Posts Tagged ‘Website Design’

Doing Well By Doing Good, Part 4 of An Occasional Series

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
My First Website!

My First Website!

As many Americans are re-evaluating their career decisions at this difficult time and contemplating entrepreneurship as a solution, I thought it might be helpful to share my own experience. After a more traditional corporate career, working for the Swiss Reinsurance Company in Zurich, Switzerland, I returned to the U.S. for family reasons. My mother had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage as a consequence of a ruptured aneurysm and I took some time off to care for her and for my father as well. I was starting my own small business to marry my experience in insurance and finance with the needs for social insurance and access to finance for the poor. And so I founded Childs Capital LLC. Actually, the original name of the business was Chrysalis Capital LLC, but another Chrysalis had filed to trademark that name just a few days before I did. Because of the long backlog in entering applications at the Patent and Trademark Office, the existing Chrysalis did not come up when searched. No matter. I kept the logo we had designed and went with Childs Capital instead since no one could protest the use of my own name. The image shown here is the prototype for the homepage of the website I designed and built for the business.

Being an entrepreneur and a small business owner is really all about bootstrapping and skill-building. As a corporate employee, you specialize in a particular role. As an entrepreneur, you have to be a Jill-of-all-Trades. For me, this involved, among other things, learning how to design and build a website. The September 11th Fund provided training grants for owners of small businesses in the immediate impact zone of the World Trade Center on 9-11 (sadly, we qualified) to take certain professional training programs. I enrolled in the Desktop Publishing and Website Design Certificate Program at the Continuing and Professional Studies Division of Baruch College within the City University of New York. The September 11th Fund provided the tuition waiver. For eighteen months, while running my business, I spent nearly every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. inĀ  classroom learning website design. Classes met from 9:00 to noon, with a one-hour lunch break and then an afternoon class would follow from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Completion of the certificate required that I take classes in Adobe Photoshop, Quark XPress, Typography and Fonts, HTML coding, Dreamweaver, Adobe Illustrator, Javascript – 12 classses in all. A grant from the Sumasil Foundation paid for the software I purchased. And that is how I learned to design and build a website. I did all of the illustration, photography, design and coding myself. I find one of the most enjoyable aspects of running a business to be broadening my skills sets, as everything I do in support of the business is a labor of love. And now I have mastered WordPress for this blog!