Editor’s Note: Check out the newest websites on Squarespace with Just Launched, a roundup of sites — and their founders — that are making an impact on and offline.
An online presence has the power to make creative dreams and business goals a reality. With Squarespace, millions of people have brought their ideas online and achieved success through sheer persistence, problem-solving, and passion. No matter the end goal of an idea, the first step in getting there is sharing it with the world. If you believe in something, launch it.
This month, we’re highlighting three new sites and the people behind them that have recently done just that.
Co-founded by chef Aaron Brown and designer Vivek Bhatia, Dough & Oil is a UK-based sourdough pizzeria connecting customers with an urban dining experience in a small town environment. While their website was originally launched alongside the opening of their restaurant in 2017, Bhatia explains that “we felt we needed to provide an online experience that aligned better with who we are, so we updated the website.” The end result is a beautifully branded site that includes a merch shop, the restaurant’s founding story, links to Dough & Oil social channels, and a simple contact form for customers to connect with the business.
Bhatia notes that the relaunched website has already paid off, with successes like nearly selling out t-shirts in their new online store. From expanding Dough & Oil’s delivery capacity to partnering with other independent retailers, Bhatia explains that they “plan to build organically, one step at a time.”
Founded by Shantelle Hyslop, a graphic designer by day and self-proclaimed blob sculptor by night, Lotta Blobs is a colorful online store selling uniquely framed mirrors that “aim to add a touch of colour and fun to everyone’s reflection.” Hyslop launched Lotta Blobs on Squarespace after hearing good things about the platform from friends. In addition to selling her mirrors and using her website’s announcement bar to share restock dates, Hyslop’s site also includes an About page and a landing page showcasing her work through customer-submitted imagery.
Hyslop explains that her online presence “plays a huge role in my business strategy as it is the main method I use to communicate with my customer base.” From including customers in business development decisions, to seeking out inspiration for new designs, she uses her digital platform to ensure her products and brand align with what her audience is looking for. In the months and years ahead, Hyslop hopes to collaborate with other businesses and creatives, and “carry on developing my product line and introduce new colours and designs to my mirrors.”
Launched in the pandemic as an extension of The Acorn Restaurant, an award-winning, vegetable-forward restaurant in Vancouver, The Acorn Market has grown into an entirely new branch of the business. Co-owner Scott Lewis explains that, in the beginning of the pandemic, The Acorn Market started as a landing page on the larger restaurant website, offering goods for customers to purchase online and pick up in person. Once the restaurant was able to reopen for limited service, The Acorn Market was repositioned as a fixture of the business by migrating to its own page with a new domain. The Acorn Market’s new, standalone website includes a fully operational online store, the story of the market’s founding, information about vendors, and the option to navigate to the restaurant website.
Lewis notes that the business’s online presence — both the market and the restaurant — has proved essential in the pandemic, “providing a platform for people all around the city to see what we were doing during the lockdown while giving them a means to participate in the market.” As the Acorn Market expands, Lewis hopes that “we can have our products reach a variety of retailers around the city while we get a grasp on the growth potential.”
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