If there is one thing Candice D’Acre has no shortage of, it’s ideas.
The young Hastings mum of two was recently awarded the Eastern Institute of Technology’s (EIT), School of Business, Sir James Wattie Scholarship.
The scholarship worth $15,000 was offered by Ryman Healthcare, in honour of visionary Hawke’s Bay entrepreneur Sir James Wattie.
It hasn’t been an easy road to success and Candice credits her husband Richard and her extended whanau for the support she has had during her studies.
“I didn’t think I would get it. I was thinking about my life and how hard it was to get here and all the sacrifices everyone else had made as well.
“I can rely on people now, but not so much when I was a teenager. Studying has helped me to learn to lean on people for help when it’s needed.”
“It was very emotional when I thought about how this would change our lives. It will take a weight off us, and it has given me the external validation that I need. It’s shown me I can achieve. I know that, but it’s nice to hear it.”
Born in Hastings, young Candice (Ngāti Porou) moved to Auckland when she was four years old. They moved around a great deal, so it was difficult to establish long term friendships, but Candice attributes this part of her life to her developing a strong independence.
Determination to succeed has always been of utmost importance for Candice and her commitment to become the first in her family to complete High School was achieved after she returned to Hastings.
“As a teenager I went off the rails a bit – I was a ‘wild child’ for a few years, but I always loved learning.”
After school she worked at the local Burger King where she challenged herself to find faster ways to do a repetitive job. “I do that a lot.”
After having her first child, Candice had plans. “I wanted to have my own company, I didn’t want to have a boss anymore, so I enrolled at EIT.
“A business is a good choice because you can decide what you want to do - in small businesses you need to be able to do a bit of everything.”
During this time Candice had her second child and planned a wedding with partner, Richard.
Candice with husband Richard and children Athena and Carter, and family dog Archie
“There were all the usual childhood stages of bugs and chickenpox to deal with. Sometimes logic just flies out the window and we just do it! If I stop and think too long, I will talk myself out of it.”
She was awarded the NZ Diploma in Business and completed a Bachelor of Business Studies with a double major in management and marketing.
“Everything interests me. That’s me in a nutshell. New knowledge is good knowledge – I absorb everything around me.
“I have so many options now. I always looked for things that gave me lots of options when choosing my degree.”
“I’m a thinker – I am constantly thinking about business ideas – Richard is the dream shatterer.” she laughs, “I say why not? I need a logical reason not to do it. Richard balances that out by keeping me grounded in reality.
“I started all this because I wanted to start my own cosmetic and skin-care company. I’m passionate about it. You need a qualification and I am doing it now at EIT - NZ Certificate in Make-up and Skin Care. Level 3. I’m loving it. It makes sense right now. My goal is to work in the cosmetic industry for a few years to gain experience then continue on to do my master’s degree.
“I eventually want to do a PhD and write research and put new knowledge into the world. To give back – that’s the goal.”