Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samantha Denton-Kinney, founder of CandyToyBox, located in Jericho, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are CandyToyBox brand, blog, and fidget toy channel on YouTube. We are a creative family, but we are not a “family vlog,” you don’t see our face in most videos. Not for a particular reason but by way of our own creative interests. Most likely, you’ll see my hands teaching “How to Play a Pop It Dice Game.” We established CandyToyBox on creativity, a love for toys, and permission to create. Specifically, create on YouTube. Not only as a child but as an adult looking for permission to play in a more creative career. Thanks to YouTube, we are able to learn, play, create and advance alongside each other on CandyToyBox.
Tell us about yourself
Truth be told, our daughter was turning two (2014) when she had the founding vision for CandyToyBox. I say founder and not “star” or “princess” because she was always very adamant about wanting to create her own videos! And make Barbie videos together in the Barbie Dreamhouse. I bought our domain CandyToyBox.com then in 2014.
We would have started earlier had there been clear answers for wanting to create a YouTube channel for your child. Over those six years, our daughter grew, Ryan’s toy review grew, YouTube grew, and so did our family with our son. Fast forward to 2020. It wasn’t until Christmas 2020 that we posted our first Play-doh Surprise Egg videos from 2014 on YouTube. (it's still on our channel, go check them out!) Kicking off our channel with Barbie and our BarbieTopia Playroom. They are great! Nothing motivates you more than a promise to your kids!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment in owning CandyToyBox is that we are accomplishing the goals that I told my children we could achieve. That truly means more to me than anything. From an analytical side, I think we are doing pretty great too! I went from having never edited a video before 2020 to now May 2022, having edited and posted over 130 videos.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Prioritizing is one of the toughest challenges you face when you are a solopreneur, especially when you're a content creator and e-commerce business owner doing everything yourself. One minute you feel great about finishing a task, the next minute, you are overwhelmed and feel like you are not moving fast enough. I work through this by remembering one quote, "Eliminate the things that will kill you, first." Doing this helps bring me back to my original goal and what needs to be accomplished. To not get distracted by shiny-object or viral-video syndrome. This is essential to achieve consistency and develop your own workflow.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Follow your instincts. If you have a niche or concept that you keep revisiting, you should definitely pursue it, whether it's early or different or quirky.
- I really believe all small businesses should make a channel on YouTube. There are an endless amount of ways to video your product or service. You can start with the history of your business or how you came up with the idea and decided to pursue it. My favorite video of ours is "Who invented the Pop It." It's an audience favorite too! That's the beauty of YouTube, you can reach a large audience even as a small channel. We've had two toy sponsors already and are excited to welcome more and collaborate.
- If you are going to try a new platform for your business. Whether it is a social media platform, Marketplace like Etsy, Search engines like YouTube, or Pinterest, do yourself a favor and educate yourself about their platform and their latest Algorithm and SEO. It will make the time you spend putting into it so much more worthwhile. Have a bunch of posts ready to go. So when you sign up with that business profile, you can be consistent posting every day, twice a day, for at least a month. When you first start your page, it has the most potential in the algorithm and the highest recency score. Fill out every section of your profile, and then be ready to use this to your advantage. Remember to hit the platforms hard and consistently. That way, the algorithms have no choice but to notice you. Get educated, get prepared, and conquer each platform or marketplace one at a time.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There is no other time when you wish your voice was louder and could reach more people than when people are in need and you want to help. We want to start a charity foundation, Fidgets4Freedom, where we collect new and gently used Pop that can be sterilized and sent to hospitals, shelters, orphanages, and donated to classrooms and sensory rooms. If you are someone who would know how to go about doing this, I would love to speak with you. :)
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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