People of Willmar – Candice Clemens

Creating a life she loves with headstands everywhere, connecting the dots, and adding in a Million Cups.

Candice Clemens was employed by Microsoft for fifteen years, working in Washington State, Fargo, ND, and then Willmar, MN. The years were filled with experiences and growth opportunities. One of her favorites, was the opportunity to travel. Shortly after she started with Microsoft, they sent her off to India for a month by herself. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Throughout the years, she was sent all over the world. She was energized by connecting with locals, as well as others traveling, and learning about the local culture. It was especially enjoyable for her to travel to the same location a number of times. She appreciated being able to dig into the culture a little bit deeper with each trip. While the love of travel was cultivated through her work at Microsoft, it translated easily to her personal interests. One of her favorite places to travel is Costa Rica, where she hosts Yoga Retreats.

Candice spent those 15 years at Microsoft with the same rhythm…the same health insurance, the same identity, the same company name on each paycheck…Until she decided that it was time for a change. Since Candice and her husband Jason moved to Willmar a few years ago, she has embarked on a transition into a new phase of her life. She decided to make the break from Microsoft with the move, but they didn’t want to let her go. Microsoft offered her a work from home position, so she could stay with the company despite her new location. Already a RYT® 200 (Registered Yoga Teacher with 200 hours of training), she accepted the position and devoted her available free time to growing her yoga skills and knowledge. Candice loved that Yoga helped her feel strong, it taught her she was capable, and it facilitated growth. While she was earning her RYT® 500 with Yoga Loft in Willmar, she opened her own Yoga Studio called “headstands everywhere” on the MinnWest Campus. Since opening the studio, she has taught over 1,000 hours to upgrade her to certification to ERYT® 200 (the E is for Experienced) and qualify for YACEP® (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider®), has been certified as a Stand-Up Paddleboard instructor and a Yoga SUP Teacher. Additionally, she has had specialized training in Trauma-Informed Yoga and the Restorative style of yoga.

Recently, Candice finally decided it was time to let go of the corporate world. She took the leap and has closed the Microsoft chapter. With more time available to dedicate to “headstands everywhere,” she dug in to further diversifying her offerings. While Candice had years of experience with developing and teaching classes, she had never owned a business before. Completely comfortable developing business strategies, she hadn’t developed a strategy for a business where she was the product. She loves yoga, but as she says, “It isn’t all doing what you love… you do what you love, but you also have to run the business.”

As she works both in the business and on the business, she is branching out in many ways. Candice holds yoga classes at her studio, “headstands everywhere,” and also holds classes at a variety of other locations. She can be found at Club Bethesda, and has offerings at Balance Studio in New London, MN. She offers Fit Mat Yoga through Willmar CER and during the summer she has Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga classes. Candice can even be found leading Yoga classes at Goat Ridge. When Candice’s studio is not in use for one of her classes, she makes it available for rent so that others can hold classes, sessions, retreats, events, etc.

With an abundance mentality, believing that there is enough success available for everyone, Candice also gives of her time and energy to connect and support others. She is the incoming managing director of the Polka Dot Powerhouse chapter in our area. Polka Dot Powerhouse is an international women’s networking organization that empowers and supports women. Candice is excited about the possibilities and is implementing some fresh ideas. She has changed the chapter name to “West Central Lakes Chapter” in order to be inclusive of the region. She is also mixing up the locations where the group gathers. Beginning in June, the day connection will be located at WorkUp on the MinnWest Campus and the evening connection will take place in Spicer at O’Neil’s Restaurant’s Event Center. Candice is excited to bring women together and offer them an experience that feels like something special. Something they can get excited about being a part of.

On Wednesday mornings, Candice can be found serving as Emcee for our local One Million Cups chapter. One Million Cups is an event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to a thriving peer network. One Million Cups provides networking, exposure, different perspectives from those in attendance, an opportunity to critically examine concepts, support, audience engagement, and feedback. The organization is a great fit for Candice, who gets excited about diversity in thought and ideas. Candice is also actively involved in the Vision 2040 initiative and completed the Vision 2040 Leadership training in 2017.

Candice has a passion for bringing the use of Lyft alive in the area. Lyft matches drivers with passengers who request rides through the Lyft smartphone app. Candice is really excited about how beneficial this could be, especially for people out enjoying our local restaurants and bars. They can enjoy a few drinks and just get a Lyft home. She would love to see more people in the area register as Lyft drivers and for people to think of it as an option when they need a “Lyft.”

It is definitely a “lift” to spend time around Candice. Her engaging smile and infectious energy is a breath of fresh air. As Candice has transitioned from a long term corporate career to a local small business owner and supporter, Willmar and the surrounding area have been the direct beneficiaries.

– Marn Steinwand