I am proud to be a female. It comes with quite the set of challenges, so it brings me great joy to work with women who overcome these challenges in pursuit of success- however, they define it. I also love branding, the psychology of colour, digital marketing and great design. So I wanted to share some websites I designed for some fantastic women owned and operated businesses that hired the company I work for, Encompass Online Marketing.
In no particular order, the first website I want to share Claudette Wiebe's website for her artistic practice. Claudette is the co-owner at Source Office Furniture, a local Regina business. She is a charming woman, and the first time I talked with her, it was like talking to someone I'd known forever. As soon as my boss said we had to build a website for an artist, I knew I had to take the brief and work my magic. Claudette's art is so inspiring and colourful that I decided to go with a minimalist white website design that echoes the feeling of a gallery's walls. Her works feature the most exciting textures and playful colours. I absolutely am in love with her abstracted figure paintings. This ensured that her colourful paintings popped. I worked with Claudette to curate the works that best demonstrated her skills and varieties of mediums and then categorized them by subject matter. Our team also provided her with professional photographs of the selected item to ensure her work was displayed with the care her art deserves.
I designed the following website for the talented Anna Orr Photography, specializing in maternity and newborn photography. Being a mother of girls, this was the perfect chance to apply my love of babies, but also both my children are girls, and it felt appropriate to make this a feminine website. I researched colour palettes and decided to use green because I wanted it feminine but also gender-neutral if that makes sense. Green is known as the colour of fertility, and I feel like that reflects the heart of what newborn photographers are capturing. I also decided to add touches of plants around the site. Anna loved the colours so much she even painted her Saskatoon-based studio to match! And you know how I feel about branding. Anna's newborn photography reminds me of Anne Geddes' work but feels more intimate. Just looking at the images of beautiful babies in elaborate poses and the decadent scenes and adorable props reminds me of that newborn baby smell.
Motherhood, it's stressful, am I right? Even after the pregnancy and newborn stage. That's why when we got the client brief for the Stressed Out Mamas subscription box, I was excited to create this site. My enthusiasm for this stage in my life translated into a beautiful website, not to toot my own horn. Faith Peters, the entrepreneur behind Stressed Out Mamas, really gave us creative freedom, and we did not disappoint. Fun note, she operates her business from her farm in Watson, and my grandparents lived in Watson during my childhood, so I spent a lot of time there! Our paths crossed again when Faith put on a Pamper-a-mom event call on Instagram, and I was one of the lucky ladies selected as one of the stressed-out mamas for one of them. So I met Faith before we worked for her, and I am impressed by her commitment to her business and helping moms. As the target audience for this client, I felt comfortable pursuing a very feminine branding. We made some minor changes to the colour branding the client used prior. Her old website developer had said many things couldn't be done, and I went ahead to make sure we did them. Despite the name, the challenge was establishing branding that wasn't stress-inducing. The best part of designing this website was that Faith said she felt her passion had been renewed.
I love art, and there are so many kinds of artists. Even when two artists do the same subject matter, they will differ more significantly in style. So you know I jumped again when we found we had another artist's website to do. Another successful entrepreneur, Dianne Thompson, is the owner and lead interior stylist for Simply Stunning Designs & Staging in Regina. Di Thompson is a fine artist who paints landscapes and animals. Her landscape paintings capture light in such a way you long to be present for the moment she felt inspired. I researched Dianne, and between the works that I had and the images, I found there appeared to be a blue theme, so I followed my intuition. I chose specific images that demonstrated her strengths but reinforced the calming feeling of her pieces, and the blue palette tied it all together. When I met her, we decided to take the signature, Thompson, for each painting and create it as a logo for her website. It helped give her website a more personal connection and helped all the branding come together.
Another website I did was for Salon U in Regina & Emerald Park, Owned by Kim Kowalchuk and managed by Brittany Lek, again lady bosses, yay! The old site was designed by our previous team and needed an update. What was initially going to be just a touch-up really turned into a website redesign? Following website designs trends, I opted for something more minimal. I leaned on my team for some direction in design. This website needed to look and feel young and trendy like the Salon and its team are. The most important part of this design was making sure it was easy to navigate and that the palette lightened up from their previous design. I opted for light greys and a muted version of their green colour for a softer feel. I had some problem solving where to put content without removing it, and I took some risks that didn't land. Ultimately I took their logo and made their iconic green only pop in locations where users need their attention drawn.
Creating websites for these amazing women really helped inspire me to create my own website, with a special thank you to Claudette, who was the initial inspiration for my website. If I can help such a fantastic artist create her website, why can't I do it myself? And each amazing local female business owner has inspired me to keep working at it. And now, if you've found this website and this blog, you can see where their websites lead me to make my very own. I am currently a wantrepreneur- I want to start my own business one day and be my own boss. As I work and connect with outstanding business owners, I am constantly inspired to one day join them in the pursuit of business ownership.
Disclaimer: These sites were done by the team at Encompass Online Marketing. I was the lead designer for these projects, so I will not take all the credit. Also, by sharing them with you today, I am giving these websites an SEO advantage. I will freelance design websites, but due to the potential for conflict of interest. I will only design websites for clients with the expectation that their accounts will be assumed by Encompass Online Marketing (another website I also worked as lead the website design on) for the duration of my employment with them.