Monday, June 24, 2013

Glam Candy - Our Weekend Photo Shoot!

Hey Team Candy!

This weekend was seriously cray. Friday we were jam-packed with meetings, and Saturday and Sunday we spent time prepping for/ doing our big photo shoot! It was awesome - shout out to our models: Alexis, Ashley, Juju, Natalie, and Emma, you guys were great! In addition to looking fierce in front of the camera, you were also a pleasure to work with. True Candy Chicks at heart!

Below I've attached some behind the scenes photos from the shoot. Our official photos are still in post production, but hopefully these give you a little sneak peak of what's to come...

Glitter makes everything better.

Susannah and the girls workin' hard (and May and I lurking)

May and I hanging in the green room.

Proper goggle fit is always essential.

Lunch between takes with some of our beautiful models. From left to right: Emma, Juju, Alexis, and Natalie.

May and I in some LabCandy gear!

Everybody after a long day.

Also, I would be remiss not to give a HUGE shout out to our photographer Susannah Benjamin. Below is a description from her Facebook fan page:

"Susannah Benjamin is a 19 year old photographer represented by NYC agency Rona Represents specializing in conceptual, fine art, and fashion photography.
Work experience includes:
Back cover of Beyoncé's DVD, "Four Intimate Nights," press photographer for Beyoncé, editorial for FLAUNT magazine, editorial for Vs. Magazine, feature in NYLON magazine, feature in 125, feature in WAD, feature in Hotshoe, editorial for MAKER, book covers for the UK Embrace teen trilogy, book cover for Louis Liv novel, editorial for Footwear Plus catalog, contributing writer and photographer for book Creative Portraiture, Digital Camera Magazine's International Young Photographer of the Year 2007, feature in Shutterbug magazine, feature in Practical Photography Magazine, shot best-selling author Michael Cunningham for the cover of Yale University's Q Magazine, shot for Yale University's division of Rent the Runway, featured on the cover of Greenwich Magazine, feature in TECHMag China, editorial featuring singer Alix Winston for aWANTEDmag, interviewed by Lookbooks, shot MC2 and FORD model cards, etc."

Needless to say, Susannah is kind of a superstar and it was incredibly kind of her to take time out of her busy schedule (she's currently working at Rolling Stone Magazine) in order to do our shoot for us. Susannah and I met for the first time here at Yale in a neurobiology lecture class, and from the moment I met her I was struck by the unique way that she viewed the world. I've learned a lot from her - not only about photography, but also about how to lead a intellectually curious life. Some shots that I stole off her personal flickr page for your viewing pleasure:

The photo above was recently chosen as one of five finalists in a worldwide National Geographic competition. It's titled, 'I see the world in you.'

Yes, Susannah shot Beyonce. Yes, they used her picture for the back cover of Beyonce's concert DVD. Fierce.

Hope you all enjoyed these pictures! I know we had a lot of fun taking them. Don't forget to show this blog to your friends and add us on twitter!! @LabCandyCo. Also, go like Susannah's Facebook page: Susannah Benjamin Photography.

Stay sweet,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Meet The Candy Chicks!

Hi Everybody! Today I wanted to introduce you to the ladies of LabCandy...
(drumroll please)

The Candy Chicks!

s/o to the amazing Sami Hernandez for the character sketches!!!

Our goggles and lab coats aren't just lab equipment - every piece of gear belongs to one of our Candy Chicks: Alexis, Zoe, Sage, and Kate! All the Candy Chicks have different stories and interests, but one thing brings them all together: a love of science. Hopefully, our young girls out there can relate to at least one of these diverse personalities and love them as much as we do! Below we've let the Chicks introduce themselves.

Name: Alexis

Favorite Color: Pink!

Favorite thing to do in the lab: I love it when we do group experiments. It's so much fun whenever I get together with my girls -plus I always work better when I have someone to bounce ideas off of!

Favorite thing to do outside of the lab: I like to go to my movies with my friends, or play dress-up.

Favorite thing about science: It brings all of my friends together in a really positive way - together, we can solve important problems!

Anything else? : Lab research isn't my only passion. One day, I want to work in the white house office of science and technology policy, so I can help make science more accessible for everyone!

