Meet Your Teachers, Katy and Krista!

Katy Martin and Krista Smith are the brains and beauties behind this school! When they’re not creating eye-opening new content for our courses, nor in the Support School over on Facebook, they can be found designing and developing exquisite, incredibly unique WordPress Thesis themed websites for an array of wonderful clients.

How are Katy and Krista different from other online teachers?

Let’s say you spot (or your client tells you about) a neat design feature of a website, and you want to know how to do it too…

We don’t just cough up a bunch of academic, text-book jargon to tell you how to code it and abandon you to work it out yourself.

We walk you gently, step-by-baby-step to show you how to work out how it was done, using a plethora of simple (free) tools to sleuth around that website so that next time you spot a fun and fabulous feature, you can decode how it was made all on your own-some. (Of course, if you are part of our Support School, you’ll never actually be on your own and can pick our brains any time you like)!

Let’s say you show us a design layout for your products on your ‘Work With Me’ page, and want to know how to code it…

We don’t just tell you how to do it, and pummel you with a bunch of divs and floats or snippets of code that will magically fix it for you…

We think about your bigger, long-term picture! Together we talk through how you (or your client) may need to replicate that layout in the future when they need to add, remove or update those products, and we work out the very best – but most importantly – the simplest long-term solution for you to make changes to these layouts over and over again. We provide you with detailed recommendations for code, tools, and perhaps plugins that will help you accomplish your dream designs.

Let’s say you are in the final details of a design for a client and suddenly you receive an email that they’ve shared their design with a few ‘friends’ and based on their recommendations, she is asking for a few “small” tweaks. With a sinking heart, you KNOW the tweaks won’t be small.

We don’t just listen to your concerns and act as your sounding board. We don’t just champion you to have the conversation that needs to be had.

We partner with you to dive deep into helping you discover what’s really going on. Together, we’ll help you figure out what went off the rails and help you gain the necessary clarity for you to be able to make decisions to move the project forward. We’ll offer strategies, processes, and scripts that you can take and make your own. So you can clear this logjam quickly and get your relationship back on the rails and have your client sing your praises!


Get to know Katy Martin:

What excites you the most about the Web Designer Beauty School?

I have spent countless hours of my life in the dungeons of Google searches, trying to find the answer to a coding nightmare, or desperately trying to work out how to make some lovely little creative spark I have come to life in a website. I love love love taking this hard-earned knowledge and passing it along to you, in sweet little bite-sized morsels so you can get it done much quicker and without all the moaning and groaning that I endured!

In the Support School, I feel a flood of joy when a student answers their own question. Yes, that would seem to make our role redundant. But, that’s just it: We want to empower you to the point that you don’t really need us anymore! We want you to “get it!”

Why do you have a monogamous relationship with the Thesis theme?

It’s a blank canvas! You don’t need to learn the idiosyncrasies, the tricks, and dark secrets of a ton of web developers and their themes. Get to know and love this one theme, and you can build any website you can dream up.

What’s at the heart of what you do?

In the Web Designer Beauty School, I teach you how to build supremely beautiful, responsive WordPress websites, using the Thesis theme, with all the bells and whistles you need to flaunt your business. At Tall Poppies Design, rather than teach, I do all this for my clients.

The heart of what I do is to design and build websites that can blossom and grow with your evolving business.  I educate and empower my clients with a suite of very simple training videos so they can take the reigns. For you, my students, I show you how to build a lead page from scratch; for my clients, I show them how to update it in a matter of minutes. I want you both to be in love with the outside, and the backside of your website!

In your life before web design, what did you dabble in?

I’ve loved getting messy with paints, pencils, clay, and the darkroom for my whole life.

I came to Steamboat Springs, Colorado from Sydney, Australia to be a ski bum for a season. I loved it so much I came back again and again, chasing the powder snow, and soon I was coming back again and again because of a boy (now a man, and my husband)! The reason I mention this love story is that I had to branch out from my background in graphic design and get into marketing to make ends meet in a ski town. That led me take a job marketing a vacation rental company. I worked my way up the ranks, taking care of several websites, email newsletters, SEO, SEM, PPC, ROI… and after 8 years, a ton of stress, and a recession, I decided to jump ship and landed in Tall Poppies Design.

What’s your spare time passion?

Today, it’s my family. My brand new baby girl, my husband, and my mad golden retriever, Matilda. Together, we spend our spare time exploring the mountains around Steamboat Springs in our hiking shoes, ski boots, and on the singletrack. Because I hale from Australia, I also spend a lot of time traveling home, or traveling to meet my family somewhere in the world, from Paris, to just 90 minutes away at my happy place, Devils Thumb Ranch.

What keeps you going?

