Moxie Design Studios

About Kathy

Kathy is an East Coast girl.  She grew up in a suburb on Long Island, NY and escaped with a scholarship to the art program at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania. She trained there as a traditional artist majoring in Studio Arts focusing on the messiest classes she could get into.  Paint, paper making, clay sculpture… the dirtier, the better. She graduated with a BFA in Studio Art and a minor in art education. Her senior thesis exhibition consisted of abstract furniture sculpture that involved saws and lots of red carpeting.  Don’t ask.

Years later she stumbled into web design and fell head over strappy sandals with art in the form of HTML and Adobe Photoshop.  Kathy worked in a cushy job at a corporate giant consulting firm as a Business Consultant developing and designing B2B eCommerce websites.  While there, she honed her skills in usability standards, and did hard time browser testing.  She still gets chills when thinking of Netscape 4.  Later, she seized an opportunity to branch out on her own and in 2001, started her first solo company.

Along with Joelle, they gave birth to Blog Moxie™ in 2003 and since then, she has designed countless websites, learned the intimacies of content management systems and dissected and designed blogs into the wee hours of the early morning. 

When she’s not designing, she’s either writing for her parenting blog, SafeMama.com, or playing Mom to her two rambunctious boys. She'd really rather be sipping champagne in a bubble bath in her spare time.

About Joelle

Joelle is West Coast girl who grew up in San Diego, California. She's always had a creative streak, singing and playing the piano since the age of 3 and performing "living room vaudeville" for family and neighborhood friends. She also loved to draw with dreams of becoming a Disney illustrator. As a teenager, singing took precendence over art, but in the mid-90's with the internet making its debut, Joelle's passion for art and design was reignited.

Joelle started her own personal website in 1998. Then with a semester of art school under her belt and an insatiable design to learn, in early 2000, Joelle took a job with prominent European haircare company, Toni & Guy/TIGI, in Dallas, TX. There she gained a lot of experience designing hip presentations and creating marketing materials for a rock-n’-roll 20-something target market. After being promoted to New Media Designer in just over a year, she left the company to do contract work with a wonderful and talented mentor at Rapp Collins in late 2001.  There she had the opportunity to work on web projects for high-profile clients like HBO, Yahoo! and Sony Playstation.

In late 2003, it became clear that Blog Moxie™ was a full time job, so Joelle left Texas and moved back to California where she's been designing websites in her jammies ever since.

Joelle still resides in fabulously sunny San Diego, enjoys her martinis with blue cheese olives and is a semi-slave to her bunny, Lulu.

About Moxie Design Studios

Launched under the name Blog Moxie™ in February 2003, Joelle and Kathy were not only designing blogs, but blogging themselves -- that's how they met!  Pioneers in more stylish blog designs, the girls of Moxie Design Studios quickly became highly sought-after blog designers in a world dominated by boxy and boring templates.  They have designed well over 500 websites in the past decade for clients around the world and were among the first five designers added to the Expression Engine Pro Network.

Kathy and Joelle are the authors of the book, The IT Girl’s Guide to Blogging with Moxie (Wiley & Sons Publishing) and have spoken at high-profile conferences like South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) in Austin, Texas. They've also been featured in articles and on radio shows and podcasts.  The Moxie Girls take a lighthearted approach to design and believe websites don't have to be professional or fabulous -- they can be both!

For publishing, press or speaking inquiries, please contact us.

This is Isabelle.

Bellie is Kathy's papillion.  She likes noodling, sitting like a priss and bows in her hair.  She sleeps with her tongue sticking out and we believe she has a french accent.

This is Lulu.

Lulu is Joelle's bunny. She likes cilantro, apples and flopping on her side like a baby seal. Her chub is almost as mighty as her cuteness. You can learn more about Lulu and bunny care at lulubun.com.

Special Thanks

Our Illustrations

Our Moxie Girls character illustrations were created just for us by the talented artist, Derek Yaniger. He's done several versions of our characters over the years, but we think the airline girls may be our favorites.  Derek's a big time artist now!  You can find his amazing retro artwork, including limited edition serigraphs and prints at Mister Retro. You can also pick up his coffee table art book, Wildsville: The Art of Derek Yaniger.

Our sweet-faced mascot illustrations were also created just for us, this time by the lovely and talented Cynthia Frenette. She does stylish illustrations and we often refer our clients to her for custom illustration work. She also makes some amazing fabrics for you crafty types. We think she's the bee's knees!

Code Wizardry

We're more than just a pretty space, we do much of our own front-end development here at Moxie Design Studios, especially for Expression Engine, but sometimes we're unable to take on the development of every project. In those instances, we partner with talented colleagues that aid us in our quest for world domination. Ok, maybe they just write beautiful code. In any case, we acknowledge awesomeness where it's due.  Lately, we've been working a lot with David Hollander of SparkWeb and couldn't be happier.  If you've gotten a Wordpress site from us recently, he's probably been our wingman and we owe those fancy custom bits to him.  We call him the Wordpress Whisperer. Thanks, David!

Under the Hood

We love, love love (did we mention love?) Expression Engine content management system by the fine folks at Ellis Lab, Inc. We've been using it since its debut in 2004 and haven't looked back. We do work with other content management systems for our clients -- it keeps us on our toes! -- but for our personal and professional use, Expression Engine is aces! 

Our hosting has been managed by the fine folks at Hosting Matters since 2003. We host all of our sites with them and we love how they treat our clients, too!