I have a lot of opinions, obviously, so here’s some background which should give you ample evidence that I have no clue what I’m talking about.
I’m Jay Allen. Born and bred in Atlanta a few years ago. My first job was at Kroger bagging groceries. Since then I’ve started a catalog company, worked for Casual Male (twice), Cutter & Buck and Teavana which was acquired by Starbucks. Now I’m the VP of Online Marketing at FootSmart.
My undergraduate degree is in Finance, but I always enjoyed marketing more. So I went back and tacked on an MBA with a focus in Marketing. I should have just done a Masters, but some things you don’t realize until you’re older and wiser. No one told me, so I have an MBA.
My background is in catalog companies. Which was perfect for a Finance/Marketing guy, since the marketing is very analytical. I started a small catalog company with a friend selling Catholic stuff for a monastery. Trial by fire. The monks were very patient and forgiving. I recommend everyone start their first business under the tutelage of someone who is obligated to be forgiving.
From there, I went into men’s apparel. First at Repp Big & Tall who was acquired by Casual Male. Then to Rochester Big & Tall (after a stop in tennis B2B) who was acquired by Casual Male. Then to Cutter & Buck. Along the way I slowly gave away my circulation responsibilities to focus on ecommerce.
At Teavana I had the opportunity to be part of company that grew fast, went public on the NYSE and then sold out to a massive coffee company. However, I prefer sunny Atlanta to rainy Seattle, so I left before they moved to the homebase.
And so it goes. I’ll update this over time to keep you in the loop.