Candela has too many meanings in my life.
Since I was a kid, my grandma always said I was “candela”, referring to me as a “pain in the butt”. She used that term for many other things like for when something was in flames or even things that were “in” at the moment. She also used the term candela, when talking about politics or just to ask my grandpa to turn on the stove, she would yell at him "prende la candela!". Well to me, besides all these meanings, and I'm sure it has many many more, it means something else...
I gave birth to my first born when I was very young, 18 years old to be precise. When you are a kid you dream of getting married and having kids... well at least one of my dreams came true back then. I dreamed on having a baby boy and I did. My first born was a boy and he was born with only 32 weeks, yes, he was a preemie. It was hard, but I never gave up, I studied full time and took care of my newborn while taking care of myself. I was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Artritis right after giving birth. I love kids and to those who know me well, they know I really do! So, besides the obstacles I planned to have more kids eventually in the future. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree... SURPRISE! I found out that I was pregnant again! Since I was under so many treatments for my disease it was a risky pregnancy and needless to say, I lost my baby. I was so upset since I was already liking the idea of having another baby and this time I was hoping to have a girl.
The years passed by, a break up passed by and then, without looking for a relationship, I met my soulmate who is my husband nowadays. The way we met was awkward, even our first date! Our first date was at Chuck E. Cheese's! We both had kids that were the same age (18 days apart to be exact) they were 6 years old. So, we needed a place were we could have our romantic pizza lunch date without having two desperate kids at the table listening to our conversation and let me tell you... it worked! After a few months we moved in together (yes it was fast!) and always in our conversations we talked about having more kids in the future. I remember that we always disagreed in two things, the gender of the baby and the name. He wanted to have a boy and name him after his father, Luis, while I was convinced I wanted a girl and name her Candela. He looked at me terrified the first time I told him that name, but I kept firm and that was the name I wanted. I know deep inside, that after those conversations between us, he didn't want to have kids with me anymore just because of the fact that he knew I would name her Candela, but nothing was going to change my mind.
Few months after, in February 2007 to be exact, I found out I was pregnant, my baby was a New Year's baby! I went over to tell him the BIG news that I was pregnant and he looked at me with disbelief as he thought I was joking with him, so I left my pregnancy test in the bathroom since I knew he was about to take a shower and obviously he took a look at it and confirmed that what I told him earlier was true! Right after, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “I'm finally having my girl! My Candela!” He looked at me like it was another joke and turned around. Long story short, around mid April, I was 4 1/2 months pregnant and I had a car accident, it was bad and I was taken in ambulance to the nearest trauma hospital were there was no staff to take care of me, yes, you are reading right! All I can say is "Island Flow" either you adapt or you go crazy! So after a few hours my husband took me to another hospital and finally they had staff available to do an ultrasound and etc.. by then we didn't know the sex of the baby, so when we got into the ultrasound room, I was full of fear because I kept thinking if something might happen to the baby and another miscarriage was not contemplated. So, the technician starts performing the ultrasound and after a few minutes we could hear the heartbeat of the baby, I took a deep breath and the fear was gone! Suddenly, I started to fear again after she asked if we wanted to know the gender of the baby, I whisper "sure" and my husband loud enough said, with a smirk on his face, "I think I know the gender!", so he said “go ahead” to the technician. I didn't want to look, then she said "It's a BOY!” Oh, lord! I was upset and disappointed, my dream was crushed!! But, let me tell you, my boy TODAY is the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to our family! But, I couldn't help it in that moment!
A few weeks after, I realized it wasn't the end of the world and I could have another one!! Without knowing there wouldn’t be a next time. My pregnancy was high risk due to my disease. I was unable to take my prescriptions and it took a toll on me, so the Dr told me, “Di, no more kids, you are putting your life at risk.” So, after having my second boy, I got my tubes ligated... and with that, my dream of having my Candela was gone.
I’ve always been passionate about the beach, the sand, palm trees and piña colada. If I could, I would live in a bikini at the beach all year long... why not?! I lived in this wonderful and charming Caribbean Island named Puerto Rico, surrounded by beautiful beaches and white sands, the home were the piña colada was invented (Barra China). YES, I said I lived... when I was 7 months pregnant, my husband went to pursue his dream job and he moved from PR. Right after he moved, I was laid off from my job. My plans of having the baby in Puerto Rico and then move, were gone.. So I moved to FL sooner than expected. It was an adventure to find a Dr that would take a high risk pregnancy at 7 months, but thankfully, I did. With all of this, my idea of living at the beach in a bikini was getting further and further... I know Florida is tropical, but we couldn't afford to live near the beach. But, I wouldn't give up that easy, if I can't do it, why can’t I help others in some way to do it?? Then, my first thought of designing bikinis crossed my mind.
Many years after, here I am. A few months ago I started with my so called dream. I moved forward quickly without telling anyone... I had the name, the slogan, the domain, the host, the design, well... everything!! I waited until my husband was at work and I called him, and said to him, “finally we are going to have Candela!”, he was incredibly lost in the conversation, haha! Then I said to him, “don't panic, look at your text messages”, before calling him, I had sent the logo of the company to his messages. Then he started laughing, and I responded with all the excitement in the world...
“I finally have my baby!! My Candela!”
...and so this venture begun. My brand, my store, my baby Candela! I put my heart and all my love in everything I do and I hope all of you enjoy this brand as much as I do.
As we "Keep Beaching", I will be "Beaching With You".