Priscilla Conyers would be quick to tell you that she never would have imagined herself in the position she is in today. Yes, it is a cliché saying but most cliché sayings hold a lot of truth.
“Dreams do come true and mines certainly have,” Conyers tells RoyalTee as we sat and chatted about cotton candy at Starbucks, while 5 ‘o’ clock sped past us outside. And again, yes cotton candy and coffee do not mix, but let’s face it they’re both sweet and addictive.
The 30-year-old is a mother, wife and owner and founder of The Cotton Candy Palace. Its one-stop shop that sells the fluffy, sticky sweetness we all love, but can’t seem to get our teeth stuck in unless we’re at a fair or street festival. The company was started in December of 2015. She opened her first pop-up shop this past June in the Hyde Park area of Tampa, Florida.
“We do a lot of catering services, so we’ll do weddings, sweet 16s, baby showers,” she explains. “We get random requests from our clients; like if they’re having a bowling themed birthday party, we’ll find a unique bowling shaped object to put the cotton candy in.”
But what RoyalTee loves about her cotton candy and what sets it apart from others are its ingredients. All of the products are natural and gluten-free with no preservatives or artificial coloring. The healthiness can be credited towards her background. Before she ventured onto her sugary, entrepreneurial path, this Royal Woman was a clinical pharmacist. She had no intentions of switching careers, had it not been for her daughter. While transitioning her from breastfeeding to solid foods, Conyers and her husband made a troubling find.
“We discovered that she was allergic to everything,” Conyers said. “She’s allergic to dairy, she’s allergic to strawberries, blueberries, bananas. She would break out in hives from head to toe.”
Her daughter’s condition pushed Conyers to think of ways her little girl can enjoy fun treats and snacks like other children and not have allergic reactions. She started doing research on everything she considered ‘fluffy and sweet’ and eventually she connected with a food scientist. Together the two were able to conjure up some pretty, wacky flavors, from mango, gingerbread and coconut to apple pie, marshmallow and dulce de leche.
“The sky is the limit as far as we can do with cotton candy.”
Her daily mission is finding an idea that is innovative and creative to bring to her store. And like all empires #OnTheRise, networking is key.
“I like being able to network with a different realm of people that I would’ve never encountered.”
But her growing business will be nothing without a supportive foundation.
“My husband has been very supportive,” she says. “He understands me and he understands the needs of the business.”
However, the highlight of her days is the satisfaction she brings to her customers.
“It’s so fulfilling to know that when a child walks into my store and a mommy tells me ‘oh my gosh this is the only thing that my child can eat as a sweet treat’ because its gluten free; that does more to me than me making the next sale because I just made this kid’s day.”
And let’s face it, leaving a stable career to do your own thing can not only be challenging but also scary. You’re always going to have doubters and those who criticize you, but Conyers has advice for those people in our lives as well.
“You just have to follow your dreams, follow your heart. I would rather someone go through life saying ‘you know what, I gave it my best shot.’ Although it did not work out, I did my best.”
Plus, fate makes no mistakes.
“I think the path that I’m on now is the path that was intended for me by God and I’m not looking back, I’m only looking forward and focusing on the future.”
And what makes Priscilla a Royal Woman?
“A woman that understands her place in life. It’s not always about me or you, it’s about helping other people. It’s about giving what God has given you as your talent to share with other women. A Royal Woman is not just all about herself, it’s really about other people and giving to other people and just understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around you. We are all in this together.”
Conyers hopes to expand her line to other organic treats and open more stores in the Bay area by the end of the year.
To learn more about The Cotton Candy Palace, go to http://www.cottoncandypalace.com/index.html.
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.