Name: Zoe

Favorite Color: Black with some sparkles on it!

Favorite thing to do in the lab: I love working with some rockin'     chemicals and seeing how they interact. Big reactions are my fave!

Favorite thing to do outside of the lab: I love jammin' solo on my guitar, or writing songs for my band!

Favorite thing about science: A little bit of chemical can create a big reaction - just like me! I'm a little gal but one day I'm going to have a big impact.

Anything else? : My favorite song is 'Barracuda' by Heart


Name: Sage

Favorite Color: Green

Favorite thing to do in the lab: Anything bio related and I'm down. I just did a really super experiment that tested how different colored light effects plant growth. Totally radical!

Favorite thing to do outside of the lab: In my free time, I volunteer in a local garden helping to grow organic crops for my school's cafeteria.

Favorite thing about science: Science is the language of mother nature! It helps us figure out how the world works. I want to use science to help  save our planet!

Anything else? : I have two dogs who I love sooooo much! I named them after two of my favorite scientists: Marie and Rosalind.

Name: Kate

Favorite Color: Blue

Favorite thing to do in the lab: Computer programming is my fave. Our lab just got a 3D printer- it's so much fun to see all my designs come to life!

Favorite thing to do outside of the lab: I love playing video games or writing in my diary.

Favorite thing about science: Some people think that coding is just about finding a right or a wrong answer, but I disagree. For me, coding is about creativity - when I'm at my computer, I have the whole world at my fingertips!

Anything else? : The other girls tell me I'm quiet, but that's just because I'm always thinking of new ways to solve problems!

I hope you all enjoyed meeting our Candy chicks. We've got some really big stuff happening this weekend, so keep checking back for more info! Also, remember to share this link on Facebook and Twitter.


xoxo LabCandy

Monday, June 17, 2013

Candid Candy - Week 4 Update!

I'm so excited! Last week we had over 250 new viewers join us here on this blog. Welcome to team LabCandy everyone!

Yay! Welcome!

This Candid Candy is going to be short because I've got to get back to working on my pitch deck (practice pitches this Wednesday!), so I apologize in advance for my lack of GIFs. I'll try to throw a few in...

There we go. A random gif for your amusement.

Needless to say, things are heating up for LabCandy! We've got a big product photo shoot this upcoming weekend, we're in the midst of planning and filming our Kickstarter video, we're trying to get our lab goggle shape/design finalized so we can get a price point from our manufacturer, we're reaching out to different blogs/media outlets to spread the word about our launch, and we're working on our final pitch presentation for YEI. As of right now, all this needs to be finished before our launch date which we've tentatively set as July 10th. AHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Go big or go home. Below I've attached some random pictures (candids) that hopefully give you some of the flavor of our past few weeks.

Above is our first draft of what we hope our goggles will eventually look like. We are still open to revisions, so be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments section below!


A couple of previews of the fabrics we chose to make the lab coats for the shoot (comment if you want more print previews!).

Talented seamstress Cheryl Colbert working on putting together our lab coats. Thanks Cheryl!

LabCandy chattin' it up with some mentors/potential investors. Photo cred: Tiffany Pang.

May and I eating a early morning breakfast (5:30!) outside the institute before heading up to Boston

Hope you enjoyed a few snapshots of how we've been spending our time! We've been workin' round the clock (and loving every minute,) but we still need your help if we are going to get this launch off the ground on schedule. Please, spread the word about LabCandy and direct people to this blog as well as our LaunchRock page! The more people who know about LabCandy before we launch, the more early traction we can get on Kickstarter, the more likely we are to be featured. It's that simple! Like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and add us on instagram. Oh, and don't forget to let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Thanks everybody! Go team LabCandy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

LabCandy LaunchRock is Live!!

Just a quick update: we finally got our LaunchRock up and running! Woohoo! Ch-ch-ch-check out a screenshot of our landing page below.

Essentially, LaunchRock allows us to collect a list of emails of everyone who is interested in LabCandy. Since you are reading this blog, you are probably interested! Please go enter your email address at the link attached:

Thanks! Keep checking back for some exciting info coming soon...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Candid Candy - Week 2 Update!

