As a self-proclaimed collector of clothes, shoe hoarder, and accessories enthusiast, it’s no wonder Candida Maceo calls her blog Merch Maven. And it’s no wonder we absolutely love it! From her amazing insight and eclectic style, Candida’s blog is a daily read for us. Meet Candida …
Where I’m based: The good old Pacific Northwest — I was born and raised in Portland, Ore. and still live here. Which to me, always feel a bit lame to say. I am by nature an adventurous person, so the fact that I’ve stayed here has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Actually, I blame it on my husband who moved here for me from California. But, I definitely have Cuban blood running through my veins (my father and his family are from Cuba) because I am at my happiest in warm climates. Honestly, I could do without seasons –- just give me varying degrees of summer and I would have a permanent smile on my face every day. At home in Portland (lot’s of grey and rain) you can find me grumpy fall through spring.
How long I’ve been blogging: I started my blog last September, so almost a year. It was something that I had been planning to do for about a year and things finally came together. I say “things finally came together” loosely because it has definitely been a challenge for me to keep it going. I have a full and hectic schedule with my day job and other freelance work that I do on the side, so I still struggle to post as much as I’d like. I have yet to turn Merch Maven into my full vision — but all good things in due time, right? And I’m having so much fun along the way.
What I blog about: Merch Maven is a celebration of my love of things (aka merchandise). Specifically merch that you can wear and put on your body — clothes, jewelry, shoes, accessories, makeup and nail polish. If it can be worn on the body in some way, shape or form best believe I am a fan.
On the blog, I showcase my merchandise obsession mostly with outfit posts, so what I’m wearing. But, I also love to share trends and styles that I’m going crazy over. I spend a lot of time on the internet for my job and my personal time researching fashion and style, so I love sharing my finds.
One of my favorite posts is called Don’t Break the Bank where I show a pricier item that I love, and then I scour the net looking for similar alternatives at lower price point(s), to show that you can dress well and be on point with your style without breaking the bank.
What do you enjoy most about blogging? Blogging combines two of my favorite things; fashion and writing. So naturally those two rank high on my list. The surprising part though, is how much I’ve started to love the behind the scenes aspects of blogging, like photography and editing. I knew absolutely nothing about these two subjects prior to starting the blog, but now I have plans to take a few photography and photo editing classes. I also love all the cool ladies from the blogging community that I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and interact with. That part is definitely an added bonus.
Day job: I am an Assistant Buyer and Accessories Buyer for a women’s catalog retailer.
Other blogs I love: Oh my gosh, there are seriously so many…Brooklyn Blonde, Cheetah is the new Black, They All Hate Us, Fabric Snob, B Jones Style, Bees Wonderland, Kendi Everyday – the list goes on. I don’t know what I’d do without my daily dose of inspiration. Fashion blogs are better than Magazines (and that’s saying something because I am huge fashion mag junkie) but with blogs I don’t have to wait a month. I get instant style gratification pretty much every day.
Guilty pleasure: I have a guilty pleasure scenario. It goes something like this: PJs, my comfy bed, a bag of bite size cherry Twizzlers, a bottle of Moscato (the big bottle), and a marathon of some crime drama – like Luther, Dexter, or Criminal Minds… Perfection!
The last thing I bought: Let’s change that to last thing(s) I bought. I may or may not have gone bit crazy due to some great sales as of late. I picked up a J. Crew denim vest that I’ve been coveting for months, it was such a steal at a reduced price, plus an extra 40% off. I also found an amazing pair of Kelsi Dagger chunky heel sandals on sale, and a pair of American Eagle High Waist Jeggings — my absolute favorite pair of denim — on sale with an extra 20% off. Deals, that’s how I roll.
Favorite stores: I’m an online shopping fanatic. I shop anywhere and everywhere I can find great items, but my favorites would be Zara, Nordstrom, J. Crew and J. Crew Factory, Gap, Piperlime, Forever 21 (the only way I’ll shop that store is online, their site is clean and merchandised by category so it’s easy to find what I want). And now that H&M is finally launching their e-com site, I might never visit a mall again!
Go-to accessory: I would have to say that my go-to accessory is a chunky watch. I never leave home without a watch. But I must confess I use my watches more for style than function. My watches are never set correctly — so if you see me walking around I would advise against asking me for the time — I won’t be able to tell you.
Best deal I’ve gotten: Whoa, that’s a hard one to try and narrow down, there have been tons of “best deals” but since I have watches on the brain from the previous question, one of the best deals I’ve gotten was on my Men’s Silver ESQ watch. I think the retail was $250 and I paid $40. A jewelry store was going out of business and with a few different discounts, I was able to walk out with my watch for that crazy price. I was such a happy girl that day.
What influences you the most when it comes to your style? As far as what’s out there in the fashion world, I really like a little bit of everything. I have never been able to fit my personal style into one box, some days I’m obsessed over a boho look, other days something more edgy. For me it’s more about knowing what I like and when something speaks to me. My mood and my day’s activities have a big influence over my style too. Some days I’m running around all day prepping for model fittings or photo shoots, so jeans and converse are more appropriate. And other days I wake up and the only thing I want to do is wear a cute pair of heels.
We’ve never heard of the cool name, “Candida” what’s the backstory behind it? Why thank you! I was actually named after my great-grandmother on my father’s side. It can be a bit difficult having an uncommon name, it tends to get butchered a lot. You can say it exactly as its spelled (Can-dee-da) and that’s usually how I introduce myself, but it’s pronounced with a stress on the first syllable, which makes it a little harder. But, I love being named for my great-grandmother, she was an amazing lady.
Tags: Fashion Bloggers