I co-founded an art gallery and had a need for a website. Still working on a BFA degree, I audited a html class and began to hack away at a gallery website. I found that most of my time was spent working on the website, and that's where I wanted to focus my energies. The gallery ran for three years while I continued to work on websites for artists and small businesses, and I learned more and more as one job led to the next. I took a full-time job as a web designer and front-end developer for a software development company, and after one year I was laid off when the company folded. I learned a lot in my time there and this turned out to be a great opportunity! I continued my career as an independent contractor, picking up a major website and many more clients by joining a networking group, The Freelance Exchange of Kansas City. I spent the next 9 years working independently, and had three children in the process.
Working from home and raising children comes with a stigma. It didn't make sense for me to rent an office space. I ran my business as Wickerson Studios, a partnership between myself and my husband where I was the virtual studio of web design and development, and he was the material studio of sculpture and landscape art. I had a great studio at home, but I continually felt like I had to hide the fact that I had kids or was pregnant, because I didn't want people to think I was just a stay-at-home mom trying to make some extra money. I wanted to say, hey, I've got a legit business here and I was doing this before I had kids, too!
Working from home has it's pros and cons, but the one of the hardest things to do is keep up the momentum and boost your skills. I have been working at Sullivan Higdon & Sink for the past year and a half, and having the support of other devs and creatives has been awesome in so many ways. Although I work with a lot of strong women, we've got a small dev team and I represent the only female developer. I have learned a ton in my time here, and I feel like if there was any new coding language I wanted to learn, I could just go do it! It's great to be surrounded by so many encouraging and talented people. Today our agency is celebrating International Women's Day by showcasing the women of SHS and all the Remarkable things we do.