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Who Says You Have To Retire At 62?

Who Says You Have To Retire At 62?

This post is part of our Customer Spotlight series. If you have an interesting story to tell and would like to share your experience with WordPress and Elegant Themes on our blog, please contact us!

Let Me Introduce Myself

Some people would say I should retire, after all, I am 62 years old, raised some amazing children (twins), and have a comfortable life. But my inner creative has always led the way and I can’t wait for the next turn in the road.


I went to school for Fine Art, and got a job at a small map making company in Harvard Square, Cambridge. They needed an illustrator and I was happy to be drawing pen and ink sketches for their city maps. This led to designing and making the maps in the old way, with layers of acetate and line tape. Fortunately for me, my experience in the map trade opened up a career at the Boston Globe, Boston’s best newspaper. I became the first female cartographer in its 120 year history. I illustrated news of all kinds with info­‐graphics: science diagrams, business charts, event maps. Sometimes I wrote the captions within the graphics.

Information graphics became very popular in the publishing industry, led by Time Magazine’s Nigel Holmes. Today, information graphic design is making a comeback. I won a few awards including Time Magazine’s Map Making Award. I think it was the perfect practice for web design layout and user experience. Little did I know that I would someday be coding for the internet. I left The Globe after ten years to start my own business, and being a full service graphic designer. By then, I had a desktop computer, fonts, and software tools to help me. I used Macromedia Freehand mostly. I continued to design maps but also, annual reports, logos, brochures and books.

The Internet Changed Everything

Then the internet happened. We were curious. We knew it was big. I attended a few workshops. I bought a few books on html. I taught myself the code and how to add Javascript and CSS. What I loved about it was its immediacy. WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get. I could play with color. It was fun.

But, the internet continued to develop faster than I could. I had to think about smart phones, iPads, and testing on all browsers. It was becoming overwhelming. One day, I called a local developer to help me with a difficult job. The Javascript animation was not working on my client’s android. They invited me to visit them at their studio. They asked, “Do you know about WordPress?” I didn’t. I learned. It was amazing!

I designed a few websites using Photoshop and hired the developers to code them into PHP. It wasn’t cost effective. Not many of my clients could afford the price tag. WordPress was obviously taking off, because it allowed you to concentrate on the content and organization and not spend endless hours testing code. Looking into Themes, I realized there were a lot of inexpensive alternatives other than the free ones offered by WordPress.org.

Pergui design is my web design company.

Pergui design is my web design company.

Elegant Themes became an obvious choice. With one price point, I can download as many as I need each year. The support is good. The themes are versatile. And more come out every month/year. I can offer my clients a site that is professional, beautiful and the best marketing tool in their kit.

Using WordPress saves me time and it allows me to continue fine art where I left off forty years ago. I’m painting again and having a blast. I can paint and create websites in the same day. Who says you have to retire at 62?

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