About Pixel Garden Studio

Photo of Jeff Sanders

Hello. I'm Jeff Sanders, a freelance web designer and developer living in Green Bay Wisconsin.

In The Beginning

In 1998 I created my very first website. It housed a collection of stories I had written and my ISP allowed us to host a website with our internet connection. Having no skills at writing HTML and no other tools at my disposal I created it in Microsoft Publisher. It didn't even have a proper domain name at the time.

I soon moved, well let's call it sideways, and bought a copy of FrontPage. It was reasonably priced and I still really didn't know much other than layout techniques that looked pleasing to me. At the time most everyone was working with tables anyway.

Eventually I found that working within the design view of FrontPage was limiting, as was using its form builders and other things. So slowly but surely I learned to write HTML by hand. I still used FrontPage, but I wasn't dragging and dropping elements anymore.

RandomActs Design

Move forward to 2000 when I met a girl named Kim (now my wife). One day I was redesigning my story website for seemingly the hundredth time and she said to me. "Why don't you make websites for other people?" It's funny how sometimes the most obvious thing is staring at you right in the face and you just don't see it.

So that's what we did. Kim and I started a small web design studio we named RandomActs Design in November of 2001. She did the graphics work and I did the coding. The name was a play off my story site which was called Random Acts of Imagination which is now my personal page that doesn't see much love these days.

We were having some trouble getting clients until one day I was approached by my cousin Matthew Golay. He was a musician and wanted a website because MP3.com was being bought and shutting down services for unsigned artists.

As his popularity grew in the Fox Valley and Oshkosh area so did the questions about who created his site. Kim and I did lots of work for musicians like Copper Box, RPM, Boxkar, Rob Anthony and The Moon Gypsies. We also did some work for Mill Creek where many of those bands played. Many of those clients are still with me today.

I really owe a debt of gratitude to my wife Kim for getting me into the business (she decided that web development wasn't for her and left for nursing school in 2003) and Matt for really helping my name become known in the Fox Valley area among artists and venues. I was even nominated, albeit indirectly, for some WAMI awards for websites I built for those clients.

Things weren't always rosy though and sometimes I just didn't have any work. So I did some contract jobs for other area web design and development employers to fill in the gaps.

Giantseed Creative LLC

In 2009 I formed Giantseed Creative LLC with Chris Robinson. He and I used to work together at one of the companies I did contract work for. The first year was great! We were getting clients without even trying and then it came to a halt. We had to work for each new project we got. That's when the working relationship between Chris and myself began to fall apart.

Partnerships are hard work. Just like any relationship it takes hard work, dedication, ambition and like-minded people to make it work. Chris and I had differing opinions about a lot of the aspects of the business and I decided to leave the company I helped build in July of 2012.

That's my one regret really. The company was named after Giantseed Records. A record label my cousin Matthew Golay wanted to create one day but sadly never got the chance. I really should have fought harder for it. It's a sore spot for me when I see the name.

Today and Beyond

After leaving Giantseed Creative I formed Pixel Garden Studio LLC. Here I build and support high quality, beautiful websites, built with modern technologies and standards. I've been developing Pixel Works, which is a CMS (content management system) that allows anyone to manage their own website with no programming knowledge required.

I love what I do. I would be crazy to do it this long if I didn't. I do my best to show that drive and enthusiasm in everything I do.