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Planning Retirement Online


Laterlife Hobbies and Interests

Just Watch me Grow

Jay Williams describes how she set up a website for family and friends abroad and how she turned it into a business 

 

When my son Luke was born, I wanted him to grow up as a part of people’s lives, not just be a photograph in a Christmas card.

 

I live in Leeds, my parents and my in-laws live in Wales and I have other far-flung friends and relatives around both Britain and abroad.  I needed a way to keep everyone regularly up to date with his life and progress that was quick, accessible and fun - so I decided to build him a web page.

 

Two years on, my baby’s web site has become my business.

 

The response to Luke’s web page was amazing.  We heard from friends in the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.  The page was passed around and seen by people we had lost touch with and relatives we didn’t know we had!  Everyone would check back regularly to see new pictures and to read about his first smile, first steps and his new friends.

 

One of the most common responses to Luke’s web page was “I wish I had one!”  Soon I was building web pages for my friends’ children as birthday presents and birth announcements.  I decided to take the plunge and start running a business.

 

Just Watch Me Grow.com was born. I now build web sites for babies and kids across Britain and even the USA.  The pages contain photos of the children, a countdown ticking the seconds away until their next birthday and fun extras (like links to the Teletubbies web site and artwork the kids themselves have made). 

 

The reactions were great! Parents have fun showing off the pages to friends and colleagues.  Proud grandparents can admire their grandchildren no matter how many miles are between them.  My mum checked in on Luke’s site from a cyber-café in Sorrento when she was on holiday.  My mother-in-law, Marion, is unable to travel due to illness. She says, “Seeing Luke’s site on the web makes me feel included in his events and developments, even though I can’t be there in person.”

 

The kids who are old enough to know about their pages love them, too.  They get a real kick out of seeing themselves and their friends online, and love displaying their artwork and favourite things too.

 

Georgia, aged four, is thrilled to see her drawings on “her internet”.  “My little sister looks so cute on my internet, and the picture in my leotard is good ’cos now everyone knows I can dance!”   Georgia’s grandmothers in Spain and North Wales can see what she and her younger sister are interested in. 

 

Getting a web-page from Just Watch Me Grow.com couldn’t be simpler. You don’t need a scanner or a digital camera (or even a PC of your own!). Just send me the photos you want to see online.  A single special occasion page costs £25. Or, if you want to send in new pictures regularly, a page which includes twelve updates costs just £39. Your page stays on the web for a year.

 

For me, the update pages are the most fun – they can be like an online diary of what a child is up to that month.  In December a page might have a letter to Father Christmas and a seasonal drawing; in summer it might be a photo album of the child’s holidays.

 

With babies, the initial page can be a birth announcement, and the updates can be all about the latest new development – smiles, crawling, first words.  I love seeing the changes in each child.

 

Two years ago, when I gave up work to have Luke, I’d never have pictured where it would lead. Now I have the best of both worlds – a wonderful little boy and a business I love. 

 

If you are interested in a web page by Just Watch Me Grow for a child you know email Jay at info@justwatchmegrow.com for more information. 

 

* Copyright for all 3 images is Just Watch Me Grow.com 2001.

To view previous articles in this series - see the laterlife-interest index page


 

laterlife interest

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