Genue Inc.
July 26, 2017

Get to Know Genue: Denise


Get to Know Genue is a new monthly installment that interviews the team members of Genue.  For our first Get to Know Genue feature, we’ll be chatting with Denise Burke, founder and CEO of Genue, Inc. Denise began plotting the beginnings of Genue in 2010, and it was formally incorporated in 2012. Denise shares the anecdote that fueled Genue’s beginning, the best and hardest part of being a small business owner and what it means to be “genuinely you”.




Can you tell me a little bit more about Genue?

Genue (pronounced ‘Jeu-new’) is derived from the word Genu-in-e, being genuine is important to me.  Genue is an app for designing and creating decorative patterns for printing and customizing products.  Genue is for everyone, not just technically skilled designers and artists. It is powerful software for creating unique artistic patterns and designs of your liking, the way you see it.  It saves your images in ready format for digital printing and for maker businesses that customize products using surface designs.


In a way, Genue is an embodiment of me – ever changing, inventive, creative, and practical. I like the creative process of picturing; envisioning and seeing pictures realized in practical form.



Why did you decide to start Genue?

When my daughter went to college, her bedroom needed a little décor updating- her permission of course! I was thinking a new color paint and some accessorizing with fabrics.


My plan was visit some retail shops for ready-made curtains and then purchase fabric to sew a window seat cushion. Seemingly easy to accomplish, but after many failed shopping outings and internet shopping searches I couldn’t find what I wanted.


Digital fabric printing companies were just beginning to appear on internet searches, so my thought was I’d create my own design and have the fabric made.  Turns out the process wasn’t very easy either. I created some art motifs, took a photo of it, uploaded to my computer and edited the digital image. Remember, cell phones didn’t take quality photos back then. Next, I tried to figure out how to seamlessly repeat the image to pattern and to the scale I wanted, and the last step would be to send the image for fabric printing. Not really an intuitive process unless you’re trained as a textile designer. This led me to the thought that there must be other creative people and DIY’ers that may want to do this.  Had specific styles, tastes and a certain aesthetic for home décor, maybe their fashion, and accessories – maybe they were also disappointed with the available retail offerings. So in a sense, this is how and why Genue began- as a problem I thought needed solving.


So you’re wondering- No I didn’t creatively design my daughter’s bedroom fabrics, instead I began Genue! – Why? – So that I and others would never have to be stifled again.



What’s your favorite thing about what you do? What’s the hardest part?

My favorite part to running my business are the relationships and this is also the hardest part for me.  This context of relationships, I define as artistic and personal.


Relationships in my art come by designing: placement and through expression: by the choices of color, texture, line and form, all to make a pleasing work.


With my personal relationships, I try to truly listen while regarding the other person for understanding. From a speaking side, I’m constantly trying to hone my expression; to convey thoughts within context of the conversation and which are meaningful. Because I’m a strategic thinker, this becomes work for me. Sometimes the thoughts I convey do not always seem relative to the current conversation. But after 4 or 5 sentences more, my expression makes sense to the recipient.  I’m always so happy with their patience and that reciprocally they are trying to truly listen to understand me, too.



When do you feel more inspired – or what do you do when inspiration is lacking?

I’m inspired every day by other people and the beauty that surrounds me. If I’m thinking I need inspiration, then what I’m attending to in the moment is what I take. This is pretty much my creative process.  A serendipitous beginning, a placid interim, and then gestures and visual glimpses reveal the whole or finished piece.



Do you have any daily rituals or rhythms? How do they fit into a typical day for you?

In my role as entrepreneur, there aren’t too many typical days. It’s all about getting things done that need to be done for that day, so I’m mindfully tactical.  I put my focus on what and where I can make a difference each day.


My days are structured and routine. I get up between 5:30 am and 6 am, start coffee and laundry, and do some basic household tidying up. After my first sips of coffee, I settle to meditate and then write in my journal. Next head to gym or go for my walk.  Sometimes the early morning timing gets organized differently depending on conference calls, following up on emails, or my to-do list deadlines. I take a break midday. At that time I like to do something outside if the weather is nice, if I haven’t walked yet, I go, or work in my garden, maybe begin dinner preparation. Then I do more work until my family is home, have dinner, and catch up with them about their day. If I haven’t finished the day’s to do list, I work some more before preparing for sleep.  Finally, I prioritize my next day’s to do list and wind down by joining my family as they watch TV, or retreating to read, and  then before turning the lights off, reflect upon my day and give thanks through prayer.



How do you define success?

Success for me is trying to be the best version of me. Success for business is evaluated by monetary measures, brand identity, and the quality of professional relationships, so this is my aim.



Do you have an overall design or maker philosophy?

Make or design something beautiful! I believe beauty is perception, an experience or reflection of ourselves. When you see nature, an object, a person, and you think beautiful, it is because you’ve made a connection to that quality within yourself. I believe this feeling or what many label as “inspiration” is what leads design and creates “beautifully” made.



What does it mean to be genuinely you?

To the meaning “Genuinely you” or in this case “genuinely me” I would say I show my genuine self to others by my actions, and for words, my 2006 journal entry captures this maneuvering –


Lean on your strengths.

Dare your boundaries.

Sing your song with purpose,

Look for hopefulness when others see none.

Remember the world changes with each kindness.




Thanks so much, Denise! We are so thankful you started Genue!

The best way to understand Genue is to try it!

So ready... GIVE IT A TRY