The QC Collective is the first of its kind in the Quad Cities- that is, a friendship cooperative which helps combine the aspirations, talents, goods, and services of our local community members and helps redistribute them throughout our area. The shop, located in Port Byron, IL features locally made goods from artists and artisans throughout the Quad City area. [starpower]* wanted to sit down with Sarah Ford, the driving energy behind the Collective.
[SP]*:Tell us a little bit about your background.
Sara: I’m a Port Byron resident, and mother to an amazing 12-year-old boy Isaiah. I have degrees in English and Philosophy from St. Ambrose University, with minors in writing and environmental studies. I’m currently a freelance writer for the Dispatch and Radish magazine, and serve with the Township and Planning and Zoning Board in my town. I’m an outspoken advocate for all that is good in the world.
[SP]*:What drove you to start the QC Collective?
Sarah: I worked at Big Brothers Big Sisters for two years, through the AmeriCorps program, and my contract expired at the end of August 2011. I was rather disillusioned with the non-profit world—not the work being done, but society’s lack of value for the workers—so I didn’t want to go that route again. And the corporate world was not even an option for me. So I realized I had to create what I wanted to do next, and being an entrepreneur offered unlimited potential. I’ve been working towards a vision of a healthier, more peaceful society through my education, writing gigs, and community involvement, and the QC Collective seemed a perfect outlet for me to continue that work, and inspire others to follow their dreams as well.
The logo of the QC Collective is a gemstone, which represents the bigger picture of our individual efforts. We all have something beautiful to contribute, and when we gather our energies and intentions, and focus on the good, we really make something spectacular.
[SP]*:When you decided to start the QC Collective, did you have a plan? Did it work?
Sarah: My plan was divine inspiration (because I asked for it) and an inner knowing that this was the next step for me. Once I accepted the ideas coming to me, and felt excitement about it, the pieces started to fall into place. I had never consciously decided to own a business, but I saw the opportunity in the open building at the corner of Main and Cherry Street. My plan was to provide space for artisans, and have a physical location so I could put my grand ideals into action. Since my motivations have been pure—do the work for world, for my family and friends, and my community—it has been successful so far. I don’t even have a business plan, except for the evolving one in my head.