When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a teacher. As I got older my dreams changed and with the introduction of Junior Achievement into my life I wanted to own my own business. I wanted to be a business woman like my mom. I wanted to wear a suit and heels and drive a sporty little car. I wanted to show up every day to a beautifully decorated office with all the cool gadgets and do work that I felt was important… work that I was good at. I wanted to carry a brief case and hold important conversations with powerful people.
I fell in love at 16. I was pregnant at 17 and a Mom at 18 and again by the time I was 20. I started and quit college. I worked as a waitress, worked in retail, worked at our apartment complex. I put away my dreams and found something a little more attainable and I went to school for and became a nail technician. Then we moved to Las Vegas and the license didn’t carry over so I had to start yet again.
Started and quit college twice in Vegas. Found a good job in property management. It wasn’t my own business, but I did get to wear the nice clothes and heels. I got to go to work every day in a nice office with all the fun gadgets and I was making good money. It was very social, I met so many different types of people and it was important work. I managed people’s homes. I created budgets, implemented marketing strategies, trained employees, had power lunches and I was good at it.
One divorce later I was starting on the bottom yet again and working my way back up. In the midst of that I met Don, fell in love and got married. In 2001 Don received an inheritance from his father’s passing. He gave me a pretty good slice of it to start an online business. I had only had a computer at home for about 3 years at this point and the only things I had used it for were playing games, email, AOL and printing out things. I was barely aware of the internet or even the potential this internet thing was capable of, but I had been talking to a guy who was hugely successful online and I (being the oversized dreamer I was) was absolutely sure that I would be too.
The online business was supposed to basically run itself and I would rake in the profits. It didn’t really go down like that – I’m pretty sure the business never made even one sale – but the one very positive thing that came out of that fiasco was that I started learning about graphic design and web site design. I learned that I had a knack for it… that I loved doing it. I went to the library and I checked out about 10 books on HTML and how to write code. I fell head over heels in love with it. Turns out I’m kind of a nerd. Code talk makes me so happy.
My career in property management was chugging along nicely, Don and I had a baby on the way and the web site thing was fun. I was teaching myself when I had time, playing with designs for friends but still not really seeing the potential of it. But I loved doing it.
I lost a good job in property management and Don got a transfer to Arizona in 2003. There were no property management jobs in Havasu so I tried the stay at home mom thing, went to work at Wal-Mart, at an RV park, at the church, at my friends’ businesses, at Chili’s, at the newspaper. Through all of that I continued to play with graphic design and coding. I learned new tricks, watched new tutorials, tried everything. In January of 2006 I decided to start my own business.