Lindsay Erickson wears many hats: concert violinist, mother, entrepreneur and lover of sweets.
Erickson, a native of Cedarburg, Wis., decided to share her passion for candy and greeting cards by launching GetHappy in 2011. At seven locations in malls in the Milwaukee and Chicago areas, shoppers can create candy gifts for the special people in their lives.
In addition to a rainbow of gummies from around the world, GetHappy offers handmade chocolates and gourmet caramel apples. Customers may purchase candy by the pound, but they may also fill gifting containers such as bottles and tackle boxes and include a customized message.
Whether it’s to say “I love you,” or “thanks,” Erickson says a candy gift is the perfect way to get the message across.
“There is something so satisfying when you have that delicious treat — it just makes you smile,” she says. “I like to think of it as a little happiness to brighten your day.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one kind of candy, what would it be?
Since I can’t possibly choose one, I’ll pick one gummy and one chocolate. My gummy would have to be the Spanish sour gummy octopi because our imported candy is so much fun. You get fresh, exciting and exotic choices. For chocolate, the pecan turtle, made fresh at our Mequon (Wis.) GetHappy location, enrobed in beautiful dark chocolate is the perfect companion.
What’s the last cool thing you saw online?
I was Googling twins and their conversations. I recently had triplets, and two are home and communicating — of course the twin girls. So, I wanted to investigate the habits and behaviors of their cute little chat sessions.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I am a professional violinist and wanted to play film scores in Los Angeles. Film scores are so beautiful —I wanted to play them because I think it’s the music that makes films so powerful.
What issues concern you most about the confectionery industry and why?
How we can conserve and protect the trees and plants that supply cocoa pods to chocolatiers against ever-depleting environmental resources. The fear is that without conservation of the trees and necessary care, we will lose the most exquisite form of chocolate.
What’s the last book you’ve read?
“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg, coo of Facebook.
What is your pet peeve?
Ooh, I have so many. When people do not ask enough questions. My theory, ask questions and ask the right ones. Don’t be afraid and keep asking why.
If given the chance to choose anyone, with whom would you like to collaborate?
Sheryl Sandberg, coo of Facebook, because I like the way she works through obstacles, conducts research and then executes like the wind. While reading her book, I admired her resilience. She would be a strong individual to collaborate with because of her work processes and ability to inspire changes in work style.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never stop learning. Hands down.
What excites you most about your job?
First, my employees because they are awesome. Second, my customers because candy doesn’t discriminate, and the sky's the limit.