NEW YORK, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DailyCandy, the original trusted source for handpicked discoveries of fashion, food and fun, announced the launch today of its 3rd annual "Start Small, Go Big" campaign, an innovative program which draws on DailyCandy's unique ability to discover up-and-coming small businesses and help them grow into "the next big thing." The 2012 "Start Small, Go Big" contest, sponsored for the third year in a row by Ink(SM) from Chase, the small business credit card portfolio from Chase, includes mentors from some of the biggest names in fashion, home, beauty and food including Rebecca Minkoff, Jonathan Adler, Lauren Moffatt, Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio, Lev Glazman & Alina Roytberg of Fresh, Alison Pincus and Susan Feldman of One Kings Lane, and more. This year, DailyCandy will unveil two new categories: the Digital & Tech category and the Most Inventive Award, a special recognition for innovation, growth, and reinvention, presented by Ink from Chase.
DailyCandy has acted as a "launch pad" for the newest and best designers, boutiques, restaurants, and products. The "Start Small, Go Big" campaign, takes that one step further, bringing together the founders and CEOs of select companies DailyCandy has always admired with tomorrow's innovators. On October 9th & 10th in New York City, six winners will meet with big wig mentors at the DailyCandy Academy to spend crucial one-on-one time gaining guidance and insights important to every small business owner. Winners also receive free advertising and promotion from DailyCandy, reaching millions of consumers across DailyCandy's email platform, website and extensive social media network, and will be invited as the guest of honor at an exclusive celebration with the brightest and boldest movers and shakers from NYC's top industries.
"The importance of that first-hand advice from those who've come before cannot be overstated," said Ashley Parrish, editor-in-chief of DailyCandy. "Our contest winners from the last two years continually refer to the insights and counsel they heard from their mentors at the DailyCandy Academy -- and after for those who kept in touch. Combine that with the chance to align their company with the strong and healthy DailyCandy brand halo – there's nowhere to go but up."
The key to winning Start Small, Go Big: each product or service should make life a little sweeter, just like DailyCandy. To enter, winner wannabes should visit dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig, fill out their key business info, select a category (Fashion, Home, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty, and Digital & Tech) and finish these five statements: 1) The world needs my business because... 2) My big idea moment was... 3) My greatest challenge so far has been... 4) The most creative business solution I've used so far is... and the outcome was... and 5) As a small business owner, I've had to
think outside the box and here's one way I've done it... On August 8th, DailyCandy editors will unveil the top 18 finalists (three from each category) and invite America to vote (daily!) for their favorites. On September 4, after the votes have been tallied, six winners will be announced. (In 2011, 3,050 contestants entered; 102,000 votes were cast.)
Past winners (all women in their late 20s and early 30s) have gone on to sell their clothes in high-end boutiques, launch e-commerce sites and scale their operations to national distributions.
- Nella Pasta, winner of the food category in 2010, has increased revenue 511% since winning the contest. The company's locally sourced and sustainable pastas are now sold in 15 retail locations, 15 farmer's markets, 3 restaurants and the company now employs 9 people (as opposed to zero for all above in 2010). Nella Pasta's food mentor, Marcus Samuelsson, encouraged them to always stay true to their passion, to sell local and sustainable food.
- Cold Spring Apothecary, winner of the beauty category in 2011, has not only increased revenue by 250% but also its brand awareness, thanks to articles in Vogue and Martha Stewart following their DailyCandy win. Mentor Lev Glazman of Fresh reminded Stacey, the founder, to focus on high-quality products vs. too many skus. Cold Spring Apothecary is currently opening a second storefront, a spa and is releasing her first book due out this fall.
- Quinn Popcorn,winner of the food category in 2011, had 6,000 bags of popcorn when they won SSGB (those sold out immediately after the win). Today, Quinn Popcorn makes five times that much each month. They are in retailers nationwide including Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca. Food critic, Top Chef judge and DailyCandy mentor Gail Simmons, taste tests new flavors to help finalize ingredients.
- Dolly Pearl,winner of the fashion category in 2010, has gone from hand-sewing her pieces on the floor of her NYC apartment, to hiring seamstresses, working out of a warehouse and selling her feminine designs to high-end bridal boutiques nationwide, including Bella Bridesmaid's 12 locations across the country. Mentor Isaac Mizrahi cautioned owner Vi Hoang to do as much as she can herself before outsourcing and possibly diluting her vision.
Roster of big wig mentors (to date) include:
- Jonathan Adler – Adler, a potter since his teenage years, got his start after showing his pots to Barneys. Today, Adler has healthy brand with 18 store locations nationwide. (www.jonathanadler.com)
- Lauren Moffatt – Accomplished vintage chic fashion designer from Philadelphia who sewed pieces from her collection by hand on her 31-foot sailboat docked on the NYC's Hudson River. Today, her full line of ready-to-wear, swimwear and outerwear is sold in high-end boutiques worldwide. (www.laurenmoffatt.net)
- Rebecca Minkoff – Following her start selling "I heart NYC" t-shirts off of her bicycle, Minkoff catapulted to success following the introduction of her "Morning After Bag". Today, she sells full fashion lines for women and men. (www.rebeccaminkoff.com)
- Founders of Fresh, Lev Glazman & Alina Roytberg – With the hope of creating products as effective as they are indulgent, Glazman & Roytberg pioneered the use of natural ingredients like soy, milk, sugar and rice in their products. Today, they have 14 stores in the US and one in London. (www.fresh.com)
- Founder and Creative Director of DwellStudio, Christiane Lemieux – Launched in 1999, DwellStudio fuses bright modern designs with luxurious details. Christiane authored her first book "Undecorate" in 2011. DwellStudio's flagship store is in SoHo, NYC; the company sells to boutique retailers nationwide. www.dwellstudio.com
- Founders of One Kings Lane, Alison Pincus and Susan Feldman – Susan and Alison launched the company in 2009, a mere five months after their first time meeting. Today, One Kings Lane is the leading online curated home decor flash sale company in the world. (www.onekingslane.com)
The "Start Small, Go Big" site (www.startsmallgobig.com) serves as a resource for new business owners looking for insights, tips, and invaluable early-day resources. Visitors can follow the continued growth of past contest winners and hear counsel from industry experts who've blazed the trail to success. To learn more about DailyCandy's Start Small, Go Big contest or the DailyCandy Academy and the mentors participating this year, visit www.dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig.
DailyCandy is the original, trusted source for handpicked discoveries of fashion, food and fun. DailyCandy editors find the genuine, the next and the unique for more than six million readers- nationally and via 11 local city editions. Come enjoy the hunt, the scoop and the share – and the sweetest deals in your city. Explore from your inbox, at DailyCandy.com and on these social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Tumblr, and YouTube. DailyCandy is a unit of NBCUniversal's Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media.