Matt Widmer followed in his mother Janet’s entrepreneurial footsteps when he took ownership of her small business after she retired in 2010. Creative Touch & Candy Corner is a gift and candy shop that offers toys, gourmet food, home accessories, candles, wall art, jewelry, clothing, kitchen accessories and outdoor yard décor.
Matt has grown the business substantially after Janet opened the shop as a destination for mainly home décor and small gifts.
“When she decided to retire, I saw it as an opportunity to continue the shop and expand it into more categories,” he said. “I felt it was important for the Hutto community as well as Historic Downtown Hutto. When I took over running the shop, we shifted more to gifts and candy while continuing to still carry home décor.”
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Matt’s small business isn’t his only focus. He also has a full-time career designing residential homes for custom builders and individuals throughout Central Texas. Following Janet’s lead required gaining extensive of knowledge about the market and his customer base, on top of his full-time job.
“Running a gift and candy shop is very risky when you are competing with big box stores buying in bulk at better cost,” he said. “It is always a challenge to find new unique items to sell while keeping in mind what your customer wants to buy. You must buy with your customer in mind all the time.”
Founded in 1986 when Hutto was a much smaller community with a significantly lower customer base, Creative Touch & Candy Corner has grown in tandem with the area. As Hutto continues to expand, Matt’s focus remains squarely on supporting the local community, 36 years after Janet launched the small business.
“I have always had a love for local shops because they are unique places that vary with each city and have personalities,” he said. “Local shops also are the ones supporting the local community, not only in the tax base but also by supporting school sports programs and local events.”
Matt’s advice to entrepreneurs looking to start their own business – love what you do and be patient. When starting a business, he cautions others to weather the initial challenges and be prepared to not make a profit for a few years.
“If you don’t really love what you are starting, it’s hard to struggle through the start of a new business,” he said. “I see people start a business and think a community will just come out and support them from day one. But you must work many hours and you must put your heart into growing it over time.”
Creative Touch & Candy Corner is located at 103 East Street in Historic Downtown Hutto. For more information, visit their website and check out their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
About This Series
As part of National Small Business Week, the City of Hutto is excited to shine a spotlight on local small businesses. The nationwide theme for #SmallBusinessWeek 2022 is the resiliency and tenacity of America’s entrepreneurs, who are doing their part to power our nation’s historic economic comeback. For the next couple of weeks, we’ll make daily posts on the City’s Official Instagram page to celebrate the local entrepreneurs whose businesses help make Hutto such a special place to live and shop. Follow along by visiting @cityofhutto on Instagram.