Usually, I have a good idea of what direction I want to go when I begin my blog. But, as I sit here struggling to organize the enormity of my subject, it has become apparent to me that this blog will be anything but usual . For you see, it's subject, Candace Vanderhoff, is anything but USUAL!! In fact, I am certain that a single blog could never scratch the surface of what she's created in the last ten years, since I've met her. But, I'm hoping after you read it, that you'll come away with as much inspiration and admiration for what she does for her community and the world, as I do, every time, I meet with her!
I met Candy ten years ago, when I attended a meeting in her garage office. The meeting was about planting an edible landscape in Balboa Park. That edible landscape never happened but Candy and I became fast friends.
When I met Candy, she was building clay pizza ovens at elementary schools and clay benches in community parks. Of course, that wasn't all she was creating. I would quickly learn that she is always creating something and always has a list of future programs, prototypes and causes to conquer! All of her efforts are to save our earth from drought, hunger, or simply from ourselves!
Before I get too far into our story, here's a brief and certainly not all inclusive bio: Candy hails from Michigan and first worked in field of economic development, where she started a workers cooperative and a micro-lending program. But, Detroit Michigan was just too small for a lady like Candy, who longs to learn about other cultures in other lands.
It was that yearning to learn about the world that led Candy to travel to India to study women's credit unions and worker co-ops; to Australia and New Zealand to work as a research fellow studying indigenous architecture; to Micronesia, where she taught at the Pohnpei Agriculture & Trade School and the Community College of Micronesia.
But as I said before, Candy is never doing just one thing! And she's always teaching something to someone! The list of educational programs and projects that she's created include: Habitat Heroes- native plant restoration, The Village Design Project, Schoolyard Pizza Oven, the Poetry Bench by Design/Build Women, founding Board member of the Natural Building Network.
Among her many other credentials, Candy has a Master's Degree in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and holds three Permaculture certificates (EarthFlow Design, Midwest permaculture and Center for BioRegional Living). She also is a licensed architect and a self proclaimed "social entrepreneur".
In 2009, Candy founded a successful water harvesting business, RainThanks & Greywater, Cyberhuts, LLC. Her business has grown since then and she now also designs regenerative landscapes, including native, edible and water harvesting gardens. During that same year, she also founded Las Casitas, a non-profit organization founded to teach migrant workers to build superadobe huts in canyons where they live.
While Candy created her new companies, we sporadically collaborated on projects. More importantly, Candy remained my staunchest supporter and even believed in me, when I found it difficult to believe in myself. She routinely would draw diagrams of how I could make my dreams come true and fulfill my life's purpose.
Six months ago, Candy hired me (Your Product Hub) to promote her newest product, the SoloBee Native Bee Shelter. The SoloBee was one of the products that she created for an Entrepreneur School, which she recently had attended. In fact, she had created a whole new company called Kaping. Kaping is named after one of the most beautiful places on Earth(according to Candy), the Kapingamarangi atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia, where she lived during her travels in Micronesia. After living on that fragile central Pacific island, a tiny microcosm of her beloved Earth, she made a commitment that she would use her skills and passion to create a better world. She has indeed done just that and gratefully she has included me in that journey to make the world a better place!.
To find out about how she's saving the Earth, by saving the native bees, please visit her website. And, more importantly I hope that she has inspired YOU to go out and do something to make your world, your life and the lives around you a better place! You can bet that's exactly what I plan to do!