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Now Trending \ MAY 10th 2017

Making Their Mark: Get to Know 5 All-Star Wix Ambassadors

There are all kinds of Wix users; first-time explorers playing around with the Editor and creating websites just for fun, small business owners managing their biz from A-Z and of course, web designers. While some designers are using Wix to present their portfolios, others are building websites for clients of their own.

That brings us to a very special group of designers, the Wix Ambassadors. The Wix Ambassador program currently has over 80 passionate experts from all around the world who are building their own local communities of Wix users. They organize a couple of free events each month in their city and lead interesting workshops as well. We took some time to chat with 5 of these Wix experts who are making their mark and are excited to share their stories with you.

Ambassador Name: Sian Ellis-Thomas

Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Business Website URL: www.setdesign.london
Connect with Sian: FacebookLinkedIn

Bio: After studying graphic design for four years, I got a job in a record shop that morphed into a 35-year career in sales and marketing. Back in the day, I used to go to expensive tech companies to get websites built, but then along came Wix, so nowadays I use my design skills and marketing nouse to build them myself. I now run my own Wix website design business. I’m a certified Wix Webmaster and their Ambassador for London, and I live in Forest Hill with my designer husband Steve and our two crazy dogs, Winston and Rachel.

Wix: Why did you become a Wix Ambassador?

Sian: I became a Wix Ambassador because I’ve never really been interested in what’s under the hood. I just like how beautiful a thing looks and how well it drives. So finding a platform that requires zero coding skills and yet allows you to produce such stunning results was amazing. I love Wix and when the opportunity came to teach others about it, I jumped at the chance. I’m gassed to be in at the beginning of the Ambassador Program and can’t wait to see how it progresses.

Wix: Tell us about your business. How did you get started?

Sian: My whole career has been a series of happy accidents. My first job in a record shop ended up with me working for Richard Branson for 11 years and having a wild and wonderful time. I started a children’s entertainment business on my second maternity leave and ended up writing a book and releasing a video about face painting. Next, I accidentally started working for a TV company and running a home shopping channel. I’ve really had a fantastic and interesting career.

I’m gassed to be in at the beginning of the Ambassador Program and can’t wait to see how it progresses.

Four years ago I wanted to build my own website for my wedding to the lovely Steve and that’s when I found Wix. It was a hallelujah moment. I built my wedding site and quickly realized that combining my design and sales and marketing skills, I could do this for other people and maybe earn a living at it. Finally, last year I left my full-time job as a Sales & Marketing Director of a greeting card company and decided to do it full time. I launched my own website, (built on Wix of course), then the Ambassador Program came along and it’s been great ever since!

Wix: What is your favorite feature and why?

Sian: This is such a hard question to ask because the platform itself is what I adore and it’s changing all the time. That’s one of the most brilliant aspects of Wix, the developers are always bringing on new stuff and improving what’s already there. But if I have to single out a couple of things those would be the Wix Pro Gallery which was and still is a real revelation!

Wix:  Of all the websites you’ve built, which is your favorite and why?

Sian: I’m building a really cool one at the moment for an amazing tattoo artist and if it was finished it would definitely be that – I’m still waiting for the video footage from the client (it’s always getting the content that slows you down!). So right now I would have to say the one I finished today which is for a Foley sound effect studio. It was nice to do something so different. www.foleyfootsandmoves.com

Ambassador Name:  Jody McNamara

Location: Boston, MA, U.S.A.
Business Website URL: www.sociallyadeptsolutions.com
Connect with Jody: Facebook, TwitterInstagram 

Bio: I have a background in software development and screen design, and I’ve been designing and building Wix websites for the past five years. My business, Socially Adept Solutions, focuses on Websites, Social Media and Online Content. My clientele includes everything from independent schools to visual artists and construction companies. Originally from Boston, I’m a Latin School and UMass-Boston grad and I divide my time between the city and Cape Cod.

Wix: Why did you want to become a Wix Ambassador?

Jody: I’m a natural talker and love connecting with people. Being a Wix Ambassador allows me to keep on top of trends, share my expertise and meet some really great folks!

Wix:  Tell us about your business. How did you get started?

