Launching a Stronger Business with Chelsea Miller Knives and Squarespace

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04.30.18 | By
Launching a Stronger Business with Chelsea Miller Knives and Squarespace

Each Chelsea Miller knife is an invitation to wonder about the natural and industrial world. To move slowly in the kitchen with an intent to prepare thoughtful food. My process is focused on exploration, imperfection and the desire to make things more beautiful than they have to be.

Knives are a kitchen tool that the majority of people most likely take for granted, but Chelsea Miller unearthed her own interest for this necessity in the very process of hand-making them. Her spin on traditional cheese knives was the first piece of what was to become Chelsea Miller Knives that she released to the public, and finding that the response was one of curiosity and encouragement organically led into the launch of her business on Squarespace. They’ve not only allowed Chelsea to showcase her authenticity and originality in a very genuine way but also responded to her site’s needs as the shop has successfully grown since launching.

A large part of creating a business is the excitement and passion behind what you’re about to put out into the world and share with others. And as in other business situations, first impressions count when planning your launch. Chelsea says, “I have always felt first impressions should be intimate. I chose to expose my imperfections. I was not an expert and I wanted to show my audience there is artistry in discovery.”

Chelsea’s approach of being so open to her potential customers and revealing lessons as they were learned, continue to help her business to rise above others who may have similar offerings. By drawing on her own life – and not the influence of other makers’ work or people’s expectations – she manages to stand out from the rest with her originality.

Every minute of your time has value attached to it, and that becomes even more apparent when taking on something as big and time-consuming as a business launch. In other words, how much is too much to take on? Knowing when you’ve stepped outside the set of skills that you do best is an important lesson better learned sooner than later. For Chelsea, “I knew nothing about business when I started, so I thought it was important to do everything myself and learn about the process from start to finish. As my business grew, I became aware of tasks that were best assigned to someone other than myself to increase workflow.”

Launching a business solo can best be summed up as daunting. Pulling in outside perspectives and knowing when to reach out and ask for extra help can make a big difference not only in your profits but in your sanity. According to Chelsea, “Asking a lot of questions makes all the difference. Whether it’s my dad, my boyfriend, a fellow maker, or a celebrity chef, anyone with a perspective other than my own is able to help me see things in a clearer light. I have outsourced manual labor occasionally, product photography, social media content, and web design. Whenever I feel like I’m stuck performing a task and am unable to tell my story, that’s when I know I need more help.” Surrounding yourself with a solid community that’s full of support is invaluable, and the network created by reaching out to peers can be a bottomless well of knowledge you’ll tap into often.

Chelsea’s best piece of advice? “Thinking big is important, but so is keeping it small. If you can think big and grow at your own pace, you’ll be fine.” Squarespace also plays a pivotal behind the scenes role in Chelsea Miller Knives. “With Squarespace’s help, I am able to tell my story authentically to my customers on a variety of media platforms. Videos of my production process, articles and interviews about my life, product photography and simple customizable design. They have always been responsive to my growing needs. Working with Squarespace is like having a really, really knowledgeable friend who knows everything you don’t about the internet. I’m really happy we’re besties!”

In short, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you’ve run out of your own bandwidth or knowledge of a specific topic. You want to create the best first impression for potential customers as well as stand out, so make sure to plan a well thought out launch. Squarespace can help you get where you need to go with their site templates that are versatile and easy to edit, taking one more worry off of your to-do list and giving you the time to focus on the tasks you excel at!

Ready to get to work on that branding? Take the first step with a Squarespace website. Use coupon code DESIGNMILK at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.