Aesthetics by Design: Denver MediSpa

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I was introduced to Aesthetics by Design (ABD) by my friend, Sarah Rutherford, who works as a Paramedical Aesthetician for the Denver based medical spa, and was duly impressed with the company’s Founder and Medical Director, Mario Imola, who proved well-versed in search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Sitting down with Mario, Sarah, and ABD office manager, Jennifer Flores, the old adage, “how you do something is how you do everything,” proved true for the team took the discussion of building a new site seriously, offering high-level insight into what they were seeking in both look and feel. While Mario’s primary concern was preserving the SEO built into his previous site, Sarah and Jennifer sought a clean, elegant design in a platform that is easy to maintain and pleasing to the eye. Sharing the functionality of Squarespace, a drop-and-drag template-based website design tool, we agreed to proceed, and the rest is history. In under two weeks, the project was complete, and the ABD team is now fielding numerous calls from new clients. As part of ABD’s yearly maintenance plan, I continue to make small changes to the site, working closing with Jennifer, who is quickly learning the skills required to update the platform, from blogs to events. Indeed, the ease of using Squarespace is one of the reasons I am happy to recommend Squarespace to my small business and individual clients.

Eldorado Springs Art Center: A Local Gem

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After completing a website for Sculpture Giuseppe Palumbo, owner of Gallery Giuseppe, I began work on a sister site for the Eldorado Springs Art Center (ESAC), an artist collective founded, curated, and directed by Giuseppe. Established in 2000, ESAC rests on the foundation of a dilapidated Volvo repair shop, which recently renovated, is now a sculpture studio, art gallery, and public meeting space. Nestled in the woods of Eldorado Springs, a small, tight-knit community located a few miles south of Boulder, Colorado, ESAC is home to several artist studios, a public sculpture garden, a fine art gallery, Airbnb lodging, and a community meeting  space. As Giuseppe describes it, ESAC is based on the idea that “art is an essential component of a healthy society.” The collective “supports the arts, and those that create art, building community with purposeful action for current events and sustainable practices, understanding that true wealth is what we do and share, not what we have.” To this end, ESAC, a local gem, works with artists from multiple disciplines, including sculptors, painters, poets, writers, glass, jewelry, musicians, fashion design, graphic artists and creative nonprofits. In addition, the facility can be rented for private event functions and retreats.

Gallery Giuseppe: A Unique Opportunity

Through my work with the Colorado Cancer Foundation (CCF), a Colorado based 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit devoted to curing cancer in all its forms, I met Giuseppe Palumbo, a renaissance man who expanded a career in architecture and building to include inventing and sculpting, crafting one of a kind furniture pieces and anthropomorphic works of art, from flying pigs to dancing sheep. A philanthropist, Giuseppe opened his Eldorado Springs Canyon studio, the Eldorado Springs Art Center, to the CCF Board of Directors for a party following its annual fun run, the Eldorado Springs Run for the Cure, which takes place on Friday, August 03 at 6:30PM beside the entrance to Eldorado Canyon State Park. Having spent several years in construction, and studied Art History, Painting, Drawing, and Graphic Design in college, it was a unique opportunity, and a distinct pleasure, to work with someone with whom I had so much in common. In fact, Giuseppe’s second and primary studio, located in Berkeley, CA, is not far from my home town of Palo Alto, CA, providing a chance to share stories and fond memories of the San Francisco Bay Area. Building Giuseppe’s site, Gallery Giuseppe, was rewarding, for it represented a stylistic break from projects I’ve done before. It was also fun to learn more about his works, and then to come face to face with many of them at the Eldorado Springs Art Center after viewing them, repeatedly, online; it was like a dream come to life.

Driving & Thriving: Life Well Lived

I met Keith Hobgood ten years ago in 2008 while working at a Boulder-based Deneuve Construction, a reputable design-build company affectionately named after the French Actress, Catherine Deneuve. A Project Manager with a yen for teaching, Keith was quick to share his knowledge with carpenters, such as me, and I was eager to learn. Shortly after meeting Keith, I was introduced to his wife, Chantelle, who accompanied him to the firm's annual Christmas dinner. Flash forward a decade, and I reconnected with Keith and Chantelle near my home in Denver. Having recently retired from the "nine to five grind," they had taken to living on the open road in a large gold recreational vehicle (RV) they call "The Golden Snail." Though many years had passed, Keith and Chantelle were as warm as ever, and over the course of a long lunch at Stapleon’s Stanley Marketplace the time between us quickly disappeared until all that was left were feelings of commonality and a mutual interest in business. To maintain their traveling lifestyle, which takes them back and forth across the country, Keith and Chantelle share Essential Oils, a natural cure for many ailments, and needed a website. After a few conversations it was clear, that helping others, not sales, was their first priority, and a lifestyle site, Driving & Thriving, was born. 

