Web Designer | Graphic Designer | Entrepreneur
It’s funny how quickly time appears to have gone by when looking back. In my mind I’m still 17 driving down backroads in my Honda Civic, music up as loud as it could go without blowing the tiny speakers, and singing every song on my latest burnt cd at the top of my lungs.
In reality, I’m now a 36 year old Mom of 2 little girls and I’ve been designing websites and all sorts of graphics for 16 years. I’m not even sure how it’s possible I’m more than twice the age my brain still thinks it is, but am not at all surprised by the creativity of my subconscious.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up beyond a Wife and Mama. Family was, and is, the most important thing to me. I married my Husband when I was 20, he was 19. Our wedding was in April, and he deployed to Iraq for 12 months that November. Our main form of communication during that time was Yahoo Messenger. At the time I didn’t own a computer of my own, so he had one shipped to me and it just so happened to have Paint Shop Pro pre-installed. Sit a right-brained creative in front of a computer with nothing to do for hours and the need to distract herself from the news while waiting to hear from her Husband in a war zone, and you get a budding graphic designer.
On top of my new found love of graphic design, I was also attempting to keep a Blogger blog for my family to stay updated on the latest with Matt “over yonder”. Any of y’all who blogged way back then know just how few templates there were to choose from, and, well, I couldn’t take the blandness. So I dug into the code editor and broke things enough, then fixed them again, that I began learning the very basics of web design.
Around that same time, MySpace became a thing! Same story there – so I used my newfound html and CSS skills to create my own layout. I started making them for my friends, and then eventually started my first website ColorArmy.com to share the layouts and graphics I’d made. The idea being I would bring an Army of color to the digital landscape of beige so prevalent at the time.
Being at that computer for hours meant I was able to research all things web design related, and it turned out I was a quick study. I switched from Blogger to WordPress and started my first public blog, MomAndWife.com.
From there I started taking custom design work for family and friends, and then eventually random people on the internet started messaging me to design websites for them and Pretty Darn Cute Design was born.
Being that there were very few feminine website templates available on the entire internet at the time (It’s crazy to think about that now) you can imagine what my inbox looked like as blogging in general took off. I was overwhelmed, and loving every minute of work, but eventually it became too much. So I began designing WordPress Themes that people could purchase, install and then customize to make their own.
I spent the better part of my designing years running the business end of Pretty Darn Cute Design on top of creating new products, and found I missed the process of working from start to finish with a client to create their custom, ideal home on the web.
I made the difficult decision to sell the Pretty Darn Cute Design WordPress Themes business. 15 years of hard work, sleepless nights, and experiences that will always be a part of me. But it was time to move on.
As a stationery obsessed person in this world, it had long been a dream of mine to venture into that world. I created Playful Paper Company in 2019 and continue to thoroughly enjoy every aspect of the business.
Which brings us to the here and now. Back when this all started, I’d get texts, calls and emails that sounded a bit like this “Hey Linz, I need custom stationery…” or “Hey Linz, I want to start a blog and need your help…” and I’m ready to get back to that process. I’m excited to again be working one on one with clients, digging deep into the creative process and building custom solutions that perfectly depict their business online. Only now, I’m bringing nearly 2 decades of experience to the table alongside a renewed enthusiasm!