Fun facts about me,
plus Frequent Questions I’m asked as a Website Designer
“I hate doing tech stuff. Can you help me?”
Who are you?
What’s exciting about this kind of career is that I can work with pretty much anyone who needs a website, whether you’re right with me in Wisconsin, across the country in California, or all the way over the ocean to the far reaches of Australia.
(Hi, mates! Someday we will meet in person. It’s going to happen and it will be fantastic. Can’t wait.)
What's your approach?
My goal is to create websites that are uncluttered, welcoming, and clear. To get there, I start by asking detailed questions and then shutting up and listening to you… (I know, sounds crazy, right?)
We talk about what you’re looking for, what you need to highlight most especially, what’s wonderful and important and unique about what you do or provide, all the good stuff.
I help you build a more focused plan for your website and its content, and work hard to keep things as simple as possible so that the process is less stressful — and maybe even FUN! We’re in it together to create the best site possible.
What is this place?
This is the place to go if you want a flexible, easygoing, more personal experience, with someone who explains things like what you need to do and think about first, and helps you think about what your customer journey is (or what you’d like it to be, or what it needs to be).
I’m always happy to share knowledge, and if I don’t have an immediate answer, I will find one to help you.
Why should I have my website built for me?
Because a website shouldn’t be something your cousin’s friend’s neighbor slaps together for you because he’ll do it for pizza money. Yeah, it might look nice, but is it truly attuned as possible to you, your brand, your business, what you offer, and why it’s freaking amazing? Is it made with best practices in mind? Is it built with a clear direction for your customers to follow in a way that makes them want to take action?
As one of my clients recently said to me, “I’ve learned that setting up websites properly from the start is better.”
I don’t want to provide a generic website. Even if you’re on a budget and want to use a template as inspiration for your site — and there are some really beautiful templates available — there are ways to make it more “you” and your brand and message, rather than feeling too cookie-cutter.
I also don’t like to include a lot of excess stuff on the site just because it’s currently trendy. If you’re looking for a designer to include everything but the kitchen sink (pun intended), that’s not me.
I like to keep the site’s focus on clear navigation and actions for your visitors to take, rather than giving them so much extra stuff that they get overwhelmed and leave, or get lost, or sucked down the rabbit hole of content rather than taking the actions you want them to take (signing up, making an appointment, or buying your product or service, etc.).
Your website can be a great tool for you and your customers or clients. It’s meant to give them a strong direction to take, and a reason to keep coming back.
Why are you the web designer for me?
+ Because you don’t know where to start and it feels overwhelming.
+ Because you need a clearer picture of what you want and need for your website.
+ Because you don’t want to worry about your website anymore.
+ Because you want someone who will take the time to understand your business and what you need.
+ Because you understand that it takes time to get it right and you want to get it right.
Imagine how much time it may take you to do it yourself (especially when you don’t really want or know how to do it). Sometimes it’s helpful to have an experienced designer take on those tasks for you, so you can focus on your business, your launch, whatever it is that’s coming up.
I’ve got your back.
What if I suck at tech stuff? I haaaate it. Can you help me?
I try not to use too much tech jargon. I feel like it gets in the way, especially for people who aren’t tech savvy or don’t care about that part and just need someone to tell them what to do to get started or to get the website done.
Some people want more information; some people want it short and sweet: “Keep it simple. Tell me what I need to know. I trust you to do what you need to do.”
Plus, I know how confusing the sea of options out there is, and how frustrating it is to not know where to start so you just feel stuck.
I want you to feel understood the whole way through the process,
and give you a clearer picture of what you want and need for your website.
And you can start however you like…
Purchase a block of time for use over a week, a month, a year, whatever you need. It’s great for quick changes to your website like swapping out images, adding new products, updating text, changing prices, and more.
Monthly Website Maintenance
I'm in. What should I do next?
Great question! There are a few things you can do, depending on what stage you’re tackling with your website…
- Want to bounce around ideas or ask questions first? Website planning may be a good place to start.
- Don’t have a website at all and need one built? Let’s start from the beginning with a website design.
- Have a website but need some help cleaning it up and making it stronger and clearer? A website redesign (or just a quick refresh) may be what you need.
- Need someone to maintain your site and kick it into shape? If you don’t like doing it yourself, the monthly web care maintenance package would be perfect for you.
- Need a price change or a new product or service added to your website? Time blocks are an easy way to request quick changes.
Whatever you need, these options offer a place to start.
Second, check out the free stuff! Who doesn’t like free stuff? These (below) are great if you’re not ready to take that leap with both feet but you’re still looking for more detailed do-it-yourself help.
That’s a great way to get thinking through what’s most important about your business and what you want displayed front and center on your site. It’s also a great way to take a serious look at your current website and what could be improved.
This premium course is not free, but it’s going to thoroughly expand upon the initial questions from the checklist PDF — and talk about so much more! — explaining everything in-depth with lots of visual examples and “before and after” shots. I may even have a discount code for you when the course launches, so sign up for my email list to hear about it first!
This can be a key resource to remind you to look over everything once a year and make sure it’s all up-to-date, including removing that sale that ended a month ago, updating those prices you changed recently, or swapping out that old address or phone number with the new one you’ve been meaning to add.
