Twenty Years In The Website Design Business

meWhy I chose to be CoWEBop marketing, or how I got the name might be a better start. I am Tracy Malone, the owner of CoWEBop marketing and I have been in the website/marketing business for almost twenty years. It actually scares me to say I have been doing anything for twenty years. I picture my grandfather saying something about doing anything for twenty years and I thought “wow he must be old”. I digress…

CoWEBop turns two this year, so what happened in between? I have changed my name three times and my company name as well. When I first started my own business, I was “Millennium Vision” and “Hiptown Hosting” and then “Fairfield Web Design” because at the time I lived in Fairfield, Connecticut.

I created my first website for my high school reunion. I was a new mom and my interior design/catering life was on pause for my child. I am a creative right brain person, and I knew nothing about computers. Until one night, at our high school reunion committee meeting, someone said we should have a web page. So I volunteered, went to the library and got an HTML book. By the next meeting, I had developed a web page.

I had learned something new and it was fun, but at the next meeting, people suggested a form that classmates could fill out so we could find them. I went home and learned how to create a form. The classmate reunion site was so ugly. It evolved to have a “dead classmate page” that played “Stairway to Heaven” AND it had an animated Skeleton. Looking back now, the web was booming and adding sound was not annoying. Animated gif’s were the first things that could move; it was a cool time.

Our silly little site had an article written for the local paper featuring the new way classmates could find each other again. There was no Google, no classmates.com, no Facebook. The story was big news and the New York Times called and asked if they could do a story on the “Reunions of the future”. What a game changing thing to happen – a photographer was sent to my home where I posed face on a pile of library HTML books. I was the full page story on the Connecticut section of the New York Times!

Great Minds – Knowledge You Can Not Buy

I took those two stories to a little startup company where my brother in-law was working and he said I could make buttons and help them with my newly found HTML skill set. It was a small group of people in a basement but they were fun and they catered lunch every day! How could I refuse being the “button girl”? The thing that amazed me the most was that they gave me email! This was the beginning of the internet boom and I was working for a company that in retrospect (mine at least) was cutting edge. It was priceline.com. We went from about 25-400 in a very short time. I went from “button girl” to software engineer in the ten years I worked there.

I worked with the brightest minds; the brilliant cavemen of this thing we call the internet. Marketing and IT will be in my blood forever. I learned from the best and was sad to leave but I was moving to Colorado.

Colorado or bust
No one knew what or where Fairfield was, so I had to rename my company. I chose “Schloss Web Services”. Schloss for my last name at the time and Web Services because I did so much more than just developing websites. You will see the most information about me as Tracy Schloss of Schloss Web Services. I spent a year to reposition myself after not having the Schloss name and I came up with CoWEBop marketing because I wanted to put “co-op” and “web” together. I didn’t think that it would be hard to say. Customers call and ask for “cow-e-op, co-webo-p, co-web-op” its fun to hear and a great ice breaker. This time, I choose “marketing” as our second word because we do so much more than web services.