a bit more...
The journey which lead me to designing websites has been an incredible one. I feel blessed to have always found myself knee deep in challenging, beautiful, and meaningful projects. Currently, my love is sitting back a bit, seeing what others are doing to make a difference, and packaging it up into websites for the world to learn about.
Early in my undergraduate years I spent a semester in East Africa and Central America, and became deeply involved with one particular school, Mwereni Primary School for Blind and Visually Impaired Students, in Tanzania. Over the next three years I worked with Mwereni to bring two students with a rare skin disease, Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), to the National Institutes of Health for treatment. There, I was connected with a philanthropist whose ego is as small as a pebble and heart is as large as the sun, who funded my project to renovate dormitories for the students, then build a sun-safe building for albino and XP children to play in without risk of skin cancer. In these three years I traveled back and forth between Tanzania and the United States and was given a crash course in the art of executing expensive projects in a developing country. I also learned about miracles, the power of the human spirit, and how random strangers can rally behind a silly college girl and her band of blind warriors to make true magic happen.
After graduating from college, I spent a year volunteering with Manna Rescue Home, a home in Uganda for children with HIV & AIDS, run by Youth Encouragement Services. After a year of growth and wonder, but also many growing pains, blows to my massive aid worker ego, and the loss of some incredible children, I returned to my home state of Maine. In Maine, I was the Director of the Bangor YMCA’s Wilderness Center at Camp Jordan. What an incredible honor it was to lead the way through a beautiful transformation period at my most beloved childhood camp! I fell in love with the YMCA and with my home community of Bangor, Maine. Many factors lead to me leaving what was a dream job for many, and I made a shift to Bali, Indonesia. In Bali I became the General Manager of an incredible company, the Odyssey Institute, which runs curriculum trips for international schools.
Bali was a magical island of learning and healing for me, and I left with a new desire to slow down a bit and simply enjoy the people in my life. I am now working from the riverside in Maine. I am absolutely loving web design. It is nurturing a long neglected creative part of me, and is a perfect way for me to package the essence of the beautiful work my clients do, and share it with the world.
My unique professional journey has taught me many things that truly set me apart from other web designers. I communicate well with people from all over the world. I easily gain insight into what my clients value, and what they want their site to portray. I understand the numerous and complex challenges of being a small business owner, including the fact that they need to be financially lean at the start, and they need the service they receive from a web designer to surpass their financial contribution. Above all, I am creative, resourceful, and often see potential in people that they didn't even see in themselves.
If you love what you do, and need the world to fall in love with it too, I would love to connect with you to chat about your site's potential!
Mwereni Primary School, Tanzania 2004
Manna Rescue Home, Uganda 2008
The Bangor YMCA, Maine 2011
The Odyssey Institute, Bali 2014
Emerald Russel Website Design, Maine 2017