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Inspiration behind Steel Mill


Hi, I’m Chandler Rogers! I am the owner of Steel Mill and Co. and I began my journey in retail nine years ago. It wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to turn the experience into a career. Retail was not the easiest career choice in the beginning, but I knew if trusted my instincts, that my creative passions would take me places. From more elaborate re-designing of homes to something as simple as designing my own personal chicken coop - my love and passion for design is varied and continuous! With all of this creative juice inside me, designing a store from the inside out would surely be the best experience of my life so far.

At age 23, many people did not believe in the dreams I was living for, but my boyfriend at the time was the biggest advocate for pursuing my lofty goals. Once on a whim, he took me to Chicago for a weekend getaway where he asked me to be his wife. Of course I said YES! Chicago was a place of constant change, but also consistency. It changed my whole perspective on retail design, and I realized how much I wanted to somehow incorporate those feelings into my own community while pursuing my dreams as we grew into a family. As we traveled home to Kentucky, I noticed miles of windmills along the highway throughout Illinois. I considered how they are constantly changing and intriguing in their usefulness, which inspired the idea to call my imaginary store “Steel Mill”.

My Fiancé and I (…OMG can we just stop and say Fiancé three times??) began discussing all the possibilities that lied ahead of us. We bounced ideas off of each other and thought up schemes on how we could pull off this adventure. It hit me like lighting — I was going to chase my dream, take a risk and open my very own Steel Mill. I knew what I had to do to make this come true: finish that semester of college (with a 4.0, thank you very much!), open my store and see where this crazy idea could take me. A year and half later, I wouldn’t change a thing. Getting married, attending college, having a baby (the best surprise!), and opening a store was not so easy, but with the love and support of my husband and family, I am able live my dream. Each time I walk into my store, I know all the blood, sweat and tears were well worth it.

To my customers, community and co-workers: I knew everything happened just as it should and every one of you played a special part in this dream! Thank you to each of you who pushed and encouraged me along the way. I truly couldn’t have made it happen without your love and support.

This idea became a reality, and our family and business continues to grow. We are rocking it out daily here at the Steel Mill! Come on by and see how we have grown. 

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