Working at Dylan's Candy Bar. Being involved in the launches of so many amazing candy ranges. Just, candy. The dream job, right? We could up with Kristin Anderson, the Vice President of Merchandising for Dylan's Candy Bar and she tells us all about her awesome job and how she got there. Kristin has been at Dylan's for 13 years (Dylan's is only 14 years old!), so, she definitely knows her stuff.
UNiDAYS®: What's your job history? How did you get into Dylan's Candy Bar? I'm sure so many of our students would love to know how to become a candy buyer!"I graduated from Purdue University in Indiana, I always knew that I wanted to be a buyer and I chose that school because they had a really great retail development program. During college I did an exchange program and studied 1 year at FIT. This allowed me to graduate with a degree from Purdue and associates from FIT! After I graduated I wanted to be in fashion. I was offered a job at Neiman Marcus in Dallas Texas. Neiman Marcus was my dream job and I was so excited! I was also offered a job at FAO Schwarz. At this time the company had 40 doors and was based out of NYC. I had accepted the job at Neimans and when I called FAO to turn down the job they convinced me otherwise. He said that I would be 1 of 4 people coming into the company vs the 1 out of 50 going to Neiman’s. I just knew that if she didn’t get up and move to NYC then I wouldn’t know when I would do this. After working for FAO for 7 years I moved on to the other companies but a connection I had made at FAO told me about Dylan’s Candy Bar and how it would be a great opportunity for me. That’s when my journey began at DCB."
UNiDAYS®: What did you want to be when you were growing up?"I always knew she wanted to be a buyer. I was fascinated with travelling and the idea of being able to spend other people’s money!"
UNiDAYS®: Do you have any advice for anyone who aspires to be a buyer?"Lots of internships! Whether that be in management, purchasing, anything. The more experience the better! Always keep in touch with your previous employers because you never know when an experience may reveal itself. Be persistent about your dream job! Our Inventory Planner Sydney Wolfson started as an assistant buyer three years ago. The reason she got the job was because during college she kept calling and kept in contact with me hoping for an opportunity. At the time, I had nothing to offer her but when the time came I knew who would be right for the job. So if there is a specific company or position that you are interested in, persistence is key."
UNiDAYS®: What's the best bit about your job?I enjoy that every day is different, I love the unpredictable day to day task of her job but also the planning aspect.
UNiDAYS®: What's the worst bit about your job? (If there is one!)The Human Resource aspect of the job. People don’t think about as you progress and your team builds the responsibility of managing people increases.
UNiDAYS®: If you were a piece of candy, what would you be and why?A milk chocolate bar. Solid and sweet but with a bite.
UNiDAYS®: Have you had a favorite product that you've helped launch?My favorite product to launch was the Bath and Body Retreat. It was something so new to the company. I had to do a lot of research to find bath products that smelled like candy but had a food type of packaging. It was challenging to find the right vendors, pricing and distribution. When it was completed myself and Dylan pitched the idea to Sephora and they took it! Dylan then immediately tells me we have to tell her Dad. After pitching to Sephora I then had to present this idea to Ralph Lauren himself! Unfortunately we no longer sell this line in Sephora.
UNiDAYS®: What's your favorite candy to indulge in now?Every day is different when you work at a candy company. This week is gummy but next week may be chocolate!
UNiDAYS®: What was your favorite as a kid? Are there any retro sweets you'd like to bring back?As a kid I loved Now & Later, Nerds, Frozen Vanilla Charleston Chews. In terms of retro sweets, I love those wacky wafers from the early 80s. They are actually coming back this year!
UNiDAYS®: Which is your favorite Dylan's store?Chicago is my favorite Dylan’s location. It is the home of candy and where I grew up!
UNiDAYS®: Is there anything else you want to share?Working at Dylan’s Candy Bar is all about passion. When you work for a lead who is so passionate about what they believe in, it makes your job that much more rewarding and provides me with a passion for the items I purchase. Dylan has a great passion for candy which filters through the whole company!
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