It is my passion to help you take your business to the next level by giving you the business, operations, and project management support you need so you can focus on what you love and do best.
The Short Story
I work with freelancers and emerging “solopreneurs” as well as established small and medium businesses to create the systems and processes necessary to fully support the core values and priorities of both your business and your life.
Often holding multiple positions within the organizations I’ve owned and managed over the last 20 years, I bring to the table 15 years of web and graphic design experience, 15 years of bookkeeping and accounting experience, 10 years of writing and editing experience, 10 years of advertising and marketing experience, and 5 years of e-commerce experience.
I have created print, web and multimedia design projects for various industries, from music and entertainment to financial and technology companies.
I have also held managerial positions in a variety of industries, including web development, e-commerce, bar/nightclub, home mortgage lending, law office, and information technology.
The Long Story
I started my first “real” business, a marketing and promotions company, in 1995 — although I’ve been an entrepreneur since the age of 13 when I started a fan club for my favorite band. Since it was before the internet age, I did all of my lead generation and list building through print advertising in teenybopper magazines. All of my sales activities and order fulfillment were done by US Mail. I had about 250 members/subscribers for my monthly photocopied mini-magazine where I published a selection of quick news stories from other media, stories and photos submitted by members, a listing of the band’s upcoming TV appearances, tour dates, and a sort of editorial column.
When I was 16, I discontinued the fan club and got a “real job” in fast food, which I hated. It did force me to work with a wide variety of people and I did move into a management position pretty quickly, so I can legitimately chalk it up as a learning experience.
When I was 18, I went back to writing in the music industry via my college newspaper where I served as the Arts & Entertainment editor. I took what I learned there and started my own bimonthly music magazine where I published live concert reviews, CD reviews, artist interviews, and the rare book or movie review when the mood struck. I had a couple of guest writers and accepted submissions from readers. This was in 1994, when I had just started to become active on the internet, so I still did all my advertising through print media, my interviews were done in person or by telephone, and my sales and order fulfillment were by US Mail.
After running the offline version of this magazine for almost two years, I changed the name and moved it online. From there, I started building web sites for the bands I had interviewed; having a web site was a HUGE accomplishment back in 1995, and I was often the only person these people knew who had ever published anything online.
Domain names cost $50/year and you could only get them through Network Solutions. Hosting a single web site could cost upwards of $50/month, with extremely low caps on storage space and bandwidth. Most web pages were text-only, ugly as sin, and serving up video and audio was unheard of. Images were either the size of postage stamps or took forever to load and still looked like crap.
AOL and Compuserve were the ISP’s of choice, which by today’s standards would be a detriment, but under the conditions back then, it was actually extremely helpful; you could go on the built-in forums and newsgroups and find thousands of captive, rabid readers who were not yet suffering from information overload. They didn’t have a million different options for “talking” to each other online (for most people it was just whatever options AOL and Compuserve had built-in) and they didn’t have a million different web sites they could visit to get info on their favorite bands.
After building a couple of web sites for my friends’ bands, I decided to make it official, so I registered my first LLC in 1995 and hung out my sign “for hire.” Business took off quick, and I eventually expanded to building web sites in other industries including financial services, manufacturing, and technology.
I ran a network of five ecommerce sites selling clothing and footwear, for about five years. That started with me selling some old clothes and shoes on eBay and people basically going crazy for them; I had a very unique style at the time that wasn’t available everywhere, like it is now. Since I eventually ran out of clothes and shoes that I wanted to get rid of, I did some research and found out how to open wholesale accounts with the manufacturers of the stuff I had owned and sold. I opened an eBay store, which within a few months was moved onto my own domain(s) and turned into a network of full-fledged online stores.
I ran the fan club and mail order merchandising for one of the most infamous bands of the 90’s and early 2000’s, and I did advertising and promotions for one of the biggest nightclubs and live music venues in Seattle. I wrote for several independent music magazines, and also made music of my own during this time. (I honestly have to say that until the birth of my daughter, my years in the music industry were the best years of my life — so much fun and excitement, and every day was a new adventure!)
I’ve taken other jobs and started other companies over the years, but I keep coming back to my roots in business and entrepreneurship. It’s what I know and love, and because of that, it’s also what I do best.
Fast Forward to Today
After switching gears and running an accounting firm for five years, I decided to take some time off to care for my newborn daughter in January 2013. I’d originally planned on taking the ordinary 3-month maternity leave and then returning to work, but as fate would have it, the entire dynamic of my company changed drastically during my absence and I was able to take some extra time off.
I continued doing freelance work during this time, ranging from web and graphic design, to marketing, to accounting and tax preparation. Pretty much anything my clients needed done, I either did it or facilitated someone else getting it done.
When I was ready to re-enter the workforce, I opted to do so as a supporting player instead of restarting my own business again with employees of my own. I love working behind the scenes to make things happen and move the business forward, rather than being the “front-man.” It’s really a much better fit for my personality type, and allows me to focus on what I do best.