By Joe Stumpe, Eagle correspondent
Casandra Bryan hopes potential clients don’t mistake youthful exuberance for inexperience.“People sometimes think I’m a little bubbly when I show up for a meeting,” says the 27-year-old head of Cassandra Bryan Design. The enthusiasm seems to be paying off with a client list that’s grown to include Standard Beverage, Yingling Aviation, Cheri’s Baker, All Paws Center and more than a hundred others since Cassandra started the company in her basement five years ago. Cassandra, a Wichita native, quit her job as a Web designer with an e-commerce company to open CBD, which brands itself as a website design and branding firm. Programmer Levi Mabe, a friend from Cassandra’s days as an art student at Friends University, was her first hire, while designer Sarah Poinsett came on board shortly afterward. Cassandra said her husband insisted she pay off her student loans before starting the company and also let her know when it was time to take the next step.
“He made us leave the basement once we had three people working in a walk-in closet,” Cassandra said.
Last year, CBD moved into a 1,000-square-foot space in the Zelman Lofts building at Douglas and St. Francis, becoming that renovated property’s first commercial tenant. Exposed bricks, stand-up desks, big Macs and a floor-to-ceiling mural urging onlookers to “Practice Aloha” complete the look.
In a market seemingly full of Web designers, CBD tries to set itself apart with customer service and sites that offer more than just eye-catching graphics.