On this day of thanks there is no better woman to share her story with you than Dylan Lauren, the founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar. I have been so inspired by her strong vision and meticulous detail to perfecting her brand. And through her incredible success as an entrepreneur, her warm and generous personality, and her commitment to making her fun and free-spirited outlook accessible to all, Dylan is a true Woman of Style. Enjoy her inspiring views on career, style and entertaining in today’s exclusive interview. –Mandana Dayani
Her first job
"For my first job, I developed Dylan Creative Events, where I planned unique themed events for corporations and charities. I found that I would often gravitate towards using candy for the decor, invites, centerpieces and favors. It was then that I learned how much everyone loves to celebrate with candy!"
Dylan in an ice cream shop as a child. Photo: Courtesy
The story behind Dylan's Candy Bar
"Since I can remember, I have always been obsessed with candy and anything with a candy theme. From the moment I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at my sixth birthday party, I knew I wanted to create a special place that captured the magical candy world from the movie. I felt there was a need to bring together candies and lifestyle products such as, candy themed art, clothing, spa products and more. I knew at a young age that it was in my future to be an entrepreneur and I followed my gut to pioneer my dream to open the world's largest candy store, Dylan’s Candy Bar."
How she built the brand
"I tried to learn everything I possibly could about candy and the candy industry by travelling to places in the United States as well as across the world. I took notes on what I liked and disliked about them, ultimately leading to how I could improve the candy shopping experience and fill a void that existed in the marketplace."
The newly opened Dylan's Candy Bar at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Photo via @dylanscandybar on Instagram.
Her typical day
"Every day is so different and that to me is what keeps it exciting. I partake in a great deal of meetings developing new product, designing all aspects of the packaging, strategizing how to market the product, and tasting a ton of candy. It is important for me to have the final stamp of approval on all things because my name is on the door and I am heavily invested in providing the best candy experience for each customer."
The best career advice I've ever received: Trust your gut and surround yourself with positive and smart people.
The Lauren family. Photo: Courtesy
Her role models
"I have always looked up to my parents, Ralph and Ricky Lauren. They are both very successful, down to earth and have a nice balance of creativity and business savvy."
What she looks for in an employee
"First impressions are really important to me. I want to see someone who has a positive and upbeat attitude from the start. Someone who speaks with passion about their field and has demonstrated creativity in their past positions."
Her collaboration with LeSportsac
"I really love the ombre Montauk tote that has candy imagery coming out of the front pocket. In my travels to promote this collection I've learned that people all over the world (especially Asia) love candy and we at Dylan's Candy Bar continue to find new and innovative ways to bring candy into every day life."
Style & Beauty
Her winter shopping list
"A comfortable pair of warm boots that are sleek enough to still feel sexy. I always change my skin care regime for the winter as well trying out new cleansers and lotions."
Dylan on her wedding day. Photo: Courtesy
Her wedding dress
"This was special not only because I was able to wear a one of a kind dress but also that I was able to collaborate with my father [Ralph Lauren] to create something specific to what he knew was beautiful, flattering and fashionable. I felt like a Princess!"
Her signature piece
"Jeans for sure, depending on the wash or cut you can dress them up for dinner or an event or down for weekend errands or a day at the office."
How to pull off bold color
"Pulling off wearing a vibrant color is all about knowing it will elicit energy to you and those around you. It's really important to test out the colors that work best work with your complexion and then combine them together or pair it with something neutral."
Her beauty signature
"Bobbi Brown bronzing powder. It gives me a natural glow without the sun's harmful rays."
Emergen-C 30-Pack, $8
Her travel essentials
"I pack Emergen C -an electrolyte powder drink which keeps me energized and hydrated and prevents cramping from long flights. I also always pack my wedge sneakers because I like to walk everywhere when I explore a new city. These help me to look polished while remaining comfortable. Plus if we end up at a restaurant I know I won't look sloppy."
Dylan with Camilla Belle, Jessica Alba and Lauren Bush Lauren at a Ralph Lauren event. Photo: Getty Images
How she balances work and personal life
"I try my best to simplify my life into a six piece pie consisting of health, friends, love, career, family, and hobbies. I make sure to have all these incorporated into my week. When I feel off I check in and make sure all pieces are getting enough attention."
3 things we didn't know about her
1.) "I collect bunnies.", 2.) "I am intimidated by technology.", 3.) "I enjoy reading about nutrition and psychology."
A chocolate turkey from Dylan's Candy Bar. Photo: Courtesy
Her Thanksgiving table settings
"Thanksgiving is all about the feast, so you should showcase the food in the best light. To make the Thanksgiving table the most festive and memorable, I use candy for the centerpiece and favors. You can combine candy in fall colors like orange, brown, yellow and red and use it in a glass vase with maple leaves or sunflowers coming out of the top. There are tons of seasonal candies like chocolate turkeys and pumpkins that you can put at each place setting and create a hangtag to attach to it with each guest's name."