Dusting for Digital Fingerprints: The Art of Forensics

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Steve Simpson, founder of S2 Forensics, a digital forensics consultancy. He shares his secrets on how to protect your business forensically.

Digital Forensics Can Save Your Business

Why S2 Forensics?

I love to solve puzzles, and technology only makes it more fun; court cases are just another kind of mystery. You can tell a story of what a person did, where they went, and the keywords for which they were searching. People take lots of photos – selfies, photos of friends, landscapes, or any number of things.  Some even take pictures of themselves at a crime. Images have the potential to provide metadata regarding the time, date, or geo-location, indicating that they could have witnessed something or participated somehow. Evidence found on devices can exonerate or convict a person, whether the case is civil or criminal.

S2 Forensics offers the best digital forensics and computer technology support available to litigators, corporations, and government agencies. We offer a cybersecurity element that goes beyond computers or cell phones. Many of our non-technical clients want to know the nuts and bolts literally and figuratively, of the technologies they work with daily.  We put in whatever extra work is needed to explain these complex technical concepts.

Every litigation case is intriguing. It’s about helping lawyers understand technology so they can best present the case in a courtroom environment. We discuss tactics on specific examinations, testimony on the witness stand, and cross-examination of the opposing witness. We review the evidence and provide contrasting interpretations without violating people’s civil rights. It’s often about how and where we discover information that makes that evidence admissible. For example, some peer-to-peer (P2P) shared folders don’t need a warrant to be searched; if, however, a particular file is removed from the P2P shared folder, law enforcement may require a search warrant for the file.  A digital forensic analyst needs technical and legal background knowledge to do forensics right in addition to specialized skills and tools. 

What can businesses do to protect themselves?

Keep all hard drives. When a person leaves a company, the company should replace the hard drive and store the hard drive away. The hard drive may contain critical information and evidence of misuse of corporate resources. The hard drive should be kept or given to a digital forensic professional who will take a forensic image and complete a comprehensive hard drive analysis.  The hard drive mustn’t be recycled or used by another employee.  The replacement cost of a new hard drive is about $100 per 1TB of disk space.  This cost is minimal compared to the cost of litigation that may occur after someone leaves. 

If a business suspects someone internally of misconduct, any evidence you collect that may be used in legal action against a current or former employee must be collected and stored in a manner that will hold up in a court of law.  For example, a previous client had agreed to allow an employee to perform a particular project remotely.  The company issued the employee a computer with specific software expecting the employee to develop a business application.  After making zero progress on the application after several weeks, the company collected the laptop and terminated the employee.  The employee later came back to sue the company for wrongful termination.  The company requested a complete forensic analysis of the terminated employee’s computer.  The evidence on the computer showed that the former employee was using the corporate computer for hacking websites and harassing and extorting women he found on various dating websites.  After being confronted with evidence, the former employee dropped his case. 

In divorce cases, spouses often sue for child custody. Often both spouses have joint access to devices. Forensically, it’s possible to determine infidelity or other inappropriate behavior like cyberbullying, harassment, active involvement in child pornography, etc.  Using the correct tools and methods, this type of data can be uncovered and used to help make the best decisions for all involved.  While the act of searching for data may seem trivial, it requires specialized skills and tools to find the data that will stand up in court. 

What’s your #1 learning in cyber forensics to date? 

Each device stores data differently. From the outside, devices may look similar, but internally, they are as different as night and day internally. Let’s take storage media as an example; traditional computer storage technology is about 70 years old.  Because of how an operating system stores data on magnetic media, deleted data may continue to reside on the hard drive disk for an indefinite.  In contrast, solid state storage technology may not hold deleted data near as long due to garbage collection and wear leveling processes.  These processes, along with other differences between solid-state storage and magnetic media storage technologies, significantly impact the amount of deleted data that may be accessible on different devices.  Access to this deleted data may make or break any given case. 

What’s an indispensable tool you couldn’t live without?

I’m a big fan of open-source tools suited for Windows and Android devices. Many of these tools are developed by digital forensic enthusiasts and improved by digital forensic practitioners.  However, commercial and proprietary tools (those requiring paid licensing) are also important.  A professional digital forensic analyst usually has access to both types of devices.  I will usually use one to acquire or analyze evidence and use the other to verify my findings and conclusions.  I will not present my findings and conclusions for a case until both the open-source and commercial tools agree on the evidence.

What’s your philosophy?

Be hungry for learning. Technology is constantly changing, advancing, and widening its reach. I enroll in classes in my free time to better understand concepts. I found that with a strong work ethic and an ability to internalize information quickly, it’s easier to stay up to date.  Many tool vendors provide fee-based training that is usually top-notch.  Many YouTube videos offer tutorials on how to use various software tools and demonstrate evidence collection and analysis techniques.  Many excellent books can be found in college and university libraries or purchased online at a reasonable cost.    

How do you give back to the community? Why is that important?

I’ve been teaching at the college and university level since 2015.  I currently teach computer, mobile, and network forensics classes at Highline College, Central Washington University, and the University of Virginia.  Through both my professional and teaching career, I’ve aspired to help teach people the beauty and complexity of technology while also helping them understand how impactful it can be in their everyday life. While you can’t master forensics in 13 weeks, you can at least appreciate the field and continue to develop a mastery of the technology throughout your career.

To date, most of my clients have been lawyers and particularly criminal defense lawyers. As a result, some of the cases I work on can present me with a moral dilemma.  However, my job is not to determine the defendant’s guilt or innocence – that is the job of lawyers, judges, and juries.  My job is to uncover the evidence found on a computer device, determine how the evidence might have gotten there, and present my findings for use in a court of law.

What inspires you to keep going?

I’m fascinated with digital forensic technologies and how to use the technology to uncover information and develop a timeline of events.  Each case is different and might require a different and unique approach.  I find helping both my client and society very rewarding.

When all is said and done, what do you hope for S2 to achieve?

At the end of each case, I want to ensure that justice is grounded in data fairly.

S2 Forensics is a preferred partner on Beaze.

How to Forge a Lasting Business Dynasty

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re speaking with Clyde Hamai, CEO of Hamai Appliance, an appliance and mattress retailer in Maui founded in 1970. Clyde shares his secrets on how to run a family-owned business that has lasted over three generations.

