Emily Elyse Miller, the Founder and CEO of Offlimits Cereal and the author of Breakfast the cookbook published by Phydon. When I first started Wellfed one of the brands I looked to for inspiration was Breakfast Club which was a project started by Emily. She used food as a way to start conversations and connect with new and interesting people and I loved that. Emily has always had a passion for food as well as art and fashion and all three of those have now been combined to launch her cereal brand, OffLimits. I knew I had have Emily as a guest to learn more about her experience and what it takes to launch a brand in a category that has gone stale.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wellfed a podcast for hungry creatives. I'm your host, Jon Sorrentino, a designer based out of New York. And on this podcast, I speak to some of my creative heroes to learn from their experiences and discover the ingredients to grow within the creative industry.
On this episode, my guest is Emily Elyse Miller. The founder and CEO of OffLimits cereal and the author of Breakfast, the cookbook published by Phaidon. When I first started Wellfed, one of the brands I looked to for inspiration was Breakfast Club, which was a project started by Emily. She used food as a way to start conversations and connect with new and interesting people and I love that.
Emily has always had a passion for food, as well as art and fashion. And all three of those have now been combined to launch her cereal brand, OffLimits. I knew I had to have Emily as a guest to learn more about her experience and what it takes to launch a brand, a category that has gone stale. And yes, that was a dad joke.
Before we get into the episode. I just want to share a few things with you first. If you want to stay up to date with the podcast, you can head over to wellfedpodcast.com, where I have all the episodes as well as videos and articles with tips for creatives, just like you.
Second for this season, I just launched a slack group that you can join by going to wellfedpodcast.com/community. There you can share work and connect with other designers, illustrators, and photographers from all over the world.
Last, but not least I'm doing free one-on-one portfolio reviews over zoom for anyone that signs up for the newsletter on the website wellfedpodcast.com. I've already had a few of these with listeners and we've talked about things like getting more clients, ways to present your work on your website and a bunch of other topics. All you have to do is sign up for the newsletter over at wellfedpodcast.com. Now that we got that out of the way, I hope you enjoy this episode,
Emily, thank you so much for joining me today. On this episode of welfare, I am very excited. To learn more about your, your career, your experience, especially leading up to starting OffLimits, which I am super excited to learn more about as well. Um, but before we get into the episode, I like to ask, uh, all my guests five questions, uh, in 50 seconds.
And if you're ready, I'll go ahead and ask the first question.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:02:00] Yeah. Excited to be here. Ask away. Awesome.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:02:04] If you had to give up bread or cheese, what would it be?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:02:08] Um, she is, I and butter is like, I can't live without that. That's like maybe the most perfect food.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:02:16] Uh, what's your sign?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:02:18] Leo
Jon Sorrentino: [00:02:20] cat or dog? Dog.
Definitely. You could eat one thing everyday for the rest of your life. What would it be?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:02:28] I mean, I have to say cereal because cereal is like an, any meal. If you have it with milk, you can make really cool baked goods and desserts and things like that. With it, you can eat it dry as a snack. It's like very versatile.
I feel like it wouldn't get tired of it.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:02:46] Very, I, I wasn't even thinking about the versatility side of baking with cereal, so that's very cool. And last question, uh, Spotify or apple music,
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:02:55] Spotify. Does anybody say apple music?
Jon Sorrentino: [00:02:59] I don't like, I don't want to give that away necessarily have to go back and listen all the episodes, but I would say a majority of Spotify users.
Um, what was the last thing that you listened to on Spotify? Um,
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:03:11] uh, probably glasses, animals without looking it's most likely that.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:03:17] Cool. Cool. Um, Emily, thank you so much for joining me. Um, are you also based in New York? I am yes. On this gray crappy Sunday after we just had like beautiful weather yesterday.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:03:29] Yeah. And I forced myself to go outside for a little walk today too. So I was proud that I even did that when he was spitting outside. Good
Jon Sorrentino: [00:03:37] on you. Yeah. I've put it on the rain jacket and just kind of like get through it. Right. Um, were you, have you always grown up in the New York area? Are you originally from New York?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:03:47] Um, I grew up between Arizona and Hawaii, mostly in Arizona, and then moved to New York for college. I went to school for fashion design at fit. So I just haven't left. I needed any excuse to get out of Arizona and come to New York. And fashion is one of the few industries that can't really be replicated anywhere else.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:04:08] I imagine fashion in Arizona is very much, um, decided by the weather and the humidity.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:04:14] Yeah, absolutely. It's definitely a specific scene.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:04:18] What brought you to kind of study fashion design at fit?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:04:22] I've always been, I've always been and interested in creative fields. Like it's, it's kind of wavered over the years.
