February 22, 2011 | 9:27am
Over the weekend, Dylan Lauren stopped by the newly opened Books & Books in the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale to promote her first book, Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life, and spread her joyful motto: "Candy is a lifestyle."
Dylan's Candy Bar
, which opened in NYC in 2001, has five locations throughout the country (including one in Orlando) and plans for expansion to cities like L.A. and Miami (in fact, Dylan just wrapped up a real-estate tour of the area) are in the works. The stores are more than candy outposts, selling apparel, beauty products, and even booze. The store in NYC even features rotating art exhibitions, the relaunch of limited-edition vintage candies like Clark Bars and Abba-Zabas, and the world's largest lollipop.
After the book signing, we spoke with Dylan about life, candy, and the family business. (Her dad is Ralph Lauren of the famous Polo clothing company.)
When did your love of candy begin?
My love of candy began
at the early age of 6 and takes inspiration from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I've always had a sweet tooth.
How did the concept of the store come about?
I studied art history at Duke University, and I always knew I wanted to do something with candy. Unlike my brothers, who are in the family business, I spread my wings and decided to go out on my own. People always question me about about the latter: I love fashion, but I love candy and art more. I am a collector of candy and candy wrappers. I am fascinated by the colors and patterns.
Have you tried everything that you sell in the store?
I haven't tried everything because I hate caramel, but I am thoroughly involved in the decision-making process of every piece of candy that is sold in the stores.
What's your favorite candy in the store?
That's too difficult to answer. I have many favorites: marshmallow fluff, bubblegum, Cadbury creme eggs, and red licorice.
List the five food staples that you can't live without.
- White rice sushi
- Romaine lettuce
- Gummy candies
- Egg whites
- Slim Vanilla Chai Latte
Favorite candy moment?
I recently completed a photo shoot of me in a giant bathtub of gumballs. It was difficult but extremely fun. What's funner than that?
What lessons do you have for others that would like to start their own business?
Strength comes in numbers, so surround yourself with people that are knowledgeable about subjects that are not necessarily your strong suit. Also, surround yourself with positivity. Follow your gut!
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