We had the good fortune of connecting with Payge Kerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Payge, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Oftentimes, when a client engages with an agency, especially for websites, they will be forced to pick between these two options:
1. A templated site that was semi-customizable to them (usually built off a theme), but that still doesn’t feel exactly right. Clients often settle with this option because they can, at least, make their own changes to the site.
2. An exquisitely-built custom site that fits their brand perfectly, but doesn’t give the client the ability to edit their own content. This option, for most agencies, involves locking clients into long-term support contracts.
Wink Digital is the result of my wanting to patch this hole in the market. I wanted to create and utilize technology where our clients could get the best of both types of agencies: a thoroughly-built custom website -AND- autonomy to manage their own content.
We emphasize autonomy in our technology choices. While we love our long-term relationships with our clients, we also want to empower them to utilize their own marketing assets. For us, this means developing custom CMS’s for all of our clients’ websites (read: custom-coded websites that get converted into drag-and-drop editors for our clients), creating reusable templates and style guides, and building sustainable advertising and marketing campaigns that allow for autonomy. We do this because it supports our mission of helping clients be in control of their own technology and marketing endeavors.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wink Digital stands out because we are an agency that values a holistic approach to marketing. We know that a good website doesn’t make a business thrive without marketing materials that support it. We emphasize autonomy in our technology choices. While we love our long-term relationships with our clients, we also want to empower them to utilize their own marketing assets. For us, this means developing custom CMS’s for all of our clients’ websites (read: custom-coded websites that get converted into drag-and-drop editors for our clients), creating reusable templates and style guides, and building sustainable advertising and marketing campaigns that allow for autonomy.
We are also an agency that focuses on the holistic wellness of the brand. When we work with clients, we examine their brands, in full, before moving forward with any plan– we emphasize the importance of brand assets and campaigns working symbiotically, instead of singularly.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Portland has SO many great things to do.
For food, check out Safframen at the Shady Pines Vegan Food Carts. I also love Kinboshi Ramen, but maybe that’s just because I’m a sucker for a good bowl of ramen. For burgers, the best place in the city, in my opinion, is Stormbreaker Brewing.
For hikes, a nice, easy sneaker-walk is up Powell Butte. It has a beautiful vista point where you can see about 10 different mountains. On a nice day, it’s the only place I want to be.
For day-trips, my favorite spot is Manzanita, OR. A walk on the beach + a trip to The Winery at Manzanita is sure to put me in a good mood.
And for activities to do in Portland, I love walking around Cathedral Park in St. Johns.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are MANY people who deserve credit for my success. There are three people, specifically, that I would like to highlight.
My dad, Dr. Marc Kerman, is my biggest cheerleader and continues to represent Wink Digital everywhere he goes. At farmers markets, he hands out my business card. On a ski lift, he asks everyone if they need marketing. Every opportunity he gets, he supports my endeavors.
Secondly, I want to shout out my business coach, Winn Clark. When I started to work with her about 2.5 years ago, I was not nearly as confident in my decisions and in our capabilities. I felt unprepared to make large, necessary decisions, and I was struggling on how to successfully and sustainably scale our business. Working with Winn has been instrumental to my success – giving me the skillset and confidence to successfully run Wink the way I need to.
Finally, my fiancé and business partner, Matt. We have built this business together through the highs, the (extreme) lows, the celebrations, and the losses. Without his endless support and strategic thinking, Wink would not be where it is today.