When I read their first email, I knew I had to land this project. Had. To. What they described was every free-spirited, nomadic, creative-type's fantasy. And They Were Actually Embarking On That Fantasy! If I couldn't join them, at least I could play some part in their journey. And live vicariously along the way.
I'm talking about Bob and Brenna Redpath of Los Angeles, who are in the process of selling everything they own, quitting their entertainment-industry jobs, choosing a destination, and heading out of the country for a year of adventure. With their children. What does this have to do with me? They're blogging and v-logging the process, they'd stumbled across Squarespace, then they'd stumbled across me, and they thought I'd be a good person to help them translate their ideas into the website they'd been envisioning. A website that is now online at www.fromheretouncertainty.com!
L U C K Y M E
Bob wrote about their search for the ideal blogging platform, over here. In this piece, he admits they'd already gone so far as to pay for a year-long account with another service, but discovered that Squarespace was way closer to what they were looking for. Again, lucky me. (Lucky them, too, for finding Squarespace when they did.)
Why has this project given me even more satisfaction than working with all my other fabulous and amazing clients? Aside from the Vicarious Living Thing, that is? How 'bout a list? In no particular order, here are just some of the things that come to mind when I think of the process of putting together this website:
- In their first email, after they'd shared their vision for the site, they wrote the following: "Sites we like: Woot.com. We love the copy, and the sense of humor. We keep thinking we’re going to have a Woot Reading Party. Like a poetry evening, but with Woot copy." If I hadn't already fallen in love with their idea, I was sold right there: I seriously prefer to be surrounded by people who value a sense of humor.
- Also from that first email: "We’re looking for crumpled and low-tech, not gingham apron and lace." Heh.
- A few days later, after we'd decided we would definitely be working together, I blogged about that unfortunate situation with a little bit of hair color. Later that day, in the PS of an email to me, Brenna wrote: "BTW - I went to your blog. I think the hair is kinda cool. Read more of what I think in your blog (cause I KNOW you've been waiting to see what I think to make your decision. For Gods sake - stop being so dependent!)"
- One night while I was playing with the graphical elements they'd told me they find appealing, I hit a wall. I realized that I needed to "know" the family members even better before I could give them the kind of samples I wanted to be able to provide. So I emailed them a very Melody-esque request to fill me in on even more family trivia. Instead of responding to my overly-long email with a canned list of details about their family members, or - worse - a "we've made a mistake and think we'll take our business elsewhere," Brenna responded with what ultimately became the first draft of their About Us page. She ended with "We hope you like us!" I thought, "Like you? I'm trying to figure out how I can sneak into your family without anybody noticing!"
- They're the first family who ever made me think if I had actually decided to have children, maybe home schooling would be a good idea for my family, too! (Read more here.)
- I don't recall ever knowing a ten year old, before, who was so able to articulate his passion, as in the post Owen Redpath wrote, entitled "SAVE THE HAIRY- EARED DWARF LEMURS!!!!! :(." Apparently he also climbs walls, which is something the ten year old version of me would have been seriously jealous of. Kinda' am even now!
- The final cut of their home page video makes me so happy that when, on my birthday, I suggested that a friend watch it and she said, "No thank you!" I actually heard myself say, "Really? Not even on my birthday? It's only one minute and 33 seconds!" No Shame, people, I'm telling you. (For the record, when She Who Has Much Comfort Level Asserting Her Solid Boundaries finished watching it, she was grinning and said, "Thank you for making me watch it!")
- Their writing makes me very happy.
- About seven year old Eleanor Redpath, her mom wrote to me one day, "Last night as Bob and I were going to bed, we discovered that she'd turned our bedroom into a Starbucks, complete with breakfast sandwiches made out of felt and construction paper, packaged in old Starbucks bags she'd collected. " That's my kinda' girl.
- As if a professional-quality video, great writing, interesting story and good sense of humor isn't enough, their site now features The Great Haiku Garage Giveaway. In addition to having a lot of stuff to sell before they leave to start their trip, they're also giving tons of it away! In the form of prizes for the winners of their ongoing haiku-writing contest. That's right! Every week, you have a new opportunity to write a haiku which will compete with any other haikus submitted to that week's contest. Every week the winners will get free stuff: whatever item(s) the Redpaths have chosen for that week's prize. Free stuff rocks. Contests rock. Can you write a haiku? C'mon: don't take yourself so seriously...just get over there and check it out! You might have some fun with it...
- I actually found myself saying, on the phone one night, To A Client: "Tell your husband he's not the boss of me!" and a) wasn't fired on the spot, and b) they were as amused by the exchange as I was. (Of course it was not lost on me that he is, in fact, very much the boss of me!)
- Speakin' of Bob Redpath, he's now been nominated for THREE Golden Reel awards! How cool is that? Going Out With a Bang, indeed! Feel free to go congratulate him; I've been reminded that even people who are nominated for such glamorous-sounding awards are often as down-to-earth and humble as most "ordinary people" are.
- And finally, from an email I received this week: "We think you are worth the moon and 12 rubies!" As compliments go, it's pretty hard to top that one.
Okay, it looks like I might go on indefinitely - and probably could, too. But I'm working on some other way cool sites for several more interesting people who have fallen equally in love with Squarespace. Better get back to it! But I really do hope you'll go check out their site. I think it'll be easy to see why this was such an enjoyable job for me. Plus I just think you'll have some fun while you're there!
Disclaimer for potential, future clients: Yes, I am perfectly capable of having a professional working relationship with my clients that doesn't turn into such a luv-fest. It is neither my expectation nor my standard practice to become quite so personally invested in a website development project. In fact, I don't have the time for such, and you probably don't either. I quite value a more traditional approach. This is merely the way one particular project went. Probably one in a lifetime, and I'm okay with that.