Renee Dee & Mark Candelaria Discuss Five Years of ICONIC LIFE Magazine

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Cheers to Five Years of ICONIC LIFE Magazine | In Conversation with Renee Dee and Mark Candelaria

Renee Dee sits down with Mark Candelaria in a “Freaky Friday” episode of ICONIC Hour in celebration of ICONIC LIFE Magazine’s fifth year anniversary.

Renee Dee, founder and publisher of ICONIC LIFE Magazine, sat down with Mark Candelaria, architect and founder of Candelaria Design, to speak about their experiences as business owners. Dee appeared as the interviewee on her podcast for a spin off episode of ICONIC Hour to celebrate five years of ICONIC LIFE.

Listen to the full conversation of celebrating five years of ICONIC LIFE Magazine here.

Dee shared her gratitude to those around her. Celebrating five years was an astonishing feeling. Although it has only been five years of ICONIC LIFE, the work and persistence behind ICONIC LIFE has been around for much longer. Dee was 7 years old when she published her own neighborhood newspaper, The Wide World of News. This experience foreshadowed her future professional life.

“You’re blessed if you can figure out what it is that you are intended to do,” Dee says. “It’s a characteristic that you need to take advantage of. Knowing what you’re destined to do is only the first step. You must be persistent to overcome any obstacle in order to truly succeed.” 

The ICONIC LIFE Magazine you see today is a result of consistent attention to detail. ICONICLIFE.com launched in 2018. With support and demand for expansion, the first print issue of ICONIC LIFE Magazine was set to launch in March 2020,  aligning with the ICONIC HAUS showhouse. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 lockdown postponed the original vision for the debut. However, this setback showed Dee and business owners that patience and persistence are the ingredients to success. 

“That’s part of being in business, you never know what is ahead and you know there is going to be some great things and there’s going to be some tough things and you just have to be ready. You can’t wait for protection,” Candelaria added. “I see so many people say ‘it’s gotta be perfect before I start anything’ and then they never start anything. I found that you make your best shot, you fire the arrow, you know where the target is and you might have to steer that arrow a million times to get it to the target, but if you don’t fire that arrow, it’s never going to get to that target.”


A phrase Dee uses a lot in moments of doubt is to “just dive in,” she highlights the importance of trusting yourself, and that you are capable of doing whatever it is you put your mind to. 

Sometimes things won’t work out and that is how you learn and grow as a person. 

“As much as we don’t enjoy adversity or tough times, all of my greatest learnings in life and business have been associated with adversity, every valuable lesson has been from adversity,” Dee says. 

In tough moments, the best discipline you can have is being decisive. 

ICONIC LIFE Magazine is a digital, social and printed magazine with a major national audience. All three platforms serve as a resource and outlet for creators of all ages and backgrounds. 


Dee shared advice to younger creators that may be looking into publishing and that is, to understand who your audience is and “keep your standards high” when representing that audience. It is crucial to stay on top of trending and effective strategies for all three platforms. It is as simple as recognizing timing for stories that will attract real people.


You learn the most through the people around you, friends and potential competitors. As a publisher, Dee has learned that “successful salespeople do what unsuccessful salespeople don’t do.” A simple yet effective mindset to serve as a reminder that you need to take risks. You learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations knowing that you’ll overcome everything. 

There have been incredible amounts of success in the past five years but there is still “so much more to do, so much more ahead and so much more to provide,” Dee says. Looking back at the past five years of ICONIC LIFE, she said that there is nothing she would’ve done differently. With the new expansion of ICONIC LIFE Magazine in Orange County, there continues to be a blossoming growth of iconic supporters. In the future, ICONIC LIFE looks to continue growing in every way, including taking the next step in recognizing the people that make our homes beautiful. 

The first year of the ICONIC Design Awards is taking place in a few months. 

“I want to do awards with integrity and that’s what we’re calling them. So, we are honoring excellence in architecture, interior design, product design and landscape architecture,” Dee says. 

The awards are set to be on Sept. 30 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Get your tickets and learn more here: AWARDS WITH INTEGRITY

ICONIC LIFE Magazine wouldn’t be where it is without the faces behind every piece. Thank you for celebrating five years of ICONIC LIFE. Here’s to continuing Living Beautifully. 

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