Introducing Our Digital Content & Marketing Coordinator: Kim Nellans


One of our goals as we’ve grown through the years is to be able to hire a person to coordinate the planning and implementation of our online presence, connection with our clients, and marketing efforts. We are delighted to welcome Kim Nellans on board as our Digital Content and Marketing Coordinator. 

Kim has an extensive background in visual design and front-end development, including her web design business Tiny Zen Studio, and is currently pursuing further studies in the areas of UI and UX design. Stay tuned for an in-depth blog post from Kim on that topic this summer. 

In the meantime, read along to hear from Kim about her personality, her story, and her philosophy in life. She is an adventurer and world traveler, like several on the Portage Bay team, and we’ve included some photos from her adventures for you to enjoy. 

People ignore design that ignores people.

Frank Chimero, Designer


Kim is a curious, insightful, and dynamic individual who has no qualms in sharing that she is a true multipotentialite! With more than two decades of experience managing teams in the coffee-restaurant industries and nonprofit sector, Kim’s strengths lie in her tenacity and resilience as an innovator, facilitator, and team leader. 



  • Prescott College in Arizona

  • University of Washington

    • Fine Art Photography and Graphic Design

  • Los Angeles Center for Photography

  • Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, CA

    • Certified in Front End Web Development 


Kim’s business acumen comes from her breadth of work experiences that span thirty years. Her initial foray into entrepreneurship began with her coffee startup at age 21 – The Daily Grind in Bellevue, Washington. She then transitioned into corporate coffee management with Tully’s Coffee and spent more than a decade working in multi-unit management in the retail coffee space. 



Needing a break from the rigors of that environment, Kim began exercising her wanderlust, resulting in a next decade of continuous travel and intense introspection, beginning her ongoing adventure travel pursuits and developing a longtime insight meditation practice. Various silent, intensive retreats throughout India and the United States have supported her practice ever since! 

  • India Travel Adventure

  • Documentary Photographer


Her pivot in this most recent decade into front-end web development and marketing strategy stemmed from a desire to find a way to balance work life with the passion and freedom to explore the world. This type of work coalesces with Kim’s interest in the intersection between technology and design and is rooted in Kim’s love of exercising her creativity.

Kim’s latest professional immersion takes her deep into the worlds of both User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. UX aims to create meaningful and relevant experiences for the end-user by integrating branding, design, usability, and function to achieve the best outcome for both users and stakeholders. These sub-disciplines will support her growth as a designer and developer and her work as a consultant and strategist.

Her business philosophy is that the people connection is paramount. Focusing on the user’s experience is what matters most and Kim believes that good design can only happen through that understanding.

When Kim is not studying design or working on projects, you can usually find her outside, in nature, photographing, active hiking and skiing with friends, or practicing meditation!

If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likable person: respectful, generous and helpful.

Alan Cooper, Software Designer and Programmer


The terms UI & UX are often used interchangeably but they are two distinct aspects of design. The graphic below and this article help explain the differences. You can also enjoy Kim’s own recent blog post on the topic, 10 Website Design Principles to Create a Great User Experience.

If you are interested in incorporating more UI and UX elements into your database send us a comment. We’d be glad to talk with you! You can also join our twice monthly Office Hours to ask your database and Claris FileMaker questions. 

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