Women Who Own It
Hope Klocker and Jule Vranian
Sweet Jules Gifts
What inspired you to start your business?
We were inspired by our aunt Rosie, who sent us delicious caramels every Christmas throughout our childhood. It was the most awaited gift of the holidays. They were that good!
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Join WBENC! It’s been a real sales booster.
What three traits define you?
Persistence, integrity, and high standards.
What women inspire you?
Our mother, Kay, was a business owner at a time when women mostly worked at home to care for their children. Kay raised eight children plus ran a successful super club!
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
It’s helped us connect with other members who have been incredibly supportive. We’ve grown our business with resources available at WBENC and learned so much about new markets for our caramels, markets we had no idea how to enter.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Fresh candy! Candy doesn’t have to have loads of preservatives. Fresh candy like ours tastes so much better because of the quality ingredients. Our caramels are just like fine chocolate; they’re to be eaten within a short time.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Finding employees so we can keep up with our orders during the holiday season.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
Finding the confidence and truly learning the skills needed to succeed. And funding!
What do you love about being a business owner?
We make people very happy! Our caramels are a 5-star taste experience. Our customers tell us this every day.
What's your favorite career moment?
The WBENC conference in Dallas last March when we were invited to showcase our caramels at a private party given by EY and Bristol Myers Squibb. The reception we experienced was fantastic! We felt so proud of our products and the company we’ve built.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Learn more about online marketing and create new products.
What are you reading or listening to now?
Nancy Silverton’s Desserts
What’s the best way to start your day?
Meditation and then a great cup of coffee.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... evaluate the pros and the cons then make a plan.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself... to be more confident, take the lead, and network more with women in business.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is... besides our great families, a garden and a good book.
By this time next year, I will be... busier than ever! Have found more help and created delicious new products.
The best thing that happened to me last week was... An older woman and her middle-aged daughter tapped me on the shoulder in the grocery store and asked if I was Kay’s daughter. Very sweet to remembered as my mother’s daughter at 63!
To get my creative juices flowing, I... read cookbooks and cooking magazines.
Sweet Jules Gifts
Sweet Jules Gifts has taken a hands-on approach to candy making by personally crafting and perfecting signature ingredients valued for their unique flavors. By putting in a little extra time and effort, they deliver the truest flavors and showcase the very best.