Behind the name of Waymaker Designs

The Backstory

Back in 2008, I was a young mama in a desperate place and needed to quickly figure out a way to provide an income for my little family. Through a series of events that I firmly believe the Lord put in my path, I began teaching myself design and code so I could provide my services to potential clients; Restored 316 was born. 

For several years I worked my tail off designing custom brands and websites. Eventually, I wanted to do more than just custom design work. I desired to have more control over my time and schedule. I needed a way to create passive income so I wasn’t constantly tied to my computer. So, with a push from Brian Gardner (founder of StudioPress) I created my first WordPress theme and listed it in the StudioPress marketplace. In any spare time I had, which wasn’t very much, I would build a theme, launch it, and repeat. I did this until the income from themes replaced my income from custom design clients allowing me to switch to just doing theme design! I’ve now been designing Genesis child themes for well over a decade and have built an incredible community of beloved customers and friends that use our Restored 316 themes!

Hardship to Living

In 2017 I found myself in the middle of a divorce and on the way to being a single mama. Though 2017 was one of the most difficult years of my life, it was also one of the best! Through it, I realized that for years I had allowed Restored 316 become my identity. I literally lived and breathed it. I would check my emails from the dinner table, answer emails from bed at night, or answer a phone call at nearly midnight from a customer. I realized that the reason I did all those things wasn’t just because I love my work so much, which I most certainly do, but because I was escaping the reality that was my life.

Once I had nothing to escape from, I started to enjoy living my life and finding purpose in things that didn’t include just my work! I learned that I love to travel, spend quality time with my children, and I adored hanging out with and encouraging friends around me! I learned that Lauren wasn’t just a business owner, but she was a social butterfly who had been in a cocoon for far too long (bringing an entirely new meaning to the butterfly symbol in my business!).

This image was taken from a helicopter above Moloka’i on one of my traveling adventures!

Business Changes

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of change not only in my personal life, but in the world of WordPress!

In December of 2018 WordPress introduced Gutenberg, which is a new way of editing posts and pages. This change was a huge thing for everyone who used WordPress for blogging, and for people like myself that develop themes.

While it has taken me quite some time to get used to, I have grown to love Gutenberg, and so have most of my customers. But for some, they still find it very frustrating because it is so different. For the last 2 years I have been hearing a lot of complaints from my community about the inability to easily edit things on their websites. There are plugins like Beaver Builder and Elementor that make creating sections on your site, and editing things like fonts and colors a bit easier, but for me… they still don’t feel like the right answer to the needs of my customers.

I heard about and played around with ShowIt about 5 or 6 years ago. At that time it was still desktop software. I found the process of working with it to be too cumbersome to have to explain to my customers so I didn’t continue testing it. Then ShowIt5 came out which had the ability to edit a site directly in the browser (Chrome). That was something I could get behind! Their platform makes it so incredibly easy to make just about any change to your website that you’d ever dream of! When I say it’s easy.. I mean super easy!

In my hunt for something that would answer the pain points of my customers, I decided to give ShowIt a real chance. After a week of learning and building my first theme and then my second, I knew it would be a great solution.

New things

In making the decision to create and offer ShowIt templates, we were faced with the decision of how to do this effectively. Restored 316 is known for our Genesis child themes and we didn’t want that to confuse anyone.

One day I stumbled on this live version of the song “Waymaker” and I felt the Lord say, “That’s the name.” I didn’t know what that meant in that moment but I just kept feeling the word Waymaker on my heart.

With all the things I’ve gone through in the last few years, the Lord has truly made the way for me! There were moments that I thought I was going to lose everything I had worked so very hard for, but the Lord told me I wouldn’t, and I didn’t. Where I thought my life had been “Restored,” I learned that He is still restoring me, and that I will always be a work in progress. The Lord has also been my Waymaker through it all and I’m so grateful for that!

When Lani and I met to discuss this new project and how we were going to make this work, I told her the story about Waymaker and we both knew that this new project needed a fresh start under a new name…. Waymaker Designs!

What this means

While Restored 316 is still alive and well, Restored 316 will exist just as it has and where we will continue to provide themes. Waymaker Designs is the sister-site to Restored 316 and will have everything ShowIt related. This way you, our customers, don’t get confused about the difference between the two.

I know a lot of you may not have heard of Showit and want to know how it compares to Genesis. I will be writing a blog post to discuss the differences and who ShowIt is great for and who it isn’t. ShowIt isn’t for everyone and I want to give you as much information as possible to make an informed decision if you’re looking to make the switch. In the meantime, you can see all the reasons I love ShowIt right here. I will leave you with this: if you are a photographer, coach, podcaster, small shop owner, or blogger… ShowIt is a great fit for you!

Ready to see our first Showit templates here at Waymaker? You can see our entire collection right here!

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