Like I wanted to be a pastry chef. I wanted to cook. I wanted to be an interior designer. Like literally everything that I've even thought about doing has, has been creative. So, um, I really just loved. The idea of being able to like create things and like create my, I was developing my own personal style at the time.
And I feel like that helped me work through a lot of those kind of things. And there was just like a lack of creativity. I felt where I lived and I wanted to kind of force that into my life in some way. So it came out through fashion. Um, and. Went to school in New York for that. So it was, it was awesome.
Um, but definitely ended up in a very different career path. Um, my family is in the hospitality industry. My dad was in hotels, my, um, grandpa. My grandparents and my parents are originally from New York, even though I never lived here. And he owned an appetizing store on the upper east side. So I feel like food and hospitality has always been part of me, but, um, deviated a little bit learned a lot about fashion design are like honed that side of my personality and then applied that to.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:05:44] Very cool. So it was almost, it was almost like the lack of creativity in Arizona is what drove you to kind of want to learn more, not so much like some source of inspiration or anything like that. It was like, there's not enough of this going on in my life. Let me figure out where I can go together.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:05:57] Yeah, that was exactly right.
I want, I created the environment that I wanted with what I was given. I guess
Jon Sorrentino: [00:06:04] you also mentioned that your family has always been in hospitality and kind of the food industry and I I'm guessing that's. That stayed with you this whole time, because you know, you've gone on to, you know, start your own food company.
You've gone on to, uh, create what, where I kind of connected with, with your work, uh, the breakfast club and things like that. But, you know, before we get into all of that, like you went to school for fashion design, what was like the path like, or what were you kind of learning? Not only in fashion design, but about yourself during that time?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:06:35] I learned really quickly that being a designer was not for me. And I felt like. Uh, mostly because I felt like designers working for brands were underpaid, overworked, undervalued, like all the things that I felt were really important just for any human, but, um, the environment just wasn't what I wanted.
And I did internships like starting my freshman year. So I learned that really quickly. Whereas. Maybe other people waited and just kind of focused on school. I use school as a tool to get myself to New York and then kind of checked out immediately and like just started caring about what I wanted to do after and what I could do outside in the industry.
So went through varying. Like potential places that I could be in the fashion world, but fell into kind of the trend forecasting space. It was really exciting to me that there were groups of people who got to travel around the world, absorb everything from fashion, to art, to culture, to food, and then make predictions based off of that and like recognize patterns.
And I really loved that kind of practice and process. So I started. Interning for different trend forecasting companies and started, um, freelance writing for different brands. And when I was doing forecasting, it was mostly fashion, but food was really starting to become this huge, very like chef ified thing that it was, you know, like eight years ago or something.
Um, so they needed somebody who could. Talk really passionately about what was going on in the food world. So immediately I was like, I'm the friend who you asked for restaurant recommendations, even though it was all like fashion people who we were with. And I started writing about, um, food and chefs and, uh, like brands and I never looked back and like kind of stand through other editorial pieces.
And I ended up traveling around the world kind of writing and. Talking about trends
Jon Sorrentino: [00:08:40] that trend. I mean, like I've heard of trend spotters before and trend forecasters, but I didn't even, I, you know, I've never dug deep enough to know that there are like companies that are doing that specific thing. Like what are sort of the skills, I guess, that, that you would potentially require to like, kind of get your foot in the door and things like that.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:09:00] There's definitely a science to it, but I think a good skill of forecasters is being able to just take a step back and look at things, really understanding a global market from a global perspective, the way that trends kind of shift and like where they start. So, you know, where you can start looking, like, if I want to know what's going to be on the shelves at whole foods.
