Sugarfina Co-Founder Rosie O'Neill Shares Sweet Treat


Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick are the co-founders of Sugarfina, an online candy boutique featuring sweets from around the world. This week on Dreamin Made Simple, Rosie, formerly Director of Marketing for Barbie, shares marketing lessons she has learned and her three-bite rule.

Dreaming Made Simple: I’ve read your three-bite rule.  How can you apply that advice more broadly as far as keeping consumers engaged?

Rosie O'Neill: The "three bite rule" started as a way to manage my sugar intake while taste testing dozens of candies a day.  It might sound like I'm whining, but it's actually really hard to eat 20+ candies in one sitting, day after day!  So I'd eat just one bite if it was OK, two bites if I liked it and three bites if I loved it.

This rule really applies to all aspects of life.  Try new things as often as possible, stick with what you like, and don't waste your time with the things you don't like? Life's too short.

With candy, I'm always encouraging people to try something new, even if it's just once.  That’s why we offer our candy Tasting Flights and our subscription Tasting Club.  Each box has a curated collection of 1 oz. samplers - such as a collection of candies from Italy or an assortment of artisan caramels in a dozen different flavors.  Often times your favorite candy is the one you wouldn't have tried unless it was in your tasting box.

Dreaming Made Simple: What did you learn from marketing Barbie that has helped make Sugarfina successful?

Rosie O'Neill: I apply the skills I learned at Mattel every single day - particularly when it comes to product and packaging development.  It's pretty cool to know how to take an idea and translate it into a beautiful end product that people want to buy.  Just knowing the basic mechanics of how to create a product, test it, package it, produce it, market it - It's a very rewarding process.

Consumer research was a big part of my career too.  It's so important to understand how people think, how they make decisions, and what makes them smile.  If you can figure out what people want and offer it to them in a fresh new way, you're well on your way to a successful business.

And of course, if, like Barbie, you can have a fantastic career AND have a fabulous collection of shoes?  More power to you.

Dreaming Made Simple: What’s your dream for Sugarfina?

Rosie O'Neill: Our immediate dream for Sugarfina is to open our first retail shop, which is very close to becoming a reality.  We're creating a beautiful luxury candy boutique in the heart of Beverly Hills this winter.  It will be unlike any candy store you've ever seen!

Long-term, we'd love to grow Sugarfina into an international brand, with luxury boutiques all around the world.  It makes me so happy to introduce people to delicious candies they've never seen or tasted before.  That feeling when you see someone's eyes light up because you've given them the best thing they've ever tasted - That's irreplaceable.  I will always be chasing that moment, with as many people as possible, for as long as I can.