Ask most FileMaker developers how they got their start, and you will get a story something like mine – they just kind of fell into it. For me, I was working in the publishing field, for a newspaper. I had been there for quite some time, and had taken over the duties of IT Manager as a hedge against being replaced by a new-fangled thing called desktop publishing. FileMaker Pro showed up around the same time, the way it often does: as a way to quickly solve a difficult problem. And it did, and I was an instant fan.

When the time came to move on to a new job, FileMaker made it possible for me to shine as I revolutionized the way first one, then two, visual effects studios tracked their workflow. Too bad the industry took a brief but acute nose dive in 1998. Or, maybe, lucky for me, because in January of 1999, I started my small business as a lone-wolf FileMaker Developer.

Little did I know that the FileMaker community would be vibrant, welcoming, and oh-so-helpful. Or that the software platform itself would grow and change from a small problem-solving database program to its current, infinitely more robust Workplace Innovation Platform. Little did I know as well, that little old me, working at home alone, would become Alchemy Consulting Group, LLC, with offices, a highly-skilled team, a wall of certification plaques, and the exclusive designation of FBA Platinum Partner. That in the course of learning, I would become a teacher, a public speaker, and a mentor to new developers who seek to succeed as I have.

Two decades is a long time to be in business. We have had plenty of ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns. I have had to learn a whole lot about being a business owner, which has helped me understand, in turn, the unique problems every business owner faces: the responsibilities, the sleepless nights, the agonizing over difficult decisions. It is with no small amount of pride and gratitude that I look back on these years, to clients past and present, and nod to myself that yes, we solved a lot of problems. Yes, we helped companies grow by giving them insights to make decisions and infrastructure to forge ahead. And yes, we have forged strong bonds with these companies, as partners in their success. When you do business with us, you’re part of the Alchemy family.

Looking forward, there is so much more we can accomplish. As I travel throughout the Southern California area I call home, and to other cities across the US as well, I see businesses that are as unique as any two fingerprints, and I wonder about how they get things done – how they track their work, manage their inventory, pay their people for their labor. I wonder what problems they face, whether it’s pressures from their industry, regulations, customers. I see businesses that are growing fast, sometimes too fast, and I see their efficiency falling as their sales increase. What I know is this: we could help them. At Alchemy, we solve problems like these every day, and we do it in a way that is a perfect fit, an exact match for each and every operation.

And we love doing it.