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Small Business Tips \ NOV 24th 2009

A Second Career with Wix: A Retired Citizen’s Roadmap to Becoming a Web Designer

Wix Designer Eleanor S. TownsMeet Eleanor S. Towns: a retired Regional Forester, a professional public speaker and… a Wix designer. At 66, she has more enthusiasm and zest for life than could fit on a freight train and has recently discovered a perfect medium to channel her robust energies to: designing websites on Wix. Like many other members, Towns found Wix by running a simple Google search:

One night I was out “googling around” looking for design templates and I literally stumbled upon WIX.  I was intrigued by the name, the word “free,” and when I saw some of the suggested sites, I wanted to try it. Of course, after spending the rest of the night playing around with possibilities, I was hooked.  You got it: after investing time fiddling’, who wants to start all over again. That’s when I did the BJ’s site – Bj’s Hair Sensations – which I created for practice and fun and incidentally turned out rather well. From then on, it just kept getting better and better.

Towns didn’t really plan on becoming a web designer. She simply wanted to create an eye-appealing website to advertise herself as a public speaker, addressing motivational issues like personal accountability and leadership:

My original website has served me well for many years, but it’s definitely in the boxy template mode, and I needed something with more “pop.”  No question: the razzle dazzle of Flash certainly makes for much more interesting sites than the typical arrangements of squares and rectangles.  I have long admired the sites of photographers and entertainers, and now I feel like I can do that, and I don’t have to learn “code” or struggle with FrontPage or similar difficult programs.

Surprisingly, Towns found that what started out as simple Google search was gradually consolidating into a more serious engagement – and potentially – a new job:

Today I finally have the time for all the creative things I always enjoyed but didn’t have time to do while working and raising a family. So I now do simple websites for churches, nonprofit organizations, and persons struggling to get their businesses going. I’ve done a grand total of six websites, counting mine that I’m now working on. I’m having fun, feeling creative, feeling smart –  even humming while I work. For a menopausal old broad working in the middle of the night, it doesn’t get any better than that anymore.

Today, Towns is giving her own private website  – GrannyGeek – a few last touches before she upgrades it to have her own domain.

While Towns has no plans of becoming a ‘professional’ designer, her story is an inspiration for anyone who’s ever thought it was too late to tackle new challenges. Eleanor S. Towns is a living proof that learning is ageless, not time bound.



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