Three years from now, I'm going to look at restaurants in New York city and like new chefs and like what ingredients they're using, what types of food are, um, becoming popular. And I mean, you can take inspiration from anywhere. A lot of it is just these people to some extent kind of, especially when it comes to fashion, it's forecasters and.
People who pick like colors, deciding which colors are going to be popular based on all sorts of cultural cues, but there's nothing like crazy scientific about that. And then because all these designers subscribed to these services, everybody ends up with like similar color palette, similar feelings and designers will be on the same wavelengths because they can absorb what's happening culturally as well.
But forecasters kind of. Organize it into like really neat and visual decks and like put proof and case case studies behind it on a global scale and, um, work with like bigger brands to help them kind of make sure they know what they're getting themselves into for the next few years.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:10:26] Cool. So it's, it's very, it's like the organization of information and synthesizing that down to like, you know, like you said, digestible, like avenues and things like that and resources, um, So very interesting, because it's almost like this is the, like this sort of corner of the industry or of like culture is where some of those trends start, essentially, I guess that's the whole point, right?
Like, like how to kind of like, be ahead of that and use that to your advantage at some point, um, you mentioned that you start to kind of go freelance and start to write for brands and stuff like that. What's that process like, you know, or, or actually, I guess. Like, what is the path, I guess you said you were interning for a ton of different companies.
Um, at what point do you decide that you want to go on your own?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:11:14] Yeah, it was, uh, it was kind of just what was available. I was writing pieces for trend forecasting outlets, and it was all pretty seamless actually. Like I had a few media outlets reach out to me because they had seen some of those pieces, even though they were behind paywalls and started kind of expanding my freelance, um, market from there.
So it was writing for wallpaper. I did a few pieces for eater. Like I always. Was very much a sliding scale across the board between art, food, and fashion and all with a very kind of global perspective because. Um, I had, I wanted to like do better at my job. I wanted to travel. So I started writing for these companies and, um, left my apartment in Brooklyn, spent months at a time living in various countries, various places, and wanted a way to connect with people in those cities.
Like other creative people doing similar things, not only for stories, but just because I wanted friends. So reached out to some of the chefs and people who I was already working with and talking to a lot of them happen to be like tasting menu restaurants. And I could never ask them to like, have a gathering at night during dinner service.
So they decided to open their doors in the morning. So, and ended up being this like really creative time to be in a restaurant. Cause you're not really supposed to be there. So, um, It was really inspiring. And I think created a genuine connection between people and that's, that's exactly how breakfast club started.
I did a few of those and I was like, I love this. This is so fun. And the chefs had fun with it too. Cause they took a break from all the fancy food they were making and made like Jake keyless and just like food that they want to be eating in the morning. And there was something really special
Jon Sorrentino: [00:13:01] about that.
Yeah. I, I, I don't, I think when I first started Wellfed, it was sort of like this place of like one enjoying just the act of cooking for me, like myself every week and things like that. And so being a designer, I was like, oh, let me start a brand about, or like, let me put some design assets behind this like, idea.
And eventually, like, you know, I started looking for other brands that were like, you know, somewhat designed focused or like had a mind for design a bit and were kind of packaging these like experiences in a way. And of course I stumbled upon breakfast club and I was just really intrigued. What were some of the, you know, I I've, I've seen some of the events or the Instagram and things like that, but like, you know, for people who aren't familiar, you know, where, where has breakfast club been able to take you?
And, and some of the things that you've been able to kind of create from that sort of platform.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:13:46] Yeah, it was, um, it's really surprising what happens when you reach out with a truly kind of authentic message and, and genuine ask. Like, I knew what I was asking for. I knew what was required of the restaurant and I was really conscious of that and I think that's why we were able to get, um, So many amazing chefs to be involved like Enrique Olvera, hosted one at patrol in Mexico city.
