Sometimes The End Is Just The Beginning


Phew! As my Content Strategy, Development, and Marketing course comes to a close, it isn’t really the end. It is the continuation to my beginning. My beginning being what lies after graduation. This course has taught me to develop certain skills, hone other ones, and throw some habits right out the window. Now comes the part where I humbly detail my awesomeness. Two strengths that I have lovingly exercised throughout the course come from the singular entity of writing. The first is my ability in creating engaging [and casual] blog posts and the second is my skill in constructing professional briefs and proposals. Two faces of the same coin. Growing up, I always loved to write but the limitations of a formal education always called for structure and professionalism, which I suppose is where I initially picked up my professional tone that I use to write aforementioned briefs and proposals. However, it wasn’t until I began diving into the literary world of novels (which I will admit wasn’t until my late teens), that I realized writing calls for creative freedom. Of course, grammatically speaking, you must adhere to standards but the actual content can be unique, fun, humorous, and special–your own personal style of storytelling.

When I think about the areas in which I have improved my skills, two specific examples come to mind immediately. The first example dives shamelessly back into my writing. I have never been one to err on the side of brevity. My father always tells me that I can summarize a thirty-minute sitcom clocking in at about forty-five minutes. I love details. I love to touch on the finer points and make sure my story is really hitting home. However, when handing over a brief (a B-R-I-E-F) to a client, they may not want to flip through 183 pages of business-talk. Since this course’s assignments called for one-page or shorter deliverables, I really had to work at concision. Now, you may be wondering after countless sentences, “Really? Concision is what she’s going with?” But truly, throughout my career in academia, I have never been able to really edit. Proof reading is a strong suit but editing, as in taking out unnecessary phrases or sentences, never quite on the top of my list until now. Okay, okay. Moving on. The second example is not actually an improved skill but a new one! In my last post, I shared a stop-animation video that I created for J.Crew’s Instagram. This was my first go at stop-animation and I must say, I totally loved it. It was creative, it was procedural, and I was filled with such fulfillment when I watched the final take.

These four mentionable mentions will be kept in my pocket throughout the rest of my education at Full Sail and continuing on to my beginning (see above). This course, along with so many others, has taught me that you can’t quite take Internet Marketing at face value. Two simple words, when combined into this industry title, incorporate an entire solar system of knowledge, talents, patience, and passion. To be an Internet Marketer in today’s age, your tool belt must be expandable. Like when you take a sharp object to your belt to create extra holes. Its gotta be huge! Lastly, I am so incredibly thankful to my instructor and fellow classmates for always being so willing to offer up feedback and suggestions. In the past, I’ve never been able to swallow constructive criticism; I took it too personally or thought the person giving it just didn’t see my vision. However, in the last couple of years, I’ve been able to see the beauty in it and take it as a gift. After all, don’t you want to make your vision visible to all?

Cheerio CSDM – you’ve been grand!

Let’s Chat Opportunity and Oxfords

oxfordsTop of the evening to you!

It just so happens that in this week, opportunity and oxfords go hand-in-hand. As you have been reading, J.Crew is the brand I have chosen to deliver to in my Content Strategy, Development, and Marketing course and my type of content is video. The last few days have been spent researching social media selection for my final content deliverable. So without further ado, my channel is the ever-brilliant Instagram! Well, Instagram with the help of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and any other channel you can think of. But I digress, my primary channel is, indeed, Instagram. The app now boasts 300 million active monthly users and that is a notable growth in such a short amount of time. I am confident in saying that it will continue to grow and with it, all of the small-businesses’ and large corporations’ following.

To give a very specific example, let’s take the video I have created for my Content Deliverable (see below, please!). This 15-second clip will be shared on Instagram and simultaneously posted to J.Crew’s Facebook and Twitter accounts with one tap of the index finger–a social media ingenuity that you really can put your finger on. But all touch-screen puns aside, within seconds, the 765,000 followers on Instagram, along with the 1.3 million followers on Facebook, and 322,000 followers on Twitter, J.Crew is potentially reaching almost 2.4 million users! The stop animation video I shot is to bring light to a new available product. The call-to-action is for the user to go check it out. Simple and to the point. Through Instagram (and the other social channels), users are able to direct back to the J.Crew website and check out the highlighted product.