My family. Walks with Matilda. Getting away from it all on my mountain bike or skis. And cooking. I love to cook. I love to eat more. Especially my mum’s cooking, surrounded by all my family and far too many bottles of wine that my dad (over-)generously shares!

What’s your secret indulgence?

Mangoes. Chocolate. And wine. Although it’s not all that secret. I’m a glutton for all three.

Love notes for Katy

Katy is part website visionary and design extraordinaire, and part mind reader.

Katy is part website visionary and design extraordinaire, and part mind reader. I had a vague idea of what I wanted my website to be like, but very few specific ideas… so I couldn't give Katy a lot to go on! She was able to take all my ramblings and somehow interpret my hopes and wishes, and come up with the perfect website design! I LOVE my site, I think it came out soooo nice, and I've gotten nothing but raves from all who've seen it so far.

Rachael Henderson
Beachside Baby

Katy is the total package, and then some. She will make you shine online!

Katy is a rare gem. The rarest kind, in fact - like an ultra-exotic diamond that's only ever been unearthed in one particular corner of a tiny little island in a far-flung part of the world.

Not only is Katy an amazingly talented and creative designer, she is also deeply committed to empowering her clients with the strategic tidbits and personalized training that make running their websites easier, more fun, and MUCH more successful. Her patience and caring nature shine through in everything that she does, and she brings marketing and SEO knowledge to the table that your "average designer" simply doesn't have.

Katy is the total package, and then some. She will make you shine online!

Get to know Krista Smith:

What excites you the most about the Web Designer Beauty School?

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy supporting other women on a very regular basis. Helping each amazing lady who is a part of our Support School take their web design to the next level is a privilege. Plus, I’m a teacher at heart. I can’t ever leave that behind.

Why do you have a monogamous relationship with the Thesis theme?

Definitely the flexibility. Any (and I mean any) site you see, is possible to design using Thesis. I’m pumped to start providing tutorials on deconstructing sites not built with Thesis and design them from the ground up so every member can see just how awesome Thesis is!

What’s at the heart of what you do?

I help women activate their web essence. I take their uniqueness and together we discover a way to build a website that is a genuine reflection of them + their business. When I work with a client, we go deep, get real, get it right then get it all online. It’s awesome. And I still can’t believe I get paid to do what I LOVE. Seriously…I adore my work and my clients. I never feel like I’m working because I’m in love with technology, learning, teaching, and curiosity. What’s at the heart of what I do? ME!

In your life before web design, what did you dabble in?

Well…I’ve got a degree in elementary education and am a trained professional coach (through CTI ). I’m a mama to one teenage blogger in the making (she’ s learning to code now!) and worked with my husband in his business for a few years. I readily admit I was terrible at that – I realize now it’s because it was his dream, not mine. I’m grateful for all my education and experience. It’s made me who I am – a web designer with a passion for teaching and creativity.

What’s your spare time passion?

Reading. Red wine. And maybe a little coding. I can work out any issues with coding when I’m inspired with a ‘red snack’ 🙂

What keeps you going?

My family and my friends. And our kitten, Alice. She cracks me up. SO different than our golden retriever, Murphy. Oh, and watching the sun set.

What’s your secret indulgence?

Bags. Say no more. LOVE it when they’re big enough to fit my laptop + iPad. Awesomeness!

Love notes for Krista

Her tech savvy brain, creativity and “coachy” style were a perfect match for me...

Working with her was effortless! Her combined tech savvy brain, creativity and “coachy” style were a perfect match for me – not to mention her sense of humor. She “got” my style and the vibe I wanted to create. I never knew designing my website could be so much fun! The result was an online home I am proud to invite people to. Simply stated – Krista is mahvelous!

She has a powerfully collaborative process that I haven’t experienced anywhere else.

Creating this website was really personal for me, it’s my online home and it’s critical that my right people love to hang out there. What I love about Krista is that she helped me figure out how to reflect my personality online. She has a powerfully collaborative process that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. She knew exactly what questions to ask me so that I could make confident decisions and her feedback was spot on. Since launching my site I’ve grown my readership, my client roster and received dozens of emails from women who love my site. Without hesitation, I refer all of my own clients to her—and they’re so happy I did.

Razor-sharp strategic vision, technical and creative prowess

Krista is a truly remarkable human being. She embodies a comforting yet exhilarating blend of razor-sharp strategic vision, technical and creative prowess, and insightful compassion – and to work with her is to bask in all of that awesomeness! My business would not be where it is today without Krista having been part of it. Not only does she see with total clarity what her clients need most (and help them make it happen), she also approaches every project with her heart wide open. And that’s not something you find every day!

Thank you, Krista, for everything that you are and the magic you bring to the world!

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