The Secrets Behind One of the World’s Most Beautiful Candy Shops — Lunch with Rosie O’Neill, Co-Founder of Sugarfina
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their lives and career.
As an entrepreneur or business leader, the tiniest difference in our mentality will make all the differences. At Time Auction Los Angeles, we’re honored to have lunch with Rosie O’Neill, Co-Founder of Sugarfina to share her journey on building the luxury confections boutique and the mindset behind her success.
Meet Rosie O’Neill!
Rosie O’Neill is an entrepreneur best known for her Champagne and Rosé-infused gummy bears, launching Sugarfina along with her co-founder and husband Josh Resnick in 2012 to specialize in serving the finest confections from artisan candy makers around the world for grown-ups.
Ever since the opening of Sugarfina’s first retail boutique in Beverly Hills in November 2013, it has undergone an accelerated growth to 40 stores and 12 Nordstrom shop-in-shops in major cities, such as Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago and Vancouver, plus the brand’s first overseas boutique in Hong Kong. Named one of the “World’s Most Beautiful Candy Shops” by Architectural Digest and “World’s 10 Most Innovative Retailers” by Fast Company, Sugarfina disrupted the $200B sweet space at retail with its innovative store design and experience.
Rosie herself is honored as Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People (2013) and Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2016, 2017). She is also a frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences including WWD Beauty CEO summit, Etail East, Future Stores, and Playcon. She is also a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in the Santa Monica chapter.
Alter Ego Effect
When we asked Rosie about the secret behind her amazing achievements, Rosie affirmatively told us it was her alter ego.
Unlock the alternate person inside you — Rosie used her own examples at work and at leisure to show us how we could use our alter ego to achieve something seemingly impossible.
She encouraged us acknowledge that there’s a person inside us who is confident, self-assured, intelligent and able to make the world a better place.
“ You can think through the mindset of how that alter ego would approach certain situations.”
The alter ego effect is not about creating a false mask but rather about finding the hero already inside us by overcoming the self-doubt, negativity, and insecurity that hold us back and empowering us to ultimately become our best self.
Intention without Action is Nothing
When being asked about the lesson that took her the longest to learn, Rosie had no hesitation in answering us that it was related to hiring the right employee.
“I have a hard time recognizing when people have good intentions but they may not be a right fit for the role, I would let good intentions win out over everything else.”
As Rosie explained, it is crucial to get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. The smartest business decision we can make is to recruit qualified people. Bringing the right people on board saves us thousands, and the business will run much more effectively and efficiently. At the end of the day, we bet on people, not on strategies.
The Myth of Perfection
The desire to become perfect sometimes does more harm than good to people and ironically dooms them to depression and anxiety. At first, we might think that trying to be perfect is desirable, but often it turns out to overshadow the essential values and flexible nature of our goals.
The nature of the goal requires flexibility plus a real motivation to achieve the goal of creating something extremely innovative and original. Customers don’t look for perfection — they look for cost-effectiveness, and the experience they get from a good product.
“Perfect is sort of the enemy to progress. Sometimes you spend so much time trying to get the product right that you won’t get it to the market.”
If we strive towards our goals with passion and an open mind, we will find it very natural and instinctive to achieve high standards. Strive for the best with passion.
Thank you so much, Rosie, for raising 52 volunteer hours and all the volunteers who dedicated their time for Surfrider Foundation, UCLA/ UCI Blood Donation and more!