J.Crew’s demographic has seen a considerable surge in in shoppers between the ages of 25-34, but they really cater to the whole family. Twenty-somethings to thirty-somethings also fall right into line with social media users, too. However, social media is quickly approaching an ageless demographic. From your little niece to your great-grandmother, mostly everyone now has at least one social media account. Just considering this relatively general statement alone, its a beautiful thing for marketing departments around the globe. To circle back around to Instagram, its all about fun. People enjoy themselves on Instagram without the tell-all aspect that can come with Facebook. Instagram is quick and effective. Users absorb the information voluntarily and then choose what to do with it. It is my job, as an Internet marketer to make that next step a purchase. So after watching the clip below, tell me, would you be inclined to make a purchase?

The Kingdom of Content: It Is As Cool As It Sounds


Happy Sunday Night!

Kingdom is a fairly strong word. It not only encompasses royalty, but it also lends itself to a very expansive definition. I knew I had to start with a big title in order to tear you away from your Sunday-night television! This week, for my CSDM course, I decided upon two forms of video content for J.Crew’s content creation strategy. The first form is a lengthier promotional video and the second form is a consistent posting of short Instagram videos. Clearly, both relate back to video. The thing I like most about video content is its multi-sensory aspect. We’re talking about a Kingdom here so we have to incorporate more than a static image or a recorded audio file. Video satisfies the eyes and satisfies the ears. The more senses a brand can touch, the stronger their connection will be with the consumer. Now really, doesn’t that sound cool?

During my research, I have learned that consumers enjoy videos but that they also influence purchase behaviors, retention rates, and return buyers. A brand that has a strong image is a brand that has a strong following (which leads to strong purchases, which leads to…well, I think you’ve got the picture). J.Crew’s demographic is much like a Kingdom as well–one with no end in site. The retailer provides options for every person in the family and I must admit, each of those options are dreadfully fashionable and amazing. However, because J.Crew’s demographic is so large, the type of content has to speak to the greatest number of individuals and more people are prone to watch a 60-90 second video than read a one paragraph informational blurb. In this week’s discussion post, I shared a video from Anthropologie that shows a seasonal collection in the most swoon-worthy of ways. Because my want for you to share in this beautiful video is so strong, I’m making it lovingly easy for you to watch. Simply sit back, relax, and click below…

I know. You’re welcome. So breathtaking, yes?

Even if you didn’t know a lick about Anthropologie, I would stand to bet that the video would make you want to learn more. These are the reasons video is so incredibly necessary in today’s brand marketing agenda. Video brings life. Life is love….and love, this kind of love, leads us to an endless retail-purchase heaven.

Same time next week?

Content Is Key [Really]

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 9.30.18 PMBonsoir, readers!

My name is Allyson Mia Moore and this month I will be diving into a new course for my Internet Marketing Bachelor’s program at Full Sail University–Content Strategy, Development, and Marketing. I currently live in a large flat in Portland, Oregon with my two siamese cats. When I do not have my head buried in text books, I work full-time as a manager for the company J.Crew. In 2009, I received my first degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Here, I discovered my passion for visual engagement and interaction, which has fueled my education at Full Sail. If a full-time schedule for work and school wasn’t enough, I also have a small online business called Cozy Coterie. My Etsy shoppe is stocked with home décor accents designed and sewn by me! Now that we’ve had a chance to get acquainted, let’s chat content strategy!

In my CSDM course, we are asked to choose a brand to not only research, but to also look into their marketing offerings and select a new type of content they could add to their efforts. The brand I have chosen is the company I work for–J.Crew–and I will explain why. While I have not been with the company for very long, I have worked in retail for almost a decade. It just so happens that the two other companies on my résumé complete the trinity of competitors–Banana Republic and Anthropologie. Banana Republic, being an extension of Gap Inc., although vastly popular, doesn’t have a strongly unique brand aesthetic. Anthropologie, belonging to the larger conglomerate of Urban Outfitters, Inc., certainly knows their brand aesthetic and brand story intimately. J.Crew not only knows the heart of their brand but they are also a fantastic company to work for. These two very relative counterparts answer the question why I decided on my employer. Learn what you love–this is the main reason I chose J.Crew as my brand for my course-long project. I respect the company so I know I will be excited to research marketing efforts as it relates to J.Crew. Secondly, they truly know their brand. While substantiating this preceding statement, you’ll also learn my third piece of reasoning. Again, J.Crew knows their brand but their not afraid to reinvent. They also know the market…like, first-name-basis “know”. The designers are on-trend and creating trends. The company also knows how to satisfy the needs of their different demographics. They carry women’s, men’s, kid’s and baby apparel as well as a full wedding line. J.Crew also joined forces with the long-time established brand, Madewell, and turned it into a nationally recognized brand. When it comes to marketing, they have got almost all of the bases covered, and quite well, I might add. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, email marketing…they know what they’re doing. The only facet in which they are lacking is that of video. I want J.Crew to be able to emotionally connect with their consumers and I suppose there is my next and final reason why I chose them.