Camorra hosted one at Cala in San Francisco. Um, the second event we ever did was at, um, Contra in the lower east side. So it's, it was just such a genuine kind of thing. And people started meeting there. I met my edit my later to be, I guess, editor at one of the events and, um, I, she, so she was the, uh, Emily to kudos is the global kind of, or us cookbook, commissioner, and, and editor for fightin.
And she ended up coming to one of our events. We stayed in touch like over the years and we were having breakfast of course, like one time when I was back in New York and. We just kind of started talking about doing a breakfast book. Cause I was just traveling and like on this high of like how much incredible breakfast is around the world, but there is not one book that existed of all of it.
Just talking about it from a really traditional sense. So I, um, I ended up getting a book deal with them and it was part of their. Global kind of cookbook collection, which means there's a minimum requirement of 350 recipes. So my books 380 recipes, it took three years to develop and we had like 150 people from around the world.
A lot of people who I met through breakfast club events introduced me to their aunts, their uncles, or cousins or sisters, like helping me make sure that like the recipe is that we had the breakfast that we were documenting were in fact, like. True authentic. And, um, and something that people really eat for breakfast in those places, because obviously couldn't travel to every single country, but I had been to a lot of them.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:15:51] Geez. I mean, I remember seeing the book and, you know, it's, it's a thick book. It's not, it's not just your coffee, you know, your chat book or anything like that. And so it's really expensive. I didn't even realize there's a total of 350, so yeah. There's a lot of fear. There's a lot of conversations in, in, in that process.
Yeah. But between, you know, breakfast club, the fight and book. Um, I think also like, you know, I, I saw somewhere on the web, um, you know, correct me if I'm wrong, trends on trends is also sort of, you know, your packaging of like the work that you were doing. You kind of seem like a great collaborator when it comes to like working with design and things like that.
And I'm, I'm curious, like where that sort of like, what's that process, like, you know, how do you kind of view it and, and, and, you know, where does the mind come. Or the idea come from to make sure that like, those are sort of treated in a way that feels right.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:16:41] I just love working with people. Like I love kind of meeting people like a lot of the collaborations that I have now.
I mean, this is kind of. Jumping ahead a bit, but we just launched an ice cream was salt and straw OffLimits did. So we have a custom like ice cream cereal, and I'm mind blown at this collaboration. It's seriously a dream, but I've known Tyler and Kim, like the founders of salt and straw for years at this point, like we met in passing through so many different events and projects over the years.
So it's just nice to like, Be making these friends over time and like have a career where it was my job to meet and talk to creative people and anyone who I got along with, we thought we could vibe like just creatively. We always end up working together at some point. And I think. My best advice for creative collaborations is to have patients because you can always tell when it's forced or when like something needs to happen, because it just feels like it's like a brand mix or something, or it's like kind of strategic, um, money grab thing.
But what you can really tell when both parties are genuinely excited about what they're doing and. That's what I've been so thankful for with off-limits is that every collaboration we've done so far has been from such a true place.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:18:04] Is it fair to say like, breakfast club kind of had like a start and an end, so like, you know, and during that process, like what, where does the idea to start your own thing?
Like where does that come up? You know?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:18:16] Yeah. So I, I had just turned in the cookbook. This was like early 20, 19, maybe was late 2018 actually. Um, No, definitely 2019. Um, I, I turned in the cookbook. The cookbook was coming out like that summer. Um, I had just hosted what in my head was one of the last breakfast cup events.
And that was really because. I was hitting a crosswords crossroads. Like I put thousands of dollars of my own money. And like, I was a freelance writer. Like I was not making a lot of money, but like, I just wanted to make sure that, um, all the events we were doing happened. And like sometimes if I couldn't find a sponsor who believed in what we were doing, I would just.
Like make sure that the restaurant costs were covered or like the general basic costs and things like that were covered because I just believed in bringing people together so much and like I wanted it to happen. So, um, After doing that so many times, um, and asking for sponsorship dollars, I feel like influencer events started really happening.
And I was in this weird mix of like, this is not an influencer, but I never really want it to be this, but like in order to get money from brands, it kind of needed to be. So I was like, I tried a bunch of events and a lot of different formats. I tried doing, um, breakfast walking tours in the lower east side, which was so fun because not got to highlight like the insane diversity of food in the lower east side, specifically, even just for breakfast.
