A Web Designer without a Website…no longer!

The day has finally come!  My site no longer reads “coming soon…”  I think after 2 years “soon” is not quite the appropriate word to use.  But “soon” has finally arrived and I am so relieved to finally be a Web Designer with a Website. You can find out more info here.  Yes it has been a little embarrassing to not have had a website representing my business.  I am always emphasizing to anyone who will listen that a website is the base of marketing your business, whether big or small, whether representing a personal or corporate brand. A website is the spoke of your marketing wheel and many paths of online advertisement, comments, tweets, Facebook posts lead back to more information on your site.

Why oh why did it take so darn long?  3 reasons really:

  1. I have been extremely busy with new requests coming in on a consistent basis and paid work comes first. This is a good thing, of course.
  2. My family, which includes 2 young high spirited girls, keeps me on my toes and very busy.
  3. The fear of failing…read on.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~Elbert Hubbard

Ok the final reason needs some explanation.  Building a website for your own business is really an overwhelming task and a little scary – that’s why small businesses come to me in the first place.  Let me tell you, designing sites for other people is much easier than building one for myself.  I am just too close to my own business and quite critical of my own work.  Anyone else feel that way?

Building this site has been an emotional process as well because ideas have been running around in my head for several months about how I want this website to look and what I want it to say.  Recently there have been many incidents that have pushed me to get my site up, especially meeting the wonderful team at Ovaleye Cloud Services  and the people at have inspired me to try new things including working with Connie Berg on the Random Acts of Kindness of Duvall website.  They have inspired and supported me to move forward.  The process has not been easy though.  There have been several times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel due to my frustration at trying to get areas on my site to look just right when launched.  I should know better – websites are a revolving process and are constantly being tweaked.

On the other hand, I am very excited to finally have a blogging platform to discuss my ideas and a place to test some of the latest web design/development trends – something I love to research. I also applied web design tactics of the best wholesale local websites. Also I no longer have to hesitate when handing out my cards or tell people my site is under construction.  I no longer have to hold back commenting on social media pages or blog posts as a representative of my business.  It’s time to BRING IT!

Good things are on the horizon, my friends.  Please stay tuned.  This site will constantly be changing and improving.  I encourage you to sign up for future blog posts (see sidebar) because there will be some “good stuff” to come. My ideas for blog posts range from small business online marketing advice to new advances and techniques in website functionality, from basic tutorials in WordPress to “did you know?” improvements to your site.  You may even find a few blog posts about my favorite online discoveries especially concerning kids.

Thanks to all who were patient with me over the years – those who came to my domain to find…well, not much.  My appreciation especially extends to my husband who patiently dealt with my exhaustion and helped with the kids while I got this puppy off the ground.  Ready…Set…Go!!

Shine On!

What do you think of the site so far?  Please give me your suggestions.

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Ann Marie
Ann Marie is a genius at making technology simple. Since 2001, she has run the web design and online marketing company, Cascade Valley Designs just outside of Seattle. She specializes in building, customizing and maintaining WordPress websites. If you are a DIYer, she can help you avoid a catastrophe with her DIY Website training program and monthly Website Freedom Plan.


  1. Connie Berg

    Your website looks amazing! Thank you for your kind words and for all of your help with my website! You truly are the best!

    1. Ann Marie

      Thanks Connie for being the first to comment on my site. It’s a pleasure working with you on such a wonderful project.

  2. Kathy

    Congrats! It’s a beautiful website! Here is to a great year!

    1. Ann Marie

      Thanks for all your inspiring words in your SOHO Insights episodes. Just “Bring it” was something I learned from you ;). Cheers to a great 2012.

  3. Amy Osborne

    This looks amazing…well done…and congratulations!!!

    1. Ann Marie

      Amy, thank you much for stopping by my new website and leaving a comment. So glad we are back in touch and I can bring a little bit of your homeland back to you online. 😉

  4. Fred Gosling

    Well Done! Your Web-Site has such clear content organization and information.
    If bright or subdued, your feel for color is impressive. The photo movement and
    placement is eye-catching, and all pages are easy to follow and understand, yet
    represented most professionally. The evident pride and passion you put into
    Cascade Valley Design’s inviting web-pages implore a visit and beg a response!

    1. Ann Marie

      Thanks dad! I appreciate your words of support and your detailed feedback. As you know, I have been working on this project for a long time. I am so relieved it is finally live!

  5. Pomy

    So, finally you’re live with great portfolio indeed. My all well wishes with you Ann. I’m agree here — “designing sites for other people is much easier than building one for myself” — You know, some years ago I didn’t have any of my solid on-line presence / portfolio. But I was still building websites for my clients, friends and for people in my circle because I don’t have much time for myself. Personally I think it’s not a good idea to build your website at starting if you don’t have good work & true testimonials for showing it off to your clients. Otherwise people wont’ trust you. There are tons of websites out there live without (fake) portfolio. But they doesn’t work. So, I think, If you’ve a great work then your company will live one day naturally. I want to quote someone here for you.

    “There is always time to form a company. I guess a company forms when you just have too much work to do yourself that you need to hire someone or other people. It grows naturally. I am sure that if you keep at this with your talent and skill, God willing, your business will grow in the next few years”

    So, I believe it’s a natural process. You’ve no need to “fear of failing” 🙂 I hope from now, you’ll get more business and success.

    I’m also planning to be more active on social media and freelancing portals with my newly portfolio ( — I’m also making connections in these day with other designers/developers for long term relationships for sharing work, projects and profits. Keep in touch 🙂

  6. Laura Mills

    Well I think you’ve done a great job! So professional, but friendly…just like you. I’m so glad you got it done. I bet that’s a load off your plate. Good luck with everything.

    1. Ann Marie

      So nice of you to stop by ad leave a comment. And yes – a load off my plate – finally. It is a good start to the year to check this project off my list.

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  8. Jan

    Very informative and well written! Good luck and keep it up!

  9. Julieanne

    I relate to this so hard! I’m a web developer without a website that’s had “coming soon” up for YEARS. The biggest struggle is just being too close to the project, and getting lost in the details and endless options. I’ve been getting by great without one, but I’ve finally decided to finally buckle down and do it. This made me feel better to see I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Thanks for sharing!

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