Tools of the Trade: Judy Su of Blue State

By Kyle O'Brien 

Tools of the Trade is an AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps you perform at your top form, from your favorite drafting table to your best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.

Next up is Judy Su, creative director at fundraising and campaign consultant agency Blue State.

Judy Su’s knitting needle set gives her a creative outlet outside of her creative director job.


What is the name of the one tool you use all the time at work?

One of my favorite tools that I use outside of work but that helps me do my job well is my interchangeable knitting needle set from Clover. I’ve always been someone who needed a creative hobby totally separate from my day-to-day job, to give me a different outlet that isn’t so focused on client needs and demands.

I’ve cycled through creative writing, baking and decorating cakes and making stuffed animals, but over the past year I’ve become completely obsessed with knitting. It’s meditative and repetitive, completely different from what I do in my day job, and still gives me the satisfaction of producing something real (and often wearable).

Why is it your favorite?

These interchangeable needles are my favorite because they’re extremely flexible for any type of project that I want to make. I’ve made everything from socks to sweaters to bags, and they’ve held up with a lot of use. They’re also super portable and will be coming with me in my carry-on luggage as I travel to see family over the holidays.

How does it help you be successful?

I spend the majority of my day looking at a computer screen developing creative for digital platforms, so I find a lot of creative inspiration and freedom in picking up hobbies that are tactile and offline. It forces me to slow down and focus directly on the task at (or in) hand. With time, it becomes quite meditative, and I’m able to take that frame of mind back into the fast-paced world of political and advocacy work. I also can’t tell you how many creative challenges I’ve been able to think through while knitting the rows of a sweater.

Does it have sentimental value?

No, but I love the idea that things I create with them may, some day.

Do you think your tool could go TikTok viral?

It probably already has.

We want to know what tools you use to make you successful. If you’d like to contribute or know someone who would want to be featured in Tools of the Trade, contact and fill out our survey.