Clyde Hamai, CEO of Hamai Appliance

Why Hamai Appliance?

Hamai Appliance is the only independent retailer of appliances and mattresses in Maui. My father, Lester, started this business over 50 years ago, and I joined him a couple of months later, after I graduated from the University of Hawaii. My dad’s mission was to serve the local people with the best sales and repair service.  We still follow that mission over 50 years later.  

How have you kept the business going for 50 years across 3 generations of family?

We adapt because we want to succeed, not just survive. When we first started, Sears owned about 45% of the appliance and electronics market. Now their share is in the single digits in addition to going bankrupt on the mainland. I would have never dreamed that our competitors would be the big boxes like Home Depot and Lowes.

One of the most significant changes that we’ve made is the shift away from electronics. When Panasonic, our largest electronics provider, shifted their North America strategy away from independent dealers, we had to maintain relationships with mainland distributors. It was too costly for our business. We decided to phase out electronics altogether; it was a tough choice because our customers still wanted these products. If we hadn’t, we would have been out of business like so many other local retailers. Maui had over a dozen dealers like us, but now we are the only one left.

Despite COVID, we never closed. We received PPP and leveraged our proprietary delivery logistics employees. We empowered our delivery team to postpone delivery if they suspected risks from COVID. All of our sales personnel wear masks and clean the showroom floor to ceiling daily. If anyone of our employees tests positive for COVID, we’re prepared to shut down for 14 days. We care more about our community than we do about just profits. Disease transmission is not a joke.

What is it like to run a family-owned business?

Oh [Clyde chuckles]. Working with family isn’t always easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. It was my dad’s dream to go into business with his sons. When he left his sales job at another store, where he had worked for over 25 years to start Hamai Appliance, he had no idea his dream would come true. My brother, Glenn, retired in 2013. I’ve been able to live that same dream. It is gratifying to hand this off to the next generation. 

Is running a family-owned business harder than running one without family?

Well, only about 30% of family-owned businesses transition into the second generation, but only 12% are viable in the third generation. A lot of this is attributed to whether or not you’ve been successful at separating work life with home life. I try very hard to keep work at the store and not take it home. I’ve discovered that it is not healthy to let the principals’ spouses get involved in running our business if the spouses aren’t actual employees. To do otherwise often results in the exploration of many touchy subjects at the company’s detriment. 

Three areas where family-run businesses can do better include:

1. Assignment of authority and respecting each other’s roles: Two of my sons and one of my nephews are each responsible for a branch of service. Everyone has to go through the correct channels to get stuff done. No one just gets to “pass go and collect $200”.

2. Crystal-clear communication: Never assume that people are on the same page. We frequently meet as a group; anyone can call that meeting. We value each other opinions and ensure that everyone is heard.

3. Maintaining respect: We are family, and we all bring different energy, strengths and ideas which can be valuable, even if the idea isn’t immediately adopted. My sons, Bryant and Garrett, and nephew Kelii, are modernizing the company technologically with their book smarts. I deliver practical advice on how to run the company since I’ve been doing it for 50 years. 

What is it like running a business in Hawaii?

It can be tough in our kind of business because we have to pay additionally for our independent ocean freight. That’s an additional 10-12% of the cost (a substantial overhead expense for any business). We overcome this in two ways. Firstly, we offer better service to our customers for all of the products we offer. Secondly, we also belong to Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG), the largest appliance and furniture buying group in North America. They help us buy products at a major discount and provide us with numerous industry-specific educational programs.  

There can also be some discrimination from businesses on the mainland. Many can’t service Hawaii, nor are they interested in flying here to grow it because of the distance. It’s still very much a challenge.

How have you kept up reliable customer service for so long?

We are the only turn-key appliance company in Maui that will sell, deliver, install and repair an appliance. We digitally track all customers’ purchases and warranties in our system, which ultimately benefits the customer in the long run by not having to manage those details independently.  Our sales team is very knowledgeable of all the brands we sell due to our manufacturer-led training programs.  

How do you give back to the community?

My father started an initiative in the community 40 years ago because he couldn’t find a single golf tournament for women. He decided to convince Panasonic to sponsor a friendly golf competition on Maui specifically for women. Every year until 2017, we’ve supplied the prizes for the Lester Hamai Memorial Golf Tournament while the participants paid the entrance fees. We donated the net proceeds to various Maui charities totalling over $90,000. We’re so pleased that the women in our community enjoy themselves at these events. Several years later, well after we had started the initiative, we realized that women are typically the chief decision-makers when it comes to appliance and mattress purchases, much like most other essential decisions in life. It’s worked out well both for the company and the community at large. The more we give, the more we receive.

Another dear initiative to our hearts includes the No Child Hungry (NCH) group. At our semi-annual Nationwide meeting, we helped pack meals for NCH. Nationwide has been supporting them for many years; they’ve packed and distributed over 1,000,000 meals and thousands of mattresses to disaster-fraught countries like Haiti. For our 50th anniversary celebration last year, we executed the program here in Hawaii to directly give back to our local community. We packed over 10,000 meals and distributed them to local organizations. We’re really excited about this program and looking forward to doing more in the future. 

What’s next for Hamai Appliance?

That’s up to my three boys. I’ve challenged them to grow our business.  I often tell them that when your name is on the door, you have to try harder. Maybe they’ll open up another store on Maui or one of the other islands.  We plan to be here for another 50 years. 

Hamai Appliance is a preferred partner on Beaze.

How to Trust and Verify at Scale

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Ric Asselstine, CEO and founder of Geeq, a blockchain platform services firm. Ric discusses how to scale a business and the importance of trust in both people and data.

Ric Asselstine, CEO of Geeq | Photo Credit: Geeq

Why Geeq? 

Induced serendipity. A few years ago, I had been searching for a scalable blockchain solution to integrate with Terepac, a full-stack internet-of-things (IoT) technology. I read a paper called “Blockchain and the Economics of Crypto-tokens and Initial Coin Offerings” by Dr. John Conley, a Vanderbilt Economics professor, following his sabbatical from Microsoft. It turns out he had been thinking about a better approach to blockchain validation. We connected immediately. When I read John’s article, I immediately thought how bright he was and how easily he pulled simplicity out of vast complexity; most of all, I loved his sense of humour. I always look forward to reading the footnotes in his papers; like crackerjacks, he hides good things at the bottom. We’ve since developed a profound trust in one another. These days, I bring the bus, John brings the tech.

