‘Web Designer! How did that happen?’

It was December 2014 when I founded Mara Communications. Having been a full-time mum for 6 years I knew the time had come. I needed to find a new purpose – something for me. Preferably something that I would enjoy, be good at and bonus points if I could earn some money as well.

Many people ask if being a web designer was what I did before having my daughter. I laugh and say no. While I have always been drawn to working with technology it was only after leaving the corporate workplace that I gained exposure to the world of web design.

Even then it was only when a friend asked me to build her a website that I started to consider forming my own company. I was at a turning point and felt that I didn’t have anything to lose by giving it a chance. My husband came up with the name Mara Communications and it was perfect. (Mara is my middle name). I registered my little business and my new career as a web designer begun!

Being an introvert I knew a big sales push would not be the right approach for me. I was also conscious that I had a big learning curve in front of me. Luckily I love learning. So I tested the waters. I was keen for experience and to learn as much as I could and this led me to volunteering my services to a local mum who had started a community Facebook group. At the time I offered to build a website directory for around 70 businesses. We didn’t know each other until I approached her and neither of us knew whether our working relationship would be successful. With very open expectations we decided to give it a go.

Let’s just say that taking a risk and putting myself out there was one of the smartest and rewarding professional moves I have ever made. Rewarding in the experience I gained and continue to gain which has been vital to the success of Mara Communications. We are still working together and a website directory for 70 businesses has grown to over 500. Our working relationship has grown from strength to strength and the friendship that has developed has been a wonderful added bonus.

This experience helped to give me the confidence to pursue leads and to speak to potential clients about their website needs. Most meetings are over coffee and usually one-on-one. This suits me to a T as I don’t handle large groups and meetings particularly well. And of course I can work at home, with only the company of our Corgi/Jack Russell Terrier. Perfect for an introvert! Just as important is that I set my own hours and that gives me flexibility to be involved within the school community.

I feel very fortunate that I have found work that feels so right. I am passionate about what I do. I enjoy meeting my clients. I love hearing the passion they have for their business. While a website might not be their core business it is an important vehicle for them to showcase who they are and what they offer. I am thrilled when I can create a site that they are proud of. The more experience I gain, the more I learn, the more I am able to offer my clients.

These days when I am asked whether I work I proudly reply that I am a web designer. No, it’s not my background and yes, it is my future.