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cooksdelight

S06.E02: Queork

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The owner of a chain of cork-based retail stores is in deep debt to her romantic partner because of haphazard business practices. She resists advice from her employees, and Marcus struggles to help her develop new products and upgrade the brand.

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The owner (Amanda??) was one of the most apathetic, bland, low-to-no energy business owner I have ever seen.  Even her wardrobe and style were "beige".  Just because cork is earth-toned doesn't mean it can't be amped up with some color or tassels or embroidery!  I guess she had a spark of life when Marcus told her to 'make it about the kids', but I still think she lacks passion.  Her poor partner cried in almost every scene.  The best thing to happen would be for Marcus to buy out Amanda & Julie's shares (or at least take majority control).  Then partner with the YEP program, and give them a share of the profits as well as an in-house training facility.  The kids could learn manufacturing, design, marketing and sales skills, earn money & make really cute consumer products under one roof, and the YEP program could possibly expand its outreach with any profits.  The YEP folks and the design team are the real stars  at Queork based on what I saw.  

I know a designer who uses cork to make handbags and totes.  She uses stencils, embroidery, ribbon and assorted metal hardware.  They are very cute and functional, but a little too pricey for me to afford.  She does a huge business in various boutiques and pop-ups and farmer's markets.  She also sells online.  So the cork thing has an audience ready to buy these things.   Did we ever hear any price points for the stuff Queork sells?  I think I heard $39 retail for the eyeglass case, but I missed what the other prices were for totes, phone cases, etc.  I can't imagine what the shoes/boots would cost!

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When Marcus walked into the warehouse, and it was empty, I was shocked.     What kind of business owner doesn't mention they moved to their partner?   The accessories were OK, but the everything beige was so boring.      The owner was a hot mess, and I'm guessing she'll be phased out very quickly.   

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I wish Marcus had stuck to his guns about the 50% share. Neither of these women know what in the hot hell they are doing. It was all too beige. The younger people are the spark, put them in charge and the stuff will start looking more appealing.

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God, I wanted to just bitch slap that stupid owner. All I can say is that Marcus is a saint, period. I think there was something really wrong with her, and also I think that she was taking her lover/partner for a total RIDE. She couldn't even say THANK YOU when her partner gave her $85,000 for back taxes? Are you friggin corking me?

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13 hours ago, BusyOctober said:

The owner (Amanda??) was one of the most apathetic, bland, low-to-no energy business owner I have ever seen.  Even her wardrobe and style were "beige".  Just because cork is earth-toned doesn't mean it can't be amped up with some color or tassels or embroidery!  I guess she had a spark of life when Marcus told her to 'make it about the kids', but I still think she lacks passion.  Her poor partner cried in almost every scene.  The best thing to happen would be for Marcus to buy out Amanda & Julie's shares (or at least take majority control).  Then partner with the YEP program, and give them a share of the profits as well as an in-house training facility.  The kids could learn manufacturing, design, marketing and sales skills, earn money & make really cute consumer products under one roof, and the YEP program could possibly expand its outreach with any profits.  The YEP folks and the design team are the real stars  at Queork based on what I saw.  

I know a designer who uses cork to make handbags and totes.  She uses stencils, embroidery, ribbon and assorted metal hardware.  They are very cute and functional, but a little too pricey for me to afford.  She does a huge business in various boutiques and pop-ups and farmer's markets.  She also sells online.  So the cork thing has an audience ready to buy these things.   Did we ever hear any price points for the stuff Queork sells?  I think I heard $39 retail for the eyeglass case, but I missed what the other prices were for totes, phone cases, etc.  I can't imagine what the shoes/boots would cost!

I kinda wondered how the colorless owner was able to attract a girlfriend that was nice looking, educated, and seemed like to have bottomless pits of money to invest in her clueless girlfriend’s dream.

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Another episode with limited appeal products, unless you like cork beige everything, and if anyone thinks I'm spending $40 on a tiny eyeglass case, in boring beige they're wrong.   I think the prices are a bit much, because unless the cork is tougher than it looks, it won't last the way a leather purse will.  I doubt I'm their target demographic anyway, just the way I don't fit in with Marcus's other recent companies.    And the broken heart sweater was back again.  

I can't believe how much the broken heart sweaters and other tops sell for.    The embroidery looks cheap.   

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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4 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

Another episode with limited appeal products, unless you like cork beige everything, and if anyone thinks I'm spending $40 on a tiny eyeglass case, in boring beige they're wrong.   I think the prices are a bit much, because unless the cork is tougher than it looks, it won't last the way a leather purse will.  I doubt I'm their target demographic anyway, just the way I don't fit in with Marcus's other recent companies.    And the broken heart sweater was back again.  

