Woman of the Week: Chelsea Johnsen

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Chelsea Johnsen. Chelsea’s story and business are so unique and interesting – we just knew you’d love to hear the details! A word to the wise: do NOT read this WOTW while hungry!

“I have been making over-the-top cheese boards for quite a while. About 10 years ago, I worked at an Italian restaurant and discovered charcuterie/antipasto boards and fell in love, so I started making (feeble) attempts to put them together at my personal events. Over time, they got bigger and more elaborate with new, interesting cheeses and fresh fruits and veggies.

Just over a year ago, I had some friends suggest that I try to sell them and then I had a dream (a literal dream) that my sister-in-law opened a business selling fancy cheese boards and named it Sisters in Cheese. I told her and we laughed about it, but then I thought about it seriously and realized that it was just maybe do-able. So we decided that since we’re family (and best friends) that we shouldn’t go into business together and I took it all on myself from there. I got my catering license, rented a commercial kitchen, and about nine months later quit my full time job at a printing and design firm to pursue Sisters in Cheese full time.”

Then, Our Usual Questions…

Favorite Book: “Usually whatever I’m reading at the moment! Two that have really stuck with me in different ways are The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and The Gift of Fear by Gavin di Becker.”

Favorite Beverage: “Iced coffee in the morning and dry red wine at night!”

What are you passionate about? “My kids and husband, my rescue dogs, food and making people happy with food, and if I’m being completely honest, Bravo reality shows.”

What do you do really, really well? “I’ve always loved engaging with people. I used to be really shy. Then, I realized that I was always curious about other people, so I started chatting more, asking more questions and it’s become such a joy to get to know people. I also have gotten pretty good at arranging food and taking pictures of it with my phone!”

If you could do anything with your time (regardless of obligations and finances), what would you do? “At this time, what I’m doing now! I have never really known “what I wanted to be when I grew up” and just enjoyed working. It’s always been enough for me to just do a good job at whatever work I’m doing. But when I found this and it started to grow, I finally felt like I fit in somewhere. I would also love to work with animals, possibly in a shelter… but I’d end up bringing too many pets home probably!”

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