How did you come with the idea of Boyer Web Studios?
James and John Boyer, both Park graduates, started a web design and development agency back in 2014. They are sharing with us their journey of working together, the challenges they faced, and the future plans for Boyer Web Studios.
Can you share with us what inspired you to start your own company?
John: We’ve had the idea to launch a web design company for years, ever since James and I were in high-school. I’ve always been passionate about programming and design, and James has always loved connecting with people, and the logical way to combine our interests and turn our passions into a career has been clear for a long time. Neither James nor I really wanted to enter the workforce in a traditional role, since our family has never really fit in the box, and we all love flexibility, generosity, and travel, so we wanted to create a way to maintain our ability to travel, grow in our interests, and build a legacy for our family and future. Our time at Park University helped us refine our personal and professional skills (personally, I’d like to thank John Dean, Virginia Brackett, Ben Sayevich, the Honors program, and the rest of the great faculty at Park, many of which are on our advisory board), and the next step was to fully invest and build a business that we love!
James: The concept for Boyer Web Studios has been evolving since before I graduated high school. John has been very skilled in programming and design for a long time, and we started making websites together from an early age. Through my time at Park University that concept was refined to become what it is today. We wanted to build a legacy company that really prioritized building community while giving back to causes and nonprofits that we think we can help grow.
Boyer Web Studios has existed since 2014, why did you decide now to do a launch party?
John: Before 2019, we had been running Boyer Web Studios more as a side project – both James and I were still busy with school, and we weren’t at a place where we could dedicate ourselves full-time to building a business and provide high-quality work. I graduated two years before James, in 2016, and we talked about fully launching the business at that point, but we decided that the best way to really be successful and build a brand that we could be proud of would require both of us to dedicate everything to the project. James and I each have our own set of diverse skills, and working together helps us round each other out. So instead of trying to build Boyer Web Studios without our full team, I dedicated the next two years to gaining experience and refining my skills through freelance work, and James continued to grow at Park. When James graduated, we finally were able to get the whole team together, really begin developing our brand, and set up foundational business strategies and structure. Now, in 2019, we’ve established a solid foundation to build upon, and we’re ready to push forward into this new, exciting season.
James: Even though our first business license was acquired in 2014, we really felt that we needed a fresh start in 2019. Before the launch party, Boyer Web Studios wasn’t our priority. John Robert graduated in 2016 and continued to refine his web design skills through independent contracting work until I graduated in May of 2018. It was at this point that we began truly creating the Boyer Web Studios that we have today. Before I graduated, it wasn’t feasible to start marketing to clients as we weren’t fully ready to give them the attention, we believe they deserve. We have finally reached a place in our lives where we can fully dedicate ourselves to building this business. That’s why we had a launch party in January to announce to the world that we are ready for the work of our lives!
Is it hard working with your brother?
John: Not at all! We’ve always been close, and James is super friendly and always supportive, has a great work ethic, and is always a great resource for brainstorming and advice. I firmly believe that this business would not be successful without his amazing vision and day-to-day guidance, and it’s a huge blessing to have such a smart, dedicated, hard-working, and responsible partner. James is not just my brother – he’s also one of my best friends, and that’s something special.
James: Working with John is probably the best decision I’ve ever made. He does fantastic work, has an incredible work ethic, and has a brain big enough for me to bounce all sorts of ideas off of him.
What is the most enjoyable part of working with him?
John: James is extremely dedicated to building Boyer Web Studios into a high-quality and successful company, and he has a great grasp on the big picture strategy, so his input and guidance makes things much easier and less stressful for me. James is incredibly passionate about so many things, and he loves to dedicate time to many of the aspects of a successful business that I am not as gifted in. James loves to connect with people, and he’s really good at it, so his natural friendliness makes him great at making personal connections and getting to know people. We complement each other well!
James: One of our biggest differentiating qualities is our dedication to custom design. While we can design templates and use WordPress or any of the many other template platforms, our passion is in creating websites as an art form. He is extremely self-controlled, and his consistency and passion for what he is doing has kept me on task through several rough times. He is very good at what he does, but he also keeps the big picture in mind. I can always speak to him and get his perspective on any sort of problem that I’m having. I’m very happy with my decision to work with him!
How is Boyer Web Studios different from other computer software companies?
John: We’ve talked to a lot of people during the development of our brand, and we discovered that the major pain points that clients run into with web developers constantly are the lack of quick and accurate communication, slow follow-up and task completion, and a tendency to drop off the map. We don’t want to continue that trend, so communication is one of our top priorities – that goal touches nearly every aspect of our business, from the way we interact with clients to the methods we use to build successful website campaigns and brands. Additionally, we are dedicated to building websites from the ground up, without using templates. We are certainly comfortable working with templates in WordPress and other similar platforms, but we are passionate about creating unique and modern brands without relying on prebuilt designs. Personally, I love to experiment and find ways to implement modern design trends in each project I work on, and I’ve always loved to explore artistically through UI and UX design, illustration, and 3D modeling and rendering since I was very young, so I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to apply my passions and interests on a professional level.
