Thank you to Sivanna (Jasmine) and Mike (Liam) for helping me out with this podcast
MUSIC CREDIT: ABRAZAME, autor : JULIO IGLESIAS / FERRO / LIVI, EL MUNDO, autor : JIMMY FONTANA, И.Корнелюк – Город, которого нет, Confused Instrumental by WellDAMN_Malik, Emotional background music by Federico Aldinucci
There are those who say that relationships are hard- well, those people are right. Yet, relationships are like gas in a jar- they expand to fill the container and consume everything around it; Friends, family, etc.become a crucial part of the story, each one an individual piece of the a bigger puzzle. The story of any relationship is messy and complex, but from the outside looking in, the abyss seems to clear. More Than Just A Triangle explores that side the story.
Narrator: Simona Kazinets
Jasmine: Sivanna Shusterman
Liam: Mike Stevens
MUSIC CREDIT: ABRAZAME, autor : JULIO IGLESIAS / FERRO / LIVI, EL MUNDO, autor : JIMMY FONTANA, И.Корнелюк – Город, которого нет (Banditskiy Petersburg)
This series would be based on real events with fictional elements to it. I was involved in a story where it felt like I was in the middle of things. It’s a complicated love story that has its twists and turns, that my friend and I had to experience hearing from the two sides. It would follow the three main people that are involved and the ups and downs of those relationships. Without spoiling anything there is a “before” and “after” phase, that would allow me to split this into two episodes. I don’t really have a name for it yet, but its a work in progress. It does come to a conclusion, that you will find out when you tune in.
Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three. Come with me. And you’ll be. In a world of Pure imagination.
In a dark time, it’s nice to know there’s a place that, to quote Willy Wonka, is full of pure imagination. That would be a candy store called Lolli and Pops. The company was founded in 2012. It’s an up and coming chain based out of San Francisco. Recently, they made the move to the East coast, opening stores in Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and now New Jersey. I had a chance to visit Lolli and Pops, a store at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey that is not like the rest. Simona Kazinets visits Lolli and Pops, a store at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey that is not like the rest.
From a distance you can tell that one store is not like the rest. Lolli and Pops has a vintage color scheme and style to it from the outside of the store to the uniform of its employees. From the moment you step in it feels like you have just walked into the Disney World of candy. There is a treat at every corner you turn to, and in the middle of it all is a giant Golden teddy bear. I had a chance to talk to Sydney Driscoll, 20, a sales associate, but here they call them magic makers.
The range of candies that the store has to offer is beyond compare. Driscoll says, “A lot of the treats are from around the world. We get candy from europe, mexico, asia and then we get vintage candy, that’s classy candy, there is something for everyone we try to go with.”
Lolli and Pops carries not just common brands of candy but also their own, distinctive creations. As Driscoll describes, “All the alcohol infused gummy bears are Lolli and pops brand, we have our line of chocolate bars and then we also have our specialty bars which are topped bars that have candy or potato chips or almonds, and sea salt on top of it or sprinkles.”
The place gives off positive vibes. Customers walking in are greeted with every color of the rainbow. The staff greet them with a smile and a treat, and who doesn’t love free candy. I asked Tatiana, a customer in the store, if she could describe the store in three words what would they be, she said “funny attractive, and colorful.”
Besides the fun side of it all, this place is still a business. However, with recent times it seems they have been able success against their competition. As Driscoll recalled, “I mean at first there was another candy store here that was open. That was open since I was young, and I’m 20 years old so”. She continued, “That was open for a long time but they closed down in January and they were going under before we even came to the mall. So I think that was our only competition really because he sold cheaper candy but at the same time that candy was not like our candy.”
As Driscoll continued to recall what the mall used to be like, nothing like Lolli and Pops comes to mind. The difference of how the store looks is part of what draws people in. As she said, “Because it’s so bright and colorful and it’s not like anything else in this mall. I’ve lived in this town my whole life and I’ve been going to this mall since I was like 8 months old, and we, I have never seen anything like this store here.”
As I continue to circle around the giant gummy bear there is something stuck in the back of mind that keeps telling me to take my phone out and put this place on Instagram. With over 13,000 photos under the #LolliandPops I was not the only one with this idea. Sometimes the employees even get in the fun as Driscoll describes, “We have so many people coming in, like I had somebody take a picture I had people take pictures of me, when I have full uniform on.”
One of the biggest attractions seems to be the Golden teddy bear, as she said, “People ask me to take pictures of them with the giant gold gummy bear, they take pictures of their little macaron and truffle boxes, so definitely instagramable. I’ve even instagrammed and I’m like ‘hey this is my work, this is research for work” and everyone is then like ‘that’s so cute’.”
Every customer brings a different reaction when they walk through the door, Driscoll said, “I had a woman last week dancing because she like, ‘I love this store so much, oh my gosh, its wonderful’’. And then people are like ‘oh my gosh no way’, and I’m like ‘way’ we have these we have that they’re like ‘oh my gosh’, and I’m like ‘I know’.”
Being located in one of the busiest malls around New Jersey, which includes a movie theater, there are benefits as Driscoll describes, “We get a lot of business from the movie theater cause people want snacks for the movies and I’m going to be honest its very easy to get candy in that movie theater, so it’s just a good fit.”
Lolli and Pop is a place where people seem to go and escape the unpleasantness of reality. It’s those ten minutes where people get to fill up their jars, try some funky flavors, and forget about everything else. With 38 stores around the United States, there is only room to grow.
I’m a bit torn between the two as I’m not sure which one is the better option.
#1: To interview a student at Baruch who is actually not a business major but wants to apply to medical school, and to hear the challenges that this person has to over come. From the personal background and what led this person to their decision to actually go into the medical field and take the time for it. The ambient sound would come from the interview itself in a school premise or New York itself, since the person is only looking into schools in NYC, which makes the process even more difficult. I think its always important to hear other students tell their journey because sometimes hearing it from your own peers is better than a lecture of someone older. I also think that it could gets students to be able to relate to this person as they are going through it themselves.
#2: There is a new store that has opened up at Garden State Plaza (New Jersey, since that is where I live), called Lolli and Pop. It’s a candy store that almost feels like you walk into your own personal Disneyworld here in New Jersey. People love candy and this store has everything. They have so much to offer and they have a specific style to how they design their stores and the way they present themselves. I was able to ask the manager if it’s okay to interview an employee there that can tell me about the store, if I chose to do this idea. I think it would be a positive story that people could use now a days and maybe open up their mind to a new store that they might not know even existed. The ambient sound would come from the store itself as they do have specific music playing in the store as well as music in the mall itself.
For my podcast I intend to interview the head of operations and marketing for Mented Cosmetics, who I have the ability to get in touch with. It is a brand new beauty brand which is intended to be a inclusive brand for all skin colors. The beauty industry is one that keeps on evolving and is hard to crack into. Cosmetics is something that is relevant to many women in today’s society, especially to college students. There is a lot of talk when it comes to what makes a good cosmetics brand and if it’s worth to spend the money on those brand labels. I’m interested to see how this brand is planning to market themselves as some brands such as Kylie Cosmetics does all of her own marketing without spending a dime as well as what makes this brand different than others out there on the market. This industry is one that keeps on evolving and with every year a new trend is set by them.