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Candy Land’s CEO, Nick Lawrence, is celebrating the successful launch of his new business, located inside the mall in Beckley. The Wyoming County native started his entrepreneurial ventures early on with the help of his parents who gifted him a camera for his twelfth birthday. With a small point and shoot camera, Nick began photographing weddings, high school sporting events, and even senior pictures. At thirteen, the got his first business license and was loving the adventure. From that point on, his best friend and mentor, DJ Shorter, became his biggest advocate and source of inspiration. All experiences he says prepared him for his current business ventures.

Nick expresses a drive he’s always had to be an entrepreneur through helping others. Whether it’s by providing products or services, he’s seized every opportunity to mow a lawn, or create an employment opportunity. Now he’s able to provide employment to five people, and is thrilled to join the list of local employers. With his locally owned operation, Nick is proud that the majority of his company’s profits are going back into the local community.

His current venture truly began in February of 2016, when he and a friend were working together to identify the most viable business opportunity that would allow them to become a job creator as well. They quickly realized that Candy Land would achieve all their goals in a short amount of time.

Their ten year vision is to have multiple locations, which includes the North Myrtle Beach in process now. Virginia Beach and Tennessee are other expansion locations they are considering. They’re currently restructuring their promotional efforts to enhance their cotton candy attraction. These future products will even include 4ft wide cotton candy cones, and so much more.

In reflection, Nick is grateful to those who helped him work out the logistics along the way. Without the Wyoming County EDA and Joe Carlucci (Regional Business Coach, with the HIVE), this venture wouldn’t have been possible. “Between meetings with Joe, and dozens of calls with Christy Laxton (WCEDA), we were able to make this happen. God has really blessed me on this adventure.” Nick explains.

He also encourages others to explore their entrepreneurial side. He calls “everyone considering starting a business – don’t wait. Tomorrow is too late.” He goes on to explain that there is plenty of negative and overly cautious feedback out there. He encourages others to take advantage of the resources that are in our area, to put the rumors that this business climate isn’t hospitable to rest. “That negativity should just be motivation to work harder so you can prove every single person wrong, just like Shawn and I did.” Says Nick.

To see their success for yourself, stop by Crossroads Mall in Beckley, or visit them online at https://www.facebook.com/MyCandyLandWV.

To get more information about what resources are available to entrepreneurs in the region, contact Joe Carlucci at JCarlucci@nrgrda.org, or by phone at 304-929-1239.
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