Stephanie Solheim appears in this header with her two children. She is the owner of Toledo Web Designers & Digital Marketing.

Toledo Web Designers & Digital Marketing Spotlight

Tell us about yourself! What makes you, “you”?

HI! I am Stephanie Solheim, owner of 3tubas, which has now grown and evolved to Toledo Web Design & Digital Marketing. I am also the HerHub Task Team member in charge of Marketing & Communications.

I am a mama of two littles (Liam is 3 and Wesley is 10 months) I am obsessed with dogs, or as we call them Tubas…no surprise, I have 3 of them 😉 I have so many interests and hobbies that I cannot find time to do them. I also come from a family of women (and men) who own businesses. My Mother, Tonya Snyr of Toledo Massage and my Mother in Law, Anna Exner of N-Hance of Southeast Michigan are both business owners. This alone not only made me feel like creating a business myself was the thing to do, but to also focus my business on serving female entrepreneurs and women business owners!

Stephanie with her two children, Liam Stasko and Wesley Asbjorn

Describe your business/services and then tell us about what brought you to creating this business and why you’re passionate about it.

My business partner, Alex Brinkman and I had worked together quite a bit before launching this initiative. He is an incredibly talented web designer/developer and insanely kind and supportive. I started off doing content marketing, lots of copywriting, design work, overall marketing management and we realized that we had two pieces of the same puzzle. He makes websites, I get them found, he creates efficiencies and better ways to get things done with technology, I like to consult and teach them. We are both super passionate about small business, our community and we are really focused on building relationships, building trust and making our community a better place. I love the idea of bringing these big business ideas and making them available to small businesses and making solutions affordable too.

What goals do you have for your business in the future?

We have some really awesome ideas for courses and training and doing some Youtube tutorials. I think even more than doing, I like teaching and consulting so I see going in that direction. I also am so excited about collaborating with other agencies more and more. That is one thing about digital marketing, the entire community is just incredible. Especially with women in the marketing arena. I have the privilege of being a part owner/admin of a group of almost 7,000 women in Marketing on Facebook. This is a global group and there is so much knowledge and perspective and sharing there. This isn’t the only group like this either! When I run into a scenario that I don’t think i can manage alone, I have this whole posse of other female freelancers to refer out to. With collaboration like this, there is nothing we can’t do!

Stephanie and Byron Solheim and their children Wesley and Liam
Byron Solheim, Stephanie Solheim and their two children Wesley, 10 months, and Liam, 3 years

What is your proudest achievement?

Honestly, starting a business with babies. Mostly because it’s so insanely hard. Also, growing that new business during the Covid-19 pandemic, growing that business while getting incredibly sick while pregnant with my second son and surviving severe preeclampsia and the NICU and never losing sight of the end goal, serving others. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome it?

Time management. I am a full time mom before I am anything else. With a laptop in one hand, a baby in the other I try to find the time resources, the me resources to keep on keeping on. I can’t say that I have overcome it. This is a huge learning experience and I am not always happy with the choices I make about how to best spend my time. I wish sometimes I could work a lot less, but then I feel like I am missing out on an opportunity to help.

I have mom guilt, serious mom guilt sometimes when I feel like I should have not taken that extra project, or mentorship and I should have read one more story. It isn’t just about my kids either, sometimes I feel like I could work less, and work out more, clean my kitchen floor more…the list goes on. I have never felt like my “me” resources have been so scarce.

Stephanie Solheim, owner of Toledo Web Designers & Digital Marketing and her son Wesley, 10 months.
Stephanie Solheim, owner of Toledo Web Designers & Digital Marketing and her son Wesley, 10 months.

What advice would you give to a woman looking to start a business or get into a leadership role? Is there one thing that has helped you specifically?

I would be nothing without a posse of badass women around me. I owe so much to getting involved online, like at HerHub, in the mastermind, in the Facebook groups I belong to and run, the classes I have taken and the professional organizations I belong to. Networking is so key. It can be hard to put yourself out there, but it will make a world of difference.

What made you want to join HerHub?

So, I didn’t want to just join HerHub…I was all in 100% I was so happy the day that I connected with Nina Corder and we had the most fantastic chat about HerHub and our vision for how to help our community and the word VISIBILITY came up, and still comes up over and over. We both knew that we had a platform to help our Women Owned Businesses gain the visibility they need.

Why do you feel it’s important to collaborate and empower other women?

Women are underrepresented among business owners and are 1/2 as likely as a man to start a business. I think for me, when I first started in a male dominated field, that I allowed myself to be intimidated by the majority of male role models and mentors. I am simply more comfortable working with women, and I in turn want to provide that for others.

If you could recommend one resource (book, podcast, quote, class, website, etc.), that has helped you in life or in business, what would it be and why?

Women in Marketing is a phenomenal facebook group if you want to collaborate with other women in all areas of marketing. I also love Sisters in SEO.  I read so many books and websites and blog posts I can’t say that any one thing has done it or gets the majority of the credit.  I love productivity tools though, and I don’t know where I would be today without Google Drive and Docs, Trello, and Slack. Canva is another big one too! Canva is the best thing since the invention of the internet.

We love spreading love to other woman-owned businesses and we bet you do too. Give a shout out here to your favorite, local, woman-owned business (besides your own)!

My mama of course, Tonya Snyr of Massage Therapy Center of Sylvania/Toledo Massage. She is so talented and also has that underlying mission of service, the reduction of pain and suffering and just improving the overall quality of life for so many people. As a massage therapist that focuses primarily on medical and therapeutic massage, she has saved so many people, including myself, from unnecessary pain. She is a gift. For sure.