Whew! We’ve got a lot goin on right now.

Mayli working hard with the assistance of Fredrick, our creativity hat.

Our end goal (for this summer) is to launch on Kickstarter, so most of our energy has been focused towards that campaign. Here’s what we’ve done so far this week:

-We spent a good chunk of time this week arranging a big photo-shoot for our products. We've been location scouting (in the rain) here on campus, picking out fabrics and designs for our custom lab coats, selecting models, finding props, and finishing our goggle prototypes for all four Lab Candy characters. Details on this to follow, but I'm very excited because I'm 99% sure that we are going to be working with my favorite photographer of all time! Fingers crossed.

-We need a new logo! May has been drawing up some sketches - we're thinking of transitioning to a pinwheel candy instead of the current lab beaker. I'm still not sure if we are going to handle this ourselves or get a smaller design company to do it for us...We are thinking that our new design might look a little like this:

- A huge part of any Kickstarter campaign is the video. We need our potential investors to get to know us and believe in our vision, all in around 90 seconds. Currently we are still working on the script for our video, and we would love some assistance! We are in the process of looking for a videographer to work with us on this project, so if anyone has any suggestions for who we should call, please let us know!

-We are trying to gather some good broll for our video, so our plan is to set up shop at the New Haven arts festival and take pre-orders/ film young girls trying on our products. Reintegrate is giving a lecture on the connection between the arts and the sciences, so we are hoping to be situated near that.We are also reaching out to local science summer camps.

-Our Kickstarter campaign is meant to garner funding for us to outsource our goggles. Currently, we (AKA Mayli) are making everything by hand. It takes about 2 to 3hrs for us to make one goggle! Our hope is to raise enough that we can pay a manufacturer to make our goggles for us. In order to do that, we need to know how much it will cost for us to produce one of our custom-shaped goggles so we can set a reasonable Kickstarter goal. This means we need to-scale sketches of what we want our goggles to look like, then we need a 3D model on a computer program such as sketch-up, then we need to take our goggles to a actual model maker. Thankfully we are well along on this process, but we are still searching for a partner on the other end - if anyone is friendly with chinese manufacturers, please introduce us! So far we have a few leads (thanks Gary). 

In other news, we had a lot of fun this week speaking with some wonderful mentors and meeting cool people:

-first of all, a big thank you to YEI for hosting such a awesome get-together at the Greenburg center this Wednesday. Also, an even bigger thank-you to all the Lab Candy mentors who came out! I had a lot of fun pitching/speaking with you all. For all of our new friends: it was great meeting you! Welcome to the Lab Candy team. 

-We are also eternally grateful to Sander Daniels from Thumbtack, Vickey Elenowitz from Golden Seeds, Stephan Powell from Gustin jeans, Jim Hood, and Gary Van Deursen for meeting with us this week. Your advice was invaluable!

This image is the first thing that came up when I searched thank-you on stock photo. I'm not sure it really conveys the depths of our gratitude...

There we go. That's a little closer to our level of excitement right now. 

Well that was a lot longer than I expected. This week was crazy, and next week will probably be even crazier! We can't wait. 

Keep checking back for more Lab Candy info!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Girls Behind the Goggles

Today I was reading through our old post, and I realized that we haven't properly introduced ourselves.


My name is Olivia. My best-friend MayLi and I conceived of LabCandy together a few years ago. In order to understand our company, you need to know a little more about us! Lets start at the very beginning...

May and I first met when we were kindergardeners at St. Patricks Episcopal Day school, over 13 years ago! We became best-friends the minute we met on the playground, and we've stuck together despite different high-schools and now far away colleges. I can't imagine someone I would rather start a company with.

That's us on the end. Aww we're so cute!

May and I first dreamed up LabCandy summer of our junior year of high school. The idea sprang from a blog that I had been working on (check out my last post for more info on this). When senior year came around, May was busy with early decision college applications and I was working on writing my research paper for the Siemens science competition, so LabCandy got pushed to the back burner. In the meantime we got a chance to do a lot of cool stuff! May got into her dream school, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and she started taking studio classes to better her goal of becoming a awesome industrial designer.

Aren't her sketches awesome? She's the coolest.

