In 2020, digital connection has become more important than ever before. At Squarespace, we’ve seen creatives and entrepreneurs push through uncertainty to boldly pursue their goals and achieve success. In this spirit, we’re celebrating the best of the worst year with Squarespace Browser History 2020, an acknowledgement of the bravest among us who have risen above every challenge to bring their ideas online.
When stay-at-home orders went into effect last March and people needed indoor activities, our social feeds became overrun with a new trend: baking bread. Actor Richaud Valls figured, what better time to try his hand at creating the perfect baguette? “I wanted to give my friends a little something to get excited about each day,” Richaud tells us, “and who doesn't get excited about a freshly baked, warm baguette?” Though he wasn’t an experienced baker, he committed to the task, asked for feedback, and began making baguettes three at a time in his kitchen. Richaud’s French loaves were such a hit with his circle that he launched a business, taking orders via social media and delivering locally in his West Village neighborhood.
As demand grew, Richaud needed to expand his oven space and his digital footprint. Local restaurants offered up their kitchens, and a friend came on board to build out the business website and handle marketing. Online ordering was a key element to streamline operations and allow Richaud to focus on baking baguettes and being the face of his burgeoning brand. “At the beginning, it was so crazy with the text messages. I’d get lost or forget orders. Now with the orders online, you can see it all in one place.”
Though he’s no longer texting personally with each customer, Richaud says, “I still like to keep in touch with almost all of them through deliveries and feedback. The human connection is why I do this. One of my favorite ways to connect to my customers is by writing a little note on their baguette wrapper. It's something I still do now, even as the orders continue to grow. The times we live in right now have created a need for more genuine human interaction and, it's this very interaction that fuels my fire every day.”
Richaud has big plans for his baguette business, including opening a storefront in 2021 in the West Village, his homebase. When it comes to launching a small business in an uncertain time, he says, “It's not as scary as it seems. Start small and take it one step at a time. And no matter what, don't lose the image of seeing your goal come to fruition in your head.”
Read more about Richaud and explore the Browser History 2020 exhibit.