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From Candy Makers to Video Marketing Stars: The Sticky Story

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During the pandemic, many businesses faced challenges and had to find innovative ways to survive. One such business is Sticky Lollies, a small boutique candy shop in Sydney, Australia. When the pandemic hit and their brick-and-mortar store was forced to close, the owners, David and Lily, came up with a unique idea to keep their business afloat – live streaming their candy-making process.

In this podcast, I invited the founder of Sticky Lollies, David King, and one of the key drivers of their video marketing, his daughter, Annabelle King, onto the show today to learn more about the video strategy they are implementing for their business.

If you found this episode of value I’d love for you to reach out and let me know on Instagram @engage_ben or email podcast@engagevideomarketing.com

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Transcript of the Interview: ** Note: the following transcript was generated by AI and therefore may contain some errors and omissions.

Ben (00:00.378)
Yeah. All right. So we’ve done our countdown. All right, guys. So we’ll get into it. David and Annabel, welcome to the podcast. How are you guys today?

Annabelle and David (00:09.064)
Good Ben, good. Thanks for having us on. I appreciate the offer.

Ben (00:12.022)
Well, I appreciate you taking the time to share your story with our listeners and viewers here today because I did a bit of an introduction to you guys, you know, before we rolled the interview here, but we were just chatting before we hit record about some of the story about how I came across you guys. But I’d love for you to share a little bit about.

yourself, about your journey both in business but then moving into the embracing of video and social media that you guys have done today. We’ll start with you David if you want to kick us off and then let Annabelle take over where she wants.

Annabelle and David (00:43.972)
Yeah, maybe in terms of business background, we’ve had a business in Sydney for over 20 years now, I think coming up to 22 in December this year. There’ve been some fabulous highs and some fabulous lows. We did have three locations in Sydney, went back to one. We developed relationships with some people overseas. So we have developed franchises, although they’re franchises name only really, it’s more like a kind of relationship that we have with people in 11 different countries.

a lot of which are still going, they’re not all still going, but business has been, you know, I think as it is for everyone, a bit of a roller coaster. There’s been some fabulous bits and some low bits and probably none lower than March of 2020 when COVID came along and the pandemic hit Sydney, we’re located in the rocks. So of all the parts of Sydney that were hit by COVID, I think the rocks was probably, you know, it’s a tourist precinct, so.

Everyone disappeared. We were literally walking around in a kind of post-apocalyptic zombie movie or what felt like it for a little while there. And the other part of our business has always been weddings and corporate promotional stuff and everyone cancelled their wedding and everyone cancelled their corporate event. So business kind of went to zero pretty much instantaneously over the period of about a week in March of 2020. What we do is inherently a little theatrical or not a little but like it is theatrical.

people will stand and watch us do what we do because the process is kind of mesmerizing. And we were standing there about to pull the doors down and thinking how are we going to survive this? Like I think a lot of businesses in Sydney and we thought maybe we can just leverage part of what we do into some kind of online offer. And it’s interesting because the technology to really do that probably wasn’t there two or three years before but now all of a sudden.

with a decent handset and a 4G network and the kind of social media platforms that are out there, you can pretty much be instantaneously broadcasting to every country on earth with extraordinarily low barriers to entry. There’s nothing, and that’s all we did. We took an iPhone and set it up against the glass and went live initially on Instagram and then on Facebook and just found this kind of instantaneous response. People really…

Ben (02:58.486)

Annabelle and David (03:09.12)
getting, not just kind of enjoying the process, but getting a lot out of the fact that there was this stupid little lolly shop in Sydney in the middle of a pandemic where nothing was wrong. We were dressing up as and stupid outfits and putting ourselves out there. But, you know, really, really quickly, it went from 20 people watching to 60 to 150. And when it went crazy, probably a month after that, we were having 20,000 people from all over the world watching us do a live stream dressed as as.

hobbits from Mordor or something like that. But at its core, it’s the process, you know? What we do is sculptural, it has a beginning, it has a process, it has a construction, it has a reveal at the end. It is kind of a mesmerizing process. So combining that, the process, with the personality of some of the guys in the shops, you know, kind of, it just took off, it went a little bit crazy, took us entirely by surprise. It was a delightful surprise in the middle of a pandemic.