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A Survival Story: A Study In Courage

I met best-selling Biology textbook Author, Linda Lundgren, through a mutual friend, and developed her website, A Survival Story, over the course of several months as she traveled the East Coast with her husband and high school sweetheart, Rich. Linda's story is as inspiring as it is moving, for she overcame tremendous pain at the hands of her physically abusive father to rise up the ranks of the publishing world, realizing her dream of becoming a successful author in spite of remarkable odds. Not only did Linda make it out of her father's house to marry a kind and loving man, but she preserved academically as well, garnering a postgraduate degree at a time when women were effectively banned from received PhDs. To read Linda's stories is to look into a world few wish to see, but in doing so you find the makings of a remarkable person, a woman who found beauty in the natural world, and channeled her passion towards helping others into a successful career. Now, decades after her youthful struggles, Linda is able to reflect on a life well lived. In her blog posts you can learn of her travels, her children, and her beloved grandchildren, all of whom are doing equally remarkable things with their lives. So, for anyone who has ever struggled A Survival Story is for you.  

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Janus Cycle Group: Bridging the Gap

After completing websites for Merlin Bikes and Dean Bikes, I had the pleasure of building a site for Janus Cycle Group, the parent company that holds the two brands, and several others yet to be announced. Family owned and operated, Janus is not a corporate holding company, but a family business through and through, with one of the members welding the majority of the titanium bikes it sells. The name is particularly fitting for a growing company, for in ancient Rome Janus was the God of transitions and new beginnings, symbolized by arched doorways and a double-headed figure: one looking to the future, and one looking to the past. So, it is fitting that Janus Cycle Group represents a collection of premium cycling brands spanning multiple generations. Home to a growing list of names, including the famed Italian bicycle company, Rossin, Janus offers sport enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the best of contemporary and classic cycling with frames made of titanium, carbon, and steel, bridging the gap between old and new. As a cycling aficionado it is a pleasure to work on such sites, for it is a walk, or should I say a ride, down memory lane. Indeed, one of my first jobs thirty years ago, was in a bike shop that carried Rossin. To this day, I fondly recall admiring the paint, the tubes, and the elegant lugs that held them together.

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Merlin Metal Works: An Industry Icon

An avid cyclist for over 30 years, I remember Merlin Metal Works (Merlin) as the standard by which all bikes were judged in the late '80s and early '90s. Up until that point, the best bicycles were produced by hand, steel frames fitted together with steel lugs or fillet brazed by master welders, such as Tom Ritchey. Yes, Look had created a carbon frame, but at that point nothing held a candle to titanium (Ti), which was light, stiff, and forgiving, melding the best qualities a rider could hope for into a material that was remarkably strong and impervious to rust. Simply put, Ti was a game changer, and Merlin was the first to bring it into mass production. Designed by master revered frame builder, Tom Kellogg, and welded by a select few, Merlin was synonymous with quality, and quickly became an industry icon. When the opportunity arose to build a website for the beloved bike company, I considered it an honor and a privilege, so much in fact that I decided to purchase a piece of history and am now the proud owner of a new Merlin gravel bike. With immaculate welds, and gently swaying tubes, it is truly something to behold, like the bird of prey for which it is aptly named. To learn more about Merlin, please visit Merlin Bikes

Dean Bikes: Custom Titanium Bikes

With a passion for cycling, it was a pleasure to design and build a new website for Boulder Colorado's Dean Bikes. One of the world's foremost custom titanium bicycle builders, Dean offers a selection of handmade bikes for multiple disciplines, including Mountain, Gravel, Travel, and Road. In the words of Dean Co-Founder, John Siegrist, “Dean Bikes began in 1989 when two bicycle racers set out to produce the most technically advanced bikes in the world. With this goal in mind, each and every frame is hand built using only the finest materials. With our cold-worked stress-relieved 3/2.5 aerospace Titanium you can rest assured each and every Dean frame is built to perfection. Continuing with its high standards in quality, innovation, and technical performance, Dean continues to expanded its product line with custom frame options, diverse color choices, and unique build kits.” If you're considering a handmade, custom fitted titanium bicycle Dean Bike's encourages you to visit its Boulder, CO showroom and adjoining workshop. Take a tour of their facilities, and you'll see firsthand the depth of quality and commitment to detail they put into every bicycle, from standardized frame offerings to one of a kind custom-fitted models. To learn more, please visit Dean Bikes

