Tag Archives: grow with google

A new way for job seekers to stand out to IT recruiters

Almost two years ago, Grow with Google introduced the IT Support Professional Certificate, a program that helps people prepare for entry-level roles in IT, with no experience or degree necessary. IT support skills are highly teachable, and a four-year degree isn’t typically required to build a successful career in this field. We knew that if we could train beginners on technical skills, we could create paths to real jobs—both at Google and at other companies across the country. So we created a hands-on curriculum and made it available on Coursera to prepare learners for IT support jobs in under six months.

Google and CompTIA badge

Now, Google is teaming up with CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association, to provide a dual badge of completion. Employers widely recognize the CompTIA A+ certification as a valued credential for high-growth IT support roles. Now, learners who complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and pass the CompTIA A+ certification exams will have access to a new dual credential from CompTIA and Google: a badge that can be posted on LinkedIn to catch the attention of potential employers. 

One recipient of the dual credential is Leo Chui, who was a personal trainer for 12 years when he decided he was ready for a career change. “I have always been passionate about technology and I always wanted to work in that field, but I didn’t have a university degree,” he says. “I simply did not have the means to take on student loans in order to pursue my dreams and also keep a roof over my head.” Leo believes that the IT Support Professional Certificate aligns with the training in CompTIA’s certification exams. He says the training and the badge gave him the confidence to start applying for positions in the field, and he just landed his first IT job. 

With this dual badge, people who complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and receive the CompTIA A+ certification are better set up to share their skills with potential employers. 

Join our effort to help Americans find local job training

Pathways is part of our Grow with Google initiative to bring economic opportunity to all Americans. For job seekers looking to acquire new skills or pivot to a new career, information about relevant training programs can be difficult to find. This new feature in Search is designed to help people across America develop new skills and find local programs that prepare them for in-demand jobs in their communities. 

In the early stages, we worked with partners like the State of Virginia, the Virginia Community College System, and local employers to pilot Pathways. Here’s more about how the feature works in two communities in Virginia, and new ways for training programs to get involved when Pathways becomes available more broadly. 

Pathways in Virginia

Now in Hampton Roads and Richmond, Virginia, when people search for things like “ jobs near me” or “job training” on Google, they’re able to find jobs that are in demand in their area and discover local training programs to prepare them for those jobs. They can then easily compare program costs and outcomes and learn how to enroll. 

Pathways VA Gif

The Pathways pilot feature includes information about training programs across industries like healthcare, information technology and machining. And you can find out about occupations like nursing, medical technicians, software developers, and welding. We’re focusing on programs that can help people develop marketable skills and get into the workforce: these are full-time degree or certificate programs of up to two years in length, or longer if they include paid training, like an apprenticeship.

Expanding the impact of Pathways

How long will it take me to complete a program? How much does it cost? How much might I make when I finish, and how might that compare with another occupation? These are all questions prospective students often think about when considering a new training program, but the answers aren’t always easy to find online, making it difficult to find the right program to match their career aspirations. 

To reach the goal of making Pathways available nationwide, we’re asking organizations to structure their program data to ensure their programs can be easily discovered not only on their websites, but also on Google Search. Learn more about eligibility and how to structure your data to help Americans find a path to their next job.

New tools to help Spanish speakers build their careers

Spanish is my first language, and it’s what I spoke with my family growing up in Costa Rica. Even today, after making the U.S. my home for more than two decades, it’s the language my brain thinks in. So I understand well the challenges of living in a country where the spoken language is your second language, or even completely new to you. Especially for those trying to get ahead—taking classes, learning new skills, finding work—it can be really hard.

That’s why I’m thrilled that today, through Grow with Google, our initiative to create economic opportunity for everyone, we’re making new resources available to help Spanish speakers learn skills they need to prepare for a job or grow a business in today’s economy.

