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Meet the Morning Owls, a mother/daughter team helping small businesses by building low-cost, custom websites.

Tell us who you are.

We are Dana and Maggie, a mother-daughter team. We realized a few years ago we had developed a skill set that allowed us to create and fine tune websites in a way that years prior had been limiting and frustrating. We started helping friends and family and soon it became a passion to help others get online with their own website.

Why the name Morning Owls?

One morning our family was talking together about how Maggie and I had successfully gained enough knowledge and experience developing websites that we could actually form a small business to help others. Out the window Maggie spotted a big, beautiful, barred owl sitting on our fence in the early morning light. After that it seemed like we started seeing owls everywhere- dolls, memes, pictures.... we decided it was a sign.

Is this your first business?

No, it actually isn’t. Maggie started a neighborhood dog treat business when she was just 9 years old. She received a dog treat recipe in the mail from her grandfather and wanted to try it out. Our dogs loved them so she made some for our neighbors. They loved them and asked for more. So Maggie and her brother created their own brand and started selling dog treats in our neighborhood. They maintained that business for several years.

How did you learn to develop websites?

We started off the same way many others probably do- we had WordPress blogs. Then one of Maggie’s grandfathers developed a website need. He didn’t have any experience building websites, nor the funds to hire anyone, so Maggie and I stepped up. Through that process we learned a lot. We learned that owning a website wasn’t really that expensive after all. The biggest expense is the time investment to create the website and content. Maggie’s grandfather needed a total of three websites. So that gave us a lot of practice right up front. We did tons of research during that project, solving problems and fixing bugs, and had lots of Eureka moments along the way. After that, it seemed we kept bumping into people who needed websites for their small businesses, side-hustles, or to satisfy their own need for self-expression.

What platform do you use?

We started off using WordPress but we were frustrated that we couldn’t get the design looks and layout exactly the way we wanted. Maggie is a visionary and has great ideas but the free themes were very limiting and frustrating to use. And we were stubborn enough, and frugal enough, to not want to pay for a theme. So we started building websites using just HTML and CSS. It was an environment we definitely knew how to control.

Then one of our friends wanted to add a blog to her website. That type of user interactive interface was something we needed an established platform like Wordpress for. But we didn’t want to be pigeonholed again by someone else’s theme. So what’s a girl to do? Build your own! And that’s just what we did.

Today, Maggie and I can create custom websites in WordPress which gives us complete flexibility in design and layout and eliminates the bulk and awkwardness of out-of-the-box themes. This also gives our customers the ability to have better control of their site's aesthetics and an interactive voice to keep their site dynamic and involved.

Where'd you get your owl logo?

I'm glad you asked! Maggie and her dad worked together to make our logo. I love the symbolism of the one larger owl (which represents me, the mom), and the smaller owl (which represents Maggie, the daughter) close together on a branch. Although, these days Maggie is actually taller than me!

What is something you would like others to know?

Dana: I would like small businesses and individuals with products to sell to realize how important it is to promote your own brand on your own website.

Maggie: A functional, good-looking website helps give your potential customers confidence in your abilities and insight into your business.

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Morning Owls

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