Some of the best web designers in the world are self taught and have no formal qualifications. Just in case you're interested though, here it is.
I studied in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (a city that will always be very dear to my heart) and have a 2:1 BA (HONS) International Business Studies with Russian Language degree. I love languages and business, so this was the perfect course for me. It also allowed me to spend a year at University in the incredible city of St Petersburg, Russia.
I have been running my own web design company since 2008. I specialise in low cost web design and this means that I often work with start up businesses on a limited budget (we'll keep it a secret that companies who paid thousands for their websites could often have had exactly the same website designed for a fraction of the price!). Many of my clients have been recommended by a local government agency which supports local start ups and I love seeing new businesses flourish and grow.
I have also been delivering web design courses, both public courses and on-site to businesses since 2010. Prior to that I was working for an IT company in the City, London.
Still want to know more? Below I thought I'd share just some of the things that I enjoy, as well as designing.
My parents are Scottish and every holiday we would travel up to Scotland. My dad would scare my mum half to death by driving us along narrow Highland roads and lanes. I loved it! As I got older my dad and I would climb the rugged mountains and this is where I got my passion for mountains. I'm very fortunate to have worked as an Adventure Tour Leader after graduating and was actually paid to climb mountains. Another dream job.
This photo is actually of Italy, but it reminds of my time working in Tajikistan, where I spent the Summer hiking in the incredibly beautiful Pamir mountains. The glacial lakes were the most beautiful blue I have ever seen.
A really great website should produce a similar kind of reaction to viewing a mountain. It should make you stop for a moment and admire.
I absolutely love puzzles! Crosswords and Sudoku (ideally the Killer kind) are firm favourites but give me any kind of puzzle and I'll be happy. I've played Scrabble for as long as I can remember and this is still a firm favourite.
For me, designing a website is similar to solving a puzzle. Everything has to slot together just so and writing code can be very much like solving a tricky puzzle. Getting it right is immensely satisfying.
Like many people who have grown up by the sea, I feel that it is a part of me and if I'm living inland for any period of time I yearn to get back to the coast. My ideal location is one where mountains and sea meet.
I am fortunate enough to live only a minute's walk away from the sea. If I'm ever struggling for design inspiration, all it takes is a 30 minute stroll along the Promenade or beach - ideally on a stormy day. My mind clears, I'm full of inspiration and raring to go again.
I really enjoy DIY and I am a dab hand with a power tool. I have renovated 2 properties, including building partitions and glass block walls, joinery, tiling and of course painting and decorating. I would love to build my own house one day.
A building project is not dissimilar to building a website. You need all the right tools and knowledge in order to get it right and you feel a great sense of achievement once it's completed.
In June 2013, at the ripe old age of 43, I gave birth to our gorgeous son. As all parents know, nothing can prepare you for for how much your life will change.
I feel incredibly blessed to have this ball of energy, fun, curiosity, laughter, challenges (and the very occasional tantrum!) in my life and he turns every day into a new adventure. I'd forgotten what fun blackberry picking is!
Since having my son, running my own business has become even more important to me. I'm proud to show him as he grows up that it's possible to earn a living from something that you love doing.