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Father. Entrepreneur. Internet Ninja.

Who is Matthew Woodard?

Growing up as a military kid, I constantly moved from one place to another and switched schools frequently. As the middle child among three sisters, most of my early life unfolded in Oceanside, CA. Later, we moved to North Carolina during my high school years, and I returned to Oceanside as an adult.

From a young age, I possessed a keen curiosity for technology, often dismantling things to understand their workings. This curiosity, combined with my passion for art, evolved as I entered the workforce. My first job as an adult was framing houses—a tough but fulfilling job. However, work was inconsistent, prompting me to seek other employment opportunities. I turned to the phone book (a relic filled with phone numbers 😊), randomly opened it to the “S” page, and, sliding my finger down, landed on “Signs.” I started calling and inquiring about job openings. After several attempts, I finally received a positive response. The job paid a modest $5 per hour, with my tasks primarily involving painting poles and digging holes.

My curiosity about the computer work happening inside—the artwork for the signs—grew over a few months. Intrigued, I asked a coworker what I needed to learn to join them. He provided a list of programs and some sign magazines for me to study. That night, I soaked in as much information as I could about sign design. Later in the week, I seized the opportunity to present a design proposal to the sales team for a client, competing against the established art team.

To my delight, the client chose my design, earning me a position in the art room as a graphic designer. Transitioning from manual labor to a skilled role was an extraordinary milestone. The knowledge and skills acquired in this role laid the foundation for starting and owning my own sign company.

At the time, virtually every business required a sign, and the internet was experiencing its second boom (in the early 2000s). Recognizing an opportunity, I thought of upselling my clients on another essential service they needed—websites. Soon after, the website segment of my business began to flourish, eventually surpassing the sign business. I sold the sign shop in 2006 and have been dedicated to web design and development ever since.

  • What inspired you to start Matthew Woodard, Inc.? “The desire to blend art and technology. Witnessing the transformation a well-crafted website can bring to a business was my call to action. That, and my love for solving problems.”
  • What do you do for fun outside of work? “I love fishing! Hiking and camping with the family are my go to outdoor activities when I am not glued to the computer thinking of new business ideas.”
  • What’s your go-to productivity hack? “Turning off all notifications, minimal light and some good music in the background can set me into superpower mode.”
  • Coffee or tea, and how do you take it? “Coffee, definitely coffee usually with hazelnut creamer, although I do enjoy a green tea with honey every now and then.”
  • If you could have dinner with any tech icon, who would it be and why? “Elon Musk for sure. His vision for design and innovation is reshaping our world. I’d love to pick his brain over a steak dinner.”
  • What’s a project you’re most proud of and why? “It’s tough to pick just one, but working with Alex Charfen and Mike Dillard were probably the highlights of my career so far. Working along side these two literally changed my life. The amount of knowledge gained and the work I was a part of has had a lasting toll on who I am today, and the work I continue to do.”
  • How do you stay updated with industry trends? “Podcasts, webinars, and a lot of reading. The digital world moves fast, and I’m on a perpetual quest for knowledge. Plus, geeking out over the latest tech trends is my idea of fun.”
  • What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting in web design? “Never stop learning. Web design is an art that’s constantly evolving, and staying curious is key. Oh, and always back up your work. Trust me on that one.”
  • Where do you see Matthew Woodard, Inc. in 5 years? “Continuing to grow, innovate, and perhaps mentoring the next generation of web designers and developers. And still enjoying every step of the journey.”
  • What’s your favorite ‘bad’ joke? “Why don’t web designers like to play hide and seek? Because good design is all about visibility. 😄”

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