I also spent a good chunk of time trying to further my passion - getting more girls interested in science! I managed to work with some really cool people/organizations including:

-SciGirls, a nationally broadcasted PBS kids Emmy award winning TV show dedicated towards getting middle school girls involved in science. 

- National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), a collection of collaboratives designed to reach girl serving STEM organizations and promote gender equity through better educating the educators.

-The Potomac School Science Club, a club I co-founded with two of my girlfriends sophomore year of high school. The club included both genders, though we paid special attention to getting girls involved. Running the club gave me a chance to play the educator, and to learn about things such as how/where teachers purchase lab equipment!  

-many various student panels such as one nationally broadcasted by the JASON Argonauts for National Geographic regarding how electronics might be used to encourage girls to participate more in STEM classrooms.

-I got to work with Natalie Angier!! She's a best-selling author and pulitzer prize winning science columnist for the New York Times (also one of my personal heroes).  

In addition to the work I did promoting girls’ interest in science, I also spent time behind the lab bench doing my own research work alongside some phenomenal professors. Sophomore year I worked at the Lombardozzi cancer research center in Dr. Maria Avantagiatti’s lab studying oncology, and the summer of my junior year I worked in a neurobiology lab at Stanford looking at the effects of anesthesia on the brain. My subsequent paper on the effects of ethanol alcohol on GABAA receptors in the Hippocampus was lucky enough to place in the Siemens competition.

I feel so blessed to have worked and formed relationships with all these incredible people who are now so excited about Lab Candy! With our amazing mentors in the girls in STEM community and now our amazing mentors in the Yale community, May and I are ready to make LabCandy happen! 

Yay! Cue triumphant music. 

Keep checking back here for more LabCandy info/updates!! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Welcome to Lab Candy!

Hi All! We're Lab Candy. We help get young girls interested in science through creative lab gear!

When most people think about science, they envision the stereotypical image of Albert Einstein - an old guy with crazy hair in a white lab coat and thick plastic goggles. For young girls, this image can seem intimidating and maybe even a little disassociating. 

You see, as young female scientists ourselves, we know what it's like to look at science and see something foreign and unfamiliar. A typical scientist doesn't look like us - right now, science looks distinctly male. At Lab Candy, we are here to change all that!

That's us. 

We've taken something boring and uncool (lab goggles,) and turned them into a fashionable statement through which girls can express their individuality. Our goal is to make science more more personal and accessible for young girls through creative lab gear, and we think our new goggle line is just the ticket!

Here's some info about us...

Right now, Lab Candy consists of two people: MayLi and Olivia (that's me). MayLi is an incredible industrial design major from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and she is the mastermind behind the beautiful customization of our goggles. I'm a student here at Yale, and together we have been selected to take part in the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute's summer fellowship program! Yay!! 

Basically we get to sit/work in a room filled with eight other really cool ventures and ask some incredible mentors all of our tough questions. It's awesome!  

This is our desk. Right now, all of Lab Candy creation/planning/dreaming/eating/sleeping takes place at this desk. Sorry my hair is so long. I've been growing it out to sell it to pay for goggle rhinestones (haha JK not really though). 

I first got this idea when I was working for a neurobiology lab in Stanford and simultaneously blogging through the center for talented youth's young blogger initiative. My blog was called "Lab Candy, a girl's guide to some seriously sweet science" and I wrote fun posts trying to get young girls interested in science. Basically, I took my experiences in the lab and wrote about them in a way that was meant to appeal to middle school girls. Sound familiar? LOL

One day I wrote a post on lab safety, and for the thumbnail photo I used a picture of myself wearing some bedazzled lab goggles I had made. I didn't even mention the goggles in my actual post, yet on that one picture alone I got tons of comments! Young girls all over the country wanted to know where they could buy the goggles/ how to make them. In that moment, Lab Candy was born!

Now we are trying to make our dreams a reality! Right now Lab Candy is just a few pairs of goggles and an idea, but one day we hope to have a whole line of lab gear, designed by/for girls. Our goal is to launch on Kickstarter before the end of this summer, so we'll need your help! Tell everyone you know, and keep checking in. Together, we'll get more girls interested in science!!!