Our 2016 Recap!

January 18, 2017
By Forge and Smith

Our year was dedicated to improving our clients’ digital presence, by creating them custom built and beautifully crafted websites. Our aim has always been to help our clients tell a story and show off their work better. We consider all angles to make sure our purposeful-built custom WordPress site is carefully thought out and contain all of the digital marketing strategies needs for our client’s business.

From the immense success of our client, Sweet Georgia Yarns following a complete revamp of their site to joining forces with Jelly Marketing, our team shares some 2016 highlights, including one man’s quest to order a pizza guilt-free.

Shawn Johnson, Master Websmith, Principal:

Favourite Client Win: We try and stay results oriented here because positive results mean we did our job well. We launched a completely reinvented brand and content experience for Sweet Georgia Yarns late in 2015 including a full range of eCommerce functions, from product sales to digital pattern downloads to monthly subscription boxes. We met with the client mid-way through 2016 to see how the site was performing and was shocked by the results! We knew it was a great looking site but it had also significantly impacted the business. Gross revenue was up 24%, per order values were up 215% and email campaign conversion was up 909%. A job well done.

Best Lesson of 2016: I tend to be a bit of a loner and generally default to trying to figure things out by myself. It’s tough for me to ask for help or to accept it when offered. It’s part pride and part independence. But after 5 years of working to grow the business by myself, I decided to switch it up and join forces with Jelly Marketing. The benefits of partnership and teamwork have been immediate and valuable and it taught me very quickly that two heads really are better than one.

Biggest Takeaway of 2016: We restructured the business in 2015 to “right size” our overhead and focus on our process. The result was a flexible but flat company structure where each individual is responsible for not only their deliverables but managing their own time and priorities within that process. By empowering the team this way, I’ve seen tremendous personal growth across the board, which relieves me of the constant need to provide direction and allows me to focus on growth and sales. The company is the richer for this change.

Troy Kelly, Lead Theme Developer

Favourite Client Win: Not just a single instance but when our clients message us telling us how happy they are with the process and end result.

Best Lesson of 2016: For websites to succeed all parties must be invested.

Favourite Forge and Smith Moment of 2016: At the end of every month we hold Launch Parties, we discuss what sites are in the queue to be built and what ones have launched. It’s great to see where the company is at and where it is headed(also the beer helps).

Goal for 2017? To be able to order a large Panago pizza on the phone without pretending I’m splitting it with another person. I always respond to the Panago Operator’s question of “Is that everything?” with “One sec let me ask my friends.” instead of just admitting the fact I am about to crush the pizza solo. Baby steps…baby steps.

Alan Chen, Theme Developer

Favourite Forge and Smith Moment of 2016: Win 6 foos games in a row single handedly

Goal for 2017? Maybe build another plugin for sale

Shiela Morfe, Front End Developer

Favourite Client Win: Every win is a favourite win

Goal for 2017? My goal is to learn more about developing

Tess Good, UX Designer

Favourite Client Win: One of the most exciting things we get to do is be a part of a client’s growth. A highlight this year was several clients who came to us as very established businesses but were looking to take things to the next level, specifically by adding eCommerce to their existing brick and mortar operations. It is so rewarding to be a part of their process and celebrate their growth and success post-launch!

Best Lesson of 2016: The most valuable lesson I learnt this year was not to leave my computer unlocked when stepping away from my desk. Developer pranks are savage.

Goal for 2017? In 2017 I’m looking forward to working with clients on our new proactive development retainers. Using tools such as heat maps and analytics I will be able to track user behaviour and conversion rates, which allows us to measure, test, and improve upon the websites we build. I’m all about continual improvement and look forward to working with our clients post-launch to keep their websites in tip-top shape.

Jennifer Bui, Content Marketing & SEO Strategist

Best Lesson of 2016: Read twice, send once. Also check for spelling errors.

Favourite Forge and Smith Moment of 2016: Learning how to play all the board games, then slowly crushing everyone at board games. #icametowin

Goal for 2017? To become a sponge, and learn all of the things, from all of my incredibly talented co-workers.


Poorly executed sites and haphazard content marketing strategies continue to plague the Internet. Our Mission is the same as it last year, to restore order in the online world one website at a time.

Forge and Smith

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