For example, our Applied Digital Skills curriculum helps learners develop crucial digital skills to thrive in the workplace through free, video-based lessons. We also offer minicourses in Spanish for local businesses and job seekers on our free Google Primer app, which teaches business and digital marketing skills through short and easy interactive lessons. Our IT Support Professional Certificate, which is designed to prepare beginners for entry-level IT support jobs in as little as six months, will be available in Spanish starting September 16. These resources and more can be accessed at grow.google/espanol

Skills like these help people thrive in today's jobs. According to Brookings, nearly two thirds of all new jobs created since 2010 required either high or medium-level digital skills. 

The Latino community makes up 16 percent of the U.S. labor market and will make up half of the people entering the workforce by 2025. Latino nonprofits are key resources for educating and training community members. Google.org is making a grant to the Hispanic Federation to launch an accelerator to strengthen institutions serving the Latino community with workforce development and digital training programs. Through this grant, the Hispanic Federation will enhance the capacity of 20 Latino-led and Latino-serving nonprofit organizations, which in turn will provide career-aligned digital skills training to more than 10,000 Latinos over the next two years. This builds on our ongoing commitment to the Latino community, which includes a $5 million grant announced earlier this year to bring computer science education to over one million Latino students and their families by 2022. 

The LULAC Institute will integrate Applied Digital Skills and Primer into their programming, to bring digital skills training in Spanish to more than 60 local technology centers around the country. Community organizations across the U.S. can also apply to join the Grow with Google Partner Program, to access bilingual resources and trainers that help community members learn essential skills like creating a resume or growing a business through digital marketing.

I’m proud that the company I work for is helping provide more opportunities for Spanish speakers to grow their skills all across the U.S.

El español es mi primer idioma, y es el que utilice con mi familia, mientras crecía en Costa Rica. Aún ahora, después de que los Estados Unidos se convirtió en mi hogar, durante más de dos décadas, es el idioma en el que mi cerebro piensa en la mañana. Así que entiendo las dificultades de vivir en un país donde el idioma hablado es tu segundo idioma. Especialmente para aquellos que quieren salir adelante—tomar clases, aprender nuevas habilidades, encontrar trabajo—puede ser muy difícil.

Por eso estoy emocionada que hoy, por medio de Grow with Google, nuestra iniciativa para crear oportunidades económicas para todos, estamos proporcionando  nuevos recursos a los hispanohablantes, para aprender las habilidades que necesitan, prepararse para un trabajo, o hacer negocios en la economía digital.

Por ejemplo, nuestro plan de estudios,Habilidades Digitales Aplicadas, ayuda a desarrollar habilidades digitales cruciales para prosperar en el trabajo, por medio de lecciones gratuitas basadas en video. También ofrecemos mini cursos en español para pequeños negocios y personas buscando trabajo en nuestra aplicación gratuitaGoogle Primer, que enseña habilidades comerciales y de marketing digital, a través de breves lecciones interactivas y fáciles.  NuestroCertificado Profesional de Soporte de TI, está diseñado para preparar a principiantes para trabajos de nivel de entrada de TI, en solo seis meses, y estará disponible en español a partir del 16 de septiembre. Se puede acceder a estos recursos y más en grow.google/espanol.

Habilidades como estas, ayudan a las personas a prosperar en los trabajos actuales. De acuerdo conBrookings, casi dos tercios de todos los nuevos empleos, creados desde 2010, requieren habilidades digitales de nivel alto o medio.

La comunidad latina representa el16 por ciento del mercado laboral de los Estados Unidos, y será la mitad de los trabajadores que ingresen a la fuerza laboral para 2025. Las organizaciones latinas, sin fines de lucro,  son instrumentos clave para educar y capacitar a los miembros de la comunidad. Es por eso que Google.org está otorgando una donación a la Federación Hispana (Hispanic Federation), para lanzar un acelerador que fortalezca las instituciones que sirven a la comunidad latina, con programas para el desarrollo y capacitación digital de la fuerza laboral. Con esta donación, la Federación Hispana acelerará la capacidad de 20 organizaciones sin fines de lucro, dirigidas a los  latinos que, a su vez, proporcionarán capacitación en habilidades digitales a más de 10,000 personas durante los próximos dos años. Esto aumenta nuestro compromiso con la comunidad latina, e incluye una donación de$5 millones de dólares, anunciada a principios de este año, para brindar educación en ciencias de la computación a más de un millón de estudiantes y familias latinas para el 2022.

