AV Web Designs' a little different - AV Press Feature
Lee Egstrom is an entrepreneur and award winning designer. As a youth, Lee grew up in a single family home living in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Laguna, Redlands, Tucson and Northern California.
Lee’s entrepreneurial instincts took over at the young age of 8, when he motivated 3 friends and started a neighborhood car wash that earned over $300 a week. His friends washed cars while he solicited customers by going door to door.
Over the following years he started numerous businesses such as a small town neighborhood newspaper in Northern California as well as an alternative clothing company. All this before turning 18.
Around 1995 at age 19 he started one of the first weekly internet radio shows from his bedroom in Southern California. A practice today known as podcasting.
While promoting his podcast he quickly assessed that people were more interested in the fact he owned a website than listening to his show. Always the optimist, and swift to spot an opportunity, Lee looked on the bright side. He recognized the prospect of turning his passion for web design and internet into profit. In late 1995 AV Web Designs was born.
In 1998 after a few years of working on his own, he obtained a position at one of the world’s top web design and internet marketing firms in Los Angeles. Initially Lee was brought on for his knowledge of web design as well as his experience in audio and video distribution using the internet.
Lee apprenticed under Nicholas Le'Clerque, who is an experienced interactive designer and developer from France. He steadily climbed the ladder.
"I could see that the Internet was the key to leveling the playing field."
After 5 years, when Le’Clerque accepted another position, Lee was promoted to Creative Director. While in this position he managed a team of designers and database architects.
Lee worked directly with Disney Interactive Group to generate weekly Web site content for Disney.com, ToonDisney.com and Zoog Disney, including six Web sites, interactive CD ROMs, and more than 30 Flash-based video games which were enjoyed by over 30 million users per month.
He designed and implemented content for Disney Channel and ABC shows such as "Even Stevens" and "So Weird," and worked on projects for icons including William Shatner, Leonard Nemoy, Kevin Smith and Stan Lee, the co-creator of the "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" comics.
During this time he maintained his relationships with his original local Antelope Valley clients. He dedicated evenings and weekends to updating their websites and internet marketing campaigns.
"We can now create immersive Web sites that utilize video, audio and animation to guide users"
In 2002, after long deliberation and guidance from one of his mentors (Ron Emard), Lee left the safety of a corporate job to chase his passion for business development and focus on his fledgling company AV Web Designs.
He commuted from his home in Los Angeles to a small office in the Antelope Valley provided by his mentor and close friend, Ron Emard. The bet has paid off.
His long list of clients have ranged from Fortune 500 clientele such as Disney, Motorola, ABC, AIG and ThyssenKrupp, as well as other companies from what he refers to as the “Fortune 5 million.” Some of these clients have included Robertson’s Honda, AV Press, HDMG, University of Antelope Valley, AV College, R. Rex Parris, Visco Financial and over 250 other local businesses.
In 2006 DPI, an established software and web development company in Newport Beach, began outsourcing projects to AV Web Designs.
DPI created an innovative software package and in 2008 secured a second round of venture capital for their software division. The new CEO contacted Lee and after months of hard work and negotiations AV Web Designs acquired their web design and hosting division.
In October of 2008, amidst a turbulent and uncertain business environment, Lee, with the support of his wife and talented team put it all on the line for a second time.
This gamble paid off, and the two companies combined portfolios put AV Web Designs in the position of being the largest automotive aftermarket web design company in the world. Without this strategic move Lee says riding out the market would have proven much more difficult, if not impossible.
In 2010 AV Web Designs, the company Lee founded before he was old enough to drink, facilitated an estimated $42m in online sales and transactions through their web based marketing, ecommerce platforms, and ordering systems for their clients.
In September of 2011, AV Web Designs outgrew its location once again. The team decided the newly renovated downtown Lancaster BLVD area would provide an exciting environment. The new location is roughly 3 times the size of the previous studio. And, the BLVD offers the team numerous entertainment and dining options within walking distance.
In 2012 the team is continuing to grow and launch new, exciting projects on a weekly basis. Lee is consulting, designing, mentoring and speaking at events.
Lee also accepted a seat on the board of advisors for the Antelope Valley College Multimedia Department, where he lends his vast knowledge and expertise in helping to decide on the education curriculum and equipment used at the college.