Designstaq — Squarespace Circle: Build your web design business

Web design company


Kathleen and Richard are the husband-and-wife duo behind Designstaq, a San Francisco-based web design company that enables entrepreneurship by helping small businesses access high-quality design talent at an affordable price.

Circle: When did you realize you could use Squarespace to build sites for clients?
Designstaq: When we first started Designstaq, we built most of our client websites using another website builder. A close friend told us about Squarespace and we decided to give it a try. After just a few hours of playing with the Squarespace editor, we realized how powerful the platform was. The simplicity of starting and publishing a new site was incredible. We loved the visual editor which allowed us to intuitively customize the designs as we wished. Also, the fact that we were able to design an entire site without any custom code was a wonderfully refreshing experience. At that moment we realized that Squarespace would not only be the perfect platform to design websites with, but also the perfect platform for our clients to use as they maintain their own website

C: How did you first get involved as an Authorized Trainer?
D: In early 2017, we started offering live training calls to all of our clients. We wanted to make sure that our clients were empowered to manage their website after we handed it off. Later that year, we joined the Authorized Trainer pilot. We were really excited to join because while we had our own homemade materials, we were looking forward to learning the best practices from Squarespace and other professionals in the community. Becoming a Squarespace Authorized Trainer has helped us increase our own knowledge of the Squarespace platform and boosted our credibility with potential clients.

C: Why do you work with Squarespace over some other website building platforms?
D: We love how Squarespace has found the perfect balance between customizability and ease-of-use. Most of our clients prefer to maintain their own website so it is very important that we use a platform that anyone, no matter their background, can update. Squarespace’s templates are highly customizable without any code so we find it to be the best platform for our clients.

C: How did you find your niche in your industry?
D: When we started, we weren’t sure about which niche to go after so we naturally started working with businesses across a wide variety of industries. Over time, we’ve found that we’re a really good fit for businesses in the professional services industry. So we’ve been focusing on working with authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, lawyers, dentists, wellness professionals and the like.

kathleen barretto of designstaq
Squarespace’s platform makes it easy for us to design and launch a website and makes it just as easy for small businesses to maintain and update their website.

C: What do your family and friends think of the business you’ve built?
D: They are really supportive and excited about our business. Since we work online, we can run our business from anywhere and have a ton of flexibility to visit our family and friends all around the world.

C: What's it like running a business with your spouse?
D: That’s a funny question and something that we get asked all the time. We find that working together is more fun than working separately. For us, it’s hard to imagine running the business in any other way. Of course, as you’d imagine we have very little separation between personal life and “work,” but that’s something that you learn to manage over time. One benefit of working with your partner is that you learn to overcome disagreements, whether business or personal, very quickly.

C: What does work-life balance look like for you?
D: The way I think about work-life balance essentially comes down to nourishing oneself physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Through this lens, I try to organize my life so that I invest energy across the different areas of life that are important to me. When it comes down to number of hours worked - that really depends on the day and the amount of work that I have. I generally work at least a few hours most days of the week, but also make sure to dedicate time in my days to do things that nourish other aspects of life.

C: What’s the role of customer care in your business?
D: Being in a service-based business, customer care is everything. Our highest priority is to ensure that our clients are fully satisfied with their experience so we put a lot of effort into making every customer interaction a delightful one. Of course, this impacts everything that we do in our business. Whether it is crafting a client collaboration process that is convenient for our clients or setting internal policies such as replying to all emails within 24 hours, we are constantly working to improve the way we take care of our customers.

C: How does Squarespace help you stand out in your field?
D: Squarespace’s platform makes it easy for us to design and launch a website and makes it just as easy for small businesses to maintain and update their website. Secondly, Squarespace’s marketing and branding has dramatically helped us stand out as a web design agency. We’ve noticed over time that more and more clients know about Squarespace and begin their search by looking for Squarespace experts. This has helped us stand out because we are finding that clients are much more informed about the various website platforms than they used to be.

Special thanks to Kathleen and Richard for sharing their story.
Find out more about Designstaq’s work on
their website.

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