Together, we’ve created an affordable multi-blockchain platform secured by our Proof of Honesty protocol™ (PoH) ideal for protecting highly valuable enterprise data. 

How would someone go about using Geeq? 

By definition, blockchain allegedly guarantees that a particular action took place. Unlike other blockchain technologies, Geeq’s PoH truly provides that assurance.  Geeq supports all usual use cases for blockchain, including but not limited to:

– Smart cities

– Document management

– Supply chains

– Insurance 

– Micro-commerce (i.e. financial transactions involving very tiny sums of money, typically online).  

The actual use cases are limited pretty well only by the imagination. It feels like the dawn of the internet. 

By marrying our proprietary technology to a business model, we’re unleashing a new way to communicate, interact and transact at scale. The platform will manage billions, even trillions of transactions, enough for a smart city with all of its IoT devices.  No other blockchain platform comes close to that level of scale and trustworthiness, despite attempts at decentralized micropayments for several years. Our validation engine, PoH, seeks to enable the next era of decentralized business and will power a public blockchain platform, much like a car engine does. Not usually seen, but that which provides the power.

Why is trust so important?

Trust is the foundation of everything whether it’s a personal or business relationship. Our team endeavours to reinstate confidence in our fast-moving, fragmented world.  Despite the astounding evolution powered by the internet continues, trust continues to erode. Geeq is partly a response to that phenomenon, and we are working as quickly as we can.

What is the #1 lesson you’ve learned about leading the way in blockchain?

Persistence. Stick-with-it-ness. If you believe in something, or someone, you find a way to see it through.

What tool do you use every day to guarantee success at scale? 

I’ve developed a sense-making lens to focus my efforts comprised of 7 C’s: Code + Customers + Community + Compliance Creates a new Category of Commerce.  Without this organizing metaphor, it would be pretty tough to maintain focus on the pillars needed to succeed.  When I put these glasses on, things clear up pretty quickly and I’m more readily able to steer the ship.

When it’s all said and done, what do you hope Geeq to have achieved?

To be a thread that helps weave the world together.

Geeq is a preferred partner on Beaze.

Real techies paintball in tutus

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Vivian Lim, CEO of Beaze, a platform that provides continuous lead flow for service providers. She discusses tactics on succeeding as a visible minority, a mother and an entrepreneur in technology.

Vivian Lim, Co-Founder & CEO of Beaze

So, Why Beaze?

I’m a huge fan of entrepreneurs and their courage to strike out on their own. I enjoy building solutions that help people save time on the things they loath, so they can spend more time with the people they love. Time is the one commodity you can’t buy, so it’s essential to spend it wisely. 

Ever since I was little, my parents instilled in me the importance of controlling my destiny. Building your own company is one way of doing that. I want to be a significant part of helping others succeed if and when they decide to head down that path. An idea is only as useful as the team that executes that idea. Having paid my dues on my journey through tech, I sincerely appreciate all the intricate details accomplished by the front-line making incredible things work. Smart people are everywhere, but those who can find creative solutions and compromises in a business landscape full of obstacles are the hardest to find and retain. Beaze aspires to make this search both easy and enjoyable. 

How did you break into B2B?

I spent most of my career in enterprise, including at Microsoft and AWS. However, my last stint at Google in brand advertising was the most intriguing space I had ever seen in my career.  I had the privilege of working with Fortune 100 companies and travelled the world to see what it takes to establish and maintain a brand presence. 

That’s when it hit me. If you knew that BILLIONS of dollars spent annually on advertising came from 2% of the world’s companies and that each of them spent millions every month on ads, do you honestly think any small business owner could successfully compete? I have so many friends and acquaintances who were small business owners and struggled with bootstrapping sales. While all of them were brilliant at their specialties, they weren’t necessarily as well versed in sales, marketing and advertising. Some went belly up within a few months from lack of market presence, and it was a crushing moment for them, both financially and emotionally. I never want anyone to feel that kind of failure.

What’s your philosophy?

Those who can should. Don’t let anything stop you.

I plan and prioritize religiously. It’s important to know why you’re doing something and what the payout will be. If it’s not going to produce a big return, maybe it’s not worth doing. To get primed each day, I wake up at 5:30am and go for a jog. It’s so much easier to get stuff done in the quiet moments of the morning before the rest of the world catches up; it’s my meditation.

Tell us about how you give back and why that’s so important?

I support 22q research at UC Davis. In 2015, I lost my son to Tetrology of Fallot and DiGeorge syndrome, both rare diseases caused by a congenital heart defect from erroneous deletions on the 22nd chromosome.  I donate every year in memory of my son and all families who have been affected by 22q11.2 deletions. I was elated to hear about Jimmy Kimmel’s son who had received a successful surgical intervention. Unfortunately, my youngest daughter also has a heart defect, albeit a less severe one, and I’m thankful every day that she’s doing well. 

Dr. Tony J. Simon and the UC team are clinically addressing children’s social interactions with these disorders. In past donation years, I’ve asked them to consider gene injection therapy in utero to prevent kids from being born with the deletions entirely. I might need to wait a few years before they can embark on such a challenge.

What does success look like to you?

Enabling every family to live comfortably. Both of my parents came from lower working-class backgrounds. My parents paid for two grandparents and five siblings to emigrate to the US and raised three daughters. I consider myself very fortunate to have had parents willing to sacrifice so much so we could have such opportunity. Today, my family includes the folks at Beaze. As a team, we celebrate milestones together because enabling sales for every small business owner is merely hard work. So, to keep things interesting this past November, we went skydiving. This quarter, we’re thinking of going paintballing while wearing tutus and bee wings. It’s a COVID-friendly activity with social distancing built-in.

#battlefairy | Photo credit: Jacob Miller

What words of wisdom can you share?

1. Dream big. Every great accomplishment started as a seemingly impossible dream. 

2. Persevere. Everything can and will go wrong. Life is not fair and that’s ok. Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward.  

3. Prove them wrong. The best payback is to live an amazing life.

Who inspires you?