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Providence International: Microfinance

To be poor is to be hungry, to lack food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and education, and too often the ability to read and write. Nearly half of the world’s population—over three billion people—live on less than $2.00 per day. In underdeveloped nations, up to 50% of the children under the age of five are malnourished due to a combination of oppressive governments, social unrest, lack of business training, and insufficient capital. Yet, there is hope, and you can help by supporting Providence International's work at home and abroad. Providence International Enterprises, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on humanitarian relief efforts. Small business loans ranging from $25 to $250 transform the lives of individuals, and robust small business loans ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 shape entire communities. Repayment terms average six months with a 97% repayment rate. Every loan is based on character, not collateral, and is serviced by trained national staff and coaches, whose services are paid for via loan interest. In partnership with healthy food growers, employers, community organizations, and social services, Providence International's Garden of Hope and Smart Farms sites afford ex-offenders and recovery graduates the opportunity to develop marketable skills in landscaping, horticulture, construction, and food services via mentoring, job training and placement and character building. To learn more, please visit Providence International.

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Net Neutrality: Why It Matters

Net Neutrality is a set of guiding principles outlined in the Obama Administration's Open Internet Order (OIO) which states all traffic on the internet must be treated equally by internet service providers (ISP). Internet neutrality ensures that ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, CenturyLink, AT&T, etc, cannot slow down or disable websites at their discretion, and must treat all content equally. In December 2017, the Trump Administration's newly appointed head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Ajit Pai, rescinded the OIO clearing the way for ISPs to charge a premium for select content while slowing, or outright blocking, other content. This is important for two reasons: (1) Access to accurate information is crucial to maintaining an informed electorate and functioning democracy; (2) Large, established business will gain an unfair advantage over small, start-up enterprises. America is built on egalitarian ideals, and while many industries are heavily subsidized by the US Government, e.g., energy, farming, etc., there remains a cultural ethic of fair play. While large-scale companies can afford to pay more to distribute their content under the FCC's new rules, small-scale companies cannot, and will be challenged to bring new products to market. This change will result in decreased competition and increased prices for consumers. If you find the FCC's rollback of the Open Internet Order disturbing, please contact your Congressional leaders today.

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CannaCarbon: The Synergistic Solution

With a degree in Exercise Physiology emphasizing Sports Medicine, Glenn Streeter has been practicing Sports Physiology and Energy Medicine for over thirty years. His clients include world champion and national caliber athletes from a variety of disciplines, as well as celebrities. 2017 has been a busy year for Glenn, and in the last nine months I've built three websites for him: Vital Life Services, followed by Energy MedFit, and most recently, CannaCarbon. An avid off-road motorcycle and mountain bike racer, Glenn knows the value of Energy Medicine and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy. In his holistic healing practice, he employs a variety of PEMF devices, and contributes his knowledge to the alternative medicine community via syndicated radio programs, prominent news outlets, and online subscription services. His latest product, CannaCarbon synergistically combines the restorative agents found in hemp and C60 Carbon into one holistic product. As a designer, I enjoy working with Glenn for he's open to new ideas and quick to respond to requests for information. He's also detail oriented, and on the forefront of new information, sharing insight into his work, which I find useful. As Glenn's websites are constructed from scratch, I generate the lion's share of his copy, translating his thoughts and ideas into prose. I also select images to compliment his words, helping him to craft his brand online. To learn more, please visit CannaCarbon

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The Ace Program: Weighing Options

A veteran Options Trader and Strategist with over 30 years’ experience, Paul Forchione has traded in the pits of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), handling hundreds of clients as Broker and Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA). With his new website, The ACE Program, Paul teaches clients how to identify futures markets with overvalued and undervalued options. Like many clients, Paul’s existing website that was not meeting his needs. Specifically, the site was slow and ineffective, due in part to compatibility issues with legacy file types. While I enjoy working in Squarespace, the platform was unable to handle the sheer volume of Paul’s files, many of which were hour-long presentations detailing options trading. So, I turned to Wix, and built a site to meet his needs, allowing him to sell physical and digital products as a package. From a consumer standpoint, Wix and Squarespace look and feel very similar, in fact, with identical fonts and icons most people would be hard pressed to tell them apart. However, from a designer standpoint there are discernable differences, especially with respect to mobile optimization—the scaling of images to fit a handheld device such as a mobile phone or tablet. While both platforms are excellent, I find Wix easier to work with when designing mobile layouts, for the mobile layout does not impact the desktop layout, and Squarespace simpler for general editing, such as subtle color changes. To learn more, please visit The Ace Program.