ElInstituto LULAC integrará lasHabilidades Digitales Aplicadas yPrimer en su programación, para brindar capacitación en español a más de 60 centros de tecnología comunitarios en todo el país. Organizaciones comunitarias en los Estados Unidos también pueden solicitar unirse al programaGrow with Google Partner Program para tener acceso a recursos, así como entrenadores bilingües, que ayudan al aprendizaje comunitario de  habilidades y destrezas esenciales, como crear un currículum o hacer crecer un negocio a través del marketing digital.

Me siento orgullosa de que la compañía, para la cual trabajo, esté ayudando a brindar más oportunidades de crecimiento para los hispanohablantes en los Estados Unidos.

How a village took a local festival to the global stage

Beautiful, ancient and home to fewer than 100 people, the village of Rokka in Kissamos, Chania seems like an idyllic place to live. But with young people moving away to pursue their ambitions in the city, and fewer visitors over the years, the Greek village started to feel empty. “A village is more than just trees and houses,” explains Eftichis Papadakis, who has lived in Rokka since he was a child. “It’s about the people.”

To bring life back to their home, the community decided on a yearly summer festival as the perfect meeting point for people, culture and celebration. The centerpiece would be a dramatic symphony orchestra performance at the top of an ancient archeological site.

It was a creative idea with far-reaching tourism potential, but the villagers lacked the expertise to use the web to promote their festival. With a little help from Google and Grow Greek Tourism Online, they were able to get the skills and support needed to share the festival with the whole world.

Grow Greek Tourism Online (GGTO) runs under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Education, the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) and in partnership with the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE). The initiative is part of Grow with Google, which provides free training and tools to help people find jobs and grow their businesses. Since 2014, GGTO has trained more than 120,000 business owners and individuals in more than 100 Greek cities, including Rokka.

Through the program’s digital skills seminar, locals learned how to promote the festival online. They created an event page where people could see photos of the village and find out more information. They also learned how to promote their businesses in the run-up to the festival, using social media and analytics. Thanks to the hard work of Rokka’s inhabitants, people from all over the world soon started making their way to the village. And as visitors sat down to enjoy the concert, a YouTube livestream made sure that anyone, anywhere in the world could experience it too. Rokka had gone from a pin on the map to a prime tourist destination.

“Their passion and creativity are what make the people of both villages unique,” says Mety Panagiotopoulou, Creative Coordinator at Giortes Rokkas. “With the help of the Internet and technology, these villages in Crete are in contact with the whole world and vice versa”. 

Tourism provides jobs for one in five Greeks, makes up 20 percent of Greek GDP and shows plenty of promise for growth. An Oxford Economics study found that tourism-related online content could boost Greece’s GDP by 3.9 percent and create more than 176,000 new jobs.

As a result of new digital skills, 67 percent of Greek businesses have already seen increased revenue or increased visitors to their website. The positive feedback we’ve received has led to partnerships with Greek universities to help train the next generation of tourism and hospitality leaders.

As Grow Greek Tourism Online expands its reach, we look forward to being part of more inspiring stories like that of Rokka, where digital skills are helping businesses grow—and bringing a community back to life.

How we help the veteran community succeed in startups

As part of our continued commitment to support the military community, we’re partnering with Patriot Boot Camp, Bunker Labs and Veteran Capital to empower transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Of the 250,000 service members who will transition out of the military this year, one in four want to start their own business—in addition to the 2.5 million businesses already led by veterans in the U.S. And despite frequent relocations, nearly a quarter of military spouses surveyed by Blue Star Families have owned their own business. Life in the military means learning to solve problems with limited resources, adapt to changing conditions and lead under pressure—and these are all qualities that also apply to startup life. 

