A high school hobby led Northwood School graduate Peter Merrill down a career path. The Minong teen taught himself to build websites while he was in high school. By his senior year, Merrill had launched his own social networking site, thirdie. He recently sold the site, which boasted 3,100 members at the time, and used that money to start his own web design company, Design Us All LLC.
“It’s just what I love to do,” said the 20-year-old, who now lives in Duluth. He said he gets a sense of accomplishment from turning a blank page into a finished project. The design process is like a big puzzle, Merrill said. It can take 80,000 characters to define a web page, all tested to check how each possible mouse click could affect other pieces of the design.
To date, Merrill has built mobile apps and websites as well as provided print design and consulting services to a number of clients. They include a smartphone app for Thatimg that lets users browse funny photos and post their first thoughts, a personal loan and lending website called Sou-Sous and a webpage for WEKA Services in Switzerland.
Not only does he build websites, Merrill said, “I build websites in foreign languages.”
Angie Allen, who owns the AG Thompson House in Duluth with her husband, Tim, tapped Design Us All to do logo and image work for their business.
“He was wonderful to work with because he listened to what I asked for, and was able to pull together the ideas for me quickly,” Allen said. The bed and breakfast relies almost entirely on its website for reservations. It’s their first impression to potential guests.
“And while we have a host company that provides our primary website design, I have asked Peter for smaller projects that I need to get completed quickly,” Allen said. Design Us All always makes them a priority, she said.
Merrill designed the company to cater to small businesses, individuals and organizations. He promises quality work for honest prices and also offers consulting services.
“If you can dream it, I can build it,” Merrill said.
The Duluth entrepreneur has spent hours researching companies and contacting potential clients. The self-taught programmer has kept current with web design “languages” and standards since his technological hobby began. He’s also studying marketing at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Now, he’s hoping that more clients, particularly from the region, give Design Us All a call.
For more information, go to http://designusall.com or call (218) 248-6155.