Kelly Dyer, President Spice Ratchet Mills LLC.

Author:Gallion, Mari
Position:View from the Top

Born in Taiwan, Kelly Dyer had moved around the world several times--from Asia, to Europe, to other parts of America before coming q to Alaska in 2001. After a two-year stint in Texas in 2006, Dyer found herself yearning for Alaska and decided to return, establishing her permanent home in the 49th state. Dyer has lived in Alaska for a grand total of nine years.

As a stay-at-home mom with various administrative and logistics related jobs, Dyer was always paying attention to things that could make life easier and fun for busy homemakers like herself. Through a combination of experience, innovation and connections, Spice Ratchet Mills was born.

INITIAL INSPIRATION: When I first started Spice Ratchet, I worked with a Danish designer to promote his upright nomess spice mill design. Back in 2007, there were very few mills on the American market equipped with ratcheting ceramic mechanisms capable of producing a large amount of ground spices or peppercorns. Spice mills are quite popular items in Europe. However, we learned that what may work in European markets doesn't necessarily work in America. People were interested by the idea of a different mill--but not enough to make a purchase. There were many "classic" style mills already on the market that people were happy with, and the market was saturated with established vendors providing those classic models.

RATCHET UP A NOTCH: From that lack of success, we decided we needed to redefine our focus. Our products need to match the lifestyle and culture of the American market and serve more than one purpose. So then came our next product, Blossom Trivet, which won the Best Innovation Award in the Tabletop category at the International Home and Housewares Show.

WORK GLOBALLY: All of our products are made in either mainland China or Taiwan. There is a stigma against products made in China based on "quality" perceptions. However, I'm...

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