Jamie Laing: Lockdown was a ‘scary’ time for my confectionary business Candy Kittens

Lizzie Edmonds
·2-min read
<p>Jamie Laing has spoken about navigating his business through a pandemic</p> (Candy Kittens/Handout)

Jamie Laing has spoken about navigating his business through a pandemic

(Candy Kittens/Handout)

Jamie Laing has said the first lockdown of the pandemic was a “pretty scary” time for his confectionary business - adding the firm “struggled” as the Covid crisis hit.

The television personality, known for his stint on reality show Made in Chelsea, founded Candy Kittens - a range of vegan and gluten free sweets - in 2012. He has been working with friend and business partner Ed Williams since 2014 and the sweets are now stocked in Sainsbury’s and Tescos.

Laing, 31, who is based in West London, admitted March 2020 was a difficult time for his company, which he described as his “baby”.

The star, who was a finalist in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing, said there were times when he didn’t think the brand would “survive.”

He told the Standard: “We [Candy Kittens] are described as a [consumer] impulse buy. And it was pretty scary.

Jamie with his dance partner Karen in Strictly Come DancingPA
Jamie with his dance partner Karen in Strictly Come DancingPA

“I feel incredibly sorry for a lot of businesses, especially hospitality who have struggled very hard. We had to pivot and we had to change in order to survive.

“And we learnt how to do things in a different way. Like most businesses in the beginning, we struggled. We are eight years in and we suddenly thought our business wasn’t going to survive through it. Thankfully we did.”

Laing said on personal level lockdown had also been difficult as he would often “compare” his achievements to others.

The Sweet Life campaignCandy Kittens
The Sweet Life campaignCandy Kittens

“The first lockdown for me was a good time to rest and then the second I was doing Strictly and then this one was a bit of a struggle,” he said. “We do have this pressure on us as we have been living through this lens of instagram and social media. It feels like everyone is looking thin and detoxed and happy and actually, it has been a sh*t year.”

He continued: “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the best version of ourselves. I was comparing myself to what everyone else was doing and I put on weight, I was definitely struggling. We try and compare ourselves and try to be what other people are like.”

The experience led him to launch a new Candy Kittens campaign - the Sweet Life - about being kind to yourself and not feeling pressured to look a certain way or have achieved too much when coming out of lockdown.

Research from the brand found that 39 percent of 16 to 35 year olds have felt pressure to come out of a year of lockdown having lost weight, learned a new skill (36 per cent), undergone a detox (17 per cent), changed their diet (34 per cent) or exercised more (49 per cent.)

Laing said: “It is about being kind to yourself, treating yourself. I think people are really responding to that.”

For more on The Sweet Life including the campaign video, spoof lifestyle articles and cheeky parody merchandise visit candykittens.co.uk/thesweetlife

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