Which food can instantly brighten any sugar lover’s day? Cotton candy, of course. The fluffy pastel treat can put a smile on most anyone’s face, which makes Arielle Stratton’s ’08 job pretty sweet.
Stratton owns and operates Pure Fluff Co., a mobile, organic spun sugar operation popular with children and adults alike. Stratton, who also runs wedding and event planning company Party.Love.Birds, says she’s always been enamored by street fairs — and that’s where she got the idea for a cotton candy cart.
“I find cotton candy fascinating in nature and production,” says Stratton, who majored in arts management. “It never gets old watching it take shape like some crazy science experiment.”
She first started making the sweet treats as an added feature for events she was planning, but as she noticed gourmet cotton candy trending on the West Coast and in Japan, she saw an opportunity to create a niche business in the South.
Since 2014, Pure Fluff Co. has grown to six machines, three mobile carts, and five part-time employees. They make all of their own naturally flavored, organic cane sugar mixes with locally sourced ingredients like Black Tap Coffee, strawberries from Hollywood, S.C., tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation, and soda from the Cannonborough Beverage Company. In 2017, they plan to launch into the wholesale market with packaged fluff available in local grocery stores and gourmet markets.
“I had some pretty amazing professors at College of Charleston that really stressed the importance of creative marketing and branding,” says Stratton, “which I think has really been essential to the success of Pure Fluff Co. Without the supportive network of friends and teachers I experienced at CofC and still benefit from through community relations I don’t think I would have ever had the confidence to do something as insane as making a career out of spun sugar!”
Stratton says her favorite flavor is a tie between Lemon Lavender and Rose Gold Champagne topped with edible glitter — of course, everything’s better with glitter.
To learn more about all the wonderful flavors, check out Pure Fluff Co. online.