Ashley Daly worked in marketing for more than 20 years, spending long hours away from her family during her frequent business trips and commutes to and from Manhattan.
Instead of working for someone else the rest of her career, Daly, a Pleasantville mother of two children, decided to take a leap of faith and try something that she had dreamed about since childhood – designing her own clothing brand.
So far, things have been working out just fine. Last December, Daly launched beCandylicious, a comfortable leisure apparel and outerwear line mainly for girls and women that not only looks great but makes those wearing the products feel good inside as well.
Earlier this month, Daly, in still what she calls her soft launch phase, opened a small office and storefront on Washington Avenue.
“The brand beCandylicious isn’t just a brand, it’s a mantra,” said Daly, fusing her native southern California soul surfer feel with a New York vibe. “We think if you can be anything, you should beCandylicious. That means being kind, it means being confident in yourself and striving to pay it forward.”
Customers who browse through the beCandylicious website or who visit the shop will find a smart-looking assortment of tops, leggings, swimsuits, sweatpants, sweatshirts and hats, much of them adorned with fun and colorful images or positive messaging. For instance, Daly used the cake pops she had custom-made at Flour & Sun bakery a few doors away to photograph and include on some of her garments.
There are a limited number of dresses available. All of the clothing is made of high-quality material.
So far, the response has been strong. Daly said she has shipped orders to customers in all 50 states and now has about 21,000 Instagram followers.
“Little girls look up to their moms or older sisters so almost everything that we make in youth sizes we make in adult sizes,” Daly said.
Then there are sweatshirts and trunks as part of Daly’s unisex line called Equal (as in all people are created equal), which would also appeal to boys, as well as the Love hats with her candy rainbow insignia.
There is also a variety of fun accessories such as a donut pillow, a pink, round cushion topped with sprinkles that’s scented, a donut and sprinkles headband, gummy bear keychains and necklaces as well as high-end solid sterling, gold and rose gold Lucky Bear pendants.
Most of the girls and women modeling the merchandise are local residents, friends of her daughter and local moms in the neighborhood.
Daly said she’s worked with a woman artist to design the soon-to-debut candy lips image that will appear on other clothing items.
“We’re all about female empowerment, so we’re always looking for ways to support and collaborate with other female artists and entrepreneurs so we’re excited to debut this specific collaboration with our fall collection,” Daly said. “You can see that all the messages are meant to be very positive, so the idea is to make you feel good and confident while also making those around you smile, too.”
While some of the beCandylicious products are seasonal, Daly said most of her merchandise is “seasonally agnostic” and has items available all year. She has customers throughout the United States, including Hawaii, and some residents in this area flee to a warm weather destination for a winter vacation.
Daly said she’s been extremely grateful to the local community that has embraced her new business as much as it has.
“It’s not like the world has a shortage of clothing brands,” Daly said, “so we’re hoping to find a niche with what we refer to as soul candy, the stuff that makes your soul smile, while also making it more accessible.”
As a result of still being in the soft launch, beCandylicious, located at 11 Washington Ave., doesn’t have set store hours but shoppers can make an appointment, shop online or stop in when they’re there. For more information, visit www.becandylicious.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.