While I get to know my company more personally, I cannot wait to see what I uncover in my CSDM studies. I hope to enhance my knowledge on content strategy and how one would pitch a plan to a client. Through my research I want to uncover more about a consumer’s response to video and cinematic content. Needless to say, my curiosity, excitement, and passion are driving my motives in this course. Stay tuned!

And to you, I say, bonne nuit.

The Happiness Behind Cozy Coterie Sometimes Involves Croissants!

Handmade tags for my handmade items!

Handmade tags for my handmade items!

Oui, oui! I’m pretty certain croissants can make anyone gleeful, especially after a long workweek. However, I digress; let me begin with what this post will be about. Cozy Coterie is my online shoppe where I sell bits ‘n’ bobs for the home specially created for you, by me! To run an online business, not only do you have to know your brand as a whole, you must also know how to keep yourself and your consumers happy. I’m not necessarily speaking within a customer service confine; rather, I am referring to your company evoking happiness within yourself and within your users.

To me, happiness revolves around inspiration. I am most happy when I am inspired. What inspires me? Lots. I have always been a visually-oriented person and with a degree in Visual Communications, I understand the importance behind this stimulating, brain-firing method of interaction. That is why this particular post is filled with quite a few photographs. Not only do I want you to get an inside look at Cozy Coterie, I also want you to know what makes me tick. So, without further adieu, lets chat photos!

Preview of a little wine cozy I made for my company Cozy Coterie.

Preview of a little wine cozy I made for my company Cozy Coterie.

The first photograph shown in this post…that one, all the way up there, a little bit further, yes…is a shot I took after hand-making about six dozen tags that will be sewn into my products. The second photograph…that one, just there…is a detail shot from a wine bag prototype I just created this week! Sometimes when you create, a project can go extremely well or the complete opposite. I chose to show these two shots to you because these are two new techniques that I tried this week and found to be lovely successes! My emotional connection with them is strong because it is always so fulfilling to try something new and succeed—especially when making something by hand. I feel a sense of pride when I look at these photos and that is usually hard to come by for creative types. As artists, we are our own worst enemy so when you create something that makes you feel proud, celebrate that…like, a lot. That feeling will drive you and motivate you and provoke you to strive towards more success.

From a PR standpoint, these photographs show my clients Cozy Coterie’s attention to detail and love for handmade creation. Believe me, creating tags by hand is no easy feat! However, because I love it, I think my passion shows in my work. Now that I have shown you these two images, I’ll move on to some shots and experiences that have driven my inspiration to create. One more thing, before I do, go pop by the shop and come back here to let me know what you think. I am currently preparing for Crafty Wonderland, a holiday craft fair, and revamping the shoppe so new things will be added soon!

Croissant, raspberry jam, brie, and Karen Walker...perfect ingredients for a lovely brunch!

Croissant, raspberry jam, brie, and Karen Walker...perfect ingredients for a lovely brunch!

I promised croissants, didn’t I? We all need to eat so why not eat at the cutest little French patisserie in Portland? Don’t mind if I do. This was taken at La Provence during a mid-week brunch. Since I tend to be all work, work, work, I have to remember to take some time to unwind. In saying that, this photograph reminds me that I need to take a breather sometimes and simply looking at it evokes a sense of relaxation. My Mum came along with me for this meal so I can’t help but think of love and family as well when I look at this.

A blue sky appearance a the usually gloomy Oregon coast.

A rare blue sky appearance at the usually gloomy Oregon coast.

I bet you just took a deep breath after looking at that shot. A little over a year ago, I moved to Oregon from Southern California. I’ve always been happier in cloudy, rainy weather so the transition was seamless for me. However, I have come to understand one thing about myself, the ocean has still got a hold on me.

Being terribly afraid of actually getting in the ocean, simply being near the water has always been apart of my life and when something like that is taken away, you absolutely appreciate it (in its fullest) when you get it back. Although I wouldn’t have minded a few more clouds on this summer day at the coast, being near my old friend made me feel at home. After this little day trip, I immediately went home and began creating. Apparently, a little salty air can be just what you need to get those creative juices flowing. Your business can always use a kick like this!

A shot from Renegade's first mini market in Portland, held at Rejuvenation.

A shot from Renegade’s first mini market in Portland, held at Rejuvenation.

