Today, across an online web as wide as the world, ‘Imagine’ becomes reality.
It’s the middle of May and Covid figures are low. I’m one jab down, one to go, three weeks in. It has been a long lockdown for the cautious, but the church up the road has opened its doors once again and there’s a sense of new beginnings.
Setbacks & Springboards
It hasn’t been easy, getting to this point. But I have been blessed with some timely provision and have appreciated the support of some very faithful clients.
It all started with being made redundant from a job I loved - a reflection of dwindling production needs in the newspaper industry. It wasn't long before some local people started asking me if I was planning to use my skills, freelance, to provide them with websites and designs for adverts, signs and stationery. But the grand launch day of my business (originally called Padify) was spent on a hospital campus and signalled the start of a very hard year.
I started the new business with a secondhand iMac with plenty of pre-installed software. Unfortunately after a few months it became clear that I’d fallen for a con; the software had not been properly licensed. The only solution was to blank the computer and start again.
Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. So it was that my inability to afford the Adobe programmes caused me to discover the Affinity Suite (Designer, Publisher and Photo). It has proved economical and useful. It took a little getting used to but the learning curve wasn’t too steep. I was able to carry on as if no disasters had occured.
What was a little harder to weather was when a company I relied upon for hosting websites got taken over and basically ceased to exist. I’m guessing this was because of the effect coronavirus restrictions were having on businesses. The challenge of moving and rebuilding several sites with unfamiliar software was not a welcome one. I was never happy with the resulting imagine.wales site, hence this new and glorious incarnation!
It hasn't all been hard. In some ways, the restrictions have been quite helpful. The house and garden have certainly benefitted, and in terms of business I’ve had more time to devote to getting it right - this website has taken weeks to construct! It has also now become possible to do much more in-house printing. The new printer is really good quality and as eco-friendly as they come but it is so heavy I had to book the local removal guys ‘Mr. Shift It’ to get it installed upstairs.
Lockdown has been a time of giving back to the community as well. Between April 2020 until April 2021 I ran the AboutPembs website and Facebook Page as a window on local businesses who were still providing a service during lockdown. As part of the package I offered free advert designs, most of which can be seen on this site.
Recent projects I’ve been working on include eco-friendly recycled business cards (pictured) for the town market butcher’s stall, and headed paper for a local house clearance business. I’ve made some changes to a couple of client websites; there are some other things in the pipeline but most of all I am looking forward to new challenges as this website hopefully reaches fresh eyes.
Throughout the site, I’ve put a clear pricing structure for many items. To find out the cost of a project, multiply the per-unit price by the quantity you need, add the cost of design if you need it, add delivery if that's required, and the total is what you pay. However, all this is meant to be descriptive not prescriptive, so if what you need is a little different, please don’t be afraid to ask.
I hope you enjoy looking around. Please remember to bookmark / favourite the site and visit often as it will be updated on a regular basis.