Amy Q Cooper found herself in a peculiar predicament. “Similar to many university students, I graduated in hopes of finding a job,” Amy says. “But since the pandemic had recently started, basically every single company had pulled the job openings off their websites. They wanted to take care of the people they were already employing before they added more people to the list.”

Amy’s situation led to the formation of Studio Q Designs. “I started taking on freelance clients through people I knew and the two people who help me at Studio Q were doing the same thing,” Amy says. The three women all attended the University of Waterloo and had studied global business and digital arts at the School of Interaction Design and Business. “We had previously worked on a lot of group projects together. I asked them, ‘What if we decided to do this together for real?’ We decided what better than to collaborate and take on larger projects while being able to service more people and offer support to other small businesses in the area?”

Studio Q Designs helps businesses grow, as their website suggests, by creating intuitive products with a purpose by combining data, strategy, and design. Amy, who is 23, is assisted by Katie Jones, 23, and Michaela Valiquette, 24. Starting the business in 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, has presented numerous challenges. “Right now, everything is done remotely,” Amy says. “Every conversation you have with people is a video call or a phone call. I think a lot of people are still trying to get used to it. It is not always people’s preferred method of communication to do a video call, but it’s almost good that we were able to start the business virtually. It allowed us to service more people since it was the norm. We don’t yet have a physical space where we can meet up.”

If you are looking for help for your business, don’t let their youth discourage you. Amy, Katie, and Michaela are confident and competent. “Studio Q Designs is a creative agency,” Amy says. “That means we take on a lot of projects like branding and logo design, marketing, social media materials, web and app design and development, e-commerce solutions…but at the core, we focus on product design. We are passionate about making sure whatever we are putting out in the world is actually going to help businesses reach their goals and grow and solve their problems.”

If you are wondering about the name Studio Q Designs, it is inspired by Amy’s background. She grew up in Sarnia but was adopted from China. “My name at birth was Qi (pronounced Chee),” Amy says. “My parents decided to make that my middle name and named me Amy. The ‘Q’ represents my middle name per se.” While it is early days for the business, Amy insists the work is rewarding. “Seeing the work you do make a difference for people is great,” Amy says. “We connect with organizations, hear their problems, and help them with solutions.”