About Allyson


I’m Allyson Bright. I started Determined to Shine following the unexpected suicide of my husband at age 32. I created this community and these classes because I want others to know how creative expression can help bring healing and empowerment. I know these projects work because I lived them – and I’ve seen firsthand the changes and breakthroughs class members are experiencing every day.

My additional work and writing explores grief following sudden loss, navigating depression and PTSD, as well as ways to use crafting, art, and sometimes just plain silliness to move forward in times of difficulty.


  • I can sing the alphabet song backwards.
  • In middle school, my best friend and I created a pretend radio station called WABC Windy City. We recorded our radio show on cassette and even had “callers” who tried to win fake contests for ridiculous prizes. The callers, of course, were the two of us using weird voices.
  • The puzzle I’m holding in the photo above was given to me as a baby.
  • I was part of the world’s largest Hokey Pokey (Guinness Book of World Records, September 2010)
  • I’m obsessed with board games.
  • I think everything Taylor Swift touches turns to gold.
  • I get grumpy if I don’t have cheese every day. Same with lemonade. It’s kind of a problem.     



I’m a Certified Holistic Coach and proud member of the Global Association of Holistic Psychotherapy and Coaching.

In my early twenties, I wrote two books: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Scrapbook Projects Illustrated and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Altered Art Illustrated. Both are now out of print, but used copies can occasionally be found online or in stores.

I’ve produced marketing and fundraising writing for more than 20 universities throughout the United States and Canada, including the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Boston College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

I have a BA in English from the University of Iowa and an edX certification in The Science of Happiness from the University of California, Berkeley.