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Exploring Life & Business with JoAnne Moore of CanvasHTML

Today we’d like to introduce you to JoAnne Moore.

Hi JoAnne, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story into tech is one that is very different from most people in my industry. Growing up in Baltimore, I remember going on many field trips to visit our amazing museums. As a child, I always had a talent for drawing and painting. These many trips to see some of the world’s most famous artists helped my love for art to grow. I always knew that I wanted to be an artist and explore many different creative mediums. I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and it was there that I took my very first web design course.

I fell in love with the idea of creating art for the web. As I learned more about my skills as a fine artist I also learned more about my skills as a digital artist. I absolutely loved to code and see what I had written come to life on the computer screen. The idea that my digital creation could be viewed by so many people around the globe was exciting and I knew that this space of technology had stolen my heart.

After graduating from MICA I continued my education to further learn web development. I practiced my coding night and day and got better and better at programming for the web. While I was in school, I decided that I wanted to begin building websites as a freelance designer.

I took on small projects to start and this really helped me to not only get real hands-on experience with bringing other people’s vision to life, but it also helped me to grow as a businesswoman. As a freelance designer I had to learn how to market myself, take on client meetings, draft contracts, stick to deadlines and deliver the absolute best to my clients.

During this time, I also made the decision to officially start my web design agency, which I named CanvasHTML because it’s art for the web, and to begin taking on larger projects. I took a leap and registered my new company with the state and started hiring other designers to assist on larger projects. My web agency began to grow but of course, no success is without its challenges.

The tech industry went through many changes during my early years and many new platforms began to put smaller businesses like me out of the game. I took on jobs here and there to help sustain the cost of running a company that was in transition. I also worked for a time with the state of Maryland as Webmaster for the Department of Information Technology and Maryland State Judiciary. Even during the years that I needed to work in other places, my business never stopped running. I continued to put effort into adjusting in the areas that needed adjustments.

Today I run my business full-time and am proud of the growth that has occurred. I’ve learned many lessons along the way and am proud that I am still here today doing what I love. My business has now grown beyond developing websites and now we work with our clients to build sales funnels, system automation and my most proud is that I’ve expanded my business to offer tech courses to small business owners who want to learn how to get their businesses online.

As a lover of art and tech, I am happy that I get to do both and give others the opportunity to work and build.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it certainly has not been a smooth ride building a business. When I started out in tech writing custom code was the go-to option and getting clients was simple. As the years went on the introduction of more drag and drop platforms appeared as well as more CMS platforms where users could learn to build themselves without needing to know any code.

This time was very hard, and I had to work full-time for others while trying to make adjustments in my business. I didn’t let the changes in the industry discourage me. I learned as many new platforms as I could and got good at building. Today I offer builds on CMS platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Drupal ad more.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My business, CanvasHTML, is a web development agency. I work on projects varying from web development, sales funnel building (landing pages, email marketing, etc.), system integration and automation (connecting your systems together so they talk to each other and you don’t have to do any manual work), and my Tech Made Easy courses where I show others how to build the tech for their businesses.

I am also proud to be able to assist other designers with getting work and helping them to stay employed. For me, it isn’t just about the growth of my business but also helping others to see full growth within their businesses as well. I know the amazing feeling of seeing my business on the web and helping others to experience that same feeling is something I’m very proud of.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I’m a huge book lover. My go-to everyday book is Commanding Your Morning by Cindy Trimm. This is a daily devotional that I read at the start of my day to get into a great mindset.

I would also recommend Quitter by Jon Acuff for anyone who is looking to transition from a 9-5 to run their business full-time.

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