I am a TikTok Professional Who Saved My Dad’s Struggling Sweet Retailer
- Annabelle King creates candy and content for Sticky, a popular Sydney candy store.
- Last year she used social media to save the company that her father owns.
- On some days she helps the team create 60 kg of candy that consists of 50 different flavors.
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This article is based on an interview with Annabelle King, a 19-year-old social media manager at a candy store in Sydney, Australia who specializes in handcrafted candy. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I started working at Sticky just to keep it going for my parents. I never saw myself in the store before.
Sticky was on the verge of collapse after the pandemic seriously affected sales. We went from busy to broke. Desperate to turn things around, I used social media to save the ailing business and it worked.
The TikTok account had more than 1 million followers in the first month after its launch and is now close to 5 million. Now the store is attracting a healthy number of customers and we’re hiring instead of letting people go.
The most obvious job I do is creating content for the store. I spend about three quarters of my week taking photos of the candy making process at Sticky for Instagram or videos for TikTok and YouTube. I spend between two and five hours every day making something interesting out of what I’m filming in the store.
In my opinion, in order to make good content on a topic, you have to be involved yourself. I try to get involved in the process as much as possible when filming confectionery making.
My daily chores change so much that I am sure that every day I can only get coffee for myself and Dad. I do a little of everything. I serve customers, make sweets, clean, pack lollipops and process online orders. Whatever has to be done, I’m your girl for it.
I’m not a full-time candy maker, but I wish I could be. You really need to have some specific skills (muscles) to make candy all day. I love stretching and shaping, but I always have trouble lifting a certain amount of candy. It’s going to be way too hard for me to manipulate.
The team has set itself the goal of producing around six batches a day, equivalent to 60 kg of candy. Sometimes we have very quick and easy designs and that gives us more candy.
In other cases, the designs will last forever and you will end up with less rock. A huge demand for Sticky’s candy has resulted in the fact that we no longer have lollipops that are not sold.
The hardest part is keeping candy stocked in-store and online.
Sticky’s rock sugar.
Everyone in the store decides on the flavors. We have more than 50 individual flavors – some more popular than others.
The enthusiasm for us comes from the flavor combinations. Sometimes someone thinks of a new blend of flavors that ends up being so good. Recently it was mangoes and cream. I really hope we keep this for a while.
Having worked at Sticky for well over a year now, I can say I can’t imagine going that fast. And after working in other candy stores, I admit – with a certain bias – that working at Sticky has been my favorite job so far.
I love my colleagues, even if these relationships can make being the boss’s daughter difficult. I’m treated with respect and we spend quite a while joking around at work, but don’t tell mom this.
Planning the future is difficult for me, everything changes so quickly. I just use every opportunity as it presents itself.