Ben (03:40.255)

Ben (03:44.512)

Ben (04:05.918)
Yeah. So tell me, where did that idea originally come from? Had you done live streaming before or you just thought there’s no one here physically, this is a way to get it out in front of people? Who pushed that idea forward? I’m going to have to ask you Annabel as well, but David, go for it.

Annabelle and David (04:11.353)

Annabelle and David (04:18.408)
This is a dangerous question. The original idea, I think, was, well, Lily and I, Lily who’s been with us for about 16 years now, and she’s our store manager and a really core part of the business, we were standing in the rocks, literally thinking, that’s just it, they just announced a version of JobKeeper in the UK and we were thinking we can get through to that.

I can’t remember if it was Lily or I, but like we said, why don’t we just try putting it on Instagram, do a live on Instagram. And that was it, that was the original idea. It went crazy on those two platforms, particularly on Facebook with a really big US audience. And the timing was kind of nice for us because 10.30 in Sydney is sort of seven o’clock at night in the US depending on where you are. And then after a few months, Annabelle…

She was in her last year of high school at the time doing her HSC and she was sort of watching what was happening and she suggested we start a TikTok. And that kind of, once we did that, that took what we were doing. We were mainly doing live streams and then doing that and taking it and transforming it into short form video, first on TikTok, but then on YouTube shorts and then taking some of that short form content and posting it across the other platforms as well.

and it took it to a whole new level. There was one little weekend where someone in the States shared one of our, they call it duetting on TikTok, but duetted one of our videos and we got like a million and a half followers overnight and our website melted down and all of a sudden we had logistical issues in terms of being, we actually had to transform the business from a bricks and mortar retailer, we’re still a bricks and mortar retailer, but into an online…

You know, we’ll never be Amazon, but all of a sudden we had to be fulfilling orders in the same way that Amazon does. So there was a lot of the back of house stuff was quite difficult. But the live streams and the short film video, yeah, they just went crazy.

Ben (06:13.262)

Ben (06:22.038)
Yeah, awesome.

Ben (06:27.67)
Well, I do want to get to TikTok in a minute, but take me back to when you originally, you know, March of 2020 and, you know, your bricks and mortar side of your business was basically, you know, kind of disappeared under your feet, right? Were you already able to fulfil online at that stage or was that something, like, did you have something to sell from those live streams at that stage?

Annabelle and David (06:49.7)
We had lollies, we were making lollies and we had a shop full of lollies that we’d made already. We had an online shopping… We were getting maybe 10 orders a week from different parts of Australia. It really wasn’t much of our business. Most of our online presence and our website was devoted to what we do around customised product. So we do a lot of weddings, as I said. So most of our website was a…

Ben (07:11.947)

Annabelle and David (07:17.544)
more like a brochure for what we can do for you in a customized sense more than anything else. Having you know we people were emailing us what they wanted to buy and we were sending them an invoice and they were paying us by PayPal initially and then we would put their order in a box and then we would ship it out and I would put it in the back of a car and drive it out to Alexandria and yes that transformation.

Ben (07:36.862)
It’s very manual.

Annabelle and David (07:45.784)
It was forced on us and it happened very quickly. But we were up late at night trying to satisfy people’s orders which were coming in by email. It was a difficult little transformation that one. A lot on mom as well. My mom who does the kind of like back of, she does a lot of the logistics. She does most of the logistics. And it was like, you could see her up at like 2 a.m. sometimes just trying to like answer people’s PayPal orders and.

get their information through so they could get lollies so that our business could stay afloat and things like that.

Ben (08:15.838)
Yeah, well, it kept the doors open, right? So take me to, you know, business was kind of back, you know, shops were open, people were back on the streets. And where did TikTok factor into it? At what stage did you kind of, you know, come to dad and Annabelle with that suggestion of, hey, let’s try TikTok. And what was that suggestion? Yeah.

Annabelle and David (08:35.068)
Sorry, I’ll let Annabelle answer this, but it was a long time before people were back. It was, you know. It was a year and a half, two years. Yeah, we didn’t have people back in the rock.

