Pique Their Brain with Chelsea Kidder of Sea Marie Designs

Headbands and all things accessories have been a hot topic amongst bloggers this year! We’ve done some searching, and just happened to find an amazing company who will offer you that extra pizazz when it comes to your style. Meet Chelsea Kidder of Sea Marie Designs, who offers a variety of items from headbands, earrings, bags, and so much more!

What inspired you to start your business

I have always had the desire to run a brand/store, but once my youngest started preschool I knew the timing was right more than ever before. The creative side of me was just bursting to come out after four years of taking a “break” to raise two sweet baby girls, now toddlers. I spent about 6 months researching how this would be possible “remotely” while dropping off/picking up four different times a day, remain flexible & still do the Mom life!
I came across E-commerce and while this world was foreign to me, I knew it hit the nail on the head combining my interests/skills. With a BFA in Fine Arts and Interior Design, a previous Showroom Buyer in upscale Manhattan Beach, Website Designer & Retail Manager – E-commerce allowed me to make connections with people and businesses as well as discover amazing products delivering joy to your front doorsteps.  
I knew going into business on my own would be a huge risk but all the signs were pointing to just go for it!  After the New Year (of this year) I set the Resolution to get the business setup, then launched the Sea Marie Designs website on April 1st.  I’ve truly had an absolute blast these past 7.5 months creating something from scratch to something that people love and share, all the while attending school events and shipping out orders in the comfort of my home.
The idea for the brand was to create a year-round, coastal-inspired, online boutique with affordable, beautiful finds.  Growing up by the water in downtown Annapolis, MD, I’ve always been drawn to blue and white, rattan, elements of pearls, tortoise shells & classic prints & patterns…The selection of products has not only been well received by those in Coastal towns but women of all ages and demographics. The price points are perfect for gifting and of course treating yourself! 

I came across E-commerce and while this world was foreign to me, I knew it hit the nail on the head combining my interests/skills. With a BFA in Fine Arts and Interior Design, a previous Showroom Buyer in upscale Manhattan Beach, Website Designer & Retail Manager – E-commerce allowed me to make connections with people and businesses as well as discover amazing products delivering joy to your front doorsteps.  
I knew going into business on my own would be a huge risk but all the signs were pointing to just go for it!  After the New Year (of this year) I set the Resolution to get the business setup, then launched the Sea Marie Designs website on April 1st.  I’ve truly had an absolute blast these past 7.5 months creating something from scratch to something that people love and share, all the while attending school events and shipping out orders in the comfort of my home.
The idea for the brand was to create a year-round, coastal-inspired, online boutique with affordable, beautiful finds.  Growing up by the water in downtown Annapolis, MD, I’ve always been drawn to blue and white, rattan, elements of pearls, tortoise shells & classic prints & patterns…The selection of products has not only been well received by those in Coastal towns but women of all ages and demographics. The price points are perfect for gifting and of course treating yourself! 

What advice would you give to an inspiring entrepreneur or student?

If you can think it, you can do it!  Going outside your comfort zone allows you to grow as a person and allows you to accomplish things you never would have thought possible. I have learned from diving into the E-commerce world, starting small is key. I keep the inventory levels low initially, see the trends and demands, and make adjustments where necessary.  Definitely do not invest thousands of dollars into products you haven’t tested the market with first.

Also, I often repeat to myself the same day you plant the seeds, is not the same day the flowers bloom. Starting a company takes time to grow. It’s hard not to have such big dreams and goals that you want to happen right now, but also so important understanding where you are in the stage of your business is all part of the plan.  

How has social media influenced or helped your business?

Social Media (Instagram specifically) has played a major role in growing the business and brand. I’ve been able to make connections & relationships with Influencers, companies & customers I would never have been able to discover otherwise. Social Media is the #1 source of traffic and also provides tools to what customers are in the market for/what the current trends are.  It has been important to use Social Media as a crutch, but I’m careful to not depend on it completely as there have been days when it’s been “down” and we no idea when it’ll be back and running or if the algorithms have suddenly changed. This is why building other ways of traffic such as an email customer list has also been equally important.   

What’s one thing you can’t live without for your business (can be an app or tool or a person, or a go-to starbucks, order, etc.)

100% my iPhone.  I’ve been able to build and maintain the entire website through the Shopify App, take all of the photos of the products from the iPhone camera, manage and post all social media posts, create marketing campaigns, order products, track packages, message with customers, etc!! Besides receiving & photographing products and of course fulfilling the orders, the rest of the company is run at the palm of my hand- most of the time on the go! 

Who do you admire and why?

All of the Momma’s out there juggling both their kids and ground-up businesses! Both are our babies and we put our time and energy into growing them, seeing them flourish to the best of our abilities.  It is challenging finding that family/work balance, but so rewarding at the end of the day!

What’s next for your business? 

Keep bringing awareness and traffic to the website.  More than half of our sales are from returning customers, which is a testament to having a great initial experience.  I’ve been busy stocking up the site with tons of adorable gifts (with of course complementary wrapping) for the holiday season – all in limited quantities, so check us out at www.seamariedesigns.com before they are gone!!

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