The last photograph I have for you is from a craft show hosted by Renegade. This was their first mini-market in Portland and was held right outside of a lovely home décor shop called Rejuvenation. One way I absorb inspiration is by being around other creators and seeing what their beautiful minds have conjured up! I like to aimlessly stroll the aisles of a craft fair and let my mind wander. Visits like this help me continue to build my brand and show me areas I can work towards improving. Growing is one of my favorite things about business. Reaching a plateau is a milestone I want to avoid at all costs. This photo takes me back to that show and reminds me to keep reaching and keeping creating.

The last three photos, in terms of PR, show a bit about my life—what I do and where I go. This helps my readers and clients get to know me better, building a relationship and trust. Of course I hope that you’ll visit my online shoppe and I also hope you’ve enjoyed this peek inside my life but if there is one thing I want you to take away from this post, it is to find what makes you happy. Document all of the moments and highlights and achievements in your life so that you can look back on them with fondness and happiness. Using Instagram is my favorite way of doing this but find whatever works for you and shoot!

The 3 Chapters of Cozy Coterie—An Etsy Seller’s Exploration and Discovery

Cozy Coterie - Orange Polka Dot Pillow Cover

Cozy Coterie – Orange Polka Dot Pillow Cover

Many years ago—eight, to be exact—there was a girl with a relentless passion for creation. From painting to sewing to jewelry making, she could not stop her little hands from innovating something new daily. If you couldn’t guess, I happen to be this craft-passionate girl in mention. My creative gene was sparked much earlier than eight years ago but that marker is when I first opened my Etsy shop. At first, my shop consisted of vintage clothes, then it was jewelry, and now, for the last couple of years, it has been centered on home décor—enter Cozy Coterie.

But we’ll get to that in a few minutes… Lets start from the most appropriate place to start—the beginning.


This chapter, the home décor chapter, began when I was in search of 108” long drapery panels. Through my extensive research (oh yes, curtains are no laughing matter), I found bland options for more than my pocket book was willing to lend me. Tapping my fingers on the desk, I decided to look up an online fabric store. Once I found one to my liking I began sifting through the millions of choices. Chevron! Yes, I would buy yards and yards of coral and white chevron fabric and simply make my own.

Before clicking the purchase button, I quickly looked up a tutorial to see exactly what I was getting myself into. A blog called A View Along The Way came to my rescue with a number of how-to instructions that made the job seem more than simple [enough]. I committed to purchasing the multiple yards of Premier Prints fabric and anxiously awaited my package’s arrival. Believe me, I was so excited about this new venture that I would have literally sat in my foyer until the UPS driver knocked on my door. But alas, I did have a life to lead!

Fast-forward a couple of days to the un-boxing of my new chevron striped fabric. It was beautiful, it was bright, and it was…long. I [carefully] shoved the length into my washing machine because I was instructed to pre-treat my fabric to avoid puckering in future washes. I would then have to wait for the fabric to air dry before I could finally begin the sewing phase.

Once the fabric was dry, I ironed and cut my panels. These two tasks alone were nap-worthy in themselves. Now, I was finally at the stage where I could begin flying the fabric through my sewing machine, making graceful stitches that would hold my beautiful new curtains together. Everything went swimmingly. Not only did I save a small fortune by making the curtains myself, I was so proud of the work I did and loved their company in my room.


Because I was so pleased with my new curtains and because I had such fun creating them, I thought to myself, “I could most definitely sell these online!” I butted the memories of yards of ironing out of my head and went to reopen my Etsy shop—curtain-style. I did this for many months and completed many orders for clients. Eventually, however, I moved into a space that was not conducive for such long lengths of fabric. Not wanting to give up the fun, I decided to shift my shop over to pillows. Again, this was another successful venture but all of my items were made to order, meaning the customer had to wait until I ordered the fabric and sewed their products. This eliminated a lot of shoppers who were looking to buy and receive an item straight away. This was when I did a major shift in my business and considered a different route.


I didn’t want to give up the idea of making items for the home. Since high school, I had always been so interested in interior design and focused on this subject while getting my degree in Visual Communications. My new idea was to provide beautiful, well-made, and inexpensive items for the home that had a custom feel but without the custom wait and price tag. I decided to change the name of my Etsy shop from “allymia” to “Cozy Coterie”. Cozy Coterie simply stands for a cozy group or collection. Plus, it sort of rolls off the tongue!

Only recently have I begun revamping my store and making sure that I am creating a cohesive brand that looks professional and reliable. Thanks to another online tutorial (this one on lighting), I have set up a little photo corner in my flat that, along with a bit of photo editing in Photoshop, has helped me create gorgeous and clean looking photos. While I am planning on expanding the products I offer, you’re probably wondering what the heck it is Cozy Coterie does! Right now, I am providing customers with professionally stitched pillow covers in fun prints and colors. Here is a short video I have made that shows a little bit about Cozy Coterie.

