melissa-love the design space

Melissa Love is based in Cornwall, UK and creates Divi websites and premium Divi Child themes at The Design Space Co.

Q: Describe your business in 1 sentence.

Affordable website and print design for creative businesses.

Q: Tell us more about your business. What exactly do you do?!

My business has completely changed over the past 3 years, since I launched The Design Space. I loved working with clients on a one-to-one basis but I also really wanted to be able to support smaller, creative businesses who were just starting out. The Design Space has given me the opportunity to do that, so I’ve really scaled back my client work and now spend most of my time thinking up new themes and tools for the store.

Q: What products have you developed specifically for Divi and what might we expect in the future?

Hard to believe it, but we have 10 child themes for Divi! I’m really proud of the fact that we were the first company to release a premium theme for Divi and we aim to release a new theme every couple of months. At the moment, I am working really hard on an e-course for Divi users, which will help people get their sites up and running even further. It’s nearly finished so expect to hear more very soon.

Q: What 5 words best describe you as a person?

Impulsive, creative, easy-going, determined and detail-oriented

Q: How long have you been a member of Elegant Themes?

At least 5 years.

Q: What are your most, and least, favorite features in Divi?

I love everything about the page builder and the Divi library. I don’t just work with Divi, but the workflow in Divi is lightning fast. To be able to easily duplicate layouts and sections is such a gift and I don’t take it for granted, remembering all of the handcoding I had to do in html on every single page. My least favourite features are the blog area. I’d love to see some more layouts and attention to detail, in the comments area and the sidebar. I’d also love to see a few more options in the header area. I write more CSS for those two areas than anywhere else.

Q: How would you like to see Divi and its community evolve in the coming months and years ahead?

I’d like to see it continue to grow as a community in real life. I was lucky enough to meet the ET team in Berlin earlier this year and, although I couldn’t go, I know lots of Divi users have really enjoyed meeting up at Wordcamps. This aspect of community really drives forward loyalty and innovation. I’m also hoping for a storefront from Elegant Themes themselves because I think that will drive forward innovation in the import / export process.

Q: If you weren’t a web designer/developer, what would you be?

I’d be writer / painter / photographer / cook. Basically, I’m going to be a brilliant retired person. I have loads of hobbies and can’t wait to slow down a little bit. I’m not ready yet though!

Q: What websites do you visit daily?

The Elegant Themes blog to see if I’ve missed anything and then everything else comes to me via social media – mostly Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I rely on them heavily as business tools and I’d be lost without them.

Q: If you were granted 3 Divi Theme wishes for feature enhancements or additions what would you wish for?

Blog layout options, Header options and better WooCommerce integration
What are your 3 favourite WP plug-ins?
I’m going to skip the obvious ‘housekeeping’ ones for backup and SEO etc and choose design-led ones. I love Essential Grid and use it a lot, Drop Cap Shortcode and I couldn’t leave out Bloom (with the extra Bloom Re-direction plugin from Elegant Themes – that’s a seriously powerful combo)

Q: Which website/s are you most proud to say, “I made that!”?

My current favs are Devlin Photos, Brett Florens and I still really like Aspire Photography Training.

Q: What does your average work day usually involve?

Getting the kids out the door and doing a bit of exercise first. I’m usually at my desk by 9am, sorting out any support tickets and reviewing the day ahead. I’m pretty disciplined about shutting down social media tabs and email when I need to. I tend to work right through the day, grabbing lunch at my desk (bad habit I know) and break when it’s time for the school run. Two or three times a week, you’ll find me up late dealing with clients or contacts in the US. Over half of my business comes from there.

Q: PC or Mac?

Mac for everything. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Q: Apart from Divi, what other WP theme/s do you use regularly?

I design themes for www.prophoto.com. ProPhoto is a theme for photographers, which is just my thing. They are a lovely bunch and I’ve worked closely with them now for quite a number of years. I also design for Showit, another website solution for photographers. I’m just starting to dip my toe into Squarespace too.

Q: How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?

None, but I have a weakness for Diet Coke.

Add a 795 x 300px banner image here. It can include absolutely anything you like and link to anywhere you like …

The Design Space

Q: What’s the best lesson you have learned (the hard way) when making websites?

Never take risks with SEO, email or backups for clients. Years ago, I hadn’t backed up a development site properly and I had to start from scratch. It was heartbreaking.

Q: How many people are on your team? If you work solo, do you ever collaborate?

I have a project manager who comes into work with me in the office and we have 2-3 freelancers who work part time for us, all around the work. I haven’t done a lot of collaborations but I’m always open to it.

Q: What do you do for fun outside of work?

Sailing and swimming. We live a short walk from the water and beach here in Cornwall and I get out there every chance I can. I also dabble in a bit of food photography. I have a food blog that I run with a friend (http://lifeonaplate.co.uk) which gives us a great excuse for foodie breaks away. Oh, and my husband owns a tapas bar which I get involved in too.

Q: If you could outsource 1 thing, what would it be? If you already outsource areas of your work, what part has been the most beneficial you?

I outsource as much as possible. I have an amazing project manager, Nicola, which is the best decision I ever made. She takes care of all enquiries, bookkeeping and the freelance diary and keeps me on track too. I also outsource the things I know I’m not strongest at, like moving sites to live.

Q: Apart from being a Divi guru, what else are you good at?

I can make balloon animals!

Melissa Love
The Design Space Co // Facebook // Twitter // Google+ //

Thanks to Melissa for a great Divi Q&A 🙂 Stay tuned to Divi Theme Examples for more Divi developer Q&A sessions.

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