Cara Nicoletti, CEO of Seemore Meats & Veggies
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How Canva Empowers This CEO And Female Founder To Run Her Business Remotely

The founder and CEO of Seemore Meats & Veggies, Cara Nicoletti, shares how she built her business in a pandemic and operates her company remotely using Canva.

As a fourth-generation butcher, Cara Nicoletti recalls visiting her grandfather, Seymour Salett’s famous Boston butcher shop, Salett’s Market, as a child and being intrigued by the different cuts of meat.

“It was a place where we spent a lot of time as kids. But I never thought I would be a butcher,” Cara tells Canva(opens in a new tab or window).

Yet it wasn't until years later while working in New York restaurants that she started thinking about butchery as a professional career move.

Cara started a job at a Brooklyn butcher shop and witnessed firsthand the amount of meat her customers were consuming every day. “I wanted to figure out not only a way to get customers to eat a little bit less meat, but to get the meat that we were using to stretch further.”

“So I started sneaking vegetables into the sausages I was making. I wanted to scale up so that I could get this good meat to more people and democratize the humane meat movement,” she said.

Cara Nicoletti poses with her grandfather while grilling sausages

Cara Nicoletti with her grandfather, Seymour, who was the inspiration behind the name of Seemore Meats & Veggies.

Founding A Dream Sausage Business

Today, Cara, 34, is the CEO and founder of Seemore Meats & Veggies(opens in a new tab or window), a business she launched in February, 2020, naming the company after her 92-year-old grandfather, Seymour.

“My grandpa has been hugely important in my life. I think a lot of my drive comes from him. He showed me what a giant impact you can have on peoples’ lives. He’s our biggest cheerleader,” she said.

The “sausage queen” says her company’s aim is to help people to eat well and enjoy meat in a more sustainable and affordable way by combining fresh vegetables with certified humanely-raised meat.

The result is a range of rainbow-bright sausages with fun and unique names, such as Chicken Parm, Bubbe’s Chicken Soup, La Dolce Beet-A, and Loaded Baked Potato – flavors that have become the brand’s creative signature.

“When I was working in butcher shops, the guys I was working with used to call me Willy Wonka, because my sausages were like that gum, they were like a three-course meal.”

“I would say Seemore branding is whimsical and really fun. The way that we like to talk about it is, basically we're having a party. We're having a really fun time. We hope that you'll join us,” Cara said.

The female-founded company is one of the first women-only owned and operated butcher businesses in the United States. Seemore Meats & Veggies operates with eight staff located across the country, each working remotely, with plans to expand and hire additional headcount in the next 12 months.

Seemore Meats & Veggies uses Canva for their social media strategy

Seemore Meats & Veggies uses Canva to engage customers as part of their social media strategy.

Bringing A Brand To Life In A Pandemic

Seemore Meats & Veggies launched two weeks before the COVID pandemic shut down New York, which ultimately meant Cara and her team were forced to bring the brand to life in digitally innovative ways.

Global visual communications platform, Canva(opens in a new tab or window), became a go-to tool for Cara and her team to spread the Seemore story through colorful and highly creative and colorful social media templates.

“We couldn’t get our products in front of customers via in-store demos or tastings, so social media was our primary channel to promote our brand and products to the community,” Cara said.

The Seemore team creatively tapped into culturally relevant internet trends through Instagram, engaging their primary audiences through memes, GIFs and social media videos, that were all created within Canva.

“Canva became a crucial tool for us to quickly bring our designs to life,” adds Seemore’s Director of Marketing, Tracy Lowy.

“We keep an eye on social media trends that are happening, and once our team spots a moment, we’re able to quickly mock something up quickly in Canva to post within 20 minutes. Which has been incredibly helpful, since none of us are design experts,” she said.

The social media-led launch strategy helped the brand take off. Seemore sausages are sold in over 300 retail stores in the United States, including Whole Foods, and available from their own online store.

Growing Customers Through Social Media

As part of their strategy to build the brand’s following, Cara reveals the Seemore team has adopted creative ways to visually bring their signature sausages to life through social media.

“We think of each one of our flavors as humans, they’re all different and we've really built out a world for each one of them. It really is genuine. We all know these sausages as characters.”

“We’ll do different things like, what's in La Dolce Beet-A’s purse and like, what color lipstick, and what magazine is she carrying? And it just helps us have a much clearer creative direction. Anytime we're talking about that flavor to have sort of a personality for it,” Cara said.

The team uses Canva to visually communicate each of their “sausage personalities,” carrying this through social media templates, and recipe cards posted to Pinterest, as well as email marketing campaigns.

Even Cara’s grandfather Seymour has made an appearance on the brand's colorful social media feed.

“We did a Seymour Starter Pack. He got a real kick out of it,” she said.

Canva design for chicken chili verde tacos

Seemore Meats & Veggies uses Canva for a variety of creative templates.

Collaborating as A Team In A Remote World

The Seemore Meats & Veggies team operates as a full-time remote workforce.

“The plan is to remain a national-based team and keep working towards the goal of sausage domination remotely,” Tracy says.

Canva’s realtime collaboration capabilities have allowed for Seemore staff to sync on designs and social media templates within their local time zones, fast-tracking the approval process.

“We can sign in separately and most of the time we review content through Canva just by sending each other links which is really helpful. And we can make comments and adjust the content to whatever we need,” Tracy says.

The visual design platform has also led to greater autonomy across the team and helped alleviate creative bottlenecks for the brand’s in-house designer.

“Rather than creating posts from scratch, our designer has created a suite of creative templates the team is able to save within our Canva folders. It helps to have templates that we can update and put something funny out into the world without overthinking and over designing it,” Cara said.

Using Canva as a primary collaboration tool, Cara can stay closely connected to her team while having the flexibility to work while traveling between her apartment in Brooklyn and her family home in Boston.

“[Canva] has been really easy for me to come up with an idea and design it myself in Canva without my design team's help. It’s helped us just be able to execute on creative ideas quickly and seamlessly,” Cara said.

Enjoying Good Food As A Family

Sitting down to eat meals together as a family was an important part of Cara’s upbringing, and it’s a tradition she hopes carries through to her customers enjoying Seemore’s veggie-packed sausages.

“I was raised with the understanding that being a person who helps people feed themselves and their families good food is one of the most important jobs that you can have. And so that’s really important to me. I want to help people feed themselves and feed their families.”

“You don’t have to give up meat entirely to eat responsibly. We’re just giving people another sort of middle of the road option,” she said.