There are so many great examples out there, like Anne Wojcicki from 23andMe; she’s a genomics pioneer! Among other accomplishments, her team helped to develop safer, less invasive prenatal sequencing that do not pose risks to developing fetuses. Then, there are upstarts like Elon Musk. I love how he simply doesn’t recognize commonly defined limits, and his punny humor slays me every time. 

What’s it like being a woman in technology?

It’s hard being a woman and a visible minority in technology. At conferences, I’m often mistaken as the help. The world continues to judge women of color more harshly, so it’s critical to over-prepare for everything to the Nth degree. People tend to see us as less competent than our male peers who might be at the same or lower competence level. The hardest criticism comes from other moms who think working moms favor careers over kids. 

Every working woman out in the world is an ambassador for every little girl wanting a shot at success. We have to bring our A++ game (because, you know, A is an Asian F :P). I look forward to the day half of all CEOs are working moms, and everyone considers this normal. 

What’s it like being a working parent?

It’s all about balance and multitasking. In French, we say “au fur et à mesure”. I trim the proverbial fat whenever possible and do the things that give me the most satisfaction. Presenting in a boardroom and attending my kids’ end-of-year performance are not mutually exclusive. My daughters need to know that they can have both a career and a family. I’m thankfully home a lot more these days and not just because of COVID. I help the kids with homework in between video conferences with clients. We’re all more confident and happy when we’re together. 

When all is said and done, what do you hope for Beaze to achieve?

I’d love for Beaze to enable more IPOs than any other company on earth. Bill Gates, I’m coming for you.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care

3-minute read

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we are chatting with Paul O’Beirne, CEO of Orca HR Solutions, a firm that helps companies build great teams and leaders. He shares his secrets (still used by leaders like Satya Nadella) on how empathy drives success.

Paul O’Beirne, Founder of Orca HR Solutions | Photo Credit: Orca HR Solutions. Beaze, an HR vendor procurement marketplace
Paul O’Beirne, Founder of Orca HR Solutions | Photo Credit: Orca HR Solutions

Why Orca HR Solutions?

We’re passionate about improving organization productivity, especially when the business landscape is changing dramatically, whether it’s due to organic growth or drastic changes due to the impact of COVID. We support organizations to fully appreciate their individual team members as whole persons, including their work and home lives. Our research-backed methodology deepens our clients’ understanding of human behavior and its impact on workplace culture and performance. Improving empathy is critical to effective and impactful leadership because employees need to feel that their employers care. To learn empathy, you first have to be open to learning about yourself. By giving teams a better self-awareness of areas, including emotional intelligence, we help them communicate more effectively and grow more successfully.

Our team comprises former leaders from Microsoft, Amazon, Space Between and Trover (acquired by Expedia). We’ve gone through the same types of challenges as our customers and bring best-of-breed practices surrounding behavioural insight to hundreds of leaders and team members. These empathic insights have improved productivity to thousands of people within their organizations. We pride ourselves on driving acuity, actualization and awesomeness for our clients.

My 25-year Microsoft career started in Ireland during its startup phase as the HR Manager, which I grew from 11 people to 1600. I later transferred to the US to support Microsoft’s senior leaders, including Satya Nadella (then GM of Business Solutions Development), Bob Herbold (former Chief Operating Officer), Craig Mundie (former Chief Technology Officer), Orlando Ayala (former President of Sales), initially with global accountability for 5000 people across 16 different divisions. I realized many people and organizations often don’t know what they don’t know, such as how demonstrable caring can positively and hugely impact employee engagement.  Simply raising awareness of possibilities that could lay ahead for them could help them be more effective than they ever thought possible. Exposure to these experiences motivated and prepared me for the work we do today.

Wouldn’t a long-running career at Microsoft be considered a reasonably elite endeavor, not accessible or applicable to most firms?

Perhaps, but I didn’t start there. I’ve worked in a pretty humbling variety of roles, including hospitality, retail, farming, and industrial. I can remember as a child of 7 the excitement and pride of spending my weekends delivering milk and bread across the community. Throughout high school and college, I supported myself by picking grapes in the vineyards of France, washing dishes on a cruise ship in Germany and cleaning hospitals in Chicago. 

These experiences exposed me to people from all walks of life; they made me realize how important every role is to the success of an organization. It honed my skills of building relationships, developing a strong work ethic and empathy for others that serve our clients well.

What is the most common mistake most companies make when it comes to HR?

Selecting the right talent. Honestly, selection starts well before the interview. In our global knowledge economy, the only real source of competitive advantage lies in recruiting and developing the best talent. As the famous management author Jim Collins notes, “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who’. They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.

We help our clients get people in the “right seats.” The first step is to align the key stakeholders on the roles, key competencies, motivators, responsibilities and expected outcomes of the job. Only then do we evaluate the candidate against the requirements of the role and company culture. This approach reduces the cost for the company by reducing the amount of time to hire and decreasing the cost of turnover due to poor role fit.  Using the assessments as part of the on-boarding process also can help leaders have a great empathic understanding of a new team member’s strengths, opportunities and preferred behaviors.

What lessons have you since learned in HR that you wish you had learned sooner in your career? 

1. Create the conditions for people to discover and own the solution (rather than telling people what to do). It’s better to teach people how to fish than fishing for them; this can be done through empathetic listening, powerful questions, creating a shared reality and alignment on accountability.

2. Be more mindful. Just a few easy tweaks can help your team stay focused on objectives, execute better and celebrate notable achievements, not to mention breed positivity. For example, I like to recap each Friday by reflecting on what my “key wins” were for that week and what my main priorities are for the coming week. Before each meeting, our team participates in a short 1-2 minute mindfulness breathing exercise. After the meeting, we do a gratitude check-out. 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Vulnerability is the root of authentic social connection. Many of us who are high achievers are reluctant to ask for help and can see it as a weakness if we do. Recognizing your weaknesses and bringing in complementary skills will help accelerate your business. Once identified, it’s easier to determine the next milestone in your continuing development.

Who are your biggest fans?

Our clients. We’ve had the privilege of supporting the folks at Nordstrom, Avalara, Aptio, Premera, and even larger firms like Microsoft and Micron Technologies. Most of our growth has come from organic referrals and partners. Because of the impact of our engagements and assessments on the effectiveness of leadership and increased productivity of teams, we’ve received numerous referrals from both internal and external clients.

