Varntige: 6 years, 50 websites, time to claim Gold

Te Awamutu based virtual assistant firm, Varntige, has been a Rocketspark design partner for almost four years now and they have officially become one of our Gold Partners.

Chantelle Good, owner and founder of Varntige, said the team had a goal of reaching Gold Partner level before Rocketspark’s 2021 Launch Design Conference.

“At 9.30pm the night before Launch I got an email saying you’re a gold partner and I was like woo! We’ve had this goal since last year and we just made it,” she said.

Varntige was founded in April 2015 and it was originally called The Good P.A, before going through a brand refresh to better showcase the services the company now provides.

Chantelle said the business started because she was having health challenges that meant she had to frequent the hospital, making it hard for her to continue a normal job.

“My kidneys failed when I was 24 and I ended up having a kidney transplant a year a half ago. So for the first few years of my business I was on dialysis and I would end up in hospital every year for a couple of weeks.”

Chantelle said her kidney failure was genetic as Familial Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FFSGS), a disease in which scar tissue develops on the parts of the kidneys that filter waste from the blood, ran in her family. Chantelle’s dad also had to have a kidney transplant. 

She said it was scary when she first found out, but because she’d seen her dad go through the same thing, it was not so daunting as she knew what she was in for.

“There’s only some things you can control in life and the things you can't, you have to just let go of, because otherwise you’ll drive yourself nuts. It’s about making the most out of what you do have control over.

“My health also helped me realise there’s more to life than just money and work. I think to be able to be happy, you need to not be constantly working and I think building my team has helped with that.”

Since about 15 Chantelle said she knew she wanted to be a business owner because her dad had owned a business.

“I guess, in the end, dialysis was a blessing. If you keep going into hospital it makes it really hard to work for someone. That taught me a lot and I don’t know whether I would have had the motivation or the push I needed to stop and think about what I actually wanted to do.”

When Chantelle first started out she made a list of what she was good at and what she enjoyed doing. 

“I worked out that I love working in an office environment and providing great service. So due to my accounts administration background I ended up starting up what was The Good P.A and is now Varntige.”

Beginning with just herself and her skills, Chantelle spent a lot of time going into peoples’ offices and providing them with her services including, reception work, typing, and all sorts of administration and account tasks. 

“Now we don’t generally go into peoples’ offices. We’re much more of a virtual firm and our services have grown a lot,” Chantelle said.

Varntige is now made up of a team of six including Chantelle, there is also Daryl-Lynn Wilken - VA & Payroll Administrator, Leah White - Graphic Designer, Christie Fleming - VA & Bookkeeper, Belle Madsen - VA & Bookkeeper and TangiwaiI Tai-Takiari - VA & Bookkeeper, you can meet them all here.

Chantelle made her first hire in 2016, and just before that Chantelle had built her own website.

“I built a hideous website on a different platform, I loved it at the start. When you build your own site you’re so proud of yourself and then looking at it later I wondered what I’d done,” she laughed.

It wasn’t long after that Chantelle met a team member, at the time, of Rocketspark who invited her to a meeting to show her what could be done on the platform. 

“I realised it was the solution for us and then for our clients, because our clients are similar to us, they are small to medium sized enterprises/businesses (SMEs). It was just a cool platform to be able to go and build our own website and manage it ourselves without having to pay someone hundreds of dollars a month, especially because it still looks good and works really well.”

It was during her first meeting with Rocketspark that Chantelle realised she needed to hire a Graphic Designer.

“I can’t build good looking websites, I’m not a graphic designer, which is why we now have Leah doing that.”

Chantelle said Leah started as a casual employee three years ago and she was now working 30 hours a week.

Chantelle said Varntige had worked with many SMEs over the last four years and now her team had created 50 different websites for 50 different clients, making her a Gold Partner.

“We like to work with SMEs, they are our target market. The Rural Sector is one of our main sources, it has a lot of our bookkeeping clients.

“We built a website recently for Rotor Work and that was a really good project because we do some in-house work for them already. Leah loved working on that, they knew what they wanted, but they also gave her a lot of scope to be able to design without time limits because they wanted the right result.”

“Within my first year I’d created a goal, I wanted to have a team so that the business could get to the point of running without me. My health was a big motivator for that. I have goals to run other businesses later on, getting to gold is a big step towards that.”

Chantelle said the team was super excited about making Gold partner, especially being able to tick it off just before they’d set the goal to achieve it by, was “awesome”. 

“We will now have to make another goal to get to Platinum, it’s never ending! There’s always something else. I just love working with Rocketspark. It’s the product and the team,” Chantelle said.

Are you a new Rocketspark Design Partner? Want to start creating your first website? Get some inspiration here.

Or do you need a website and want someone to build it for you? Check out our designer matchmaking process here.