CNBC's 'The Profit' Features New Orleans-Based Business Queork, Which Takes Youth Empowerment to the Next Level

Queork trains underserved New Orleans youth through a joint program with the Youth Empowerment Project, then hires them to work full time

Marcus Lemonis

Local New Orleans business Queork, a company that is bringing cork fabric and materials into the mainstream as a smart leather alternative and luxury upholstery option, was featured on CNBC’s "The Profit" Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Queork currently has four stores, two of which are in New Orleans where the company is based, and, more importantly, has added a manufacturing facility.

Amanda Dailey, owner of Queork, is thrilled that being on "The Profit" put a spotlight on the ability to manufacture right here in New Orleans. “We knew that if we were going to make our own products, we wanted to take advantage of all of the artistic talent that is right here. What we soon realized is we really had an opportunity to make a difference by selecting talented kids who wanted to make their lives better. We teamed up with the local YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) and started an externship program with young adults interested in design and manufacturing. All of the employees that come from YEP have flourished since joining the Queork team and that makes investing in their success well worth it. To date, we have hired on 100 percent of the YEP externs, who now all hold full-time positions.”

One of those remarkable employees is Frank Robertson, who was chosen by Marcus Lemonis, "The Profit" himself, when they visited the YEP to talk to other young adults who were interested in joining the program. “I was a dishwasher at a number of restaurants in New Orleans before YEP, without much opportunity for anything else. But there is more out there for you, I promise, and YEP will help you find it. I never knew I was interested in sewing and design until I sat in front of a machine and, as an artist, I love getting to be creative when I am at work."   

Although Lemonis was quick to point out flaws in the company as well as Dailey's lack of communication on the show Tuesday, she has taken all of it in stride. “He truly helped me see what this is all about, and that is our employees. We have changed how we do everything since the show. Now we have an organized, productive and positive environment for them to enjoy every day. Marcus helped us lay the foundation for the manufacturing side of the business to grow. We have started a wholesale line and we have several orders coming in for custom products that we can private label. That means we can continue to hire local talent and give opportunity where there is very little."

To learn more about Queork, visit their website at Press contact email: Catch Queork on "The Profit," Season 6 Episode 2 - click here for how to watch. Find information on YEP at

Source: Queork


Categories: Regional Business News, e-Commerce

Tags: CNBC, Growth, Made In The USA, Manufacturing, Marcus Lemonis, Retail, Small Business Success, Social Responsibility, The Profit, Women Owned Business

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We make and sell any useful product that can be made with cork by training under served New Orleans youth the skills of basic to advanced manufacturing.

838 Chartres St
New Orleans, LA 70116
United States