Girl Crush: Cloe Lane
The Bon Puf creator is spinning her lifelong dream into one sweet reality.
You might say quintessential Cali girl Cloe Lane is a bit of a cotton candy connoisseur. The West LA native, and creator of Bon Puf, has been devouring the bright pink stuff ever since she was a little girl. “Some of my favorite childhood memories are of going to Disneyland and the Santa Monica Pier and eating way too much cotton candy,” she says. “Don’t even get me started on Dodger Stadium! Instead of watching the game, I always had my eyes on the guy with the giant tray of cones!” After graduating high school, Lane craved a more sophisticated take on the beloved carnival treat, and set about developing a recipe for a gourmet version-spun from natural ingredients, organic sugar, and infused with innovative flavors (think Honey Rose and Chai Tea). Since launching her food cart business-while simultaneously working on her undergraduate degree-Lane has garnered thousands of fans that adore her decadent treats and sweet aesthetic. Meet our latest girl crush.
Q: How did Bon Puf come about?
A. I first had the idea to start a cotton candy business and revamp it for a modern customer when I was in high school, but it wasn’t until I took a year off after graduating that I began turning my dream into a reality. I spent that time researching cotton candy history, organic sugars, machines, and natural ingredients, and also began developing my brand aesthetic and designing my cart. I had the most fun experimenting with flavor combinations and topping my pufs with unexpected additions like spices, sea salt, Pop Rocks and more! Once I had my branding all ready to go and the cart was built, I practiced spinning cotton candy at family and friends’ parties and was able to officially debut Bon Puf at the Unique LA show that summer. It was such a successful first show that the very next day I was getting calls and emails about jobs. It was so exciting for me to realize that I was offering something that others were delighted by and interested in! Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing event planners like Bash Please, Mindy Weiss, Beau & Arrow, and others. This year I also got to be a part of some bigger shows and festivals like Artisanal LA, Coachella, and the FYF Fest.
Q: We love the name of your company! How did you come up with it? Are you French?
A. I wish! I spent six weeks in the South of France the year after I graduated high school. I picked up enough phrases and words to get around but I was by no means fluent. I loved the cuteness of the word “bon” which means “good” in French and I combined it with a shortened version of the word “puff”, and just like that, Bon Puf was born.
Q: You’re a Cali girl through and through. What did you love most about growing up and starting a business on the West Coast?
A. It was amazing growing up in Los Angeles in the Westside neighborhoods of Santa Monica and Mar Vista. We have the best weather, beautiful beaches, and killer Mexican food, not to mention gorgeous forests, mountains, and deserts all pretty close by. I’m currently working through my general ed courses at Santa Monica College, and running Bon Puf at the same time (Yikes! I am a busy girl!). Here in LA there are so many opportunities to grow your creative business by learning from people who are actually doing it, and I much prefer this type of “school.” I’ve taken
Social Media Workshop and have my eye on other workshops like Kim Genevieve’s Snap Class
and The Yellow Conference
Q: Where did you learn to spin cotton candy?
A. A cotton candy machine has been at the top of my wish list for as long as I can remember and two Christmases ago, I opened up a big square box to find a brand new high-end machine inside. I plugged it in and immediately tried to figure out how to use it. Honestly, making cotton candy is no joke! It actually takes some serious skill and a lot of practice. Many hours were spent trying to find the best technique for making perfect pufs. Once I mastered my method, I began experimenting with different types of sugar and discovered that organic cane sugar really did spin the best, and has a naturally delicious vanilla flavor. It was then that I decided to exclusively spin with only organic and naturally colored ingredients.
Q: We love your soft, sophisticated palette. What inspires you visually?
A. I’m endlessly inspired by what I call “Golden State Style”-with its sun-bleached colors, coastal vibes, and retro flare. This has influenced my own personal style, and everything about the Bon Puf look, from my branding to what I decide to upload on my social media accounts.
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A. My style has been a work-in-progress for awhile now! I like to keep it casual but fun with lots of thrift store jeans, striped t-shirts, overalls, Swedish Hasbeens, embroidered blouses, floral rompers, worn-in sneakers, comfy denim cut offs, and vintage sunglasses. I actually don’t have any favorite brands because I mostly get my clothes from thrift stores. One of my favorite places to shop is Buffalo Exchange in Santa Monica. I once found a totally groovy bathing suit from the 60s there. As far as my beauty routine goes I gravitate towards healthy options like Burt’s Bees, Dr. Bronner’s, Yes To, and Gnarly Whale. My mom has always embraced her natural features and is a true California girl who rocks a natural tan and a fresh face. She inspires me when it comes to my minimal make up routine.
Q: You are our current girl crush. Who is yours?
A. Eden Jones, one of my good friends from childhood has been a girl crush of mine for a while now. She is a gorgeous South Bay-native, amazing artist, and a total wild child! She paints, draws, sculpts, designs jewelry, feeds the homeless, collects vinyl. She inspires me to laugh loud, roll the windows down, and most recently to take up roller skating! She just started The Daisies Collective, a design collaborative focusing on 100% handmade and reclaimed clothing and accessories. She’s always on the move and her relentless creative energy is absolutely contagious and inspiring.