I’m a 19-year-old content creator who helped saved my family’s struggling candy shop by building up a huge TikTok following. Here’s what a typical day is like.

Annabelle King
Sticky’s social media manager, Annabelle King. @candygirl_annabelle
  • Annabelle King creates candy and content for Sticky, a popular Sydney-based candy shop. 
  • Last year, she used social media to help save the business, which is owned by her father.
  • On some days, she helps the team create 60kg of candy that consists of 50 different flavors. 

This as-told-to article is based on a conversation with Annabelle King, a 19-year-old social media manager at a candy shop based in Sydney, Australia, which specializes in artisanal, handmade sweets. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I started working at Sticky just to keep it going for my parents. Before then, I never saw myself working at the store at all.

Sticky was on the brink of collapse after the pandemic seriously impacted sales. We went from busy to bust. Desperate to turn things around, I took to social media to save the struggling business and it worked. 

The TikTok account garnered more than 1 million followers in its first month of launching and is now close to 5 million. Now the store is drawing a healthy amount of customers and we are hiring again, as opposed to letting people go. 

The most obvious job I do is content creation for the store. I spend about three-quarters of my week taking photos of the candy-making process at Sticky for Instagram, or videos for TikTok and YouTube. I spend between two and five hours each day turning what I film in the shop into something interesting. 

To make good content about a subject, I believe you must be involved with it yourself. I try to participate in the process as much as I can when I film content on candy construction. 

@stickyaustralia “Don’t go easy on me dad” and those were her last words

♬ original sound – Sticky Lollies

 

My daily responsibilities change so much that the only thing I am sure I do every day is to grab coffee for myself and Dad. I do a little bit of everything. I serve customers, make candy, clean, pack lollies, and handle online orders. Whatever needs doing, I’m your girl for it. 

I am not hired as a full-time candy maker but I wish I could be. You really need to have some specific skills (muscles) to make candy all day. I love the stretching and the molding but I always have issues lifting a certain amount of candy. It becomes way too heavy for me to manipulate. 

 

The team aims to create around six batches, equivalent to 60kg, of candy a day. Sometimes, we have very quick and easy designs, and we get more candy as a result.

Other times, the designs take ages and you get less rock. A roaring demand for Sticky’s candy has meant that we do not have any lollies going unsold.

The hardest thing is keeping candy in stock in-store and online. 

Sticky candy
Sticky’s rock candy. Stickylollies

Everyone in the shop decides the flavors. We have more than 50 single flavors — some more popular than others.

The excitement for us comes from the flavor combinations. Sometimes, someone will think of a new meld of flavors that ends up being so good. Recently, it was mangoes and cream. I really hope we keep that one for a while. 

Now that I have been working at Sticky for well over a year, I can say that I do not see myself leaving any time soon. And having worked in other confectionery stores, I admit — with a fair amount of bias — that working at Sticky has been my favourite job so far.  

I love my co-workers, even if being the boss’s daughter can complicate those relationships. I am treated with respect, and we spend a fair amount of time goofing off at work, but don’t tell Mum that.

Planning for the future is hard for me, it is all changing so fast. I just take each opportunity as it comes.