Bunker Labs expands to more cities 

Bunker Labs was founded by veterans who, upon starting their own companies, saw ways they could create a clearer path to entrepreneurship for others in the military community. Today, Bunker Labs has 25 chapters around the country and runs business incubator programs in 15 cities, providing mentorship, education and community to more than 400 startups led by military spouses and veterans. Our partnership will expand Bunker Labs programming in two new cities—Atlanta, Georgia and Raleigh, North Carolina—and Google advisors offering one-on-one mentorship will also help startups in the program get the support and know-how to succeed.

Bunker Labs 2019 National Summit in Seattle, WA.jpeg

Aspiring entrepreneurs like Katherine Kostreva—military spouse and founder of OnPoint—at the Bunker Labs 2019 National Summit in Seattle, WA.

A focus on mentorship with Patriot Boot Camp

Building off the success of a three-day Patriot Boot Camp program supported by the Google Veterans Network in Austin, TX this year, our new partnership will pair startups founded by veterans and military spouses in the Patriot Mentor Program with advisors from Google to provide product expertise. We’re especially excited to support Patriot Boot Camp as they inspire and equip additional military spouse and veteran founders to succeed. People like Patriot Boot Camp alumni Erica McMannes and Liza Rodewald, military spouses with 17 moves between them, often struggle to find effective remote work opportunities that could keep up with their military lifestyles. Their experience inspired them to create Instant Teams, a startup that helps companies hire and manage a remote workforce of professionals from the military community. These entrepreneurs are showing amazing early traction—Erica and Liza just successfully raised a round of Series A funding. 

Bringing opportunities to the military community with Veteran Capital

Our partnership with Veteran Capital places veterans and military spouses in three-month fellowships at high-growth tech startups. We will also activate local Googlers to lead workshops that help military community members build effective resumes and learn sales skills and design best practices. People like James Maffey honed the ability to quickly identify and solve problems while in the U.S. Army, and applied that during a Veteran Capital Fellowship with First, an AI-driven real estate startup. "I learned how to thrive in environments of ambiguity during my time in the military, which translated well to the unpredictability and frequent pivoting of the startup world,” he says.

Our ongoing commitment to the military community

From helping vets find jobs and improving ways to work remotely to highlighting veteran-led business on Google Search and Maps, we’re honored to help transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses grow their careers and businesses. Learn more about how Google for Startups supports the military community by joining us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And check out Google’s additional resources for veterans and military families.

Google employees take action to encourage women in computer science

When she was a teenager, Andrea Francke attended Schnupperstudium, or “Taster Week”—an event aimed at high-school girls to give them a taste of what it’s like to study computer science and work in the industry. That moment changed the course of her life. “As a teenager, Schnupperstudium was a game changer for me. That’s when I decided to study computer science,” says Andrea, who is now a senior software engineer at Google in Zürich.

This year, Andrea went back to Schnupperstudium, this time as a volunteer, to share her experience as part of a collaboration between employees at Google Zürich and the computer science department at ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich). “Offering other girls a glimpse into life as a software engineer is a cause that’s very dear to my heart,” Andrea says.

Andrea Francke and Tahmineh Sanamrad, Google software engineers, delivering a career panel for high school girls at Google Zürich.

Andrea Francke and Tahmineh Sanamrad, Google software engineers, delivering a career panel for high school girls at Google Zürich.

After this year’s Schnupperstudium event, surveys showed that seven in nine girls agreed they could learn computer science if they wanted to, said they had an interest in the subject and believed computer science could help them find a job they would enjoy. “While stereotypes about computer science abound, events like Schnupperstudium can often counter them by showing what it’s really like to work in this field,” Andrea adds.

Something as simple as having a good role model can help to encourage girls to pursue their aspirations. A study Google conducted showed that encouragement and exposure directly influence whether young women decide to go for a computer science degree.

