My Journey to Becoming a Website Designer
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’m asked, “So how did you get started with all this?!” And honestly? It’s hard to answer in one quick response so I felt it time to write an actual blog post on my own journey to becoming a web designer. I’ll probably start working on a post about becoming a photographer, too! I know I talk about it all over in bits and pieces, but I’ve never actually told the story beginning to end on one single post. So here we go!
I’m so excited to share my own journey to becoming a web designer and how I truly believe that you can do whatever the heck you want to do in life as long as you have the heart, drive, and patience to make it happen.
In order to explain how my curiosity with web design came about, you’ll need a little backstory. When I had my daughter, Riley, I knew in that moment I would not go back to the work I was doing at the time which was working in an accounting office. The work was great and I loved learning about bookkeeping and preparing tax returns but deep in my heart I felt this urge to do something different. I have always been “creative”. It’s a part of me I ignored once I got to high school because I thought sports were more important than the arts. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have fostered my creative side more during this time in my life. I loved theatre and I loved music, but I felt a pressure to play sports. Don’t get me wrong, sports are amazing! They teach us so many lessons like team work, not giving up, pushing yourself, and so much more. I guess if I learned anything it’s that as a mom now, I’m always going to do my best to foster my child’s creativity and never push her into sports.
Once I decided I wasn’t going back to work, I started hustling my Etsy business, Emma Rose Designs.
I made anything and everything from baby onesies and headbands to wood signs and cute coffee filter flowers! I know - random. BUT all the stuff I made was super cute, it just wasn’t sustainable. My Husband Shaun and I then decided to move to Southwest Washington to be part of his family cattle ranching business, Rose Ranch. We were living in his parents basement with a 6 month old and I was still hustling my little Etsy business and I also had begun to dabble in photography. During a difficult transition however, something within me sparked. It was like for the first time EVER, I felt like I was on the right track.
After months and months of researching business marketing, I knew that I needed my first website.
So I found a web designer I loved (and who has become a great friend of mine in the creative industry!) and hired her to build my site, Emma Rose Designs. Regretfully, I don’t have those files anymore to even show you pieces of that brand (I know, silly me…), but it was super cute. I had ZERO clues about website design but the MINUTE our project started, I was completely fascinated. This same fascination happened to me months earlier with photography when I started to learn manual mode. I was obsessed and determined to do anything and everything to learn how to do it myself.
I started with Squarespace and utilized Google, YouTube, and whatever sources of information I could find about the platform.
I purchased a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and started dabbling with software. I was hooked! It took me a solid two years before I really found my groove and even then, still had so much to learn. I should add that I STILL have so much to learn, every single day. I consider myself a web designer and developer because I not only design the overall aesthetics and flow/wireframes, but I also BUILD the website. They are two different titles and I love being able to offer both services to my clients.
My business went through many changes and continues to change and grow as time goes on in this line of work. Web design is one of those passions that has never gone away and it’s not a driving force in what I do here at Emma Rose Company. I totally nerd out when I’m working on projects and it has proven to be my happy place. It was my goal last year to replace 5-6 weddings with web design work and I’ve been able to do that which has been a blessing. I love photography, but I don’t love being away from home all the time so web design has allowed me to stay home while still working as a photographer with a more manageable travel schedule.
If you’re interested in learning all about web design, my best advice is to do your homework. Research web design and all that it entails. Take online courses through Creative Live and other channels you can find that you trust. Find a platform that speaks to you and that you’re comfortable with. I’ve dabbled with Wordpress but every time, come back to Squarespace for so many reasons… you can read about that right here. Before I even considered booking clients, I had to ensure that I could actually do the work that needed to be done. I hit road blocks all the time and instead of giving up on the concept, I will sit down and do what I need to do to learn how to do it myself. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, sometimes it takes 3 hours.
It’s my goal with the launch of my newly updated website to provide more and more resources to help you with your own Squarespace website and making necessary updates yourself. While I believe in outsourcing various elements of your own business to ensure it’s done properly and done well, I also believe that as a business owner with a website, you should be able to use and update it yourself!
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