OffLimits CEO Emily Elyse Miller is a visionary serial entrepreneur who began her career as a writer and trend forecaster but quickly transformed her passion for the most important meal of the day into a series of ventures, including a cookbook (BREAKFAST: The Cookbook) and BreakfastClub, a global food event series featuring Michelin-star chefs.
Her latest business, OffLimits, is a cereal brand that blends nutritious ingredients with unabashed fun. “The idea behind OffLimits is to take the fun side of cereal and merge it with thoughtful, nutritious ingredients to create a better-for-you cereal brand for modern generations,” says Emily, who launched her business on Shopify in July of 2020.
In celebration of ambitious entrepreneurs like Emily, Shopify Supply teamed up with OffLimits to create Entrepreneur Energy, a delicious cinnamon cereal designed to supercharge those on the go. To toast the launch of Entrepreneur Energy, the Shopify team sat down with Emily to discuss what energizes her as an entrepreneur and fuels her business’s journey.
Get to know Emily Elyse Miller, CEO of OffLimits
What’s the origin story of OffLimits? How did the brand come about?
I chose to launch a cereal brand because cereal carries culture in a unique way that no other product does. I love how design, fun, and food intersect when it comes to cereal. Think about it: cereal is often associated with tons of dynamic, playful elements, like mascots, animations, toys, bright colors, and crazy flavors! So the idea behind OffLimits is to take the fun side of cereal and merge it with thoughtful, nutritious ingredients to create a better-for-you cereal brand for modern generations.
How does one scale a DTC brand in 2023 when competition is high?
Meet your customers where they’re at. Every 10 years or so, a group of new wild-card brands redefines the next decade of business models. Traditional D2C is changing, and the scrappy, creative newcomers and forward-thinking players will crack the next model.
Change is always met with resistance, so if you feel like everything and everyone is against you, you’re probably on the right path.
Emily Elyse Miller
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who want to create a business that aligns with their values and contributes to positive social change?
Fuel that rebellious spark and stay delusionally committed to bringing the brand/world you want to see to life. Change is always met with resistance, so if you feel like everything and everyone is against you, you’re probably on the right path.
We have a completely headless site powered by Shopify because we wanted to build this whole thing from scratch in a way that would resonate with our fans.
Emily Elyse Miller
Why did you choose to launch your business on Shopify?
Shopify allowed us to world-build in a way we couldn’t have otherwise. We designed a store that had the same delight, joy, and dynamism of a fan page but had the tech flexes and capability we needed for ecommerce. With Shopify, we built a dynamic site, similar to how fashion houses handle their sites, in the sense that [the OffLimits website] is a dynamic and immersive experience.
Some people may think of their commerce platform as the transactional direct-to-consumer side of their business, but we see the Shopify platform as a tool that allows us to get innovative and build out this fun world for our community. We have a completely headless site powered by Shopify because we wanted to build this whole thing from scratch in a way that would resonate with our fans.
What gives you energy as an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur can be a roller coaster of emotions, as in business, things rarely go as planned. When facing challenges, I tap into my passion for my company’s mission to energize myself. For example, the OffLimits cereal mascots were created to reflect the many emotions one can experience as an entrepreneur.
As entrepreneurs, sometimes we’re motivated (Dash), and sometimes we’re sad (Zombie), but all those big feelings are valid. The [OffLimits] mascots serve as a reminder that it is perfectly OK to experience an array of emotions as a founder. They encourage you to embrace your feelings and harness them for good.
What is entrepreneur energy to you?
Entrepreneur energy is that spark that inspires you to try something new, even if you know it will be hard. You don’t know what all the obstacles will be when you start a business, but to me, entrepreneur energy is the fuel, drive, and optimism that allows you to jump in and take a leap. It’s truly a gift.