Ben (08:41.494)
Yeah. Oh, so TikTok happened still during lockdowns and…

Annabelle and David (08:45.68)
Tik Tok happened about a month after we started first going live. So it was probably end of May. It was April. So it was April. No. So we were doing the live streams and I was in high school still. Um, and at that time, Tik Tok was still, it wasn’t what it is today. It was still like, there was no Tik Tok Australia. There was just Tik Tok. Um, and you know, it was still a bit cringy.

to have a TikTok account and to actually post TikTok content, even though everyone had a TikTok account and just watched TikTok content. So it was this real transformation period that we were really lucky to kind of jump in at right, the exact right moment between, it wasn’t too weird to have a TikTok account, but it was starting to become something that’s more relevant and there’s starting to be more and more people on it. So we jumped on and I think in the first few weeks, we got up to 300,000 followers.

Like the first day we broke a thousand, then we, three hundred thousand, then there was one weekend we got a million. And I think that was about a month in, almost exactly a month in. So a million followers in a day, which is completely insane. Like that would never happen again. And yeah, it wasn’t, they were really looking at it because it was a series of lockdowns and people still scared to leave the house. The TikTok came into it way before we even had people back in the shop, like.

We were still looking at a ghost town like late 2021. Yeah. Yeah, no, we were for a long period there, at least 18 months, we were entirely an online business. Entirely.

Ben (10:16.918)

Ben (10:23.914)
Yeah, I’m just gonna pause for a second, guys. I’m getting some dropouts for a bit there and I lost a little bit of that. The benefit of this platform we’re on is it’s still recording either end there. But if we do get that again, where, I don’t know, if you can, did I freeze for a bit there as well or? Pretty low quality, yeah.

Annabelle and David (10:40.533)
You’re not frozen, but your image is kind of blurry, but you’re not frozen.

Ben (10:46.158)
So the benefit of this platform is it is recording both ends separately. So if we do have a dropout then it should be okay. We just might need to kind of pause and regather. And the, oh right, I can still hear and see you. But the beauty of editing is we’ll be able to stitch it together.

Annabelle and David (10:54.372)
Yeah, you’ve dropped out now.

Annabelle and David (11:02.92)
I think it is. Yeah, yep. We got, yep. I doubt that it’s us. We do have pretty good wifi here. It dropped out earlier today.

Ben (11:04.595)
Are you on strong Wi-Fi or?


Ben (11:13.334)
Yeah, cool. What I might do is I’ll turn on what we call low data mode here. What that’ll do is it’ll turn off the video feed, but we’re still on video. Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Hello? Okay. I’ve just turned on what’s called low

Annabelle and David (11:15.612)
They could be.

Annabelle and David (11:32.18)
I’ve got you back. No, then you’re here, then you’re gone. I can hear you.

I can’t see you. Is that, is that supposed to happen?

Ben (11:41.738)
Now that’s okay, I’ve just turned on what’s called low data mode, which basically means the video’s turned off but it’s still recording. So hopefully that should mean that we can hear each other well.

Annabelle and David (11:50.15)
Oh, okay.

Annabelle and David (11:54.276)
Okay, we can definitely hear you. I can’t see you but I can definitely hear you.

Ben (11:58.006)
Okay, so we’ll keep recording, but if you guys just remember that the camera is still on, it is still recording on your end, but you just can’t see me and I can’t see you, but we are recording you. Okay, all right, let’s get back into it. So I’ll just lead in with a question and we’ll stitch it together. Is that good?

Annabelle and David (12:19.591)
No, you’re dropped out again.

Ben (12:21.014)
You still can’t hear me?

Annabelle and David (12:23.272)
I think it might be our internet, Dad. I know you’re saying that, but like… It dropped out earlier today.

Ben (12:24.887)

Ben (12:31.127)
Can you hear me at all?

Annabelle and David (12:32.496)
Yeah, we can hear you again. Just hang on, I’m just going to do a speed test on our internet.

Ben (12:37.659)
Okay, no sweat.

Annabelle and David (12:55.656)
about 30 megabytes a second I’m surprised it’s I mean it’s not fantastic but

Ben (13:01.77)
Look, let’s push through. If it does keep dropping out, then we’ll deal with that as we go. But so long as you can hear me and we can continue the conversation, then it’ll be all good.

