In the ‘90s, when homeschooler Lena Wright was 15, she started her first business, (which is not at all uncommon with homeschoolers), called Rasterburn. “Rasterburn,” I was told, was the term that sprang up for the glazed look that people were beginning to exhibit when they had been in front of a computer for way too long. Lena parlayed her willingness to get a bit “burned” while in the process of designing websites and stationery for people into a snappy little stream of income which has never stopped flowing, and is getting wider and stronger. She completely taught herself desktop publishing and graphic design, and following graduation from high school, Lena got her degree in computer software programming. She thought that this would be her career path, and she liked it. However, Lena has a fierce creative streak that would not “go quietly into that good night,” and she knew that she needed to branch out some.
She married Marty Wright, who was in the construction business and now owns ATH Home Sevices, and settled down in Tennessee. About a year ago, they chose to radically change their lifestyle by selling their house, most of their possessions, and become full time RV-ers. They scouted around North Alabama and decided to call Athens home when they are not travelling, and through the beauty of technology, Snazzy Turtle is able to serve clients all over the country. The term Snazzy Turtle evokes the idea of being mobile and carrying your interesting and attractive house with you. However, while turtles are slow, Lena is anything but.
“One of the things I am known for is being able to do a good job quickly,” she told me. When she is in “rasterburn” mode, it is not unusual for her to be able to design attractive, professional business cards “in a couple of hours.” Web sites, of course take a bit longer, depending on how many pages and features the client desires. Lena says, “I can take an existing logo and personalize it for you, or design a whole new one based on who you are.” She also says, “All my work is customized to you. I don’t use any generic, cookie cutter designs.” During the design process she makes proofs, and she and her client work together to get it to where it’s “snazzy.” She puts up a test site, giving her clients the ability to follow along with their project’s progress.
As is always the case with a highly competitive market, there needs to be a niche or a “special slot,” that a sole proprietor needs to find in order to both survive and thrive. Customer service and creativity are usually “just the ticket,” and Lena loves to excel at both. “My company is small, and because of our lifestyle I am able to meet with clients and serve their needs quickly and efficiently,” she says.
Regarding local customers who have experienced the benefit of connecting a human face to the service, she recently completed a website for Lucy’s Branch RV Park in Athens, in addition to several governmental agencies in Marshall County, Tennessee. “I will be there after the sale,” she said, and I asked her what that meant by that. As far as the website side of the house is concerned, she offers 30 days of service after the site is up in case there are any additional tweaks that need to be made. After that, changes and additions can be made for a very fair price, and she offers individual long term maintenance contracts for each site she creates.
In regard to her prices, Lena says, “I am not the cheapest, and I am not the most expensive.” I have found in my travels that this particular statement is most often a sign of high quality, great service, and a hunger to keep building. “You get what you pay for” is no more often the case than when it comes to building sites. “I want to be your one stop shop for your design needs,” she says. She does not do web hosting, and has no plans to have her own server, but she does make sure to point her customers in the right direction for that particular service.
The “old school” part of Lena, who is “30-something” (and with a great sense of humor, by the way,) is drawing as well as stationery design. She spent several years involved exclusively with technology, and then rediscovered her love for art, and, as she says with confidence, “began to flourish.” If the client is interested, she loves to use recycled paper, and will do everything from elegant wedding invitations to pen and ink drawings for note cards. If personal care, hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit are what you are looking for, then Snazzy Turtle Designs is the service for you.
Lena Wright, Snazzy Turtle Designs Phone: 931-637-1775 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.snazzyturtle.com
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner