Katy and I have been in a period of deep transformation since early November and we thought it was time we opened our hearts and business to you to let you know what the heck has been going on behind the scenes.

We identified at our Web Designer Beauty School Business Retreat last July that we were ready for change. We knew we were playing small and not reaching the people we wanted to reach (truth be told, we’ve been supporting women learning web design for over five years – and playing it safe by not really growing our community). We had headaches with tech that were constantly causing hiccups and we each had our own busy individual businesses that required attention. All these things seem to keep getting in the way of us bringing even more incredible women into our webby community.

We decided to pause, reflect, set goals, get help, and course correct.

The truth is that it’s hard to run a business when one of us lives in Nova Scotia and one of us in Colorado. Time zones. Family responsibilities. Self care. Children. Pets. It’s life and it’s reality. And what we know now is that we’re better because of all of it.

A few important milestones in our lives since the fall (in case you want to celebrate with us!):

Katy had a baby!! Little Lachlan arrived in early November and he’s just adorable. Here’s a mini update directly from Katy:

“I am settling into a new routine with my new baby, Lachlan. Believe me, compared to my sassy 3 year old, he’s easy! I have fallen totally and utterly head over heels in love for the 4th time in my life (counting my husband, daughter, and crazy golden dog)!

One of the greatest aspects of having your own business is the flexibility to be available to your family if and when you need to be. I have watched many friends say goodbye to their teeny tiny babies at 6, 8, 12 weeks of age when they had to put them into daycare in order to return to work. It breaks my heart, and I therefore feel so fortunate to be able to try and balance my days with Lachie and my business. Believe me, it’s NOT easy. I have hired a wonderful woman to help me out so I can actually get work done, but some days ultimately end in tears just like any other new mum. But it’s all worth it. I wouldn’t change my current career path at all!

I’m also so grateful for the time off I have (sort of) taken over the past few months. My brain was actually on fire and I have been dreaming up all kinds of ways to grow the Web Designer Beauty School and to nurture our students design+dev skills, and their own business growth. 2017 is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to implement all that Krista and I have been planning.”

Here’s my update:

I had a puppy. Well. I didn’t really HAVE a puppy. My family convinced me it was time. He came to live with us in mid October.

Meet Riley. He’s an English Springer Spaniel who’s managed to worm his way right to the center of my heart.

I kinda sorta remembered the puppy years from our first fur baby, a loving + loyal golden retriever but I was teaching full time when we got him and forgot just how much work they are! Getting any work accomplished felt like a herculean task with a busy springer spaniel in tow. The good news is that I discovered nature again. Breathing fresh air + play. Long walks in the forest. Listening to the sounds that I sort of tuned out over time.

Having that forced extra time in nature gave me the opportunity to consider how to best offer up my unique skill set to our Beauty School brand. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am with the direction we are heading.

In the middle of all of the chaos that are new babies, puppies, soul searching, and constant tech hiccups with our course, Katy and I made some really big decisions. Because you know what? Life happens. And it’s time we responded to the challenges thrown at us.

Here’s our update and where we are at:

We have a new course called the Web Designer Strategy Academy

The beta version launched in late November. I really wanted to create a place for web designers to experience our active, like-minded community (without the prerequisite of taking our main course), have access to Katy and I who can help you deal with crappy clients, and build a wildly successful business that honours you. Our goal is to help you develop your own clear client boundaries and processes for every touchpoint of your projects from initial contact to completion.

We deliver bite sized modules each month and coach our students through the process of implementing them, but if they’re not ready, too busy, or focused on something else then my brain, Katy’s brain and the collective brains are at the ready for whatever they’re dealing with.

The feedback has been incredible.

One of the main reasons I keep coming back for more is the women you attract to your community. I always learn from and feel supported by the way we all share authentically about the issues we face in our businesses. Everything you do consistently exceeds my expectations, including the Strategy Academy!

— Marci Kobayashi

Stay tuned for details later this week on when it’s opening for enrolment!

Katy has completely overhauled our main course, now called the Web Designer Coding Academy. It will be launching in April.

Most importantly, we have ditched all the tech that was causing us issues and have moved our courses to new course software (Learn Dash!) and we are busily creating automations and processes to make our student’s experience seriously smooth. We’re hoping to invite our current students in within a week (they’re already accessing the Strategy Academy there!).

What else can you look forward to?

We’ve developed a new content strategy that we know you’ll benefit from. We’ll be posting tech tutorials (that will be a snapshot of what you can expect in our Coding Academy) regularly. We’ll be giving you glimpses into our Strategy Academy by talking in depth about client management. We’ll be continuing to provide tips & techniques on how to build a successful web design business and also deliver some new content around the design process. We’ve asked and we’ve listened to you, our audience, and we are endeavouring to meet your needs while providing you with realistic and actionable content that you can’t wait to view.

We’ve developed a social media strategy (that we’ve been testing out since November). We’d LOVE it if you’d come hang out with us on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m so damn excited that we’ve got solid goals and are ready to embrace this new direction.

We want each of you know how much we value that you’re along for the ride. If you know of anyone else who might be interested in either learning how to code or how to effectively manage your web design clients, we’d be so appreciative if you told them about us.


  • Lydia February 28, 2017, 6:39 pm

    I am so excited! I can’t wait to share this with women that I KNOW need this.

    I’m one of those moms that had to go back after 12 weeks. Twice. And it broke my heart each time.

    Thanks, in part, to BOTH of you and the community that you have worked so hard to build together, I will be launching into a new career path. One where I get to work in MY BUSINESS, and not just for others. I couldn’t be more excited or thankful.

    Here’s to the new year, and new opportunities. And hopefully new web design sisters that join our loving and supportive community!!!!


  • Deborah Penner February 28, 2017, 6:55 pm

    Where or where would I be without you, without this ? It just keeps getting better and better! I am in love with the space, with this group of women, with your vision … It is pure beautiful woman-powered beauty!!! Thank you so much for the space you continue to hold for all of us here and all of us to come !! In unbounded JOY … Love!!

  • Sandra Scaiano February 28, 2017, 8:54 pm

    Love how you keep moving forward. It’s why I am here for the ride along with you.
    Congrats to new ideas and ways of doing!

  • Tamara March 1, 2017, 7:19 pm

    What an exciting update! I can’t wait for more Strategy Academy. It’s been great so far. Also, how cute are Lachlan, big sis and the young Riley!

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