Reigniting Business Passion Through Accessibility With Amber Hinds

Jennifer and Amber discuss postpartum depression, working with your spouse, pivoting from services to product, and going all-in on accessibility.

Seeking Satisfaction 019 Amber Hinds
Seeking Satisfaction
Reigniting Business Passion Through Accessibility With Amber Hinds

Show Notes

I met Amber many years ago, before she was CEO of Equalize Digital, when we were both freelancing and building micro agencies. Every time we connected, we’d laugh about the parallels in our families and businesses, and this podcast conversation was no different.

Amber started freelancing with young children, built a mico agency and moved upmarket, and eventually, made the switch from running a client services business to running a successful accessibility-centered product business.

She also overcame burnout, frustration, and exhaustion as she fell back in love with her work and discovered a new passion and mission — making websites accessible for everyone.

Amber Hinds Speaking
Amber Hinds delivered a WordCamp presentation while wearing her daughter.

Amber is a champion for equality and a great example of putting family first and building a successful business at the same time. She admits it’s not always perfect — some days are harder than others — but that having the right support in place makes all the difference.

On the podcast, we also talk about:

  • Amber’s battle with postpartum depression.
  • What led to Amber’s husband switching careers to join Amber’s business full-time and eventually step into the COO role for Equalize Digital.
  • Challenges that come from working from home when you have four kids.
  • What drove the brand pivot from general web agency to specialized accessibility agency and the move from service business to product business.
  • How Amber and her team decided to build the Accessibility Checker WordPress plugin and how they found the time to build it.
  • How to get started with website accessibility and learn more about building accessible websites and digital experiences.

I can’t wait for you to listen!

Mentioned Sites, Resources, And Tools:

Get To Know Amber Hinds

Amber Hinds
Amber Hinds is the CEO of Equalize Digital, Inc.

Amber Hinds is the CEO of Equalize Digital, Inc., a Certified B Corp specializing in WordPress accessibility, maker of the Accessibility Checker plugin, and lead organizer of the WordPress Accessibility Meetup and WP Accessibility Day conference.

Through her work at Equalize Digital, Amber is striving to create a world where all people have equal access to information and tools on the internet, regardless of ability. Since 2010, she has led teams building websites and web applications for nonprofits, K-12 and higher education institutions, government agencies, and businesses of all sizes. In addition to accessibility, Amber is a recognized search engine optimization (SEO), UI/UX, and WordPress expert.

Equalize Digital is a corporate member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and a WordPress VIP Agency Partner.

Beyond running her company, Amber is married to her business partner and has 4 daughters, ages 2-12. She lives in the Austin, Texas area and enjoys reading, camping, and hiking. She and her family were featured on an episode of Going RV when they bought a travel trailer to live in full-time and travel the United States.

You can connect with Amber on social media, including Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Extra Minutes Training With Amber Hinds

Seeking Satisfaction Extra Minutes 019 Amber Hinds

To hear more from Amber and not only learn about the logistics behind her major brand pivot, but also the rebranding of her business and what you should think about when you’re building a business that’s bigger than you — one that you might want to sell someday, check out the Seeking Satisfaction Extra Minutes Membership.

Members receive Extra Minutes bonus training from Jennifer and podcast guests like Amber that provide valuable insights and lessons to help you build a better business for only $15/month.

Amber’s Extra Minutes training continues the conversation from the podcast with details on

  • The considerations and trademark challenges that came with naming a new business.
  • How the Equalize Digital team ensured the visual brand design and new website design is accessible and aligned with their mission.
  • Steps the team takes to not only diversify the voices representing the brand but empower team members so it isn’t associated with one person and remains sellable.
  • Why Equalize Digital is a B-Corporation, the decision to take on investors, and what happens once you decide to raise a seed round.

Learn More

Conversation Transcript

Amber Hinds:

In 2016, at WordCamp Denver, I remember sitting in the audience and listening to a talk about an e-commerce store that they ran with WooCommerce and what their business was like. And they were talking about making sales while they slept. And I was like, in my business, a literal human being has to do a thing every single time for me to get money. And I knew then that I wanted to have a product, but I had no idea what it was.

