Web Designer’s Interest Sparked in Girlhood (The Creative)

by Shelby Ashline via The Creative

Amber Ladley has loved working with computers ever since she was 6 years old. Now 36, she has carried that passion with her through each stage of her life, right into her most recent transition into entrepreneurship.

Through her business, Amber Ladley Creative & Strategic Web Solutions, she is able to help small business owners craft and maintain websites that will help them reach their business goals.

Amber developed The Creative’s website as well as the Beetle Press website, and Maureen is working with Amber on a Murre Creative site. Amber has also worked with Janice on client projects. One of Amber’s specialties is leading trainings for clients, so they can feel empowered to take over the maintenance of the back end of their websites on their own. Janice, Ruth, and Maureen have sat in on such a training, and can attest to the clear and systematic way Amber imparts information. They have seen her spark of passion in action.

“A lot of people are very nervous with technology,” Amber says. “I want them to feel
comfortable with editing their websites and feel like they’re not going to break it.”
Amber knew early on in life that she wanted to pursue web development. She earned a
bachelor’s degree in fine arts in electronic imaging and photography from the University of
Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in 2001, and she says it was the closest thing to a web development degree at the time.

Right out of school, she began her digital career with Mazer Digital Media of Boston, where she helped produce and test interactive textbooks.
After taking time off to travel in the early 2000s, Amber and her husband, Tim, had two children, and for several years, Amber devoted her time to being a stay-at-home mom.

In 2006, Amber went back to work as the manager of website operations at Health Communities in Northampton, where she designed websites for physicians and managed 26 patient education websites, all concerning health information. She also worked as the web communications specialist at Mount Holyoke College.

Amber transitioned to self-employment in 2012; she’d always wanted to be her own boss and now enjoys the flexibility that comes along with business ownership. She also finds working with clients fulfilling.

In a gutsy move that underscores Amber’s can-do, entrepreneurial spirit, she also developed a business for crafters, called Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse, a creative reuse center in Eastworks, with Macey Faiella. After growing the business over two years and working tirelessly on both ventures, Amber and Macey sold Knack last spring. Web development again became Amber’s primary focus. (She still eagerly crafts on her own time, though.)

At the heart of Amber’s work—in both ventures—is the enjoyment she gets out of supporting others. “I really love helping people, especially people who are passionate about what they’re doing,” she says.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed in the Valley. In November 2014, Western Mass Women’s Magazine named Amber the Top Woman in Web/Graphic Design in Western Massachusetts for the year.

Originally published on The Creative Marketing Blog.