In July of 2016 we had our very first ever International Divi Meetup and as the July flashback memories keep popping up on my Facebook feed, I could not help but reflect on how far we have all come.
The Divi community continues to flourish and it is fitting that we get to reflect and celebrate on all that we have built together. Here is quick trip down my own personal freelance journey and the beginnings of the Divi Community.
The Origin of Quiroz.co
It has been 6+ years since I started out on my own as a full time freelancer and the journey has been great. Freelancing is often associated with working alone, but for me, it has been quite the opposite.
Established in 2012, Quiroz.co was the beginning of my personal freelancing journey. I wanted to design websites for a living since my early twenties and had always managed to pick up small jobs here and there throughout the years. When I started Quiroz.co in 2012, I did not have many web design leads so I did other types of services to make ends meet.
While providing a wide variety of back office services to local clients, I spent all my free time building websites and sharpening my development skills. My story was featured on the popular Elegant Themes blog back in 2014, and you can read it here: “Following My Dream Of Becoming A Professional Web Designer”.
Building a Divi Consultancy
In December of 2013, the Divi theme was launched by Elegant Themes and it quickly became my favorite tool to use when building websites. As my business and experience with Divi grew, I started focusing more of my time helping others learn how to use Divi by helping in Facebook groups and creating step by step web design tutorials on my blog.
Quiroz.co quickly evolved into one of the first and largest Divi tutorial websites. Much to my surprise, it became a favorite resource for Divi users, and pretty soon most of my business was dedicated to serving and helping other Divi users. It was around that time that Nathan Weller of Elegant Themes invited me to join his Divi Nation podcast to discuss “Building a Divi Consultancy“.
In January of 2015, my web design business grew from a freelancing gig, to full blown agency work. So I launched a new business called Monterey Premier which focused primarily on website design and development. I decided to repurpose Quiroz.co into a Divi based resource for the whole community to enjoy.
Growing and Uniting The Divi Community
With 2016 came a couple of significant milestones both in my own business, and in the Divi Community as a whole. The first being the multi-vendor Divi Marketplace on Monterey Premier. Initially, I just wanted to sell my own Divi products on my website, but at the request of several others who were just getting started in the Divi community, I agreed to open it up to other vendors to help promote growth and community.
It was also the year I created the Divi Facebook group; Elegant Themes User Community which now has close to 10,000 members as of this article.
The First International Divi Meetup
The most memorable milestone came after organizing and sponsoring the first International Divi Meetup in Orange County, Ca. Dozens of Divi users from around the world converged on WordCamp Orange County. We also got the folks from Elegant Themes to crash the party, and it was the beginning of many significant new relationships and business partnerships that are still flourishing to this day.
You can read more about it here on the Monterey Premier blog recap “The 1st International Divi Meet-Up at WordCamp Orange County 2016 Recap” and on the Elegant Themes blog recap “Uncommonly Good Community: Divi Nation at WordCamp Orange County 2016”. It was during this first meetup that the guys from Elegant Themes decided to encourage more Divi Meetups like this, and since then, there have been several in cities all over the world. You can read more about them here.
Live Divi Community Q&A
In 2016, Chathura of Divi Tuts Directory and Terry Hale of Mizagorn, Inc. came up with the brain child of a weekly live Divi Community Q & A where a few of us would host a weekly live audio podcast that invited guests within the Divi Community to learn more about each other and ask questions in a real time chat environment.
As the first moderator/host, I had the priviledge of interviewing for the very first time Olga Summerhayes of Infinite Imagination, Dehn Merrill of Best Websites Fast, David Blackmon and Cory Jenkins of Aspen Grove Studios, and my brutha from anotha motha, Terry Hale of Mizagorn, Inc (this episode was my first co-host with my good friend Leslie from a Girl and Her Mac. YAY!!!).
Shortly after that, David Blackmon pitched the idea of moving from an audio podcast to a video podcast with multiple hosts thus birthing the very popular Divi Chat.
More Free Divi Resources To Come
Quiroz.co continues to be one of the most extensive free Divi resource libraries available to the Divi community. Through the years I have strived to answer the most frequently asked questions and provide tutorials for the most commonly requested tweaks from the Divi community.
Over the years the website size has grown considerably, and we get an average 43,500 page views and 19,700 visitors each month. I have yet to track the number of comments and responses we manage to respond to each month, but we do our best.
It has been a fun ride and I am looking forward to many more years working with this great Divi community.
Thank You To Our Sponsors
And last but not least, I want to give a special shout out to our sponsors. The magic wouldn’t be possible without the support of our sponsors, companies dedicated to helping the cause of fostering our community, growing each other’s businesses, and providing opportunities to support the growth of the community as a whole
So without further ado, here they are!
Providing a wide range of services from affordable options for those creating their first website to custom solutions for complex online businesses.
A showcase of websites built with the Divi theme.
Website Design | Online Marketing | Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | Website Support
We believe in collaborative work and partnership with our clients. Being part of a growing business economy is important to us, and our work reflects our values. As a result, we pride ourselves in providing comprehensive solutions.
Helping creative business owners, just like you, get out of confused freak out mode and into a sweet groove of money systems and strategy.
We design, build and manage WordPress websites for small businesses
Helping aspiring Divi/Wordpress web designers who would like to build a successful web business of their own!
Digital marketing is not about followers, or web site visitors, or social media likes. Your business exists to make money. To make MORE money, you need MORE customers.
Kathy Kroll Romana, of Viva Design Studio, is a web designer in NJ, specializing in designing customized, modern, mobile-ready small business websites for local shops, cafes, professionals and creative brands, that will help your business stand out from the crowd.
Are you starting a coaching or related business? Here you will find the tools necessary to build your brand, website and advance your business.
Well, that’s all for now. I hope you found this article encouraging.
It’s been a crazy journey for sure! I still have so much love for you for putting that first meeting together. It was totally insane and still one of my fondest memories 🙂 Here’s to the continued success of this community. Long may it flourish.
Thanks SJ. It was by far one of my fondest memories as well. The world got a little smaller that week. To the continued success of this community my friend! 🙂
It has been and still is an awesome journey. Thank you for reminding us how great this community is.
Thanks Tammy. Meeting you and becoming good friends has been one of the highlights for sure.
I hoped so much in this choice, I thank you for everything you give us in this community
Thanks Michele 😀
Thanks for the mention Geno 🙂 Your blog was the first place I visited after purchasing Elegant Themes membership. It helped me a lot to shape up my Divi skills.
I was a naive little boy who didn’t had a clue about how to nurture and develop a proper business venture. I’m really glad we were able to connect and do something useful. I cherish those experiences everyday.
Hi Chathura. It is great to hear from you. Yes I am grateful that we connected as well. It has been quite a ride for sure. I hope all is well.