How I Got Started?
I majored in English in college, and, while that didn’t set me up for designing websites, it did set me up for life. We purchased our home in St. Johns while it was still a poor and working class neighborhood with affordable homes. I’ve always been an active community volunteer. What took me into website design was part of that work.
Saving Pier Pool
Back in 2005 St. Johns was not the hip neighborhood you see now. There were cutbacks in the Portland Parks budget and they decided to close Pier Pool, which is our neighborhood pool. Our kids learned to swim there. It’s an important pool for all the neighborhood children.
So we gathered people together and we ended up getting 700 signatures on a petition to keep Pier Pool open. We went to City Hall, presented the petition at a Council meeting, and testified about why Pier Pool should be kept open.
After the presentation (we were successful, by the way, Pier Pool is still open) one of the Councilor’s staff told me the reason they choose to close Pier Pool and not Buckman (both pools were potentially on the chopping block) was that Buckman had a website.
I thought, whoa, that’s important! I could have saved myself so much trouble if we just had a website! Collecting 700 signatures is not the easiest thing in the world. It’s crazy that we had to go through that.
Opportunity to Learn
Time passed and I had the opportunity to go back to school. I said, ‘know what, I’m going to study web design and development.’ I had been working with a government agency promoting websites, and doing a bit of HTML on the sites, but mostly promoting the sites for carpooling. I was very successful with that and decided to do it from the other side and actually build them. So that’s how I got started.
In 2012 I went to Portland Community College. They offer a great program in website design and development. I completed that and started Waterlink Web in 2014.
While I was still in school I built the website for Friends of Pier Park. I continue to support this nonprofit. It is the Waterlink Web charity of choice.
How We Grow
Much of Waterlink Web’s new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals from current clients. In the past few months (and this is a huge compliment) I’ve received referrals from two other web designers. Both started new businesses and came to me to make sure their established customers would be taken care of.
As a web designer I get involved with my clients. I like them. I know these designers feel the same. It’s a huge compliment that they are entrusting their clients to me.
WordPress and Giving Back
When I was studying website design I attended the WordPress MeetUps and learned so much there. In this business we are always learning.
The organizers got busy and the MeetUp stopped for a year or so. So, in early 2017, working with local developer Doug Yuen, I restarted the Portland WordPress MeetUp. I frequently speak at the monthly event and gladly share techniques and tips.
These are links to a couple of the WordPress MeetUp presentations: Why and How to Add an SSL Certificate to a WordPress Website and Safeguarding Your WordPress Clients. Check the Blog News for more inspiration and information.
Environment and Sustainability
Our office is partly solar-powered and on a Gold Certified Backyard Habitat.
At Waterlink Web, we serve our community as well as our clients.
–Mary Ann Aschenbrenner
President, Waterlink Web LLC
How may we help you? Call our office: 503-764-8020.
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Waterlink Web LLC is a Certified Woman-Owned Emerging Small Business: Oregon DWESB #9736.