How do you give back to the community?

Two organizations I have been personally involved with are Neural Education (NE) and the American Cancer Society (ACS). 

NE brings brain-based teaching into schools, and I currently serve on their Board of Directors, helping them build their business.  NE is about using a neural lens to positively affect our education deficiencies. We accomplish this by giving teachers tools and practices that align with how the brain works according to scientific research which affects how children learn.

When the founder, Kieran O’Mahony, and I met, we immediately found a common passion. Kieran and his entire life’s work have been developing these brain-based educational programs. NE is focused on preparing teachers to bring these empathic principles into the classroom. We have been holding many workshops in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We’ve impacted 40,000 teachers and 1 million students across the US. The plan is to take the initiative globally. Recently, we’ve started working with schools in Africa and India. 

ACS initiatives are dear to my heart. I lost my mother to cancer and have many friends who are survivors. A colleague had asked if I would serve as a Pink Ambassador and I couldn’t have been more delighted or honored to help. I dressed in pink for a whole month to raise awareness. We were able to collect $4000 and a few laughs. The members of ACS are an incredibly caring group who have great empathy for people and their families who have been impacted by Cancer. 

Paul O'Beirne as Pink Ambassador | Photo Credit: Orca HR Solutions. Beaze, an HR vendor procurement marketplace.
Paul O’Beirne as Pink Ambassador | Photo Credit: Orca HR Solutions

When all is said and done, what do you hope to accomplish with Orca HR Solutions?

We want to enable everyone to create their most desirable, impactful future.

Orca HR Solutions is a preferred partner on Beaze.

Making Life Events Clearer through the Prism (of Experience)

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re speaking with Peter Tran, CEO of PrismTech Inc., a business-to-consumer (B2C) schedule aggregation SaaS platform. Peter discusses the importance of personalization as a driver of success from product design to team building.

Peter Tran, founder of PrismTech | Beaze, a vendor procurement marketplace for consumer businesses
Peter Tran, founder of PrismTech | Photo Credit: PrismTech

Why Prism?

Consumers struggle with scheduling and often use upwards of 4 apps in an attempt to reconcile conflicts. Most technology provides access to scheduling individual events, yet we have to manage those events to stay in sync with our friends and families. What if there was a single platform that will allow you to stay connected to everyone regardless of the preferred scheduler without the pain of time-consuming reconciliation? 

Prism is a real-time interactive schedule manager that aggregates multiple calendar apps. Just as a prism takes in a spectrum of color and combines it into a single white light, we take in a broad range of communication platforms and consolidate them into a single source of truth. We marry your social, professional, and personal schedule into a single silo of information. Instead of digging around for info on whether you’re going to miss out on events, you can make the most out of your life.

How did you come up with this idea?

I observed my friends nearly miss their daughter’s long-awaited volleyball tournament due to scheduling misfires. It would have killed them to miss such a critical event despite having spent multiple days frustratingly trying to balance both of their work schedules with her academic and extracurricular activities. 

The truth is that many people struggle with schedule management; frankly, paper calendars just don’t cut it anymore. 

How have you built your fantastic team?

As the founder of this company, it’s my mission to make sure that we find the best talent. Our company culture is driven by:

Trustworthiness. The truth is, it’s not always about performance, even though the whole world puts a track record at the top of the list. The longevity of the relationship that you have with a team member is driven by trust. It’s this type of longevity (or lack thereof) that makes or breaks a startup. You need to ask yourself, ‘Should we trust this person when we’re in a bind?’ because as a founder, you’re going to find yourself in a lot of binds. 

Passion. It’s not an easy thing to work on a startup. You’re not getting paid what you could, but you’re working on a dream. You need team members who believe in your product. It’s impossible to think of new designs or innovative approaches if you hate your job, and anyone who doesn’t have a genuine passion will end up hating their job at some point.

Furthermore, we have an open-door policy with all of our executives. Any employees can reach out to anyone at any time for assistance.

Having a supportive human resources (HR) structure built around addressing disruptive life events (such as COVID) and continued career growth helps to minimize office politics (which we all know can easily destroy the social fabric of the company). For example, if John Doe starts at the company today, John will be a different person in 3 months; we have to find out what it will take to make John successful in this ever-changing environment. Great companies take the time to understand their employees as individuals and nurture that relationship at the highest level of culture building. 

What have been your top learnings around scheduling?

Build to unify, not segregate. Many applications are selfishly designed to only cater to the host and not the consumer. For example, Vietnam is creating Gapo, an alternative to Facebook. If some people like Gapo and still want to remain on Facebook, either they or their friends or both will have to spend more time jumping between these two apps to access information. Prism conforms to what people consider comfortable and convenient; we innovate by unifying simultaneous access to both applications.

Scheduling cannot be successful in a vacuum; it implicitly requires scenarios around sharing and accessibility. 

Who have been the biggest fans of Prism? 

We have many customers who have been our advocates; two, in particular, come to mind.

Manhattan Walking Tour has a presence in 3 different states. When their customers book a tour guide, they stress out spending too much time looking for information than enjoying the tour itself. These customers are showing us that traditional scheduling tools in the market today offer too many limitations and are causing indecisiveness, cognitive dissonance, and mental stress. Their feedback was instrumental in introducing new features like image sharing and event discussion to Prism.

True Buddha Foundation is fully transitioning all of its internal and external operations over to Prism. They have thousands of chapters all over the world, with over 5 million followers. Their current processes have limitations, which is causing a gap in communications and impacting their ability to organize their events more effectively.

How does Prism give back to the community? What impact have you had to date?

Recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMB) impacted negatively all over the world. We recognized how important these businesses are and those who are struggling daily trying to make ends meet. 

PrismTech is happy to announce that we will provide every single SMB with credits to advertise on our platform at no cost. We want to help businesses gain the right exposure to bounce back post-quarantine.  

When everything is said and done, what do you hope for Prism to achieve? 

Create seamless, meaningful connections between consumers and the brands, products, and companies they love. 

PrismTech is a preferred partner on Beaze.