So what is next for Cozy Coterie? I plan to expand my product line from just pillow covers to offering other home “smalls” like giftable wine bags and hand-painted designs on woodcuts. I have already worked on prototypes of both of these items and am very pleased with the outcome! Just last week, I began sketching out some new designs for pillow covers and I am very excited about making my own textiles and textures by combining different colored fabrics together, making my own piping, and adding hardware. The coming weeks are literally teeming with exciting new plans and I hope that you will stay tuned in the continuing evolution of Cozy Coterie!


Presentation on Mobile/Tablet Design

Back in 2008, it was projected that device Internet access would overtake that of traditional Desktop usage by 2014. Although we have not reached this new balance of power yet, projections still call for this statistic to ring true by the end of the year. Because of this increase in Internet access on devices, companies must have multiple versions of their site to accommodate devices like tablets and smartphones. Sites that do not comply with device-site standards will negatively impact a company’s SEO and hurt their conversion rates. In this presentation, I discuss the importances of having device-friendly sites and how it positively impacts your company’s technology portfolio!

SlideShare Link:



Avi Flombaum and All of His Awesome Awesomeness


     Firstly, I just have to begin with a “wow!” The podcast I listened to is from 5by5 and featured Jeffrey Zeldman interviewing 28 year old, Avi Flombaum. I actually was unable to find any podcasts from the last six months so I listened to a couple of the most recent ones and decided to choose this particular clip to write about. Avi started coding when he was 11 years old by playing games online and, wanting more of a challenge, he began coding increasingly difficult levels. He has now been working in the industry, professionally, for nine years and is the Dean of The Flatiron School in Manhattan, NY.

     Flatiron is an extremely intensive, all day [everyday] 12-week program that turns students into industry-ready developers. One very notable mention is that the school has a 100% job placement record (at least from the time the interview was aired). The passion that drives Avi Flombaum is astounding and incredibly inspiring. At 23, he was CTO of a Hedge Fund and at 24, left to start his own company called Designer Pages. At, commercial architects and interior designers had access to a huge database of suppliers/supplies to choose from. It took one and a half years to create revenue and a total of two and a half years to become profitable. Designer Pages had a very small team and instead of hiring programmers at six-figures, they mentored Computer Science majors and built their highly motivated and passionate team this way. In mentoring, Avi had already begun teaching without really realizing it.

     Avi’s look into the world of development is a unique one that is truly genuine. He believes that not only are you taking on a life-long mission of learning when you become a developer but that you should be thinking of code in a way of helping people. Avi strongly believes that empathy is a huge skill in developing. It is so easy to get caught up in syntax or creating a certain gradient on a button; developing should really be about putting yourself in your users’ shoes and producing something that solves a problem or assists in simplifying the completion of a task.

     Tech journalism is another point touched on in the interview. Both Avi and Jeffrey feel that tech journalists are people just watching the show and not truly getting involved—they are reporting so they can be apart of the world but not actually understanding what the industry encompasses. So many tech journalists focus on the young billionaires and their epic swimming pools so they can create headlines. To them, it is about equating success to their fortune not how it’s changing our world, for better or for worse. That is why Avi’s view on empathy within development is so admirable. He really does care about the people behind the code, on the creator and user end. Along with this and his enthusiasm to help the New York’s tech scene, he began Flatiron. Avi thought that New York shouldn’t have to resort to hiring and relocating people from San Francisco but that the city’s level of development should rise to the occasion.

     The most common question Avi gets is about the expansion of Flatiron. Of course most people obsess over growth and revenue growth. However, Avi believes that education and scale do not go hand in hand. I could not agree more with this statement. Education is a personal experience and when a school grows beyond its borders or limitations, you lose that aspect and not only does the school suffer but the students especially do as well. He notes that students put their careers in the hands of their teachers and that is a serious burden for the instructors to take on. This is one reason he hasn’t found the need for a drastic expansion, he wants to find teachers that are willing to accept this serious mission and match him in his passion for learning and helping people. Flatiron takes pride in the intimacy and quality of the learning experience and this has led them to much success.

     I really encourage you to listen to this podcast because I found it to be a refreshing take on many different aspects about the industry. Also, take a peek at The Flatiron School and just try not to click on the “Apply” button!

Podcast with Jeffrey & Avi

The Flatiron School

5by5 Podast: