Paul Grenwood Q&A

May 18, 2020
Paul Grenwood designs elegant websites while living a nomadic life.

“Web design and working mobile has been a fantastic complement. We sometimes joke that after a weekend of hiking or biking it’s a relief to get to sit down at the computer and work.”

What inspired you to start your own web business in 2011, after working for an agency?

We had always planned on going out on our own but we wanted to gain the experience an agency provided after college. It was an invaluable time but we craved more freedom with our schedules and selection in the types of projects we worked on.

You launched with a philosophy of offering affordable web design services to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Why was that important to you?

We are a laid back yet driven couple who are energized by supporting passion. We highly value entrepreneurship and don’t think beautiful design should be limited to those with a lot of money. We enjoy the opportunity to make a large impact in our support of smaller, local businesses.

You and your wife Maria have been traveling since 2017 in an RV and running what you call a roaming web studio. Has the adventure been everything you wanted?

Yes, and more! We had been building our business and working from home for six years when we felt stable enough that we could take the show on the road. So, we sold our house in Washington along with everything in it and built out a Ford Transit cargo van into our new tiny home on wheels. Since then we have traveled all over the western United States and we just recently came back from our first tour of the Baja peninsula in Mexico. We have found the uncommon lifestyle we had been looking for and we plan to do it indefinitely until it doesn’t make sense for us. We love the movement, exploring new landscapes, and the simplicity of minimalist living. We spend as much time outside as we can, often hiking and biking. We feel rich with the experiences we’ve gained from being on the road.

Do you ever have difficulty with Wi-Fi while on the road?

When we first hit the road we thought we would be working more from coffee shops but we were quickly disappointed by the slow Wi-Fi speeds and distractions so now we rely solely on cell signal for our Internet connection. We are almost always camped in remote places and have found that it’s most efficient to work from the van and explore nearby towns on our down time. We have two cell phones – one on Verizon and one on AT&T, both with unlimited data plans. This covers us almost anywhere we want to be although we’re looking forward to the day satellite internet is affordable so we can venture out even farther into the wild. We also recently started using SkyRoam, which works off the best available signal in the area. This option is more expensive but has allowed us to work in more places than what just Verizon and AT&T offer and it was a huge asset in Mexico.

How often are you able to wed your love of the outdoors with web design that features outdoors brands?

This has actually been one of our biggest challenges. So far all our work has come from referrals and partnerships we have formed with small creative agencies. We are so grateful that we have not had to market ourselves and that we have had a comfortable amount of work coming through our door. However, as comfort usually goes, it has also kept us from pushing ourselves to make connections in the industries we are most passionate about such as outdoor recreation and conservation. We have felt most energized working with non-profits, start-ups, and socially and environmentally conscious companies.

What do you enjoy most about web design?

Even though the field of web design is constantly evolving, we find security in working for such a modern, essential, and adaptable field. We enjoy using our skills in art and design for such a functional purpose. Web design and working mobile has been a fantastic complement to our active outdoor lifestyle. We sometimes joke that after a weekend of putting on many miles hiking or biking that it’s a relief to get to sit down at the computer and work!

How do you see the world of web design evolving?

We think the biggest changes will come in UX and how we interact with the more intuitive websites of the future. The programs, tools and devices that we use will continue to evolve and our design will evolve with it. As these tools evolve they will also continue making it easier for business owners to edit and control more of their online presence on their own. This is great! If frees us up to launch more sites and help more business owners put their best foot forward online while keeping them in the driver’s seat. The mind-blowing advancements will probably come from VR, AI, and augmented reality technologies pushing the bounds of digital design. For the immediate future though, our focus is on creating streamlined websites with a high quality user experience across all devices.