When Blue River Nursery came to us in the fall of 2008 they were in desperate need of a website makeover and a design firm that could fulfill all of their needs.
Shawn Locker and his team at Blue River or BRN as we so affectionately call them, had been online for quite some time, but as the years had gone by their faith in the previous designer had gone from happiness to disappointment.
Thinking that there had to be a better way they did what any small business would do in their situation. They started researching online and calling around to different design firms.
During their research they found two common problems. The companies they called were either a.) less than professional or b.) so big and full of themselves they didn’t mesh well with the personalities of BRN.
Despite their setbacks they knew there had to be a better way. One “fateful” day, as Mr. Locker would say, they found our ad in the phone book and called on a Saturday morning to ask about our services. Immediately they were impressed to actually find a design firm available on a weekend, let alone willing to listen to their problems and how we could solve them.
It wasn’t long before I met Shawn and his team on a chilly Tuesday morning and was given a tour of their property they had called home for decades. In hindsight I probably should have prepared a bit more and wore a heavier coat. Because a swift ride on a golf cart on a cool morning almost demands it. C‘est la vie.
After a few more weeks of dialogue and a bit of sole searching on the part of BRN, they decided Gonink would be the design firm to take them to the next level and prepare them for the future on the web.
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
The next few months were filled with great progress and a few setbacks. Things that went well were the time we took to learn about their company, their audience and their competition. The design phase was exciting and constantly evolving into what we feel was one of our best designs yet.
Setbacks occur in any project, and this was no different. One particular item that hounded us time and time again would be the credit card processing company. After problems with using the correct URL’s to excluding our programmer from accessing the system, Shawn began to question his choice of vendors.
If there is a lesson to be learned here, it’s to ensure that your company of choice is experienced with processing payments for websites.
Time Is Critical
February was almost here and BRN was gearing up for the spring season. It was made clear to us from the start that after March 1st they would be “in the zone” and preparing for the planting season. There would be no extra time for hashing out details or working on the site. Lucky for us the stars aligned, fate was on our side and the whole project came together later that month.
For about the next two months we continued training them on the content management system, educating their summertime crew on how the website worked and offered them solutions on how to make it even better.
A Relationship Now and in the Future
To this day we enjoy a fantastic relationship with Shawn and his employees and will soon be launching a few how-to videos and tours of their nursery for all the world to see.
Chris took all of our ideas and designs for the project and made them better. He did everything he said he would and took our deadlines very seriously. His customer service is second to none and we plan on being longtime clients of Gonink: Web Design & Print
Shawn Locker ~ Owner, Blue River Nursery