Building towards loftier goals means having deeper foundations

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Valerie Thiel, founder of SAGE Architectural Alliance LLC, a Seattle-based architecture firm. She shares her secrets on driving design innovation for the most critical stages of life as a woman leader.

Valerie Thiel, founder of SAGE Architectural Alliance LLC | Photo Credit: SAGE Architectural Alliance LLC

Why SAGE?

At the age of 55, I opened Sage Architectural Alliance, a reasonably daring venture leaving steady employment as a working mother. This was after graduating from MIT, 30 years of working in the architectural industry and having kids in my 40’s. I believe that more women and senior-led projects help create a unique working environment with experienced viewpoints. Creating a diverse team helps remove the limitations set by society. The door opens up for so many different outcomes, and so the richer our projects become from planning and spaces, to connections and support.

What’s your design philosophy?

Celebrate life in all of its stages; each stage brings its challenges and beauty.

As a baby boomer, I feel the last stage of life is paramount. My grandparents had died in pretty abysmal nursing facilities. Because of this, I focused on transforming senior living design so that my mother could enjoy more attractive, more enriching options. Many nursing homes have to struggle with the support of limited Medicaid funds.

Senior-focused entrance design @ Foss Home and Village (Seattle, WA)  | Photo Credit: SAGE Architectural Alliance LLC

However, these facilities need warm, welcoming, and elegant main entries and gathering areas, so that family and friends enjoy visitations; these factors are vital to the well-being of families. Just as Starbucks has capitalized on the corner coffee shop, the presence of a bistro-cafe (even with self-serve coffee), is the first step toward creating community vitality. 

Senior-focused cafe-bistro design @ Cristwood Park (Shoreline, WA )| Photo Credit: SAGE Architectural Alliance LLC

Residents come for the coffee but also enjoy comfortable seating, a variety of lighting levels, and lots of people-watching. They’re incentivized to leave their apartments and enjoy hanging out in the commons to connect with other people, and that is a major driver of residents’ health. Even staff retention improves with more aesthetically, pleasing surroundings.

Senior-focused bedroom design @ Columbia Lutheran Home, Seattle, WA | Photo Credit: Chris Roberts Photography 

Do not let limitations set by others withhold you from accomplishing your own goals and aspirations. Women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s have such different expectations handed upon them compared to when I was their age. Growing up in Bellingham, I had never known any professional woman (let alone what a professional woman in architecture) could accomplish. When I attended the University of Washington, I was the only woman in my engineering classes. For generations, society restricted women by stereotypical gender roles that limited their opportunities and contributions. I experienced this quite a bit within the architectural industry. Working for others, I felt like a backroom technician who had no voice. I needed to express my ideas, and I felt severely repressed working for others. It was as if my male bosses had all the ideas; my role was only to implement them. Starting my firm was the right choice for me.

Who are your biggest advocates?

While most of our clients are non-profits, we focus on finding projects that are mission-driven and will have a positive impact on the community. Some of our favorite architectural projects supported senior citizens. We’ve built numerous senior living residential projects to help both seniors and their families. We’ve also worked with the State of Washington, various community centers and grass-roots community organizations fighting high resident displacement from gentrification. Currently, we’ve started working on homeless and behavioral health projects also.

How do you give back to its community?

Giving back to our community is one of the pillars of SAGE.  We recently sponsored a community event that was aimed at showcasing how fearful high school students were about losing their homes. We prioritize supporting the younger generations in order to help them realize their potential. 

What’s been your greatest life lesson? 

Opportunities may present themselves; while they may not be what you wanted at the time, they may be the most impactful and rewarding.

When I first started the firm, I thought focusing my expertise in senior housing projects alone was the best way to help the community.  Instead, I was able to take elder-care expertise and principles to other vulnerable populations (like to low-income families) which benefited our firm’s architectural outputs and the community even more than my initial efforts with the elderly. Women and minority architectural leaders should be designing more of the affordable housing and shared spaces; the city would achieve more economic balance and diverse self-expression.

When all is said and done, what do you hope for SAGE to achieve?

To inspire and support women and others of diversity to find their voices and pursue their passions.

SAGE Architectural Alliance LLC is a preferred partner on Beaze.

From Farm to Cap Table: The Carbon e-Mission

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Paul Gambill, CEO of Nori, a blockchain that enables people to get paid for carbon dioxide removal. He shares his secrets on tackling climate change while receiving angel investment.

Paul Gambill, CEO of Nori, a financial blockchain that facilitates carbon emission removal. Beaze, a vendor procurement marketplace for financial blockchains.
Paul Gambill, CEO of Nori | Photo Credit: Nori

Why Nori?

While most solutions today focus on the reduction of carbon emissions, Nori focuses on its complete removal. There are too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; the world needs to remove over 1 trillion tonnes to get back to pre-industrial levels. Currently, though, it’s too expensive to remove them. People require compensation to run the type of projects that take out carbon emissions from the atmosphere. 

Nori helps fund these endeavors through its centralized marketplace and unlocks the source of carbon dioxide (CO2) removal, namely farmers. These heroes remove carbon, obtain verification through a third-party, then sell the interest in said removed carbon to buyers. Buyers cannot resell the carbon. We’ve developed a methodology that allows us to identify how much carbon is removed, allowing Nori users to observe their impact tangibly.

Back in 2015, I read an article about how climate scientists often suffer from depression because hardly anyone listens to them. I thought to myself that it’d be beneficial if someone addressed carbon removal. Within a year of starting a networking group on climate change, I had met key influencers in the field including Dr. Klaus Lackner (Director of the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions and a professor of sustainable engineering at Arizona State University) and Carbon180 (a non-profit that tackles climate change). I subsequently endeavored to find the perfect co-founders while exploring different business models and ideas on how to tackle emissions. 

Why is climate change necessary?

Climate change is real. It’s not getting better any time soon. Unfortunately, people aren’t sufficiently empowered to take action on the issue. We have to drive to get to work, fly to see our family, heat our homes, we have to use energy, and there’s no way around that. We are interested in finding ways to restore the climate in a fiscally responsible way. The key is that people require incentivization to act. The easiest way to view this is an arithmetic problem. We are putting too many greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and not taking enough out. Carbon removal helps create the necessary balance to roll back the effects of climate change.

