Time out for a Squarespace User commercial break

You might call this "A Squarespace Intensive Week." Either that or "I Get To Work With Way Cool People Week." Today feels like the perfect time to tell you about some of the sites I've been working on lately. And a few others I designed, too, if I don't lose my momentum. (Therefore this will be a long one.) Although it's fun to design websites, so much of what I like about my work is directly related to the people I work with. Being able to listen to them describe the visions floating around inside their heads and turn those dreams into actual online products = serious fun.

This week reminded me of just how great it is to build sites using Squarespace. If I was a big Squarespace fan before, today you might call me a Hyoooooge, Honkin Fan. And if this week is any indication, I'm not the only one. My clients really seem to love what they're learning to do, too. In fact if I'm not mistaken, I think I heard my newest client squeal into the phone yesterday when she learned how easy it was to upload photos to her newly-evolving photo gallery.

So let me tell you a little about just a few of my clients! These are the sites currently listed in my online portfolio of sample sites designed using Squarespace:

  • Linda Whitcher owns Purse-onalities4U. If you are ever looking for custom designed purses, you'll want to visit this site. We decided to go ahead and do a soft launch now that her basic content was ready to go. Within the next week or two, we'll be rolling out a new Etsy shop so people who aren't in Greensboro, NC (or up and down the East Coast, for that matter - since these bags are in quite a few non-local shops, too,) can order theirs, too! Having shot some of her product photos, I can tell ya - you're going to have many, many choices when the shop is up and running. Are you one of those Accessory Addicts? Here's your site. Lots and lots-o-purses, ladies!
  • Matthew McCain Glascoe recently left High Point, NC to move to Westminster, CO. Which is, if I recall correctly, between Boulder and Denver. Before I went to hear his last North Carolina Gig at Aquaria six or eight weeks ago, we'd talked about taking his basic web presence to the next level. Now that he's settling in out there, his site is up and running. If you are looking for a great guitar-playing vocalist to entertain your customers or friends, MMG's your guy. Hire this musician. Seriously. And if you're in Guilford County and have been missing his tunes, never fear: he's lined up some local gigs during the upcoming market. (That's the High Point International Home Furnishings Market, if you're not from around here.) There's a schedule on his site.
  • When I first met Nancy McKee, owner of Total Bliss, she'd only had her "old" website for a few months. But while an attractive site, it was in essence an online brochure. She'd heard I design easy-to-manage websites and felt confident that if her own were also hosted on the Squarespace platform, she could learn to make the frequent updates she wanted. I knew she could, too, but Nancy surprised me. One day before her website had been public even a week, I went online to make a tiny tweak I'd promised her. Arriving at her home page, I discovered that Nancy had already changed a prominent photo by herself. I hadn't even shown her how, yet! Squarespace breeds serious confidence for website owners. Not to mention Nancy's interior design skills and the high quality furniture and decorative accessories you'll find at Total Bliss.
  • Audrey and Marti Wyatt are the husband and wife team behind Business Write Now. They help non-profit agencies craft and expand their business plans, collaborating to ensure those organizations more effectively fulfill their missions. It never made a bit of difference that the Wyatts are in Texas and I'm not. Between emails and phone calls, the progression of their site moved rhythmically and about as smoothly as any I've designed.
  • Working with board members of People to People Liaison, I not only learned much about some of the displaced families and refugees of the Eastern Congo, but I was continually inspired by the stories of those who are working to provide assistance to these individuals. PTPL grew from the small efforts of one couple, becoming an organization with more than 15 board members. This organization provides an encouraging story about the day-to-day things ordinary people are doing on behalf of people they may never even meet. I also now have just a little better understanding of those microcredit loan programs people seem to be saying so much about these days.
  • When Author Lynn Salsi decides to take on a new project, nobody's surprised. This woman makes us all look just a tiny bit lazy. As her web designer, I should be able to tell you how many books she's published, but I can't. I should at least remember how many she's published this year, but I can't do that either. I do know, however, that the long-awaited The Life and Times of Ray Hicks: Keeper of the Jack Tales was just published by University of Tennessee Press. And I know that the day, last summer, when Lynn read a chapter to me from her manuscript, I kept picturing my long-deceased grandmother, Sally, because Lynn had captured the Appalachian dialect so accurately. Kudos on the book release, Lynn! (And the other books, too.)
  • Although he "hasn't been feelin'" the whole blogging urge lately, Scott Felsenthal's site - The Legal Scoop - offers no less an interesting take on legal issues. A student at the Nashville School of Law, Felsenthal worked with several fellow law students to begin this site. Several months ago, I helped him redesign it. He knew exactly what he wanted it to look like, and it was a pleasure to help him turn those ideas into a reality.
  • Are you the kind of person who likes to surprise your loved ones with distinctive, artistic gifts? I ask because it occurs to me that if you contact Carolyn Beard Whitlow through her site Color Quilts by Carolyn now, there might be time to order a quilt for the holidays. I don't know for sure, but what an amazing gift that would be!? Working with Carolyn to redesign her site was an opportunity to reverse the roles just a little. She was my professor in a poetry class at Guilford College, ages ago, and one day we ran into each other at a local business. When she heard that I'd turned into a web geek since she helped me actually care about poetry, her excitement was immediately evident. She needed a designer who could redo the site through which she promotes her designs improvised within the African American quilt tradition. So that's what we did, and I loved every minute of it. Call her. Order a quilt. They're gorgeous.
See why I love my job? I get to work with the most fascinating people every day. Now how about I stop writing about it and do some more work? Cheers!