Kelly Palmatier, owner of Griffin Web Design & Marketing, has been fascinated by the world of web design since she first heard about in the 1990’s.
“When I went to college, the internet didn’t exist as we knew it. I was very interested,” Kelly said, who was already working for Delta Airlines by the time websites were getting developed.
“I found an article in the newspaper about the intranet websites and took a copy to my boss at Delta, and said this is what we need…soon enough, a job opening appeared for a new website development position and I jumped on it.”
“It was nothing to brag about today, but at the time I felt pretty good about creating the first ever intranet website for the In-Flight Service department at Delta, including my first custom tiling background. It’s kind of crazy how much web design has changed, from a tiny screen resolution of 640 by 480 pixels to building responsive sites for so many differing monitor resolutions.”
“I took some courses and there was a lot of trial and error involved. But anytime you have a passion to learn something you can do it,” said Kelly.
The same dedication and passion for learning that originally propelled Kelly into web design is also what’s forged her into the talented and successful business owner that she is today. Although she always wanted to be her own boss, it took what she described as a bump in the road to get her there.
She’d left her ten-year career with Delta Air Lines to accept a position with a computer services company in central Georgia, only to learn that they had misrepresented the salary and stability of their company.
“I floundered for a bit, then finally decided to put myself out there as a business woman. I landed a contract with a local bank, printed out flyers, told people what I could do. By the end of six months I had landed so much business that my husband was able to quit his job as a purchasing manager and join me.”
Founding her company in January of 2000, Kelly named it Griffin Web Design & Marketing as a nod to the little town near where she and her husband used to live. Since then, the company has grown to 10 team members that offer web design and marketing nationwide. In 2012, they opened an Atlanta office. Then, in 2014 Kelly and her husband moved to Asheville and established Griffin’s new headquarters downtown, a few doors down from Malaprop’s Bookstore.
As her business has grown, Kelly said she has worked hard to maintain consistent professionalism amidst a rapidly changing marketplace. When she started the company it only offered web design, but over time Griffin has expanded its services to hosting, search engine optimization, social media management, and other marketing services. Griffin is also a green company that uses wind powered hosting, paperless billing, and 100% recyclable supplies.
“We’re about helping the customer with whatever their needs are. Sometimes that means out-of-the-box solutions; sometimes that means clever marketing or branding strategies. In most cases I really think it’s about listening to the customer and helping them figure out what markets them the best.”
It’s safe to say that Kelly will never stop finding ways to innovate her business, and for that, our community is thankful. Griffin also donates 10% of its homepage sales to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and gives nonprofits a 10% discount on homepages. Kelly’s next plan is to create a Mega Branding Package, in order to help businesses and clients define themselves more clearly.
“It’s important to work on your business, not in your business. In other words, you need to pay attention to business fundamentals and your long-term vision rather than just getting bogged down by daily operations.”
Congratulations, Griffin Web Design & Marketing!