Jennifer Bourn:

Welcome to Seeking Satisfaction, a podcast that encourages you to live inspired, embrace imperfection, and seek satisfaction. I’m your host, Jennifer Bourn, freelance business mentor, course creator, and agency owner.

Today, I work with clients I love, do fulfilling work, and have the freedom to live the life of my choosing. But things weren’t always this rosy, which is why this podcast looks at the systems that power successful businesses and fulfilled lives, going behind the scenes with entrepreneurs, professionals, and freelancers to discover how they juggle work and life, manage clients and kids, handle stress, and tackle unexpected challenges.

If you are seeking greater satisfaction in your work and life you are in the right place.

Today, I’m here with Amber Hinds, CEO of the web agency Equalize Digital and maker of the Accessibility Checker WordPress plugin. She’s also lead organizer of the WordPress Accessibility Meetup and the WP Accessibility Day Conference.

Thank you for joining me Amber.

Amber Hinds:

Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.

Jennifer Bourn:

We’re definitely going to talk about your agency and your plugin. But first, you and your husband work together. You own the business together. You’ve just brought on a third partner — your former lead developer.

My husband Brian and I ran our business together. He’s been involved for all 17 years, but for 10 of those years, he worked with me full-time in the business and people were always amazed that we could do that.

What has it been like for you to be on this entrepreneurial journey, with, and work with your spouse?

Amber Hinds:

Yeah, it is funny how many people hear that and instantly say “I could never work with my wife or my husband or my partner,” and I’m just like, “Really? I can’t imagine not working with him.”

The backstory on that is we met in college. And after college, he actually went to the Culinary Institute of America and he became a chef. He ran restaurants for almost 10 years and took us around the country.

We got to live in some cool places. We lived on Nantucket Island for three years. I mean, I don’t know if it was cool or not — we lived for a while in rural Wyoming because he got hired to open a steakhouse there.

And as our kids got older, we realized restaurants are not a very family-friendly thing. He barely got to spend any time with them and so he made a transition to K-12 food service and was managing school district meals. But he still was limited in his vacation time and when he could take days off and things like that, and we knew we wanted to travel a lot.

So in 2016, we talked about it — and I had a thriving, freelance business and we were like, maybe it makes sense for him to come in and help with this business and grow it so it can support us and our family, and we can have more freedom to travel and do some of the things that we wanted to do.

And towards the end of 2015, we officially did a rebrand of my freelance business into that agency, which is totally different name than even what we’re using now.

Jennifer Bourn:

Oh, yeah, we’re going to talk about that.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And by May, he gave his notice, then he joined me full-time, and he’s our COO. So he does all of the HR and sales. He does all of our, like, accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing kind of stuff — all the things that I’m really bad at.

He asked me once, why I hadn’t paid myself recently and I was like, “Oh, well, I just haven’t transferred money from the business bank account to our bank. I’ll go do it.” And then I was like, “Huh, there’s not very much money in here,” and then I realized, oh, I hadn’t invoiced people for like two months. So we all know our strengths and our weaknesses, right?

Jennifer Bourn:

Okay. I think that is the funniest thing because I joked for years that I hired Brian to do everything I didn’t like doing in my business. I brought him into my business to take over all the operations and the admin stuff and the running of the business so I could just do what I loved doing.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah. That’s exactly what I did. It’s funny. We had the same path.

Jennifer Bourn:

I think it also speaks to the flexibility and willingness of your partner to jump in when they see that there is growth happening and you need help. There’s this conversation that happened with us — I’m sure it happened with you…

“My business is growing. I need somebody to do these things.” And your partner is looking at that like, “I could probably do those things. Does it make sense for our family to have more freedom and more flexibility?”

I also love that he’s a chef and I have to ask, does he still do a lot of cooking?

Amber Hinds:

So for a while, he would teach cooking classes at those places where you can go, just do date night cooking classes he doesn’t do that anymore, but he does all the cooking at home. He does all of the menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, and most of the cleaning up of the kitchen. We have older kids now so they also help on that front, and it is quite delicious.

Jennifer Bourn:

I love that.

Amber Hinds:

I am definitely spoiled on that front.

Jennifer Bourn:

That’s so fantastic.

