Executive Inc.: Blue-Collar Web designer build sites and his own business
Mike Sunnucks, Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal – December 9, 2016
Steve Tamulewicz isn’t what you necessarily expect when you think of a web designer.
Tamulewicz, founder and principal of Phoenix-based eCreations LLC, looks the part of a down-to-earth, blue-collar guy. He’s also from a blue-collar town, Cleveland — not necessarily synonymous with techies. His company is in north Phoenix near Deer Valley Airport nestled in an anonymous office park along with drywall and other contractors as well as a mix of small businesses.
But make no mistake, Tamulewicz has built an Arizona-based web design firm with an impressive client roster. eCreations has done web work for National Geographic Television, Circle K, General Motors, Lowe’s, Nationwide Vision, cities of Phoenix and Tempe and the state of Arizona. He also does plenty of work for “mom and pop” and small businesses, as well as work for clients from New Zealand, Canada and Europe.
Tamulewicz has a computer science degree from Cleveland State University, and he still spends roughly half his time coding and half running his business. He got his start in the local industry when he and his wife moved to Arizona in the 1990s.
“We took the leap of faith,” he said.
Tamulewicz founded eCreations in 1997. He formed the company after the web firm he was working for closed. Tamulewicz contacted some clients right after the closure, kept their websites and servers running and his Phoenix company was born.
Now, eCreations has 11 employees and is looking to add more.
Tamulewicz said too many startups and businesses go the cheap route in setting up their website and e-commerce. There are scores of designers working from homes or doing projects on the side.
“They go low ball,” Tamulewicz said.
That can often result in unfinished work or sites that lack of security and effectiveness.
Like many effective businesses, eCreations gets most of its work via word-of-mouth referrals from existing clients.
“They refer so much to us,” said Tamulewicz, a self-avowed workaholic.
The web designer and business owner still has plenty of love for his hometown and Cleveland’s underdog sports teams. He’s even thought about expanding eCreations into northeast Ohio, but can’t see how the business lineup there can make it work.
In his spare time, Tamulewicz coaches and referees basketball games for youth leagues conducted by the city of Phoenix.
“It’s one of my ways to stay involved with the game I’m passionate about, especially since my knees don’t like me battling under the boards anymore,” he said.
He has been coaching 5- and 6-year olds. “We don’t keep score,” Tamulewicz said. But he admits he does keep score even if it’s just for fun.