Moxie Design Studios was started on February 14, 2003 by new online friends, Katherine Lanier, and me, Joelle Reeder. (Hello! 👋) We met through our blogs in early January and got along so well, we decided to start selling our blog designs together as Blog Moxie. Blog designs at the time were very minimal, and not very exciting due to the newness of the internet, but we had so much fun pushing the envelope and trying new angles to get something more interesting, colorful, and beautiful. The requests for people’s own Moxie designs started pouring in and, still in our 20’s, we very quickly realized we had a real business on our hands.
Within a year, I had quit my job as a production designer at a large direct marketing company, moved back to California (where I’m from) and Kathy and I took up Moxie full time. Within a couple years, we’d changed our business name to Moxie Design Studios to better reflect our multiple locations (San Diego and Philadelphia, at the time) and started co-working with other talented designers to help us grow our business (thank you, talented designers, you know who you are).
As some of the first web designers in the public market, coupled with the popularity of our blogs, Moxie Design Studios created a small, but growing fan base. By 2006, Kathy and I were approached by major publisher, Wiley & Sons Publishing, to kick off the first book in a new series developed by them to appeal to a non-tech, novice, female-identifying blogger. With guidance from our editors, in October 2007, Blogging with Moxie was released to positive reviews.
Together we spoke at industry events, such as SXSWi and lead panels on blog design and working as a design professional. We also hosted readings of our book and had multiple interviews across various publications, podcasts and radio shows. From there, our little business grew and grew… and so did Kathy’s family!
Kathy had two gorgeous children while also designing and developing websites with Moxie, but eventually decided she wanted to change careers to her new passion, nutrition and fitness. So around 2011, we parted ways as “The Moxie Girls”, but I forged ahead with the business and I’ve been busy ever since. Like, really… really, really busy.
Thanks to Wi-Fi and being my own boss (and very flexible and fantastic clients), I’ve been able to work all over the world. I spent half a year living in London, but working on clients back home. I worked from Paris, Amsterdam, and Switzerland — all because we took the plunge on a passion project and made it our career.
While I miss working with Kathy the most, I’m proud of how far Moxie Design Studios has come after 17 years and look forward to seeing how much further it can go in 2020 and beyond. Thank you for being a part of it!