We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Gross and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shannon, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
There is a very wide array of “website designers” that fall into a few categories.

1. Technical whiz: More of a website developer, they have little experience in design, but can develop almost any functionality or features your website needs. So, they can create an amazing website that is functional but they lack the skills to truly give you a one-of-a-kind design catered to your brand and attracts your ideal client.

2. Designer: Then you have designers that use templates to build websites and have limited knowledge of the development (code) piece. So, you end up with a site that has the same layout as all their other customers and are limited by the features and functionality of the template.

3. Best of both: These are truly the ones you want to hire and are worth the investment. They have a design background/extensive experience, but also have the right-brain wherewithal to solve problems and dive into the code. This combination allows them to build a truly custom site both functionality-wise and with a stunning design that attracts and closes visitors.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Art and a concentration in Graphic Design. Right out of college, I worked for a publishing company (on Larimer Square!) doing design and layout for children’s books. I eventually got the opportunity to illustrate as well and there are now ten published books with my illustrations in them!

Then, I had a kid! He seemed to change daily, and I felt I was missing these little moments while he was in others’ care. So, I started my own business in 2016. My son was 18 months old, and I was terrified to tell my corporate employer that I was going out on my own. Thankfully, they kept me on part-time as a contractor, so it was an easier transition than most. I still struggled to balance being a mom and all the things that go into starting a business, but eventually, I found my groove.

In 2018, I switched my focus from graphic design to building, developing, and maintaining WordPress websites. There was a steep learning curve, but I took a great course at Boulder Digital Arts to give me a head start and I continue to teach myself daily. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned about being a website developer—you must have a growth mindset in order to keep up with this always-changing industry, and I pride myself on this. Having a second child, a girl, and again learning how to balance being a mom of two and owning a business was another challenge to my growth-mindset.

Over the last few years, I’ve niched down to helping strong women with a vision build their online presence through fully-custom websites. I have been supported and championed by so many women; I think that is important to pay it forward—creating beautiful websites that truly showcase their businesses and function flawlessly. And (don’t tell my husband this) women are so much more fun to work with!

I have a Lifetime Relationship promise that truly sets me apart from other website designers. I’ve heard so many horror stories about how business owners get ghosted by their website designers (sometimes even in the middle of a project!) and can’t get a hold of them to help fix something on their site or even just get info to log in. So, I created my Lifetime Relationship promise—I’m here to help you with your website, whether it’s hours or years after your website is finished, large fix or small change.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough one! There are so many great places. Now that it’s summer, I love taking my kids (5 y.o. boy and 3 y.o. girl) to the splash pad at Clement Park, walking around the shops at Downtown Littleton, and, of course, visiting the Denver Zoo (the carousel and giraffes are our favorites)! When we’re not in the city, you can find us camping in our travel trailer all around our amazing state.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely need to give a shoutout to SHE Leads, a networking group in Metro Denver that I have been a part of for almost two years. Founded by Beth Boen, SHE stands for Supporting Heart and Enterprise, and this group truly knows how to support, encourage, and love on other entrepreneurs. During COVID, Beth went out of her way to make us all feel included—even creating a hybrid meeting type where those of us in-person can participate with the members on Zoom. Our bi-weekly meetings include a member in the spotlight (where we get to share our knowledge with each other), a business-minded training, and our commercials. Beth does an amazing job of respecting everyone’s time by running the meetings efficiently (we always start and end on time), and is a champion of everyone in the group, truly caring about each businesswoman’s success.

Website: www.studioone44.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studioone44/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scchandler/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studioone44

Image Credits
Madison Yen, Shannon Gross

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.