I run two businesses – Avery Swartz Web Design and Camp Tech. My web design business is well established – I’m an award-winning designer with over 5 years experience building websites for small businesses, arts groups, and charities.
Camp Tech is my new business, and we offer practical, professional tech skills training in a fun & friendly environment. Our relaxed, informative, & hands-on classes in downtown Toronto are for anyone curious to learn more about technology. Topics include “WordPress for Beginners”, “Email Marketing for Small Business”, “Photoshop for Bloggers” and more.
Who are you outside of work?
I’m a mother, wife, dog-lover, and passionate urbanite (I love our neighbourhood of Leslieville in Toronto).
What motivated you to start your business or choose your profession?
I don’t think technology should be scary – it should be exciting. I like to help people understand the web, without making them feel dumb. There are no “stupid questions” with me. I strive to be friendly and casual in my approach, and I promise to use as little technical mumbo-jumbo as possible.
What are your greatest strengths?
I have strong communication skills. I’m able to explain very technical concepts to “non techy” people. I hate how jargon and technical mumbo jumbo can make otherwise intelligent people feel stupid. I want you to love technology as much as I do!
What are your favourite business tools?
I have my design and web development tools (mostly software). I love FreshBooks for accounting.
What are you most passionate about?
I love art AND science. Which explains why I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Production, and also a diploma in Print & Web Design. I like the pretty and the nerdy. I’m not a Gemini, but I sometimes think I should be.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist and a workaholic. I love deadlines, and I’ll never miss one that you set for me. I have ridiculously high expectations for my work. I like efficiency and well-laid plans.
Above all else, I really like working with great people, and making nice things for them. Call me corny, and maybe even a bit naïve, but I honestly believe that good design makes the world better.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Set realistic goals for yourself, so you know when you’re successful. And when you reach your goals, celebrate! It can seem like an unending climb if you don’t stop every once and a while to see how far you’ve come.
What is the most helpful business book you have read and why?
Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro