TRY Studio
Founder & CEO
2016 - 2019
Most recently, I founded TRY Studio, a two-sided marketplace startup aimed to connect users for one-on-one lessons in all things creative.
I bootstrapped TRY Studio in order to learn quickly and iterate often. With limited initial funding, I couldn’t afford a developer and was left with a choice: stop working to raise funds or learn to code. So, I learned to code (via no-code Bubble.io). With my background in web design and storytelling, I launched TRY Studio in 4 months with a base user set of 100 teachers. Notable activities:
  • Launched campaigns. Crafted tailored narratives for the TRY Studio teachers. I attended a sample lesson and then created content: took photos, wrote narratives, and designed mini-campaigns to share on the blog, their user page, social media, email campaigns, and in-person events.
  • Trained and coached teachers. Provided guidance to teachers as they developed their lessons and marketed themselves as a knowledgeable source to potential students.
  • Marketing experiences. Created interactive booth experiences for marketing events like Maker Faire, First Fridays, Re:Make. 
  • Community development, partnerships, and outreach. Cultivated relationships and/or formed partnerships with local shops, events, and conferences to promote TRY and engage with new users via hands-on activities. 
  • Iterate. Iterate. Iterate. Worked to constantly develop, test, and iterate new features and better workflows in all facets of TRY Studio. Interviewed users, tested design features, and improved marketing efforts.

Giant Rabbit
Lead Designer
2012 - 2016
I worked with a team of extremely talented designers and developers to create outstanding website designs and technical solutions for some of the best nonprofits.
As an early employee of Giant Rabbit, my role was ever-changing; initially, I was the only designer working with an incredible team of developers. Ultimately, I created and led the design department and helped guide the growing company’s practices and workflows.
  • As Giant Rabbit grew, I ran our weekly company-wide meetings, which were checkpoints for all active projects.
  • Defined our approach to project management as our client and employee list grew.
  • Developed Giant Rabbit's corporate hiring and onboarding strategies.
  • Mentored new designers and project managers. 
  • Developed systems for launching new design projects with clients.
  • Presented content maps, wireframes, and designs internally and to clients.
  • Managed budgets and timelines.
  • Worked tirelessly to improve our process from sketch to pixel-perfect responsive websites and native apps.

Script Frenzy
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Program Director
2008 - 2010
Part-time (~4 months/year)
I worked with the founder and team of the sister program, National Novel Writing Month, to bring the novel-writing model into the world of scriptwriting.
I participated in the pilot program and, before it was over, lobbied the powers-that-be to run the event going forward. Over the next three years, I grew the event from 8,000 participants to over 25,000. 
  • Created resources for new screenwriters to learn the craft.
  • Worked with our team to develop programs for our Young Writer Program.
  • Built a community through in-person and online events.
  • Wrote pep talks and newsletters.
  • Cultivated relationships with professional scriptwriters and worked with them to build educational and inspiring content for new and seasoned writers alike.

Filmmaker
Producer/Director
2008 - present
After launching countless websites, I wanted to push the storytelling aspect further. I returned to graduate school and received my MFA in filmmaking. 
I have produced films, videos, webisodes, shorts, and commercials with running times as short as 10 seconds to feature-length.

I’ve won awards at various film festivals for my work as a writer/director and a producer, most proudly a Director’s Guild of America award. 

Partial list of film credits below.
  • Worked with department heads to establish production needs and goals and creative boundaries to work within.
  • Created and coordinated personnel and location schedules.
  • Interfaced with external entities (e.g., city planning, local law enforcement)
  • Established budgets.
  • Managed the needs of all departments in pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.

Freelance Designer / HyperCalm Founder
2001 - present
I partnered with my clients to define their website vision, company story, and online strategy for optimal user engagement.
I led small and medium-sized businesses through the vision, design, build, and ongoing support of their websites. Over the years, the platforms and tools changed but the heart of what I did remained constant: build beautiful, effective, and efficient websites that support a company’s mission. 
  • Created project schedules and budgets.
  • Created and presented content maps, wireframes, design briefs, style guides, color palettes, and final responsive designs for intuitive user experiences.
  • Trained clients on how to use their new website CMS, best SEO practices.
  • Provided ongoing support.
  • Set up and advised on third-party solutions (Google analytics, email marketing, etc).

Education

Master of Fine Arts
Florida State University (2007)
Film, Television, and Recording Arts

Bachelor of Art and Design
Iowa State University (1999)
Minor in English

Partial List of film credits

Wednesday : Producer, Director (2012) :: This short film, based on an award-winning stage play, won a grant from celebrated theater company, PlayGround.

Moving Postcards : Producer, Director, Editor (2011/12) :: I produced and directed this successfully funded Kickstarter cross-country short film.
View on Vimeo

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Rising Star : Producer, UPM (2010) | Independent feature. Kept this feature on track during filming at our two dozen locations in three weeks.

National Novel Writing Month’s NaNoVideo : Producer, Director (2009) :: Created 22 short webisodes. Video content ranged from how-to videos to inspirational shorts for 160,000 participants worldwide.

Cake : Writer, Director :: I wrote and directed this short student film. Proudly, it landed me some awards including The Directors Guild of America Student Award.
View on Vimeo

Silver Pictures/Dark Castle
: Intern :: Performed complementary tasks while being immersed in the daily life at a production company.

ETC : Various :: There are so many ways to step in and help a production. I've shot interviews for documentaries, re-edited pieces to help a fellow filmmaker get past a sticking point, run cameras for Common Wealth Club's lecture series, written feature and short scripts, line produced commercials done as short films for Mercenaries 2, and much more.