I’m Fran. I grew up in northern Italy somewhere between a lake and a mountain. Brighton has been my home for 6 years and I’m completely besotted with it.
I’ve been working as a freelance web designer for close to a decade. In the beginning, I coded everything by hand but I’ve since moved to building sites using WordPress; it’s a lot quicker and cost-effective for my clients.
My home / office is in a gorgeous housing cooperative in the South Downs National Park, not far from Devil’s Dyke. You can read more about it on the South Downs Eco website. If you’re ever at a loose end on a Saturday, you’re more than welcome to come around for one of our volunteering days!
When I’m not in front of my laptop, you’ll most often find me playing ukulele, running, doing yoga or reading something by David Mitchell (not the Peep Show guy, the other one). Unless it’s a weekend, in which case I’ll probably be hanging out with my buddies or going on a mini-adventure.
My office / home
South Downs Eco is a housing cooperative just outside Brighton. It currently consists of three hectares of downland, an old farmhouse, plenty of deer and at least five humans. We affectionately call our home ‘The Sheds’ (disclaimer: we don’t live in sheds, but there’s a shedload of them on the site).
We have lots of exciting plans for the future. They include building some super sustainable and affordable live/work spaces, growing lots of lovely food using permaculture principles, increasing biodiversity in our corner of land, and exploring new ways of living in a 21st century countryside.
If you want to visit us and spend some time in nature, we host volunteering days most Saturdays from 11am – 4pm. Follow our Facebook page if this is your cup of tea.
ITo find out more, check out our videos – they give a pretty good overview of our project (and you get to see our goofy faces – bonus).
My remarkably crappy experience with web designers*
*and how this lead me to discover the best job in the world
In 2010, I was working for our small family business in Italy. The boss (aka Dad) proclaimed it was high time we made our presence known on the world wide web. I spent a solid week researching web designers, consulting our team, honing a brief, and sending out the carefully crafted document.
A few weeks later, my desk was littered with quotes, ranging wildly in cost and scope; from €500 to €10,000. Baffled and rushed, we settled for a mid-range (yet not entirely inexpensive) offer. The result was… meh. What was more, it emerged that making the smallest change to the site would cost a small fortune in maintenance fees.
I felt conned.
Out of sheer stubbornness and frustration, I enrolled in a web design course that same year. I absolutely loved it.
Having been on both sides of the fence, I learned a few lessons about what I’d want from a web designer. Which I think is part of the reason why my clients and I get along so well. Don’t take my word for it, check out my Google Reviews. (Blows own trumpet.)
So thank you, crappy web designer from back in 2010. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.