CandyBar Merchant Stories is our series about small business owners, their successes and struggles. Real stories from real people, about how they started and built their own small businesses around the world.
Featured Candybar Merchant Stories
Our newest and best entrepreneur interviews – from small business owners.
The Flying Squirrel: Earning Her Staff’s Respect
Her staff treated her like an outsider because of her lack of experience. So Angelina trained herself to become a capable chef, a caring manager, and a respected boss. Here’s how she started The Flying Squirrel.
“While the business was running, I was taking courses, and training myself from the ground up.” – Angelina Leong, Merchant Stories: The Flying Squirrel
Cozy Glow Candles: Connecting with Causes
Kristian’s job made him feel disconnected. Starting his own business let him put his energy into causes he believed in.
“Cozy Glow allows me to make a difference to the environment and our local community, to put our energy into causes we care about most.” – Kristian, Merchant Stories: Cozy Glow Candles
MOVE Academy: Starting a Movement
Shie Boon dropped out because school was restrictive. At 25, he took over a parkour school to realise his vision of holistic education.
“Be strong to be useful.” – Shie Boon, Merchant Stories: MOVE Academy
CakeFlix: Discovering who he could become
David’s job was turning him into a machine. Joining his partner’s bakery gave him the chance to discover who he really was.
“So many people are held back by limiting beliefs. Their fear of failure outweighs their goal of achieving.” – David, Merchant Stories: CakeFlix
Jazz Inc: Life’s too short not to pursue your passion
Personal tragedy led Sinclair to realize that ‘life is short’. He struck out on his own to pursue jazz, and he has never looked back.
“Life’s too short.” – Sinclair, Merchant Stories: Jazz Inc
Riff Raff & Co: Successfully Juggling Business & Family
Emma started a business to contribute financially to the family. Starting her own business helped her take better care of her own family, as well as other families.
“When I see the posts and emails from mummas getting even just a little bit more of that precious sleep thanks to these guys, it makes it all worthwhile.” – Emma, Merchant Stories: Riff Raff
Mula Cake: Keeping Youth off the Streets
He wanted to keep the youth off the streets and out of crime. Dexter started a business to become a role model and inspire them.
“People think the more successful you get the more famous you get. No, the more successful you get, the more change you can make.” – Dexter, Merchant Stories: Mula Cake
Charlie’s Project: Businesswoman chooses son over career
Charlie was born with Autism and Down Syndrome. Starting her own business let Anna provide for Charlie while always having time for him.
“The experience made me a better mother and a better business owner.” – Anna, Merchant Stories: Charlie’s Project
Roll Play Lounge: Embracing his Artistic Side to Grow His Business
He worked 14 hour days. He forgot how to sing. Finally, he started his own business to pursue something for himself: sharing his love for board games.
“I describe myself as a Recovering Workaholic,” – Jay, Merchant Stories: Roll Play Lounge
Kittea: Taking the Path Less Travelled – to Success
Her boss wanted to promote her. Her parents wanted her to keep going. Instead, she quit and found her own path to success.
“I only have to prove it to myself: How far can I go?” – Inez, Merchant Stories: Kittea
Shoe Mo: Finding Her Own Way
Alone in a foreign country, she quit her job and started a sneaker laundry empire.
“Be the change you want to see!” – Ginny, Merchant Stories: Shoe Mo
Mission Juice: Finding fulfillment as his own boss
Corporate hotshot quit his job to work seven days a week: just to be his own boss.
More Candybar Merchant Stories
PoPPy Flora & Nature Studio: Letting her authentic style grow and bloom
Sarah Lim doesn’t do free flowers, doesn’t copy anyone, and doesn’t do 12-rose-bouquets. She stuck to her beliefs and her personality — and built her flower business empire.
The Milky Way: A Family Business that treats you like Family
Some like their ice cream waffles with a little melt; others like them separate. At The Milky Way, they remember how you like it, and it’s why their customers treat them like family.
Shukuu Izakaya: How Manga-Fans used Educational Selling to grow a Sake bar
To impress a girl he liked, Luis of Shukuu Izakaya fell in love with Japanese culture, manga and sake – so much so he wanted to share his passion.
How Park Bench Deli Made Their Mark by Staying True to Themselves
Twilight Drinks & Galaxy Cakes: How Boufe Cafe conquered Instagram
“How can I tempt my customers to pay for a Uber ride and come all the way to Phoenix Park to eat at my cafe?” asked Sean of Boufe