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SEO: A Recipe for Success

The best way to stay atop search engine results is by generating new and useful content for readers. Just as premier chefs continually change their menus to keep customers engaged, so must websites offer a variety of information. Google, the world's preeminent search engine, employs sophisticated algorithms to detect key words within appropriate context. Yet, simply inserting key words into copy is insufficient for search engine optimization (SEO), as Google also evaluates the quality and quantity of text. In fact, an overabundance of keywords can lower a site's ranking, or even eliminate it from the search results entirely. Therefore, it is imperative to include high-quality copy, and edit it according to Google's webmaster guidelines. The more copy that is included on a website, the more keywords can be added without diminishing its rank. Blog posts, such as this one, are an excellent way to keep a website relevant, for they are a natural extension of what is found on site pages and offer a great opportunity to continuously create new and useful content. In many respects, SEO is analogous to cooking, and key words are like spice: use too little and a dish will be bland, use too much and the senses will become inflamed. A well-constructed website, like a skillfully prepared meal, offers color, variety, and sparks interest without overwhelming the palate. 

CSL Redding: All Are Welcome

Creating a new website for Center of Spiritual Living, Redding was an honor for the church’s philosophy of universal acceptance is inspiring. “As part of a global community of over 400 theological chapters, teaching centers, study groups, and other ministries across 30 countries, Center for Spiritual Living, Redding (CSLR), located in Northern California, teaches a new thought philosophy, melding religion and science into spiritual tools for personal transformation and world improvement. At the heart of this work is Science of Mind® and Spirit or Religious Science®, a philosophy that holds all life as sacred and each human being as an expression of God (cslredding.org).” Like many of the sites I’ve created, CSLR had an existing platform, which served as the basis for the new site. After carefully assessing the old site, I carefully laid out a framework for the new one, incorporating familiar headings into a streamlined structure that is accessible to first time visitors. From ongoing classes to short-term workshops to cultural events, I also structured the site so that it can be easily updated. While the overall design-build process was enjoyable, I particularly liked editing the staff biographies for in doing so I came to appreciate the unique talents of those who make CSLR a welcoming place for everyone in the Redding, CA community and beyond. To learn more, please visit Center for Spiritual Living, Redding

WesternLaw Group: On Time & Budget

“Proudly serving Colorado Homeowner Associations (HOA) and Executive Boards, WesternLaw Group focuses on the preventive aspects of HOA procedures, and interpretation of governing documents. Developing methods for associations to operate and communicate with a level of efficiency that enhances a sense of community, they encourage open communication between the owners, board of directors, and management companies to resolve conflicts prior to taking legal action (westernlawgroup.com).” Constructing a new website for WesternLaw Group was an informative process, for in doing so I learned about contract review, assessment collection, covenant enforcement, governing documents, and similarly pertinent information for HOAs and their Executive Boards. Not only were the company partners wonderful to work with, providing material from former sites that I consolidated and merged into one, but they were clear in their desires, and open to my ideas, affording me creative license to build a site that conveyed information in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. As a business owner, I appreciated WesternLaw Group’s efficient communication, as they promptly replied to my requests for information, and as a Designer, I found their trust affirming. Indeed, the project, like all my work, was completed on time, and on budget, resulting in our mutual satisfaction. 

Weller Endurance: A Compelling Story

“A professional ultra-marathoner since 2010 and a runner for nearly 25 years, Chad Weller competes in races around the world, ranging from 50k to 100 miles. Since he began coaching in 2000, Chad has worked with thousands of individuals, helping them achieve success they never thought possible. If you are ready to take your fitness goals to the next level, Coach Weller will take you there with individualized TrainingPeaks running plans and coaching sessions designed to optimize your athletic performance.” So, begins Chad’s story in Weller Endurance, a website I constructed based on his two previous sites: one speaking to his athletic and humanitarian achievements and one tailored to his individual and group coaching. Working closely with Chad to draw out his vision for a site, I developed a compelling narrative based on his unique life experiences, from modeling in Europe to running ultra-marathons in Asia and the Americas to lending his time to a host of humanitarian causes. Not only is Chad an extreme athlete, competing in races up to 100 miles, but he is also a vegan, consuming no meat or dairy products for several decades. From a technical standpoint, there was a lot of material to work with, and I found the challenge of integrating photos, videos, and text rewarding.