Jody: I had a lengthy career in software development and actually headed up the screen design department for a very large software company. About 5 years ago – after having left my corporate life behind – a friend asked me to build a website for her non-profit organization. Things just took off from there! It’s been a steady stream of word-of-mouth customers ever since.

I’m a natural talker and love connecting with people. Being a Wix Ambassador allows me to keep on top of trends, share my expertise and meet some really great folks!

Wix: What is your favorite Wix feature and why?

Jody: I have to say that I am currently obsessed with lightboxes. They just allow you so much leverage in terms of how and when to get your message across to the end user. Talk about a great leeway with calls to action, specific event information – I can think of dozens of possible applications. We just used lightboxes on a construction company’s site for before-and-after renovation images!

Wix: Of all of the websites you’ve built, which is your favorite and why?

Jody: We’ve done some beautiful sites with some really fun features, but I have to say, my favorite is a very simple site’ it’s for a fabulous interior designer. Working on the site was pure joy because her work is so beautiful. And while there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles, we put tremendous effort into finding just the right fonts, just the right layouts. It still brings me joy to maintain this site (and I hear from my client that it brings her more customers, too!). Take a look: www.kellymcguillhome.com

Wix Ambasadors

Ambassador Name: Jerry Hoekman

Location: Perth, WA, Australia
Business Website URL: www.unleashdesign.com.au
Connect with Jerry: FacebookLinkedIn

Bio: I have worked in digital marketing for 12 years all over the world as for large international corporations and in digital agencies in Perth. Three years ago, with three partners we set up Unleash Design, a fully Wix dedicated web design agency. We create Wix websites and run online marketing campaigns for small businesses worldwide.

Wix: Why did you become a Wix Ambassador?

Jerry: As an agency, we believe that online platforms are the future of web design and Wix is clearly the leader in this category. Wix is a sales and cost effective solution for small businesses, our major target group, and therefore we have based our business plan and vision entirely on Wix. Becoming the ambassador of Wix in Perth means we have become directly involved with Wix, both being able to add our input and being at the forefront of new developments. It also enables us to clearly position ourselves as the number one Wix Design Agency in the state.

Wix:  Tell us about your business. How did you get started?

Jerry: Having worked in several large web agencies, we noticed that most of them do not deliver good value for money solutions to small businesses and often deliver a sub-standard customer service. Having worked with Wix we determined a niche for an agency delivering affordable websites on a platform that gives total control to the client, with the option to deliver long-term support at minimal costs. In short, we can deliver first class websites to small business clients at a reasonable fee, while delivering an awesome ongoing customer service.

Becoming the ambassador of Wix in Perth means we have become directly involved with Wix, both being able to add our input and being at the forefront of new developments.

Wix: What is your favorite Wix feature and why?

Jerry: Although many Wix features enable to create stunning designs, my personal favorite Wix feature by far is still “Site history.” I can tell clients they can do their maintenance stress-free because with the Site history feature it is impossible to make any fatal mistakes. No matter what people do with the site in the editor, they can always go back in time, to an older version of the site, and thus undo any damage they did to it. And the main advantage, you can go back and forth between versions in a matter of seconds. This truly allows small businesses to maintain their own website.

Wix: Of all of the websites you’ve built, which is your favorite and why?

Jerry: Our most favorite website is Tree to Sea (www.treetosea.com.au) a small business of friends that like to share their joy of building your own wooden surfboard and then surfing it with other surf fans. The site integrates booking workshops, a surfboard shop and the story behind the business into a beautiful design that perfectly reflects the relaxed, artful and sunny atmosphere of the three owners and their workshop, showing their business from the workshop.

Ambassador Name: Kate Bradshaw

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Business Website: www.webtoday.com.au
Connect with Kate: Facebook

Bio: I have a background in corporate advertising and marketing and a degree in psychology (BA Psych Hons). I’ve always had a love of graphic design and in 2014 opened WebToday.com.au. Of course, the platform of choice is Wix. I’m Wix’s Sydney Ambassador as well as a qualified WixEd Webmaster and one of 8 worldwide Wix Design Expert Group Leaders. I enjoy teaching entrepreneurs and small business people to design, publish, market and manage their own website. I live near Sydney’s Dee Why beach and I enjoy surfing and beachfront coffee.

