I began Sommer Designs in 1999 as a web design studio dedicated to helping small businesses achieve a web presence at a time when the internet was still young. We enjoyed a steady workload for several years, and then in 2003, with the market saturated with web design firms and business slowing down, I began to look for other avenues where I could combine my passion for design, online marketing and creativity. Surprisingly, the business morphed into designing & manufacturing a line of handcrafted women's accessories in 2004, some of which are outsourced, many of which are still made by me. My line includes handmade handbags and home accessories. I've developed a following for the eye-catching fabrics, unusual combinations of patterns and crisp, traditional shape of many of my designs. As a small business, and due to limited financing, I have been responsible for all aspects of marketing and social networking, which has been the greatest and least expensive aspect of advertising. My work has been featured in magazines such as Country Living, Romantic Homes, Malibu Times and Los Angeles, and I have been featured on HGTV's 'That's Clever!'. All of my features and placements were due to editors finding my product due to my effort with social marketing and search engine optimization as a result of those marketing efforts.Having realized recently that I enjoyed the marketing of my business more than the actual production of the product, I am once again reinventing my business. I am now helping small, creative, product-based businesses gain visability and exposure through social networking and other online channels.
Jun 1999 - Present
Sommer Designs, LLC
Principle owner/designer of a small business designing & manufacturing women's accessories. Responsible for all business operations, including, but not limited to, sourcing materials & contractors, designing and preparing samples, manufacturing small scale handcrafted pieces, bookkeeping, sales (both online [www.sommerdesigns.com] & in person), shipping and customer service. Responsible for the design & maintenance of the company website, blog and other social media outlets that have been instrumental in the continued marketing of my business. Pitched major media publications and featured in several major national magazines.
Jun 1999 - Sep 2007
Congregation Ner Tamid of South Bay
Responsible for the design and administration of the synagogue Internet web site. Duties included updating information as needed, adding and deleting pages pertaining to upcoming events and announcements, and graphic designs relating to the web site. Responsible for the implementation and delivery of a weekly electronic newsletter to a subscriber base of over 600; responsible for the implementation of an Internet affiliation with an online retail establishment resulting in additional revenues for the organization.
Jan 1996 - Jun 2007
Freelance Writer, Web & Graphic Designer
Freelance writing, graphic design, web design & desktop publishing services.
May 1986 - Jan 1992
Robert Berke, Esq.
Senior Paralegal for criminal defense/complex civil litigation law firm in Santa Monica, CA.