You can hear me? You’ve lost me again, okay. Okay, all right. It did do, I’m just trying to think, like we’ve got strong internet here.

Annabelle and David (13:15.332)
No, we’ve lost you again. No, no, now you’re back again.


Annabelle and David (13:29.728)
You mind saying I’ve got all the bars and I’ve got…

Annabelle and David (13:37.212)
says it’s fine.

Ben (13:39.279)
Sorry guys, technical issues are always fun.

Annabelle and David (13:51.452)
Have you got us?

Ben (13:53.098)
Yeah, I can hear you. I’m just running another speed test here, just to see where we’re at.

Ben (14:01.942)
Yeah, like 200 down.

Ben (14:07.622)
150 download. So you’re on about 30, were you?

Ben (14:17.662)
Anyway, if you can hear me now, guys, then we’ll continue and we’ll see how we go.

Annabelle and David (14:23.447)
I can hear you.

Ben (14:24.79)
Okay, all right, let’s just see how we go. If you lose me a bit, hopefully you’ll gather the gist of my question and if I’m not answering, you just keep talking. That’ll be good. All right, sounds good. Okay, I’m gonna lead you in with another question and we’ll see where it goes.

So David, I want to ask you, you know, Annabel, you know, obviously, you know, being a high school student at the time was aware of Tik Tok and, you know, maybe, you know, had used Tik Tok personally, but what were your thoughts about Tik Tok as a tool for your business when you, that was first introduced to you and, and how has that changed now?

Annabelle and David (15:00.8)
Uh, look, there’s kind of two answers. The first one, my response was, what the hell’s TikTok originally? And it wasn’t quite that, like I heard of TikTok. TikTok was in the news here mostly because of the concerns about it being a sophisticated piece of Chinese spy, where I had more than anything else at the time. The other part of the question is, at that time I was pretty much ready to jump on board with anything. We’d had such a…

Ben (15:17.55)

Annabelle and David (15:29.176)
Such a great response with Facebook and Instagram. I think Annabel loves telling the story that I pushed back on her on the TikTok, but I think it just took me a little while to work out what it was. And as soon as I did, it was, yeah, well, look, why not? You know, and it’s kind of my, has been my big takeaway from all of this process is these vehicles are out there, these platforms are out there, there are these opportunities out there. And…

you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a go. It’s not like traditional advertising where you put down your $50,000 budget and if it doesn’t work, you’ve lost $50,000. These platforms are just like, it’s all set up for you and it’s ready to use. So, when that came along, not long after TikTok came along, everybody thought they needed to jump on that bandwagon. So YouTube came out with shorts and then Facebook came out with, well, Instagram had reels and…

One of the things we did, I think, all the way through, as soon as any platform was announcing anything, it’s, well, let’s give it a go. Let’s, you know. Yeah, it’s threads at the moment. Threads on Facebook. We got one of them. But I think that’s it. There’s so little to lose. Maybe, and it’s probably an advantage that small business has over large business to a certain extent is, or there’s two advantages I think small business has is one is there is less to lose. Your reputation or…

Ben (16:35.038)
Yeah. Right.

Annabelle and David (16:54.116)
risk isn’t as high. And with small business, it’s a lot easier to be human. What people have responded to with us as much as anything else is we’ve just kind of been ourselves. And we’ve, you know, it’s a lot easier to present the human in your business if you are a family business. So we’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain and, you know, early on working out that there really isn’t much to fear because you may as well just

Ben (17:04.693)

Ben (17:13.175)

Annabelle and David (17:23.776)
make content and see what happens. Yeah, when TikTok came along, it took a week or two before I kind of worked out what the platform was, but then I was, yeah, of course, let’s do it.

Ben (17:28.258)

Ben (17:35.65)
So I’m interested, you touched on something that I think is really important for any business owner or marketer or anyone listening to really hit on is the idea that it’s.

These platforms allow the humanity of your business to come through, the human element, right? The people, because people do business with people and people buy stuff from people. And that’s a mindset shift, I think, for traditional marketing and advertising where sometimes it’s less human and more, it’s more contrived and more choreographed and creative and so on. So Annabel, let me ask you, what do you think is somewhat of the secret source to the way that you guys approach?

video content in your business that maybe other businesses can adopt and embrace for themselves.

