Crescent Vale main website home page. Photo by: Matthew McGuire
Crescent Vale main website home page. Photo by: Matthew McGuire

Over the past decade Crescent Vale has evolved from a portfolio site that was originally setup to display my work to potential clients regarding Web development. It has transformed into an international platform to help bridge cultural gaps across 200 countries each year.

The site was launched in early 2010. It was built with basic HTML and CSS. Just after launching the website, the platform had little to offer, but after a professor at SIUC recommended that I switch over to WordPress to save time on development, it provided additional resources to work on layout and structure.

During the formative years of the website, Jason Ross, Keith Decker, Tony Smith and Nicholas Hess provided support on content development, as well as core values. Without them providing support in the development phase, I could have easily became frustrated with the process and decided to look for other opportunities.

We started out covering local events in Southern Illinois to get the word out about the brand and company. It was an act of community service to cover and support local businesses, as well as helping define our service. As we would create content, more and more companies would request help when developing their digital footprint.

Tony, Jason, Keith, Nicholas and myself were a group of visionaries with one goal in mind, to help bridge cultural gaps with the use of digital media. That core value is still at the heart of the company today.

Development Stage

From 2010-2012 the site would use additional publishing platforms, such as YouTube, JamBase.com, Twitter, WDBX, and Issuu.com to help release content. We worked our way up from covering local events to regional events. Music festivals would often give us opportunities to provide media support for their events, at the same time expanding our identity online. Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, was managing press at the Austin Reggae Fest, and helped us define our cultural early on in 2010.

NYE 2013 was a pivotal moment for the company. Lotus provided an opportunity for us to cover one of their shows in Chicago, and the Yonder Mountain String Band allowed us to cover a show outside Denver at the Boulder Theater. These shows expanded our reach regarding coverage from regional to nationwide.

During 2013, our reach and company grew at a rapid pace with first-time coverage at the Summer Camp Music Festival, the Hangout Music Festival and multiple additional events. We would interview, record and capture different types of music, film, and technology.

Another breakthrough moment for Crescent Vale took place in early 2014 when the Sundance Film Festival provided our Web outlet with the opportunity to cover the event in beautiful landscape of Utah. Also in this year Teddy King started to help with content development.

Expansion Phase

The Harvard Business Review has provided additional information on the phases for smaller companies during development, but in regards to our company, we have trailblazed our path without a conventional methods of raising capital to stay afloat. Mark Cuban is known for describing a method of resource management known as sweat equity. This term refers to a company raising capital to afford expenses by providing/selling products and services rather than taking out loans. Ironically, our company would practice this belief long before acquiring the knowledge from Mr. Cuban. Each company is structured differently, but this method has worked for us over the past ten years.

Crescent Vale continues to expand in late 2019 and moving into 2020. We could look for additional investors and dilute our company, but for the time being, we enjoy the impact and value we offer to global audiences.

In 2015, Jessa Brooke provided assistance with content development by adding a female perspective to the site. Her writing and assistance helped identify trends in cyber-security early on for our company.

Also in 2015, I finished college and started writing more articles for the company. We started using Google AdWords, and the reach of our content expanded dramatically. The Bonnaroo Music Festival provided our outlet with the opportunity to cover their event, and we continued to explore new topics regarding content marketing.

In 2016, Samantha Harvey started with the company providing additional support regarding content development and product management.

The company generates revenue by building websites for outside organizations and then uses those resources to pay contractors for their coverage. We have made it past the survival stage, and continue to evolve on the best practices that serve our clients and audience.

Growth Stage

Our company continues to grow with the brightest minds in content marketing. Each year we look for people and topics to expand the product. Marissa Novel has recently joined the team, and is planning on working with Samantha to cover the Gem and Jam Festival in Tucson, Arizona early next year.

Currently we are in the growth stage of the company. In 2019, we made our first net profit by decreasing Web hosting costs, and increasing revenue with projects for outside organizations. The year before we broke even regarding our expenditures.

During the next ten year Crescent Vale will continue to reach new audiences and help companies grow along with us. The Secret is an excellent resource that everyone should look into. The most important part to this company is the legacy and footprint we leave behind.

Our main goal will continue to help bridge cultural gaps. Please continue to follow along during our journey.