As we look into the skills needed for the current and future workplace, we see that there will be an increased demand for workers in STEM jobs, which will greatly affect the next generation. Yet only around 30 percent of women go into STEM programs in college, so not all young people may end up represented in the field. Somewhere along the way to choosing a career path, women are losing interest in technology. 

That means there’s more to be done, especially at the stage when women are making decisions about their futures. That’s why here at Google, our employees are getting involved with events that encourage young people, and particularly women, to follow through on a computer science degree. 

In 2018 alone, more than 300 Google employees across Europe directly worked with 29,000 students and 1,000 teachers through a range of volunteering activities. These initiatives are part of Grow with Google, which gives people training, products and tools to help them find jobs, grow their businesses or careers. In Europe alone, 48 percent of the people we trained in digital skills were women, thanks to programs like WomenWill and #IamRemarkable.

As we celebrate  World Youth Skills Day and the achievements of 1.8 billion young people from age 10 to 24, we will continue working to help them prepare for their futures.

Google for Mexico: Improving Mexicans’ lives through technology

Mexico is a diverse country in search of opportunities to accelerate development in an inclusive and equitable way. In our first Google for Mexico event this week, we presented new ways to help Mexicans achieve better employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, contribute to society through technological solutions and promote the country’s culture. 

Technology as a source of growth and opportunity

The Internet is boosting local businesses in Mexico, and Google is helping through our search and advertising tools. In 2018, website publishers, nonprofit organizations and more than 40,000 companies generated 47 billion pesos in economic impact throughout the country thanks to digital tools. To learn more about our success stories, you can visit our Economic Impact Report.

Google is helping people acquire and update the necessary skills to apply for a job or to be more effective in the work they already do. With programs like Grow with Google, we’ve trained more than 11,000 people, helping thousands of users in the development of their digital skills throughout the country. We have also launched other digital training projects like Digital Garage, Primer and Women Will, among other initiatives. 

Additionally, we announced that the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, developed by Google and hosted on Coursera, will be translated into Spanish. Google.org is also giving a  $1.1 million USD grant to the International Youth Foundation to offer scholarships to 1,000 young Mexicans, to ensure that underrepresented communities have supported and free access to the course. 

Bringing technology to everyone 

In Mexico, there are currently 74 million people online, and 18 million more are expected to join in the next two years. That's equivalent to almost 20 newly connected people per minute.

In over a year that Google Station has been in operation in Mexico, we have seen millions of people go online and get connected to more information and better opportunities. Google Station’s fast, free and open Wi-Fi is in more than 100 locations throughout the country, with more sites going live in other public places very soon.  

Google's solutions for companies help Mexico promote itself as a great place to do business. That way, society can focus less on economics and more about improving living conditions and anticipating crises before they arrive. With the launch of Android Emergency Location Service (ELS), people will be able to contact emergency services when an emergency call is placed in a supported jurisdiction, even if the user has no mobile data plan or no mobile data credit left.

Strengthening small businesses online

The role of small and medium businesses in the Mexican economy is crucial for employment growth. Currently, less than 50 percent of small and medium sized businesses in the country have digital presences, but Google's solutions can help expand businesses’ opportunities, reduce their operating costs and support them as they reach their consolidation.

Google for Mexico

Dora Velázquez, Flores de Oaxaca owner, used Google My Business to grow her business.

Google My Business is an easy, fast and secure solution for small and medium businesses to start their online business. The Smart Campaigns program can also help small business owners reach new customers with an easy advertising solution which creates ads based on the business' objectives: calls, visits to their stores or visits to their websites. 

Helping Mexicans use the power of their voices 

When we launched the Google Assistant in Mexico two years ago, our goal was to help people get things done throughout the day at home, in the car and on the go—while having a unique understanding of the culture and context. Since then, more Mexicans are turning to the Assistant for help listening to music, playing games and getting answers to questions. The number of active users of the Assistant in Mexico has grown more than eight times since the beginning of 2018. Additionally, Spanish is the third most used Assistant language globally.

