I've been running my own business since 2002, starting out with simple web and graphic design, and branching out into logo work, advertising and marketing, software assistance and basic office assistance, and in the last few months, portrait photography and book design. While this may sound like a wide range of work, it all stems from the same passion of creating things that are not only beautiful but useful and purposeful.
I started my business after losing my job as a college department secretary. While that was a painful situation to go through, it has helped me to learn where my own strengths lie, and the depths of my convictions. I have been a Christian for most of my adult life, but that period of time drew me closer to God, and forced me to learn to trust Him in all areas of my life. At one point, I had considered applying for business grants to build my business, but the question immediately came into my head- was I going to trust in the government to help me, or was I going to trust God? (I am not saying that there is anything wrong with using grants or any other type of assistance; this was simply the way God tested me to see if truly intended to trust Him for everything.)
I have found some very good networking groups, and they have been very helpful to me. I joined Digital Women within a few months of starting my business, and it's been the most interesting groups I've ever been associated with. Business women from around the world come together on a mailing list that offers assistance in any and all types of business-related questions. There is a small fee to join, and it is well worth it. The women of the group are supportive and helpful in any way they can, and if I am limited on time, that list's emails are the only ones I read.
I purchased a book on design by Robin Williams, and was so impressed that I wrote a fan letter to her. She introduced me to another great group based out of the Design, Type and Graphics website; designers from all stages belong to this mailing list, from seasoned professionals with years of professional study and experience, to young designers who are just starting out on their own.
There are other groups that I subscribe to, as well, that are helpful in other areas of my business life. I've recently subscribed to the Digital Photography School's blog, and I've joined their forums as well. They have weekly assignments that are meant to challenge how we think as photographers; they also have forums dedicated to critiquing different types of photography.
There have been some times in the past several years that have been tough to work through, but I know that God is with me through all this, and He's brought me to the clients I needed, while steering me away from those prospects who would not have been beneficial to me.
A big part of my life is my work with children - I serve as a children's Sunday School teacher at our local church, and it's been a blessing to me; getting to know each child and their family is an awesome thing. I think I understand a little bit about how a celebrity feels, because when I'm out in my community and see one of 'my kids', they always give me a hug and want to talk to me. It's especially gratifying to see a child who has met me as a visitor at church; they invariably tell whoever they're with that I go to 'their church' - what a wonderful thing it is to me, to know that I've had a hand in making those children feel so welcome in a church, that they consider it theirs, even if they don't attend it regularly.
Another new enjoyable part of my life centers on motorcycles. People are almost always surprised to learn I ride my own bike - I don't know if it's my age, or maybe it's that I don't look like someone who rides a bike (of course, I'm not sure anymore what a biker should look like). My husband bought me a 2001 Yamaha V-Star 1100 in January of 2007, and it has been a blast learning to ride. I feel it's something God has given me as an outreach tool, and it's been great meeting new people I might not otherwise have met. Randy and I are very proud members of the Patriot Guard Riders - we've only been able to ride a few missions, but it's been a very rewarding experience.
I hope this page has helped you learn a bit more about me, and if you've got any questions, I'm more than happy to try to answer them. You can email me here.