In 2014, Marie-Eve Provencher, a former hospital orderly, embarked on an adventure to create professional websites, graphic design and illustrations for Canadian businesses through graphixdesign.ca. She also offered to walk her clients through the steps of host management, giving them the tools they need to take on the challenges of the web.
A 180-degree career change
With a growing family and a desire to work from home so that she could spend more time with her little five-children tribe, she decided to explore her passion for graphic design and create her own business. She sought advice from her brother, a web programmer who taught her web design, and from her sister-in-law, a professional graphic designer, while learning the tricks of the trade. Her journey was launched!
“I started out as a freelancer and built it all on my own. It’s a lot of work! You never stop, you keep searching and you’re always finding new ways to do things. I am someone who will open many doors in my life -- sometimes I’m forced to close them, but I always open them all!”
Three is the magic number
In 2014 Marie-Eve created her first website in a classic HTML version. It was static and limited her ability to use her talents to their fullest, but this first try allowed her to do it all and to absorb a great deal of information. In her second version, she used her more advanced knowledge to build a more powerful platform. Her third and most recent version, released in January 2022, is the product of years of experience, mistakes, and an expertise, enhanced by the contributions of her employee Audrey-Maude. This website reflects professionalism, creativity and dedication.
Marie-Eve used a .CA domain name from the start. “I didn't think I was going anywhere else in the world. My clientele is mainly in Quebec and Canada, and Canadian companies prefer to work with other Canadian companies. Businesses all over the world are working in web and graphic design and it’s all telework. Sometimes you don’t even know where the person is from. The .CA domain gives you more clout when submitting quotes to clients.”
Choosing the right partners for a solid foundation
In 2016, after two years with a host that did not quite meet her needs, this native of Abitibi-Témiscamingue made the decision to partner with Web Hosting Canada. Marie-Eve values the fact that it is based in Quebec, as well as the speed of its servers, its reputation and its customer service. She has been delighted with the experience. She believes the site to be an integral part of any brand being created, and recommends the service to her clients, who have already registered more than 100 domain names with it.
GraphixDesign.ca also involves training clients and helping them to understand terms related to graphic design and the Web: “I inform, I teach my clients about Web terminology so that they can make informed decisions, and I emphasize the fact that all companies that offer services in Canada have the .CA domain. That’s really what you should choose too!”
She also warns new entrepreneurs taking their first steps on the web to invest in their website from the beginning: “Don’t make that mistake. Own your website right from the get-go because it helps build awareness, and be careful what you put in it! You need a strong foundation to attract clients.”
One of the cornerstones of her learning and her success was the mentors who supported her along the way, in particular Michel Offroy, who helped her understand web hosting in her early days. The others? Her passion and determination! Marie-Eve also emphasizes patience and perseverance, especially in the first two years of a brand's life: “You can’t give up! Maybe 1 in 100,000 people get off the ground in the first year.”
The adventure continues
Although she does not know what the future holds for her, Marie-Eve knows she wants to make the best of whatever opportunities come her way. She has great projects in mind, such as illustrating book covers or developing the online boutique that she just launched to sell her illustrations.