Annabelle and David (18:24.089)
A lot of your question was cut out there, but I can do my best to answer. Yeah, I can do just from the start.

Ben (18:26.186)
Okay, yeah, can I get, do you want me to ask again if you can hear me? So, yep, so Annabelle, I was asking you, like, what do you think is somewhat of your secret source that you guys have adopted in the way that you approach these forms of video content for sticky lollies and that other businesses that maybe haven’t really thought about it this way can adopt for themselves?

Annabelle and David (18:50.24)
I think that it’s very easy to over complicate it. So it’s a very new format. Like when we compare it to other forms of content that has been traditionally delivered, like television, even other forms of advertising, which are very produced. And that’s, you know, great for those platforms, television, radio, but for these platforms, people really don’t wanna see television. Like they don’t wanna see something that’s

very highly produced, very distant from them. They wanna be able to engage and they wanna be able to, what would you say, like, they wanna engage and they wanna see, like, they wanna see something real. Like, they can go anywhere else for fiction. And so I think my secret is always, I just don’t overcomplicate it. If I took a really good video of dad just making like a candy bubble and then popping it.

I don’t need to go in and add, like, I don’t need to go in and change how he looks or change screen overlays and add a whole lot of things. That’s good enough to be its own video. And it means that to create the whole video probably took like five minutes, not even. And I think that people can get bogged down in trying to create the perfect video of trying to get the production just right, of trying to get everything to look perfect when people don’t actually want to see that stuff on those channels. Like they want to see…

you kind of fail and be human and be relatable and someone they can engage with. And I pull that philosophy over into not only how I create content but also how I manage the content. So I’m very big on like if I made a great TikTok video that everyone enjoyed, I’m just going to put it straight onto YouTube shorts and I’m not going to change a thing. I’m not going to spend ages curating different content for different platforms when it’s already worked and it probably will work again.

There are exceptions to the rule I have, but overall it just helps. Makes my job easier. And I think people enjoy it more. Yeah. I think maybe just to echo exactly what Annabelle said and maybe slightly different, but like, I think what we did a bit differently to other people is what traditionally, well, not traditionally, but what businesses generally do on social media is they do the media in the same way that they’ve always done media.

Ben (20:43.96)

Ben (20:53.206)
Yeah, that’s great.

Annabelle and David (21:11.876)
like the same way they’ve done print advertising or television advertising, or they’re beautifully crafted and highly curated, it’s still images or video or, and they look great. And they would look great on channel 10, or they would like look great just about anywhere in Vogue magazine or, but what we did is the, we kind of did the social bit, you know, and it’s one of the things that going live really taught us is what people love is when you stuff up. They love it when you make mistakes, they love it when you’re human.

Ben (21:38.55)

Annabelle and David (21:41.436)
They love it when you roll something off the table or, I don’t know, those are the stories that, what’s social is it’s about relationships. So doing the social thing means creating, it’s harder in some ways because you’re creating relationships with people, but at the same time, it’s easier because you don’t have to be so beautifully crafted. You can just.

Throw stuff up and be yourself. And if people see that you’re being yourself, that’s where the social in social media comes from.

Ben (22:14.474)
Yeah, I think that’s a key takeaway for anyone listening to this today is just to allow themselves to be human and be themselves. But at the end of the day, I think that ultimately if a business is going to invest time into doing content like this, there needs to be business outcomes as well. So I’m interested how strategic you guys are with your approach. Like are you just doing it, I mean obviously you know it works, right? It does have business outcomes for you now. But…

Annabelle and David (22:22.34)
We’re happy.

Annabelle and David (22:32.717)
Thank you.

Ben (22:41.75)
you know, how strategic were you in the start and how strategic are you now or planned out in advance and all of that sort of stuff.

Annabelle and David (22:49.448)
Maybe we um, sorry, because I manage more of the day to day stuff And at the start it was just did I take a nice video put it up whenever I felt like it There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason And then we hit this problem where we were getting too many orders and like the back end of our sites couldn’t keep up So it became this problem of okay Well, we actually have to space out what we do and figure out what we post about and when and if we post this thing Do we have that in stock?

