In the summer of 2009, I quit my day job.
It was the best job I’d ever had, but a regular 8-5 office gig just wasn’t for me. I was bored. If you ask me, bored +
young alive don’t go well together. So, I wrote my gratitude-oozing letter of resignation and set out on my own.
I wish I could say that I had a year’s salary in savings, or even a spouse or parent to fall back on, but I had neither thing. I started my business with a hope and a prayer and a whole lot of courage.
By my second year in business, I had nearly doubled the salary I’d earned at that day job, and somehow it just keeps growing. Today, I am my household’s sole income provider. I got married in 2012, and my husband, R.T., helps out with both SixteenJuly and Website Refinery while pursuing his various literary and musical endeavors. I am so grateful for a business that makes that possible.
I’ve been making websites since 1999.
I was fifteen then. If Al Gore invented the internet, then I helped build it, man. I’ve had my hands on over 200 websites in the last 4 years. I challenge you to click around the blogosphere a bit and *not* find a site I coded. (So, listen. I’m sorry that I just said ‘blogosphere’. Let’s just move along.)
My areas of expertise are WordPress, Shopify, and kindly telling you how you’re getting in your own way.
I’m not a business coach, a social media guru, or a buzzword-anything. But I do know a thing or two about making a living with a web-based business. And I believe that a strategic web needs a little — no, a lot more genuine personality. That’s why I get up in the morning.
My name is Leah Cedar Tompkins. (I was born Leah Dawn Shaver, so if that’s the gal you’re looking for, I’m her.) I grew up in a large secular unschooling family. My siblings remain some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. My childhood consisted mostly of climbing trees and writing short stories in college-ruled composition books.
I was raised in a tiny town in Michigan. I moved to the east coast when I was 17, after deciding that college wasn’t for me after one measly semester. (I went back later, but damn, is traditional education ever a drag.) R.T. and I moved back to Michigan for a year as my family was preparing for my dad’s deployment to the United Arab Emirates. We returned to New England in early 2013, but I’m determined to eventually live in Portland, Oregon.
I’m a life artist and the most outgoing INFJ you’ll ever meet. I love yoga and green smoothies but you’ll never, ever see me turn down a french fry or a glass of red wine. I’m a natural mama even though I don’t have children of my own. I like my home to be filled with people, plants, and animals, and I’ll do anything I possibly can to brighten your day, even if I barely know you.
My passions (outside of revamping the entire internet so that it’s gorgeous and effective) are hoopdance, mixed-media art, and photography. I take photos with a Canon 40D or my iPhone.
About my sidekick-assistant-husband:
R.T. stands for Randall Tyler, but he’d prefer I didn’t tell you that. R.T. is a writer and musician. He quit his day job to assist with running the studio in December of 2011. His official title is Little Black Rain Cloud. He handles a lot of administrative tasks as well as some light development. He’s also an excellent copyeditor & has a refreshingly intuitive approach to content strategy. My clients love him (which came as a surprise to both of us, honestly).
About the two of us
We met in 2009, started dating in 2011, and got married on October 12, 2012. We make each other laugh every day. (We also piss each other off every day, but working through that crap is just part of the deal, isn’t it?) We’re truly partners in all things.
- … never miss an episode of Dan Savage’s podcast or Parks & Recreation.
- … moved halfway across the country to rent a tiny bungalow and start a new life together 8 months after we started dating.
- … are crazy about our mountain bikes & ride often.
- … go on photo adventures as often as possible.
- … are early risers even though we don’t need to be.
- … consume copious amounts of sushi and Tex-Mex on a weekly basis.
- … are unstoppable (because we’re so in love) (He’ll wince when he sees this.)
We should all be best friends, right? Click here to work with us.