Angie Saltman started Saltmedia back in 2010; after noticing how many tech experts were often communicating with their clients in complex tech terminology, she realized that she could be the one to provide those same services, solving complex problems using simple language. From starting in her basement to hiring 8 full-time staff, she has seen incredible growth in her business over the last 10 years. Saltmedia initially offered website and graphic design and has evolved over the last decade to offering marketing and B2B tech, network, and server support, going from supporting other startups to now multi-million dollar organizations. She’s also recently launched an ‘Ask Angie’ series on their YouTube channel, with helpful web, graphic design, and social media tips for business owners!

Business is so much more than just money – its also how we help community and build a team of passionate individuals all working towards the same goal.

We connected with Angie earlier this month to ask her a few questions about her business, her journey in entrepreneurship, and her experience as an Indigenous entrepreneur in Alberta.

This feature is shared in acknowledgement and celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. To learn more about our Indigenous Services team and some of our other Indigenous clients, explore the page below.

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day
Saltmedia

Client: Angie Saltman

Business: Saltmedia

Website: www.saltmedia.ca

Launched in: 2010

facebook Saltmedia on Facebook
Saltmedia on LinkedIn

Angie’s second business, IT Horizons, provides managed IT services that leverage technology such as cloud services in ways that best support business needs, goals, and growth plans. You can follow IT Horizons on Facebook, LinkedIn and learn more about them at www.ithorizons.ca.

Tell us more about your business and what it is/does:

Saltmedia is a woman lead, family and Indigenous owned and operated business with head office in Grande Prairie, AB. We have recently expanded to Prince George, BC. We specialize in website design and development, graphic design (logo, corporate visual branding), and digital marketing at Saltmedia. We have a team of 8 full-time staff and a variety of expert contractors to fill any gaps.  We started an IT business a few years after Saltmedia (IT Horizons) because my partner and I have worked in the IT field for so long, and we found our clients did not like getting referred to other IT businesses. Both businesses’ ideal clients have established businesses, large organizations, municipalities, and are First Nations and their group of companies. Design, tech, marketing are our three major fields. We do so much more – for example, we just completed a data center in Edmonton, but I won’t get into all the techy details!

How did you come up with your business idea?

I got into tech because I found that so many techy people could not explain complex problems in English without using tech terms. I’m good at simplification, and extremely good at taking complex problems and concepts and making them a reality, and solving big issues with simple communications. I knew computers and the internet were the way of the future after I got my first computer at age 20 – I grew up on a farm so we didn’t do tech where I grew up. I graduated as a computer tech in 2000 and worked as a service tech for years. I then decided I wanted to pursue my passion for art, so worked as a graphic designer for years too! Then decided I was tired of working for others and pursued my passion to marry tech and design together in 2010 with Saltmedia. We started with a website and graphic design only – and over the last decade grew into marketing and B2B tech, network and server support.

Angie Saltman

What motivated you to take the first steps and start your own business?

I wanted the freedom to help people the way I wanted to help them. I was tired of only being judged on my performance based on how much money I brought into a business. Business is so much more than just money – it’s also how we help the community and build a team of passionate individuals all working towards the same goal.

What was the first step? Where did you start?

I started website design by volunteering first. Once I gained some experience, I started contact work to build websites and graphic design. And it grew from there.

Both my businesses are incorporated. I have an excellent business and life partner . We work great together and we have a four year old daughter we adore. I am the majority owner of Saltmedia and I look after the day-to-day management, but everyone on my team is incredible and they all contribute to our success. The hardest challenge is when we bid on large government-funded proposals and spend 30-80 hours on a presentation and they don’t take us seriously. I feel like much of the time, rich men, our government, province, and local municipalities don’t always support local, they pick the cheapest and largest firm and don’t think of growing community, they are short sighted and think about how much money they can make right now. To date, we do not outsource our work overseas. We recruit on LinkedIn and Indeed, and we hire for skill, passion, and personality. We like to go above and beyond for our clients so its important applicants go above and beyond to try and get hired too.

How has your business changed or grown since you launched?

It has changed from me working in my basement to having 8 full-timers, and from working for startups to working for multi-million dollar organizations, businesses.

Saltmedia

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success?

I’m most proud of staying open while I went through five years of aggressive fertility treatment to have the chance of having a family. I lost all my savings but I have a 4-year-old daughter – and our business stayed afloat while I was in treatment. And since I have been back full-time, we have grown so much!

Was your business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Absolutely! We went remote, supported our clients better than ever, and kept our doors open. Our business has grown over COVID.

When did you come to Business Link and why?

I met a fellow from Business Link in an Indigenous woman entrepreneur group. I am always on the hunt to work with other businesses and organizations that have a similar worldview. The ones that are not in business just for the money right now, but for future generations and building a better world. And I think that Business Link has that same concept.

I have received some referrals, business advice, email updates, and Federal procurement information. Perry is awesome.

Have any other organizations been helpful along the way?

Yes! The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and the Lift Circle have both been extremely helpful.

If you could go back and do one thing differently, what would it be?

Nothing! No regrets!

Was there one thing or moment that was defining for you and your business?

Yes. Learning mine and my teams value.

What advice would you share with others who want to start or grow their own business?

Make a basic plan then get to it! Don’t wait, you don’t need all the answers.

What’s coming up next for you? Any big business goals?

Yes, fully expanding to Prince George, BC, and beyond!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes — I believe that Indigenous women are going to play a key role in building the economy and community in the near future.

Saltmedia