Sarasota, FL – What to do when business slows and you’re looking at more free time? At one local company, it means using their skills to help others. At 342 Mad Solutions (Mad stands for Marketing And Design) the team decided it was time to offer their services, free of charge, to a company that needed a website. It started out with feeling grateful that they were still able to work, albeit at a slower pace, and increasing concerns about the community.
Like many professionals, the staff took advantage of the opportunity to hone their marketing and design skills with online courses. But with the pandemic and the social unrest that has defined 2020, they wanted to do more. Laura Coyle, 342 Mad co-founder and graphic designer said that the team wanted to make a meaningful contribution as a response to the current challenges communities now face.
“We wanted to help by providing the tools that would allow a business owner to continue to grow in the long term,” said Coyle. “During this time, I was also educating myself about systemic racism and other societal barriers that people of color have known all their lives. We decided that the best way we could help was to offer our web building services to a Black-owned business.”
Coyle reached out to Tarnisha Cliatt at the Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce who put her in touch with Stephanie Joyner, owner and director of House of JBaby’s Preschool. Joyner began her business from her home and with its growth over the past few years, she was able to move into a 4300 square-foot facility on Manatee Avenue East in Bradenton with six brightly themed classrooms and a playground. 342 Mad Solutions built her website, thehouseofjbabys.com, in a user-friendly program so that Joyner and her staff could update it themselves. Mack David Buildings sponsored the first year of the cost of hosting the site.
“I am so grateful for an amazing website that my business really needed,” said Joyner. “Laura gave me exactly what I was looking for. I would also like to thank Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce for arranging this opportunity.”
What’s next for 342 Mad? The team has again reached out to the Chamber for a Sarasota business that may also need help by way of a website. “I would like to set up a program where designers can provide their skills and other companies can provide sponsorships or grants.” says Coyle. “We can bring a community together to help businesses with long-term solutions like establishing websites and providing marketing basics so they can continue to grow on their own.”