A couple of years ago I went mining.
I was searching for design inspiration, so I started browsing CSS galleries to see if I could find something that would ignite some ideas for a redesign of my own.
Among the many sites I saw that night which I liked, this one stood out.
So I hopped on over to the site and loved what I saw. Then I noticed the designer did work with WordPress. And then I noticed that he lived in the Chicago area.
A Strategic Move
At the time, the competition in the premium WordPress theme market really started to soar, and I knew that I needed to start making some changes with how I was running the business.
So I sent him an email to see if there was a way we could meetup to talk about things. It took a little while to connect, but we finally did. (At Starbucks, of course.)
His name is Rafal Tomal, and contacting him was easily one of the best business decisions I have ever made in my life.
If you know anything about me, where I work or what I do, you know who Rafal is.
The Luck Factor
When you go mining for anything, sometimes you simply need a little luck to find it.
There are times in life when you come across the unexpected — the story about my encounter with Rafal was no different.
I didn’t set out to find a someone who can design, but here’s what I did find. A designer who’s work is off the charts. A loyal employee. And a really good friend.
Two years ago Rafal was a relatively unknown freelance designer from Poland struggling to find his way. He made the leap of faith when he accepted a position from me at StudioPress, and ultimately from us at Copyblogger Media.
Since then, he’s made a commitment to learning as much as he can — from the latest design trends to conversion and optimization techniques.
He didn’t want to be good, he wanted to be great.
It’s been really fun to watch Rafal grow from a quiet guy to an ambitious and bold member of the Genesis and WordPress communities.
In the time I’ve known him, he’s gotten married, purchased his first home and has become an American citizen. I’m just so proud of all that he’s done.
What the Future Holds
If you like what you’ve seen from him so far, you’ll be blown away at what’s to come.
We’ve been brainstorming a lot these days about where we want to take our themes at StudioPress. We have some neat ideas, and I can’t wait to see them put into action.
I’m really excited for the path that lies ahead for us, and along that journey I’ll look back and never forget the day that changed my life.
When I found a diamond in the rough.