Meet our team
There are seven excitable characters behind the scenes of GG2WD! Here’s the scoop on each of us:
Amanda Aitken Verrall
Hi! I’m Amanda, the Founder and CEO of The Girl’s Guide to Web Design. I’m an incurable entrepreneur with a thing for empowering women to wake up to magical new possibilities. I also love whales & dolphins, tropical temps, pasta, wine, and getting down on a dancefloor.
I taught myself to design websites when I was 13 (I’m 31 now), and I’ve spent many years creating soul-centric sites and blogs for others via my web and branding studio, Better Than Chocolate (now called Creative Bloom). But in 2011, I decided that it would be MUCH more fun to pass on everything I know to women who want to DIY their own web presence – and The Girl’s Guide to Web Design was born!
Hi ladies! I’m Justin, and I’m Amanda’s husband – as well as the COO and Video Editor at The Girl’s Guide to Web Design. After devoting 9 years of my life to sales, marketing, and product management at a large software company, I snapped up the chance to hop on the GG2WD bandwagon. No complaints so far!
My job is to make sure that all of you benefit HUGELY from this incredible online course, so whether you’ve already signed up, or you need some help deciding if it’s right for you, I hope you’ll get in touch! Yes – I want you to flood my inbox!
Need buy-in from your spouse or significant other? I’ll even call him or her personally to talk about it (with your permission, of course). Go ahead and shoot me a message at justin [at] girlsguidetowebdesign.com.
In my downtime (AKA when I’m not in GG2WD mode), I first and foremost enjoy spending time with my beautiful and talented (as you’re all probably aware) wife, Amanda. After that, I’m an avid snowboarder, trumpeter, scotch taster and traveler – and I love just about everything that has to do with the great outdoors.
I look forward to working with and hearing from you ladies in the coming months! Don’t hesitate to reach out to me!
Krista Smith: one of our amazing Student Support Gurus who answers student questions in our private Facebook group!
I’m so excited to be a part of the GG2WD team I’ve always been the girl everyone calls when something goes wonky with technology. It’s in my bones. I’m a teacher by education, a professional coach by training, and a web designer by passion. My business is all about creating websites for women who are ready to activate their web essence. I help you using my genuine, honest, and supportive process of personal branding that creates a website that shows who you really are and what your business is really about. I help you go deep, get real, get it right, and get it all online. I live in Fall River, Nova Scotia with my husband and daughter.
I believe you need to know four things when starting to build a website. You will evolve, as will your content. You are one of a kind so doing it like she did won’t work. It’s all personal. AND, you are ready to show up for real. With your truths.
Stephanie Steyer: one of our amazing Student Support Gurus who answers student questions in our private Facebook group!
Stephanie Steyer is an independent graphic designer working in the beautiful foothills of Northern California. Stephanie graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the California College of the Arts. She worked as a designer for Michael Vanderbyl, Kit Hinrichs at Jonson, Pedersen, Hinrichs, and Shakery, and Michael Manwaring. After her time at these notable firms, she co-founded the San Francisco-based design firm Patrick Coyne/Stephanie Steyer Design Office. In 1986, Stephanie moved with her partner Patrick to Palo Alto, CA, to work at Communication Arts magazine. After fourteen years at the magazine, she felt it was time for something new and ventured back out onto her own. Stephanie designs everything from corporate identities, logos, and brochures to books, websites and powerpoint presentations. She also does interior design work and loves to take photographs.
The very first website that Stephanie designed was for Communication Arts in 1995. The internet looked very different in those days! Learning HTML was very useful for her career, but it wasn’t until the very first class of “The Girl’s Guide to Web Design” that she finally grasped CSS and WordPress. “I love the finesse and control that I can achieve with CSS. It makes web design fun instead of frustrating, plus I really like coding my own designs!” Stephanie is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and the proud mom of two amazing kids, who are now in college!
Katy Martin: one of our amazing Student Support Gurus who answers student questions in our private Facebook group!
A love of art catapulted Katy towards an Honors Degree in Design in Visual Communications, with a photography major, at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. While at Uni, Katy swapped the Aussie summers for US winters, working (a.k.a ski bumming) in the Colorado ski resort town of Steamboat Springs. She ultimately opted out of the big city bright lights for marketing in the ski industry. She worked her way up the corporate ladder for 8 years at ResortQuest Vacation Rentals, managing the Colorado websites’ content, search engine optimization strategies, revenue management, direct mail (and email), and so much more.
In 2011 she jumped from the corporate ship to team up with a friend, and dive into their own small business, Colomark Marketing. During the transition from work-life to happy-happy-joy-joy balanced-life, Katy discovered Amanda and the GG2WD. The course filled the coding gaps Katy was missing and empowered her to take on the web design world again! In turn, she strives to empower small business owners to take charge of their online marketing, laying the foundation for them with beautifully designed websites that both search engines and customers love! She is brimming with creative ways you can use your website and social media to seduce your customers and make money. And she now dreams in code.
Jade Doherty, our Community Manager!
Hi! I’m Jade and I’m here to encourage and support you, and get your creative courage flowing. You’ll find me in the Creative Courage Facebook group, and I’m always there to help you when you get stuck, and celebrate your successes. Think of me as your English cheerleader who is always on your side.
I took the Girl’s Guide to Web Design last year and was amazed to discover that I could code! It was such a liberating and empowering experience, and I’m so excited for you to have the chance to get creative and courageous, and do things that seemed out of your reach.
I’ve worked as a soccer coach and as an English Teacher in Spain (hola!) and I’m so excited to be part of this community and have the chance to meet you and see what wonderful, creative gems you’ll start unearthing!
My favourite ways to creatively express myself are through writing, dancing, and singing (badly!) in the shower. I love flamenco music and am convinced that tapas is the best way to eat.
I spend my free time drinking more tea than humanly possible, blogging about everything from the meaning of life to my new shoes, and being that person who sits in Starbucks reading a philosophy book.
I’m also über into spirituality, healing, and personal development, and like nothing better than sitting down with a book that challenges my beliefs and makes me see the world differently.
I believe that changing one area of your life can have a huge knock on affect on the rest of it, and that Creative Courage is an amazing movement to reclaim your creativity and start living a more alive, conscious life.
So, with no further ado, see you in the Facebook group!
Hi ladies! I’m Justin and Amanda’s Puggle named Chili! I’m a 5 year old Beagle/Pug mix and was rescued by Justin and Amanda in late March 2013. Here at GG2WD when I’m not under Amanda or Justin’s desk keeping them company and ensuring they stay on task, I’m going for walks, playing fetch and watching television. I love sleeping, eating and basking in the sun. My favorite movies are Turner and Hooch and 101 Dalmatians.