changes at Quince & Co.

To the customers, colleagues, stockists and friends of Quince & Co. - 

As you may have heard, this week, our Managing Director was called out for deficiencies in the company’s hiring and selection practices, compensation policies for in-house designers and vendors, and overall management communication practices — and not for the first time. We 

recognized as a company that swift and drastic changes were necessary, and today we are sharing with you the specific actions taken under our new authority as Co-Directors of Quince & Co.

It is painfully apparent that the lack of leadership skills at the top of our organization has resulted in a serious departure from our values as a company. The actions of our Managing Director are at odds with our and our employees’ personal ethics. It has also been of vital importance to ensure that changes made to Quince’s operations served first and foremost the best interests of our employees, and that these were carefully considered and communicated internally first.

Effective February 10th, Ryan FitzGerald has stepped down as Managing Director of Quince & Co., and no longer has a role within the operations of Quince & Co., Twig & Horn, or Stone Wool. Stesha Rudnicki, our Business Operations Manager, and Emily Greene, our Design Director, have stepped in on an interim basis as Co-Directors while we work with an outside management consultant to seek the right person for long-term leadership of this company. Stesha and Emily bring more than 20 years of combined business and creative professional experience prior to Quince. This change came at the urging and with the support of Quince’s employees. 

In addition, we have engaged the services of a well-known and respected human resource consulting firm to audit our company’s hiring and management practices and ensure they are ethical, equitable, and non-discriminatory. 

Moving forward, our first priority is to do what we can to set things right with those directly impacted. We cannot undo what has been done, but we can work to ensure that all Quince employees and contractors - past, present, and prospective - are treated fairly, with dignity, professionalism, and respect from this point on. Our new leadership team has already reached out directly to former employees to personally apologize on behalf of the company, and most importantly, take steps to remedy long-outstanding issues.

We know this is only the beginning of the work that needs to be done if we are to earn back your trust. We sincerely hope these first steps, and the positive changes to come will inspire confidence that Quince is listening and moving in the right direction.

We know you may have questions and feedback regarding these changes; please feel free to reach out to our new leadership directly at leadership@quinceandco.com.

- Stesha, Emily, and our team at Quince & Co.

____________________________________________

Updated 2/15/21:

Stesha and I would like to address the very pertinent question of ownership.

Upon Ryan’s resignation, we enthusiastically stepped up to take the positions of Co-Director with operational authority. We did this because we care about our fellow employees, customers, and stockists; we love our products; and we believe in Quince & Co. While Ryan owns Quince & Co. for now, he is no longer compensated in any form; and, any profits will be reinvested to sustain the organization.

While changes in leadership were swift, changes in legal and corporate structure take time, and must be designed with care and intention for those of us remaining who are committed to building Quince’s future. We are working with a highly regarded business consultant, and she is helping us identify the most appropriate succession plan that supports and benefits existing and future employees.

12 comments

Thank you for your transparency. I think it’s important for you to continue to provide updates to your customers, and here on the blog is a good place to do that. It’s very important to me that the values of businesses I support are aligned with my own. I get it that some may not want to know about internal controversy, but based on what I saw on social media, I was prepared to cancel my beloved quarterly subscription if not provided evidence that Quince is the kind of company that I want support. Keep doing the hard work and keep the updates coming. Thank you.

Laura February 22, 2021

Thank you for updating us. It sounds like you are taking the right steps to turn things around, and I am rooting for you to do so. Quince and Co. puts out great products; I knit with your yarns and patterns almost exclusively now. As you work through the legal issues and corporate structure, I for one will continue as a customer – I have faith that you will get past this and move forward, and I have the patience to understand that it will take time. Thank you for your transparency.

Susan February 16, 2021

Thank you for speaking to the important issue of corporate ownership today. We appreciate being informed about next steps as you move forward in re-structuring your business. So far it looks like things are moving in a positive direction.

Three Bags Full February 16, 2021

Thank you to Q & C regarding these events. Any reasonable person would wish to see others treated as they want to be, and I think fiber artists (at least the majority) are caring nurturing people who exercise integrity.

That being said, if you don’t care or don’t wish to hear something that may disturb you (don’t jump to conclusions; there may be some who don’t want to hear about recent events because they have suffered similar in their past) simply scroll on. You don’t need to characterize this as “airing dirty laundry”, “I don’t care” or similar. Just move on. I imagine most of us form friendships and relationships with our hearts-it’s not just about the yarn and patterns. There are many that do care, and jumping to conclusions or speaking for others who’s opinion may differ from your own is not helpful.

I am wishing you all the best as you move forward, and also appreciate your attitude of seeking input from others. All my best.

Julie February 14, 2021

I love your yarn and I am very proud to be a customer. I am sorry that internal issues are being broadcast on social media. We are probably only hearing one side and not even the correct information. I salute you for trying to correct internal issues and pray that you will continue to produce the beautiful yarn that you are known for.

Joyce February 14, 2021

I am very upset to hear of the large issues of unfairness and inequities that have been hidden behind the scenes. Quince is one of my go to companies, especially for my special projects. I want to live in a world were we all examine our buying choices and hold companies accountable for providing a safe and equitable workspace. Yes, it is dirty laundry, but I want to know about it before I decide where to spend my money. This is the only way to build a better future. I sincerely hope that you do the hard work to make this right. I look forward to the day when I feel safe to shop with you again.

Pat February 12, 2021

Well done you. Shame on those in it “just for the knitting/yarn/patterns.” Ignorance is privilege, stop pretending there is any facet of our lives unaffected by intentional and implicit bias. Unless we are active in our demands for equity and change, status quo only benefits the oppressor. Silence is consent. Air the dirty laundry, be active in making change and making amends. This post makes me a bigger fan of yours and anyone who has been affected by this positive change. Thank you for transparency. I trust you to keep seeking light.

Charlotte February 12, 2021

Love my knitting hobby and i’m sick to death of this type of rhetoric. Keep your dirty laundry to yourself.

Kathy February 12, 2021

I agree with Linda, it’s not my business to know what’s going on internally but do wish you luck; I have always loved your yarns and patterns.

Cassie February 12, 2021

If Ryan is not divested of his monetary interests in Quince won’t he still profit from customers who continue to buy yarn?

Mary February 11, 2021

Thank you for taking immediate and important first steps to right the inequities and abuse of power brought to public attention recently by many in the fibre arts community. As a LYS caught in the middle and feeling betrayed by a company we thought shared our values, we are closely watching the evolution of this situation. We are pleased that Ryan FitzGerald has stepped down as Managing Director and that other actions have been initiated to initiate a change in corporate culture. We are, however, expecting full apologies from Ryan Fitzgerald (both to the community in general and to those personally wronged by his inequitable practices) as well as notice of his divestiture of assets in the company.

Three Bags Full Knit Shop February 11, 2021

I just like your yarn and patterns. I don’t need to know the inside stuff. Good luck.

Linda February 11, 2021

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