So I took breakfast club into a lot of different channels before I decided. That this is not something that I can monetize as a career. And it's not something that I can personally fund my whole career.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:19:56] Yeah. At some point you got to say like, okay, it's burning a hole in my pocket and this whole
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:20:00] yeah.
Right. And I had done like 40 events. We had probably done just as many tours. So I felt like it had come to like a really, really organic and, and, um, Then I was depressed and in a place where I was just like, what am I doing? Like, I don't have the book to occupy my time. Like my personal life was like blown up.
My whole career was shifting. Everything I had known was kind of like done and coming to an end. And I just wanted something that I could focus my time on. I didn't want to keep freelance writing. I wanted something that I could just like be all in on. Um, and. I had always thought about cereal. Like it's been like in the back of my head for a while, but I was like, oh my God, raising money, like starting the business.
Like, do I really want to do it in this way? And. I don't know, there was just this point where I was like, why is there only Kellogg's or Kashi? Like, it really sucks that there's not, there's no fun in the middle. Like, I want like ingredients that are not toxic chemical and colored, and I want fun characters.
There were no modern story telling, um, That came along with like characters anymore. It was like, literally, I think a
Jon Sorrentino: [00:21:18] lot of legacy characters that you grew up though. You and I probably grew up with that. Like, hasn't
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:21:22] changed. I guarantee you frosted flakes could play the same commercial that they played in like the mid nineties.
And as long as like the technology was updated, people would not really know if there was a difference. Like they just have done nothing to use the platforms that they have with these characters that they've developed to actually like. Be progressive in that way, ensure they have like charities and things like that going on, but like there's not been anything like bold and new and breaking the rules and boring.
Yeah. It's yeah. So, um, the characters came first for me, it was kind of, the characters were built out of my like anxiety, like. Just emotional instability at the time, because it felt like such a natural place for creative people. And that annoyed me too. I'm like, why do creative people need to be in such low sometimes to like create stuff?
So I created these two characters that were kind of like the split of that dash is this. Overachieving, super confident, like work hustle, ready to go all the time kind of vibe. And then zombie is like sad boy artists, like super chill, but like whatever doesn't is just kind of like. Hanging out goes through spurts of depression, but then we'll like continue to feed the terrible habits that, that come with that too.
But also your friend that like gets you out of your head, like zombie will like know exactly what to do to make you like calm down. And then dash is the one who's like gets you like motivated and hustle and like all of that kind of stuff. So the characters were really important. And then the flavors were inspired by the characters.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:23:04] these two characters were before, like you even started to like raise money or anything like that. Like anything concrete. It started from characters.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:23:13] Yeah. I needed to build the world in my head in order to know what I was doing. Like, I, it wasn't just about starting a company for me. It was figuring out.
What kind of, I guess, like what I was doing in Arizona, like, I didn't really like what was happening around me. I had no control over it really. And like, I wanted to get control back somehow and developed this whole world where it was like the cartoon dimension and these characters live there, and this is kind of how they exist.
And they, they are like the ups and downs. Personified of human emotion that nobody really talks about.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:23:49] I can, I can totally be friends with both of them. And I feel like that's exactly where I live, um, at this like also, so, you know, having experienced as like a trend forecaster is any of that, like being sort of like in a way, cause it kind of sounds like you just like.
We're looking for an outlet to one kind of combine that passion of like design, you know, talking about food, talking about fashion and like looking to combine all of those in a way that made sense for you. But also at the same time, you know, like I, I know the world of like food trend forecasting is super big, especially like working in CPG myself.
Like I know that's constantly a thing. So like, you know, I guess like where, where does cereal come into play?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:24:33] Yeah, it wasn't, it, it was very subconscious. Like I didn't choose cereal because I felt like there was a market for it kind of thing. It was, it was really real. I felt like it combined everything that I loved, that I never had a chance to combine in all the things that I had done, which is art and food and cereal is.