Amber Hinds:

You know, the thing that’s interesting is in the beginning, my freelance job was a way for me to make a little money on the side while I stayed at home with kids and he was the primary working parent. And now we’ve switched. He does a lot of very important things in our business, but he is also the primary person who is doing school pickup and school drop-off and driving kids around to their activities because there’s demand in my job that requires me to be more present in the business during the work days.

And so we’ve had a transition — and that’s where I think working with your partner can be helpful because we are really making everything, like, flow and be a true team effort, both on the business side and in the family side.

Amber Hinds Works With Her Spouse
Amber Hinds blends work and family and life, co-owning her company with her husband.

Jennifer Bourn:

It makes such a huge difference because you’re able to look at schedules and adjust and say, “Hey, I’ve got a ton of work right now, you’re gonna carry the family load.” Or, “You’re on a big deadline, I’m gonna carry that.”

I was the driver of our business and so a lot of times Brian was responsible for everything around the house — the cleaning, the cooking, the housework, the kids’ stuff, the pickup stuff — all of those things. And we were able to ebb and flow because we’re both in the business So I feel that it’s such a positive.

Now, you have four daughters.

Amber Hinds:

We have four daughters. Yep.

Jennifer Bourn:

Ages two to 12, right?

Amber Hinds:

Yeah, 2, 5, 9, and 12.

Jennifer Bourn:

How do you really make sure that when you’re working, you’re fully present, and when you’re with family, you’re fully present?

Amber Hinds:

I would say that is always probably a challenge. I don’t know if anyone ever has figured that one out. Right?

We used to have an office and we went to the office, which I actually think was better for my work-life balance and my sanity because it was a little bit like, leave it there.

We ended up stopping that. Now we work from home and for a time, we floated around our house because we don’t have a super big house. But I did have a desk in our family room and I ended up being like, “This does not work. I need a door.” So we, like, reconfigured our bedroom so at least I could be in the bedroom.

And there are times where if I have to get a lot done and I need a Saturday work day, we’re lucky enough to live next to family. So, Chris will take the kids to his mom’s house or his dad’s house for the day and that helps.

With regards to being fully present with kids, I don’t know. So, I feel like sometimes I’m losing that battle, but other times I think I’d do really well.

Let’s see… So, while I have Basecamp, our project management tool, on my phone, and Slack and things like that, I have all my notifications turned off, which I think is really helpful.

So, if I need to go in and look I can choose to, but it can’t really pull me into it, if that makes sense, which is really helpful on, like, weekends and evenings.

I think for us, work-life balance is part of why the product side of things is very appealing and why we are making that transition because there are less demands

Jennifer Bourn:

That makes a lot of sense.

Amber Hinds:

For us too, like, that was part of why we grew the team, and why it isn’t just me and him, and why we have a content person, and we have two developers, and a project manager.

Because in the very beginning, when it was just him and me, it was a lot more challenging to go on vacation. Or, after my third daughter was born, like, I literally was working — doing a check-in call with a client less than 24 hours after she was born. Like, I didn’t take maternity leave.

Jennifer Bourn:

I feel that.

Amber Hinds:

But then we grew the team and when my fourth daughter was born, I had a six-week maternity leave because it was possible, and I wasn’t the only person doing billable work.

That’s something you have to think about too. Like, we talk about entrepreneurship being freedom and we can travel whenever we want. But depending upon your path in entrepreneurship and how many people are on your team, it might not be as freeing as you think it is.

Jennifer Bourn:

It doesn’t always look like that. Sometimes it has as just as many if not more constraints than a job would. You just have a different boss and it’s you.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah. I mean, there were moments when I definitely got disillusioned and I would say, “I think I could make more money if I worked for somebody. I would have a 401k and maybe better health insurance than I can buy on my own. Why am I doing this?”

Jennifer Bourn:

I had those conversations.

When I had Carter, I also took no time off. He was 10 days late and I worked those 10 days. I’m like, “I’m just gonna keep working until I go into labor.” And then after I had Carter, I came home. I’m like, “All right, back to work,” because at the time, if I wasn’t working, I wasn’t making money, which means I wasn’t paying our mortgage.

