We believe everyone deserves the tools, support, and guidance to do the work that they love.

Our Story

One Mill School is a community-driven school for creative business owners. In working with 1,000+ makers with Wholesale In a Box, we saw a glaring need for truly comprehensive, custom, and co-created business education -- especially for people running businesses that come from their art, practice, or passion.

The small business community is facing a new and unfamiliar landscape. And these new opportunities and challenges require a course re-charting, vision refinement, and nourishing of strength and resilience. One Mill School is meant to support creative resilience and thriving in this new economy. Of course, advice is worth less than ever. But guidance, inspiration, collaboration, and tools that enable your own plans, insights, and experiences -- that is what we offer.

We’re inspired and informed by the leaders of progressive education, like Maria Montessori. The Montessori model focuses on creating a prepared environment, providing a prepared guide, and preparing the student. As part of this, “works” are used — which are guides or tools to facilitate exploration and growth. One Mill School endeavors to provide a prepared environment, a prepared guide, and these “works” to the participants -- leading out what is inside you, rather than imparting advice.

"You can not teach a person anything. You can only help them find it within themself.” - Galileo Galilei

Our Team

One Mill School is run by Emily Kerr-Finell, an entrepreneur, consultant, and facilitator and Founder of Wholesale In a Box. An Unreasonable Institute Fellow, her work has been featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, Forbes.com, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Latina Magazine.

Previously, she was Founder & CEO of Liga Masiva, a "global farmers' market" connecting organic farmers in Latin America directly to consumers in the US (and doubling farmer incomes in the process.) She's also led ICWES, an intercultural women’s leadership coalition, launched a program that increased Food Stamp usage at NYC farmers' markets by 500%, and helped optimize operations at the largest low-income mortgage servicer in the world.

Simone Short is our Training + Ops Pro. Simone is a Texas native who left for the mountains of Colorado where she worked for Colorado State University. Her passions for systems, operations, and above all people, have allowed her to do impactful work with phenomenal colleagues. Her love of supporting creative small business owners has taken her from the rolling hills of Perugia, Italy to the quaint burrows of London, England. In addition to working with One Mill School and Wholesale In a Box, she can be found tap dancing in the studio, eating her husband's delicious cooking, and cuddling their cat in the garden.

    

The One Mill School Mentors

One of the best parts about One Mill School is the incredible group of mentors that you will have available to you.

Our mentors are chosen for their wise approach, business experience, thoughtful art or practice, and diversity of backgrounds and experiences.

Mentors join you in the Community Forum to answer questions and provide feedback, contribute their perspectives and expertise to your Courses, and share their stories with you in detailed Case Studies.

Amelia Sanchez

Amelia is the creator of Honored Roots, an all-natural skincare line for sensitive skin.

Becca Perea-Kane

Becca is a writer, designer, and owner of Thicket, her minimal, nature-inspired jewelry line.

Cindy Liebel

Cindy is the creator of Cindy Liebel, her architecturally-inspired jewelry line for men, women, and non-binary folks.

Gopi Shah

Gopi runs Gopi Shah Ceramics a one-woman, handcrafted ceramics and pottery design studio.

Lora DiFranco

Lora is the creator of Free Period Press, a heartfelt and spirited line of planners, stickers, and more.

Sam Slater

Sam is the mind behind Samantha Slater Studio, her lovely, geometric jewelry line and class space.


Interested in becoming a One Mill School Mentor? Wondering about the program more generally?

It's deeply important to us that One Mill School is co-created with people from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities so that what we do is relevant and beneficial to all creative business owners. Our Mentors are a crucial part of that vision and help us draw from and nourish a diversity of backgrounds and approaches. Also: making this real is an evolving practice, area of inquiry, and something we're working actively on. We are grateful to the Mentors who have already joined us and are looking for others who would like to apply (or nominate peers.)

✓ Click here to learn what you get, what you do, and apply to be a Mentor.
 ✓ Click here to read more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

What We Believe About Business

We've helped over 1,000 small creative business owners grow, in their own way. And it turns out that the conventional way of doing things doesn't work for most folks. When it comes to running a small creative business, we believe:

  • You don’t need advice.
  • Any skill you need can be learned.
  • Your business will tell you what it needs if you listen.
  • How you do it is what you get.
  • You can grow your business the same way you do everything else: by learning, wandering, listening, and experimenting.

 

Our Values

These values govern everything we do -- from how we respond to our customers to how we hire and what projects we take on:

  • Integrity comes first.

  • Overcommunication is good communication.

  • People over process, profit, or product.

  • Strength comes from responding, adapting, experimenting, and doing a lot with a little.

  • We’re professionals -- internally and externally.

  • We bring our true selves to the work.

    

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at One Mill School

Our intention is that One Mill School be a vibrant, antiracist, equitable, diverse, inclusive place. The foundations of that vision are our intention, our inquiry within our own practices, and the education and training we prioritize. This is an open and ongoing exploration and right now, these are some of the active things we do to build towards this vision: 

  • Work with coaches (Project Deviate!) to guide our team's inquiry, conversation, and education around antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Donate to social justice organizations that resonate with the work we do and who we are.
  • Convene Mentors with diverse voices, backgrounds, and experiences, and ensure that their contributions are fairly compensated.
  • Advance economic accessibility to our programs with an open scholarship program for anyone who faces significant obstacles to their growth as a creative business owner. (More here.)
  • Prioritize diversity and underrepresented groups in outreach to and engagement of new Members. 
  • Be active in making One Mill School's spaces brave and safe for every person who is part of them (including how people are spoken about and to.)