Such a vehicle for culture, but again, like none of these brands have taken the Liberty to update that culture. So I was like, I will take this on, like, this is so fun. And at the same time, like when I was developing this, there were no new cereal brands. And I think even now there's like, Three serial startups that have come out in the past, like year or two years.
And this is a huge industry. So it's, there's a really big barrier to entry when it comes to creating cereal far bigger than what I had thought before. Starting it like production is really difficult. You're entering this market where there's exclusively mega brands. So if you piss them off, they're either going to buy you or they're going to crush you.
So it's not the first you have to kind of tread lightly and we're here just kind of like. Poking at them a little bit. So, um, we'll see what
Jon Sorrentino: [00:25:45] happens. But I mean, I think there was a moment where I was doing like Instacart delivery and stuff like that. And every time you'd walk through the cereal aisle, it is just wall-to-wall, you know, everything is like half Kellogg's.
Everything is like, it's just like insane how much product is constantly stocked in that aisle. And how much of it is owned by like a few selections? Like basically players in the industry.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:26:09] Yeah. Just there's so much deceptive marketing. It's like they're perpetuating diet culture. They're like pumping up the like.
Ingredients that they have in there that they're natural and just using all this kind of health, food jargon, or like, see, we're good. Like you should buy us. And it just all feels so weird. So I don't know, it still feels weird to have a break, but like, um, we try and be as anti brand anti corporation as possible with a lot of things that we do.
We have a campaign coming out that is very much going to be like that. So I'm
Jon Sorrentino: [00:26:45] excited. Develop these characters you decide on like cereal and stuff like that. I guess like, what's the process to getting this thing live, like I so much, so like hope to one day enter the CPG space and have that sort of goal in mind.
And I'm curious, like, you know, raising money, all that stuff, like what is really that process look like if you know, not to go too, I'm sure there's a lot you can go on about, but like, you know, what does that like really realistically look like, I guess.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:27:16] Yeah. I think a lot of brands and founders show this like super glossy experience and it's attract, give you're like, oh, I can have a business.
This is so cool. Everyone's like successful. And they have his brand and yeah, like millions of dollars. Like here you go, like so easy. Great. It's literally like it's opposite. This is the hardest thing that I've ever done. Raising money was the hardest thing that I've ever done. Um, it's I don't even know.
Make sure you, you love what you're doing. What I don't understand is how people do this just for the business side of it. Like they, they see a gap in the market and they're like business opportunity and do all of the business stuff because this shit is so hard. And if you don't love and believe in the product that you're making, and then you have to peddle it to people and you don't believe in that messaging, like.
Damn that feels soul sucking. Like, I don't want to be part of that at all. So it's almost like a blessing and a curse to just be so obsessed with what you're building. Um, because sometimes it's, it's hard to make those business decisions when I'm just like, let's spend all of our marketing budget on animation and like make a mini animated series and like do all this stuff.
So it's finding
Jon Sorrentino: [00:28:33] a balance. I mean, like, again, you know, you, I think, you know, the brand just released this like short series, you know, all animated and stuff like that. And I'm like, yeah, like this is like the reverse engineering of all the big brands and how they like put out commercials on TV. Like this is the new age of doing that stuff.
And so like where, where does that idea pop in? You know, obviously again, like being somewhat design centric and like wanting to do something cool in that way. Like where does this come from?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:29:01] Yeah. Um, again, it was kind of a day. One thing, I feel like my investors are like, okay, remember, here's a cereal ground.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:29:09] every time we have,
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:29:12] yeah. Like every time we have brainstorms, I'm like, okay. But when we get our Netflix animation show, like that's gonna go into this and then we can do all these other products and things. And they're like, okay, cool. But, but right now what's happening. I'm like, okay. So if we're doing this right now, then I need little mini animated.
Seems like these characters are too weird to like, not show their personality the best way to do that is through animation. So we started working with team logic, which is this Miami based animation studio. And I found them because, um, kids super, if you're not familiar, he's like this really awesome, like New York streetwear designer.
