The past 6 months have been tough on us all and QORE was affected like everyone else. With the stoppage of the NBA, we chose to pause our sales and marketing activities to really reflect as a brand and see how we were gonna pivot in this new world to move forward. At the same time being a start-up, we were forced to make many tough decisions internally in terms of our team, our family and what it would look like in the coming months.
Through April - July, we really dug deep as a team as our country was in crisis. Never before in my lifetime had we experienced a complete stoppage throughout the country, our team members and family were directly impacted by the pandemic. Being in NY to see the city rally together, cheering on the front line workers brought so many emotions out of us from happiness to sadness to being a proud New Yorker. We made a decision that we were going to do whatever we could to support the city, NYSTRONG.
On top of all this, systemic racism in this country which we have all experienced as a fully minority owned business continued to divide our country and shine light on the racial inequalities within our country and the wealth / health gaps that exist among different races. Our founding team, composed of 2 Asian Americans, remember very clearly growing up identifying as American but being stuck in between our Asian background and the very American culture that surrounded us. We all faced some type of bullying / racism / attacks at some point but we all learned how to fend for ourselves and made sure we stood up for what we believed in, that fight is what ultimately made each of us want to be entrepreneurs in our lifetime.
The past few months have been a wake up call. We could no longer focus on profits and growth to drive the brand; we had to pivot, we had to have a bigger calling, what really brought us to QORE? We realized QORE was our chance to be in touch with sport, in touch with basketball, the one thing we loved and shared growing up. From that answer, we knew we wanted to work within the community, with the youth through sport, through education to give them a path for success. The youth need opportunities, they need someone to crack open a door so they can bust through, but everyone needs a little push!