Janet Zagoria, ZagDesign Owner My parents owned a fabric store in New Jersey. As a kid, I would climb into the large bolts of fabric and take a nap. The customers would always be surprised to find a child among the wools, linens, silk taffetas and upholstery fabrics.
In those days, fabrics were all beautiful works of art, purchased in New York from Yiddish-speaking wholesalers with merchandise from all over the world.
I grew up knowing art wasn’t just something to hang on the walls – it could be functional and come in many forms.
Even though I started out as a fine artist (painting, drawing, etc.), I discovered when learning printmaking in the 70s, I had a talent for combining art with technology.
This led me to graphic design, photography, publishing, product design and web design starting in 1999.
Over the years, I have worked directly with clients, through public relations and independent web design companies, as well as subcontracting through graphic artists, programmers and writers.
By actively participating in multimedia, web and other tech organizations (in positions such as president and program director), I have been immersed in the latest web industry technology since the 90s.
I was able to bring all my skills, and develop a whole lot more along the way, to make ZagDesign a one-stop shop. I also partner with a talented group of technologically savvy experts and artists to make sure all clients’ needs are met.
In 1980, I started on an endeavor that is still current. I bought a house and discovered, since this was before disclosure laws, that the water district was equivalent to service and quality found in a third-world country and was privately owned.
This prompted me to publicly take over the water district, manage a $4.2 million rebuilding project and create a locally elected board of directors. Fortunately, this project attracted some of the best professionals (lawyers, engineers, water managers, contractors, community leaders, the EPA and local elected officials) to serve on the board, be hired as staff and to support the effort.
I have been on the board since its inception. We now have one of the best water districts in the nation which have been actively practicing water conservation since the 80s.
The road for me in business has been (roughly in this order):
Craftsperson (leather, batik and hand painted clothing)
Clothing wholesale entrepreneur
Technical graphic artist and photo technician
Production Manager, designer, photographer and writer for publications and advertising agencies
Designer and manufacturer of gift items for the wine and microbrewery industries
Advertising representative and sales manager
eBook designer and developer
Web designer and developer
Multimedia trainer and junior college instructor
Consultant to small and mid-sized businesses for web and Internet-related development