And he did this animated series called scram on YouTube. And I just loved like the color, the style to everything. Like it reminded me of. Like nineties cartoons and all the like MTV animated series, like downtown and like, things like that. Yeah. Like, so we were talking, I sent him a bunch of cereal and then talk to the team.
Legend team, sent them a bunch of cereal and we all just got along really well. And now we're doing little animated shorts with them.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:30:21] I mean, it's also funny to hear or not funny, but it's like inspirational. Hear that, like it doesn't end here. The goal is like, get enough look series basically. And like, you know, go from there.
I think that's, that's such a cool, like way to look at it. It's not just like what's in front of you. Like, especially being a brand owner. I imagine it's like looking fine and obviously having experienced in trend forecasting, it's like looking 3, 4, 5 years out from now and like where you want to be then.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:30:48] I mean, we're, I'm looking at like, okay, how can we make like a cereal cafe in decentral land? And like, weird. I, I like, I think more in the future and I need, which is helpful. Like that's how we're getting all these like collaborations because they take time, like all this stuff takes a long time to build relationships and, and set up things that make sense for everyone.
So I just kinda throw stuff out there. Sometimes it comes back and then we do it. So
Jon Sorrentino: [00:31:18] yeah. What is your team? Does your team look like, you know, mentioning that you're kind of just throwing ideas out and I'm sure there's someone on the team that's like, okay, but we have a deadline coming up in a month, you know, like, how do we get to that before we get to Netflix?
Like, you know, what is the team on off-limits look like and how, how does it sort of operate.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:31:38] I feel like the best way I can explain it is kind of like breathing like the whole team or three people right now. So, and we all have like, Different variations of like insane creative levels to us. So when we have meetings, it'll like go off on that tangents and we'll be like in these like crazy spaces and we write everything down and honestly like, then we'll have meetings like six months down the line and we're like, wait, we have this idea so long ago, like now is the time to do it.
So those are really helpful. But then. We all kind of bring each other back to earth a little bit, like based on all the, like realities of running a business, like that never stops. It's like, we're still, I feel being really smart about, um, our kind of sales and like expansion strategy. Like we're keeping things really small right now, focused on building our community and culture and voice.
And then, um, Have some plans for like expanding and that kind of thing as well. So the business side is of equal importance and like of equal creative value. Honestly,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:32:42] you, uh, so you just did this collaboration with, um, the ice cream collaboration and you know, like what are some of your. I guess, I guess I would love to hear like what you have in mind for collaborations or like what would be kind of like a cool, you know, combination of brands between off-limits and like, what does that dream collab almost in a sense?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:33:04] Um, I'm kind of working on one now that would be a total dream. Like, I can't talk about it yet, but I can tell you more about our other collaborations that are, are really different. So on the food side, We just launched with salt and straw at all their locations on the fashion side. Um, we collaborated with one of our friends who has a UK based streetwear brand.
It's called Tom's studio. It's T O M M E. And we worked together to create this custom upcycled basketball bag, and it says OffLimits on it and we launched it. Limited edition, exclusively on the network app. It sold out in five minutes. That's cool. We were all prepared to like purchase it ourselves if we had to.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:33:47] we were just like shaking, shaking up the release and you're like, oh God,
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:33:52] I like, honestly I was, I was so excited about that. Like that was. The first time we were really like, okay, cool. Like people want weird cereal toys and partnerships and stuff like that from us. So that was, um, that was great.
And then also on network, we launched, um, our artists, our first of our artists box series. So we worked with Greg, Mike, who's this really amazing kind of like contemporary surrealist pop kind of. Street artists, fine artists, Mick NFT, creator. Now all these sorts of things. Um, and he has these really crazy characters.
One of them is called leery loud mouth and it just like goes so well with zombie. So he basically did like a full takeover of the zombie box. He signed all of them, like it's original work of art and his prints are. Like go for a decent amount. So, um, for somebody to have a signed piece of his for, I think they were like 50 bucks or something, um, limited run.
It was cool. So we're doing another box with Sophia Chang. Who's incredibly prolific in the streetwear space and awesome graphic designer and working on a plan to kind of. Be able to work with a lot more artists in a more in a, in a kind of faster, interesting way. So we have something coming out with that soon, too.
