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Allie Greenspun

Advertising and Marketing Associate at Home Chef and Freelance Illustrator/Designer

Years as a Camper: 

2010 - 2013

Years as a Staff Member/Positions held:

2014 & 2015 - Junior Counselor 

Can you provide a brief overview of what your day looks like professionally? 

I’m responsible for a couple of different marketing areas at Home Chef (the meal kit delivery company). My days mostly consist of working to get advertising campaigns set up. I work with podcast vendors to buy ad spots on their podcast shows, as well as write the ad scripts that the podcast hosts read. I also help design and send out our direct mail pieces, so if you ever get a Home Chef mailer to your house, I probably helped make it! I also manage our YouTube advertising by uploading videos and setting ad budgets. Lastly, I monitor all of our campaigns and evaluate results! I analyze data and make changes if a campaign isn’t performing well. 

After I log off from my job at Home Chef, I pivot to my freelance graphic design work. Whether it’s illustrating a book or making a fun logo for a business, it’s never dull!

How did you get involved in the Andi the Candy Witch project?

I met Karina, the author of Andi the Candy Witch, through a connection from college. She was looking for a graphic designer to help her bring her vision for her book to life and asked if I’d be interested. I told her I’d never illustrated a book before, but she was willing to take a chance on me anyway! I did a lot of research into different illustration techniques, purchased an iPad, taught myself how to use the Procreate design software, and worked closely with the author to make sure that everything I was creating was in line with her vision for the story. The book took about a year to complete from start to finish, including about 7 months working on illustrations alone. I was very happy with how it turned out and look forward to working on my next book sometime soon! 

Do you have any career advice for members of our Camp community who are interested in pursuing an arts-related career path?

First of all, find what makes you happy in the arts and run with it! It doesn’t feel as much like work when it’s something you really love, and for me, that has always been drawing and graphic design. 

Work hard at practicing your skill - both for fun and, if you have the means to, for-profit through an Etsy shop or small freelance business. 

Networking is something you hear about a lot in a field like business, but it is also incredibly useful in the arts! I’ve found all my freelance clients through networking. It also helps you meet people who have been in the field for a long time who have lots of great advice and inspiration to offer in the form of mentorship. 

And lastly, the marketer in me knows that it is so important to find your artistic voice and create a personal brand for yourself and your art. Who are you? What kind of art do you make and why do you make it? What inspires you and ignites your passion? Knowing this helps you talk to others about your art and market it to the world so you can turn it into a full-blown career! A personal portfolio website is a great place to showcase your personal brand and feature all your work. Squarespace and Wix are awesome free resources for getting started on a portfolio site. 

What do you believe have been some of your greatest personal and professional accomplishments? Is there a goal toward which you are currently working?

Professionally, illustrating Andi the Candy Witch on top of performing my full-time job was a huge accomplishment - especially since I had never illustrated a book before!

Personally, my greatest accomplishment has been seeing the progress that the student I tutor has made since I started working with her 3 years ago. Once a week, I work with a current 4th grader through a special program in Chicago that pairs volunteer tutors with students facing economic barriers who are struggling with their reading skills. It is so important for kids to be on grade level or higher in reading at a young age, so we have worked hard for the last few years to get her caught up. I am so proud to say that this year she is finally testing on grade level! 

I am currently working toward two big goals. My first goal is to illustrate another children’s book, and my second goal is to go back to grad school and get an MBA in Marketing. 

How do the values or skills you learned at Camp show up in your everyday work and/or personal life? 

Any summer sleepaway experience teaches kids things like independence, interpersonal relationship skills, problem-solving, etc. - and Camp is no different. But the one thing that truly sets Camp Seafarer apart from all the rest is the focus on setting and achieving goals. Working in our green and blue books toward achieving ranks in the various land and sea activities - and celebrating those achievements publicly in the mess hall when you reach the highest rank in an activity - is something that instilled in me the importance of setting goals from a young age. 

In my work life, I always initiate a quarterly conversation with my managers where we go over my short- and long-term goals in my role and set a plan for achieving the goals. And my personal life is no different - I’m always working on my personal hobbies and skills and trying to learn new ones just like Camp encouraged me to. Last year I set a goal to take up running again, and this coming new year I’d like to learn how to cross-stitch! 

Is there a person or a situation that had a huge influence on you while you were at Camp? How and why did they/it impact you?

One summer when I was a junior counselor, the entire camp had to evacuate the bubble and go inland to Raleigh for a few days due to a hurricane. At first, everyone was nervous and a bit bummed out that our normal camp life was being interrupted. Every moment in the Seafarer bubble is precious and we didn’t want to miss a single day of our summer! But despite the uncertainty in the situation, everyone (campers, counselors, professional staff) made the experience one that turned out to be so much fun. We sang camp songs on the bus all the way to Raleigh, we played fun group games and got wonderful cabin bonding time on the field by the school, we continued our mess hall traditions in the school cafeteria, and we treated the sleeping arrangement (sleeping bags on the gym floor) like one giant slumber party! We as a collective camp group took a not-so-great situation and found the silver lining in it by turning it into a fun and memorable adventure. That perfectly highlights such a valuable lesson Camp Seafarer taught me: learn to find the good in any situation and lean on your sisters for support always!

Favorite Camp meal:

Definitely Sunday fried chicken!

Favorite special event at Camp:

I absolutely loved Long Cruise! It was always the highlight of my summer and such a fun experience that is so unique to Seafarer. 

Devotion you best remember from Camp:

The toothpaste devotion! We did this one my first year at camp. My counselors squeezed a bunch of toothpaste onto a paper plate on the floor and then asked us how we would go about getting the toothpaste back into the tube. No matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t get the toothpaste back in! Our counselors explained that the toothpaste activity was an analogy about being kind to others. Once you say or do something hurtful to another person, you can never truly take it back no matter how much you may want to. It really helped us to be mindful of our behavior and actions toward others, especially in the close-knit cabin environment! It’s a lesson I still hold near and dear today.  

What profession other than your own would you like to try?

I’d love to work for one of the shows on the Food Network or the Cooking Channel and travel the world featuring different cultures’ cuisines! It would be a fun way to blend my love of food, travel, and culture. Maybe one day! 

What would you eat if you could only have one food for the rest of your life?

Macaroni and cheese for sure!