Today we are starting a new feature here. We are inviting the PSP store owners to be featured on the blog in their own interviews. We thought it would be great to hear from the owners about how it is to own the stores and deal with the artists & taggers alike. Our first store owner is Jolene Burke of PTE.Thank you so much for talking with us today. Jolene has decided to feature tags with PTE artists.
1) How did you become involved in the PSP Community?
Many years ago when I discovered the game site POGO. One of the largest groups for the game site had a section for "signature tags" and I had no idea what they were but I was very intrigued by them. I thought they were super cute and colorful and I'm incredibly attracted to anything animal related and most of the tags I saw at the time were dog related.
2) How did you become to own a psp tubes store?
After struggling for a while in a managerial position I was in and dealing with the stresses of the owners who failed to provide accurate information to its clients and respect to myself, I decided to go my seperate ways.
3) The psp community is often very involved with the artists & store owners; as it is a
very social community. How do you balance this with running the store?
I tend to PTE on a 7 day a week basis. I have my email coming to my cellphone so that even if I'm not home or it's a holiday, I can still tend to the needs of the artists and the fans.
4) What kind of things do you look for in considering an artist to sell at your store?
There is nothing I actually "look for". I feel all artists deserve representation and a chance at offering their artwork to the community.
5) What do you believe is the biggest problem in the PSP community? Copyright violations, drama etc?
I wouldn't call them "problems" by any means. I feel that when you put hundreds of different personalities together in one place, issues will arise from time to time because everyone has different opinions. Whether those opinions are on religion, politics, what offends them, etc. Copyright education is probably an issue on occasion. I know from personal experience that when someone just becomes involved with creating signature tags, and if that person is not heavily involved with already copyright educated communities, that it's easy to make mistakes. (Those mistakes being thinking it's alright to take artwork and not credit it, or just take PTU artwork without a license.) Those issues are normally very easily resolved.
6) The community can be very vocal about things. How do you block this out and
focus on your store & artists?
Being vocal isn't necessarily a bad thing. Constructive criticism can go a long way - positively.
7) Often there are themes which are popular with taggers ie emo, goth, rock etc.
Does this affect how you market the tubes at your store or what your artists create?
There are always certain genres more popular than others. Many PTE artists are very well tuned to what their fans like. While they may not stick to a certain theme because as artists they need the freedom to create from their heart, they try very hard to bring ideas and wishes of their fans to life through their art.
8) What is your favorite part of interacting with the PSP Community?
I have met many wonderful people in the PSP community. But I don't like labels. We are all just people. That's it. All under one God, living in one world. I treat everyone I interact with the same. I don't judge anyone and try to respect everyone. I only ask for the same in return. My favorite part is how diverse everyone is as individuals but how so many have so much in common. It breaks my heart when people are cruel to others (and this goes outside of the PSP community, one can see this just about anywhere on the internet) because there are real people, real hearts, real feelings and real tears behind those usernames and computer monitors. How many people watch the news? War, poverty, abuse, murder, bullies, teen suicide......this is what our world is slowly becoming, and has been for years. World peace is a wonderful thing to aspire to. Unfortunately, in the one place the world is brought together, the internet, peace is often the furthest thing from happening. So I say this: love each other. You don't have to like each other, but love each other. The way God wants you to. Maybe the person that seems mean had a bad day. Maybe the person that says something cruel is having a hard time in their life right now. It takes more courage to walk away and be the bigger person than it does to "fight". And don't let what someone says to you break your spirit. Enjoy your life, your friends and family - we are only here, in the scheme of things, on this earth for a short time. God Bless!!
Jolene R. Burke
CEO, PSP Tubes Emporium