Phenomenal Women

Published on May 28th, 2011 | by thevyne

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Woman to Watch: Candi Carter

Occupation: Founder and CEO at “It’s Hip Hop Baby” and Senior Producer at The Oprah Winfrey Show

Hometown: Greater Chicago Area

Education: Boston College, Bachelor of Arts in Communications

Greek Life: Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Career Path in TV: Candi is an 18 years and counting veteran in the world of television. She began her TV career as a producer for WISN TV and then moved on to producing for The Oprah Winfrey Show, for the past 14 years. While producing for The Oprah Winfrey Show she has developed a variety of entertaining and meaningful shows including the one earlier this year that featured 200 men who were abused as children. In a recent interview for Oprah.com Candi was quoted as saying, “My favorite shoot of all time was Oprah and Jay-Z in Brooklyn, when they visited his old neighborhood. We sat in the basement of his grandmother’s former house, on lawn chairs—just Jay, Oprah, Gayle, me, an assistant, and two camera guys—and though it was hot as the dickens in there, it was so intimate. Oprah spoke to him for two hours, and I could see out the window as a crowd gathered. When we left, the whole street was filled with people.”

Family Life: Candi and her husband, Joseph, live in the Chicago area with their son, Emerson, and daughter Lillian. Emerson receives therapy and other services from Aspire Children Services.

“Mom-preneur” (as told to Madison Family & Parenting Examiner): It was the developmental disability of her son Emerson (chromosome 8 disorder) that inspired Candi to think out of the box. Her son’s disability caused him to have severe mental, speech and physical delays. Around the time he was three years old, Candi began making up songs about everyday activities in order to engage her son and get him to follow along. Songs like “Walk with Mommy” and “Bathtime”. When she saw that the songs actually worked to entertain her son she continued creating and recording them on her cell phone and began using them to help her son learn faster. It wasn’t long before a solid business idea was formed and Candi founded, Hip Hop Baby LLC– a children’s entertainment company that produces video and music for children ages 1 and up. The product line consists of 5 DVDs- It’s Hip Hop, Baby!- (1) All Your Child’s Favorites (2) Things We Do Everyday (3) Get Healthy Get Fit (4) Rockin’ Dance Party (5) Hip Hop Dance Class – ages 5 and up. And the music CD, “It’s Hip Hop, Baby! Fruit.” The It’s Hip Hop, Baby! product line is distributed exclusively through Warner Music Group, Rhino Entertainment.

Awards and Boards: Member of the Board of Directors for Aspire of Illinois; Regional Emmy Award in Children’s Programming;
Today’s Chicago Woman: 100 Women Making a Difference;
 Television Academy Honor: The Oprah Winfrey Show – 200 Men (2010)

Quotable: In an interview with Motherhood Later…Rather Than Sooner, Candi was asked, “Where do you turn to for support?” and she responded: “I think mom support is critical. Especially for moms who have children with special needs. I remember one day I was power walking during my pregnancy and I just started crying. Really crying. And I decided in that moment that I would allow myself to cry…it didn’t matter who saw me. My life is sad sometimes…sometimes I’m fearful and sad for my son and his future. But I know I can sit in that pain and then be thankful for his beautiful smile, joyful personality and delightful disposition. I share those moments with my very close girlfriends… My girlfriends are the fuel that keeps me going.”

Check out Candi speaking on It’s Hip Hop Baby! here…

 

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One Response to Woman to Watch: Candi Carter

  1. Denise Rush says:

    In April of 2011 I had a chance to hear Candi speak at Tory Johnson’s Chicago Spark and Hustle women’s business conference. The story of It’s Hip Hop Baby and Candi’s presentation were inspiring.

    So nice to see a soror doing her thing and positively impacting the lives of others.

    I still hear her words from the conference “If you are sleeping in, you are sleeping on your dreams.”

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