Alyson Newquist

Unabridged


Strategy + Innovation

Business Building

I like identifying opportunities in businesses and working with stakeholders to come up with solutions. This work includes helping small businesses launch, get noticed, and develop new revenue streams. In 2011 I noticed small businesses were in need of services they weren't ready to provide in-house: staffing, management of non-primary revenue streams, and event production and promotion. I created Bash Collective to address these needs. Examples of our clients include:

  • Fashion designer Joynoelle, managing her CMS, building out her online shop (Shopify), producing lookbooks, managing editorial involvement, and planning and promoting fashion shows from 2012-2014
  • Stylist, floral designer, and influencer, Munster Rose, providing B2B delivery and set-up and tear-down services as well as supplementary B2C services directly to her clients
  • Upscale consignment and interiors company M.G. Dispatchery creating business plan, identity, website, and social media presence

Space Making

Geography is a study of the production of space. So, while it might not be intuitive that someone would transition out of academic and strategic research to create a wedding venue, for me it's an extension of that work. I set out to create a new place for folks who didn't fit into the traditional wedding mold. Juliane James Place served as that space for over 50 couples and their people over the past six years.

My experience producing that space, combined with my background in qualitative and quantitative research, led to helping multiple non-profit theaters, including the Southern Theater, generate additional revenue using their space for events. I worked with the Machine Shop to determine if turning the space into an event space made sense. This work included calculating start-up costs, running comp analyses, suggesting pricing structures and policies, and making use suggestions. 

    Innovating

    We are always capable of improving on what is. If we look past habitual, repetitive acts of doing, possibilities for advancing communications, processes and products reveal themselves. In order for this process to be considered innovation (n.) it needs to add economic or emotional value to the user or business, or disrupt previous ontologies or epistemologies.

    Innovation needs to be chronicled and systemized wherever possible. We need to focus just as much on not reinventing inventing as we do on not reinventing the wheel. Fleshing out ideas and mapping out all the physical or metaphoric spaces in which they fruit is second nature to me as a researcher. My creativity enables me to live on the edge of the thinking box. I can think inside it or outside it without much effort. My passion as a creative researcher and love of what I do compels me to create systems for innovation. I want my focus to be on innovating as much as possible, not remembering how we made progress prior.

     

    Research

    User Experience Research

    I planned and conducted UX testing throughout application lifecycle for the tech startup I co-founded, Rentivist. This included sector, market, and competitive analysis. I collected user stories via survey, interview, and observational studies and created user personas for B2B and B2C users. My initial findings, financial projections, and data presentation led to raising $500k in private seed funding to create our Beta.

    Strategic Research

    In my capacity as the National Researcher for the country's largest community organizing non-profit, the organization formerly known as A.C.O.R.N., I planned and managed a research project gauging housing-voucher acceptance in New York City. The white paper I wrote with my findings was pivotal in New York City Council passing its 2008 Source of Income Discrimination Law. This law prevented landlords from discriminating against housing-voucher holders, who at the time were primarily single-mothers with children rebuilding their lives after domestic abuse.

    My role at the Campaign for Quality Services, a joint effort between two major labor unions, required me to become an expert on child nutrition policy. The overall goal of the campaign was to incentivize multi-national outsourcing companies to allow their employees the right to organize. My work involved on-site research at the USDA sorting through public comments, intaking workers’ stories across the country, creating networks of trusted information, drafting white papers, overseeing communications for the K12 Sector of the campaign, and overseeing the dissemination and intake of over 6,000 Freedom of Information Act request surveys to school districts nationwide. 

    Academic Research

    My research focused on how London-based culture jammers/performance artists view the city, and how these perspectives influenced their creation of events in public spaces. I employed diary studies, ethnographic photography, and traditional qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

    Download my thesis, Anarchy and Urban Subversion: A Spacehijacker's Guide to London HERE.

     
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