Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Interview #1: Sticky (Sweet)

Since I have always been interested in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and community events, Have decided to post at least a related-interview each week. It could be the interviews that I found online. OR It could be interviews that I have done it myself either face-to face through the events I go to, OR via email correspondence. ARE YOU EXCITED? I AM !!!!!
 Interview #1 : Sticky ( Sweet)
Article- Youth.sg
My view * I have always love their candies for its fruity taste and constantly wonder how did they customize their sweets by putting words on it.

WHO: Jamie Lim, 35 OCCUPATION: Rock candy confectioner and boss of Sticky Singapore

 He is not just a candy man. He has to be a sculptor, chef, entertainer and craftsman, all in one. For someone who had no background in any of those fields, it was not an easy journey. He went through six months of intense training and lots of disciplined practice before he could call himself a candy confectioner. Today, Jamie is the boss of Sticky Singapore with franchise stores in some other Southeast Asian countries.

We learnt more about his experience as a candy confectioner:  






Tell us about yourself. I am married to my wife of almost six years, Kristin. We have a 2½-year-old daughter who I spend a lot of time playing with. When I am free, I am on the internet, on Facebook. I read and am very much into cars. And as a business owner, I am always on the lookout for franchising opportunities in Southeast Asia. We already have Sticky stores in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia, so I travel to those places once in a while.  
Tell us more about what a rock candy confectioner does. We make candy, sugar sculptures, customise images and words into candy for corporate, wedding and special events, and of course, for retail. Making candy is all about having fun in a casual and relaxed environment.  
How and why did you come into making rock candy? Kristin and I stumbled upon Sticky Australia about four years ago while we were looking for our wedding favours. We found it interesting, so we researched and approached them to see if they were keen to bring Sticky into Singapore. This was how Sticky Singapore started. We spent about six months in Australia to master the craft of making rock candy before bringing it here. It was a challenging start. Before Sticky, I was working in a bank for about four years. Prior to that, I did sales training for six years. When Sticky became more robust, I resigned from my banking job to look after the business full-time.
 Describe a typical day at work. I go to some of the shops, check the work schedules and supervise the candy process in the kitchen. I also check my emails and call some customers. In the afternoon, I may meet up with vendors and suppliers. As a business owner, my days end pretty late, at about 10pm.   
Is there anything you do not like about your job? I wish I have more time with my family.

How long have you been in this industry and how has it changed over the years? This is the fourth year. Rock candy stores originated from Australia so they are not common here, but there have been new players coming into the fray and competitors are doing something very similar. So, we have to be on our toes and ensure that we are always one step ahead of the growing competition. What were some of the toughest challenges you faced? Meeting customers' expectations. We do candy customisation, but there are things that we can and cannot achieve. So we have to be sure of that and make feasible recommendations to customers. It is important to properly manage their requests as we do not want to fall short of their expectations. Lacking an artistic background, how do you manage to come up with the numerous designs for the rock candy? I go through the design in my head, write it down and put in some time and effort into perfecting it. I do not have an artistic background but as with all artisans, given enough time and effort, it is a skill that you fine-tune over the years. You get better over time.  
What is the most fulfilling thing about your job? Seeing people laugh. It is rewarding to see my staff enjoying themselves and having fun every day. I draw from the ten years of corporate experience I had and strive to make sure that office politics that can happen within an organisation does not happen in Sticky.  
What advice do you have for youths considering a career as a candy confectioner? Give it a shot, send your resume. Just like any other job, you will only know if you get it or not after the interview. There is no school that teaches you candy making specifically. You do not need to be a chef or have a culinary background to be a confectioner. You just need be disciplined, enthusiastic and passionate. In any organisation, you start at a low level. You need to (be willing to) learn and climb up slowly. In Sticky, there is a comprehensive career path: there are other facets of the business that you can go into, such as administrative work, logistics, delivery, planning and social media.

All the best!!!~~!!!

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