Yas Imamura, creator of Quill and Fox, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about lessons learned, working alongside her hubby and dreams still yet to achieve. Her adorable Book Club notepad was featured in our September box.
Tell us a little about your business. How did you get started?
Quill & Fox is a home-studio based design paper shop. The idea started to take form during my senior portfolio term in design school. I discovered that there was a viable interest for the timeless and classic medium of paper, especially in an increasingly digital society, and I wanted to communicate that in a fresh way that inspires people. Meeting my husband, who is an illustrator, also reinvigorated my love for traditional art. It wasn’t too long after I designed our wedding invitations, that I started designing for other brides, and eventually branching out to cards and other paper goods.
Quill and Fox is a husband and wife duo. How is it working alongside your significant other everyday? ☺
The most amazing thing about working with Andrew is that everyone else he has worked with, not just me, could attest to how fun and easy he is to have around. But it’s obviously even better for me, as his significant other! :)
Even though we both operate in vastly different work environments; he’s organized, meticulous, and concise, and I’m a little bit of a hurricane in my process, somehow it works out!
What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?
At this point in our business, I think staying the course and not losing focus is a huge challenge, especially when markets and trends get increasingly saturated (as they naturally would). We’ve always put our quality of life first before the rigors of business, as opposed to the other way around. Sometimes it’s tempting to shift priorities as you look to how the paper industry market has expanded, but at the end of the day I remind myself that making art that you took time on and enjoyed is really what pays off.
What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
This is still a struggle for me, but it’s important to set a schedule for work AND time off. Follow them religiously, the best you could. It’s very tempting not to, especially when work spills over the weekend.
What’s one thing you really want to do but have never done?
A stop motion animation. I tend to undertake projects alone, and this is definitely one that would need the help of others. I’m not very good at soliciting collaborations but I’m very open to it. I have a few stories that I wanted to breathe life into.
Your most memorable moment.
Moving to Oregon for the first time. I moved here from the Philippines, and while we have travelled to the US for summer vacations before, it was something to see Oregon for the first time and coming to terms with the fact that it was my new home. I grew up in a busy bustling city my whole life, and I remembered feeling displaced by the peace here in Oregon. It was to be the beginning of a life-changing transformation for me. I think I found my true self here.