MEET THE MAKERS

JACKIE WAITES , OPERATIONS MANAGER | LEAD DESIGNER
Jackie grew up in a very creative family of painters, sculptors, actors, jewelers, and musicians. Always seeing things in a different light and loving and enjoying things how they are and how they exist. She also sees it in her own light. Deconstructing, figuring it out to learn or changing things to create her vision. “I’m never focused on a single medium. I do what I feel and what I feel like expressing at that moment in time.” No matter what she is focused on, you can always feel the history and path of transformation. Taking found objects and turning those into something different than how they existed before, yet still letting you see and feel what the past was in her new creation. Her analog collages are surreal. Her jewelry vintage, yet ahead of the times. Line drawings, abstract painting, and cockroach block prints. You can see in her work that her mind is always running, thinking of something new to create or taking old and giving it life again. “I grew up sewing with my mom and grandma. From that I went on my own, doing simple, basic alterations of thrift store clothing. My mom and I made all of my formal dresses for dances. I never found anything I liked in the stores. Everything that I saw I wanted to recreate or change. So I did that. I made what I wanted”. To this day, Jackie is still doing what she has always done. Now with a career of designing and transforming handbags and accessories, she has more of a conscience with her creating. “I think of functionality, attractiveness that multitudes of different kinds of people would be attracted to and want to use on a daily basis. I have to think of the masses, a grander scale. I don’t want my work to draw in one person. I want it to draw in hundreds. I’m learning and growing on the daily, and I hope that shows in my work”.

JOEY GAINES, PRODUCTION MANAGER Joey works like a horse, and she acts like one too. Don’t get kicked... She originally hails from the windy city of Chicago, but also by way of southwest Wisconsin, California, and New Orleans. The towns you live shape a person, and so does the work. She’s worked in the restaurant industry, construction, organic farming, restoration ecology, outdoor education, wrangling horses, teaching dance and production sewing and fashion design. Joey is SUPER STOKED to be the Production Manager at Queork; she’s inspired by her team on a daily basis! She believes with all her heart that if we all treated each other with love and understanding, we’d solve most of our problems. In her free time, she pumps iron at Crossfit, hangs out with Rambo and Frankie at the dog park and kayaks around the Bayou looking for critters to poke, wild red curls a’blazin’. Life is tough, so… wear a helmet.

ASHANTI ALEXANDER, MANUFACTURING Ashanti is from the Irish Channel neighborhood in Uptown, New Orleans. He started working at Queork in August of 2016, where he learned how to sew, be more patient, challenge himself and accomplish goals. He loves fashion, especially street wear. Ashanti likes to alter his own clothes, and can often be found taking pieces from one garment and sewing them onto another. He started making instrumental hip hop and rap beats on studio software when he was fourteen years old. He’s constantly inspired by the story lines and creativity of anime shows and films. In the future, he aims to operate a personal brand company that combines streetwear fashion and hip hop music. He loves his little nephew Adarren, and calls him “Duddah”. Ya heard me?

 FRANK ROBERTSON, MANUFACTURING Hi, I'm Frank."To be Frank"
I'm a Designer/Illustrator/Screenwriter. As life continues I hope to someday become an "Artist of life". Philosophy has begun to be an interesting topic for me, so far I found that I'm very interested in the words of Bruce Lee and Baruch Spinoza philosophies on life and society. I am one of the many talented individuals at Queork. "The whole is greater than the part"- Plato

 ASTRA ROSE BAXLEY, MANUFACTURING | CUSTOM ORDERS | REPAIRS
Astra is an ambitious and focused individual hailing from San Francisco, CA. Having moved to New Orleans to experience a new flavor of arts and culture, she now calls this unique city home. Born in to a family of street artist, creatives, crafters, and music lovers gave Astra a surefire start to a career in fashion. She has always been a creator, and has focused her education on Apparel Design and Merchandising. Being in love with fashion and wine at the same time has made her an integral part of the growing Queork team for over a year.  Astra is excited and passionate about everything creative she does, and continues to look forward to contributing her skills to a growing, sustainable fashion business. Besides bags, Astra loves designing costumes, jewelry, apparel, and accessories as well as looking for new ways to utilize the super interesting qualities of cork fabrics. Fashion, fun and sustainability are her passions. When she's not busy making customs and doing repairs at Queork, you can find her out looking for the endless inspiration she finds here in New Orleans. Astra is truly one-of-a-kind and takes great pride in learning what it takes to operate a successful boutique apparel business. Astra was born to be a star. The popular Latin phrase "Ad Astra per Aspera," meaning " to the stars through difficulties," embodies the nature of her spirit. Determination, a passion for simplistic beauty, and inspiration are what makes Astra Rose Baxley a unique and valued core member of the Queork family.

ISHMAN CLARKE, MANUFACTURING Ish is from the Gentilly neighborhood in New Orleans, LA. Ish started working at Queork in June of 2018 after graduating from YEP (The Youth Empowerment Project). At YEP, he learned how to use Adobe PhotoShop, Illustrator, and Animation software and he fell in love with graphic design and aims to use those skills to design clothing. He’s inspired by animated and thriller movies. You might find him watching Surf’s Up or World War Z. He loves to skateboard at a local skate park in Gentilly, and likes to play and watch football and basketball, especially the Packers and the Spurs. Ish got interested in fashion because of his brother Thernell’s limitless taste in clothing and he’s been pursuing fashion work opportunities ever since. Ish hopes to attend a college-level  Fashion Design program in the future. Ish’s personal style what he likes to call “Hamlet Inspired”; he wears a lot of black!

 

DAMIEN LUKE, MANUFACTURING  Damien is an artist and performer who is excited to lend his creative talents to the Queork team. Born in Bradenton, FL, he first broke into personal artistic expression as a body piercer at age 21. After exploring the world of body modification and expanding his piercing into a full business over five years, he left the industry in search of new and different artistic pursuits and means of expressing himself. He traveled for several years, dabbling in photography as he met other artists and discovered new realms and places to explore. During this time, he passed through New Orleans on multiple occasions, realizing on his third venture through the city that he had found the Land of Misfit Toys, a.k.a HOME. He has lived there ever since, and through the many creative avenues the city has to offer, has found his true artistic calling building, crafting, designing, armoring, sculpting, and last but far from least, CLOWNING!

 

KIRA CAHILL, MANUFACTURING Kira is a bonafide, born and raised, South Side Chicagoan. She moved to New Orleans in 2017 with her husband and three spoiled cats, and is proud to call NOLA her home. Kira learned to sew as a child, watching her great aunt, and her hobby quickly blossomed into a passion. She earned her degree in Fashion Design from Columbia College, and set about starting her own fashion design label. She has won several awards for her designs, including Chicago Fashion Designer of the Year. Kira has always had a passion for repurposing and recycling thrifted fashion. She currently owns and operates an online vintage shop, saving and reincarnating vintage treasures that would otherwise end up cast off and forgotten.

When she is not working on her own designs, or finding treasures for her vintage store, Kira loves to share her knowledge of fashion through teaching. She has taught Fashion Camps for kids through a variety of art and school organizations throughout New Orleans and Chicago. She loves seeing the self-confidence, and creativity that children gain through fashion classes. Kira believes everyday should be for dress up, and fashion should make you feel good and help you express your individuality. She is so happy to be on board with Queork, having found an enclave of likeminded folks in NOLA. You might find her showing her fashion designs at New Orleans Fashion Week, figure modeling for the an assortment of artist groups, or riding her bike everywhere (even places bikes have no business being).

Stay tuned as we have new talent bios we are working on to share soon!