Spinning design and e-commerce together.
Although many Web design firms abound, clients tend to gravitate toward the ones that seem filled with passionate staffers who love their jobs. This must be why Naberth-based Professional Web Concepts has so many customers walking through the door. Co-owner Emily Pepperman chats about design, shopping carts, and loving her job.
What got you interested in Web design?
In 1994, I had access to computers at both college and work. I also had a Pentium 90 computer with a 14.4 modem and an AOL account at home. I quickly became addicted to the Internet, and wanted to learn how to build Web sites that could be seen all over the world. I met two Web designers who worked for a New Jersey-based Web development company called InterStat, and through them I soon started working in the Internet industry.
How was Professional Web Concepts founded?
It was originally formed in 1997 to provide sites for companies that wanted to establish a presence on the Web. I began to work for the company as a lead designer in 1999 and eight months later, I acquired the company with a partner. In 2001, we expanded our services even further by acquiring the assets of InterStat, and in 2002, we acquired more clients from another Web design company.
What was it like to go from being lead designer at a firm to being co-owner less than a year later?
It was quite a thrilling time in my life. I believe a lot of it was good timing and a bit of fate. The complete purchase fell right into place. When the manager and founder of Professional Web Concepts gave a two-week leave notice, the job of running the daily operations of the company was offered to me, the head designer at the time. At the same time, a business associate from my former job contacted me to talk about starting a small Web development company.
What’s one way that you help clients make their sites more robust?
We have built several different e-commerce shopping carts that we can customize for a vast range of needs and types of products that clients want to sell. If we don’t have something that a potential or current client likes, we can create a customized shopping system for them.
What kinds of challenges do you find in being a one-stop shop for customers?
Really, the main challenge that I feel we face is keeping up with technology. It takes constant reading, education, and awareness to spot new that would be useful to our clients. The benefit to doing so much for our customers is that they advertise for us, to the point where we barely have to do any ourselves. We have been in this area for five years, and we’ve become known for our great customer service and professional Internet services. Our clients are not shy to tell others about us.
Are there some aspects of your work that you especially love?
I love virtually everything about my job. I love when I am able to teach clients new ways to automate their business and make their life easier. I enjoy solving problems and finding successful solutions. I especially love hearing: “Wow, thank you, great job!”
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