Interview
Dylan Lauren

Dylan Lauren

We sat down with Dylan to talk a little more about her inspiration, her experience, and life at home with the kids.

Dylan Lauren, known to many as the “Candy Queen,” is the founder and CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar. As the daughter of legendary fashion icon Ralph Lauren and author Ricky Lauren, Dylan was immersed at an early age in design, art and fashion. Inspired also by her 5-year-old impression of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dylan created a company dedicated to surrounding its customers with the most imaginative, state of the art décor and product mix. Dylan has singlehandedly redefined what we envision when we think, “candy shop.”

Featuring unique candy from around the world and decades past, Dylan’s stores in New York City, East Hampton, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami are the most original candy emporiums on the planet. She has succeeded in merging art, fashion and pop culture with candy to dynamize the customer’s candy experience.

We sat down with Dylan to talk a little more about her inspiration, her experience, and life at home with the kids.

The giant candy filled tackle box are all inspired by Pop Artists like Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.

BWB: You graduated from Duke University with a major in Art History. To what extent would you say your art education has influenced your company?

I enjoyed studying art history, especially when I did it abroad my junior year in Rome and London. When I travelled I saw many amazing stores where candy was crafted by hand and there were incredible chocolate sculptures, barley lollipops, marzipan figurines etc. I also was very inspired by Pop Art, and have tried to create oversized candy installations as the fun fixtures in my store including our lollipop tree and our candy cane columns. The giant candy filled tackle box are all inspired by Pop Artists like Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.

BWB: At what point in your life did you realize your passion for candy? Was it difficult to navigate through an environment so infused with fashion and writing?

I’ve always had a sweet tooth! It must have started at birth. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and create something unique and run my own business. I knew at 20 I wanted to create a Disney Land/Willy Wonka esque candy store and make it the largest in the world. My business merges candy with my love for fashion and art, two things I was always surrounded with. My true passion is candy, though, so that’s the medium I built my career on.

BWB: What has been one of your most cherished memories in creating Dylan’s Candy Bar?

I loved opening something the world hadn’t seen before, and seeing the look on people’s faces as they smiled and found their favorite memories through candy. It’s also so special when customers, especially right after September 11 or any sad experience, have told me Dylan’s Candy Bar is the “happiest place;” that makes me feel fulfilled!

In our NEW Union Square store in NYC we have delicious licorice laces from different parts of Australia and Europe and Japanese hard candies among other delicious, international items.

BWB: How would you say your travels around the world have influenced the candy content in your stores? What are some international favorites you like to feature?

I am so happy to have been able to explore the world when I studied my junior year abroad, and then after with friends and family. I absolutely love exploring the supermarkets and sniffing out the candy stores. I have seen really gorgeous packaging in Asia. I love the flavors of chocolates in Germany and Switzerland. I love the gummies and their colors and shapes in Spain. There are incredible oversized and unique lollipops in Paris. I also attend the ISM (Institute for Supply Management) show to see all the candy the world offers. In our stores we have an international section that highlights our finds like I mentioned above, and it rotates often. We currently feature Brazilian bulk candy in our Miami store. In our NEW Union Square store in NYC we have delicious licorice laces from different parts of Australia and Europe, Japanese hard candies and Hi Chews among other delicious, international items.

BWB: As a wife and mother of two, how do you balance a busy schedule with family time? Can you clue us into some secrets?

It’s definitely new to me having 7-month-old twins and juggling work, my family, my friends and hobbies. The most important thing to me is being present during the time I spend with my babies, cherishing every second. I also make sure I have time to work out so I either do that by taking a spin class with my husband, or doing a class with a friend. When I work out alone, I pick the Stairmaster machine so I can email simultaneously to get work done.

BWB: What are some of your favorite beauty and body-care products? 

I like skin creams by Dr. Doris Day as well as Cindy Crawford’s line. I like Body Shop Vitamin E Body Butter – it’s very moisturizing. For an uplifting scent, I like Verbena eau de toilette by L’Occitane and the hand moisturizer.

BWB: With the Holidays just around the corner, what are some of your favorite family traditions in New York?

I love to walk or even jog up and down the avenues (5th and Madison especially) early in the morning or at end of day when it’s not crowded, and look at all the amazing Christmas window displays. I also enjoy thanksgiving with my in-laws. We make delicious desserts together like yam and marshmallows, Speculoos and marshmallow fluff as well as giant waffles with berries. I love bonding by being in the kitchen together.

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Lani Allen

Lani Allen is a junior at Columbia University majoring in Creative Writing with a concentration in Spanish. Having served as Vice President of her class for two years, she has since contributed written pieces and illustrations to many on-campus publications. As a writer with an interest in the beauty industry, Lani intends to pursue a career in either journalism or fashion marketing.

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