The wait is over. After narrowing the field of applicants and conducting several rounds of interviews, two lunch meetings and exactly one trip to Dave & Busters, we’re excited to announce that we’ve grown by two employees! Courtney joins us as a graphic designer, and Olivia joins as our resident copywriter. You’ll probably be seeing a lot of their work in the coming months, so we thought we’d take a moment to help you get to know our new hires:

Why don’t you start with telling us a little bit about yourselves…

Courtney: I graduated from MassArt (Massachusetts College of Art and Design) at the end of May, where I majored in graphic design. I’m originally from Poughkeepsie, NY, which is about an hour south of Albany. My boyfriend and I just moved into our first apartment at the beginning of June. I’m already bracing myself for the winter, but also really enjoying the beautiful summer weather, especially since I live across the street from Delaware Park! I don’t have any pets, but I do have a love for chinchillas. Fun fact, I cried when I got to hold one for the first time two years ago. They’re so soft! Also, and most importantly, I have an unhealthy obsession with Ellen DeGeneres. Bonus fun fact: I have a cardboard cutout of her in my living room.

Olivia: Like Courtney, I’m a Buffalo transplant. I moved here from the swampy riverbeds of Washington D.C. in December. My background is in public relations and journalism, so I’m excited to try something new in creative marketing. I have a tiny dachshund mix puppy named Sushi (who is really more of a chicken wing than a dog), a decent collection of contemporary American literature, the first four seasons of Glee on DVD and a masochistic love for long distance running. One day I would like to be a member of the Kennedy family.

Describe your morning routine…

Courtney: My alarm goes off 10 minutes before I actually have to get up. I then lay there and stare at the clock for the next 10 minutes because I think it makes the time go slower (spoiler alert: it does not). I then get dressed, spend 30 minutes fighting with my hair, eat a bowl of boring cereal—probably Chex—and yawn as I walk to the car.

Olivia: My morning routine is dictated by the will of a 6.5 pound dog. His will to weight ratio is astounding. It usually involves waking up and feeding and walking Supreme Overlord Sushi. I make coffee, eat breakfast, sometimes read, sometimes exercise, sometimes gaze longingly at the shadows cast by the morning sun like a Lifetime movie widow, then plunge into the daily dose of existential despair that is the morning news, usually from NPR.

Are there any creative projects that you’re working on outside of TQS?

Courtney: Having just moved into a new apartment, my current creative project is decorating the place. In high school I was really good at drawing realistic graphite portraits, and I plan to do some more of those this summer to hang in my apartment.

Olivia: I’m slowly chipping away at a collection of essays for my eventual memoir, What Do I Do With My Hands? My lifetime creative project is a zombie apocalypse rock opera featuring the music of Lady Gaga. Some would call it a pipe dream, but they said that about Hamilton and Shrek The Musical, and one of those has been called the most important musical about a curmudgeonly swamp creature of the 21st century. So, I’m in good company.

Who is your favorite B-list celebrity?

Courtney: I really like Wanda Sykes. Is she B-list? I feel like she is. Sorry Wanda.

Olivia: Guy Fieri. Hear me out. He has a great life. Not only does he ride around in sick cars, shouting joyfully into a camera from Flavortown, USA, he gets to eat and wear whatever he wants and is all the more beloved for it. His work transcends physical and ideological borders to spread an important message we all need to hear in today’s hostile political climate: there’s no wrong way to eat a chili dog.

You have to give an in-depth, impromptu lecture on a subject of your choosing on which you consider yourself an expert. What’s the subject/topic?

Courtney: Okay this is a hard one for me because I want to say American traditional tattooing. I’m really passionate about getting tattoos, and learning about them, but I am also very, very passionate/obsessed with Ellen DeGeneres. Hmm, I’m going to have to go with Ellen.

Olivia: In elementary school, I was really into Emily Dickinson. It was so obnoxious that my teachers/parents asked me to stop doing projects on Emily Dickinson. She was a recluse. There was only so much to say. But, I think I could probably still tap into that well of knowledge if needed.

What’s one thing you’ve learned about Buffalo since moving here that you feel would be helpful to anyone thinking of relocating to Buffalo in the future?

Courtney: Don’t call in upstate New York!

Olivia: Every holiday or observance can and will be co-opted as a Bills holiday or observance. St. Patrick’s Day? Bills. Fourth of July? Bills. Easter? Bills, probably.

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