Nori offers an entirely different investment asset class for the carbon market that requires significant coordination from farmers to scientists and researchers.

Farms: The solution to eliminating carbon. Beaze, a vendor procurement marketplace for blockchains.
Farms: The solution to eliminating carbon | Photo Credit: Jake Gard

What’s wrong with the current emissions reductions system? How does Nori tackle these problems differently?

In carbon markets today, when a project issues carbon credits, they sell these credits to a broker who sells them to another broker who sells them to investors. That same ton of CO2 trades hands over and over again. That’s not a healthy life cycle. Once someone pays, it should disappear.

When a ton of carbon is sold through Nori, the CO2 is immediately retired. The carbon certificate doesn’t go to someone else; it ends right there. Trade helps build the capital around it, but we don’t want the carbon to be the traded asset. With us, the buyer pays for a ton of CO2 with the token; the token becomes the commodity, not the CO2. The token is just a medium of exchange, so we’re able to get the best of both the situations. 

How is Nori maintaining focus on climate change despite receiving external investment?

Nori is a 50-year mission company. We’ve only partnered with organizations that agree with that long-term vision. We can’t allow anything to cause us to deviate from that mission, whether it’s a potential acquisition or taking the company public. Our token incentivizes everyone,  from Nori founders to investors to farmers. By aligning everyone’s motivations and incentives, we maximize the odds of reducing carbon.

What is your #1 lesson learned so far as a startup?

Abstract complexity away. As entrepreneurs, we can’t expect everyone to spend as much time digging into details as much as the startup does. Customers just want things to be easier and solve a problem for them.

Who have been your biggest advocates/partners so far? 

Our three best partners so far have been COMET-Farm (a platform for quantifying soil carbon), Granular (management software farmers use to track their operating data), and Techstars’ sustainability accelerator. We use COMET to create the new, easy-to-use standard for soil carbon; we’ve been working hand in hand with them for two years. Granular was the first agriculture company to believe in us; we’ve collaborated closely with them on helping their farmers get enrolled in the market. Techstars is just such a wonderfully supportive network and program that I really can’t recommend enough to other startups.

How have you gained investors’ trust?

Our amazing team. Our co-founders are world-class, and it’s not easy to find such incredible leaders. Co-founders need to agree on some fundamental things; this includes motivations behind the company and finding a balance between the mission and the economics of staying profitable. Having a sizeable venture-backed company may require you to give up some control; starting a smaller business may allow you to maintain control with less profitability. I recommend the book The Founder’s Dilemmas by Noam Wasserman to better anticipate and avoid the typical startup pitfalls.

When all is said and done, what does Nori hope to achieve?

Restore Earth to pre-industrial carbon levels. A clean world is a happy one.

Nori is a preferred partner on Beaze.

Successful moonshots are more common than you think

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re speaking with Francisco Navarro, co-founder and CEO of LunarByte, a software development consultancy. Francisco shares his secret to launching and landing big new ideas.

Francisco Navarro, CEO of LunarByte. Photo credit: LunarBytes

Why LunarByte?

It’s really hard for most companies to create delightful products on a shoestring budget. Our unique methodology and team of talented software developers facilitate the launch of big ideas so that early founders can succeed. We identify the most important features of a product or idea, create a viable plan for success, and then we execute on that plan. We’ve found that in Seattle, it’s hard for fresh startups to hire experienced developers without the high salaries other companies can provide. Founders can’t compete with the deep wallets of the big tech companies to hire talent to work for their company. We solved that problem by building a Software Engineering Consultancy so now, founders only have to pay on a project basis and they get the benefit of a team of the most competent engineers.

Before LunarByte, my co-founder, Ben Daschel, and I were both software engineers at large independent companies (Starbucks and Azuqua/Okta, respectively). While well-run, these companies aren’t always able to accommodate the pursuit of their engineers’ independent ideas. Both of our employers were becoming increasingly mired in bureaucracy. While we can appreciate the structure and that bureaucracy brings to organizations, as eager engineers, this heavy-handed process really hurt our productivity and general motivation. Sometimes projects (that we worked on for months on end) were suddenly cut for no reason; other times, we had to cater an army of people just to receive approval before moving forward. Like a vulcan mindmeld over beers, we thought, ‘Why not just build the change we want to see?’. We decided to build our own company with a firm commitment against bloated processes. At the time, we were holding bottles of Blue Moon in hand. Translating the word “moon” to spanish (luna), we decided to start our own company and named it LunarByte. We are thrilled to tackle inefficient software engineering head on so that founders can focus on succeeding in their respective businesses.

A Vulcan Mind Meld, “Star Trek” | Photo Credit: Viacom

How tough was it going from corporate to a startup?

Really tough. First and foremost, we have much smaller budgets. The other big difficulty is just making a name for yourself. It’s tough to establish yourself as a player in software consultancy, and that’s where coming from an established network helps a ton. We’ve started to receive referrals, and we hope that in a few years from now we’ll be a big player in this industry. We’re starting to get some larger projects now, and everyone on the team loves incubating new, fresh ideas and launching them; however, we’re all very technical so we don’t do much UX or marketing. Despite just starting out, our customers (including Dollar Flight Club, Pre-Flight Mitigator, The Counter Veil, and When I Leave) can speak to the high calibre of work we produce, and they all come back for more. 

What’s the secret on how to do more with less?

1. Build the right product: From the technical side, usually anything can get done. You probably have the resources to build all kinds of new infrastructure. Nothing is worse than building a product that doesn’t solve a problem. You can ask a client every day “Is this what you asked for?” but the truth is, sometimes the thing that they ask you for isn’t exactly what needs to be built. Instead, we like to focus on the ‘why’ the product needs to be built and what problem it intends to solve. This reasoned approach prevents the message from being lost in translation.

2. Stay in sync: It’s critical to have a tight relationship with clients because projects and their directions change course at the drop of a hat. We like using Slack because it allows for flat (as opposed to hierarchal) communication. This significantly reduces the odds of “playing broken telephone”. The biggest challenge is that we’re working with less – we have smaller budgets and less wiggle room. But this means we’ve learned how to be ultra-efficient. We also get to have closer relationships with our clients. We’re all on slack together so that we can be on the same page – We don’t work for 3 months and then ask, ‘Is this what you asked for?’

