Steven Snell had his sights on the big leagues. As a kid growing up in a small city, he wanted to be a professional athlete and while most kids would try their hardest and fail miserably, Steven “was smart enough to know that the odds were stacked against [him].” He’s no quitter though. That energy and drive got funneled into different directions. A few different directions, as the case may be.
Now a married man pushing 30 and living in a suburb of Philadelphia, he has grown from that pragmatic kid into a guy who obtained two bachelor degrees- in Business Administration and Bible. He admits those are some of the oddest duel-degree choices out there, but that could be the sign of a guy didn’t know what he wanted to do when he grew up until he was in his late 20s.
Snell didn’t jump into design like most of his counterparts. In fact, his first job out of college was utilizing that business degree in a consulting position for a small company. As he puts it, “It was ok but [it wasn't anything] I wanted to do for the rest of my life…it wasn’t something that made me want to go to work in the morning.”
So what does make him want to go to work in the morning? It’s isn’t the coffee since he doesn’t go for hot drinks of any kind. Snell is a busy guy. So busy, in fact, that this interview was conducted via email. After all, running Vandelay Design, his two-year-old web design business and maintaining three different blogs doesn’t exactly leave much in the way of free time. As it is, for the last couple of months all of Steven’s spare time has been getting a new design site called DesignM.ag up and running. Snell’s vision of this site is that it will eventually be a multi-author blog with daily posts and even though right now he’s the sole contributor, he’s always looking for designers and bloggers to submit news items. “The main reason I decided to launch DesignM.ag is that I’ve had some great experience with the blog at Vandelay Design, but I’ve always felt limited to what I could do there as it is attached to the services of Vandelay Design.”
When asked what he considers his current job, Steven didn’t have a straight answer, even for himself. “Currently I’m a designer, a freelance blogger, a website owner and an auditor…which is completely unrelated to my other work. Hopefully over the next six months I can generate more income from my own sites and move towards just managing them and doing some design work for clients.” A far cry from major league ball, but not bad for this boy from Central Pennsylvania.
Snell was once told he resembles the character Stifler from the American Pie movies, whose first name is also Steve, ironically enough (he says she was drunk). But unlike his doppelganger, Steven leads a much simpler life. Usually in bed by 1am and up around 6:30, he spends his precious down time relaxing at home with his wife and some Chinese food- “the basics and none of that crazy stuff” as he puts it. “We don’t see each other too much during the week, so that’s one of our few times together right now.” This situation isn’t likely to change much in the near future either; Steven Snell loves blogging.
Snell came up with the idea for DesignM.ag because he was spending a lot of time on design-related sites and blogs to collect the bits and pieces of information that he found useful. What if there was one site that took the best of different design sites, added some uncommon sections like a job board, and put them in one place? A new website is born.
The name and web address is unusual to say the least. Some of the more perceptive readers may see that the .ag domain is primarily used for German websites. When thinking up a name for his new venture, Snell couldn’t find a .com domain name that he was happy with. After a little experimentation, he came up with DesignM.ag, and it just made sense. American domain or not, Steven plans to grow DesignM.ag into a one-stop-shop for designers of all genres. As time goes on, keep an eye out for some interviews, downloads, a gallery and more.
Steven Snell loves what he does and it shows. “My favorite part of my work is managing my own sites and blogs. I’m always motivated to keep growing and improving because it’s a challenge and I know my business will benefit in the end from the success with these sites.” So it seems as if being able to inspire fellow designers in the process is just the icing on the cake…or pie.
Guest Author: Michelle Krasniak
Michelle Krasniak is a freelance writer and frequent contributor whose various rantings can be found on her blog, inherwritemind.com. She loves fanny packs and being gossiped about and is getting married in a few months to a guy who obviously doesn’t know what he’s getting into.