Looking Back and Looking Ahead

When I started Factory Portland in 2010, it was a way for me to package various services I was already offering – helping musicians with social media, photography, setting up websites, and CD design. At the time I was working a day job and able to pursue outside projects. I eventually moved on from that job and found myself jumping feet first into freelance work as a career. With only a small lull, I quickly amassed a number of both music and non-music-focused clients (mostly thanks to Alex Steed and Knack Factory).

Around the same time I met Sam Hotchkiss and began working on a number of video and content production projects through him, eventually becoming an official employee of Hotchkiss Consulting. In April 2013, Sam created BruteProtect, a WordPress plugin that, put simply, protects WordPress-based sites from being hacked. Fast forward to August 2014 – BruteProtect was acquired by Automattic (the company that runs WordPress.com, among other things), bringing along all of the employees. I could not be happier saying that I’m now an Automattician. It’s a dream job and one that I never could have anticipated becoming a reality.

In addition to my job change, my wife Megan and I welcomed our first child in July of last year. These recent developments have left little time for the site. But fear not! Moving forward, Factory Portland will no longer be offering the services it previously did, and will officially change its focus to a music blog. We’ll be continuing our 10Qs series with a new batch of performers. You may also see the occasional guest writer, maybe covering shows or other local happenings. My portfolio of music-related work will move to stephenquirk.com (which has been dormant even longer than this site). I’ll close out the art project/collaboration with my friend José Ayerve/A Severe Joy’s singles (8 down, 2 to go!), and all web clients have found new homes.

I’m really looking forward to what the future brings and I’d love to hear your feedback.  What’s missing from this site?  What have you loved and what have you hated?

Stephen Quirk

Prior to landing his dream job at Automattic, Stephen served as Associate Director of a Boston-based non-profit overseeing the organization's technology, visual design, social networking, and event planning. For twelve years, he worked in the Technology Department at his alma mater, Maine College or Art.

Additionally, Stephen has exhibited his photography in Portland, Maine, Boston, and California. He lives just outside of Portland with his wife and two children.