Meet Candace Reels, the Activist Behind Female Collective

What are the current social and/or political issues you are focused on bringing more awareness to?

Representation on all fields. Feminism, I guess it started being just about men and women being equal, but there are so many different people around the world now that it’s important we break down it with class and gender and sexuality and race. There is a wide spectrum of feminism. That’s what I’m focusing on, just saying let’s represent everyone and talk about what they are going through and have empathy for them. Even if we are not going through those same issues, it’s important for us to care and find out what they are dealing with and use our privilege to find out what we can do to help these other people.

Our August editorial theme is #WeAreWomen. Who are the empowering women who inspire you?

My mom is a continuous one who has always inspired me. She is probably the reason I unconsciously started Female Collective and why I am in this route in my life because she has always been about establishing yourself as a woman no matter what and just focusing on that. And people like Sarah Sophie, she is an amazing woman and she inspires me. And Angela Davis, just classics. And people who are no longer here, like Maya Angelou. I read a lot of her books and poetry. It just resonates. No matter what you are going through you can always find a quote from her or something from her poetry that just gets you in that moment.

What advice do you have for women looking to make a difference but are not sure where to start?

I would say to focus on what you are passionate about. If it’s environmental issues, if it’s Black Lives Matter, if it’s just strictly women’s issues, whatever it is, find out what you are passionate about, and from there, there are so many organizations fighting these issues, so search these organizations, see what they need help with. You can’t join anything if you are not passionate about it. It’s a daily struggle. It’s not easy to know about these issues, because it really gets to you mentally. You have to know that it’s just not going to get fixed tomorrow; it’s a long journey ahead, so make sure you are passionate about whatever it is you are trying to activate.

Your hat game is very strong. Where do you source your hats? Is there a style you are really loving right now?

I get a lot of Brixton hats. I love berets. I think I started wearing [berets] like two years ago, and I just really liked the way they looked on my head, and then I started buying them in a lot of colors to go with my different outfits. That’s like my style that I’m sticking to. I mean it’s too hot out right now to wear hats, but I love to be able to put a beret on.

Do you have any hat dos or don’ts?

I feel like with hats, there are no dos or don’ts. Just do it! You can rock it with a strong pair of earrings or just some simple hoops. As long as you feel confident in it, you’ll be fine. It doesn’t matter what you pair with it.