Um, and so I mean, at the start, it’s, it’s really been like two, three year learning curve of how do we manage it strategically and how do we make sure that it all works together, but at the start, it didn’t work together as well as you would have liked. Yeah, no, it is about coordinating. Sorry, Ben.

Ben (23:33.346)

So we’ve been forced to be more strategic.

So you’ve been forced to be more strategic over the years.

Annabelle and David (23:44.372)
Yeah, probably good. But we have a production schedule and we have what’s in stock and what’s coming up in the next few weeks, which will kind of determine what kind of video content we release at what time. You know, we have a particular schedule that we go live. Everything is pretty much timed these days. It’s more tactical than strategic though, I almost think.

Ben (23:45.844)

Annabelle and David (24:14.62)
system and a way we do things and then it’s just kind of coordinating the bits and pieces whether it’s whether it’s production schedules or rosters or availabilities or You know and putting all those together into one cohesive whole

Ben (24:29.47)
Yeah. So can you talk us through, I guess, the workflow on a daily or weekly basis there at Sticky. So, you know, is it just, Annabelle, are you wholly responsible for capturing stuff and posting it or do you have a kind of a team structure there or how do you manage that content schedule now?

Annabelle and David (24:48.076)
it’s very cross collaborative like it was at the it’s actually never just been me so I mean all the live streams dad manages most of the live streams across all the platforms and then our manager Lily who we mentioned before she does Instagram and threads and that’s what she does it’s just great and we share content between us so sometimes she’s capturing stuff sometimes I’m capturing stuff and we just share everything and we usually make our own content but we have the raw footage together and then

I actually, I got an assistant this year, who I go to university with, he’s great, his name’s Lachlan, and we kind of do two halves of a full-time job together. But, so it’s actually, it’s never been anyone’s sole responsibility to get all of it, it’s always been, there’s multiple people who can do their best to film something or capture something or create something or give you ideas. I would say I probably coordinate it across everything, like I try to…

Okay, I’m doing this and then you’re gonna do this and I’ll post this if you do this. But I’m not the one who makes everything happen. I need everybody on board with me to make things happen.

Ben (26:00.458)
Yep, okay, awesome. I’m wondering if you’ve got any advice or any thoughts for that business owner listening, maybe they have a bricks and mortar store or maybe it’s a service-based business or e-commerce or whatever, do either of you guys maybe have any advice that would encourage someone to just start trying some of this for themselves if they’re doing nothing right now, whether it be live streaming or whether it be short form video content, what advice would you give to that business owner out there?

based on your experiences.

Annabelle and David (26:32.024)
Look, it’s pretty nerve wracking, I think. I mean, it was maybe less nerve wracking for us at the time when we first started because we’d already gone broke. So there really was nothing to lose. But that idea of putting yourself out there without a filter, without a barrier between you and an audience, it can be pretty intimidating. So what I would say is…

And probably the thing that one of the things that’s been made clear is to me is these platforms are so big. Like if you’ve got two billion people on Facebook, you really don’t have to appeal to a very high percentage of people on Facebook to appeal to a lot of people, if you know what I mean. So, you know, if the if the thoughts running through your head is, well, how do I how do I produce content that’s going to engage with two billion people? You’re not. It can’t be done. But if

If you can identify with and create a relationship with 0.0001% of people on Facebook, that’s a massive audience. So I think that’s one of the things that can make it a lot easier to just try producing some of this content is not try and please everybody. But once it gets out there that you might find an audience that is just absolutely taken with what you do. And because the barriers to entry are so low, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Really. And the other big bit of advice would be, be yourself. That’s a hard one, but you’re allowed to make mistakes and you’re allowed to be a little bit hopeless and you’re allowed to get things wrong. You’re allowed to apologize. You’re allowed to be generous. You’re allowed to be all those things that being social means on the platform. So, I don’t think anyone’s really got much to lose. If you’re gonna share something in your business,

Ben (27:57.591)

Annabelle and David (28:26.92)
Try and make it that you’re sharing the people in your business. You can share your product, but somehow bring the people behind the product in front of the camera as well. And that’s it. Show people the humanity that exists within you and your business.