It’s also been so rewarding to help launch new ideas – every member of our team is excited about what we’re working on because we see why founders are asking what they’re asking for. When a client comes back to us and says, ‘Hey that stuff you built? I took it to a convention and now I have 500 users.” – that’s the stuff that keeps us motivated and you don’t really find that in a corporate environment.

What is something everyone should know about building a product?

The ‘Why’ matters. You might be working on a project and at the end you’re like, ‘Wait, why did we do this? Was it worth it?’ If you can’t answer the former, or, if the answer to the latter is “no”, you’re not providing value to your customers. This lack of reasoning can kill a company. The right software consultancy can solicit the right requirements.

How do you give back to the community? 

I’m a first-generation Mexican immigrant from parents who worked on farms. I was the first one in my family to attend college, so I have a deep desire to help others with humble beginnings. We’re proud to be working with Storytellers for Change. They do a lot of work to promote diversity and inclusion from high school through to university across the nation. We’re always looking for impactful clients to be working with and better ways to support equity when it comes to hiring.

When it’s all said and done, what do you hope LunarByte to have achieved?

Create a great space for innovation where companies can gather and launch big ideas.

LunarByte is a preferred partner on Beaze.

Too Lejit to Quit (Designing with Passion, that is)

“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Joshua Thomas, CEO of Lejit Designs, a graphic design and illustration company in Liberty Lake, WA. He shares his secrets on growing his business and the art community at large.

Joshua Thomas, CEO of Lejit Designs (Graphic Design) | Beaze, a vendor procurement marketplace.
Joshua Thomas, CEO of Lejit Designs | Photo Credit: Mercedes Kissinger Smith

So, why Lejit Designs?

Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved fantasy and comic books, which always had me sketching in a notebook. In college, I studied design and began using programs on my computer and laptop to create animations and graphics. I originally started Lejit Designs as my creative outlet, and fortunately, it has become a great business. I pride myself on reliable communication and passionate design. I think a few things that separate me from other companies are my passion for my craft, my willingness to have honest communication, and my drive to improve my craft consistently.

What’s your design style?

All of my work is full of color. I love their vibrancy in making ideas truly come to life. In Spokane, there is not a lot of vitality. I am the leader of the Spokane Design Meetup Group, and it’s my goal to foster an art community in Spokane, similar to that in Portland. I want to bring the Spokane creatives together to do one community collaboration project together per month to get everyone involved and working together.

Another element I try to include in my work is whimsicality. In my comics, I like to portray serious adult moments with a whimsical element involved, to appeal to the inner child in all of us. There’s no fun in being too serious. Sometimes everyone is so caught up in what they are doing, and I want to bring the human element back to design and the work that I do.

Doggo Branding by Lejit | Photo Credit: Lejit

How do you stay on top of your work?

The key to managing this company is balancing my creative side with my analytical side. Being able to draw on both helps me stay organized and remember to do the little things like register my trade name and do my taxes, the ‘boring stuff’. I am also big on consistency and maximizing my time. Even when I’m battling a creative block, I go exercise.

What’s fuels your design?

The sheer number of amazing artists and creators around me. I learn so much from all of the different projects that I see others working on, and I consistently attempt to take what I learn from others into my own work. The artists/creators that inspire me the most are probably Cory Schmitz, Freddy Carrasco, Bryce Kho, and Anastasiia Vinchencko. Regardless of which muse, at the end of the day, whenever I see their work, it makes me want to create. Each of them is a master of their craft and understanding them helps instill this drive to one day excel in my art as much as they do in theirs. I want to be the best at what I do, and to me, seeing artists like them pushes me to want to improve with every new project.

What is your mantra?

“Design, made human.” I got into graphic design because I enjoy making things with people and helping them achieve their visions through design. The human aspect of every interaction I have is what gets me up every morning. I don’t want my work to be a transaction; I want it to be a collaborative relationship that works well beyond when the project ends.

Who have been your biggest advocates/partners in business?

The biggest influences and advocates were the owners of Maker & Made, Brittany Stodgell and Millicent Schnebly. They pushed me a lot to start my own graphic design business and were a massive influence on me early on. They sat down with me on multiple occasions and gave me wisdom and advice that I still use today. I’ve always been very thankful for their guidance.

What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?

Wow, that’s the big one *haha*. There are so many things that I would tell the younger me designer if I could. 

1. Always work with a contract. This one will keep you sane and exponentially increase the number of successful transactions you have. In a perfect world, we’d never have to use contracts, and every client would pay. However, every designer has a couple of stories about the times they got stiffed by a client. Contracts mitigate a lot of financial worries because most clients are less likely to jump ship without paying you if they feel contractually obligated to the project. They keep things professional in an industry where a lot of clients have difficulties seeing design as anything more than a hobby. There are a ton of online sources and other physical books on the subject. One of my personal favorites is Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers

2. Don’t be afraid to fail. Design in and of itself is a consistent process of failing and course correcting. The road to being a successful designer is not a road paved by genius; it’s a gory one filled with the dead bodies of all your past failures. There isn’t a single designer that looks at their work from a year ago and says that it’s “perfect”. Failing and trying again is the name of the game.

3. Share EVERYTHING. It’s challenging for people to appreciate your designs if you don’t ever show them your work. Don’t be afraid of not having name recognition or not living up to some of your design heroes. Keep designing with passion and showing others; you’ll eventually find your place. 

4. Never be afraid to price yourself what you’re worth. Saying “no” is a pseudo taboo for young designers looking to get their name out in the world, but in my experience, knowing when to say no might allow you to take on that dream client you’ve always wanted. Plus, it saves you from over-stretching yourself.

How do you give back to the community?

My way of giving back to the community is taking over Spokane Design and trying to create a broader design community in the area. We’re starting up a community outreach design project every month. Giving back to the community is critical. The reality is, few of us encounter the same opportunities. I’d love to give back more. I see Spokane Design as an outlet for other up-and-coming designers to grow, improve, and create because I know first hand what it means to have people in your corner rooting for you.

When all is said and done, what do you hope for Lejit Designs to achieve?

To become a premier design firm that helps other designers get their start. I can’t wait to start paying it forward.

Lejit Designs is a preferred partner on Beaze.