A little history.
Avalonstar, the domain, was a gift from my father--mainly in the form of being able to use his credit card to buy it. The name itself was a weird amalgamation of things. "Star" was always going to be part of the name, because being a senior taking an astronomy elective brought it to the forefront of my mind. The first half? Alero or Avalon. Yes, those are the names of two cars, both of them meant for old people.
After 4 years of twists, turns, and suspect choices, I graduated with a Bachelor's in Entrepreneurship. The college experience wasn't one of the most memorable times in my life. Life outside college, sure. I came into the college wanted to start a web company, before the first ".com boom." Maybe it was a bit ahead of its time, but Johnson & Wales' Entrepreneurship program at the time was more equipped to help those looking to start a resturant than an Internet company.
Riding the high off of a pretty popular eggroll-headed design, I had the great idea of entering Avalonstar for the "Best Blog" category at the 2006 South by Southwest Web Awards. I was pitted against people in the industry I really respected--Kelsey Ruger, Shawn Inman--and won out. I then proceeded to give one of the most awkward speeches in my public speaking career, as I was on the whole not ready for such a thing.