James: One of the things I did while rebranding Boyer Web Studios, was call several web design companies in the Texas area. I asked them all several questions about how to get started, where they generate the majority of their leads etc. One of those questions was “What do your clients want, and what are some negative experiences they have experienced with web design companies”. With this question I was trying to determine what the biggest problems clients face when dealing with web development companies. One of the largest problems was communication and response time. Clients would lose contact with their web designer for long periods of time with no updates or interaction regarding the site they were paying good money to develop. At Boyer Web Studios, communication is one of our biggest priorities as we believe that our purpose is to create the online image of our clients. That image isn’t something that we create, but something that we interpret through our meetings with our clients. Our goal in designing a website, is to make the owner of said website feel confident and proud of the site and to almost be able to recognize it as they would their own self.
Another problem clients run into is developers holding their design a” Last sentence, “We are more than happy to do their upkeep and maintenance, but if they want” should read, “However, we are more than happy to take care of our clients upkeep and maintenance at their discretion and under their ownership.”
One of our biggest differentiating qualities is our dedication to custom design. While we can design templates and use WordPress or any of the many other template platforms, but our passion is in creating websites as an art form. This means giving you the freedom to request your sites look and feel to be exactly how you want it with the sky being the limit. This takes custom design from the ground up, as templates largely limit your creative scope as well as greatly reducing your visual differentiation from other businesses within your industry.
Name some of the clients you would like to work with in the future.
John: There are so many clients I’d like to work with, and we have several lined up that I’m excited to work with, but personally I’ve always loved to work with people that are excited about their brand and business. Anyone who is passionate about their work tends to be great to work with and motivated to express their vision for their company through their brand and website. I’d also love to work with Park University, since they’ve been a great asset during my degree and on an ongoing basis. I’d like to take on some projects with alumni and current students, and we’re also considering opening up an internship program for Park students in the future!
James: We have several potential clients currently that we are very excited to work with, but would prefer not to name them until we are further along in that process. As John said, we would love to work with Park University, alumni and students as you are all very close to our heart. Beyond that, we are excited to work with international clients as we have designed BWS to fully functional nationally as well as internationally.
What is your favorite part about your job?
John: I’ve always loved programming and design, and web design is a great way to merge those two passions together. I grew up teaching myself how to program – I’ve made so many terrible games and ugly websites for friends – and over time I realized that my interests could actually work out as a career! I always get excited when I start a new project, since each new project brings with it a new challenge. No brand is identical (that’s kinda the point of having a strong brand), so it’s refreshing to always have new challenges and opportunities to create something that people will enjoy looking at and interacting with. It’s a beautiful feeling to start a project with a blank canvas and finish with a product I’m proud of, and each new client brings new opportunities to grow.
James: I love meeting new people, building lasting relationships and above all else I enjoy helping people. I see BWS as an opportunity for me to build a lasting community of businesses that help each other and promote community involvement. I am passionate about my community and I want to see it grow immensely over the next few years.
Where do you see Boyer Web Studio in next five years?
John: Ever since we launched officially in early January, we’ve been experiencing rapid growth and amazing support from our friends, family, and connections that we’ve built over the years. We are expanding aggressively, and will be hiring new team members and growing into a full branding agency as we go. Our dream is to utilize modern communication technologies to create a company that is not restricted by a physical location – we’d like to expand to the global market, and build a network of passionate people who work and learn from all across the globe. We also love to give back to our community, and we’d love to have more opportunities and resources to donate projects to non-profits and people in need, as we’ve done in the past on an ongoing basis. Our biggest priority is maintaining our integrity and high standards as we grow, and I’m excited to see what the next few years holds for us!
James: We hope to expand aggressively, and already have plans for additional hires in the near future. I would love to see Boyer Web Studios as an international brand that designs sites all over the world. We are constructing BWS as a business with no physical headquarters so as to enable us to expand globally while maintaining our internal integrity through collaboration and communication, utilizing some of the amazing technology that is available to everyone.
What advice would you give to new graduates of IT and computer design?
John: It is so important to augment your degree with projects, work, and skills that make you excited. College degrees are great for providing a solid foundation to build on, but essentially that’s all they are – a foundation. Build a portfolio, spend some free time building things you like, learn a new skill, and most importantly, stretch out of your comfort zone in a way that keeps you interested and passionate about the things you’ve learned. It can be hard to stay passionate when you enter the professional world, and the stress of suddenly being self-reliant and building a career can be crushing, but the best designers and developers stay interested in what they do, and hold themselves to a high standard. Even if you’re stuck in a job that you dislike, or haven’t yet been able to break into the career field that you’re interested in, don’t give up! Keep practicing and self-improving, make time for hobbies and interests, and try your best to demonstrate passion and interest in your work – you’ll find the perfect fit for you. People understand that you won’t have everything together at this point in your life, and they always want to work with someone who is dedicated to learning and maintaining a high standard.
James: Your portfolio is more important then your resume or education. Really test yourself and apply your skills to projects that you can be proud of. Most employers look much harder at your portfolio and work experience then your education. While education is still important, it isn’t enough on its own to prove that you know what you are doing. So be creative! Develop a diverse portfolio that exemplifies what you are passionate about.
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