Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Dusting the Studio (Part 1)

With only a couple of slow days after the hectic month I’ve had, my brain is starting to play its typical games: Those where it tries to make me feel guilty for not being busy, for not being immersed on accomplishing something, for not tackling the items on my to–do–when–I’m–not–busy list… Only after TWO miserable days of rest, the stupid neurotic voice tells me it’s not well deserved rest. Rather it is: I’m not selling… I’m not making… I’m not fixing…


Let me tell you, little voice in my head, about a couple not insignificant things I’ve accomplished recently.

I built a new design portfolio web site!

And that’s no small feat given that I parent a two–year–old and haven’t done any web design or development work during the last two years. But while I’ve recently felt that the web industry must have left me behind, I was able to design this puppy, code it, and develop a custom WordPress theme for it.

visit mafemaria

Before becoming a mom, any projects I worked on for which I was also the client were always painstakingly long. This time, I had to move it; I only had child care for a very limited time. So instead of agonizing over design details, I had to focus on building a decent looking site that accomplished my business goal. I wanted an online presence for my work as an artisan, something that allowed me more control than my Etsy shop, something that/where I could:

  • Publish in English and Spanish
  • Optimize for search engines
  • Provide more photos of my handmade items
  • Showcase all my commercial products, regardless of whether I have stock ready for sale or not. A design portfolio, if you will.
  • Cross–sell my products (i.e. if you’re browsing an item, I wanted to show you others that were similar or complementary)
  • Present myself as a serious artisan. This is career #3; what I want to do for a living when it’s time…

So I built it. And while the Spanish version (and a better Search functionality) will have to wait for phase 2, my new “work” site is finally out there, it cleaned the dust off my web design portfolio, and I have to thank:

Mom and Joey, for giving me the time I needed

My friend Nicki Zuchowickz, for reminding me that I needed a website, and for all of her great usability feedback

Designers Anabel Sousa and Jennifer Wolfgang, for sharing with me their perception of who I am as an artist. Hearing what they said about my work and style was tremendously inspiring.

My friend Liliana, for her emotional support, constant validation, and great insight about “the little voice”.

And I thank my other voice, for telling me to do it anyway despite the poop Failure–Maria voice who mid–project started whispering Who cares?, and What are you going to do with that site?, and You’ll never make a living as an artisan.

That last thought reminds me of recent accomplishment #2, which I will share in a next post. Enough of me already, huh? :)

One comment:

  1. On , Anabel wrote:

    Ay, Maria! I feel so much like you… but without a kid. :s