Over the coming months, the Assistant will get even more helpful. Mexican users will soon be able to book a ride in Spanish with providers like Cabify, Uber, and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify), order food delivery with Rappi and even transfer money to friends or family using BBVA—with help from their voice.

Google for Mexico

Assistant users in Mexico will soon be able to book a ride in Spanish with providers like Cabify, Uber and Bolt (formerly known as Taxify).

Building smarter cities 

Since 2014, Waze has been working with cities and municipalities around the world to help improve urban mobility. What started with 10 city partners has grown to more than one thousand globally, with 24 partners here in Mexico, including the Mexico City Mobility Department, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, Jalisco, Monterrey and many others.

Now, all Waze for Cities Data partners can now store data for free via Google Cloud, while accessing best-in-class tools including BigQuery and Data Studio. Cities will be able to easily monitor traffic and transportation events, look at historical trends, assess the before and after effects of interventions and more. 

Municipalities like Querétaro are already leveraging Waze data to make mobility improvements. They recently looked at traffic patterns during peak hours and determined when commercial trucks should enter the city and where they should park. They even re-zoned certain parts of the city. 

A rich heritage, preserved and shared with the world

Mexico’s traditions are colorful and moving, a true expression of the identity of its people. To showcase this cultural heritage, Google Arts & Culture has dedicated a special initiative to capture and share Mexico with the world.

Google for Mexico

This is the first time the Soumaya Museum is digitally presenting its research on the Grana Cochinilla.

Recently, we partnered with one of the most visited museums in the world: the Soumaya Museum. For the first time, it will be possible to visit the museum and view its collection from any device from anywhere in the world. The project showcases more than 700 items encompassing over 30 centuries of art, including one of the world’s largest Auguste Rodin’s collections outside of France. 

The Soumaya Museum has digitized 31 paintings in extremely high resolution using the Art Camera, allowing the user to see details that are not visible with the naked eye. The museum is virtually opening its doors with the use of Museum View technology, which allows anyone, anywhere to admire the architecture of Fernando Romero, at the heart of a new commercial district in Mexico City. 

Google for Mexico

Soumaya Museum, Carlos Slim Foundation, Gallery 6.

Access to information is essential for the growth of countries. At Google, we believe that technology is the fuel to empower Mexico, providing smart solutions for millions of people.

Breaking ground in Nevada

I’m a fourth generation Nevadan on both sides of my family. Even though Google is headquartered in California, my work has brought me back to my home state of Nevada far more than I expected. And recently we’ve been getting to know Nevadans in all corners of the state. Last year, I had the chance to kick off Grow with Google in Reno where we held in-person digital skills trainings for hundreds of Nevadans. And last week, our team returned to host more workshops in East Las Vegas and Carson City. Today, I’m back home in Nevada once more to break ground on our newest data center and Google Cloud region. 

Google is growing at a faster rate outside of the Bay Area than in it—and earlier this year, our CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Google will invest $13 billion to expand data centers and offices across the United States. Recently, we released plans for expansions in two new offices in Michigan, our data centers in Oklahoma and Texas, and now one in Henderson, Nevada. The new data center facility is a $600 million dollar investment, and will create a number of new jobs in the state. Together with our new cloud region, we’re investing to better support our users and our Cloud customers in Nevada.

Data centers power your searches, store your photos, documents and emails, and help you find the fastest route to your destination. They play a vital role in our global operations—and the communities they’re a part of. And it’s our responsibility to be a helpful presence in those communities by creating opportunities for our neighbors to succeed. In addition to the data center groundbreaking, we’re kicking off a $1 million Google.org Impact Challenge in Nevada. Nonprofits from any part of Nevada can submit their biggest and boldest ideas to create economic opportunities for their communities. A panel of judges will select the top five submissions from local nonprofits, who will each be awarded $175,000 to make their idea a reality. From there, the public will vote to select one of the five to be the “People’s Choice” winner and receive an additional $125,000. 

