The Quad Cities is turning a new leaf! I’m proud to call this area my home turf.

We are so fortunate as locals to have delicious eateries and local shops to explore. It’s just a matter of getting the word out and showcasing everything that there is to offer!

Three QC boss babe entrepreneurs saw the need.

One owns a downtown restaurant. Two own boutiques.

Meet these amazing women (pictured above left to right); Amy, owner of Downtown Geneseo’s storefront Katsch | Fran, owner of Me & Billy, Downtown Davenport Bar & Kitchen | Steph, owner of the boutique Field & Finch located in Village of East Davenport!

Within the year, they have created Curated QC, a blog showcasing things to do, places to go, and people to meet in the area!

Good food, good conversation. Lagomarcino’s in the Village East Davenport is a QC Classic.

. . . . . .

I wanted to pick their brains and get the insight on their journey with Curated QC:

Time is precious. You obviously see a need for this blog in the QC or you wouldn’t invest the time. What is your ultimate goal for Curated QC?

Fran: I keep hearing people say that this is something that the QC needed (even if they didn’t realize it before). The response has been incredible! I just hope that we can continue to be a resource for Quad Citizens, highlighting all of the amazing people, places, and things that the area has to offer, and collaborate with local businesses in the process.

Amy, a new mom and super driven, savvy, and sweet business owner.

Amy: Great question! It started as a passion project and we saw a need for a resource like this.
Eventually we would like to take it to the next level but all in good time. We all have full plates as it is!

Steph: Well, I think when the girls and I originally sat down and started mapping this out, we just thought this thing was something we wish existed in the Quad Cities, and we figured we’d have about a good a chance as anyone as doing a good job with it. I think we ultimately want it to be a resource where longtime residents and visitors alike can learn about something new in the area. The QCA is just teeming with talent and things to do and inspiration and we want to be able to showcase it through our work with the blog. We’re very fortunate to live in a community that loves and supports its small businesses, so we just want to play off of that strength and take it a step further. We have some really exciting growth planned for the end of this year and for 2018, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more info! 🙂

As passionate entrepreneurs, what are your words of advice to others to inspire them to chase their dreams?

Fran is as bubbly as she portrays! Her drive is contagious and is passionate about her work.

Fran: I’m a bit of a realist when it comes to this. If you make the decision to start your own business, you have to be all in! Be prepared for the highs and lows, unrelenting workload, and long days.

Amy: Create a network of support. Owning your own business can be lonely. Often times feeling like you are the only one going through a particular situation. Creating a strong network is beneficial for many reason but mostly keeps you sane! Just remember to stay true to your vision and brand. Just because something works for one business doesn’t mean it will work for yours. Don’t compare yourself to others. I believe success can be shared. Seeing my friends and colleagues do well is just as rewarding as reaching my goals and milestones.

Steph: I think the most important thing for a new entrepreneur to remember is that it’s important to have a plan, but don’t get married to it. It’s great to try to flesh out what you expect your day-to-day to look like, but odds are good that you won’t really have any idea until you’re in the thick of it. And even then, you’ve got to be prepared to roll with the punches. On the flipside, try to keep sight of what’s important to you and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Entrepreneurship is a weird way to live and you have to be ready to commit to a lifestyle, but it’s one of the most rewarding career paths out there. Really though, at the end of the day you just have to go for it. There’s never going to be a perfect time to do anything, so if you’ve done your homework and you feel as ready as you’ll ever be, take the plunge.

FAVORITE QC:

Breakfast spot: 

                           FRAN-Cushman’s Food & Engine (aka The Crepe Guy) 

                           AMY- The Local Motive in Geneseo  

                          STEPH- I’m partial to my dad’s place (The Family Restaurant), but I also LOVE brunch at Cafe Indigo

Lunch spot: 

                       FRAN-Cafe Express Deli

                       AMY- Cafe Fresh

                       STEPH- Cafe Fresh in downtown Moline

Dinner spot: 

                      FRAN-Why Me & Billy, of course!

                      AMY- Red Ginger and Me&Billy

                     STEPH- How do I choose?! I obviously love Me & Billy (hey, Fran!), Lemongrass Cafe, Mantra Indian Restaurant… there are so many great options in the QCA!


Dessert spot: 

                      FRAN-Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie

                      AMY- Oh So Sweet by Tiphanie

                     STEPH- It’s gotta be Oh So Sweet. I’m a big fan of Tiph’s hand pies and with the recent addition of Cafe 392 to the storefront I can get sugar and caffeine right in the same place (dreams come true).

(I SENSE A STRONG URGE TO GO TO OH SO SWEET RIGHT NOW!)

And one inside scoop question: How the hell do you juggle it all?

Fran: In short: hard work, time management, and a supportive husband. Work hard, play hard!

Amy: Now that I have a little one at home it has become more challenging. I try to stay very organized and productive. Make a decision and move on. I also try my best to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed and prioritizing helps. Some times I just accept a particular task won’t get done and I’m okay with that. (Sometimes that task is laundry LOL).

Steph is a tremendous entrepreneur. A must meet gal. Sweet, nice, and full of life!

Steph: Haha! I feel like I don’t! In all seriousness though, I couldn’t do anything without an incredible support system. I feel so lucky to be working on this project with Amy and Fran, who are far and away the best teammates I could ask for. And my mom, who is my business partner is just a complete rockstar. My friends keep me sane and help me maintain balance. It’s easy to get swept up in your work when it’s something you’re passionate about, but you have to be careful not to burn out just like with anything else. I feel like as entrepreneurs we hear and see a lot of things about building a “tribe” and although that might feel a little played out or trite, it’s absolutely true. You have to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re doing and why it’s important to you, and who will be supportive of your goals. But stay organized, have a plan, and just do the thing!

. . . . . .

With three bloggers behind this business, check in on a regular basis (www.curatedqc.com) to read up on things to do, places to go, and people to see in the QC. They are doing a fantastic job at whipping out new content regularly. There’s so much helpful content they dish out about QC happenings!

I am clearly excited for this venture they are on and will cheer them on the whole way! The Quad Cities needs this platform to showcase everything there is to offer, because there’s a lot out there. You just have to seek it.

All photo credit to Iron & Lace Photography, QC based photographer.

                                                                                                                                                                                              HAPPY FALL!

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