Today is a day that seemed so far away when I first thought about it: It’s the 10-year anniversary of the beginning of Catena Creations LLC.
Ten years ago, I had just been laid off for the second time in 2008. I was doing freelance work for the first company that had laid me off. The first episode of Bravo’s Tabatha Takes Overwas on that night, and she asked the couple she was helping: What’s your passion?
While laid off, I’d been working at home and taking care of my then-13-year-old-son and getting him ready for school. And watching that show, I realized I wanted to do what I’d been doing since that second layoff: Work at home. Manage my own schedule. Set my own pace. Enjoy a variety of work with more creativity.
It’s amazing to think of all the changes that have taken place in the past decade.
When I started, everyone wanted to build their websites in tables with a fixed width so you could control their appearance. Now websites must be mobile-friendly and responsiveto adapt to a wide variety of devices and platforms — some that we couldn’t even imagine 10 years ago.
Search engine optimization was kind of a concern, if you knew how to do the programming. Now we integrate it into every step we take when redesigning or building a website. For example, the home page for my first website was a large graphic with links. That would be unthinkable today — no keywords!
Photos on websites were small so they wouldn’t take too long to download. Now we showcase photo galleries and use video backgrounds on home pages.
I taught myself Flash in the fall of 1997, using the “Flash for Dummies” book that came with a 30-day trial of Flash on a CD. Flash has since given way to multiple better options for animation and photo shows that are more secure and less buggy.
The most important change: My son is now 23 and has finished college. He just got engaged a couple of weeks ago. But he still is my biggest supporter. I would not have made it this far without his love and encouragement, and I very much appreciate it.
In 21 years of website design and 10 years of owning my business, I’ve seen a lot of changes. A lot of “must haves” come and go. What hasn’t changed is the need for excellent writing, design, photography, video and editing to create a website that sells your products or services and helps you make a profit for your business. Or raise funds for your nonprofit organization.
I’ll say this again: I may be a sole proprietor, but I don’t do this alone. In addition to my son and now his fiance, family, friends, clients and colleagues have cheered me on, guided me, lent their strength and enhanced my business. I am very grateful to everyone who’s helped me on this journey, and I thank you for being part of the history of Catena Creations.
I’ll be using this new logo this year wherever I can to celebrate this milestone. More celebrations are to come. Stay tuned!