with in-house professional graphic design capabilities. We do the footwork in building a network of quality vendors who supply the tangible aspects of marketing like print and promo materials. We establish relationships with them, keep current with trends and continuously incorporate new industry best practices into our business. We add value to our clients by providing design services, eliminating the step between idea and production – less room for errors and more room for creative solutions! Our design skill is an advantage because we can quickly turn edits and mockups and we can develop retail style artwork that stands out from basic “logo on a mug” promo. Most importantly, this ensures that all brand standards are being applied to outgoing designs. We protect the integrity of a brand as if it were our own. All of this guarantees that as our client, your branding stays fresh and your investment is maximized. We take the burden of maintaining your marketing so that you can focus on what you do best. Then, we enjoy watching your brand get stronger, grow and thrive! Getting Big Bunny Creative to this level of success was not something that happened over night. I went to school to learn marketing and design for 6 years, paid my dues in the industry for 8 years and continue to face new challenges as I transition from freelancer to full-time business owner. Here’s my advice to others going through similar situations: 1. You can get to the top without playing dirty. I am living proof. 2. Appreciate that you can learn something new every day. 3. Don’t compare yourself to others, success looks different for everyone – embrace what makes YOU feel at peace. While all of this may sound intense, marketing is my passion. I truly enjoy seeing my clients succeed. I love the community of creatives I have grown. I am proud to be able to pay my bills doing something that makes me happy with people who respect me. I am proud to be a role model for my son by showing him that hard work is rewarding, all while still being a cool mom. What I want others to know about my brand story is that it is built off of pure mom-boss fuel and a never, never quit mindset. I am passionate about encouraging other women in business to venture outside of their comfort zones and I enjoy supporting their small businesses. I am excited to have the opportunity of hiring some creatives in 2021 to build on this brand that is so special to me as I conquer my BIG brand goals!If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a typical Texan, my most fond memories in Houston revolve around good food, cold drinks and live music. You can find me at the Rodeo, in a pool or enjoying bottomless mimosas at brunch. As a creative, I live for the art scene with endless festivals, markets, shops and installations to take in. If you didn’t take your photo in front of a graffiti wall, were you even in Houston? I take my out-of-town guests to grab some fresh crawfish, famous BBQ or frozen margaritas before hitting up the historic Bayou for some city views, watching the Dynamos play soccer or a beer tasting at one of our incredible local breweries. A short drive to Galveston with a pit stop at the national treasure known as Buc-ee’s is always in the plan as well!The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Without a doubt, I dedicate my successes to my parents. Without their unwavering support, I would not be able to have the education, life lessons and encouragement that have allowed me to build such a strong foundation. My father is always a phone call away to advise and laugh at my endless questions about what the heck I am supposed to do in life and in business. He is so calm and guides me to focus on what will move me forward. My mother (and favorite babysitter) is there for me to vent to, get advice from and most importantly, drink wine with after a long day. My company’s namesake deserves a shout out as well. Our family cat, who we got on Easter morning when I was 3, was named Bunny. As an outdoor cat, he blazed his own trail and fought back against the neighborhood bullies (birds were his arch nemesis) all while still being the most lovable, BIG fluff ball one could wish for. He was a fearless survivor, surely using more than his allotted 9 lives and was well known in the community for his strong presence… and not looking for oncoming traffic. Bunny has since passed, but his memory lives on in this creative agency that strives to keep him proud by staying innovative, passionate, and lovable. I cannot forget to credit my business relationships, good and bad, that have taught me so much. I am thankful for those that have shown me the right way to do business and what a great leader looks like. I am also thankful for those who made me learn the hard way about appreciating my worth and not letting my kindness be confused as weakness. Life lesson: you will never regret being kind!