And that is a really, really stressful place to be on its own. Right? But the birth of your third daughter brought with it postpartum depression. And that’s challenging enough mentally, physically, and emotionally on its own, but you also had two other kids and a business.

What happened? How did you deal with this?

Amber Hinds:

It’s interesting, you know, I don’t know if a whole bunch of things snowballed because my first two and my fourth, I didn’t have any issues with depression after.

But with my third, it was a combination probably of not taking maternity leave, and then on a whim — I mean, literal whim — we decided to move from Colorado to Texas to be closer to family without ever having thought about it. And we decided over a one-week period, and my husband left and took the older two.

I lived in Colorado for three months and we renovated our house before we listed it because we wanted to make our extra money, which we did. But I took on all of that with a three to six-month-old.

And we had, like, one or two clients that just became particularly difficult. And I got very disillusioned and, I mean, I had postpartum depression with all of the symptoms and anxiety. Like, I would check all of my children buckled in their car seats compulsively, like, five times before I could drive. Right? Because I was just in my head, thinking all these scary, horrible things.

And, you know, it was really hard. And I think having a solid partner who really understands and is able to step up, and then also some of our team members were very helpful on that front.

But also, we had a lot of conversations internally about business and you know, what are we doing with this business and what are our goals? Are we just creating jobs for ourselves? Or do we have a larger goal of creating something that is a sellable business that we could exit from with, you know, a large payout or something that will help cover our kids.

Like, what is the goal of this business? Is this just a lifestyle business? Is this something bigger? And then really talking about some of those client experiences that were more difficult that piled on with all this stuff.

So then of course in my emotions, I looked at them much more harshly maybe than I would’ve if I’d been in a normal mindset, but I think in the long run was positive because it triggered us to have conversations about projects or clients where they were just — it was not positive.

We ended up realizing, like, we don’t wanna work in this industry because half the time they’re founders spending their last dollar and it’s so much more of a challenge when it’s their own money that they’re spending and they’re like pinching pennies.

Jennifer Bourn:

What you’re saying right now, oh my gosh. The question of are we building a job or are we building a business is such an important question to ask. And knowing, and thinking, and taking that time to figure out what you want to get out of your business and then re-evaluating the clients you have to see, “Are these really the clients that we want?”

When you said spending their own money, like, they’re on their last dime… I remember Brian and I sitting in the backyard and having this conversation where we said, “No more clients where we are the Hail Mary.”

Amber Hinds:

Yeah, because they want 50 revisions and they don’t have the money to pay for it. It’s too stressful. And that was around the time when we were really starting to do a lot more accessibility work and a lot more work for like, government, higher ed, or very large enterprises.

And we realized, “Wow, working with these clients — it’s just night and day. They understand process, they understand budgets, they understand guidelines. Also, they don’t take it personally when you tell them things because it’s not, like, their baby. They’re just the employee and the cog in the wheel.

And so that was helpful to us in figuring out how we were going to transition and things. Some of it too was just figuring out how to find that passion again in the business, but also saying, “There are always more tasks.”

There are always more emails in your inbox or things that you need to respond to but haven’t for three weeks. Trying to get to inbox zero or to-do list zero is never going to happen. So I think being willing to be okay with stepping away to take that time for yourself or take that time for your children — it’s a hard mental exercise but, like, in the long run, you have a much more positive outlook on everything and you do better at everything.

Jennifer Bourn:

Oh 100%. The more that I step away from my business, the more I come back refreshed and re-energized, and my creativity is better, and I’m more excited about the work that I’m doing.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah. I mean, it took me many years to recognize, but I have this innate need that, like, if someone sent in a support ticket, I wanted to respond right away. Like, you get a response within 15 or 20 minutes. And then if it’s a small task, it’s resolved, you know, within an hour or two. Right?

Part of me was trying to compare our business to, like, the support experience when you contact a big company or whatever, right? Like, we didn’t have live chat but at the same time, it’s like, you send a support ticket, you get a response quickly. And so then we had conversations internally and we created a tiered support system.

Jennifer Bourn:


Amber Hinds:

And it’s not the same as when Amber the freelancer had four clients and pretty much everything could be answered in the same day and the requests were much smaller.