Wix: Why did you want to become a Wix Ambassador?

Kate: Being a Wix Ambassador is an incredible privilege and opportunity. Sydney is a hub for Wix users and I intend to make it a hub of excellence. Wix is too good of a platform not to share, and because I know the solution really well, I’m in a perfect position to do that with existing and new users throughout Sydney.

Wix: Tell us about your business, how did you get started?

Kate: I had been working for a couple of years as an account manager for a ‘traditional’ web developer. It took about three months to produce a basic website, with a lot of design constraints. I had already been using the Wix platform for my own/friends’ projects since 2009 and wondered if I could create a business just designing and producing websites using Wix as my platform of choice (I’m not a coder). In 2014 I started WebToday – the pitch was that I would come to the client’s premises and create and publish a stunning, powerful website in a single day (easily done on Wix – if you concentrate and power through!).

I was initially worried that Wix was not considered a serious enough player in the business website space, however, I was pleasantly surprised – my business clients absolutely love their Wix sites and have had great success with usability and SEO. Over the years, the Wix platform has become increasingly sophisticated – it really does deserve its position as a world-leading website platform. WebToday now has over 150 clients, many on retainer. We still provide our ‘site in a day’ service, but most clients take up our Business Starter Pack which includes logo design, website, business cards, business emails, professional email signature and two social media accounts, and is delivered over the course of a week.

Being a Wix Ambassador is an incredible privilege and opportunity. Sydney is a hub for Wix users and I intend to make it a hub of excellence.

Wix: What is your favorite Wix feature?

Kate: Oh gosh. Probably the Editor in general. Strips are really amazing. You wouldn’t know that if you are new to Wix, but I remember building sites without them. Strips revolutionized design on Wix. Really love the slideshow feature, social feed display apps, Wix Bookings, Wix Hotels, Wix Music, Wix Video – so much to like!!

Wix: Of all of the websites you’ve built, which is your favorite and why?

Kate: Wow, that’s a tricky one. I really love these two sites I built when lightboxes were released. These were two of the first examples showing how the lightbox could be used to create a mega menu.

I also love the simplicity of the design of this one:
www.glamourlashbar.com.au

And I like my pop-over buttons on the navigation of this one:
www.ensurefoodsafety.com.au

Ambassador Name: SarahGeorge Durham

Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Business Website URL: www.three4.net
Connect with SarahGeorge: FacebookInstagram

Bio: I  was just another small business owner who wanted a logo website, and other marketing collateral. When I realized I couldn’t afford a designer, I went on to become my own. Now, I work to provide professional designs at a reasonable price to business owners.

Wix: Why did you want to become a Wix Ambassador?

SarahGeorge: I learned about the Ambassador program after complaining about a feature and getting super feedback from Wix Support. At first, I was hesitant because the ambassador program was new, but I decided to do it since the Wix team was so great at addressing issues and I could see how much the company was doing to reach out to users. After I attended my first MeetUp in Atlanta I knew I had made the right decision! I love being an ambassador for Wix!

After I attended my first MeetUp in Atlanta I knew I had made the right decision! I love being an ambassador for Wix!

Wix: Tell us about your business. How did you get started?

SarahGeorge: Three4 began because a small business owner wanted a logo, website, printed materials, and company apparel, but couldn’t afford the cost for a designer to create them. Rather than give up, or give in SarahGeorge decided to learn how to get it done! After 10 years of successfully created and building a brand for her families business and several friends as well, Three4 was born.

Wix: What is your favorite Wix feature and why?

SarahGeorge: I love that I can build and publish a great website for free. I can come up with templates ideas and test new trends without having to commit to any extra cost. This has allowed me to grow my business and skill set more than I realized. If I don’t like a design I can delete it or just abandon it and start a new one. I usually don’t delete them because who knows…I may come back to it.

Wix: Of all the websites you’ve built, which is your favorite and why?

SarahGeorge: www.wholeheartedly.mom. I love how simple and beautiful this site turned out.

Think you’ve got what it takes to become a Wix Ambassador? Apply today! 

Jillian Altit
By Jillian Altit
Community and Blog Manager, Wix

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