In loving memory of Jessie

Glenn and Jessie

In January, I said goodbye to my Mom. She had dementia late in life, but she was a very successful business owner before that disease took over. My Mom was fondly referred to as “The Purse Lady.” She designed, sewed, and sold thousands of handbags. I didn’t realize it then, but my Mom taught me to run my own business as I grew up. Here are just a few lessons I learned from my Mom:

Work should be something you love to do

Mom worked summers at a cannery when I was little. I could tell that she didn’t like that job very much. I would spend my days with my Mom’s best friend, and when she would come to pick me up, she would talk to her best friend about her workday. She didn’t seem overly happy about it. 

Luckily, Mom was also a creative and talented seamstress. She started making purses as a hobby and selling them in beauty salons all over town. When her purse business started taking off, Mom would spend hours in her sewing room. She no longer had to work at the cannery. She had true joy in what she was doing, and it showed.

I share that same joy in my work. Building websites is genuinely my passion. I’m so lucky I don’t have a mundane job that only pays the bills. Instead, I get to give something to others that they can enjoy.

Make a quality product

Mom’s purses were all handmade with care and with quality fabrics. They were practical, washable, and filled with pockets. The ladies loved those pockets! The fact that my Mom’s handbags were handmade made them different than what you could buy in a store.

When I’m building a website, I take great care to make sure the client is getting something they will enjoy, something practical for their business, and has a lot of special touches. I make handmade websites. I put my heart into my websites just like my Mom put her heart into her handbag designs.

Sell with honesty

I watched my Mom selling her handbags at beauty salons and later at arts and craft shows all over the west coast. She was a great salesperson. Mom would model the bags, open them up, and show customers all the special touches when selling them. She was like their friend out on a shopping trip with them. Mom was authentic and honest. She wanted her handbags to make the customer’s life better. 

Like Jessie, I put my heart into my designs and hope every website helps clients with their dreams and goals. I’m honest when I don’t have the service a client needs and do my best to help them find someone that can help them.

Be kind to everyone

My Mom was genuinely a kind person and showed that kindness to everyone. She also had what people call “the give of gab” and was a good listener. Mom would greet every customer with an open heart, listen to their needs, and steer them to the perfect purse for them. She was so good at this that many ladies would buy several handbags at once. 

Mom would get notes of thanks from her customers not just about how much they loved her purses but how she made them feel welcomed in her booth when they were shopping.

My Mom taught me that kindness is an essential service to clients. So whether it’s rescuing a downed website, crafting a landing page in a hurry, or helping a client find help from others, being kind in my client’s time of need can make their day go just a little better.

In turn, clients have shown me so much kindness in the last few weeks after the loss of my Mom. I work with compassionate, kind, and patient clients that I am proud to call friends.

My Mom would be so proud of the relationships and business that I have built.

I hope she knows what a great example of success she was to me.

Cami MacNamara

Owner/Designer at WebCami Site Design. Providing web design services in West Seattle since 2002. Facebook / Twitter / Instagram