Jennifer Bourn:

Definitely. Coming out of that difficult time, you grew your team, you got more help, and you focused on building out systems. And when you document things like that, it does really make taking those vacations and having that family time and stepping away possible.

Now you shared that it took time to sit and really think about what work you really enjoy. And some that changed the entire trajectory of your business.

I’d love to hear a little bit about how you went from full services over into product, and went from being all things digital to having a specialization.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah, so our business before was called Road Warrior Creative, and it was general digital marketing — SEO, social media, website design, and development. A lot of template-based builds rather than enterprise-level custom development.

We did some towards the end under the Road Warrior brand, and that was sort of the beginning of us shifting and becoming Equalize Digital. But what we do now — everything we do is really centered around accessibility. So, the product came out of the needs of our clients.

So Accessibility Checker — there’s a free version of it on and we have a paid version as well — is a tool that audits websites for accessibility problems, and puts reports on the post edit screen, to help content creators identify problems so they’re not publishing them and finding about them later and having to go back and fix them.

And that really came from some of our clients that have these legal accessibility requirements. We would deliver them an accessible website and then over time, it would become inaccessible because the faculty member who’s writing a blog post at this university knows nothing about accessibility.

Um, let me think about this. In 2016, at WordCamp Denver, I remember sitting in the audience and listening to a talk about an e-commerce store that they ran with WooCommerce and what their business was like. And they were talking about making sales while they slept. Right?

Jennifer Bourn:

Oh yes.

Amber Hinds:

And I was like, in my business, a literal human being has to do a thing every single time for me to get money. And I knew then that I wanted to have a product, but I had no idea what it was.

Jennifer Bourn:

I love that.

Amber Hinds:

It was actually interesting.

So early 2019, we decided we wanted to have a product. We were going to invest in a product. But we were like, in order for us to build a product, we need to be the client — and that means we can’t have clients taking up our team’s time. But we still have to pay them, so we actually took out — it was a little bit over a hundred thousand dollar SBA loan.

Jennifer Bourn:

Oh, wow.

Amber Hinds:

So that we could build a software product and continue to pay our team salaries because we have W2 employees and ourselves. And that was our investment.

We took this out in 2018. We were going to build… We have a free plugin called WP Conference Schedule. We had a lot of clients in the conference space. We thought we’re going to turn this into our premium plugin.

And then right after we closed on that loan, we found out that we had gotten a $120,000 government website project. And we were like, “Yeah, we’re not turning this down.” So we took that SBA loan, put it in a savings account, I mean, we had to pay back every month, but we were just saving it.

Honestly, it actually worked out perfectly because that large project finished up in February of 2020. Then COVID hit in March and a lot of our marketing clients, their businesses don’t exist anymore because of COVID, and like, all of our conference clients went away because they couldn’t do events.

So we were in a really bad spot. But then we’re like, “Oh wait, we took out this loan so we could build a product. Now’s the perfect time.” So we had that money to support our team,

Jennifer Bourn:

How fantastic.

Amber Hinds:

Between 2018 when we took it out, and 2019, we assessed everything.

First of all, in the middle of COVID, building a premium conference schedule plugin does not seem like a smart idea. But also we had for a long time kicked around this idea of an accessibility plugin. We’re like this is a need, there is a better marketing opportunity here in the long run, and there’s less competitors in the space. And it’s an area that we all were really interested in and I feel passion for making websites work for disabilities in a way that I would never feel for like, the conference schedule plugin, right?

Like, that’s just a thing. It’s not something that brings you to work each day and makes you feel like you’re making a difference. And so what we were going to focus on completely shifted in that year.

So we built the product and we launched it, and we ended up deciding to completely rebrand and not be Road Warrior Creative. That’s when we became Equalize Digital, which is a corporation. So we did that whole thing towards the end of 2020 and, really started marketing at the beginning of 2021.

Jennifer Bourn:

And it’s really taken off. There has been a lot of talk about the importance of accessibility. I feel like it went on the same journey as responsive design, where at first everybody was talking about it as something you need to be doing, but it’s an add-on, it’s a separate thing, it’s a separate consideration. And then it became just the standard.