Energy MedFit: A Resource for Athletes

After completing a website for Vital Life Services, Energy Medicine Practitioner Glenn Streeter’s Boulder based holistic healing company, I built a sister site for Energy MedFit, a naturalistic resource for athletes and individuals seeking to improve their performance and overall wellbeing. Just as I created copy for Vital Life Services, so did I generate new prose for Energy MedFit, including the following statement from the site’s landing page: “Research suggests the human body is largely voltage-regulated, not chemically regulated. Measuring these voltages can determine your present state of health and provide clear direction for improving upon it. In addition, manipulating the body's voltage can regenerate damaged tissue, internal organs, and numerous vital life systems. Energy MedFit works closely with athletes across a myriad of disciplines to improve performance and aid in natural recovery processes. With over 30 years’ experience in Energy Medicine and Holistic Health Science, Energy MedFit can scientifically quantify and improve your fitness training, allowing you to reach your maximum potential. Many of Energy MedFit's services also work well on animals, particularly pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy offered through Pulsed Harmonix's PEMF device, the A2000.”

Vital Life Services: Holistic Healing

“With a degree in Exercise Physiology, emphasizing Sports Medicine and Philosophy, Glenn has been practicing Sports Physiology and Energy Medicine for over thirty years. His clients include world champion and national caliber athletes from a variety of disciplines, as well as celebrities. An avid off-road motorcycle and mountain bike racer, Glenn knows the value of Energy Medicine and pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy. In his holistic healing practice, Glenn employs a variety of PEMF devices, and contributes his knowledge to the alternative medicine community via syndicated radio programs, news outlets, and online subscription services. In addition to co-founding Vital Life Services, Glenn also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Pulsed Harmonix, a Colorado based PEMF device company offering state of the art technology at an affordable price (vitallifeservices.com).” I was referred to Glenn in early 2017 by another client, and completed two websites for him: Vital Life Services and Energy MedFit. In each case, Glenn wished to sell products and services online. This was exciting for it afforded me the opportunity to incorporate multiple product lines with unique attributes, e.g., size, weight, cost, etc. In each case, I created new copy, text such as the quoted passage above, which speaks to Glenn's expertise in the energy medicine field. 

Pulsed Harmonix: PEMF Therapy

Pulsed Harmonix is a Colorado based medical device company producing the A2000, a portable pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy unit. Recognized for its healing abilities in humans and animals, PEMF therapy uses a gentle electrical current to direct a series of magnetic pulses through damaged tissue, from sore muscles to broken bones, inducing tiny electrical signals that stimulate repair at the cellular level. When contracted to build a new website for Pulsed Harmonix, I began by researching PEMF technology. Identifying several key attributes, including efficacy, mobility, and cost, I created text or copy that spoke to the layperson and technological enthusiast alike. While visuals are important, thoughtful descriptions play an integral role in constructing an authoritative online presence, and I structured this site to be a resource for consumers and practitioners. While template-based web-building programs make site maintenance relatively simple there is an art to creating online platforms that are aesthetically pleasing and navigationally intuitive. In this case, the art is elevated to include information that is educational to laypeople and credible to scientists. To accomplish this, I worked closely with the company’s scientific advisory board, as well as people who had never heard of the PEMF therapy, creating an engaging site for a broad audience. 

Colorado Cancer Foundation: Since '79

Seeking to make a personal impact in the fight against cancer, a group of family and friends founded the Colorado Cancer Foundation (CCF) in 1979. In succeeding years, the 501(c)(3) charitable organization grew beyond curative treatment and palliative care to include medical research and education at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Funded through generous donations and a series of charity-based sporting events, including the annual Eldorado Run for the Cure, the CCF continues to expand its reach, influencing the lives of patients, families, physicians, researchers, and medical students throughout the State of Colorado. Building and maintaining the CCF’s website has been a great experience for it has afforded me an opportunity to hone my design skills while also contributing to a cause I hold dear. Together with my wife, Lora A. Wilson, PhD, a Medical Field Director with Pfizer Oncology, I am proud to serve on the CCF’s executive board and promote the foundation’s invaluable work. With minimal overhead, the CCF donates nearly all of the funds it raises to those who need it most, from patients and families struggling to pay medical bills to medical researchers seeking new equipment for their labs.