Interview: Dylan’s Candy Bar Founder, Dylan Lauren

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There’s no sweeter home for a shelter pet than somewhere they’re truly loved, but for one little pup named Jersey Girl, home “sweet” home is an understatement – and a big one! That’s because Jersey found her forever home with America’s reigning queen of confections: Dylan’s Candy Bar founder, Dylan Lauren.

“When [my husband and I] saw Jersey at the SPCA, she was jumping sky-high and eager to play,” says Lauren. “While many visitors were eager to adopt her because of her bouncy personality and adorable face, she kept coming over to us.”
It was a match made in heaven – because if there’s one thing Lauren has in no short supply, it is the energy to match Jersey’s. Not only has she turned her flagship Dylan’s Candy Bar boutique in New York City into a wildly successful chain of candy palaces, but Lauren is also an athlete, a mother of two (she and her husband welcomed twins last April) and most recently, a philanthropist.

Lauren’s newest endeavor, Dylan’s Candy BarN, is aimed at funding animal rescue organizations while promoting spay/neuter and adoption. For the Candy Queen, expanding Dylan’s Candy Bar to include the foundation is the realization of a lifelong dream.

“I have always wanted to do something to help animals, ever since I was young,” says Lauren. “[After] I recued Jersey, I hosted an event at our New York flagship with a mobile adoption unit outside. Literally all the animals were adopted that day – and several by my staff! It gave us the greatest happiness and fulfillment, and it made me feel that my company could bring more joy to the world by helping animals.”

Lauren is working like a dog to raise awareness and support for Dylan’s Candy BarN, and says her customers are the perfect people to sweet-talk about animal welfare.

“We have so many fans who love their pets; a pet is usually considered one of their family members,” she says. “Our mission is to awaken the inner child and to ensure our guests enjoy a sweet life. We hope that joy and a sense of play transcend our store walls, and are shared with other living beings – human and animal.”

In addition to hosting adoption and awareness events at her stores, Lauren is also launching a line of goodies whose sale will benefit Dylan’s Candy BarN. Among the offerings will be pet-themed candy, costumes for four-legged friends, and of course, pet-friendly treats. In fact, her new line of yogurt-dipped bone biscuits already has a dogged devotee – Jersey!

She may be a frequent treat-tester, but Lauren makes sure that Jersey gets a healthy dose of sweat to balance out all of those sweets. “Everything in moderation, just like humans and candy,” Lauren says. She and her husband feed Jersey two nutritious meals a day, and give her plenty of regular exercise. “We play soccer on the beach or in our hallway. She loves to have me roll a ball to her and then she either plays goalie or is an amazing dribbler,” laughs Lauren.

Considering what an inspiration she is, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to someday see a Jersey-themed treat at Dylan’s Candy Bar – and Lauren says she knows just what the confection would be.

“Jersey is so sweet, but she’s also sassy and a bit goofy, so I would make a three-pack of candies,” she says. “One sweet and marshmallow-y; one tart with a tropical blend of flavors since Jersey’s [originally]from Puerto Rico; and one nutty with peanut butter, to honor her favorite flavor.”

While there’s no plan for a prototype currently in the works, anything seems possible when it comes to Dylan’s Candy Bar – and to Lauren’s growing empire. With her husband, her rescue pup, a set of twins and a successful business, the future for Dylan Lauren (and the animals she helps!) is looking pretty sweet.

— published in fetch! magazine, the “Home for the Holidays” issue