Well hello there!
My name is Renee, and I am a Squarespace web designer. I'm also an Asheville native. I also have a master's degree in counseling. And a dog named Wade. And a love for mom jeans, mountain scenery and black coffee (yes, I'm one of those).
I also have some big, fluffy, major love for small businesses. The big dreamers, the blossoming entrepreneurs, the freelance careerists, the independent artists & creators, the small brands and small companies with the big hearts and even bigger goals. The businesses giving it their all and paving their own way -- I admire you so. And even better (and more fun) -- I get to work with you too!
Building your own biz around something you love and own and operate (like a badass, I'm sure) takes brains and bravery and so much hustle, it's barely quantifiable. So my mission is to give those fabulous 'preneuers the online presence they deserve so that they can get the traffic and clientele they deserve — all guaranteed to represent their brand and make them proud.
A Lil’ Backstory
My first and deepest love is with writing. As Joan Didion once said, "I don't know what I think until I write about it." Truer words have never been spoken (written?).
This love of writing led me to build my first website & blog back in 2011. It was on Wordpress and it was as simple as it gets, but over time (and because I get REAL nerdy when I learn something new and actually enjoy it) I taught myself some tricks and techniques to make my site look a little less “cookie cutter.” At the time I cared more about the writing than the site, but I was pleasantly surprised when I had fun with both.
In a very cool turn of events, my lil’ ol’ blog landed me an exciting internship-turned-freelance-gig with NBC's Today.com. This highly educational experience with "the big dogs" taught me many things: how to create original & engaging content, how to create and edit content on more complex platforms, how to prioritize & maximize SEO, and more.
My next chance at a website build came in the summer of 2017, when my husbabe (because he is a husband and a Certified Babe) and I took a month-long cross-country road trip in his Jetta. We camped in National Parks, hiked and climbed outside all day, became instantly obsessed with #vanlife and decided we needed a van, needed to travel, and needed a bomb website to showcase our adventures. I hadn’t loved Wordpress enough to use it again (it started to feel slow and clunky and unnecessarily complicated), so I asked around for platform recommendations.
I was turned onto Squarespace. I fell in love. And like any good relationship, we’ve continued to grow and learn together over the years (without the usual relationship downfalls, like arguing over who’s going to take the trash out, so it’s pretty ideal).
From there, I became almost entirely self-taught: I experimented with my own site, played around with templates, pressed buttons to see what they'd do, read articles, watched webinars, invested in online workshops and courses, downloaded e-books and reached out to other web designers I found (and, let's be real, stalked). I offered my services to friends and family for practice and ran it as a side hustle along with my full-time job. I discovered the two-week website process and instantly knew it was for me. Plus I could do it from anywhere (huge perk for my travel addiction/inability to stay still), so at the end of 2018, I put in my notice at my full-time gig and here we are!
Let’s Get Personal
On a less technical level, I enjoy spending my time outdoors with my husbabe (Nick) and our dog (Wade). I love plants but tend to kill them, so I branded my business with greenery and flowers instead. I get intensely excited about tattoos, doughnuts and the Sprinter van that I’m building out with the husbabe. There is nothing I love more than my home town of Asheville, NC, and despite all of my travels, it will forever be my home base. Little moments that I treasure typically include sipping hot coffee on early mornings, sitting on kitchen counters talking to friends (usually in sweatpants drinking wine from a box), dabbling in a variety of art mediums, meeting other people who swear as much as I do, and impressing people with how much I know about Harry Potter trivia.