meI was born in the suburbs of Nashville, TN and had a perfectly Southern upbringing. My grandmother made the world’s best sweet tea, my grandfather yelled at the TV, and I played in the yard with my cousins and brother. We ate fried chicken, listened to country music, and I spent my summers working with my grandfather down at the dirt pit, or his residential development we all referred to as “The Land.” I currently live in a much different place: New York City. Sure, I still drink sweet tea, but more often than not it’s served with some sort of saffron infusion or an uppity twist. Navigating this new world is quite the challenge, but it’s rewarded me beyond measure.

Stella

I am a major foodie and enjoy great restaurants. I sometimes joke that my new book I Know Where I’ve Been: A Year Long Journey of Self-Discovery should really just be about all the different dishes I’ve eaten all over the world (perhaps an idea for my second book!), but it’s more about growing up in the conservative south, learning who I am, and experiencing everything I can as a global citizen.

I love to travel and hope to visit each continent by my 35th birthday (which isn’t too terribly far off, so I’ve got to get started), but my favorite place on Earth has become New York City. There’s something about the pace of life there that is magnetic to me. Perhaps it’s that I’ve seen Friends too many times, or maybe it’s that I love everything the city has to offer culturally, either way it’s my favorite. I also love a good beach vacation.

Career

fortuneI studied English at Lipscomb University, focusing on research and writing, and completed a long-form published research project on the effects of mass-murder on society post-Columbine High School, as well as the nation’s fascination with murder-culture. I also studied graphic design and visual communications at O’More College of Design in Franklin, TN.

I began working in marketing in 2010 and joined a marketing agency in Nashville in 2012 using inbound marketing and digital marketing strategy. I developed lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns, wrote resources on the marketing industry, and provided content for marketing blogs across the world through guest posting. I was published in The Big Book of Marketing 2013 and 2014.

After leaving the agency I began working as a strategic marketing coordinator for various clients and developed many successful campaigns in the lines of Search Engine Optimization, Content Development and Planning, Social Media Strategy, and Lead Nurture and Generation. Additionally, I developed Sales Cycle Systems and Sales Training Curriculum that has proven to increase close rates, lower client turn-over, and establish brand trust.

coffeeIn the fall of 2016 I moved to New York City to start a marketing consulting company, Coles Creative Consulting (www.colescreativeconsulting.us) and focus more on my writing career. Being based in New York has opened many doors for me, and made it easier for me to travel internationally. I live in the heart of it all, just a block from Times Square.

Lastly, I have been involved in public speaking for 5 years, having completed tours throughout the country speaking on the entertainment industry through personal knowledge of the acting world (part of a book tour for my 2011 book Now What? Learning Through My Failures). More recently I’ve done guest lectureships at colleges and universities, as well as conventions, on marketing strategy, product development, sales experiments, and personal brand identity.

In the spring of 2017 I released my first autobiographical novel, I Know Where I’ve Been: A Year Long Journey of Self-Discovery, which tells my tale of taking a year to travel to 30 different cities in North and South America while attempting to figure out what I truly wanted out of life. Sprinkled into the travel stories are essays and messages of surviving the South as a gay youth.

I serve on the Advisory Board for the Creative Youth Enrichment Center, and maintain a board seat with Imaginary Theatre Company. Additionally, I have worked with several non-profit agencies, such as the Williamson County Literacy Council, and A Vintage Affair.