After making arrangements for more than a year, Darien Sport Shop hosted Dylan Lauren, "Candy Queen" and founder and CEO of Dylan's Candy Bar, for a personal appearance and the signing of her book, "Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap your Sweet Life," on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
"We're very excited," Gina Zangrillo, president of Darien Sport Shop, said. "It was very difficult to get her."
Lauren, daughter of designer Ralph Lauren and author Ricky Lauren, said she loves candy. She's always loved candy, and when she found that she couldn't go into a store that had the variety of candy that she wanted, she saw a need that she was more than happy to fulfill.
"A lot of people have a passion for candy," Lauren said.
She said she loves every type of candy, but her favorites are red gummies like red Swedish fish, red licorice and red gumballs.
Before she opened Dylan's Candy Bar in New York in 2001, Lauren said she was fortunate enough to travel to different trade shows around the United States, as well as places like London, Italy and Japan, seeing all there was to see in the confectionery world.
"I picked up things everywhere I went," Lauren said. "There are always ideas everywhere you go."
She added that even as she was walking through Darien, she had her eyes peeled for new ideas.
The New York native owns five stores in New York, California, Florida and Texas, and is expanding to international markets.
Lauren believes candy is something anyone at any age can enjoy, and her book reflects that by offering tips and tricks on how to live a "sweeter life."
"There's more than just eating candy," Lauren said. "It's celebrating and entertaining and decorating with candy."
The book was written, she said, because she received a lot of questions on how to entertain and decorate with candy. People wanted to know why she loved candy because they shared her passion.
"I love the colors and art appeal of candy, too," Lauren said. "And there was no book out there that really captured candy in all of its beauty like a photography book could do."
During the book-writing process, Lauren said she did have someone assist her with fact-finding, as the book features candy trivia and recipes, but a lot of the book came from experience.
"It's a lot of years learning the business," Lauren said. "It's a lot of crafts and decorating."
Because she comes from a well-known family, Lauren thinks that both she and others hold her to a bit of a higher standard.
"Some people think, `Oh, why do you have to work if you have such a successful father,' " Lauren said.
"And then there are other people who say, `It's just genes.' "
Lauren said she believes the reputation of her family adds a higher level of quality to the product.
"I pay a lot of attention to the color design and ingredients to make sure everything's a little bit higher quality because there's kind of a standard we have
to uphold," Lauren
As for her favorite candy-centric tips, they're pretty simple.
"I think the easiest are my favorite," Lauren said.
"Basically, if you just want to add color to your house, fill a bowl or vase in your house with layers of candy and then stick some flowers in it. So it's just a fun centerpiece."
For information, visit www.dylanscandybar.com.
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