My interest in design began at an early age, when I found myself presented with an early edition of PaintShop Pro and a challenge to build a website with no tools other than Microsoft Notepad and an FTP connection. I taught myself HTML (and later, CSS) by examining the code of websites I liked and elements of said sites I wanted to copy and modify. I took much the same approach with digital graphics, teaching myself how to use the software by trial and error, eventually trading PaintShop Pro for the industry-preferred Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
When I was a college student, I began doing web and graphic design for friends and family, as well as my own constantly evolving set of websites and blogs. When my mom needed a new website for her business, or a postcard announcing a sale, she looked to me for help, and I was always eager to sink my teeth into a new project. Though I didn’t know it at the time, those were the first steps in laying the foundation for my career in design.
2006 – 2007
Web Content Editor / Marketing Specialist
In 2006, I joined the team at eGeneral Medical, an online retailer of health, wellness, and medical equipment and supplies. During my tenure at eGM, I was given the responsibility of managing the company’s web content, which included adding, updating, and improving product listings, writing editorial content, and establishing a Health Information Portal populated with articles I researched, wrote, and created graphics for. I designed several websites for specialty products and niche-market storefronts, and I also designed, wrote for, and deployed the biweekly customer email newsletter. In addition to these tasks, I performed regular graphics work, including photo retouching and creation of branded sales and marketing materials, such as banner ads, print catalogs, direct mail postcards, and sales documents.
2007 – 2015
Website Manager / Graphic Designer / Marketing Specialist
Bell and Howell
In 2007, I left eGM to join the marketing communications team at Bell and Howell, a manufacturing and service provider in the print and mail industry, and I would stay there for the next 8 years, until I decided to branch out on my own. We were a small team, and I ended up wearing a lot of different hats, which really allowed me to refine my skills and expand my repertoire.
I was responsible for the design and management of internal and external communication pieces (collateral, direct mail postcards, event signage, email newsletters, etc.), maintenance of and content creation for the company’s websites and social media accounts, setup and maintenance of a marketing automation system, graphic design, copyediting, and video/animation creation. While there, I brought the majority of marketing production work in-house, streamlining the use of outside vendors and ensuring rigid compliance with the company’s branding guidelines. This helped to reduce the overall budget of the department and increased the consistency and reliability of the company’s brand identity. I also helped set up and maintain the company’s integrated marketing automation system, which helped boost efficiency and increase sales.
2015 – present
Owner & Designer
Since parting ways with Bell and Howell, I’ve been taking on more freelance projects and, in between client projects, learning new skills and brushing up on existing ones through a series of online courses.