So any artists listening shoe museum,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:35:18] I'm sure. I'm sure a couple of guests also, um, you know, be open to collaborating and things like that. But I want to talk about the website for a second, because I think, you know, we're talking about how off-limits has this like unique voice. It's sort of like inserting itself in being that like.
Contemporary like, um, personality or like when you describe dash and zombie, I'm like, oh, cool. I'm very relatable to both those sides of those personalities. And I, I find. Them to be like, a lot of people can, can relate to that. Um, but the website also having that unique spin on it and being something different from what's out in the market today.
I just want to touch a little bit on like the fact that there are 10 stars around that website that you can find for a discount code. And I still cannot find like the 10th star and I'm just like, you know, just putting it out there. I still haven't been able to find it. I'm having such a difficult time.
Every time I look at it. So I just want to mention that I think it's a great game because it's probably kept me on there for a while and I can pro I can understand that Google analytics is like, your, your visitors are spending 45 minutes on there.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:36:18] We actually really do have like a long
promise. There are 10. Um, and that would definitely be our designer and developer. Um, Sam Faulkner and Kevin Green, like. They took this project on for like, just because they really believed in what we were building and. In exchange for that and said, do whatever you want. So I think this is just like them projecting everything they wish they could do for all of their clients.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:36:50] I mean, that's like a creative job, like dream, right? Like, Hey, we'll take your brand project and make it gigantic and awesome.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:36:57] Right. So I promised those 10 stars, but I know Kevin is not about to make it easy for anybody.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:37:03] It's just like, it's up to nine or eight and I'm just like, oh man, I'm struggling right now.
I'll help you find
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:37:10] that. Honestly, I would need to play again too. Whenever I forget about it, I'll like try and do it,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:37:16] put that other one. I would, I would love, love to find that 10th one eventually, but that's okay. Um, Emily before, before I end the episode, I've been asking all my guests, you know, if they could send themselves like a time capsule, you know, write down a note to themselves of like, you know, advice or, or some sort of like aspirational words, whatever it may be, you know, what would, what would you write down yourself to maybe open up in a couple of years from now?
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:37:41] Oh, a couple of years from now. Yeah.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:37:43] Not the past self. I, I don't, I, you know, everyone does like, oh, what would you tell yourself? Like your, your, your younger self, like that's easy.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:37:50] Yeah, is it, I would say, well for that, I would be like, invest in Bitcoin when like all of my friends said that.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:37:59] I think, I think if, uh, if I go back to like my college years, my friend was like, Hey, do you want to put like 50 bucks into Bitcoin?
I was like, dude, I don't have 50 bucks. Like, what are you talking about? But you'd also be like $500,000 richer.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:38:11] Yeah, I wouldn't have, yeah. I wouldn't have been able to focus on this on my own, which would be cool. Um, okay. For my future self. Like be, be kind to yourself, like your emotions and kind of like the characters, like the extremities in your emotions are going to be what, like your super power.
They're not like a crutch, so it's um, yeah, probably something having to do with like,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:38:47] Just calm
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:38:47] down. Like it's okay. Like you can feel this way and like, feel it's not going to affect your future. Like, let it kind of feel you fuel you versus hurt you.
Jon Sorrentino: [00:38:57] Awesome. Emily, where can people find more of you? Where can they find more of OffLimits and potentially even purchase, uh, some cereal.
Emily Elyse Miller: [00:39:05] Yeah. So, um, my handle is just my full name, Emily Elise Miller. And then we are OffLimits on every social and on our website. And yeah,
Jon Sorrentino: [00:39:18] try to find the 10 stars on the website. And if you do tag both Emily and myself, please. Emily. Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it.
This podcast is produced by me, Jon Sorrentino, out in Jersey city, New Jersey. Editing, mixing, and music are all done by my friend, Kevin Bendis out in Greenpoint. Brooklyn. Definitely check him out. You can find out more about Wellfed and where to listen at wellfedpodcast.com or on social media at wellfeded.podcast.
Thank you so much for listening and we'll see you soon.