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Fast Start: Growing up

The web design firm Makeway changed its name from We Make Nice Websites earlier this year. Founding partners Greg Cunneyworth, right, and Joshua Lowery shared how the company has evolved in the last few years and what prompted a name change. They’ll be leading a seminar on search engine optimization and related website issues through Rochester Young Professionals’ professional development series July 30.

What has changed since we did the Fast Start profile in August 2012?

Lots—we’ve grown up as a company. We became an LLC, changed our name and have steadily grown each year. We are also working on projects that involve much more than just ‘nice websites.’

Why did you change your name? Is it part of a larger rebranding?

It is. Our new name more accurately reflects what we offer and who we are—and is, of course, a bit easier to say. I also believe clients and the general public see us differently than they used to as well.

How many people work for the company now?

At the moment, the company has three full-time employees and uses a strong network of local freelance talent of about 10 creatives. But we’re also looking for another employee to join us full-time.

Are you in the same location?

Yes. We’re still in the loft up on the second floor (of a building in the Cascade District).

Is Russell the Boston terrier still greeting visitors?

He moved out (refused to pay rent), but now Harvey, our lead developer’s golden retriever puppy, is here to greet visitors instead.

Who have your clients been?

Hart’s Local Grocers, National Warplane Museum Airshow, Arc of Monroe County, Pro-Tech Manufacturing, Source Seating, Root 31, Thames & Hudson Publishers, Strathallan Hotel and First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival, to name a few.

What have you learned, about yourselves and about your business, in those three years?

Quality is key—we’re getting better at identifying what projects are a good fit for us—and that strategic growth is better than artificial growth or taking on too much too quickly.

Have your objectives/goals shifted?

Not really. We’re just getting better at communicating what we’re best at and trying to emphasize that we can offer a lot more than web design for clients. We love working on projects that we can take full creative ownership of—like we did for the National Warplane Museum Airshow.

Do you feel different in your roles as business owners?

After five-plus years, we’re much more confident. We’ve proven what we do is sustainable, not only to our clients but to ourselves.

What will your professional development seminar be about?

It’ll be about the importance of not only being found via search engines, but also making sure your web presence communicates effectively and turns someone from a prospect into customer.

What made you decide to offer it?

The web is constantly changing, and continuing education about our industry is important. Plus we like doing events like this because we get to meet people and share our passion for design.

When and where will it be held?

6 to 8 p.m., July 30 at the Strathallan Hotel, a Doubletree by Hilton. Register online at the RYP website. r-y-p.org

7/17/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected]

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