Ben (28:43.53)
Yeah, that’s awesome. So, you mentioned about finding, like the internet’s a big place, and you mentioned about finding your audience there. So, I think last I checked, you guys have over half a million followers on Instagram and 1.6 something on a million on Facebook. And I think it’s seven million something on TikTok, right? Like, you’ve obviously found an audience that loves what you guys do, but can you summarise for us, like, when you get…

those numbers and they could just be vanity metrics, right? There’ll be people following your accounts, but what does that mean for the business? Like take us to now, like what has this done for you guys?

Ben (29:33.442)
Did you lose me? Okay, I’ll ask the end of the question is basically what has this done for the business? Getting all of these followers, all this traction on social media, what’s it look like now for you guys in the business?

Annabelle and David (29:35.229)
Just the end of that, yes.

Annabelle and David (29:49.204)
There is I’m sorry. I’ll just start the first the one I think the biggest point that make I think the clearest thing that makes this point is um When you get a million a hundred thousand or a million followers on subscribers on YouTube you get a big plaque They send it to you and you get this huge plaque To flux and put it in the store and the amount of people who number one either say I’ve seen you on YouTube and there’s your plaque and I’ve seen you before or

Ben (30:04.811)

Annabelle and David (30:17.568)
recognize the plaque and go, oh my god, you guys must be so famous. It’s this dual effect of like these numbers, they’re huge and they mean a lot of people have seen us before and it’s great for business and everything but there’s a lot of people who haven’t seen you still and like the numbers kind of also affect them to buy from your business at the same time. It’s affected our business in number, we’re tripled in size so we’re probably three times bigger.

with nearly three times the staff that we had before the pandemic began. The other one is it’s a vastly outsized profile for the size of the business we really have. We’re still a little shop in the rocks. We have a commercial kitchen in our Taunton. We’re still just a little business making artisanal handmade rock candy. But I was actually having this conversation the other day. I would guess that we’re probably the most famous shop.

Ben (31:01.41)

Annabelle and David (31:17.248)
in the world now. You know, there’s, there’s maybe Tiffany’s in New York, or I mean, not that that’s anything to really brag about. But there is it is the, you know, my brother will be in Spain on the beach in Spain, gets talking to a little kid, and the little kid will say, Oh, you’re from Australia. Have you ever been to this candy store? And he’ll say, That’s my brother’s like, it’s, it’s kind of bizarre the extent to which

Ben (31:37.495)

Ben (31:41.579)
That’s wild.

Annabelle and David (31:44.32)
your message and your product and your brand can spread if you get some traction on the platforms. So one, it has made a massive difference to us in terms of just simply turnover and size, what we produce and who we employ and how much payroll tax we’ve got to pay and all those questions. But it’s also, you know, it’s turned our brand into something that, you know, vast numbers of people in any country in the world from

If we’re doing a live TikTok, we’ll have people from Ukraine or Israel or Nigeria or in the feed along with people from the United States and Australia. So those don’t always turn into sales, but there’s this kind of feeling when people are watching us that they’re watching something that’s kind of cool and global for this stupid little lolly shop in Sydney.

Ben (32:38.41)
Yeah. It’s a crazy story and it is an inspiring story as well for other businesses, which is why I wanted to bring you guys on the show to share more about your story. But just in closing here, guys, I’d love to just hear from you guys. What’s next for Sticky? What’s next for your video strategy? Where are you going? You’re just going to keep doing the same and loving life or where are you headed?

Annabelle and David (32:43.9)
Do it again.

Annabelle and David (32:59.372)
I gotta finish uni first. Annabelle’s gotta finish uni. We actually, we’ve been through a little bit of a, over the last year and a half, this kind of question came up of, are we a candy business that makes videos or are we a video company that makes candy? Because for a little while there, it did seem like there was this opportunity to create an entirely new.

online video offer with travel stories and all sorts of stuff. I think we probably want to keep the core of what we do. What we do is, it was a little bit faddish for a while, but there is a genuine process there. There’s people who, you know, the audience is big enough that we can keep doing what we do. I think we want to bring on some new product lines, continually innovate in what we, in what our core product lines are, as well as add some new ones.

And in terms of the video and what we do there, I think we try and stay relevant, try and keep it fresh as much as possible. And I think we’re looking for opportunities to do other things, but at the same time, I think it’s become more and more clear over the last six months that the reason people like the business is because the business does what the business does and to try and become, transform into something new, I don’t know that.

that’s probably the direction we’re gonna take.

Ben (34:26.518)
There we go. The world is your oyster. There’s plenty of opportunity. Who knows? You’ve got the real housewives of Melbourne. Now we’ve got the real lollymakers of Sydney coming down the path. So…

Annabelle and David (34:40.204)
We have had offers, you know, there’s this, what do they call it? OcuFollow, shows like Cake Boss. Oh yeah. You know, where they come in and they film your boards and all and they try and they help you to generate conflict in your business to create interesting real life drama. And we have had offers to have people come in and film the business that way. Sounds horrible. But it sounds horrible, quite honestly.

Ben (34:48.231)
Right, yeah, yeah.

Ben (35:07.232)

Annabelle and David (35:08.652)
We have enough conflict in our business already without people following us around with cameras in their face. So, I mean, what’s kind of nice is we have this kind of profile that you go, oh my god, three and a half million followers on YouTube and seven on TikTok. But we’re unrecognisable. No one knows who we are. We’re not, you know, you walk down the street, unless you do your hair in the special Annabelle. Unless I do my hairstyle, no one knows who I am. Yeah, but so that’s kind of nice. If the business is doing well and people are enjoying us. I mean…

Ben (35:12.15)

Annabelle and David (35:38.268)
The stuff after three years, the stuff that I think I got most out of it is, is the community stuff, which sounds a bit naff, but you know, we’ve got this little group on, on Facebook, or it’s not little, but it’s, it’s called sticky friends. And it’s, it’s all these hardcore weirdos who really like what we do. And it’s about 43,000 people, but it’s people who, you know, the world is a dark and isolated place through the pandemic. And it’s people who

Ben (35:56.626)
Haha. Wow.

Annabelle and David (36:05.2)
And I have people all the time in the shop and online and in the group who just say the way we really save their lives just by being something you know, distracting during the pandemic and not something, you know, the way a lot of the internet works is about creating, getting people enraged and you know, getting outraged.

Yeah, so, but we’re not like that, we’re just kind of nice. And so that kind of community stuff, people are continually reaching out and saying, thank you, thank you, thank you. And I’m reaching back saying, thank you, thank you, thank you. That sort of mutual gratitude is really gratifying. It’s really lovely. So while I’m pleased the business has gone well, when I look back and think what are the things that I’ve enjoyed most about it, it’s having that kind of community grow up around the business too, that’s been really satisfying.

Ben (36:31.918)

Ben (37:01.374)
Yeah, that’s so cool. I just think what I really take away from that, David and Annabel, is that you did something to save a business. Many business owners are working to build a business that works. But by doing so, what you’ve actually done is just empowered a whole community around you, around the world, just through entertainment and through humanity. That’s resulted in a business that’s growing.

rapidly as well. It’s a really cool story and I really appreciate you sharing that for us today. Thanks guys.

Annabelle and David (37:34.936)
A pleasure. I’m happy to look if I’d leave anyone with any one thing. It’s like think about how does how does your business do the social in social media? Like not just the media part, but the social in the social media. And you can only do that by being human and being yourself and showing that to the world, which is nerve wracking and scary. And but the rewards are incredible if you can find a way to do that in a way that engages with people.

Ben (37:42.08)

Ben (38:00.502)
Massively inspiring. Thanks guys. So go encourage everyone listening or watching to go and check out what these guys are doing across all the platforms. Go and follow them on all the platforms and enjoy the content they’re putting out on a regular basis. And be sure to reach out to the team there as well and let them know that you heard about them here on the show. So David, Annabel, thank you very much for joining me today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Annabelle and David (38:24.136)
Thank you. Thanks, Ben. Really appreciate the offer, mate. It’s good luck with what you’re doing. And yeah, if anybody wants to come in and say hello and watch me make some lollies, just say g’day. Just come and say g’day.

Ben (38:37.134)
Awesome. Okay, we’ll stop there.


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