Nevada holds a special place in my heart, and I’m proud to bring the Google.org Impact Challenge to my home state. As we break ground on our newest data center, we’re not only investing in a facility in Nevada, we are investing in Nevadans in all corners of the state. 

A new way to discover Google tools to grow your small business

Small businesses make a big impact on our communities–creating jobs, treating customers like family, and often defining what makes a town unique. Over the years, we’ve built a range of tools to help these businesses use the web to grow and thrive. In 2018, our Search and Advertising tools helped create $335 billion in economic activity for millions of businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the United States. These tools make it easier for small business owners to find and connect with customers and run their businesses. 

I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many small business owners and the challenges they face. Most of them tell me that they need help saving time at work, or that they need easy tools to help them promote their business. The internet has created new opportunities for small businesses, but it can be hard to know where to start.

Today is International Small Business Day—and many of us are supporting small businesses in our communities by paying a special visit to a local coffee shop or neighborhood restaurant. For my team, we’re doing our part to help small business owners with the launch of Google for Small Business, a new Grow with Google initiative to help you find the right Google tools and services to reach your business goals. On this website you can find:

  • Personalized plans: Tell us your business name, answer a few questions about your business, and select a goal. You’ll then receive a step-by-step, tailored plan of recommended products to help you stand out online, reach more customers, and work more efficiently. The recommendations will include products to help with all three, but with a special focus on the goal that’s most important to you.

  • In-person workshops: Locate free Grow with Google workshops happening near you for hands-on help.  

  • Latest news: Stay updated on Google’s small business-focused tools and services.

Google for Small Business website

Get started at google.com/smallbusiness today. 

A mom-and-mom card shop draws from experience

If you told me when I was 12 that one day I would be married to another woman and making a living selling greeting cards, I would have given you a “pssht” of disbelief. But I am glad to report that today in 2019, not only am I happily married to someone of the same sex, but also, making greeting cards with my wife is a perfectly respectable way to put food on the table.  

I met my future wife, best friend and collaborator Morgan Calderini while working at an arts nonprofit in Rhode Island. We shared a similar passion for creating interesting work that made a difference in the world. As a designer and a printmaker, we began collaborating on different projects shortly after we met, but in 2011, our neon-inked and letterpress-printed, poster-sized wedding invitation went viral and launched us into the spotlight. We quit our nonprofit jobs, rescued a rusty letterpress out of the back of an abandoned shipping container and threw together a website. With little more than a credit card and a recent gay wedding under our belts, we started Ladyfingers Letterpress.

Ladyfingers Letterpress wedding invitation

The wedding invitation that launched Ladyfingers Letterpress.

During the honeymoon of launching our business, we noticed a deficit in queer-friendly products on the market. As LGBTQ+ authors, designers and makers with a rapidly growing online following, we felt empowered to make work that would fill a niche. By using Google My Business we were able to attract more retailers, business contacts and customers with our online reviews, photos and maps. We also frequently updated our website with our most recent work and engaged with our customers. Our online traffic grew to account for half of our business.

In 2014, we relocated to Morgan’s hometown of Colorado Springs to be near her family after a wildfire destroyed their home. We struggled to find our place there, but soon discovered the importance of offering a safe space while staying true to our voice no matter where we were. We opened our flagship store in the heart of downtown, where we also host hand-lettering workshops and offer a wide variety of boutique stationery items and locally-made gifts. 

From this post we operate our letterpress and design headquarters, and can personally interact with our customers as they see the presses running and witness our products being made. We added the“LGBTQ-friendly” attribute to our Google My Business listing to let customers know they’re always welcome. It’s especially important for people who navigate their day according to where spaces are safe and not safe. 

We believe that you don't have to be a large company to make a big impact. We take pride in making things by hand, locally, and sustainably. Some of the greatest successes we’ve experienced are the hugs from teary-eyed people who were touched by our work. If you would have asked 12-year-old me to define success, I probably wouldn’t have measured it by how much I make other people cry, but today, it seems perfectly applicable.