“There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is:
it’s to change the world.” ~ Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote
The LBD Story
I started my first business when I was six. I had received a coloring book for my birthday and it occurred to me that people just might pay good money for my artwork (the primary features of which were people with orange, purple, and lavender skin, jagged coloring outside the lines, and the general aesthetic vision of your average six-year-old). My mom was horrified when I commandeered a table and set up a gallery in our church foyer to sell my pictures after service one night. In the thirty minutes or so before she discovered my little scheme, however, the wonderful people of the church either bought into my artistic vision or took pity on me. Naturally, I didn't care which. They bought my terrible drawings and colorings proudly, shelling out pennies, dimes, and even an occasional quarter (!) for the pieces I deemed extremely special.
My little business venture didn’t last long – it ended once I got home and received my grounding sentence for that week (I accumulated quite a collection as a kid) – but it did awaken something in me. I had a taste of what it felt like to unleash the dreamer inside of me – to come up with an idea, ask myself it if just might work, and then put the plan into effect. I had caught a taste of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and I wanted more.
This business was born in much the same way. It started with the same basic principles, in fact: a need, an idea on how to fill that need, a plan to get started, and then the action of actually doing something with the idea. I have a special place in my heart for startups, mom-and-pop-style businesses, religious/nonprofit organizations, and the entrepreneurial spirit in general. I believe in these concepts with both the heart of a romantic who loves the idea of chasing a dream but also with the mindset of a realist who believes that burgeoning businesses can reform broken economies and help put food on lots of tables throughout communities.
Of course, I am also a product of the technology generation. I often look up a business online before I visit in person. Moving to a new city proved a bit of a challenge because I had to leave behind all of my favorite old hangouts and discover new ones. I try to seek out local places before checking out the chains and so I did a quick search online to see what was available. There were several places whose names caught my interest but I couldn't find out anything else about them. They had virtually no web presence. I decided to embrace my inner adventurer and try them out the old-fashioned way: by just walking in to explore. I discovered some of the most wonderful places - places I constantly recommend to friends and family. Still, whenever I look for them online, I am met only with a map and the occasional review. Even worse, for some of my favorite places, the first thing that pops up in my search is a bad review from someone who obviously had an ax to grind. I hate the idea that these places I frequently visit do not have an online voice – namely because they are generally too busy actually running their businesses and simply doing their jobs.
And so I wove together a new dream. I decided to create a company with this audience in mind. It would specialize in simple, affordable websites that would target small organizations – the ones who often don’t yet have deep enough pockets to offer on-staff positions for a webmaster or to hire a web designer whose policies and prices are set with mega corporations in mind. My goal was to build a business starting with relationships and an understanding of what my clients’ needs really are – the same way many of my favorite places run their businesses.
Being a lover of literature and the idea of metaphors (yes, I was that girl who actually got excited when we studied poetry in English class), I wanted a name that would capture exactly what it is that I would be doing and who I am as a designer. I needed a name that would clothe my concept. It was then that I thought back to my favorite article of clothing: the Little Black Dress. I love the LBD because it is the most basic element of a woman’s wardrobe. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It is striking on its own or when accessorized. It is appropriate for any event or occasion.
These were the exact qualities I wanted to incorporate in my approach to web design. I wanted to create simple, elegant websites that would meet my client’s needs on the most basic of levels but I also wanted to create sites that could be easily modified and that could be added to and expanded as my clients’ businesses grew.
And so Little Black Dress Boutique Web Design was born. Don't worry - I won’t try to sell you faded crayon renderings from my childhood coloring book but I would like to extend a hand to help you create something special and unique for your business. After all, we dreamers/doers have to stick together. Let’s collaborate to find you a perfect fit.
~ Cheri Grissom | Owner/Founder