Don’t Chase the Muse – Let Her Catch YOU!

July 31, 2017 14 Comments

Don’t Chase the Muse – Let Her Catch YOU!

Hi there.  I’m the owner of Queork.  No, not Amanda… the other owner of Queork - Julie!  I know you don’t see or hear much of me on the website or in the stores or the factory.  I am what you’d call Amanda’s silent partner – she “shhhhhhushes!!”’ me a lot and barely lets me get a word in.  In all seriousness, while Amanda’s interest in Queork is largely made up of her sweat (and brain) equity, mine is mostly just equity, with a little gratuitous legal advice sprinkled in now and then.  By day, I’m a full time attorney.  But together we make a good, balanced team with a shared passion in the uniqueness and creativity that underlies Queork.  Five years ago we started Queork, seemingly out of thin air—air that carried inspiration and a sense that something was calling us into doing something somehow related to fashion and creativity and retail, things with which neither of us had any experience.  We heeded the call and you can read about our first five years in Amanda’s blog post here. 

Over the last year and a half, we have invested in our very own manufacturing facility that is filled with cork fabrics, industrial sewing machines, tools, gadgets, gizmos, accessories… all sorts of stuff that can be used to make Queork products.  We are proud to say that a growing portion of the products we sell are not only Made in the USA but Made in NOLA!  This is especially important to us because New Orleans is our home but there is talent waiting to be tapped on the shoulder in every city and for anyone that wants a brighter future for your city start by believing in, and then investing in, your youth.  It is gratifying beyond belief to see them bring amazing things to life with no fear of losing because they had nothing to lose.  If you think a 23 year old has talent with an iPhone, put them to work in a factory driven by innovation.  They have a bright future indeed!      

While I’m very proud of what Queork’s manufacturing facility (which we call the “Depot” due to its close proximity to the foundation-rattling trains that pass by) might mean for our business and our city, I especially love it because, every now and then, it becomes my own personal, giant playroom!  Some weekends, Amanda and my idea of Sunday Funday is to go to the Depot and just let our creativity go wild.  We call it “craf-turday.”  Sometimes we go with an idea or plan to make/build/sew something specific; sometimes we just go and let the muses come to us by walking around and looking at the raw materials and equipment. Usually, after literally hours of being in the “flow” of creating something, we have to force ourselves to stop for the day.  As a self-proclaimed slave to my desk, my computer and sometimes the courtroom, I can tell you that switching off the analytical/lawyering side of my brain and letting the other side get into that creative flow (whether by crafting at the Depot or baking a cake or taking in someone else’s talent) is just as or more relaxing than a day on the beach (where I’m usually endlessly worrying about unanswered calls and emails and deadlines and …. arggghhhhhh!!!).

Above is our recent last minute decision to enter a sand sculpture contest with absolutely no plan or talent and only one hour to finish.  After 20 minutes of failing to stack the sand higher than Amanda's knees Julie sees an opportunity and points out the likeness to a shark nose.  We borrowed a baby from the neighboring beachgoers and nailed a blue ribbon for best sea creature!

Growing up, I wasn’t musical, I couldn’t paint inside the lines, I didn’t sing well, all my jokes lacked a punch line (all still true) so I never felt gifted or blessed artistically.  Nowadays, I know that absolutely everyone is creative and talented in some way and that, just like physical exercise is necessary for well-being, so is the exercise of one’s creativity.  I also know that you shouldn’t be afraid of “failing” at creativity. Most of us don’t just magically become Michelangelo, Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson overnight.  Even those dudes worked incredibly hard at their trade in order to make the end result look effortless and for them it was a labor of love.  For most of us, you can’t get there from here.  You start with an ugly lump of clay, and you mold it into a different ugly lump of clay.  You pick up a guitar, and you strum out a tune that sounds like cats fighting.  You throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot and you hope that you don’t poison your dinner guests.  The act of doing those things over and over again may (but unlikely will) make you a world-renown sculpture/guitarist/chef.  But even it if doesn’t, who cares, because it will make you happier and healthier.  We realize that Queork, the entity, likewise thrives when we let the talents, unique abilities and creativity of our team members stretch and flex their muscles.  We find it all very (drum roll, please) a-musing !

Julie's Sunday Funday Work Product – Cork Dog Bust – in loving memory of Wally




14 Responses

Rachel
Rachel

August 04, 2017

Love my Queork Sandles.

Ann Galloway
Ann Galloway

August 03, 2017

I called twice and received no response. I have couple of black marks on my Queork handbag and water doesn’t removed them. is there anything else i could try?

Carolyn Carter
Carolyn Carter

August 02, 2017

Amazing article. Loved it all. I too have to let my creative part of my brain free to create more than usual these days!??❌⭕️

Rachel Bland
Rachel Bland

August 02, 2017

Great writer across the board as you dawn your many hats, Julie. Effectively inspired as always. Now to find an improv class or something to get my creative ya-ya’s out. go Queork and all its’ amazing people!!

Amy
Amy

August 02, 2017

Julie the one talent I know you have is writing, you should do more of it!!! Great read! So proud of both of you! It is so true that letting your creative side do its thing makes for so much more of a fulfilled life, and I think it makes us smarter and better when we switch back to the analytical! I also love that you brought up the great things that happen when you believe in the youth in your city, I vote for Frank and Ashanti to co-author the next blog, they have so much talent and are getting to express it working for you girls!!

Marilyn Vancil
Marilyn Vancil

August 01, 2017

Your blog posts make me happy. I know what you mean about letting your creative juices flow. I’m an engineer by trade, but I like to sing, especially at a piano bar, and I cut a CD with a friend pianist this year. It won’t go anywhere, it won’t make either of us money, but it was fun. My favorite Kurt Vonnegut quote is “Peculiar trips are dancing lessons from God”. Taking little trips off our path are so good for all of us.

Alison Grimes
Alison Grimes

August 01, 2017

Love your work. My daughter in Perth wears a Queork bangle. Bought in the store in 2016. I was in the States for a wedding.
Do you still do the cork umbrella? I know, II should have bought it with the bangle!!

Kimberly McDaniel
Kimberly McDaniel

August 01, 2017

Ladies — you keep raising the bar by continuing to evolve and think outside of the box. You both inspire me in so many different ways and I love hearing that Jules has jumped into the creative side of the biz with both Queorked feet. Congrats on your success! Queork will always by one of my favorite places to shop. How much cork can one person have anyway?
<3

Liz Dailey
Liz Dailey

August 01, 2017

Great read…

Vicki
Vicki

August 01, 2017

Julie-that was amazing -just like your awesome partner-and I knew that was Wally (teared up) before I read the the bottom line . Thank you for sharing. Again, I am truly grateful to have experienced being part of the ‘Queork family’ dynamic. Best to you, Amanda and Queork! Love it all! HUGS

Lois Sutton
Lois Sutton

August 01, 2017

Not creative?…that shark was amazing! Was in the Chartres St store last week and loved all the new products.

Elaine Pierce
Elaine Pierce

August 01, 2017

Great story!!!

Lorna Farrar
Lorna Farrar

August 01, 2017

Admire you both and your entire staff for the creativity and progress you remaking with your outstanding product …keet it coming , we all love Queork !

Cindy Sutton
Cindy Sutton

August 01, 2017

Okay, ya’ll know I am a big supporter already but keep up the creativeness. Good to hear from you Julie!
Love you gals.

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