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Sweet Success: How the Co-Founder of Sugarfina Disrupted the Candy Industry Rosie O'Neill is a master when it comes to putting a twist on a trend.

By Kristen Aldridge

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Thanks to Rosie O'Neill, entrepreneurship is getting a whole lot sweeter. After working for seven years as the director of marketing for Barbie, the self-professed candy addict co-founded Sugarfina in 2012, alongside her now-husband Josh.

"Josh took me to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on our third date," O'Neill says. "We both loved that movie as little kids, but we said to each other, where did the magic go around candy?" It was that very conversation that sparked the idea to create a luxury candy boutique for grown-ups, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sugarfina has since grown into a multimillion-dollar business. It probably comes as no surprise, then, that O'Neill's entrepreneurial spirit and gift for creativity started early on.

"I was always that kid who was being super creative without really realizing it. I'd be off making friendship bracelets or doing all these arts and crafts," O'Neill says. "I definitely skewed more towards the creative side, but I also really loved the business side. I was always turning these things into little businesses, but for whatever reason, I didn't connect the dots that it could actually be a career path."

And what a delightful career path it turned out to be. Sugarfina's Instagram-worthy products, unique store designs and innovative marketing techniques have not only made the company a household name, it's also the fastest growing confections brand in the country.

In this episode of Project Luminary with Kristen Aldridge, learn how O'Neill went from overcoming immense challenges to successfully disrupting the $200-billion confections industry, one sweet treat at a time.

Watch more episodes of Project Luminary on its YouTube Channel here.

Kristen Aldridge

Founder of Original Stories Media, Journalist, Producer and Storyteller

Emmy-winning journalist and brand storytelling expert Kristen Aldridge is founder and CEO of Original Stories Media, a production company that specializes in capturing the origin stories behind the world’s most impactful brands. With over two decades of experience in the media industry, she has created content garnering millions of views for hugely successful platforms including Entrepreneur, ESPN, ABC, CBS, Yahoo!, and SHAPE.

Passionate about all things entrepreneurship, Aldridge created the original digital series How Brands Are Born to shine a light on all the remarkable people changing the world one big, bold dream at a time. Her mission is to help leaders reveal their most authentic selves so they can more effectively unleash their vision, inspire their culture, and bring deep value to the marketplace.

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