Accessibility has kind of gone through that same thing where everybody was talking about it’s a nice to have, it’s an extra. And now it’s becoming one of those fundamental standards of making sure that every site is accessible to every person.

How has that influenced the work that you’re doing? Because you’re also involved heavily in accessibility education.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah. It’s a great parallel to responsive design. I mean, I think we’re still in the early days. There are still some people who think it’s a nice to have and some people who haven’t even heard of it. Just like in the beginning, there were people that were like, “Wait, people aren’t gonna access websites on phones. That’s silly.”

But for us, that was part of the interest. Like, we felt like it was an area where we could get in early in a movement and have the ability to help shape that movement.

Um, that was part of why I started the accessibility meetup. Also, because I feel like I’m never done learning. So, the meetup is 100% virtual. It will always be 100% virtual. It’s actually one of only two meetups in the official WordPress meetup program that is intended to be virtual and not city-based and is more topic-focused. I was like, there are all these cool accessibility people out here and I wanna be able to learn from them.

And, that has been my selfish thing. Like I reach out “Hey, will you come talk about this to our meetup?” And if it was just me and I was like, “Hey, will you teach me about this? They’d be like, sure $300 an hour.” Right?

It’s like my secret way that I get to learn and advance my skills. But also, I think it helps give back to the community. And you know, in the long run, hopefully, it’s going to help drive more interest and awareness around what we’re doing, which might bring us more customers.

Jennifer Bourn:

Well let’s face it: It is a lot of work running a meetup — sourcing speakers, coordinating everything, putting together registration pages, providing recordings, doing transcripts, all of those things. It’s a lot of work.

People talk a lot about giving back, paying it forward, and contributing to the community and open source — and you may not be getting paid for that, but you are giving up your time, which often means you’re giving up billable hours.

Amber Hinds:

Well, and we also committed, because we are an accessibility meetup, to always have live captions. So we pay a company to always have a person sitting there typing captions at every meetup event so that they’re 100% accurate and anyone can attend.

We for the most part, have sponsors but every once in a while we aren’t able to get a sponsor and our company has committed to covering the cost of that.

If we’re able to get sponsors, we also sometimes have ASL interpretation, which is really cool and something that I hadn’t seen a lot of.

Jennifer Bourn:

That’s fantastic.

When you can pair giving back and advancing and building your own brand and learning, then it makes that ability to pay it forward and make that commitment so much easier to do. Because you’re also upleveling your skills and you’re building a name for your brand and visibility for your business in the same way. It’s very similar to having a table in the hallway track at a WordCamp.

Now, I wanna talk a little bit about WP Accessibility Day. This is a conference completely centered around accessibility as well, right?

Amber Hinds:

Yep. This year it’s gonna be November second through third.

So, it’s a single-track 24-hour event. It’s going to start at 10:00 am US central time on November 2nd and run through 10:00 am November 3rd.

I’m a lead organizer along with Joe Dolson, and the reason for the 24 hours is we really wanted it to be a global event. And get speakers from around the world and moderators from around the world and, really share all of the different accessibility knowledge.

We have some really great people on our organizing committee that are knowledgeable, about accessibility. And we had two people who are blind screen reader test for us to ensure that everything worked for everyone.

Jennifer Bourn:

Why do you think it’s important for web designers and developers, really anyone who owns a website, to invest in understanding accessibility better?

Amber Hinds:

My business is a certified B-Corp and I have just the desire to do good. So part of me is just like, it’s the right thing to do. But I also fully recognize when it comes to a lot of businesses and limited marketing budgets, that alone is not the right answer or sufficient answer to get people to invest resources or time in accessibility.

There are actual studies about how there’s a lot of overlap with search engine optimization. Making accessibility improvements to your website can help improve your search engine optimization, which would improve your ranking and therefore, the number of people coming to your website.

Um, it can also help improve your conversion optimization. So making it easier for people to read that add to cart button is very helpful if you want people to add to their cart or complete a checkout. So there are those sorts of business cases for it.

Um, there are a large number of countries worldwide that have laws that require websites to be accessible for different types of entities — some including for-profit businesses, not just government websites. And so there is the possibility, depending on where you are, that you could potentially have a lawsuit or get a fine from the government if the website is not accessible, or lose funding if you are grant funded with federal funds.

