About Nextwave Concepts

You want to know about Nextwave Concepts? If you’ve seen the homepage, you already know that we’ve been in business since 2011, that though we are based in Wilmington, NC we have clients literally across the United States, and that we provide web design and digital marketing services to businesses of all sizes.

But that’s all rote and, honestly, kind of vanilla. (What’s up with vanilla being derogatory, by the way? I love vanilla-flavored things.) You see that on everyone’s website. So instead, this About page is going to tell you the Nextwave Concepts Origin Story (because every superhero has an origin story and I like to think we’re superheroes).


The Nextwave Concepts Origin Story

Though Nextwave Concepts has been in business since 2011, our story truly begins in 2005. Founder, owner, and generally-decent guy Zach Dotsey was newly married and he and his wife decided to move from Raleigh, NC to Wilmington, NC. At the time, Zach was working as a department supervisor at a big box retail company. He’d been with the store since it opened. It wasn’t his favorite job, but he enjoyed his department, where he got to play with and tell people about photo and video cameras. He was pretty good at what he did, and customers would come in specifically asking for his help.

His plan was to transfer to the same store in Wilmington, although there were no openings in his department so he’d have to go to one he wasn’t excited about. Still, he liked Wilmington and was looking forward to living near the beach. A week or two before the planned move, Zach and his wife made the two hour drive to Wilmington. She was going to an interview, he was going to meet the staff at his new store and get his schedule, then the two of them were going to look at places to rent.

Imagine Zach’s surprise when the sales manager at the Wilmington store told him awkwardly, “Uhh, your sales manager blocked the transfer.” Zach went to the parking lot and called his sales manager, who confirmed that he had indeed blocked the transfer, but had also filled Zach’s expected vacant position.

(Long story short, the sales manager, who had been relatively new, had had it out for Zach ever since the store forgot to give him the time off he’d requested for his wedding shower and he went anyway, being that he couldn’t really miss his own wedding shower.)

Zach ended up moving in with his in-laws, who only lived about 45 minutes from Wilmington, for a few months. This (and collecting unemployment, which the previous company had tried to deny him) gave him an opportunity to try his hand at just about anything he wanted, and he wanted it to be something creative. He considered photography, but Wilmington was inundated with photographers, and while he was pretty good with a camera, he was only a budding hobbyist. He decided to take a few classes on graphic design and web design at the local community college and earned certificates in those.

In this time, Zach sent resumes to a number of web design companies. He considered two particular offers. One was a position where he’d do grunt work for $10 an hour until he progressed a bit, and the other was doing sales and updates on commission and working from home. It was a gamble, but Zach chose the latter.

In that job, Zach learned to do a bit of everything and essentially ran the company for stretches at a time until the economy tanked and the owner had to let him go. Zach and the owner were close though, and he gave Zach three month’s notice, in which time he decided to start his own web design company. His previous employer allowed him to take clients that Zach personally knew to help get him started. The two of them still talk to this day and collaborate on projects regularly.

One of the things Zach learned was to focus on recurring income. To that end, in addition to website design, hosting, and search engine optimization, Zach decided to offer his clients a social media management service, which was pretty new at the time. As digital marketing emerged and began to overtake traditional marketing, those skills were also added to the company repertoire.  

Ultimately, Zach’s vision was for Nextwave Concepts to become an all-encompassing one-stop web design and digital marketing agency capable of handling all the online needs of small- and medium-sized businesses.

What's Up With the Name Nextwave Concepts?

Naming a business can be hard.

The “Nextwave” part of Nextwave Concepts has multiple meanings:

  • Nextwave is a term that denotes current and upcoming trends. The online industry is constantly changing, from design trends to websites and apps people frequent to Google’s constantly-shifting algorithm changes, you’ve got to stay ahead of the game if you’re going to make it in the online world.
  • Zach surfed pretty regularly back when he started the company (before he had four kids!), so Nextwave was an allusion to being on the lookout for the “next wave” to catch.
  • Nextwave is also the name of a pretty hilarious Marvel comic book by Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen that Zach enjoyed. Read it if you can get your hands on it. You’ll love it.

The “Concepts” part isn’t nearly as cool. Zach wanted a .com and nextwave[just about anything else].com was already taken. Concepts seemed kinda cool, so that’s what he went with.