And lastly, of course, if you want to hire me as your website designer and want to get the process going, you can hop over to my contact page and fill out the form there, or email me with any questions you may have.
Want to know more about me? Here are 13 fun facts.
(I was going to make it an even 10, but everyone likes a baker’s dozen, right?)
I sang backup for the rock group Poison (just once). I was kind of judgmental at first (long story), my professor "made" me do it, but the concert ended up being an amazing experience.
Sheet music for all the backup vocal parts, a brief note about the concert in the Green Bay Press Gazette music events section, and my backstage pass, autographed by lead singer Bret Michaels and keyboardist Jesse Bradman
I like baking, especially pumpkin bread, granola and my mom’s homemade chocolate pie.
It's creativity and organization — you know, through measuring stuff — all in one fun kitchen project! And you get something yummy at the end. What's not to love?
Homemade pumpkin bread with crushed pecans - pretty tasty.
I wanted to sing on Broadway, but I let fear and self-doubt pull me away from that dream. Lesson to be learned: you’ve got to at least try, face your fears!
Even if it doesn’t work out the way you planned, you tried your best and gave it a go, you took a chance at something that makes you happy or excites you. No regrets.
Productions of Bye Bye Birdie (high school musical — I was Kim's mom Doris MacAfee)
and La Traviata (in the chorus with Pamiro Opera Company)
I love the creativity of building websites but I hate the tech jargon. It’s so unnecessary. Why must everything sound like a confusing instruction manual? (also: confusing instruction manual — that’s redundant, haha)
Just get to the f***ing point already! Say it in a way we’ll understand!
I’m originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Born and raised.
Yes, that means I’m a "Packers fan." Even when I didn’t live in Green Bay, there was no way I’d be allowed to root for anyone else.
You have to sign a contract at birth. True facts. 😉
"Cool" Aunt Sherry, helping with the snowman!
I got my start as a designer by getting laid off from a different kind of job that I didn’t enjoy very much… during a horrible recession when no one could get a job and we were all competing for even the most general options. Jamba Juice wouldn’t hire me! (Thanks a lot, Jamba. I know you said I was overqualified but I really needed a gig.)
Next chapter? I decided to go back to school for something I actually might enjoy and find challenging, interesting, creative and rewarding. So much better.
Going to high school and college in Wisconsin meant always graduating in Packer "green and gold" colors. With my web design degree (earned in Illinois) I got to graduate in a different color... finally!
My very first website was for my aunt’s hair stylists — hi, Chris and Kathy! Not terribly bad for a student's first try, but oh, what I’ve learned since then! I really want to re-do their website, and Chris swears she’ll let me eventually.
My second site was for a nonprofit that helped women in need. It was an honor.
I lived in Chicago for 1 year. I wish I’d had the courage to branch out and explore the city more. I took two classes downtown, walked the lakeshore, and would occasionally take the El to Evanston because they had a cool movie theatre, but there is SO MUCH MORE to explore there that I never did, because -- not Chicago's fault -- it was not a great time in my life and I was exhausted.
(Funny fact: my apartment looked very cool architecturally on the outside but was pretty much a dump on the inside. All the electricity would go out if I ran the microwave for more than 2 minutes. Not making that up. I even timed it.)
And it is indeed the Windy City! I once parked my car, opened the door, and the wind immediately slammed it on my leg as I was getting out. Thanks, Chicago. 😉
Art museums, theatres, parks,
Lake Shore Drive, Wrigley Field, The Magnificent Mile...
plus, Ferris Bueller had his day off there. It's fun!
I love organization. I love simplifying things. (Yes, I’m a Virgo, why do you ask?)
I could spend way too much time watching The Home Edit, Alexandra Gater’s home and studio apartment designs, or How to Get Your Sh*t Together; drooling over boxes 'n stuff on sites like The Container Store; or pretty much anything that shows me how to make things easier, pare down, and look pretty and personal.
“I’m working on it” has become an inner chant when I get frustrated with myself. Like life is a challenge and we’re ever-changing, so all I can truly do is keep working at it.
There is no perfectionism that we should measure ourselves against; that solves nothing and only causes anxiety and anger for no good reason. What a waste of time and energy. Don’t do it, I say. Don't do it!
I can admit it. I have a crush on The Karate Kid. (Yes, the original — Ralph Macchio — accept no substitutes.) In fact, I'm pretty sure I could recite the first film, start to finish.
What else is there to say? I was 11, he was adorable, I had major heart eyes. 🥰 I stand firm in that. The underdog rules.
Copyright © Columbia Pictures. Ralph Macchio from The Karate Kid, June 21, 1984.
Confession: I don’t like coffee. Love the smell (some of them smell so delicious), hate the taste. You’d pretty much have to drown out the coffee part with lots of frothy steamed milk and other flavorings, and I still probably wouldn’t like it if I could taste even a hint of coffee.
I will, however, not hesitate when it comes to hot chocolate. That’s my "coffee." Yes, please. ☕ ❤️
I love my job. Yes, it has its challenges, every job does, but I still marvel that after all these years, I’m never bored of it, and I genuinely look forward to each project. It’s FUN.
That’s what I hope to do for you. Make things fun, help you get clear and simplify, and design an amazing website that shows off you, your business and why your stuff is awesome and people should totally buy it. Period. 😊