Why Choose Top Shelf Media?
Top Shelf Media was founded by Tom Watts in 2016 after facing first-hand frustration with the local web design and development establishments. The idea behind Top Shelf was to provide superior service, quality work and to always offer fair pricing. Top Shelf Media has had a stable momentum since day one, demonstrating that our business plan which focuses on recommendation and client retention is exceeding expectations.
Tom listens to the client’s needs and works with them to develop a concept. He works with our talented designers to create stunning graphical representations, then ensures our websites are developed to the highest standards by our programmers. All web projects get a review and quality control assessment from Tom to make sure we’re putting out the best work we possibly can.
Who Is Tom?
My name is Tom Watts and I’m the Owner and Director of Top Shelf Media in Calgary. I was born in 1991 (urgh, millennial) in a small town in England named Bishops Stortford – just north of London.
From a young age I was always intrigued by how things worked, and as I grew older my tendencies grew nerdier and nerdier. We always had computers around, and my brother and I would always try to push them as far past their limits as we possibly could. We learned a lot about computers, but we also learned a lot about testing, optimization and stability.
At the age of 17 I learned HTML and coded my first website over the summer break. Growing up in a small town, opportunities in the industry were very limited. So, I joined an accounting firm, where I worked and studied for the next 4 years. At the end of that time I achieved my accounting qualifications, learning a lot along the way about a variety of businesses. Unfortunately I also learned that accountancy wasn’t a career path I wanted to follow forever.
Just after finishing with my accounting studies, I took a 6 week trip to visit Canada, where I stayed with a awesome family I knew in Okotoks – just south of Calgary. I came in the dead of winter, January 19th, 2013, with one goal in mind: play hockey every day for 6 weeks. Hockey is a passion for me, and in my mind there’s no better feeling than putting that puck perfectly top shelf!
Safe to say, I loved it. Four months after the initial trip, I flew right back to Calgary and started figuring out how I could make Calgary my home. I got a work permit and started working as an accountant right away. But, I knew I had to do something different, or risk being bound to accountancy forever.
I started learning to code again.
The first couple of years I just studied, obtained certifications while making projects for fun. In late 2014 I took on my first paid web design client as a freelancer.
It wasn’t long before the business growth started escalating, more and more projects on my desk, the late nights and early starts followed. It was such an easy move to go full-time, customers were happy, and I was too as I truly believed I had found my passion. Top Shelf Media has grown to be a fully fledged web design and development agency. The part I love the most is integration with our customers, we learn everyday about new industries and solve unique business problems. Every day has new challenges, but it really doesn’t feel like work to me, I just love making things happen.
I take an enormous amount of pride in personally ensuring every project we complete is high quality, and as optimized as those old computers my brother and I played with. I am a little obsessed with detail.
I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved in just a few years, but I know this is just the start for us, and I’m excited for the future.
Whether you want to talk web design, projects, hockey or Canada… give me a call sometime. (587) 579-5709