Part-time Bedford resident Dylan Lauren is more than simply the daughter of fashion icon Ralph Lauren. She is also a dynamic entrepreneur who presides over her own confectionary empire, Dylan’s Candy Bar. Lauren sat down with WM in advance of her January 12 book-signing event at Bedford Playhouse to discuss her company, her coffee-table book, and her life as a busy mom.
DL: As a candy lover and a lover of color, and coming from a fashion-and-art background, to me, candy is art. Whether I was eating it or putting it on my shelf because it looked pretty, I would look at candies and be like: That chocolate bar could be so much more delicious-looking if there could be a photograph of it on the wrapping or if the foil was a different color.
DL: I knew there was a sort of void in the world of fun: entertaining candy stores that celebrate not just candy but a sweet existence. I knew when we opened our first flagship, in 2001 [in NYC], that people in other cities were like, “We want one, we want one!”
DL: It changes daily. We have a new line — the “Treat Yourself” indulge mindfully line. The collection is vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, more health-conscious gummy candies. We sell them in Whole Foods. I’ve been obsessed with the zoo-animal-shaped gummies.
DL: Candy is so beautiful to look at, so I wanted a coffee-table-size book that showed that. A lot of the photographs are close-ups of the candy, as if it was art, because I love the colors on a whirly pop or the sparkles of rock candy. I find that people are very happy looking at this book, from kids to adults, because it’s a bright, happy art book. It also gives ideas for crafts and for entertaining and decorating.
DL: It’s hard. I definitely try to make sure I have quality time with them. I think they love that I have a candy store. I’ve just started letting them have a little something. They like everything. I always say, “When you wake up, think of some ideas for me.” And they’ll think of some outrageous ideas, but some of their ideas are great.
DL: We do a lot of [animal] adoption events at our stores, because we find that candy, people, and animals tie together. What’s better than candy and a cute puppy? Customers can donate to Dylan’s Candy BarN, and we will give that money to [animal] shelters we’ve been working with.
DL: He said, “It makes total sense. You love candy, so you should do what you love, and you’ll do well.” We’re trying to build a lifestyle brand, using candy like he did the tie. It’s not just about eating candy: There’s the book, non-edible products — clothing, spa and hair products, jewelry — parties; we have candy cocktails, so it’s every way to live with candy. He understood it wasn’t just a simple candy store. The big stores are like 15,000 square feet and more like candy museums. He got that. He was very much a fan of “Go big.”
DL: I go to Bedford 234 a lot. I like the Reading Room in Katonah. We love the DeCicco’s supermarket in Katonah. I think it’s really fun. And Peppino’s in Katonah.
DL: That’s a good question. I think a lot of people like to come into the city to go to the flagship, whether it’s the Union Square or the Upper East Side one, so I don’t know if we’d do one in Westchester, but maybe.