For agency owners particularly, if you’re interested in working with larger budget projects and enterprise organizations, a lot of enterprise organizations these days have diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and website accessibility and ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to the website, to the careers page…

Like, we have equal opportunity employment laws. So if someone with disabilities can’t submit their resume on the company’s website, that could be a major issue.

Being able to upskill yourself as an agency owner or a developer, is going to lead to bigger projects. Learning accessibility — making it part of your process can be very helpful in increasing your revenue and getting you more of the clients you want to work with.

Jennifer Bourn:

That definitely makes sense.

So I have three questions first. What is one can’t live without tool or trick that you wish you discovered earlier?

Amber Hinds:

I’ll tell you a secret: My husband and I use Basecamp not just for work but for our life. Oh,

Jennifer Bourn:

My gosh, you guys are like us. I absolutely love that.

Amber Hinds:

We have Basecamp projects for our life. At certain points in time, we’ve even tried to force our parents to use a Basecamp project with us.

Jennifer Bourn:

Our kids!

Amber Hinds:

Yes! Our kids are not quite there yet. Our oldest is 12. They might, I mean, we do have shared Google calendars with them.

Jennifer Bourn:


Amber Hinds:

Basecamp for real — I don’t even know how I would function without Basecamp.

Jennifer Bourn:

That makes me so happy. I can’t even tell you.

Okay, second question: When things don’t go according to plan, how do you stay in a positive headspace? How do you keep things on the rails?

Amber Hinds:

Well, I mean, my husband Chris is phenomenal. He is my rock through a lot of things and I’ll just be like, “I can’t handle this anymore you deal with it,” and he is super great on that front. And so for me, I think having like that amazing partner in everything has been key in the really rough times.

Um, I eat a lot of chocolate.

Jennifer Bourn:

Okay, I think we live parallel lives. If you were to ask me this, I’m like, ” I would vent to Brian, he would tell me to calm down and make a plan, and then I would eat candy.

Amber Hinds:

Yeah. Yeah. I eat a lot of chocolate and I mean, you know, a beer here and there is kind of helpful too.

Jennifer Bourn:

Well Amber, where can listeners connect with you online? Learn more about your agency, your plugin, and the meetup?

Amber Hinds:

So if you go to, there’s information about all of those there, I’m pretty active on Twitter. That’s the best place to get me. And I’m @heyamberhinds.

Jennifer Bourn:

Fantastic. And if somebody wanted to get started making their website more accessible — they hadn’t really thought about it before — what are a couple of things that they should take a look at first?

Amber Hinds:

One of the easy ones is color contrast — making sure that you have good contrast between your background and your foreground — because that has really wide implications. Um, if you install our plugin, even just the free version, it has more than 40 different automated scans that will, that it will flag for you.

Jennifer Bourn:

Oh, that’s so fantastic.

Amber Hinds:

It won’t catch everything. There are some things you have to do manually, but that is certainly a great place to start.

The other thing that I tell people is: Take your mouse, turn it off, stick it in a drawer for a day, and use your website with only your keyboard. Make sure you can get to everything and fill out the forms and do everything that you would normally do on the front end of the website with your tab key, your arrow keys, your return, and your space bar. And if you can’t do that, then you know, right now what you need to fix.

Jennifer Bourn:

That will be a game-changing experience for anyone who takes you up on that suggestion.

Amber, thank you so much for joining me and sharing your journey of seeking satisfaction and more about your business.

Amber Hinds:

Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Bourn:

If you enjoyed this episode of Seeking Satisfaction, you can subscribe for new show updates at, and hey, leave a review on your favorite podcasting platform.

If you would like to hear more from Amber Hinds and not only learn about the logistics behind her major brand pivot, but also the rebranding of her business and what you should think about when you’re building a business that’s bigger than you — one that you might want to sell someday, check out the Seeking Satisfaction Extra Minutes Membership.

Members receive Extra Minutes from podcast guests like Amber to provide valuable training to help you do business better. You can find details about the Extra Minutes Membership and Amber’s training in the show notes at

Until next time may you live inspired, embrace imperfection, seek satisfaction, and have a fabulous day.