I really have trouble not questioning Marcus’s taste level every time he wears one of those stupid sweaters, which are probably horribly overpriced.

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I just couldn't believe that Amanda had been a successful realtor.  Successful realtors need to have excellent sales and customer service skills which she didn't appear to have in this episode.  I think Marcus is going to lose money on this if he doesn't put Amanda in a behind the scenes position and hires someone else to manage the company and the employees.  I often wonder why he invests in some on these companies.  And, like others, I question how he can talk about design with a straight face while wearing his broken heart sweaters.

I am not their target customer, but for the sake of their employees and the YEP program, I do hope that they are successful.

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16 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

for the sake of their employees and the YEP program, I do hope that they are successful.

Me too. Put that girl in charge that designed the small colored purses. She’s talkative, knows good design, and I think could probably teach the others to follow suit.

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21 hours ago, seacliffsal said:

I just couldn't believe that Amanda had been a successful realtor. 

Was she a realtor? I thought she said builder, as in construction of some sort, but when I watched the audio quality was bad.

Success is pretty relative for a realtor, so if that's what she was I have to agree with you on questioning that.

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We've seen a lot worse from owners than being boring, so I can't hate on Amanda too much. She's probably good at non-communication things. (Unfortunately communication is pretty important for a boss.)

Although it was touched on a little, I was surprised they didn't push the environmental/vegan angle more. One of the big selling points of cork is that it's not leather, and while I don't think Marcus is necessarily wrong to want to pair it with other materials that also seems like exactly the wrong direction for this segment of the market.

It must be intentional that Marcus never says "People, Process, Product" anymore. He even touched on all 3 here but not in a list like that.

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I've been in that French Quarter store! And noped right out when I saw the prices. The stuff looked cool, though.

I like that Marcus doesn't artificially rope in nonprofits, but when these folks were already working with YEP, he dug right in there. 

And agreed that if the woman who designed the little colored bags also has a retail (or sales? I don't remember) background, she should just be in charge of everything.

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I am shocked they kept the name. That is one of the worst names for a abusiness I’ve ever heard. Even after hearing it all throughout the episode, every time I see it my head says “Kwee-ork” or if one syllable something closer to “Queerk.” If they really wanted the Q thing, that could have just made it Qork. At least that is closer to how you’d say Cork.

Edited by Cotypubby
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On 12/18/2018 at 5:31 AM, cooksdelight said:

As a graphic designer, it reminds me of a layout program called Quark Xpress.

As a Trekkie, I'm thinking Quark's Bar ;)

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Hate the name. The store should be named Cork. Let's just call a duck - a duck. 

I like the novelty of a cork eyeglass case but wonder about the wearability. Does it stain or chip? As a keepsake item, I would buy a cork eyeglass case or similar item if I traveled there on vacation. 

Adding color or design to the cork can only enhance the product. The cork doesn't need to be as boring as its owner. 

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The cork floors where I used to work looked nice, but only if waxed.     Then some items were moved, and the cork had big holes where weight had been on them for a while, and others had big chunks tear out, so that type wasn't durable.  

Edited by CrazyInAlabama
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So am I the only hard-hearted consumer who actually cares more about the product and its quality, than who makes it and the story?  All the executives seemed to be captivated far more by the YEP program than the actual product.  I hope that was just for the show and it's not that way in real life.

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21 hours ago, LuvMyShows said:

So am I the only hard-hearted consumer who actually cares more about the product and its quality, than who makes it and the story?  All the executives seemed to be captivated far more by the YEP program than the actual product.  I hope that was just for the show and it's not that way in real life.

No, you're not. This is my new pet peeve. Not just with Marcus but with marketing in general. Didn't Marcus even say he wasn't that interested in the business but with helping the kids? If that's the case, surely there's a better way to help youth than to prop up the failing business of a woman who doesn't know the value of a dollar.

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On 12/25/2018 at 4:21 PM, CrazyInAlabama said:

The cork floors where I used to work looked nice, but only if waxed.     Then some items were moved, and the cork had big holes where weight had been on them for a while, and others had big chunks tear out, so that type wasn't durable.  

Stanford Memorial Church has cork tile flooring in the main section. It looks nice and it's held up to us moving the piano around and setting up other musical instruments. I have no idea if it gets waxed. It's also *much* nicer to stand on than the marble steps, where the choir stands.

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The cork floor in my building was a new government building, and many of the finishes were the cheapest they could get.     The cork was very thin, and I think that was the worst issue with it.  

 

If the cork gets waxed, it's very shiny and obvious, so your cork probably isn't.      I think they waxed ours because it was starting to wear, so that was their solution.   

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