GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 5 - May 2008

18 INTERVIEWWITH Laurie Lewicki | casinolatte Casino Latte’s success secret: A highly helpful husband How long have you been working in the online gaming industry? I started Casino Latte in July of 2006. What first drew you to the business? The reason I decided to start my own online gaming site was my husband, Pat. He is an amazing husband and father. He breaks his back as a truck driver to support us and I wanted to one day be able to say to him, “Honey, quit.” I love to play online, and I knew the online gaming industry was growing and that I wanted to be a part of it. My end goal is to be successful enough for Pat to quit his job and pursue his dream of owning his own electronics store. Casino Latte is a very interesting brand name.Why did you choose it? When I de- cided to start my Web site I wanted to have a name that would be easy to remember, along with a catchy phrase. So “Casino Latte. A Whole Latte Fun!” was born. You recently redesigned your site. Are you pleased with the results so far? Redesign- ing Casino Latte actually started with the help of GPWA members. I had asked for some advice on the look of my web design. I received a lot of feedback that the content of my site was great, but that the site was very flashy and hard on the eyes, especial- ly on a black background. So I went for a softer look and easier navigation. I am very pleased with the outcome and there are still many aspects I will be improving on. You do something that is quite unique among affiliates in that you offer Casino Latte merchandise for players to buy.What prompted you to start that side of the busi- ness?Andhow is it performing for you? Ca- sino Latte merchandise has just recently been added. The merchandise carries the Casino Latte logo in a variety of products: mugs, shirts, calendars and so forth. The designer and operator is my best friend of 25 years, Teena. This works out to be a perfect part- nership. Teena takes care of all the business aspects of Casino Latte’s merchandise and in exchange I have some unique advertising. You’ve mentioned that you have five kids (ages 5 to 18). How do you balance family lifewithyourworkasanaffiliate?Andwhat kind of time management tips can you of- fer your fellow GPWA members? Surpris- ingly, balancing motherhood and working as an affiliate isn’t as hard as some might think. Although as I mentioned earlier I do have an amazing husband and no, I can’t say that enough. Not only does he work extremely hard, he is also a great father and husband. For example, if I am up late working on Casino Latte on the weekends he will get up with the kids for me in the mornings. Pat loves to fix our house up all the time or change rooms around. We even laugh about it, for I will be watching foot- ball and he will be hanging the curtains. We are a bit backwards. I love sports and Pat loves interior decorating (lol). I was also the owner of Lil Darling Day-Care for five years and was running it up till this last year, when I decided to work on Casino Latte full time. I would love to have some rewarding advice for GPWA members on how to manage their time; however, ev- ery situation is different and the individual is the only one who can decide on what works for them. I will say that success does not happen overnight and it does take ded- ication, and when you feel like packing it in just remember to keep swinging. In an ideal world, how would you divide the efforts you put into your site? In the beginning it was 95% designing and 5% advertising. Now I spend about 40% searching advertising techniques, about 35% updating Casino Latte and 25% in forums and working on my books. How long did it take for you to start earn- ing money? I was a late bloomer, so to speak. I have only started to make a sec- ondary income in the last few months. Ca- sino Latte is growing and I feel in another year the income level will increase. What surprised you the most about the industry? Lol, I think what surprised me the most is the people in this industry. There is a certain underlying respect and friendship, especially in the GPWA forums. I have found everyone to be supportive to my questions and they take the time to be helpful. City currently residing in: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Age: 37 Favorite food: Teriyaki One book everyone must read: Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King Site: Continued on page 50 GPWA TIMES | GPWA Affiliate Interview Series