It all started with a screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Rosie O’Neill and her now husband saw the classic on a date, and she found herself wondering: why had candy — a thing that used to feel magical — lost its luster?
This led Rosie, who had been working as the director of marketing at Mattel, to dream a sweet dream: She broke away from her role to start Sugarfina, the luxury candy brand best known for its beautifully packaged champagne-flavored gummy bears.
Today, Sugarfina products are sold at more than 50 stores and can be found at high-end retailers like Bergdorf’s, Bloomingdales, Saks, and Nordstrom. The brand regularly collaborates with other luxury powerhouses, and has truly elevated the notion of candy with its lineup of goodies (which includes everything from rosé-tinged candy to green juice gummy bears).
In this episode, Rosie shares what really goes into starting a business (contrary to popular belief, Sugarfina was not an overnight success!), why she still experiences imposter syndrome every day, and what starting a company with your spouse is really like.
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“I’ve always been attracted to these jobs and careers that tap into this emotional connection, so it’s not just work, but I love and care about the things that I’m making or contributing to.” – Rosie O’Neill
“At the end of the day, your product should sell itself. It shouldn’t need an ad to sell itself. Make sure you have something that people get excited about and that they want to share it and buy it.” – Rosie O’Neill