Sweet spot: Dylan Lauren plans Houston visit to tout candy & new book — and fitin some exercise
“My parents screened Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory for my 5th birthday, and I became fascinated by the idea of living in a candy land filled with chocolate rivers and lollipop trees,” says Lauren. “My whole life I have been seeking out candy stores and places with sweet foods and desserts.”
Lauren launched her own company, Dylan’s Candy Bar, in 2001. Today, she has candy boutiques in New York City, Houston, East Hampton and Los Angeles. Just last month, Dylan’s Candy Bar celebrated its 11th anniversary.
“I was always inspired by watching my dad design clothes when I was a child,” Lauren says. “I loved the colors of the clothing industry.”
So, how did growing up in one of the world’s most famous fashion families influence her successful candy business? “I was always inspired by watching my dad design clothes when I was a child,” Lauren says. “I loved the colors of the clothing industry. I’ve always seen items like these as food or candy.
“My mom is a painter and photographer, and my grandfather was an artist. I’ve always been surrounded by creative people. They all inspired me to do something with an artistic, entrepreneurial spirit.”
Today, individuals like Oprah Winfrey, who have cultivated lifestyle brands, inspire Lauren. “I also have a lot of close friends who have started their own companies,” she says. “I think it is great to have your own passion and to have something that inspires you and inspires others.”
Lauren says that her love of candy has been a constant in her life. “I have always had an incredible sweet tooth,” she says. “As a kid, I liked the newest inventions like the Tootsie Roll Pops and Blow Pops — two candies in one — or chocolate-flavored gum and Big League Chew.”
Lauren also admits to a fondness for Lite Chews, Swedish Fish, licorice and gummy bears. But what is her favorite candy today? “As I’ve gotten older, I really enjoy vanilla divinity. My absolute candy favorites are Cadbury Crème Eggs and Marshmallow Fluff, but I still consume gummies every day,” she says.
Lauren starts her workouts by warming up to some of her favorite candy songs. “‘I Want Candy’ by Bow Wow Wow never fails to get me up and moving,” she says.
Lauren enjoys her trips to Texas— she visits Neiman Marcus Galleria Nov. 6 after a stop at the Dallas Neiman Marcus NorthPark store — because of the great weather. It’s conducive to her daily workouts so she can keep enjoying all of that candy.
“Working out is super important in my daily routine,” Lauren says. “The great thing about (Texas) is that you can work out outside all year round. I am a very active person, so being able to constantly enjoy the sunny and warm weather when I am in Texas helps me stay healthy and relieves stress.”
Lauren says she starts her workouts by warming up to some of her favorite candy songs. “‘I Want Candy’ by Bow Wow Wow never fails to get me up and moving,” she says.
Her company is certainly on the move as well. This fall, Lauren’s working on the launch of the newest Dylan’s Candy Bar, set to open early next year inMiami, and she hopes to open stores in some hotels and airports. She’s anticipating a successful holiday season for her candies, which are available at Neiman Marcus.
“At Dylan’s Candy Bar, we have great gifts that incorporate our colorful signature style,” Lauren says. “My favorite items to give as gifts are the Dylan’s Candy Bar Time Capsules, which are filled with decade-specific treats from the 1920s to the 1980s. Everyone loves to see all of the different nostalgic candy from when they were a kid.”
Just like the other visionaries in her family, Lauren launched her company with a strong sense of what she wanted to create. “In fact, I was so excited about the idea that I wanted to get every idea out the door right away and find the right people to execute it immediately,” she says.
“One of the hardest things that I have had to learn from operating Dylan’s Candy Bar is that you can’t execute everything all at once; you really have to be patient and build the foundation with the right people. Things don’t just happen overnight like you want and envision them to.”
Dylan Lauren will make a personal appearace to tout her candy line and new book, Unwrap Your Sweet Life, at Neiman Marcus Galleria Tuesday, 4-5:30 p.m.