We had the good fortune of connecting with ALEN KEVORKIAN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi ALEN, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I used to work for an prominent Engineering office in Pasadena California, called Parsons, during my 10 years working there i was laid off twice, while these were still tough times for me to lose my income that i had come to rely on, it made me think of others who were in the same position as i was, except they were much older, and have a wife, kids and a mortgage to think of, where i did not. I was still in my early 20’s. I started to think of what if i was 40 or 50 what would i do, if i was laid off then? I needed to think of an exit strategy from Parsons while i am still young. While i was thinking what i wanted to do as a career for myself, our internal department at Parsons wanted to put a website together specifically to be used by us only…. I took this challenge to teach myself how to do this, and during the process i fell in love with web design, from that moment, i started teaching myself more and learning more about it.
What should our readers know about your business?
So while i started the agency early – as in pre-web design, 1998 to be exact, no one was building websites, the closest to anything to a website would come from AT&T business section, and they were not cheap, i had to learn how much to charge and figure out what my time was worth. I recall going to a friends wedding and many of my friends who were graduating from the bar exam and others who were starting their own business’s – i simply said to them “you need a website, and I am the one who is going to do it” that was it, i mean its not like they had anywhere else to go. I studied AT&T’s cost plan for building a website, and starting seeing issues right away, for example, they would charge you for 1 page website that would include 3 images and 4 links… if you wanted additional images or links or pages you had to pay more… so i wanted to separate myself from this type of model by including everything into my price, similar to a project cost rather than an hourly cost. My very first website project I received was for $250… and i was so proud to have earned this money doing what i love.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Probably old town Pasadena, it was where i spent 10 years working at Parsons, but the area had become this very quaint little town that even if i was not working, i would walk the streets, coffee shops, and restaurants. I also spend a great deal of time at Starbucks with my laptop working.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would say not a little credit but allot of credit would go to my father, my no.1 believer, so many people get a great idea but are discouraged by their own family or friends that they loose faith in themselves before they have even started. After getting my notice for layoff from a project at Parsons my 3rd time around, I had decided now was the time to let it go and start my career as a self made person, i would choose how to work, how long to work, i was going to be the boss now and under my terms, probably the biggest things to swallow was i am now turning 30 and about to be laid off, and was going to ask my father for advise, and to also move back home to limit my overhead and spending so i ca dedicate my efforts into building and growing the one man operation. What did my father do, what any loving father would do, with open arms, he said go ahead, come home, you have a roof over your head and food in the fridge, he encouraged me as well as say the famous words, “don’t worry about the money, if you love what you do, the money will follow”
My Wife Chelda is pictured in may of the photos, she handles the Social Media Department