Made with Love


Grain partners, Chelsea and James Minola, often get asked what it is like to run a business as a couple. In honor of the month of love, Vanessa interviews Chelsea on just that subject.

V: There are a lot of amazing designers in Seattle that work in pairs. Is there something about Seattle and design that makes working with your significant other so effective?

C: Maybe it has something to do with people coming to the Northwest for a certain lifestyle. For us, working together as a couple embraces that pioneer spirit. 

V: Describe a typical day working together?

C: Everyday is different and dependent on what deadline we're working towards. We always have breakfast together. Usually eggs from our chickens. I make green juice and James makes coffee. I try to do my more creative work in the morning before getting too distracted by emails. James' day is usually half in the shop and half in the studio with me. We always have lunch together as a studio and try to end the day with a run or yoga if we can. Most evenings we have for ourselves unless a deadline is fast approaching and we need to put in what we call our "second shift" after dinner. Second shifts usually require wine.

V: How do you like to spend your free time together? Is it hard to avoid shop talk?

C: We try our best to not make all our conversations about work. That said, our best ideas hardly ever come when we are seated together for a scheduled meeting. It is usually the in between times - driving somewhere or on a walk together - that we figure something out. Because of this, we make an effort to take time off and for ourselves.

V: If one of you is having a bad day at the office, what do you do to cheer the other up?

C: In work and in our life in general, we each try to be more understanding and helpful when the other person is having a bad day. James usually asks me: "What can I do to help?" Sometimes he can't, but it's nice to feel supported and part of a team when things aren't working out as planned.

V: What are your future dreams for Grain? Also, when are you getting a dog?

C: We'd love to continue to grow our furniture and lighting as well as to start to work more environmentally. A dream project would be designing a little ski or surf cabin together - something that we could use ourselves with friends and then rent out. It could be an incubator to test out some of the other ideas we have planned.

James is in charge of the dog project. His answer: 7 years.

Silenia Rhoads Date 3/15/2014
You can have Luna. Great article :)
Chelsea Date 3/17/2014
Thanks Silenia! If we are still searching in seven years, we'll let you know!
Add Comment
 June 2022
 April 2022
 March 2022
 December 2021
 November 2021
 October 2021
 September 2021
 August 2021
 July 2021
 June 2021
 May 2021
 April 2021
 March 2021
 February 2021
 January 2021
 December 2020
 November 2020
 October 2020
 September 2020
 July 2020
 June 2020
 May 2020
 April 2020
 March 2020
 February 2020
 January 2020
 December 2019
 November 2019
 October 2019
 September 2019
 August 2019
 June 2019
 May 2019
 October 2018
 September 2018
 May 2018
 June 2017
 May 2017
 January 2017
 December 2016
 November 2016
 August 2016
 July 2016
 June 2016
 May 2016
 December 2015
 November 2015
 October 2015
 July 2015
 June 2015
 May 2015
 April 2015
 March 2015
 November 2014
 October 2014
 September 2014
 August 2014
 July 2014
 June 2014
 May 2014
 April 2014
 March 2014
 February 2014
 January 2014
 December 2013
 November 2013
 October 2013
 August 2013
 June 2013
 May 2013
 April 2013
 March 2013
 February 2013
 January 2013
 December 2012
 November 2012
 October 2012
 September 2012
 August 2012
 July 2012
 June 2012
 May 2012
 March 2012
 February 2012
 January 2012
 December 2011
 November 2011
 October 2011
 September 2011
 August 2011
 July 2011
 May 2011
 March 2011
 February 2011
 January 2011